George Herbert Dryer.

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Park Street Chapel, South wark. His first sermon was
published before he became of age. In January, 1856,
he married, and his wife proved a worthy helpmeet to
his life and in his work.

In October, 1856, Mr. Spurgeon began preaching
at the Royal Surrey Gardens Music Hall, which he
occupied until the completion of his Tabernacle, which
was dedicated in March, 1861. It cost $155,000, and
has seats for 5,500 people, with standing room for a
thousand more. It has a double row of galleries, and
its dimensions are 148 by 81 by 68. At the dedica-
tion, the church had 1,178 members; in the succeed-
ing ten years 3,569 were added to its membership, and
it grew to 6,000 before "his death. From 1855 his
sermons were published until their number reached
2,200. In 1865 he founded his periodical, The Sword
and the Trowel. In 1857 he sent out his first student
preacher. In 1867 three Orphan Houses at Stockwell
were begun. By 1875 his building for the Pastor's
College, costing $75,000, was completed and paid for,
and by 1 890 had sent out nearly a thousand preachers.
The Stockwell Orphanage takes children from six to
ten, and keeps them until they are fourteen; they

566 History of the Christian Church.

accommodate five hundred boys and girls. His col-
portage work came to employ nearly one hundred men
in selling Christian literature of a popular character,
so as to displace the vile. He also erected an alms-
house for the aged poor, and founded a Ragged School
where four hundred children were taught. The in-
come for his church poor fund was $5,000 a year.

Spurgeon's sermons had a larger circulation and
in greater quantity than any other English preacher.
They were sincere and earnest ; they were well illus-
trated, with not seldom a pithy saying or a touch of
humor. His " John Ploughman's Talks," which have
some of their best qualities without their repetitions,
reached a sale of 320,000 copies before his death.
Spurgeon had a marvelous voice, clear and sweet ; it
could reach 12,000 persons, and he preached some-
times to audiences of 20,000 people. His chief liter-
ary work is his "Treasury of David," a Puritan com-
ment on the Psalms.

Spurgeon's orthodoxy was of the rigid sort. He
left the London Baptist Union because they saw the
Lord's leading in moving rather than in standing still.
Spurgeon was warm-hearted and unselfish, and could
always be counted upon to remain where he was. In
Lord Shaftesbury he had a warm friend. His was an
active life of great usefulness, not one of intellectual
progress. His noblest monument is not the Metro-
politan Tabernacle, or his Pastor's College, or his
Orphan Houses, but the changed conditions of that
section of London in which his Tabernacle stands
and where his work was wrought. ** The whole
quarter has been converted from a scene of sordid
poverty and the lowest forms of vice to one of health-


ful peace and comparative prosperity." I^ike the true,
stubborn Englishman he was, he did not take kindly
to the total abstinence movement. But, with all de-
fects, he wrought such a work as was not equaled in
his day. At the end of the century there were 346,08 2
Baptists in England and Wales.

The Presbyterians, who are the people in Scotland,
and a strong contingent in Ulster, are a comparatively
small body in England. Perhaps the mem- ^ ^ ^ ^

J '=> ^ Presbyterians.

ory of the forcible imposition of the Solemn
League and Covenant remains. However, they rank
well in quality, and Professor Oswald Dykes, of their
Theological Training-school, furnished the creed of
the United Free Churches in 1898, the most success-
ful efifort of creedal irenics of the century among Eng-
lish-speaking people. At the close of the period they
numbered in England 74,57 1-

The Friends, or Quakers, numbered 16,611; but
of that number was Professor Rendall Harris, of Cam-
bridge University, one of the first New
Testament scholars living. The Unitarians uniuHan".
report no membership, but 350 churches.
They can hardly be said to have grown, and they do
not occupy relatively anything like the position of
one hundred years ago.

