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made stronger and more healthful by things divine became more widethe close association of the humani- spread and more intense. tarian activities of the Civil War. The But there was another influence at spirit of religious freedom, already work in this period which for a time fully established, grew strong in this seemed to threaten the foundation of period. It manifested itself in many religious faith and ultimately made a church divisions and, at the same time, deep and abiding impress on religious in increased religious toleration. life and thought. A wave of sceptiThus the Congregationalists of New cism swept over the country, espeEngland could calmly discuss the new cially among the educated classes. teachings of Horace Bushnell, while Paine's Age of Reason was resurother schisms were regarded with rected and Voltaire and Rousseau more leniency than was possible a were re-read, and all three exercised a century earlier. The organization of strong influence upon the thought of the Free Religious Association in the period. The authenticity of the Boston in 1867, the advance in Uni
Bible as a historical document and its tarian and Universalist doctrines, the infallibility as a divine revelation withdrawal of Henry Ward Beecher were called in question. Renan and and the Plymouth Church from the Strauss, then the leaders in the new local Congregational Association in school of Biblical-historical criticism, 1882; these and similar movements had thousands of readers. The pure in the two decades following the Civil materialism of science, as set forth by War did not put their leaders outside Darwin, Tyndall, Huxley and others, the pale of Christianity.
planted in the minds of students A fourth great National revival, led doubts concerning the accuracy of the by the famous evangelists Moody and Bible in its historical annals and its Sankey (1875–1880), again stirred the divine authority in matters of theNational conscience and stimulated ology. Agnosticism and atheism flourreligious life. In general character,
ished. Free thought societies sprang this was not unlike the revival of 20 up and free thought — that is, anti
. years before, but it was probably more Christian - books and periodicals effective in winning converts and in were extensively read. Men like Inquickening the churches of all leading gersoll, who denounced Christianity denominations. The powerful evan- by written and spoken
word, had gelistic oratory of Moody and the many followers and exercised much singularly winning pathos of Sankey's influence. Materialistic views of life singing exercised a powerful influence were adopted by a very considerable upon the people. Church membership portion of the people. largely increased and interest in To what extent this intellectual
Vol. X - 29
movement has permanently affected to what an extent modern criticism the cause of religion is still problemat- has invaded the fold of theology, comical. It led, however, to a period of pelling the conservative element of the controversy and schism. Free think- church strenuously to combat views ing writers put out books attacking deemed destructive of the faith. the validity of the Scriptures, and
To what extent the church generally Christian apologists energetically de- in its entire membership was affected fended the faith. A new school of by this modern thought is difficult historical criticism of the Bible sprang perhaps impossible — to determine acup, first in Germany and then in Eng- curately. That it has helped to bring land and the United States. Purely about some change in religious speculative atheism and agnosticism thought and faith cannot be doubted. did not succeed in establishing them- Many Christian writers have exselves, but the examination of the pressed views on this point similar to foundations of religious belief in the those of Leonard W. Bacon, who (in light of modern science, archæological his History of American Christianity) discoveries, and historical investiga- commented upon the fact that religion tions did not cease. On the contrary, is now “ less pietistic and contemit extended from without to within the plative than it once was.” In the past church, and in the latter part of the
the individual Christian was bound century some of the most radical ex- to his theology, was much concerned ponents of latter-day criticism of the about his own salvation, contemtheological tenets of the old-time plated the mysteries of the cross and Christianity were found in the pro- of divine nature, and engaged in fessors' chairs of theological semi- pietistic speculation concerning the naries and the pulpits of the church. human will, the love and power of Heresy trials were not infrequent and God,
