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now, what you mean to do. I hear you mean to di-
vide the Union.— (A voice: 'That is so.')— That is
so ! Well, what are you going to do with your half?
Are you going to split the Ohio down through, and
push your half off a piece ? or build up a wall between,
by which that moveable property of yours can't come
over here any more ? Will you make war upon us,
and kill us all? Why, gentlemen, I think you are as
gallant and as brave men as live; but, man for man,
you are not better than we, and there are not so many
of you. You will never make much of a hand at
whipping us. If we were fewer than you, I think you
could whip us; if we were equal, it would likely be a
drawn battle ; but, being inferior in numbers, you will
make nothing by attempting to master us."

On another occasion, he remarked: "You say if
slavery is shut out from the territories you will dissolve
the Union, and that the crime will be ours. That's
cool ! A highwayman holds a pistol to my ear, and



The Prairies and Lincoln's Home. i3i



mutters, ' Stand and deliver, or I shall kill you, and
then you will be a murderer ! ' My money was my
own, and I had a clear right to keep it • but it was no
more my own than my vote was my own."

At this time he went to New York, and spoke at
the Cooper Institute. Making explorations in the city,
alone, he found his way into the Sunday School of the
Five Points Mission. The superintendent, observing
a stranger taking a deep interest in the proceedings,
invited him to address the children. They were so
much interested, that whenever he tried to stop he was
assailed by cries, "Go on ! oh, do go on ! " When he
left, the superintendent was no little surprised, on
asking the visitor his name, to be told it was " Abra-
ham Lincoln, of Illinois."

He met in the city an old acquaintance and neigh-
bour, who, in answer to the question how he had
fared, replied, " I have made one hundred thousand
dollars, and lost them all. How is it with you?"
"Very well," said Lincoln: "I've the cottage at
Springfield, and about 8,000 dollars. If they make
me Vice-President, with Seward, I hope I shall be able
to increase it to 20,000;" (about ^5,000 gold) "and
that is as much as any man ought to want."



1 82 The Prairies and Lincoln s Home.

The great Republican Convention met at Chicago
on June 16, i860, to nominate a candidate for the
Presidential chair. The excitement was unprecedented.
At the first ballot, W. H. Seward had 173 votes, and
Lincoln 102. There were several other candi-
dates, with smaller numbers. It was necessary, for a
decision, that 233 votes should be given to one.

On the second balloting — the supporters of those
who had no chance, giving their votes for one or other
of the two at the top of the list — Seward had 184 votes,
and Lincoln 181. The third ballot was decisive for
Lincoln, and then, by acclamation, the vote was made
unanimous. It was a sign, both of Lincoln's gene-
rosity and sagacity, that he made the experienced
statesman who had been his rival, his Secretary of
State.

While the balloting was going on, Lincoln was sit-
ting with some of his friends at the newspaper office
in Springfield, receiving telegrams from time to time.

At length a messenger entered, and, putting the
decisive message into Lincoln's hand, shouted, "Gen-
tlemen, three cheers for Abraham Lincoln, the next
President of the United States." Mr. Lincoln rose,
and quietly remarking that there was a little woman in



The Prairies and Lincoln's Home. 183

Eighth Street who had some interest in the matter, put
the telegram into his pocket, and walked home.

The friend who was our kind cicerone met him and
asked what was the news. He quietly replied, " Well,
they have given me the number." That night our
friend and others went to his house and gave him a
serenade. He came out on the door-step, and said,
"There are seasons which sometimes come to a man
when it is his duty to be silent ; that time has now
come to me."

The next day the President of the Convention,
with a Committee, came from Chicago to apprise Mr.
Lincoln, officially, of the nomination. Some of his
Springfield friends, anticipating this visit, and know-
ing Mr. Lincoln's habits of abstinence, sent in pre-
sents of sundry liquors for him to set before his ex-
pected guests ; but he was much troubled what to do,
and asked advice from the Committee, at an informal
meeting prior to the reception. They advised him
to maintain his old customs : return the gift and offer
no stimulants to his guests.

