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made stronger and more healthful by the close association of the humanitarian activities of the Civil War. The spirit of religious freedom, already fully established, grew strong in this period. It manifested itself in many church divisions and, at the same time, in increased religious toleration. Thus the Congregationalists of New England could calmly discuss the new teachings of Horace Bushnell, while other schisms were regarded with more leniency than was possible a century earlier. The organization of the Free Religious Association in Boston in 1867, the advance in Unitarian and Universalist doctrines, the withdrawal of Henry Ward Beecher and the Plymouth Church from the local Congregational Association in 1882; these and similar movements in the two decades following the Civil War did not put their leaders outside the pale of Christianity.
A fourth great National revival, led by the famous evangelists Moody and Sankey (1875-1880), again stirred the National conscience and stimulated religious life. In general character, this was not unlike the revival of 20 years before, but it was probably more effective in winning converts and in quickening the churches of all leading denominations. The powerful evangelistic oratory of Moody and the singularly winning pathos of Sankey's singing exercised a powerful influence upon the people. Church membership largely increased and interest in
things divine became spread and more intense.
But there was another influence at work in this period which for a time seemed to threaten the foundation of religious faith and ultimately made a deep and abiding impress on religious life and thought. A wave of scepticism swept over the country, especially among the educated classes. Paine's Age of Reason was resurrected and Voltaire and Rousseau were re-read, and all three exercised a strong influence upon the thought of the period. The authenticity of the Bible as a historical document and its infallibility as a divine revelation were called in question. Renan and Strauss, then the leaders in the new school of Biblical-historical criticism, had thousands of readers. The pure materialism of science, as set forth by Darwin, Tyndall, Huxley and others, planted in the minds of students doubts concerning the accuracy of the Bible in its historical annals and its divine authority in matters of theology. Agnosticism and atheism flourished. Free thought societies sprang up and free thought-that is, antiChristian books and periodicals were extensively read. Men like Ingersoll, who denounced Christianity by written and spoken word, had many followers and exercised much influence. Materialistic views of life were adopted by a very considerable portion of the people.
To what extent this intellectual
movement has permanently affected the cause of religion is still problematical. It led, however, to a period of controversy and schism. Free thinking writers put out books attacking the validity of the Scriptures, and Christian apologists energetically defended the faith. A new school of A new school of historical criticism of the Bible sprang up, first in Germany and then in England and the United States. Purely speculative atheism and agnosticism did not succeed in establishing themselves, but the examination of the foundations of religious belief in the light of modern science, archæological discoveries, and historical investigations did not cease. On the contrary, it extended from without to within the church, and in the latter part of the century some of the most radical exponents of latter-day criticism of the theological tenets of the old-time Christianity were found in the professors' chairs of theological seminaries and the pulpits of the church. Heresy trials were not infrequent and the higher criticism was a burning question in nearly all the leading evangelical denominations. The trials of David Swing by the Presbyterians of Chicago in 1874; of H. W. Thomas by the Methodists of Chicago in 1881; and, in subsequent years, of Professor Charles W. Briggs, of the Presbyterian Union Theological Seminary, New York City, and Professor Hinckley J. Mitchell, of the Methodist Boston Theological Seminary—these and others of like character indicate
to what an extent modern criticism has invaded the fold of theology, compelling the conservative element of the church strenuously to combat views deemed destructive of the faith.
To what extent the church generally in its entire membership was affected by this modern thought is difficult — perhaps impossible to determine accurately. That it has helped to bring about some change in religious thought and faith cannot be doubted. Many Christian writers have expressed views on this point similar to those of Leonard W. Bacon, who (in his History of American Christianity) commented upon the fact that religion is now less pietistic and contemplative than it once was." In the past the individual Christian was bound to his theology, was much concerned about his own salvation, contemplated the mysteries of the cross and of divine nature, and engaged in pietistic speculation concerning the human will, the love and power of God, and the future life. Now, though religious faith may be as strong as ever with him, he lays less stress upon theology pure and simple, and, as Dr. Bacon has said, upon pietistic contemplation, and dwells more upon good works.
