Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

others with matter occasionally, relative to the Lutheran Church Within her boundaries, many benevolent religious institutions have been brought into existence, within a few years, and the time cannot be far distant, when no other denomination can be said to contain and sustain more means, requisite for pulling down the strong hold of Satan. Our doctrine, our discipline, and various regulations among us, are so completely in accordance with reason and revelation, that we do sincerely hope, our people will ere long, arise and sustain a number of periodicals..

"Vox populi regnat," and hence we shall listen in order to ascertain, whether or not, it will be incumbent upon us, to sustain the Evangelical Lutheran Intelligencer, or suffer it, to- -sink.

DAVID F. SCHAEFFER.

Frederiek, February 1, 1831.

THE LUTHERAN CHURCH:

From the preceding editorial address, it will appear, that unless efforts are made within a few months, to avert the calamity, the Intelligencer will cease to exist. We say emphatically calamity, for in such an event, many of our people will have no opportunity of learning, what operations are carried on, within their own Church, and no other Periodicals can possibly give correct information, as to our own matters. True it is, we have a Magazine, in the State of New-York, published in the English language, and a German Magazine, published at Gettysburg. But, neither of these can exist long, if the Intelligencer is suffered to sink. How can other Periodicals exist, if the Intelligencer cannot, with an Editor who performed all, but printing, and making the paper, gratis.

The Lutheran Church, embraces as many members at least, as any other Protestant denomination in the United States. Within a few years, she has made great exertions, for the extension of the Redeemer's kingdom. A very powerful incentive and auxiliary, the Intelligencer has been, whilst brethren of other denominations, have been delighted with the privilege of becoming more acquainted with her, through this publication.

The Lutheran Church, now counts mine independent ecclesiastical bodies, and one General Synod, within her domain. When the Edi

[ocr errors]

tor was authorised to go forth and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ (twenty three years ago) there existed but two Synods or Ecclesiastical bodies viz. the synod of Pennsylvania and adjacent states, and the Synod of New-York. And, at that time very few of our Churches enjoyed the advantage of service in the English language. At 'present. we have many Churches, in which the service is conducted in the English language exclusively; in others, alternatively with the German. The consequence is, that the Church has increased throughout the country, and many, who had not been attached to any denomination, learning the nature of the doctrines taught, and the discipline introduced, in the Lutheran church, united themselves with her.

The members became more acquainted with other denominations and their operations, and with the zealous and incessant labors of our German fore fathers, and hence a number of them, engaged in organizing various benevolent institutions. But there was still a de ficiency. The increase of members-the emigration from the North to the South and West, required that new Synods should be formed, and, they were accordingly formed. But that a number of independent Synods, without some particular bond of union, could not preserve such an uniformity as is indispensably necessary, to promote the welfare of a Church, was soon discovered by some of the Clergy and Laity of different States. After due deliberation, several Synods resolved to appoint delegates to a general convention, for the pur`pose of framing a constitution for the government of a General Synod.

In October 1820, the Rev, J. G. Schmucker, G. Lochman, C. Endress, F. W. Geissenhainer, H. A. Muhlenberg and C. Kumkel, W. Hensel and P. Stichter Esqrs. from Pennsylvania. Rev. P. F. May-er, and F. C. Schaffer, from New-York. Rev. G. Schober and P. Schmucker, from North-Carolina. Rev. D. Kurtz, Đ. F. Schæffer, and G. Shryock Esq. from Maryland, assembled at Hagerstown, and formed the constitution of "The Evangelical Lutheran General Synod of the United States of North America."

From this period the Lutheran Church, put forth her energies with great zeal, and enjoyed very special manifestations of the blessings of God. The General Synod, did indeed meet with enemics, (for what institution that is only calculated to promote the Redeemer's kingdom, will not have its enemies,) but, it was sustained, and

highly favoured by the Head of the Church. Arrangements were made, to obtain means, by which a seminary could be established, to prepare pious young men, for the Ministry An agent was sent to Europe to collect money and books, and a reference to former numbers we published, will shew, how readily our German, Swedish, Danish, Russian, and English brethren and sisters contributed.

The Seminary was established-The Rev. S. S Schmucker was elected Professor, and through the pious and talented exertions of this brother a number of men, have already been qualified to labour in the vineyard of the Lord. Already are sinners called to repentance, by students of this institution, in N. Carolina, Tennessee and Ohio.

The number of students increased so rapidly, and the calls from the destitute were so loud, that the Directors of the Seminary were convinced of the necessity, of appointing a second Professor. They accordingly elected the pious and learned Dr. Hazelius.-To the Theological departments, have been added, classical and mathematical schools, in order that young men may acquire such a fund of knowledge, as to be capable of appearing among, and having intercourse with, any class of men. A few years more, and the Lutheran Church will be furnished with a sufficient number of Pastors, equal to those of any other sister church.

When it is taken in view, that all these things have been, under the blessing of God, originated and sustained by, comparatively speaking, a few Pastors and Lay-men, who will not be astonished and declare "surely it is the Lord's doing?"

