« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
this country, about the year 1690, under the auspices of Colonel Ninian Beall, and settled on the Patuxent. From these was formed Upper Marlborough. Mr. Taylor came with them, or soon after them, to be their minister. His last attendance in Presbytery was in 17.09. Dr. Hill thinks the congregation at Upper Marlborough was organized at a later period, by Rev. Mr. Conn. It was of Scotch material.
Rev. Jedediah Andrews was born in Hingham, Massachusetts, July 1674: was a graduate of Harvard in 1695; commenced preaching in Philadelphia 1698; was an original member of Presbytery and became its stated clerk; was Moderator of the first meeting of the Synod of Philadelphia in 1717; was Moderator of the Synod at the time the Rev. Robert Cross his copastor brought in the famous protest, by which the Presbytery of New Brunswick was excluded; remained with the majority when the minority withdrew; and lived to the advanced age of seventy-two years. Mr. Makemie expressed his great attachment to him, by the legacies of his will. Whether the church, of which Mr. Andrews was long pastor, was organized at time he began to preach in Philadelphia, or a few years afterwards, has been a matter of discussion. It is not necessary to decide the matter here. The churches of the Eastern Shore, at least some of them, are senior sisters. Mr. Andrews was preaching in Philadelphia at the time Mr. Makemie obtained his qualifications from the Court of Accomack. The church at Snow Hill was able to sustain a preacher when that of Philadelphia was not yet gathered. There can be no question of the talents and acquirements of Mr. Andrews. His long residence in Philadelphia, of itself speaks volumes for him. His education had been in New England, where Independency predominated. There were many elements of Presbytery in the churches of his fathers. The orthodoxy of New England was then entirely unquestioned, and of the strictest sort. The points of agreement between Makemie and Andrews were many; the subjects of difference few. Makemie had been the Evangelist of the Eastern Shore; Andrews the forming pastor in Philadelphia. Makemie had been accustomed to meet opposition, and, victorious or conquered, to hold unchanged his principles of faith and practice and forms of worship, he must gain the victory or be defeated. Andrews was a common friend chosen by warring elements, and was accustomed to consider how much could be yielded with a safe faith, and what could be done to harmonize professing christians who agree on great principles. Makemie fell in earlier life than Andrews; but Andrews might have wished to fall earlier than Makemie, could he have anticipated the cloud that would hang upon his age. Both orthodox in faith, Makemie was Presbyterian, by education, ex animo; Andrews probably by position and expediency. Andrews closed his ministry and his life in 1746.
Kev. Francis Makemie held a peculiar position. He was the first in a long and rapidly increasing series of ministers that resulted in the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in North America. He was first of a church, whose past history is full of events that have moulded rising generations. No civil State, or religious denomination, south of the Hudson, or perhaps in the Union, has done more for the advance of civil liberty, freedom of conscience and the public welfare. All these things give force to the inquiry—what was his creed? That he was Presbyterian in creed, and in church forms and church government, has never been doubted. The records of civil and ecclesiastical courts establish that fact. But how did he understand the Confession of Faith? Strictly or in latitude of meaning? In absence of direct testimony the appeal is to the circumstances of the case. During his trial in New York in 1707 he said—" As to our doctrines, my Lord, we have a Confession of Faith known to the Christian world, and I challenge the clergy of York to show us any false or pernicious doctrine therein." This Confession was the Scotch edition of the Westminster Confession, which was in use in Ireland. But how did he understand it? This question is answered by the following circumstances.
1st. The Presbyterian Church in Ireland was gathered by such men as John Livingston and Robert Blair,—men that acted a conspicuous part at the Kirk of Shotts in 1630. Seven hundred persons were hopefully converted at one meeting. And these two preachers were suspended by the prelates, for being there. The Irish Church took its form and fashion from Scotch materials, after the model of the Scotch Kirk, and its prototype in Geneva. What construction the Scotch put on their Confession then is not doubted.
2d. In 1643 the Solemn League and Covenant, was, with due forms, taken to some extent in England. It was pressed in Scotland, and those, that declined taking it, in that country, were considered enemies of civil and religious liberty. Experience proved the suspicion not to be groundless. Ireland by a particular clause was included in the league; and the Presbyterians of Ulster took the covenant joyfully. In 1644, it was offered to the congregations in Down, Antrim, Derry, Donegal, Tyrone, and Fermanaugh, by commissioners sent from Scotland for the purpose. It was received by the congregations with ceremony and great solemnity. It produced the same effects in Ireland as in Scotland. It drew the line between the friends and enemies of civil and religious liberty.
3d. The first Presbytery in Ireland was formed on the 10th of June 1642, and consisted of five ministers. It was not slow to act. In 1654, when the Presbytery consisted of about twenty-four members, a resolution respecting ministers^ coming from abroad was passed, declaring—that they must come well recommended for learning, piety, and prudence. Another resolution declared,—that young men from Scotland, received on trials for the ministry, should be particularly tried, so that they might not be received on slight testimonials, or small qualifications. Another resolution declared,—that previously to ordination, the candidates, having gone through their trials should declare their adherence to the Solemn League and Covenant.
4th. In 1664, four ministers of the Presbytery of Lagan, the original Presbytery having been divided into five, were put in confinement, by Leslie, Bishop of Raphoe, for their adherence to Presbyterial doctrine and practice. Their confinement lasted six years. Their names were John Hart, Thomas Drummond, William Semple, and Adam White; one of these, Mr. Drummond, was Makemie's pastor.
