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whole period, being the rate precisely which it had attained during the first decade of its existence.
“ The Relief Presbytery,” afterwards the SYNOD OF Relief, was formed in 1761; and from that year to 1770, inclusive, which was its first decade, 15 congregations arose in connection with it, giving an average increase of 1} annually.
During its second decade, that is, from 1771 to 1780 inclusive, 19 congregations were formed in connection with it, giving an annual average increase of 2, being at the rate of congregation more than during the preceding period.
During its third decade, that is, from 1781 to 1790 inclusive, 12 congregations were formed in connection with it, giving an annual average increase of 1, being about half the rate at which it was progressing during the period immediately preceding.
During the fourth decade of its existence, that is, from 1791 to 1800, inclusive, 27 congregations were formed in connection with it, giving an annual average of nearly 3, or an increase of 2 over the rate of progression during the previous ten years. This was the period when the Relief Church reached its maximum of increase, and the period when the Secession Church was suffering from internal division, produced by what is now known as “The Old Light” controversy.
During its fifth decade, that is, from 1801 to 1810 inclusive, 15 congregations were added to the Relief Church, giving an annual average increase of 1), being only half the rate at which it was increasing during the immediately preceding period.
During its sixth decade, that is, from 1811 to 1820, inclusive, only 7 congregations were added to the Relief Church, being little more than congregation annually. This is the period of minimum increase in that Church, which is probably accounted for by the fact that it is the period which preceded the union of the two great branches of the Secession.
During its seventh decade, that is, from 1821 to 1830 inclusive, 14 congregations were added to the Relief Church, giving an annual average of nearly 2, being a rate of progress double that at which it was advancing during the ten years previous.
During its eighth decade, that is, from 1831 to 1840, 24 congregations were formed in connection with the Relief Church, giving an annual average increase of 2), being only I congregation less than it had reached at its greatest maximum of increase. The corresponding period in the growth of the Secession Church has been previously marked out as the period of its maximum increase, and the influences affecting both at this time are indicated along with the enumerations there made.
During the six remaining years of its separate existence, that is, from 1841 to 1847 inclusive, 4 congregations were added to the Relief Church, being rather more than I congregation annually, and bringing down the rate of progress to within a mere fraction of what it had been at the lowest. This and the corresponding period in the progress of the Secession Church are to be considered transition periods, when both Churches were preparing for union, and neither of them was exerting itself for its individual increase.
It thus appears that, during the eighty-six years which had elapsed from the formation of the Relief Church, till its union with the Secession, 136 congregations had been added to the Synod, or an annual average increase of 1), or the same rate of increase as the Secession in its first decade. Both Churches maintained the same rate of progress with which they started. In no year, save 1811-1813, was there no increment of at least one congregation to either denomination.
Of the 136 congregations which had been added to the Relief Church, only 118 united with the Secession. Of the 18 congregations not uniting, we will have occasion to speak at a subsequent stage of our inquiries. Meanwhile, it is proper to remark that the number of Secession congregations joining with the Relief at the union of both in 1847 was 400, being the whole then in connection with the United Associate Synod, giving a total of 518 to the United Synod.
During the eight years which have elapsed since the union of the Secession and Relief Churches—that is, from 1847 to 1854 inclusive, the United Presbyterian Church has had 21 congregations added to it, giving an average of less than 3 a-year. *
The enumeration we have now made shows that 539 congregations are (1854) in connection with the United Presbyterian Church.t This gives only the number in Great Britain ; and it does not comprehend all that sprang out of the Secession movement in that part of the kingdom ; for two other synods branched off from those whose history has been traced; and the congregations belonging to these have not yet been taken into account. The congregations not thus enumerated amount to 51, which, added to 453 connected with the Associate, General Associate, and United Associate Synods, make 504. Such was the result in Great Britain, as far as congregations are considered, of the movement of “the Four Brethren” in 1733. But the effects of that movement extended also to the sister island, and to many places abroad. In another page we have shown that 136 Secession congregations in Ireland united with the Synod of Ulster in 1840; and 8 congregations in that country, formed into a Presbytery apart from that Synod, have since united with the United Presbyterian Church. The two Synods of Original Seceders had also eight congregations in Ireland. It has been still further shown that 208 Secession congregations were formed in the United States previous to the year 1844, and many more have been added since. In Nova Scotia the United Presbyterian Church numbers 42 organised congregations, besides many others in course of formation, but as yet treated only as preaching stations. In Canada there were 86 congregations prior to the union in that province. In Jamaica there were 24, and in Trinidad 2. The churches here named were all offshoots from the Secession Church before its union with the Relief, and are accordingly specified in the account of its separate progress. Taken together, the congregations which are known to have sprung out of the Secession of Erskine and his coadjutors from the Established Church, are found to amount to 1018. To these there are to be added 136 congregations which had arisen in connection with the Relief Synod previous to its union with the Secession Church, and 21 that have been added in connection with the United Presbyterian Church since its formation; and the sum total is 1175.
