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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 paşs 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
large church into four little ones. It is not fair, therefore, for Mr. Carey to count churches.*
But, although I will not admit the conclusions drawn from Mr. Carey's premises, nor that, as he would attempt to prove, the Americans are a more religious people than the English, I am not only ready, but anxious to do justice to the really religious portion of its inhabitants. I believe that in no other country is there more zeal shewn by its various ministers, zeal even to the sacrifice of life; that no country sends out more zealous missionaries; that no country has more societies for the diffusion of the gospel ; and that in no other country in the world are larger sums subscribed for the furtherance of those praise
* “ We know also that large sums are expended annually for the building of churches or places of worship, which in cities cost from 10,000 to 100,000 dollars each; and in the country from 500 to 5,000 dollars.". Voice from America, by an American Gentleman. (What must be the size of a church which costs 500 dollars?]
worthy objects ‘as in the Eastern States of America. I admit all this, and admit it with pleasure, for I know it to be a fact: I only regret to add, that in no other country are such strenuous exertions so incessantly required to stem the torrent of atheism and infidelity, which so universally exists in this. Indeed this very zeal, so ardent on the part of the ministers, and so aided by the well-disposed of the laity, proves that what I have just now asserted is, unfortunately, but too true.
It is not my intention to comment upon the numerous sects, and the varieties of worship practised in the United States. The Episcopal church is small in proportion to the others, and as far as I can ascertain, although it may
increase its members with the increase of population, it is not likely to make any vigorous or successful stand against the other sects. The two churches most congenial to the American feelings and institutions are the Presbyterian
and Congregationalists.* They may, indeed, in opposition to the hierarchy of the Episcopal, be considered as Republican churches; and admitting that many errors have crept into the Established church from its too intimate union with the State, I think it will be proved that, in rejecting its errors and the domination of the mitre, the seceders have fallen into still greater evils; and have, for the latter, substituted a despotism to which every thing, even religion itself, must in America succumb.
In a republic, or democracy, the people will rule in every thing: in the Congregational church they rule as deacons ; in the Presbyterian as elders. Affairs are litigated and decided incommittees and councils, and thus is the pastoral office deprived of its primitive and legitimate influence, and the ministers are tyrannized over by the laity, in the most absurd
* " The Congregationalists answer to the Independents of England, and are sympathetically, and to a great extent, lineally descendants of the Puritans.”Voice from America, p. 62.