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A History of American Christianity by Bacon

413 1 Schaff Herzog Encyclopedia


Sermon at consecration of Bishop H. U. Onderdonk, 1827.

[407:2] Minutes of the Convention of Delegates met to consult on Missions in the City of Cincinnati, A.D. 1831. The position of the bishop was more logical than that of the convention, forasmuch as he held, by a powerful effort of faith, that "his own" church is the church of the United States, in an exclusive sense; while the divines at Cincinnati earnestly repudiate such exclusive pretensions for their church, and hold to a plurality of sectarian churches on the same territory, each one of which is divinely invested with the prerogatives and duties of "the church of Christ." A _usus loquendi_ which seems to be hopelessly imbedded in the English language applies the word "church" to each one of the several sects into which the church is divided. It is this corruption of language which leads to the canonization of schism as a divine ordinance.

[408:1] The first proposal for such an assembly seems to be contained in an article by L. Bacon in the "New Englander" for April, 1844. "Why might there not be, ere long, some general conference in which the various evangelical bodies of this country and Great Britain and of the continent of Europe should be in some way represented, and in which the great cause of reformed and spiritual Christianity throughout the world should be made the subject of detailed and deliberate consideration, with prayer and praise? That

would be an 'ecumenical council' such as never yet assembled since the apostles parted from each other at Jerusalem--a council not for legislation and division, but for union and communion and for the extension of the saving knowledge of Christ" (pp. 253, 254).

[409:1] See the pungent strictures of Horace Bushnell on "The Evangelical Alliance," in the "New Englander" for January, 1847, p. 109.

[410:1] James i. 27: "Pure and unpolluted worship, in the eye of God, consists in visiting widows and orphans in their tribulation, and keeping one's self spotless from the world."

[410:2] An agreement has been made, in this State, among five leading denominations, to avoid competing enterprises in sparsely settled communities. An interdenominational committee sees to the carrying out of this policy. At a recent mutual conference unanimous satisfaction was expressed in the six years' operation of the plan.

[413:1] "Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia," vol. i., p. 63.

[413:2] Buckley, "The Methodists," p. 552.

[413:3] Thompson, "The Presbyterians," p. 308.

[415:1] If the Lutherans of America were to be united with the Presbyterians, it would be no more than was accomplished fourscore years ago in Prussia. In that case, out of 20,618,307 communicants, there would be included in the four combinations, 18,768,859.

[415:2] Dr. Carroll, "Religious Forces," p. xv.


Abbot, Ezra, 379.

Abbot, George, Archbishop, 42.

Abbott, Lyman, 384.

Abolitionists, 82, 282, 284.

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