Page images

under such influences, a bright and glorious future still awaits the beautiful Hawaiian Islands ?

This Mission, for many reasons, and on the strongest grounds, appeals to the sympathy, and calls for the support of American Churchmen. That Island group lies contiguous to our Pacific coast, and, in its commercial importance, American interests are largely represented. Considerable numbers of our people are continually found upon its shores. The Church owes it to herself and to them to see to it, that American influence there shall not be a blighting, withering power—a fountain of moral death. In happier times, when the terrible pall which now overhangs our land shall be removed, the Church will, we are sure, be ready to meet the full share of her responsibility in such a labor.



Report of the two hundred and forty-fourth Anniversary of

the landing of the Forefathers of New England. By the New England Society, at the Astor House, New York City, Dec. 22, 1864.

When the old Puritans left Holland for the New World, there is a tradition that the Dutch bribed the master of the May Flower to land his passengers at Cape Cod. Certain it is, that the Puritans had failed in their efforts to purchase of the Dutch a settlement at or near the mouth of the Hudson River. Certain it is, also, that when Elder Brewster and his party sailed from Delft Haven, New Netherland was the point aimed at; but the May Flower, instead of anchoring off Manhattan, entered Cape Cod Harbor, Nov. 10th, 1620. The Dutch had already had a taste of Puritanism at home; and for some reason were unwilling to see such an element introduced into their new settlement abroad. The clergy of Holland regarded the Puritans “as a set of discontented, factious, and conceited men ; with whom it would be safest to have no connection."* For eleven years the Puritans had lived quietly in Holland; and they might have remained there peaceably to the day of their death, if they had behaved themselves properly. One of the main reasons for their leaving Holland, they themselves declare to be, “inasmuch as in ten years time, whilst we sojourned among them, we could not bring them to reform anything amiss among them .!To those who know the Puritans, that expression tells the whole story. The real truth was, that although they enjoyed every liberty in Holland which they could ask, they could not manage the obstinate Dutchmen and get everything into their own hands; and were fast losing their influence and even their identity. This was

* O'Callaghan's History of New Netherland, Vol. I, p. 85. Brodhead's History of New York, Vol. I.

the party which afterwards landed on Plymouth Rock; and this was the Episcopal persecution ! which in these days we hear so much of. This whole history of the Puritans in Holland seems to be generally and purposely ignored. It would undoubtedly spoil a good deal of tumid rhetoric, and would serve to rob the shafts of opposition of their poison at least, if not of the hatred with which they are charged.

What the real character of Puritanism was in England, when it had full opportunity to exhibit itself there, admits of no dispute. It was tried there thoroughly, politically, religiously and socially, for twenty years; and yet the people, sick of Puritan rule, hailed with acclamation the restoration of the Stuarts to the throne, in the person of that miserable specimen of a monarch, the hypocritical profligate, Charles II. What Puritanism did for the religion and morals of the coun• try, we will let their own witnesses testify. Richard Baxter,— pretty good Puritan authority,—describes the state of Religion under the Puritan dynasty, in the following language :

«* .What shall I tell you (says he) of all those hideous pamphlets against ordinances, and for the mortality of the soul, and that the soul is God himself, and against the truth of the Scriptures, as downright familism, and libertinism, and paganism. I cannot but think how men cried out against Mr. Edward's Gangræna at first, as if he had spoken nothing but lies, and now they have justified it with a fearful overplus.' And yet Mr. Edwards took the liberty of expressing himself in the following manner :

“Gangræna, Ep. Dedicat. We are fallen to madness (says Mr. Edwards, Gangræna, Book I, Part 3, p. 75) and folly, that I am persuaded, that if the Devil came visibly among many, and held out independency and liberty of conscience, and should preach never such false doctrines, as that there were no Devils, no Hell, no sin at all, but these were only men's imaginations, with several other doctrines, he would be cried up, followed, and admired. And again, (p. 80) We are insensible and not affected, under all the spiritual plagues of beresy, schism, blasphemy, intolerable anarchy; the fortieth part of these errors, heresies, blasphemies, which are now in the midst of us, would, seven years ago, have made our hearts ache, and our hair stand on end, filled our faces with paleness and blackness, whereas now we make light of them.