But, in the Lutheran Church of the United States, the day of liberality, as to spending a little money, does not shine so bright, as in some other Churches. Her pastors are generally supported very scantily. Few obtain a support which they could not improve by attending to worldly concerns, whilst several denominations, so liberally, support their Ministers that they need not have any care for their bread. Indeed provision is made by some for the widow and orphans of the Ministers, whilst in the Lutheran Church, the Pastor if not provided with a patrimony, in most instances, leaves his family nothing, but the evidence that the world is ungrateful.

Hence the day has not yet come, that Lutherans sustain publications of any account, or support periodicals, through which they are enabled to obtain information upon the subjects and operations, that relate to their own church. But when we consider that both the Lu

theran and German Reformed Churches, have but a few years since, risen from the obscurity, into which the confinement of their service to the German language, placed them, and, that many members read but few works, we cannot but declare, that in our opinion, the day is not far distant, when they will, with respect to liberal contributions, for the support of the Ministry and periodicals, be equal to others. in other respects, no Church is blessed with more zealous and faithful friends of the great cause, than the Lutheran. And therefore, although we now tremble for the fate of the Intelligencer, and our other two periodicals, yet we still anticipate the pleasure of seeing our hopes of improvement realized, and to accelerate that period, we have expressed ourselves frankly, deliberately, and as clearly as we have been capable, under the pressure of numerous duties impo sed npon us, by the Church which we most ardently love.-Editor.

NOTICES OF THE PAPAL CHURCH IN THE UNITED ·

STATES.

(Concluded.)

"One very consoling circumstance, and an enterprize which the Lord hath singularly blessed, is the establishment of two communities, the Visitation, and the Sisters of Charity. The Visitation was formed at Georgetown by Mgr. Neal, at that time coadjutor, afterwards successor to Mgr. Carroll. It reckons at this time about sixty nuns, who exhibit the excellent spirit of their institution. The Protestants, who know nothing of the religious life but by calumnies poured upon its professors, are obliged to renounce their predjudices in presence of these virtuous daughters of St. Francis de Sales.they have a numerons boarding-school of young ladies, several outdoor pupils, and a large school of poor females, whom they instruct gratis.

"The Sisters of Charity began their establishment at Baltimore in 1809; they were then only three or four, having at their head Madam Seton, a converted Protestant widow, of uncommon merit, under the direction of M. Dubourg, then president of St. Mary college, now bishop of Montauban. In 1810 they removed to Emmetsburg in Maryland, fixing themselves in the valley of St. Joseph in the vicinity. There, upon a farm bestowed on them by M. Cooper, a converted Protestant, and since ordained a priest, they have built a vast house, within which are at this time seventy of them in number, professed, or novices, and a hundred female boarders. They have also at Emmetsburg a school for young indigent girls. From that

place they have sent colonies to Baltimore, Washington, and Freder ick, Montagne, Philadelphia, New York, Albany, Harrisburgh, and St. Louis. In these different places, they receive and instruct orphans, and have a school for unfortunate children, the number of which is enormous. There are some schools, containing from five to six hundred. At Baltimore, besides the asylum and free school, they have the care of the lying-in hospital belonging to the medical school. Those of St. Louis have also the care of the hospital of that city. All these different branches are connected with a central government, in the parent house at Emmetsburgh. They form together but one body. They live under the rule of St Vincent de Paul, with a little variation, though indispensable by the ecclesiastical superiors. One of these is the boarding establishment of the parent-house, with the double object of giving a Christian education to Protestants as well as Catholics, (a want deeply felt in these regions,) and to obtain means of support. No other resource but this boarding school supports the professed, the noviciates, and sick nuns, and permits the establishment of charity school abroad. Since 1826 no member of the community has died; but from 1809, when it commenced, to 1826, the number of deaths was 42. The nuns are now 120 in number.

"A third community, that of the Carmelites, exists likewise in Maryland. It was founded by some worthy daughters of St. Theresa, who came from Belgium, at the time of the French invasion during their revolution, although they were chiefly English or American women. They are established at Port Tobacco, near the Potomac, and about twenty-five nuns compose this house of prayers and edification.

"I should now mention," he adds, "the manner of providing for the support of the clergy, either by subscription, the feeble income of contributions, or by casual receipts. The greatest part of the priests create revenues for themselves by giving instruction in colleges; and in general their zeal and disinterestedness are the more striking, to the view of Protestants, because the latter are obliged to support at great expense the married people whom they have for ministers.*The devotion of the Catholic priests, their assiduity in the duties of their vocation, duties much more multiplied and difficult than those of these ministers; their unwearied charity toward the poor Blacks— so precious a portion of Christ's flock; their life, of necessity more detached and separated from the world; beside the authority, the unchangeable certainty, and faithful transmission of the Christian faith, which form so decisive a contrast with the extreme arbitrariness, and endless variations of Protestant doctrines, always tending more and more to deism or indifference; the example of so great a number of pious Catholics, who follow here their religion with a simpli

*The history, however, of the celibacy of the clergy is but too well known to the world and some, we would have the Society understand, have read that of Father Girard, the Jesuit confessor. See Resume de l' hist. des Jesuites, published at Paris ie 1825, p. 140, et seq.

« VorigeDoorgaan »