But they gave to Christendom one of the purest
characters and one of the clearest thinkers of the cen-
tury, who wrote with an ease and grace un-
equaled by any other ethical or philosoph- ^artki^t^u.
ical writer of his generation. James Mar-
tineau (1805- 1900) was educated at Manchester New
College, and ordained in 1828. For the next four
years he was pastor in Dublin, but in 1832 he came to

568 History of the Christian Church,

Paradise Street, Liverpool, of which he remained pas-
tor until 1857. Then he came to Portland Street,
London, where he was pastor from 1857 to 1872, and
made a reputation as one of the foremost English
preachers of his time ; in the latter year friends pre-
sented him with a purse of nearly $50,000. Besides
this work, he taught Moral Philosophy from 1840 at
Manchester College. He was its principal, 1 869-1 885 ;
president, 1885-1887; and vice-president, 1887-1900.
In 1848 he studied in Berlin and Dresden, and knew
well modern as well as ancient thought. The charac-
ter of his mind and the value of his thinking can well
be discerned from his works, — '' Religion as Affected
by Modern Materialism," 1874; "Modern Material-
ism: Its Attitude Toward Theology," 1876; "Study
of Spinoza," 1882 ; " Types of Ethical Theory," 1885;
"A Study of Religion," 1888; "Seat of Authority in
Religion," 1890; and "Essays, Reviews, and Ad-
dresses," 1 890-1 89 1. Of these, "A Study of Religion"
is easily the ablest and most comprehensive. In his
"Seat of Authority in Religion ' he showed that his
historical knowledge and judgment were hardly equal
to his ethical thinking.

James Martineau was a deeply religious man, with
a depth of religious feeling and sentiment beyond his
creed. In the battle with materialism, no other man
or score of men rendered the service which he did,
and he put an end to the scornful assumptions of
scientists who had only half thought out the problems
of our being and destiny. For character like his, and
work like his, however soon some of it is superseded,
and however far we are from his individualist and

Evangelical Church in Greai Britain. 569

anti-Trinitarian position, Christian men can only have


Two visits of Americans largely affected the Chris-
tianity of England in this period. One was that of
Messrs. Moody and Sankey in 1873 and

^ ^1-1 1 ,L /^ r J Moody and

1881, who came from Edmburghto Oxtord, gank.y.
Cambridge, and London, and left an endur-
ing impress upon the Christian life and work of Eng-

The second was that of Mr. and Mrs. Pearsall
Smith, 1875. From their teaching, particularly that of
Mrs. Smith, arose the Keswick Movement ^^^^^^^,^^
in the English Church and in the Noncon- jviovement.
forming bodies. It seeks the definite ex-
perience and attendant conduct and witness of the
Higher Christian Life. It has done much for a spirit-
ual life in the Church of England that is not nourished
by, but rejects, the predominant tendency to ritual
observance as a means to a holy life.

There are 1,500,000 Roman Catholics
in England and Wales, most of them Irish cathoiios.
or of Irish descent. They had 1,572 chap-
els and stations and 3,018 clergy.

The former half of the century was one of awaken-
ing and disruption in the Church of Scotland; the
latter part was one of quickened and act- 3^„^,^„j_
ive Church life and of reunion. The for-
mation of the United Presbyterian Church in 1858
has already been mentioned. In 1 900 the Free Church
and the United Presbyterian Churches united. This
has greatly strengthened the Christian Church and re-
ligion in the land of Knox. This growth and union

570 History of the Christian Church.

among the Nonconforming bodies was accompanied
by a large increase in power and influence of the
Established Kirk. In 1900 it had 1,374 parishes and
1,795 churches, chapels, and stations, with an income
of $1,700,000. Since 1845 there were added 408 new
parishes and $12,500,000 in endowments for parish
support. In 1900 the Church reported 661,629 com-
municants, a most favorable contrast with the number
of communicants in the Church of England. On the
other hand, the now United Free Church reported in
1900, 1,661 congregations, with 1,781 clergy, and 488,-
795 members, and voluntary ofierings of over $5,000,-
000 a year. It has three theological colleges in
Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen. In scholar-
ship, the Free Church clearly leads, having given to
Christendom in this period, Alexander B. Bruce, A.
B. Davidson, Marcus Dods, James Robertson, George
Adam Smith, and Professor William Ramsay.

The Episcopal Church in Scotland, in 1900, had
318 clergy and 121,000 adherents; communicants not
given. The Roman Catholics had 482 clergy, 354
chapels, and 365,000 people, mostly from Ireland.