One of the committee, Judge Kelly, of Pennsylvania,
a tall man, had closely scrutinized Mr. Lincoln, who,
interpreting his thought, anticipated him by asking



184 The Prairies and Lincoln s Llomc.

what his height (the judge's) was. " Six feet three \
what is yours ?" " Six feet four," said Lincoln. " Then,
sir, Pennsylvania bows to Illinois. My dear man,
for years my heart has been aching for a President
that I could look up to ; and I've found him at last."

His nomination in no way elated him, or altered
his bearing. He assumed no airs. Simple-minded
and simple-mannered as ever, he often went to the
door in answer to his own bell, and felt whatever in-
terfered with his old homely habits of hospitality, a
burden. He was particularly attentive to the poor
who came to him, and seemed anxious to show that
the change in his condition had in no degree changed
his feelings towards the friends of his humbler days.
I was told that in one thing only he made an altera-
tion. He used to play ball with the boys of the town
school after his office hours ; but he discontinued this
as scarcely suitable to the high office for which he had
been nominated, and which he was so soon to fill.
The later events of his life I do not here mention, as
they are unconnected with his Springfield home.

In the evening 1 addressed a large assembly in the
Presbyterian church where Lincoln used to worship.
I indulged in the pleasure of sitting for a moment in



The Prairies and Lincoln s Home. 185



the place he used to occupy. But I was told that of
late years he had ceased to attend church, though his
family went, for he had learnt that the clergyman was
implicated in slavery, and he could not afterwards go
to hear him preach. The Governor honoured my lec-
ture by his presence ; and at the conclusion thanked
me for removing some misapprehensions as to the
attitude of the British nation towards America during
the war. He remarked that there was much need of
such explanations.

After a night of wretchedness, caused by the intense
heat and mosquitoes, we started early for St. Louis.

The Mississippi disappointed me. The banks, where
we approached it, were low and muddy. There was
little water in the broad channel, and the steamers
could not run. We crossed over to St. Louis in a
huge ferry-boat, which conveyed a dozen omnibuses
and other carriages, with many horses and a large
company of passengers, besides loads of luggage. I
delivered an address against slavery within sight of
the auction-block, where, four years before, slaves
were bought and sold. From St. Louis we returned
eastward by the Erie Railway to Buffalo, and thence
by Niagara, to Toronto, Montreal and Quebec ; then,



1 86 The Prairies and Lincoln's Home.

by the White Mountains to Boston where we spent
ten days visiting Cambridge, Plymouth, &c. Thence,
by New Haven to New York, Philadelphia, Washing-
ton and Richmond, returning by way of Boston. Of
this portion of my tour the exigencies of publication
forbid me now to speak. The remaining pages will
be occupied by observations on the Churches of
America and on our International relations.



CHAPTER VIII.

CHURCHES OF AMERICA.

No Dissenters — No State-Church — National Recognition of
Religion — Church Buildings — Power of Voluntaryism — Hep-
worth Dixon's America — Baptist Church — Methodist — Presby-
terians—Congregational and Independent — Lutheran — Episco-
pal — High and Low Church — Mr. Tyng — Evangelical Alli-
ance — Clerical Salaries — Renting of Pews — Order of Service
— Preaching.

IN religious matters there exists between Great
Britain and America a great contrast, which at
once strikes a visitor from the old country, and which
again strikes him with equal emphasis on his return.
In America there are no Dissenters.

Whether for good or for evil, the fact is that in Eng-
land, society is banded into two grand classes, Church
and Dissent. The distinction is more or less modi-
fied in great cities, but as a rule, it exists universally ;
and in the provinces, is most broadly and clearly
defined. Many a family of fortune and refinement
are virtually excluded from the society of their equals
if they are known to go to" Ebenezer Chapel," or



1 88 Churches of America.

have a pew at " Bethel." There are some exceptions ;
but as a rule, a gentleman who takes a property in
the country, and who, following his religious convic-
tions, worships at the " dissenting chapel," must not
expect to be treated by the neighbouring gentry as he
would be if he went to the parish-church. His wife
and daughters, in order to be " in society," must let
him go to his conventicle alone. If he attends no
place of worship whatever he takes his proper position
among his neighbours ; if he gives no sign of any
personal interest in religion he will have no cause to
complain of being neglected ; but in proportion as he
is regular in his attendance at the dissenters' meeting-
house, and especially if he is zealous in promoting its
religious and charitable organizations, he is regarded
with suspicion and quietly ignored.