How little did the founders of the Secession and Relief Churches think that the cause they had espoused would prosper in the way it has done! We can suppose them looking at the obstacles to its success, and saying despondingly with the prophet, “ By whom shall Jacob arise, for he is small ?” Everything save their own indomitable courage and unwavering confidence in God was against it. The ruling powers, both civic and ecclesiastical, were strongly opposed to it. There were statutes then existing unfavourable to its progress. The mass of the people was strongly prejudiced against it. Many landholders did what they could to hinder it, by refusing sites for places of worship essential to its prosperity. The adherents to the cause generally were themselves persons very limited in their pecuniary resources, while the maintenance, and still mote the extension, of the Church involved very great expense. The Established Church from which they had withdrawn cost them nothing ; while adherence to their Secession subjected them, in many cases, to still greater disadvantages than outlay of money. Prestige was in favour of the Church established by law, which not only hindered Secession, but was frequently drawing back those who had seceded. Honour and emolument were more readily available within its pale than without, and proved powerful attractions to those who preferred them to religious principle. The aspirants for magisterial authority, wide practice as surgeons, extended business as lawyers, and genteel congregations as ministers, withdrew from it. And yet it grew, and continues to grow more rapidly than ever. “He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root : Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit."
* From 1847 to 1856, 36 congregations were added to the United Presbyterian Church ; being at the rate of 31 a year. But immediately prior to this period, the noble exertions of the Free Church had added largely to the places of worship in Scotland, and that denomination to a great extent occupied the field in which churches might have been planted by the elder body. From 1857 to 1866, 81 congregations were added, being an average of 8 a-year. During the 5 years from 1867 to 1871, 18 were added, the average again falling back to less than 4.- EDS. + The number at the close of 1871 is 652.-EDS.
Sæ page 39.
It has been shown in the list of congregations, that in all 612 have at one time or another been in connection with the denominations now composing the United Presbyterian Church, exclusive of those that have sprung up in connection with the denominations which at different times branched off from the Secession, and of those which originated in Ireland and America. It has also been shown that the Church is at present (1854) made up only of 539 congregations. We are therefore called to account, at this stage of our progress, for the remaining: 73. Of these, two went over to the Established Church, both of them previously belonging to the Relief Synod. One was under the ministry of Mr Bryce in Aberdeen, who took offence at his rival candidate being subsequently ordained in the same city, and who in consequence induced his adherents to withdraw from the connection along with him. The other was under the ministry of the Rev. Mr Johnston, Edinburgh, who took offence at the Synod interdicting the use of an organ in his place of worship. Thus, notwithstanding the inducement held out by promise of endowments and otherwise, only two congregations have been permanently gained over to the Establishment.
Of the 71 remaining to be accounted for, 9 adhered to the Original Associate (Burgher) Synod, as one of the results of what is known as “the Old Light Controversy”—namely, Aberdeen (First), Burntshields, Cumbernauld (First), Cartsdyke (Greenock), Milnathort (First), Pollokshaws (First), Renton, Shotts, and Yetholm (First); and 4 to the Original General Associate (Antiburgher) Synod as the other—namely, Balmullo, Haddington (Second), Kelso (Second), and Whitburn. The congregation of Midholm withdrew at a subsequent period and joined this connection. These all continue to exist except the congregations of Balmullo and Kelso, for which there was never any urgent need.
Of the 57 still remaining, 8 declined acceding to the union formed between the two great branches of the Secession in 1820, and continued apart from it-namely, Auchinleck, Ayr (First), Clola, Colmonel, Kilwinning (First), Pathhead, Pitcairngreen, and Thurso. Pitcairngreen has since become extinct. From Clola and Pathhead sprang the congregations of Stewartfield and Union Chapel, Kirkcaldy, which now form part of the United Presbyterian Church. To the class of congregations remaining apart when others were joining are to be added the congregations of Provost Wynd (Cupar), and Kirkintilloch (First), which stood aloof from the
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Union of the Secession and Relief Churches formed in 1847. The former is now extinct; the latter is in connection with the Free Church.
Forty-nine congregations have still to be accounted for. Of these, 5 have passed over to the denominations with which they were originally connected, namely, Darlington, Dukinfield, Halfold, Ramsbottom, and Warrington ; four are now in connection with the Evangelical Union, namely, Bathgate (Second), Cupar-Angus (Relief), Dunning (Relief), and Clerk's Lane, Kilmarnock; and the remainder have become extinct, namely, Abernethy (Second), Auchtergaven (South), Balfron (First), Banff (Relief), Belfast (Bankhill), Berwick, Bolton, Bo'ness (First), Cambuslang, Castle-Douglas, Dumbarrow, Dunblane (Second), Elseridgehill, Carrubber's Close (Edinburgh), Ford (Relief), Forgue, Greenend, Greenwich, Haddington (Relief), Howford, Castle Street (Jedburgh), Kirriemuir (First Relief), Kilconquhar, Lanark (Secession), Largs (Relief), Lauder (Relief), Leeds, Liff, Liverpool (Second), Peel Street (London), Mainsriddel (Relief), Morpeth, 3 in Newcastle, North-West (Perth), Strathkinness, Torphichen, Wilsontown, and Workington.