God, and the future life. Now, the higher criticism was a burning though religious faith may be as question in nearly all the leading evan- strong as ever with him, he lays less gelical denominations. The trials of stress upon theology pure and simple, David Swing by the Presbyterians of and, as Dr. Bacon has said, upon Chicago in 1874; of H. W. Thomas by pietistic contemplation, and dwells the Methodists of Chicago in 1881; more upon good works. and, in subsequent years, of Professor This changed and still changing Charles W. Briggs, of the Presby- religious ideal has been evidenced to a terian Union Theological Seminary, marked degree in the increasing activNew York City, and Professor ity of the church in the great modern Hinckley J. Mitchell, of the Methodist humanitarian movements, in which it Boston Theological Seminary — these has never engaged to such an extent and others of like character indicate as in the closing years of the Nine
teenth century and the opening years St. Andrews Brotherhood of the Episof the Twentieth. Its practical work, copalians, the Baptist Young People's where religion is joined with secular Union, and others — followed the education and improvement, with Christian Endeavor. To-day these social and moral reform, with the societies have a membership of over material and intellectual uplifting of 5,000,000. mankind, is seen in many organiza- Incomplete religious statistics were tions (such as the Young Men's Chris- gathered in the census of 1850. In tian Associatior., men's clubs and 1880 a mass of information was acbrotherhoods) which, under church quired, but no complete results were inspiration, have come into existence available. Figures relating to this since 1865. In missionary work, home subject prior to 1890 are largely estiand foreign, the energy of the church mated or conjectural, being based has never ceased, although the work more or less on incomplete reports had been divided among various or- (not always accurate) drafted by the ganizations along denominational respective church organizations. In lines. Prohibition and other temper- 1890, for the first time in the history ance reforms have been advanced of the Government, an attempt was mainly by religionists, the Woman's made to secure a religious census of Christian Temperance Union having the country that should be both acbeen especially prominent in this field. curate and comprehensive. AccordThe Young Men's Christian Associa- ing to this census, there were then 42 tion, starting in the United States soon main denominations, but several of after the middle of the Nineteenth cen- these had branches that were indetury, has attained to large proportions pendent in administration, in membership, in varied activities, though not in doctrine or policy and, and in influence in the ensuing 50 so listed, the number becomes 143. years and more. The young people's The largest church then was the societies have been a notable develop- Roman Catholic, with 9,196 priests, ment in the evangelical church. The 10,276 organizations, 8,816 church ediYoung People's Society of Christian fices,
fices, and 6,257,871 communicants. Endeavor was founded in 1881 and Next in size came the Baptists, with within a few years extended to all 25,646 ministers, 43,029 organizations, parts of the United States, with a 27,789 church edifices, and 3,717,969 membership of over 3,000,000. Other communicants; the Methodists, with denominational organizations of sim- 30,000 ministers, 51,489 organizations, ilar nature — the Epworth League of 46,138 church edifices, and 4,589,284 the Methodists, the Westminster communicants; the Presbyterians, League of the Presbyterians, the with 10,448 ministers, 13,476 organizaLuther League of the Lutherans, the tions, 12,469 church edifices, and 1,
278,332 communicants; the Lutherans, States with their ministers, churches with 4,591 ministers, 8,598 órganiza- and communicants were: tions, 6,701 church edifices, and 1,231,
Denomination Ministers Churches Members Adventist
1,153 072 communicants. Only three other
2,488 95,646 Baptist
40,011 55,810 5,774,066 Apostolic
4,927 denominations recorded a member- Buddhist
Brethren ship of over 500,000 — the Disciples of (Dunkard)
3,429 1,188 122,847
Brethren Christ, with 641,051; the Protestant
10,566 Brethren (River)
4,847 Catholic Eastern..
385,000 Episcopal, with 540,509; and the Roman Catholic.
17,109 13,685 12,304,173 Polish Catholic
15,473 Congregational, with 512,771. In . Reformed Catholic..
1,412 all the denominations the total num
1,329 87,478 Christian Catholic..
5.865 ber of ministers was 111,036; organ
Christian Scientist. 2,208 1,104
85,096 Christian Union...
13,905 Church of God.
41,475 izations, 165,297; church edifices, 142,- Churches of the Liv.
68. 4,286 639; communicants, 20,618,307. The
Church of New Jeru.