The established clergy, as a rule, rendering the ex-
ceptions very marked, decline personal intercourse on
equal terms with the clergy of other churches, or, as
they often call them, " dissenting preachers." Seldom
will the vicar or rector pay a call of welcome to the
newly arrived Methodist or Independent; or invite
him to a social meal at his own house. Beyond the
cold courtesy of a passing bow in the street, ministers



Churches of A merica. 1 89

of the established and of other churches may live
and labour in the same neighbourhood for years and
have no personal intercourse. There is still less of
ecclesiastical fraternity. Dissenters never occupy the
pulpits of the established church ; and the ministers
of the latter very rarely risk the possible penalties of
appearing in the pulpit of a Nonconformist. Some of
the most liberal-minded meet their dissenting brethren
once a year on the common platform of the Bible
Society, but there are many who decline to do even
this.

On the other hand, dissenters, being treated as if
they were socially inferior, merely because of their re-
ligious convictions, are apt to resent conduct which
seems to them insulting and unjust. They sometimes
imagine a wrong where none was intended. Rebuffed,
perhaps, in their own advances, they neglect hence-
forth to show those signs of good-will which courtesy
as well as Christianity requires. They are apt to
judge of all by the conduct of some, and to overlook
the honourable exceptions which are every day multi-
plying. Rather than appear to fawn, they may seem
rude, and sometimes check advances honestly and
heartily made. Controversy becomes exacerbated by



190 Churches of America.

the lack of personal intercourse. Sincere efforts for
the spiritual and temporal welfare of mankind are put
forth on both sides in utter ignorance by each of what
the other is doing, and much power is wasted in
antagonism which might be not only saved, but aug-
mented, by combination for a common purpose. This
may be considered a good and wholesome state of
things for England ; but so far as it results from politi-
cal arrangements, Americans have repudiated it, and
are, one and all, determined that it shall not find a
place amongst them.

They resolve to have no dissent, by resolving to
have no establishment. And in this all are agreed.
Episcopalians as much as Independents, Methodists
as much as Baptists, Presbyterians as much as Quakers,
Papists as much as Protestants, all say they will have
no church recognized, endowed, and controlled by
the civil government. They say that the State shall
protect every one in his religious as well as civil free-
dom ; that it shall have supremacy in all causes in-
volving the rights of person and property, whether
arising out of matters sacred or secular ; but that
every church shall be left to form its own creed, con-
duct its own worship, and carry on its own spiritual



Churches of America. 191



government ; and that every individual shall be pro-
tected in the full exercise of his liberty so long as he
does not invade the equal rights of his neighbour.
But they have resolved, and they are unanimous and
firm in maintaining, that the State, as such, shall not
be allied to any particular church as such, so as to
sanction its tenets, provide for its expenses, or in-
terfere with its self-action.

Thus they avoid many anomalies ; for if each State
were to establish a different form of religion, all
churches would be dissenting churches except in the
one State in which each was connected with the go-
vernment. In Europe dissent is diversified. Episco-
palians who would scorn to become dissenters in
England are necessarily dissenters when they cross
the Tweed ; while the Queen's chaplains in' the North
are dissenters when they visit her at Windsor, and are
unable to officiate for her spiritual welfare. Papists
are dissenters in England, Protestants in Italy ; and
Christians, whether Papist or Protestant, are dissen-
ters in Turkey. To this some would say that the
departure from the true church constitutes dissent, not
non-agreement with the establishment. If so, the
establishment in Scotland is dissent ; rather a con-



192 Churches of America.

fusion of terms. If so, then, as each church may
claim for itself the character of being the true church,
every church may designate as dissenters all who differ
from it. Then, in the eye of a Presbyterian, Episco-
palians and Quakers are alike dissenters for departing
from what Presbyterians think the true model ; just
as much as Presbyterians and others are dissenters in
the eye of the Episcopalian. The term, therefore,
must be applied only to those who dissent from the
state-religion. And as a state-religion is what Ameri-
cans will not endure, they effectually rid themselves
of dissent. Dissent may be a good thing or a bad ;
but good or bad, Americans of all religious creeds,
and of none, are agreed that, however much it may be
nourished and perpetuated in Europe by state-
churches, they will not allow its existence amongst
themselves.

