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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/603

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as the mother country grew, the first ministers, like the first preachers of Christianity itself, are often laymen. In an interior county of Virginia Morris read every Lord's day to his neighbors from the writings of Luther and Bunyan, and a meeting house was at length built for him; it is a typical instance of the beginnings of most churches. The part of laymen remains long prominent in colonies. The Anglican lay reader is everywhere a feature of colonial church life. In the more flexible churches a storekeeper or retired sea captain will read Spurgeon's sermons or preach excellent sermons of his own in an Otago village or the Australian bush. Where missionaries have been sent out to convert the heathen in a country afterward colonized, many of them remain as ministers, as did Augustin and his monks in England. The Presbyterian catechist likewise becomes a settled minister. Others arrive. Men of independent character, like Dr. Lang, of Sydney, resolve not to wait for any dead man's shoes in the kirk, but sail beyond the seas to colonies where there is no minister of their own denomination. Heretics, incompatibles, men who have failed, men whose health has given way, emigrate in increasing numbers. Still, the supply is long deficient. Clergymen were scarce in New York. A bounty was offered to immigrants in Virginia. Six years after the establishment of the Church of England in North Carolina there was only one clergyman in the country. The few there are repeat the history of the first Christian bishops and the early English monks in serving a circuit of two, three, or more churches. The state comes to the rescue by providing for their support. In England contributions were at first voluntary; by the eighth century tithes were levied, folk-land was granted, and private endowments were made. Just so was the Church of England established and endowed in New York, Virginia, and North Carolina; in Maryland a poll tax of forty pounds of tobacco was levied for its support. In Connecticut and Massachusetts a church was set up in each parish on Congregationalist principles by a vote of the people, who elected the minister and voted his salary. So uncertain was the tenure that in several States even the Anglican minister was hired from year to year; and quite lately an Anglican church in a British colony engaged its incumbent, as it might have engaged its organist, for a term. In 1791 the Church of England in Canada was partially established, and its clergy endowed with grants of land. The Australasian colonies have pursued a very various policy. By the Constitution Act of 1791 one seventh of the ungranted lands in New South Wales was set apart for the support of a Protestant clergy. An attempt to endow the Anglican Church in South Australia in the early forties was defeated by a radical governor. A recrudescence of the ecclesiastical principle