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The results of their operations in the United States may be understood from the amount of money appropriated to the different mission establishments, and from the reports of the missionaries in this country.
The money sent to the United States by this society since its organization, is as follows: In 1822,.. 6,893 francs. In 1838,.
267,559 francs. 1823, 26,000
771,264 1829, 121,340 1845,
674,868 1830, 116,970 1846,.
660,210 1831, 126,470 1847,
409,322 1832, 114,800 1848,
478,175 1835,145,670 1851,
452,422 1836, 220,758 1852,
The volumes contain much that is interesting on the subject of Romanism and Protestantism in the United States, but we can only refer to portions of the subject. Some of the changes are thus alluded to.* “Sixty years have elapsed since the Amer. ican Episcopate had its origin. Its steps have been that of a giant. In 1791, Mr. Carroll held his first diocesan synod, having all his priests, amounting to twenty-two in number, to assist him. The enumeration of the Catholics in the United States gave the following result: In Maryland, 16,000; in Pennsylvania, 7,000; in the rest of the United States, 1,500. With the exception of a single convent, there was no religious or ecclesiastical community, no Catholic college, seminary, or school. The few chapels which then existed were only cabins, or private houses, hired for divine worship. Nowt we have in place of one bishopric, thirty Episcopal sees; instead of twentytwo missionaries, eleven hundred priests ; instead of a few poor
* Annales, Vol. XXII, page 336, 1850.
chapels, thirteen hundred churches; in place of the entire absence of all educational and charitable establishments, we have twenty-six seminaries, nine religious orders, twenty-three communities of priests, thirty-four colleges managed by ecclesiastics, fifty-eight convents, eighty-six boarding schools for girls, more than a hundred benevolent societies, and hospitals and asylums without number, which prosper through the devotedness of virgins consecrated to God; finally, to the small band of twenty-four thousand five hundred Catholics, has succeeded an imposing body of two millions of brethren."
“Another difference worth noticing between the two periods, is that formerly America was Protestant in name and fact, and now it is only so in name. Its eighteen millions of dissenters may be thus classified : only four millions are attached to all the innumerable sects which swarm in the United States, and no one sect, taken by itself, equals in number the Catholic church; the remaining fourteen millions have not yet chosen their religion, but hope to do so before they die. Judging from what is said by themselves, our faith will gather more than any other from this waving crop. It results from these circumstances that Protestantism recedes as Catholicism advances in America, and that our church at present holds in the American mind the place of honor.” As an illustration of the development of Catholicism in the United States, the diocese of Bardstown, (Kentucky,) “ the cradle of religion in the West," is selected. They say: "In this diocese, since 1836 a secondary ecclesiastical school has been added to the principal seminary ; thirty new churches have been built with the assistance of Protestant subscriptions; three religious orders of females have been called to direct the education of young girls; eleven colleges or schools are the glory of Catholicism, and hasten its progress ; a charity for orphans has been established, and three new dioceses have been formed out of the dismemberment of Bardstown." Of the influence of their schools they say:* "Nothing tends more to bring back the Protestants to the unity of the faith, than our schools, where dissenting parents are glad to place their children. In leaving these establishments, where no other proselytism than that of example is used, the young American girls carry with them, if not the faith, at least the pious remembrance of their teachers; they love to speak of the virtues which they have witnessed, and to defend them against any who ignorantly attack them. By and by reflection ripens these germs of grace, and leads the pupil, under the convictions of childhood, to the altar of her teachers. Other conversions are accomplished with greater labor, and are the fruit of persevering study, of weariness with, and disgust of, error, of the struggles of the conscience of man in search of truth."
* Annales, Vol. XXIII, page 107.
“The liberty which all sects enjoy in the United States, is regarded as favorable to Romanism, and fatal to sects, because the latter, running to extremes, are divided and subdivided continually, until they retain no common bond, but a hatred of Romanism, which is destined soon to disappear.”
