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rals of the mass, and binding still more closely those already united. Now, the voluntary system in America has produced the very opposite effects: it has broken one of the strongest links between man and man, for each goeth his own way: as a nation, there is no national feeling to be acted upon '; in society, there is something wanting, and you ask yourself what it is ? and in families it often creates disunion : I know one among many others, who, instead of going together to the same house of prayer, disperse as soon as they are out of the door: one daughter to an Unitarian chapel, another to a Baptist, the parents to the Episcopal; the sons, any Where, or no where. But worse effects are produced than even these: where any one is allowed to have his own peculiar way of thinking, his own peculiar creed, there neither is a watch, nor a right to watch over each other; there is no mutual communication, no encouragement, no parental control; and the consequence is, that by the majo
VOL. III. F
rity, especially the young, religion becomes wholly and utterly disregarded.
Another great evil, arising from the peculiarity of the voluntary system, is, that in many of the principal sects the power has been wrested from the clergy and assumed by the laity, who exercise an inquisition most injurious to the cause of religion; and to such an excess of tyranny is this power exercised, that it depends upon the laity, and not upon the clergy, whether any individual shall or shall not be admitted as a communicant at the table of our Lord.*
Referring to religious instruction, Mr. Carey in his work attempts to prove the great superiority of religious instruction and church accommoda
tion in America, as compared with those matters
" Miss Martineau may well inquire, “ How does the existing tate of religion accord with the promise of its birth? In a country which professes to every man the pursuit of happiness in his own way, what is the state of his liberty in the most private and individual of all concerns ?”
in this country. He draws his conclusions from the number of churches built and provided for the population in each. Like most others of his conclusions, they are drawn from false premises : he might just as well argue upon the number of horses in each country, from the number of horse-ponds he might happen to count in each. In the first place, the size of the churches must be considered, and their ability to accommodate the population; and on this point, the question is greatly in favour of England; for, with the exception of the cities and large towns, the churches scattered about the hamlets and rising towns are small even to ridicule, built of clapboards, and so light that, if on wheels, two pair of English post-horses would trot them away, to meet the minister.
Mr. Carey also finds fault with the sites of our churches as being unfortunate in consequence of the change of population. There is some truth in this remark: but our churches being built of brick and stone, cannot be so easily removed; and it happens that the sites of the majority of the American churches are equally unfortunate, not as in our case, from the population having left them, but from the population not having come to them. You may pass in one day a dozen towns having not above twenty or thirty private houses, although you will invariably find in each an hotel, a bank, and churches of two or three denominations, built as a speculation, either by those who hold the ground lots, or by those who have settled there, and as an inducement to others to come and settle. The churches, as Mr. Carey states, exist, but the congregations have not arrived; while you may, at other times, pass over many miles without finding a place of worship for the spare population. I have no hesitation in asserting, not only that our 12,000 churches and cathedrals will hold a larger number of people than the 20,000 stated by Mr. Carey to be erected in America, but that as many people, (taking into consideration the difference of the popula
tion,) go to our 12,000, as to the 20,000 in the United States.
Neither is Mr. Carey correct when he would insinuate that the attention given by the people in America to religious accommodation is greater than with us. It is true, that more churches, such as they are, are built in America; but paying an average of £12,000 for a church built of brick or stone in England, is a very different thing from paying 12,000 dollars for a clap-board and shingle affair in America, and which compared with those of brick and mortar are there in the proportion of ten to one. And further, the comparative value of church building in America is very much lowered by the circumstance that they are compelled to multiply them, to provide for the immense variety of creeds which exist under the voluntary system. When people in a community are all of one creed, one church is sufficient ; but if they are of different} persuasions, they
must, as they do in America, divide the one'