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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 i 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 4) was the annual average increase upon the 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 11 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 1 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 1 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. 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
* From 1847 to 1856, 36 congregations were added to the United Presbyterian Church ; being at the rate of 3d 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. # See page 39.
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 more 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.”
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
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