The effect of this on the social and religious life of
America is everywhere manifest. The national
universities being open to citizens as such, the young
men who are training for the pulpit necessarily asso-
ciate together. There are not national universities
which possess exclusive advantages from which men
are debarred because they cannot subscribe certain



Churches of America. 193

formulas of faith. Instead of being trained in sec-
tarian and separate institutions in which they meet
only with others of the same church, and thus become
trained up in isolation of sympathy and action, the
young clergy are class-mates and companions in col-
lege, and then, when they meet in after-life, though of
different communions, they meet on common terms
as gentlemen and scholars.

No placard on the walls ever announces that, at a
certain meeting, addresses will be given by several
clergymen and ministers. All who sustain the office
of minister of the gospel are alike recognized and
designated "clergyman." None assume any supe-
riority by reason of their ecclesiastical connection •
none imagine they either give or receive a favour by
uniting for a good object.

On common platforms for the promotion of philan-
thropy or religion, there is a tone of manly and fra-
ternal equality. No Methodist thinks of assuming to
take the chair as a matter of right, because he is the
superintendent of the circuit ; no Presbyterian because
he is moderator of the synod ; no Episcopalian be-
cause he is rector or vicar of the parish : all are offi-
cially equal ; but they give " honour to whom honour is

o



194 Churches of America.

due "j recognizing age, learning, and usefulness ; and
cheerfully yielding precedence to acknowledged and
real superiority. But such a thing as a youth fresh
from college, because of his own idea of the claims
of his church, presuming to take precedence of older,
and wiser, and better men of other communions, is
what Americans cannot imagine.

As with the clergy so with the laity. No one is
excluded from society with his equals because of dis-
sent. Sympathy on great questions, similarity of
motive, resemblance of character, these determine
social intercourse more than agreement in the se-
condary matters of church ceremonial. There is not
so much sectarianism in benevolence as in the old
country. It is not thought necessary, for example, to
have both a Methodist and an Episcopal Young Men's
Association. It is enough that in every town there
is one such association, and all agree to support it.

It often happens in the old country that a good en-
terprise is limited by the organization from which it
was supposed to spring. There are church charities
and dissenting charities ; and seldom can one of these
obtain support from the adherents of another system.
But in America, a benevolent object is supported by



Churches of America. 195



the community at large, with far less of that sectarian
jealousy which is so often met with amongst our-
selves.

In general conversation there is less to remind you
of religious differences. There is not the constant
cropping up of the terms " church " and " chapel " as
opposed to each other. All Christians in America
are "church-goers." Every building devoted to
Christian worship is a " church"; the term " chapel"
being given to a building subordinate to the main
structure. If you see the Methodist church and
chapel side by side, the latter is the lecture-room or
the mission-hall of the former.

The buildings also are in the same general style.
Until very recently in the old country, the "church"
and the " chapel " were obvious enough in their dif-
ferent structure. In America there is no such dis-
tinction. Almost every church edifice has its spire.
This forms one of the most beautiful features oi
American scenery. In many of our cities more than
half the places of worship are hidden, and a very in-
adequate idea would be formed by the passing strangei
of the religious zeal of the inhabitants. But in Americ;
it is sometimes surprising to see the multitude o



196 Churches of America.



spires ascending from a comparatively small town ;
while the wide-spreading landscape on every side has
signs to tell that wherever men have planted their
homes, there also have they raised a house of prayer.
The following remarks of Dr. Henry Smith, chair-
man of the American Executive Committee at the
Evangelical Alliance held at Amsterdam in 1867, are so
appropriate that no apology is needed for quoting them :
"The special characteristic of our American Chris-
tianity is found in the separation of church and state
— which separation rests, on the one hand, upon the
principle of religious liberty, and, on the other, upon
a confidence in the self-sustaining power of Christianity
itself. We believe that no external power, be it eccle-
siastical or secular, has a right to invade the sacred
province of religious freedom. We also believe that
Christianity does not need the support of the state.
As faith in human rights is at the basis of our repub-
lican institutions, so, and with still stronger emphasis,
is faith in Christianity at the basis of our religious
growth and order : we are willing to trust its inherent
truth and power against all the assaults of its foes,
being well-assured that the state cannot repel these
if the church cannot. Such religious liberty is neces-



