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Esq. gave a donation of 20,000 dollars, and Mrs. Phillips, and her son, John Phillips, Esq. gave the money for erecting the buildings. Great additions have since been made to its funds by the extraordinary liberality of other private donations, rendering it rich and powerful. Mr. Bartlett of Newburyport, was a great benefactor; Mr. Moses Brown, of the same town, presented it with 10,000 dollars; Mr. William Brown, with 20,000 dollars, and Mr. Norris with 30,000 dollars, for the support of several professors. Such acts are highly honourable to the donors, and worthy of imitation by every friend of genuine orthodoxy. The direction of this theological establishment, is under the trustees of Phillips' academy, of which it is a branch. Its library consists of nearly three thousand volumes. The Rev. Dr. Griffin, the Rey. Messrs. Stuart, Woods and Porter, have been their professors. The number of pupils is upwards of sixty; among all of whóm, professors and pupils, there is probably not one who does not maintain the doctrine of general atonement, natural ability, unconditional submission, and other Hopkinsian peculiarities. In relation to doctrine, it may be considered an American Saumur, except, that the doctrine of Christ's eternal sonship, is said not to be among the articles of faith, taught at Andover. A desire to spread Hopkinsianism, it would seem, is nearly always present in the minds of the professors and pupils of Andover.
Their peculiar tenets have a prominent place in the correspondence of the young men, while prosecuting their studies; and when they commence preaching, in their pulpit exhibitions. The spirit of proselytism, is a most striking feature of their character, and leads them to lay greater stress on the errors which they have imbibed, than on the great and consolatory doctrines of the Christian faith. It seems to be nearly impossible for them to compose a sermon without interweaving them into the fabric; so intimately are they connected with every principle, which they maintain, or so zealous are the preachers to propagate them. Their success too is as great as extraordinary zeal in either a good or bad cause will generally secure. While their piety seems to be,
and we hope is great, it is tinctured with all their aberrations from the glory of the gospel.
Some have thought, that this seminary would form a barrier against the spread of the Boston heresies, which it opposes with great zeal. The Unitarians, do not themselves seem to think so, for while they write against the Andove. rians in the General Repository, for maintaining the divinity
of Christ, and the atonement, they at the same time compliment them as much nigher to themselves, than the old Calvinists, and have no doubt penetration enough to see, that the tenets taught in this great centre of operations for the New England churches, do, in their nature and necessary consequences, lead to the Socinian ground. That this will be the result, as it has been in France, a few years will shew, unless the head of the church purify this fountain by casting into it the salt of truth. Several of the Anti-Trinitarians of Massachussetts we well know were but lately Hopkinsians.
We now invite the attention of the reader to New York. In this city, the Dutch Reformed church established itself soon after the commencement of the colony by the Hollanders, and taught the same doctrines relative to the atonement, with those which were held by the church in Holland, from which it was descended. Though there were, in this branch of the church, which planted colonies of Reformers along the banks of the Hudson, and in New-Jersey, divisions arising out of local considerations, yet all embraced the Heidelburgh Catechism as the standard of faith, and explained that part of it which relates to the extent of the atonement, in strict conformity with the tenets of the Genevan school. It was a standing custom among the Dutch clergy to deliver courses of lectures on this catechism, and in these lectures, they uniformly taught and enforced the doctrine of the divine decrees, particular election, definite atonement, the efficacy and necessity of the agency of the Holy Spirit in regeneration and sanctification, the imputation of Adam's sin, the total and universal depravity of human nature, and the imputation of Christ's righteousness received by faith,
as the only ground of our justification before God. Through the exertions of the Rev. John H. Livingston, D. D. whose ancestors at an early period, emigrated to New York from Holland, and who completed his theological education in the land of his forefathers, the divisions, which had existed, were healed, and a tone of considerable energy imparted to this ecclesiastical body. Though the clergy were not profoundly versed in human literature, yet they were intelligent, upright, pious and industrious; and this church embraced many members of great respectability, whose influence was exerted on the side of orthodoxy. New-York was the centre of their operations. The presbyterian church, now called the General Assembly of Presbyterians, had become a pow. erful and respectable body in this city, before the commencement of the present century. The most distinguished of the ministers of this body, was the Rev. John Rogers, D. D. who for upwards of fifty years, was employed in ministering at the altar, and for all that time maintained an unblemished reputation, and was exemplary for piety and dignity, becoming the ministerial character. He was rigidly orthodox. He might be called the father of the presbyterian church in New-York.
