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of grace, we may hope that grace will win such victories within her borders that hers will be an efficient instrumentality in ultimately securing the planting of the gospel, and the supremacy of the gospel, among the millions whose dwellings, at no distant day, will be stretched along the whole extent of our Pacific border. Thus will she perform a noble and glorious part in making this whole land Immanuel's.
If such a result shall be realized, it will involve the realization of results yet greater and more glorious. This land as it is, but more emphatically, this land as it will be, when the church-going bell shall be as familiar west of the Rocky Mountains, as it now is east of the Alleghanies, will bear a more prominent part than any other in the world's conversion. As they approached the Plymouth Rock on that cold December day more than two centuries ago, our fathers little understood the magnitude of the mission on which God had sent them to this then unbroken wilderness. It was not merely that they might be free to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences, and might secure the like privilege to their children. It was that here they might lay the foundations of a nation whose territory should be bounded on the east by the Atlantic, on the west by the Pacific, and on the north and south by limits yet undetermined-a nation of Christian men, from whose every shore should be borne the gospel of Christ, until the hour of its final triumph. And inasmuch as the finding of the golden placers of the "farthest west" tends to hasten the successful planting of Christian institutions, and the establishment of Christian communities along that western slope, and is thus connected with the triumph of the truth in our entire land, it may be deemed a step, and au important step, toward the realization of this glorious destiny. We, of this generation, may live to see Christian missionaries embark at San Francisco as frequently as they now sail from Boston or New York; and among those missionaries may be some of the very persons, who, coming from within the walled empire of the Chinese in search of gold, are now numbered among the inhabitants of that anomalous city. May the day not be distant, when from one side of the land and from the other, messengers shall go forth in constantly increasing numbers, hearing the glad tidings announced in song by angelic voices over the field of Bethlehem. Thus may God's kingdom come and his will be done in earth as in heaven!
It is doubtless true that many, if not most, of those who have gone to the gold mines have gone only to meet with disappointment. The discovery of a golden land will occasion much of suffering and sorrow among the adventurers who have thronged, and are thronging, thither, and in the homes and among the friends they have left behind. Nevertheless, when regarded in connection with its bearings on the political and religious interests of our country and the world, we think it gives occasion for grateful acknowledgment of the far-reaching wisdom of an overruling Providence. There may be seen in it confirmation of the ttuth that under God's sovereignty all things are working together for the accomplishmeut of his designs. It affirms anew the truth that GOD IS IN HISTORY.
ART. VI.- AMERICAN PRESBYTERIAN HISTORY.
The Life of Ashbel Green, begun to be written by himself in his
eighty-second year, and continued to his eighty-fourth. Prepared for the press at the author's request, by Joseph H. Jones, Pastor of the 6th Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia. New
York : Carter and Brothers. pp. 628. The Constitutional History of the Presbyterian Church in the
United States of America. By CHARLES HODGE. Parts I. and II. Philadelphia: William S. Martien. pp. 772.
The autobiography of Dr. Green is to us proof positive that he does not belong to the class in which we are accustomed to rank Augustin, Calvin, and Knox. Yet this is not any abatement from his well earned fame. He had gifts suited to his age and the sphere in which he was destined to move, and he used his gifts well. We have heard Dr. Green spoken of slightingly, but we freely express our belief that a man of ordinary parts and attainments could not have endured the same searching and protracted tests which were applied to him. He must have been discovered and reprobated as an usurper. Nor in this do we express an unqualified approval of his course, as it is described in his own words. There are some things in his life which we find it hard to approve; but this is not the place, nor is it our intention, to point out these things.
The guileless simplicity of this autobiography is seen in a paragraph which we quote as a curiosity, and for the eyes of some readers who may not purchase the book. It presents our friend, Rev. Robert J. Breckenridge, in a more pious attitude than he commonly assumes when waging religious wars, and if he made the prayer mentioned, we could wish we had been there to hear it.
When the General Assembly of 1837 came together, there was the most painful anxiety about the strength of parties. But let Dr. Green speak for himself.
" It was very doubtful when the Assembly was formed, whether the Old or the New School party would have the majority. It was generally thought that VOL. VIII.
the parties were nearly equal; and great anxiety existed on both sides when the test votes in the choice of a Moderator and the Clerks were about to be taken. In the choice of a Moderator, it appeared that the Old School party had a majority of thirty-one votes. For the Clerks also, the votes were decisive for the Old School candidates. The stated Clerk, chosen for the last year, remained in office of course. After the Assembly adjourned in the afternoon, when the officers of the house had been chosen, the Convention (Old School) immediately met; and their first act, on the motion of Mr. Robert J. Breckenridge, was to return thanks to God for the auspicious order of his providence in giving to the friends of reform the decisive majority of the Assembly, which had just been manifested by the votes in the organization of the body.-Life of Dr. Green, p. 473.
Perhaps it would be hardly generous to say that this reminds us of certain Te Deums at Rome after the massacre of St. Bartholomew's day, and so we will not say it; still the piety of these Old School revolutionists is worthy of conspicuous record. It can hardly be agreeable to Congregationalists, to hear this venerable father in the Presbyterian church, congratulating himself on “the great reform which he had effected,” and the deliverance of our beloved church from the evils which for many years have afflicted and corrupted it.” If we mistake not, among those terrible corruptions were the "plan of union," voluntary missionary societies, and the graduial increase of the Independent element in that church.
