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RELIGION IN AMERICA.

In theory nothing appears more rational than that every one should worship the Deity according to his own ideas—form his own opinion as to his attributes, and draw his own conclusions as to hereafter. An established church appears to be a species of coercion, not that you are obliged to believe in, or follow that form of worship, but that, if you do not, you lose your portion of certain advantages attending that form of religion which has been accepted by the majority and adopted by the government. In religion, to think for yourself wears the semblance of a luxury, and, like other luxuries, it is proportionably taxed.

And yet it would appear as if it never were intended that the mass should think for themselves, as every thing goes on so quietly when other

people think for them, and every thing goes so wrong when they do think for themselves: in the first instance, where a portion of people think for the mass, all are of one opinion ; whereas in the second, they divide and split into so many molecules, that they resemble the globules of water when expanded by heat, and like them are in a state of restlessness and ex

citement.

That the partiality shown to an established church creates some bitterness of feeling is most true, but, being established by law, is it not the partiality shown for the legitimate over the illegitimate ? All who choose may enter into its portals, and if people will remain out of doors of their own accord, ought they to complain that they have no house over their heads ? They certainly have a right to remain out of doors if they please, but whether they are justified in complaining afterwards is another question. Perhaps the unreasonableness of the demands of

the Dissenters in our own country will be better brought home to them by my pointing out the effects of the Voluntary System in the United States.

In America every one worships the Deity after his own fashion; not only the mode of worship, but even the Deity itself, varies. Some worship God, some Mammon; some admit, some deny, Christ; some deny both God and Christ; some are saved by living prophets only; some go to heaven by water, while some dance their way upwards. Numerous as are the sects, still are the sects much subdivided. Unitarians are not in unity as to the portion of divinity they shall admit to our Saviour; Baptists, as to the precise quantity of water necessary to salvation ; even the Quakers have split into controversy, and the men of peace are at open war in Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love.

The following is the table of the religious denominations of the United States, from the American Almanac of 1838:

TABLE of the RELIGIOUS DENOMINATIONS of the UNITED STATES.

753

Baptists ..
Freewillers
Seventh Day
Six Principle
Roman Catholics
Christians
Congregationalists
Dutch Reformed
Episcopalians
Friends
German Reformed
Jews
Lutherans
Mennonites

Congregations. Ministers. Communicants. Population.
6,319 4,239 452,000)
612 38,876

4,300,000
42

46

4,503
16
10

2,117
433
389

800,000
1,000

800
150,000

300,000
1,300 1,150

160,000

1,400,000
197

192
22,215

450,000
850
899

600,000
500

100,000
600

180
30,000

15,000
750

267 62,266 540,000 200

30,000

Table of the Religious DENOMINATIONS of the UNITED STATES-Continued.

27

33

Wesleyans
Protestants
Moravians
Mormonites
New Jerusalem Church
Presbyterians
Cumberland
Associate
Reformed
Associate Reformed
Shakers
Tunkers
Unitarians
Universalists

Congregations. Ministers. Communicants. Population.
2,764 650,103

3,000,000
400

50,000
24

33
5,745

12,000
12,000

12,000

5,000
2,807 2,225 274,0847
500

450

50,000
183

87
16,000

2,175,000 40

20

3,000 214

116 12,000) 45

6,000 40

40 3,000

30,000 200 174

180,000 653

600,000 1,983,905

15

317

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