It has to be added that 13 congregations have disappeared by junctions formally allowed, or silently acquiesced in, with other congregations in the same place, namely, the Relief with the Secession congregation, Annan; the Relief with the Secession congregation, Auchtergaven ; the Secession with the Relief congregation, Campbelton, Argyleshire; the Secession (Maygate), with the Relief (Gillespie Church), Dunfermline; the Relief with the Secession in Errol; the Secession (East Regent Street), with the Secession (Duke Street), Glasgow; the first Secession with the second Secession, Johnshaven; the second Secession with the first Secession, Keith ; the first Secession with the second Secession, Lauder; the congregation of Miles Lane with that of Albion Chapel, London ; the first Secession with the second Secession congregation of Peebles; the West Secession congregation with that of the same denomination in Countess Street, Saltcoats; the second with the first Secession congregation, Selkirk; and the first with the second congregation, South Shields.
Of other congregations previously specified as being in connection with the Secession or Relief Churches, but whose names do not now appear in the list of the United Presbyterian Synod, seven are to be considered as continued under other designations : Coldingham, Cowgate, Craigmaillen, Lauriston (Glasgow), Inverness, Portobello, and Spring Garden Lane (Sunderland).
SECESSION CHURCH IN IRELAND. Presbyterianism in Ireland is an offshoot of the Church of Scotland. It dates from the reign of James I. The persecutions inflicted by that monarch and his son upon the Covenanters compelled many of them to seek refuge in the sister isle. There they formed a Church upon the model of the one from which they had thus been separated.
Patronage in the Scottish sense of the word was unknown in the Irish Church, but certain regulations, giving an undue share of influence to the rich in the appointment of ministers, caused disaffection among the humbler classes similar to that caused by patronage in Scotland; and the same leaven of Pelagian and Arian doctrine was at work in both countries. These influences were brought into powerful operation in the town of Lisburn in 1736, by the induction of the Rev. William Patton to the pastorate of the Presbyterian congregation there. A formidable opposition to his settlement had arisen, and the dissentients were unwilling to submit to
his ministry. It happened about the same time that the father of the late Rev. William Jameson of Kilwinning, who was a seafaring man, had occasion, in the course of his business, to visit the place. From the well-known sympathies of kindred minds, he soon found himself in intercourse with some of the religious people of the town. He reported to them the determined resistance which had been made in the General Assembly in Scotland, and the Secession which in consequence had taken place. In little more than three months after Mr Patton's induction, a memorial, signed by no less than 280 heads of families residing in Lisburn, was presented to the Associate Presbytery' craving to be taken under their inspection, and to have a supply of preachers afforded with a view to the choice of a minister. To this memorial the Presbytery gave an encouraging answer, but could not at that time comply with its request.
A similar application to the above was made in 1742, by people in Lylehill, a place in the neighbourhood of Lisburn—the movement originating, in this case, not from unfaithful preaching, nor improper influence exercised by the more wealthy members of the congregation, but from disaffection to the Synod of Ulster, in consequence of their having refused the applicants a petition to be erected into a separate congregation. This time the application was granted, and a preacher was sent to Ireland to labour there for three months. He was succeeded by another, whose visit was followed by one from the Rev. James Fisher, formerly of Kinclaven, but then of Glasgow. Nothing more was done towards the furtherance of the Secession cause in Ireland till March 1745, when the Synod into which the Associate Presbytery had now merged, sent Mr John M'Ara, minister at Burntshields, and Mr Isaac Paton, probationer, to itinerate a few weeks in that country. Mr Paton was invited by the Seceders in Templepatrick to settle among them. Having accepted this invitation, he was ordained pastor of the congregation there, and so became the first Secession minister in Ireland. .
The Breach divided the Seceders in Ireland as elsewhere. Nevertheless, both divisions prospered. In 1750 the Associate (Burgher) Synod had three, and the General Associate (Antiburgher) Synod had four congregations in that country. In 1784 there were 37 congregations belonging to the two Synods, and their ministers were deemed of sufficient importance to merit royal patronage and support in the form of a Regium Donum. In May of that year, the two Synods in Ireland tried to unite, but were prevented doing so by the Synods of their respective denominations in Scotland, to which they were still in subordination. This union, however, after several other attempts to effect it, and as frequent interference on the part of the Church at home, was consummated at Cookstown in July 1818. At that time 78 congregations belonged to the Associate (Burgher), and 32 to the General Associate (Antiburgher) Synod. Altogether there were 110 congregations, of which 104 had settled ministers—the remaining 6 being vacant.
In 1840 all grounds of separation between the United Associate Synod in Ireland, and the Synod of Ulster, were removed, and a union was effected. At the time of this event 136 congregations belonged to the Seceders. During the first year of the union 15 Secession ministers adhered to a protest they had made against it, and withdrew from attendance upon meetings of Presbytery. In 1841, 9 of these dropped their protest, and were received into connection with the Assembly. Six continued to protest, but after the death of some, and the resignation of others, the congregations they represented also acceded.
As already stated, the Seceders accepted the Regium Donum. This grant was