The principal causes of our losses, says Bishop England,' are 1. The great influx of Catholic emigrants into a country where no fit preparation is made for their worship, and where, on the contrary, many obstacles are interposed. 2. The want of establishments for instructing Catholic children and orphans in the religion of their fathers. 3. The want of a clergy numerous enough for the people, and sufficiently acquainted with the language of the country, and with the spirit of the laws and government of the nation, to act understandingly. 4. The want of confidence between different classes of emigrants, who, although they have the same faith, are separated by different habits and interests. 5. The activity, the pecuniary resources, and well concerted efforts of the different Protestant societies, who, however much they differ in their faith, are always united in opposition to Catholicism. Mention is made, t also, of the instruction of the children in the public schools, where they inevitably lose their faith; of the power of the
* Annales, Vol. XXIII, page 112. + Annales, Vol. X, pages 271 and 156..
trustees over the property of the church ; and of the sale of the seats to the worshipers, as specially injurious to the Catholic interest.
Some of the impressions given of Protestantism have been already alluded to. One writer in giving an account of the Protestant sects, mentions* as the principal, the Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Shakers, New Lights, Universalists, Deists, and the followers of Robert Owen. To illustrate their faith and practice, he dwells at some length on an immersion scene in one of the streams of Kentucky, on some of the extravagancies of a camp meeting, and the dances of the Shakers.
A more elaborate noticet of Protestantism in the United States gives the following view. “The number of sects increases here incredibly, because there is no restraint on their multiplication. Some of the principal are Episcopalians, Quakers, Presbyterians, Unitarians, Universalists, Sacramentarians, Adamites, Methodists, Swedenborgians, Shakers, Generationists, Moravians, Groaners, Jumpers, Tunkers, Lutherans, Calvinists, &c., &c. Each of these sects is divided into many others, as Presbyterians and anti-Presbyterians, predestinarian and anti-predestinarian Presbyterians, &c., &c.”
6 In New York there are but four churches for a Catholic population of more than thirty thousand persons, and there are ninety-five places of Worship for one hundred and sixtyfive thousand Protestants. This prodigious number is in proportion not to the number of the population, but to the nnm. ber of the sects, since a sect which has but one thousand adherents needs a place of worship as well as one which has two thousand."
“ The Americans look on religion as an affair of propriety and fashion. There are, therefore, sects for the higher classes of society, for the middle class, for the common people, and even for the lowest classes."
“The negroes and mulattoes, for example, are all Methodists. If a man has fortune and education, if he fills an important
* Annales, Vol. III, page 211.
† Annales, Vol. IV, page 652, 1830.
office in the government, we may conclude that he is an Episcopalian, or at least, a Presbyterian, Quaker, or Unitarian. It is as incongruous for a poor man to be a member of one of the aristocratic sects of Protestantism as to have a carriage and a footman. The high prices at which sittings are rented in the Episcopal and Presbyterian places of worship repel the common people, who would not dare, indeed, to mingle with people of quality; they prefer sects in which they stand on an equal footing, and in whose places of worship they can obtain seats at a trifling expense.”
“The Methodist sect is undoubtedly the most popular and the most numerous; it owes its origin and progress to the fanaticism of its convulsions and cryings, its leapings, and other means of this sort, which electrify nervous people, and frighten the imagination of the populace. These pretended ministers are very ignorant, and can only influence ignorant people like themselves. In Europe, a man who has some command of language, without education, becomes a charlatan; in America he becomes a preacher. He collects a crowd around him, especially negroes and mulattoes, threatens eternal punishment, and promises the happiness of heaven, and all this with much address, and with many prodigious leaps and wonderful tricks, which the spectators frequently regard as miracles. Sometimes a butcher, baker or grocer, adopts this course to attract customers to his shop, and is not only enabled to sell his goods, but obtains votes for public office, and, it may be, becomes mayor of the town.”
“What particularly favors such a scheme is the pleasure which the Americans take in hearing preaching; they go to a sermon as others go to a show; the longest discourses do not weary them. We beg our readers to believe that this account is not exaggerated; we have simply narrated facts. It is proper to say, however, that these things are true only of the Methodists, Baptists, and other sects of the lower class, which are the most numerous. The Episcopal, Quaker, Presbyterian, and Unitarian ministers, all indeed who belong to the sects of good society, are educated and take degrees in the Universities. An idea may be formed from this description of the frightful in