Our space will not permit even a synopsis of this work. A man living during the Revolution, on intimate terms with such men as Witherspoon, Smith and White, and frequently meeting Washington, John and Samuel Adams, Jefferson, Hancock, and many other noted men of that period; for eight years chaplain of Congress, and for fifty years mingling in all the movements pertaining to the reorganization and growth of one of the strongest branches of the American church, ought to write a book of reminiscences worth reading. There will be various opinions concerning this book, but we unhesitatingly approve its publication in its present form. And our reason for this is not its perfection as a memoir or life, for it has many blemishes, but because it presents a true record of testimony on important points from an honest witness. We can pardon its self-recorded compliments, its egotism, and its easy decision of mooted questions, for the honest statements it contains concerning things which the author himself saw. Justice to the memory of this eminent man constrains us to add, that it seems to us to be the bounden duty of Dr. Jones, or some other capable friend, to write a Life of Dr. Green, which shall be lively, condensed, and complete; such an one as no person, however deserving, would dare to give of himself. We need a glowing picture of Green, in the assembly which gave the Presbyterian Church its constitution, as chaplain at a time when Congress had in it some of the greatest men our nation has produced, as the most popular preacher in a great city, as the annoyed and precise, yet able and respected President of a college, and as a revolutionist in the church. The sketches of him by Drs. Janeway, Miller, Murray, and others, as given in this volume, will materially aid some one in supplying the need. Let this volume answer its end as a book of testimony and reference, and in addition, let us have such an easy and comprehensive account of the man himself, and of his actions, as Kennedy has given of Wirt.
We will also take this opportunity to express our wish and hope, that the friends of Dr. Green will speedily publish the manuscript life of Witherspoon, left by Dr. G. in their hands. infer that the collection of materials for this work was a favorite occupation, and that he much doted on the record he had made of that great and good man.
A word is dne by way of explanation, concerning the work of Dr. Hodge, the title of which stands at the head of this article. We do not propose to review it critically; nor by our silence do we subscribe to all his statements of those questions of history concerning which Congregationalists and Presbyterians differ. We freely accord to him our admiration of the research, discrimination, and honesty, which mark his history of Presbyterianism in this country. We propose to condense, from his history and such other collateral works as are within our reach, a sketch of the rise and progress of Presbyterianism in the United States; and that not as controversialists, or enlogists, but as lovers and admirers of Christianity in all its manifested forms, and especially in this form which has ever embraced and defended the great doctrines, embraced and defended by the fathers of New England. Our remarks will be confined principally to the history of this denomination in the Middle States and Virginia.
Dr. Hodge endeavors to prove that the main part of the founders of the Presbyterian church were from Ireland, Scotland, South Britain, Holland and France. He does not deny the presence of many emigrants from New England, but shrewdly endeavors to show that the most of these favored the Presbyterian form of church government. We think his position clearly true of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia; but of East Jersey somne large abatements ought to be made.
For instance, the settlement of Essex county was made, as the records prove, by emigrants from New England. Many of the families did not come directly from those colonies, but from Long Island, where they had settled when that island was a part of New England. The patronymics of many of the original families in and about Newark indicate their origin. “The settlers of Newark were from the towns of Guilford, Branford, Milford, and New Haven, in Connecticut;" "the first emigrants were from Milford and neighboring plantations in Connecticut; but on the 21st of
May, 1666, it was agreed, at a meeting held near to Elizabethtown and the Town Plotis on Passaic River,' at which the agents of Guilford and Branford were present, that should an intimation to that effect be received before the following November, the associates froin all the plantations should constitute only one township, to be of one heart and consent with God's blessing in endeavoring to carry on their spiritual concernments, as well as their civil and town affairs according to God and a godly government.'"* From Dr. Hodge's work and even from Dr. MacWhorter's century sermon, it might be inferred that the most of the settlers of Newark, came from South Britain with the Rev. Abraham Pierson, who after settling on Long Island, and then in Branford, removed to Newark This does not seem to accord with the facts stated by Whitehead, and proved by documentary testimony. We do not think that the reason why the church at Newark became Presbyterian instead of Congregational, is to be found in the Presbyterian sympathies of all, or even a majority of the original settlers, but rather in the preferences of their first minister, a Presbyterian, and a man of great weight of character. In fact, the second article of compact entered into by the Branford emigrants seems to indicate that if they had any preferences about church government, they were in favor of Congregationalism as it existed in New England. “We shall with care and diligence provide for the maintenance of the purity of religion professed in the Congregational churches.” (Ib., p. 45.) In East Jersey there was a large share of New England people, and we believe the preferences of the clergy, rather
than those of the people, determined their church order.
In New York, the Dutch originally took the Presbyterian type peculiar to Holland, and have retained it to this day, although some of the best elements in the Presbyterian church in that state are of Dutch descent. As early as 1706, we find mention of a few Presbyterian families in New York, from England, Scotland and Ireland. With these a few families from New England united for the purposes of social worship. (Miller's Life of Rodgers, p. 125.) In Pennsylvania there was an amalgamation of Presbyterians from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, Holland and France, and these constituted the materials out of which the Presbyterian church was formed at an early date.
* New Jersey under the Proprietaries, p. 46. This work, by Wm. A. Whitehead, is the 1st volume of “ Collections of the New Jersey Historical Society.” This society embraces some of the first minds in that state, and is now collecting, with great zeal and discrimination, documents and facts illustrative of the history of New Jersey, and embodying them in a permanent form. Besides Whitehead's history, the Society has published Duer's Life of Lord Sterling, Field's Bench and Bar of New Jersey, and three volumes of " Proceedings,” in which are found many documents of rare value. The zeal of this Society is above praise.