The most noteworthy event in the Church history
of Ireland in this period was the disestablishment of
the Episcopal Church. This act of justice
removed an ancient wrong, and the great-
est hindrance to Evangelical work in Ireland after the
conquest of Cromwell and the penal laws of William
of Orange. In 1900 the census showed a decrease of
6. 7 per cent in the population in ten years. The only
Church that increased in numbers between 1890 and
1900 was the Methodist. The census shows the
Roman Catholic population to be 3,310,028, consider-

Evangelical Church in Great Britain. 571

ably less than the Irish element in the Roman Catholic
population in the United States.

The Episcopal Church has 1,400 churches, 1,700
clergy, and a population of 579,385; the voluntary
offerings are $850,000 annually. The Presbyterians
have 669 clergy, 106,070 members, and a population
of 443,494. The Methodists come next with 61,255
members. There are in Ireland 9,898 Congregation-
alists, 6,896 Baptists, and 2,623 Friends, or Quakers,
in the land where William Penn was converted to
their faith. With the settlement of the land question,
it may be that the tide of emigration which has di-
minished Ireland's population nearly one-half in fifty
years will be stayed.

Chapter VIII.


A MARKED increase in population and wealth in the
last fifty years of the nineteenth century was a chief
characteristic of the nations of Christen-
^clndilions! ^^^' except France, Ireland, and Spain.
In some, as Great Britain, Germany, and
Russia, the advance has been beyond all precedent.
But that of the United States in population and
wealth, in education and culture, in power and influ-
ence, has been beyond all comparison in ancient or
modern times. A population increasing from five to
seventy-six millions, and area open to settlement from
400,000 to 3,000,000 square miles in a century, is a
record without parallel. If by the side of this we
place the lines of steam communication by water and
by rail, and the great cities which have grown up be-
side them, we may see something of the material
growth in the creations of one hundred years. Never
in any land in the same length of time has there been
anything like the same expenditure for common
schools, Sunday-schools, colleges and universities, and
schools for technical and professional education. In
no land beneath the sun has so much money been
given in the same number of years as in the United
States in the last decade of the century for public
charities and benevolence. The same may probably
be said of expenditures for churches and for the found-


Christian Church in United States. 573

ing, endowment, and support of distinctively Christian
institutions of education and charity. At the end of
the century the United States was in the foremost
rank in mining, agriculture, manufacturing, and in
commerce among the nations of the earth.

There were influences which affected the stages of
the nation's growth and the life and work of the
Church. These will pass in rapid review :

The Civil War, 1 861-1865, overthrew the social
order and industrial system of the South, and left her
a heart-sickening heritage in impoverish-
ment and desolation. The courage shown ^^g^'^"
in the dark days of reconstruction and the
refounding of free commonwealths was not less than
that shown on the battlefield. In North and South
alike there had been a deluge of blood and tears, and
a destruction of property and an accumulation of in-
debtedness that seemed appalling. The war did onev
thing, it sobered and disciplined the nation. There
was none of the political buncombe and desire to whip
all creation of ante-bellum days. Men addressed them^
selves to realities, and these were often sad and hard
enough. Ten years after the war, in 1876, was held \^
the first great World's Exposition in America. It
probably was, up to that date, the greatest object
lesson and popular educator in the history of the
American people. What they had to show so soon
after such a devastating conflict was indeed wonder-
ful, but what they learned from what other nations
had to show was even more wonderful. The Centen-
nial Exposition at Philadelphia will always mark a
distinctive era in the nation's progress.

But the Christian nations of Europe sent over the

574 History of the Christian Church.

sea to the New World, not only their goods and the

evidences of their art and refinement, they sent over

their people by the million. In the last fifty

Immigration. r .-* ^ ^i ^ • •

years of the century they sent as immi-
grants over 16,000,000, nearly 17,000,000, of people.
In 1850 the population of Knglandand Wales was 17,-
927,000, and that of the United States was 23,000,000.
So a new nation, as large as England and nearly
three-fourths as large as the United States, came to
this country from over the sea in these years. These
immigrants dug the canals, built the railways, sewered
and paved the city streets, and in large part settled
the Great West. Their descendants of the second
and third generation became the truest of Americans
in the country where they and theirs have prospered.
Indeed, many in the first generation have become
princes in the land, like Alexander T. Stewart and
Andrew Carnegie.