Churches of America. 197



sary to true civil freedom; the latter has ever fol-
lowed the former, and when religious and civil liberty
are fully and equally recognized, there will also ensue
a separation of church and state." This is, of course,
given here only as an American opinion ; but that it
is a thoroughly national and not a sectarian sentiment
no one will dispute.

It is sometimes thought that if the state does
not establish a church it cannot recognize religion.
This result does not follow in America. If there
be any theoretic inconsistency, it involves no prac-
tical inconvenience. The courts of law are opened
by prayer, as was made evident to the writer by
his being requested by the judges, when visiting
Plymouth, the capital of Massachusetts, to ask
the blessing of the Almighty on their proceedings
when sitting in banco. There is a chaplain to both
Houses of Congress. When I was in Washing-
ton, the chaplain to the House of Representa-
tives was a Congregationalist ; the chaplain to the
Senate a Baptist ; but I heard of no inconvenience
having occurred from such diversity. The chaplain
conducts divine service every Sunday morning in the
House of Representatives. The writer was honoured



198 C J lurches of America.

by being invited to act as chaplain on the first day of
Congress, and by request of Mr. Speaker Colfax (now
Vice-President) he preached on the Sunday following
in the House of Representatives, when the members
of both Houses were present, with General Grant,
and other official persons. This he regarded as a
graceful compliment, not to himself personally, but
to the nation of which he was a very humble repre-
sentative. It illustrated not only that the American
state can and does recognize religion and pay homage
to the Almighty ; but also that, being bound to no
particular sect, it can do what cannot be done in our
own country — invite the clergy of other nations and
other communions to aid in conducting their devo-
tions. Chaplains are also provided by the state for
the army and navy, and for prisons : the ecclesiastical
position of the chaplain varying with the religious
tenets of the majority of those to whom he has to
minister. During the late war President Lincoln
issued an army-order for the observance of the Sab-
bath, and he frequently appointed days of fasting,
prayer, and thanksgiving, which were solemnly ob-
served by the various churches throughout the Union.
There was no authority recognized as compulsory in



Churches of America. 199

religion; but the recommendations of the chief of
the state were cheerfully acquiesced in. "Thanks-
giving Day " is a season of special religious obser-
vance throughout America, when national mercies are
dilated on in fifty thousand pulpits, and praise
rendered to the God whom the nation honour.

It is feared by many that without state provision
there will be a deficiency of churches and clergy, and
the very existence of religion be put in jeopardy.
This has not yet taken place in America, so far
as the observation of so hurried a visit would allow.
The writer is bound to say, that religion appears to be
no less cared for than in the old country with all its
ancient endowments j that the people seem even more
pervaded by an earnest religious sentiment; that
Sunday is better observed, preaching more honoured
and frequented, and the churches better filled.

In one town of 16,000 inhabitants I found 18
churches, with accommodation for 9,400 persons :
more than the proportion able to attend at one time.
Of the 18 churches, 3 were Wesleyan, 3 Episcopal, 3
Presbyterian, and 2 Congregational. In another town
of 23,000 inhabitants there were 18 churches, with
accommodation for 14,450 people; this also being



200 Churches of America.

above the requirements of the population. Of these
1 8 churches 5 were Congregational, 4 Methodist,
2 Baptist, 1 Episcopalian, 1 Catholic, and 2
"coloured churches." Out of 4,450 families, 3,54°
attended church ; and out of 5,230 children of suffi-
cient age, 4,600 went to the Sunday school.

According to the United States census for i860,
there were 54,000 church edifices, erected entirely on
the voluntary principle, at a cost of 1 7 1 millions of
dollars. The number and value of the churches had
increased at the rate of 100 per cent, during the pre-
ceding ten years. There was an average of one
church to 554 persons, and a total accommodation for


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