The Antiburgher Seceders, had a congregation organised in New York, under the pastoral care of the Rev. Mr. Ha. milton. In their creed they were orthodox; and except on the doctrine relative to the power of the civil magistrate in relation to ecclesiastical affairs, embraced the Westminster Confession of Faith.
Here too, the Associate Reformed Presbyterians, had erected their standard. This body was formed by a urion between the Reformed Presbyterians, or Covenanters, who had emigrated to America, and the Seceders, in the year 1782, when its first synod met at Greencastle, a small town in the interior of Pennsylvania, and consisted of about twelve ministers. One of the principal agents in effecting this union, was the Rev. Dr. Mason, of New-York, who had emigrated from Scotland. Like the anti-burgher Seceders, they adopted the Westminster Confession, excepting that part which
treats of the power of the civil magistrate about religion. The church under the direction of this synod grew rapidly, and though there was not a perfect harmony among the members, owing to the remains of the principles and feelings, which the parties united brought with them across the Atlantic, yet they were all perfectly correct in their views of the doctrine of the atonement. Their clergy possessed no small share of learning, for no man was admitted to preach the gospel among them without having received a liberal education, and they received many accessions to their presbyteries, from the judicatories in Britain. Nearly all the ministers of the Burgher synods in Scotland and Ireland, who emigrated to America, joined them. They generally harmonized in their operations, and the views which they held and taught were perfectly Calvinistic. After the death of the Rev. Dr. Mason, the congregation elected his son, the Rev. John M. Mason, D. D. who had gone to Europe to complete his theological studies in Britain. He immediately returned to New York, and was ordained to the pastoral charge of the Associate Reformed Congregation in that city. He possessed an expanded mind, and saw that no church was likely to become permanently influential or powerful, without a learned ministry, and that the means of theological education in the United States were limited. Through his exertions chiefly, a theological school was formed under the patronage of the synod to which he was atiached, and located in New-York. He was himself appointed the theological professor. A considerable number of young men from various parts of the Associate Reformed Church, and from other denominations of presbyterians, soon commenced the study of theology in this seminary. Their Confession of Faith, the same with that formed at Westminster, except on the article of civil government, was taken as the text book in divinity. The whole influence of this institution, was of course, thrown into the Calvinistic scale.
At Dr. Mason's return from Europe, a considerable number of clergy from the Burgher synod of Scotland, emigrat
ed to America, and one of them, Mr. Forrest, was settled in the pastoral charge of the Second Associated Reformed Congregation, of which the Rev. John X. Clarke, is now pastor.
This union, however, did not destroy the two bodies from which it was formed, as many both of the Associate Synod and the Reformed Synod, did not join it; hence both of them preserved their distinct organization. In New-York, there was a congregation organized on Covenanting principles, and Mr. Alexander M‘Leod, (now the Rev. Dr. M'Leod) was ordained to the pastoral charge of it. This gentleman is descended from the family of M‘Leod, in the Hebrides. His father was a minister of the Scottish established church. He is mentioned in the Tour of Dr. Johnson to the Hebrides; who says of him, that he would have done honour to a more elevated station than the one which he filled.* Young M‘Leod, was early devoted to the ministry, and with a view to it commenced his education. When young, he emigrated to America, and completed his collegiate education at Union college, after having connected himself with the Reformed Presbyterian church. He received the honours of his class. Soon after he began to preach, his talents as a preacher, and the argumentative character of his eloquence, procured him offers from wealthy congregations, which he rejected; resolving not to forsake the small body with which he had connected himself, as he was fully convinced, that the system of principles which they held, was founded on the sacred oracles.
Soon after his settlement in New York, he published a sermon against negro slavery, on account of which Gregoire of France, couples him with Thomas Jefferson, as a defender of the rights of humanity. He also published a catechism on ecclesiastical government, in which he vindicates presbyterianism. It was soon republished in Europe. This catechism was the means of awakening a controversy between
* In some copies the name of his grandfather is inserted by mistake.