Invention and emigration made possible the win-
ning of the West to civilization in this period. While
the most of the settlers in the West were
of American birth, their places were taken
by immigrants in the communities they left. Owing
to the fact that the advance guard was of native
origin, there has been preserved a remarkable homo-
geneity in language, in political, social, and religious
institutions throughout the country. Foreign colo-
nies which have preserved another speech and other
customs are the exceptions.

These elements of growth itself would cause a
financial expansion, but this was accelerated by " Wild
Cat" banking before i860, by an irredeemable paper
currency after the war, and by speculation in real

Christian Church in United States. 575

estate and mines which always outran all legitimate
growth. In consequence came the financial crises of
1857, 1873, 1884, and 1893. The suffering
and the brave endurance of it by multitudes Expansion
of business men, who were impoverished ""^
by the results of fatuous legislation prev-
ious to 1873 and 1893, will always remain one of
the saddest and one of the most inspiring memories
of the generation which witnessed the Civil War.
That economic revolution which, in 1884 and the
years following, caused a decline of thirty per cent in
the price of wheat, caused financial stringency and
suffering difi&cult to estimate.

One effect of this fall in values in farm products
and lands was a necessary emigration to the cities.
This growth of the urban population from
1885 to 1890 was too rapid to be healthful, ^ci^es.**'
It was one cause of the dire effects of the
panic of 1893. With returning prosperity came a
more varied industry and advance in prices, which in
some measure restored the equilibrium, which electric
traction in the country districts will yet more facilitate.

The opportunities for speculation, and, not to put
too fine a point upon it, for thieving from the public,
afforded by the Civil War, the era of irre-
deemable paper money, the financing of corrupUon.
railway systems, the expansion of cities,
and a flood of public improvements, proved too much
for the virtue of the ordinary politician. There came
a lowering of the tone of the public conscience, a
lowering of the standards of public service. Specu-
lation and peculation brought in a reign of political
corruption. ** Rings" and "bosses" made their nox-


576 History of the Christian Church.

ious influence felt. The Tweed Ring, the Philadelphia
Gas Ring, the Whisky Ring, the Ring whose rule
caused the Cincinnati riots, the rule of Tammany, and
the rule of the boss and the party machine, are un-
pleasant memories, as they were unpleasant experi-
ences in our national life. Fortunately the record of
the National, and as a rule the State, administrative
service has been exceptionally good. The worst evils
were in houses of legislation and markedly in city
governments. The progress in the last ten years
of this period in civic righteousness, in the extension of
the civil service reform, in the scrutiny, publicity, and
reform of municipal expenditure and administration,
has been one of the most cheering signs of the better
political conditions which are to prevail, and which
must come, before the community can deal effectively
with the liquor-traffic. When we remember the im-
mense national debt at the end of the war of
$2,845,000,000, and that in the North, the States,
counties, cities, and townships were loaded down with
war debts, while so much of the public and private
property in the South was destroyed; when we
recall the Whisky Ring, the Tweed Ring, the recon-
struction era, and municipal extravagance, and re-
member that these debts have been paid, in the local
governments wholly, in the national government
more than half ; that all thought of repudiation was
rejected by a population sorely tested by a great fall
in values, and that the reform of the civil service
and of municipal government have become accom-
plished facts in the life of one generation, we con-
clude that religious influence and sentiment, that
Church life, that the preaching and living of right-

Christian Church in United States. 577

eousness, have not been in vain in the generation
that freed the slaves and saved the Union. We may
well hope that the present generation will have wis-
dom and conscience enough to deal with the "boss,"
the race problem, and the liquor-traffic.

A comparison between the ordinary home and its
comforts in 1850 and the same in 1900, would be most
significant. In architecture, in labor-saving

.. . ^ ' , . ^ Popular

appliances, m refinement, where there is no comfort and
increase in the cost, the change is most Artistic

. , ^, , , ,. , , Conditions.

marked. Photography, chromo-lithography,
and the illustrated periodical press, notably the Amer-
ican magazines, have made a new artistic world and
environment for the people. An almost equal advance
has been made in music for the people in its addition
to the course of instruction in the common schools, in
the wide use of the reed organ and the piano, as well
as in the musical culture of our cities.

In the churches the general use of hymnals with
music set to the hymns, the popularity of the Moody
and Sankey ** Gospel Hymns," and the flood of evan-
gelistic and Sunday-school music, mark a great change
since 1850, as well as the much more extensive use of
the pipe-organ in churches.'