This changed and still changing religious ideal has been evidenced to a marked degree in the increasing activity of the church in the great modern humanitarian movements, in which it has never engaged to such an extent as in the closing years of the Nine
teenth century and the opening years of the Twentieth. Its practical work, where religion is joined with secular education and improvement, with social and moral reform, with the material and intellectual uplifting of mankind, is seen in many organizations (such as the Young Men's Christian Association, men's clubs and brotherhoods) which, under church inspiration, have come into existence since 1865. In missionary work, home and foreign, the energy of the church has never ceased, although the work had been divided among various organizations along along denominational lines. Prohibition and other temperance reforms have been advanced mainly by religionists, the Woman's Christian Temperance Union having been especially prominent in this field. The Young Men's Christian Association, starting in the United States soon after the middle of the Nineteenth century, has attained to large proportions in membership, in varied activities, and in influence in the ensuing 50 years and more. The young people's societies have been a notable development in the evangelical church. The Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor was founded in 1881 and within a few years extended to all parts of the United States, with a membership of over 3,000,000. Other denominational organizations of similar nature the Epworth League of the
Methodists, the Westminster League of the Presbyterians, the Luther League of the Lutherans, the
St. Andrews Brotherhood of the Episcopalians, the Baptist Young People's Union, and others- followed the Christian Endeavor. To-day these societies have a membership of over 5,000,000.
Incomplete religious statistics were gathered in the census of 1850. In 1880 a mass of information was acquired, but no complete results were available. Figures relating to this subject prior to 1890 are largely estimated or conjectural, being based more or less on incomplete reports (not always accurate) drafted by the respective church organizations. In 1890, for the first time in the history of the Government, an attempt was made to secure a religious census of the country that should be both accurate and comprehensive. According to this census, there were then 42 main denominations, but several of these had branches that were independent in administration, even though not in doctrine or policy and, so listed, the number becomes 143.
The largest church then was the Roman Catholic, with 9,196 priests, 10,276 organizations, 8,816 church edifices, and 6,257,871 communicants. Next in size came the Baptists, with 25,646 ministers, 43,029 organizations, 27,789 church edifices, and 3,717,969 communicants; the Methodists, with 30,000 ministers, 51,489 organizations, 46,138 church edifices, and 4,589,284 communicants; the Presbyterians, with 10,448 ministers, 13,476 organizations, 12,469 church edifices, and 1,
all the denominations the total number of ministers was 111,036; organizations, 165,297; church edifices, 142,639; communicants, 20,618,307. The churches had a seating capacity of 43,596,378. The total value of church property was $679,694,439, of which the Methodists held $132,140,179; the Roman Catholics, $118,371,366; the Presbyterians, $94,869,097; the Protestant Episcopalians, $82,835,418; the Baptists, $82,392,423. Only one other denomination held property valued above $20,000,000- the Mennonites, with $35,060,354.
Between 1890 and 1900 there was a large increase in the number of Christian Scientists and a smaller increase in the membership of the Adventists, Mormons, and the German Baptists. The Roman Catholic Church was still numerically the strongest, followed in order by the Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, and Lutherans. The rise and phenomenal growth of the Christian Science Church, founded by a woman in 1866, was a conspicuous event in the religious history of this period.
According to the latest statistics the religious denominations of the United
Protestant churches, and of Catholics, both communicants and unconfirmed minors of Catholic families. The total seating capacity of the church. edifices was 43,560,063 in 1890, 58,536,830 in 1906, and over 60,000,000 in 1912. In 1912 the Roman Catholic Hierarchy in the United States consisted of three cardinals, 13 archbishops and 94 bishops. The bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church, including those in foreign missionary fields, numbered 111. The bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church in its various branches, including those in foreign missionary fields, numbered 77.
A comparison of the figures of 1890 with those given above would seem to show that Christianity in the United States not only grew in actual membership, but had also an increased percentage of growth in comparison with the population. In 1890 the church members (20,618,307) were 32 5/6 per cent. of the population (62,947,714), while in 1910 the church members (34,517,377) were 37 1/3 per cent. of the population (91,972,266). The growth in population in these two decades.
was 32 2/3 per cent., while the growth in church membership was 65 per cent. The complete accuracy of these conclusions may be questioned, for the comparisons are made of figures derived from two dissimilar sources government enumerators and church officers. That population is in excess of census figures is generally admitted, while it is also conceded that church authorities do not undercount their supporters. Still, actual and comparative increase, as given above, probably represents the general state of things with tolerable accuracy. At any rate, the exhibit is interesting and suggestive.*
* Daniel Dorchester, Christianity in the United States (New York, 1888); Henry M. Dexter, The Congregationalism of the Last 300 Years (New York, 1880); H. K. Carroll, The Religious Forces of the United States, in American Church History series, vol. i. (New York, 1893); Leonard W. Bacon, A History of American Christianity, in American Church History, series, vol. xiii. (New York, 1897); United States census reports, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1890, 1900, 1910; American Church History (13 vols., New York, 1893-1897); I. D. Rupp, Religious Denominations in the United States (Philadelphia, 1871); state, county and city histories; sectarian histories of the different denominations; collections and proceedings of historical societies; year books of the different denominations.