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intimations from the General Assembly, that in process of time they would obtain a redress of their grievances. Owing to the embarrassed condition of the council in the spring of 1809, it was impossible for them to prosecute an appeal to the assembly. But that body was addressed by the Synod of Kentucky, by letter, respecting the difficulties, the result of which was a resolution equivalent to a confirmation of all the proceedings of the synod in relation to the business. The members of the council received intelligence of this decision with astonishment and sorrow, and at their next meeting, August, 1809, a large majority was in favour of an immediate constitution as an independent presbytery. But some hesitated, and wished to make a last effort with the synod for a reconciliation. It was unanimously agreed, therefore, to appoint two commissioners to propose terms to the synod, or to the Transylvania Presbytery, to which they had previously been attached by a dissolution of the Cumberland Presbytery. This commission failed to effect a compromise, and the result was, that three members of the council, Rev. Messrs. Finis Ewing, Samuel King, and Samuel McAdam, in February, 1810, constituted the Cumberland Presbytery, from which has grown
the present Cumberland Presbyterian Church. The following is the record of their constitution :
“ In Dickson County, State of Tennessee, at the Rev. Samuel McAdam's, this 4th day of February, 1810:
“ We, Samuel McAdam, Finis Ewing, and Samuel King, regularly ordained ministers of the Presbyterian Church, against whom no charge either of immorality or heresy has ever been exhibited before any judicature of the church, having waited in vain more than four years, in the meantime petitioning the General Assembly, for a redress of grievances, and a restoration of our violated rights, have and do hereby agree and determine, to constitute ourselves into a presbytery, known by the name of the Cumberland Presbytery, on the following conditions:
"All candidates for the ministry, who may hereafter be licensed by this presbytery, and all the licentiates or probationers who may hereafter be ordained by this presbytery, shall be required, before such licensure and ordination, to receive and accept the Confession of Faith and Discipline of the Presbyterian Church, except the idea of fatality that seems to be taught under the mysterious doctrine of predestination. It is to be understood, however, that such as can clearly receive the Confession of Faith without an exception, will not be required to make any. Moreover, all licentiates, before they are set apart to the whole work of the ministry, or ordained, shall be
required to undergo an examination in English Grammar, Geography, Astronomy, Natural and Moral Philosophy, and Church History. It will not be understood that examinations in Experimental Religion and Theology will be omitted. The presbytery may also require an examination on any part, or all, of the above branches of knowledge before licensure, if they deem it expedient.”
Three years after the constitution of the presbytery, the number of ministers and congregations had become so great, that it was divided into three presbyteries, and a synod was formed. The first sessions of the Cumberland Synod were held in October, 1813. At this meeting of the synod a committee was appointed to prepare a Confession of Faith, Catechism, and Form of Church Government, in conformity with the avowed principles of the body. The Confession of Faith and Catechism are a modification of the Westminster Confession, and contain substantially the following doctrines:
That the scriptures are the only infallible rule of faith and practice; that God is an infinite, eternal, and unchangeable spirit, existing mysteriously in three persons, the three being equal in power and glory; that God is the Creator and Preserver of all things; that the decrees of God extend only to what is for his glory; that he has not decreed the existence of sin, because it is neither for his glory nor the good of his creatures; that man was created upright, in the image of God; but, that by the transgression of the federal head, he has become totally depraved, so much so that he can do no good thing without the aid of divine grace. That Jesus Christ is the mediator between God and man; and that he is both God and man in one person; that he obeyed the law perfectly, and died on the cross to make satisfaction for sin; and that, in the expressive language of the apostle, he tasted death for every man. That the Holy Spirit is the efficient agent in our conviction, regeneration, and sanctification; that repentance and faith are necessary in order to acceptance, and that both are inseparable from a change of heart; that justification is
a by faith alone; that sanctification is a progressive work, and not completed till death; that those who believe in Christ, and are regenerated by his Spirit, will never fall away and be lost; that there will be a general resurrection and judgment; and that the righteous
; will be received to everlasting happiness, and the wicked consigned to everlasting misery.
Cumberland Presbyterians baptize the children of believing parents, and adult persons who have not been baptized in infancy, upon a credible profession of religion. They administer baptism by affusion, and sometimes, when the subject has conscientious preferences, by immersion.
The government of the church is strictly presbyterial. The lowest judicature is a church or congregational session; the next a presbytery; and, for some years, a synod was the highest. At the sessions of the Cumberland Synod in 1828, the synod was divided into four synods, and preparatory steps were taken for the organization of a general assembly. The first sessions of the assembly were held in May, 1829, at Princeton, Kentucky.