5th. In 1681, Mr. Makemie was licensed by the Presbytery of Lagan, and soon after ordained to come to America in answer to two applications for ministerial help. About the same time four ministers of this Presbytery were put in confinement for holding a fast, according to the resolution of Presbytery, on account of the state of the country then suffering under great grievances from the monarch and the prelates.
6th. The trials and sufferings of the Scotch and Irish Church, were not on account of their doctrinal creed. They might have been as Calvinistic in their doctrines of belief as they pleased, if they had yielded to the king and the prelates, and admitted diocesan bishops. The difficulties with the Independents, in the time of Cromwell, would have been avoided by giving up their church sessions, or elders. Rather than submit to these things, they fled from Scotland to Ireland, and from Ireland to Scotland, going and returning, as the difficulties lessened in one, or hope brightened in the other. At last they turned to America, and emigrated in crowds. They brought their religion and their principles of liberty along with them, and ranked among the firmest advocates and sufferers, in the American Revolution.
It is not unfair to conclude that a man trained in these circumstances, understood the Confession in the sense of the Scotch Church. In action, there was, of necessity, some modification in Ireland, and more in America, arising from the sparseness of the population, and the feebleness of the congregations. It can scarcely be supposed that a church, which, during the fifty years of its existence suffered from two opposite reasons—that she conceded too little and too much—and amidst trouble and wounds was spreading her wings for a westward flight, should ordain a forerunner who was not supposed to be ex animo a Presbyterian. Makemie's trials proved his spirit. He suffered confinement like his pastor and his co-presbyters. In magnanimity and boldness he was akin with Livingston and Blair, and the host of Scotch ministers, who laid down their lives in the Grass Market in Edinborough, in defence of what Americans hold most dear. It is not to be supposed that Makemie thought less of Presbyterian forms in America than in Ireland, or would be more ready to give them up, when the difficulties were no greater, and the reasons for adherence no less; more especially, when the yielding of them on the one hand for Independency would not render him less obnoxious to the laws of the province, or on the other, for prelacy, add any thing to his usefulness.
The fruits of Makemie's labours are seen, in the places where he expended his strength. Snow Hill and Rehoboth are churches still. Accomack has its church. Elizabeth always feeble, has had some witnesses; and Norfolk now flourishes. Urbana never had a church, but on the opposite side of the Rappahannoc, Waddel passed some years of his most successful labours.
The landing place of the Pilgrims cannot be seen at Plymouth. Jamestown in Virginia has passed to a single church in ruins and a grave yard. But the religious principles of the Pilgrims have spread far and wide; and the political principles of Virginia have influenced the nation. The facts and principles that sustained Makemie in Somerset and Accomack have been felt through all the South and West. He stands first in the list of names that shine as a galaxy in the Ecclesiastical horizon; and as a defender of civil liberty and equal rights in America he had no superior.
THE CONFINEMENT AND TRIAL OF REV. FRANCIS MAKEMIE FOR PREACHING A SERMON IN NEW YORK, 1707.
The prosecution of the Rev. Francis Makemie, for preaching a sermon, in the incipient city of New York, is a singular fact in history. It embraces the principles and laws on which he was called before County Courts, Deputies and Councils in Virginia and Maryland, and also some peculiar to New York. A statement is here presented, that the public may have a better understanding of the arbitrary nature of all religious establishments, by contemplating the difficulties that embarrassed dissenters from the Church of England; and that a more just estimate may be formed of the man who stands first on the list of the ministers of the Presbyterian Church in tlje United States of America. The facts and arguments, with the exception of Lord Cornbury's statement, are taken from a pamphlet published at the time, and republished, in New York, in the year 1755. Mr. Makemie is supposed to be Author or Editor, in part; or that it was drawn up under his inspection.
In the month of January, 1707, the Rev. Francis Makemie, and Rev. John Hampton, on a tour to New England, tarried a few days in New York. Lord Cornbury, the Deputy Governor, hearing of these strangers, the one from Accomack, Virginia, and the other from Somerset, Maryland, entertained them at the castle. No preparation had then been made for either of the gentlemen to preach. There was then no regular Presbyterian congregation in the city. After dining with the Governor, Mr. Makemie was invited by some of the citizens to preach on the ensuing Sabbath. He consented. Application, without his approbation or knowledge, was made to the Governor, for permission for him to preach in the Dutch Church, and was refused. The Governor declared himself invested with power to decide who should be permitted to preach in the city or province.
On Sabbath, the 19th of the month, Mr. Makemie preached iii the dwelling house of William Jackson on Pearl Street, in an open public manner; and baptized a child. Mr. Hampton, on the same day, preached, at Newtown on Long Island, to a regular congregation, whose house had been admitted to record, according to the requirements of the Act of Toleration. Mr. Makemie remained in New York, on Monday, went on Tuesday to Newtown, intending to preach there on Wednesday. Immediately on his arrival, Thomas Cardale, High Sheriff, and Stephen Luff, Under Sheriff of Queens County, arrested Messrs. Makemie and Hampton, on a warrant signed by Lord Cornbury, charging them with having—" taken it upon them to preach in a private house, without having obtained any license for so dong, which is directly contrary to the known laws of England:—and being likewise informed that they are gone into Long Island with intent there to spread their pernicious doctrine and principles to the great disturbance of the Church by law established, and of the Government of this province"— and directing the Sheriff to bring the bodies of "Makennan" and Hampton to fort Anne.