“Our evils, (says he,) are not removed or cured, but only changed; one disease and Devil hath left us, and another as bad is come in its

"* Baxter's Plain Proof of Infants' Church Membership, p. 147." VOL. XVII.


room. Yea, this last extreme is far more high, violent and dangerous in many respects. Have we not worse things come upon us, than ever we had before? Were any of these monsters heard of heretofore which are now common amongst us ;-as denying the scriptures, pleading for a toleration of all religions and worship, yea, of blaspheming, and denying there is a God? You have put down the Book of Common Prayer, and there are many amongst us who have put down the Scriptures, slighting them, yea, blaspheming them. You have broken down the images of the Trinity, Christ, Virgin Mary, Apostles ; and we have those who overthrow the doctrine of the Trinity, oppose the Divinity of Christ, speak evil of the Virgin Mary, and slight the Apostles. You have cast out the Bishops and their officers, and we have many that cast to the ground all Ministers in the reformed Churches. You have cast out ceremonies in the Sacraments, as the Cross, kneeling at the Lord's Supper, and we have many that have cast out the Sacraments of Baptism, and the Lord's Supper. You have put down Saints' days, and we have many that make nothing at all of the Lord's day, and Fast days. You have taken away the superfluous, excessive maintenance of Bishops and Deans; and we have many who take away and cry down the necessary maintenance of Ministers. In the Bishops days we had the singing of Psalms taken away in some places, conceived prayer and preaching, and in their room anthems, stinted forms and reading brought in ; and now we have singing of Psalms spoken against, and cast out of some Churches, yea, all public prayer questioned, and all ministerial preaching denied. In the Bishops' days we had many unlearned Ministers, and have we not now a company of Jeroboam's Priests? In the Bishops' days we had the fourth commandment taken away, but now we have all the ten commandments taken away at once by the Antinomians, yea, all Faith and Gospel denied. The worst of the Prelates, in the midst of many Arminian tenets, and popish innovations, held many sound doctrines, and had many commendable practices; yea, the very Papists hold and keep to many Articles of Faith and truths of God, have some order amongst them, encourage learning, have certain fixed principles of truth, with practices of devotion and good works; but many of the sects and sectaries, in our days, deny all principles of religion, are enemies to all holy duties, order and learning, overthrowing all.”

The manner in which the Puritans treated consecrated Churches, and works of Art dedicated to the service of the Trinity, the moderate Bishop Hall describes in their desecration of the noble old Church of Norwich.

“* It is no other than tragical to relate the carriage of that furious sacrilege, whereof our eyes and ears were the sad witnesses, under the authority and presence of Linsey, [an Alderman,) and Tosts the Sheriff, and Greenwood. Lord, what work was here, what clattering of glasses, what beating down of walls, what tearing up of monuments and pulling down of seats, what wresting out of irons and brass from the windows and graves! what defacing of arms, what demolishing of curious stone work, that had not any representation in the world, but only of the cost of the founder, and skill of the mason! What tooting and piping upon the destroyed organ pipes, and what a hideous triumph on the market-day before all the country, when in a kind of sacrilegious and profane procession, all the organ pipes, vestments, both copes and surplices, together with the leaden cross, which had newly been sawn down from over the green-yard pulpit, and the service books and singing books that could be had, were carried to the fire in the public market-place! A lewd wretch, walking before the train in his cope trailing in the dirt, with a service-book in his hand, imitating an impious scorn, the tune, and usurping the words of the Litany used formerly in the Church.”

** Bishop Hall's Hard Measure, p. 63."

Heylin, in his History of the Presbyterians, (p. 453,) thus describes the profanation of the old Abbey Church of Westminster :

“That some soldiers of Weshborne and Caywood's companies, were quartered in the Abbey Church, (as the rest of our modern reformers,) they broke down the rail about the altar, and burnt it in the place where it stood; they broke down the organ, and pawned the pipes at several ale-houses for pots of ale; they put on some of the singing men's surplesses, and in contempt of the canonical habits, ran up and down the Church; he that wore the surpless was the hare, the rest were the hounds. To show their Christian liberty, in the use of things, and that all consecration, or hallowing of things under the Gospel, is but a Jewish or Popish superstition, and that they are no longer to be accounted holy, than that holy use to which they serve, shall, by the actual use, only impart a transient holiness to them, they set forms about the Communion Table, there they eat and there they drink ale, and tobacco; some of their own Levites (if my intelligence deceive me not) bearing them company, and countenancing so beastly a profanation."

The horrible uses to which they appropriated the Altar, were so vile that we shall not defile our pages with a description. Nor shall we repeat the story of the cold-blooded murders and fiendish atrocities which Cromwell's party were guilty of in Ireland. The Dutch authorities, knowing the Puritans thoroughly, as they did, even then, it is not strange that they

* Lord Clarendon's History of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in Ireland, pp. 333-368.

« PreviousContinue »