Communistic churches had a seating capacity of cieties
6,045 6,050 741,400 43,596,378. The total value of church Disciples of Christ. 8,545 13,929 1,519,774
1,489 2,654 182,065 property was $679,694,439, of which Faith Associations. 241
Free Christian Zion the Methodists held $132,140,179; the
1,456 1,097 123,718
of the Roman Catholics, $118,371,366; the Temple
German Evangelical Presbyterians, $94,869,097; the Prot
66 34,704 German Evangelical Synod
1,024 estant Episcopalians, $82,835,418; the
1,314 236,615 Jewish Congrega
1,084 1,769 143,000 Baptists, $82,392,423. Only one other Latter Day Saints.
1,350 400,650 Lutheran
8,659 13,802 2,243,486 denomination held property valued
42,199 above $20,000,000 — the Mennonites,
61,191 6,596.168 Moravian..
Non-sectarian Bible with $35,060,354.
21,420 Between 1890 and 1900 there was a Presbyterian
13.342 16,456 1,920,765 Prot. Episcopal.
5,380 7.652 938,390 large increase in the number of Reformed
2,619 448,190 Salvationists
Sohwenkfeldian Christian Scientists and a smaller Social Brethren..
Society for Ethical increase in the membership of the Culture
1,000 150.000 Adventists, Mormons, and the German
3,100 United Brethren
2,193 4,266 303,319 Unitarian
70,542 Baptists. The Roman Catholic
48,673 strongest, followed in order by the
170,158 218,147 35,332,776 Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians,
Several of these denominations are and Lutherans. The rise and phe- subdivided into from two to twenty nomenal growth of the Christian or more branches. For example: the Science Church, founded by a woman Baptist, with 15; the Mennonite, with in 1866, was a conspicuous event in 13; the Methodist, with 19; the Presthe religious history of this period. byterian and the Lutheran with 12
According to the latest statistics the each. The foregoing figures of memreligious denominations of tbe United bership include actual members of
Protestant churches, and of Catholics, was 32 2/3 per cent., while the growth both communicants and unconfirmed in church membership was 65 per cent. minors of Catholic families. The The complete accuracy of these contotal seating capacity of the church clusions may be questioned, for the edifices was 43,560,063 in 1890, 58,- comparisons are made of figures de536,830 in 1906, and over 60,000,000 in rived from two dissimilar sources — 1912. In 1912 the Roman Catholic government enumerators and church Hierarchy in the United States con- officers. That population is in excess sisted of three cardinals, 13 arch- of census figures is generally adbishops and 94 bishops. The bishops mitted, while it is also conceded th of the Protestant Episcopal Church, church authorities do not undercount including those in foreign missionary their supporters. Still, actual and fields, numbered 111. The bishops of comparative increase, as given above, the Methodist Episcopal Church in its probably represents the general state various branches, including those in of things with tolerable accuracy. At foreign missionary fields, numbered any rate, the exhibit is interesting and 77.
suggestive.* A comparison of the figures of 1890 with those given above would seem to
* Daniel Dorchester, Christianity in the United
States (New York, 1888); Henry M. Dexter, The show that Christianity in the United Congregationalism of the Last 300 Years (New States not only grew in actual mem- York, 1880); H. K. Carroll, The Religious Forces
of the United States, in American Church History bership, but had also an increased per
series, vol. i. (New York, 1893); Leonard W. centage of growth in comparison with Bacon, A History of American Christianity, in
American Church History, series, vol. xiii. (New the population. In 1890 the church
York, 1897); United States census reports, 1850, members (20,618,307) were 32 5/6 per 1860, 1870, 1890, 1900, 1910; American Church cent. of the population (62,947,714), History (13 vols., New York, 1893–1897); I. D. while in 1910 the church members (34,
Rupp, Religious Denominations in the United
States (Philadelphia, 1871); state, county and 517,377) were 37 1/3 per cent. of the city histories; sectarian histories of the different population (91,972,266). The growth
denominations; collections and proceedings of his
torical societies; year books of the different in population in these two decades