Something of the increase and extension of the church may be learned from the following specifications. In 1822, twelve years after the organization of the first presbytery, the number of ordained ministers was
46 The number of reported conversions that year, through the instrumentality of the church, was ·
2718 Adult baptisms,
575 In 1826, ordained ministers,
80 Reported conversions,
3305 Adult baptisms,
786 In 1827, ordained ministers,
114 Reported conversions,
4006 Adult baptisms,
I. 996 In 1833, the General Assembly contained Synods,
32 Reported conversions,
5977 Adult baptisms,
. 1150 In 1834, reported conversions,
10688 In 1843, it appeared from official documents that the General Assembly had under its supervision 13 synods and 57 presbyteries. One synod embraces the republic of Texas.
The Cumberland Presbyterian Church has under its patronage three colleges. The oldest is Cumberland College, at Princeton, Kentucky, of which the Rev. Richard Beard, D.D. is president. Beverly College, at Beverly, Ohio; Rev. J. P. Wethee, president. A new college at Lebanon, Tennessee; Rev. F. R. Cassitt, D.D., president. Two weekly religious newspapers are published under the patronage of the church: the Banner of Peace and Cumberland Presbyterian Advocate, published at Lebanon, Tennessee, Rev. F. R. Cassitt, D. D., editor, and the Union Evangelist and Cumberland Presbyterian Observer, published at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Rev. Milton Bird, editor. The ministry of the church are pious and generally intelligent and efficient men, and great exertions are now making to raise still higher the standard of intelligence and usefulness.
DUTCH REFORME D.
BY W. C. BROWNLEE, D. D.,
OF THE PROTESTANT
UTCH REFORMED CHURCH IN NEW YORK.
In presenting this brief detail, I shall,
I. Give a sketch of the history of our church ;
1. The Dutch Reformed Church is the oldest church in the United States which adopts the Presbyterian form of church government. Its history begins with the history of New York and New Jersey. It is a branch of the national Church of Holland; and is formed exactly on its primitive, simple, and scriptural model, in every point.
The struggle in Holland for religion and liberty was severe and protracted. But, by wisdom and piety in the cabinet, and by a succession of gallant achievements in the field, against the arms of the bigoted and ferocious Spaniard, the Dutch by divine aid secured their national independence and the enjoyment of the Protestant religion. From this era the Dutch became a great and powerful nation. Commerce, literature and religion flourished to an extraordinary degree. And to our days, Holland has been pre-eminently distinguished for her devotion to religion and literature. Hence her primary schools, her academies, her universities, and parochial churches, and hence the number of her learned men, and her pious and devoted ministers in the national church. In the midst of her extensive commercial enterprises she did not lose sight of the Christian duties she owed to those with whom she traded. Her ships, which visited all lands, were instrumental, in the hands of her pious sons, of carrying the glorious gospel to many countries. The East Indies and the adjacent islands, the West Indian Islands, and our own continent, bear lasting proofs of this in the existing monuments of the fruits of the labours of her missionaries and pious immigrants.
The Dutch West India Company were the first who carried the ministers of the gospel from Holland to our shores. This was done in answer to the petitions of the pious immigrants who had settled in this province, then called New Amsterdam. And as the members of the Dutch West India Company were citizens of Amsterdam, these petitions were, of course, put into the hands of the ministers of that city, as the fittest persons to select good and suitable pastors for the rising churches abroad. By these ministers was the whole management thereof brought before the Classis of Amsterdam; and they promptly undertook the important charge of providing an able ministry for America. The ministers, thus provided, were ordained and sent as missionaries to these shores, by that classis, with the consent and approbation of the Synod of North Holland, to which that classis belonged. And under their paternal and fostering care, and the labour of the able ministers who came among them, these churches grew and increased in number and strength continually.
This minute detail was necessary to throw light on an important matter, out of which arose consequences, in future of the deepest interest to our church. It reveals the reason why the Dutch American churches were brought into such close connexion with the Classis of Amsterdam, and through that classis, with the Synod of North Holland, to the entire exclusion of all the other classes and synods of the national church. And it shows why, in process of time, this connexion brought about the entire dependence, and the implicit subordi.nation of these American Dutch churches to that classis and that synod. So much so, that they claimed the entire and exclusive right of selecting, ordaining and sending ministers to these churches. They went farther; they claimed the exclusive power of deciding all ecclesiastical controversies and difficulties which might arise in all the Dutch churches in the provinces.
This was, at first, casually, and by a silent understanding, vested in that classis, by the young and weak churches here, and not objected to by the other synods in Holland, or by the older and more experienced ministers. This dependence was not at first anticipated ; and what was only casually allowed, was afterwards claimed by the Classis of Amsterdam with unyielding obstinacy; and it was maintained successfully by a party here, as well as by the members of that classis who had so long held the authority, and who deemed that supervision essential to the well being of the churches here. It is difficult to suppose that such godly ministers as belonged to the Classis