In church architecture, there has been an immense
advance in comfort, convenience, and artistic effect,
though sometimes the different orders and styles of
architecture sit down in amazing proquinity, if not
concord, in the same edifice. As a rule, the more am-
bitious efforts of the church architect, if they do not
achieve lasting success, are not examples of monu-
mental ugliness or colossal ignorance. There are
some traditions of ecclesiastical order that the boldest

578 History of the Christian Church.

do not defy; but with our public buildings it is not
so. Here American architecture is at its worst.
While there are some fine exceptions, from the Cap-
itol at Washington down, nevertheless, in many of
our public structures, especially those adapted for and
expressing the public life of the county or the mu-
nicipality, it is evident that the choice of the archi-
tect was political, not artistic. That upon a county
whose seat is a populous city of wealth, education,
and culture, should be foisted the private dwelling of
a foreign nobleman as the expression of its public
life, with a fitness equal to that of a palm-tree in an
arctic landscape, only shows how dignity and sim-
plicity, the expression of public spirit, and the power
of the community may be thrown to the winds, if
made up by an ostentatious interior.

From this sketch of the trials and triumphs of our
national life it may be seen how naturally the mind

and the endeavors of the people have been
^^^Tre^ndT'^ ^^sorbed in commercial pursuits and their

aims have been directed so largely to finan-
cial ends. Money value and financial influence have
more power at the end of the century than at its
meridian. The literature that found its leadership in
Bryant, Longfellow, Lowell, Whittier, and Holmes,
has seen no successors to these bards with their ideal
aims and high ethical standards. On the other hand,
no generation has ever seen money so universally and
so generously given to Churches and the purposes of
Church life, for education, for benevolences, and for
charities. With an equal sacrifice of time and self,
culture of the soul, and discipline of the life, great

Christian Church in United States. 579

things for the establishment of the kingdom of God
may come from Christian America, the future far sur-
passing a wonderful past.

To this tendency toward money-making and busi-
ness absorption, added to the natural selfishness and
sinfulness of man which the gospel of Jesus
Christ had to combat, came two specific conJ-'fjo^g
Antichristian movements. The one was
led by Theodore Parker, and presented a purely
human and humanitarian Christ. Reform and benev-
olence constituted the sum of human duties. For
prayer, or religious worship, or reverence, it had but
little place. The apathy of many of the Churches on
the question of slavery gave large entrance for this
teaching to many minds. The havoc made in the re-
ligious experience and life of thousands of earnest
men and women through this " liberal theology " is
sad to contemplate. Its consequences reach often to
the second and third generations.

Soon after the close of the Civil War, Colonel Rob-
ert G. Ingersoll, an eloquent orator and a witty de-
bater, lectured in all the chief cities on " Hell," " The
Mistakes of Moses," and kindred themes. Arrogant,
superficial, and without a touch of reverence for any-
thing human or divine, he caught many who wished
to believe there was no God and no hereafter, as well
as many unthinking people who were carried away by
his audacity or the novelty of his statements. There
was nothing new in his thought or the objections he
brought forward; but to many he made the Christian
religion appear as a sham and a fraud. At first he was
bold and defiant in his denials of all realities beyond

5So History of the CnkisTiAN Church,

this life. In his later years he said, ** I do not know."
The trend of scientific skepticism greatly helped him
at first ; but it soon appeared that he had no solution
to the problem of human destiny, and men like Joseph
Cook showed how much larger that problem was than
he had been able to conceive, and how the best
thought of the world was against him, as well as the
feelings and instincts of the race.

As if in response to these challenges came the
great revivals of 1857 and 1875-9. The first was very
general throughout the Northern States, and had no
particular leader or center. It especially honored
Christian prayer everywhere. The second was led by
Mr. Dwight L. Moody, with Mr. Ira D. Sankey assist-
ing him. This was at first efiective mainly in the
large cities; but its influence pervaded the remotest
hamlet, and largely changed the methods of revival
work, and the expressions of Christian experience.

The work of the Church in these years, never more

Online LibraryGeorge Herbert DryerHistory of the Christian church (Volume 5) → online text (page 39 of 50)