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the lowest order ; the instructors want instruction, and through a long and shameful neglect of all the arts and sciences, our common speech is extremely corrupt, and the evidences of a bad taste, both as to thought and language, are visible in all our proceedings, public and private.' This was undoubtedly a just representation at the time when it was written; and although much attention has since been paid to education in fome populous towns, the observations are now but too juftly applicable to the country at large. There are many flourishing acadenies and grammar schools, lately established in the state ; but many parts of the country are either unfurnished with schools, or the schools which they have are kept by low ignorant men, and are worse than none ; for children had better remain in ignorance than be ill taught. But a great proportion of the United States are in the same situation in regard to schools.
King's-College, in the city of New York, was principally founded by the voluntary contributions of the inhabitants of the province, allilted by the general assembly, and the corporation of Trinity church, in the year 1754, a royal charter being then obtained, incorporating a number of gentleinen therein mentioned, by the name of " The governors of the college of the province of New York, in the city of New York, in America;" and granting to them and their successors for ever, amongst various other rites and privileges, the power of conferring all such degrees, as are usually conferied by either of the English universities.
By the charter it was provided that the president shall always be a member of the church of England, and that a form of prayer collected from the liturgy of that church, with a particular prayer for the college, shall be daily used, morning ard evening, in the college chapel; at the same time, no teft of their religious persuasion was required from any of the fellow's, professors or tutors; and the advantages of education were equally extended to students of all denominations.
The building (which is only one third of the intended structure) confifts of an elegant stone edifice, three complete stories high, with four stair cases, twelve apartments in each, a chapel, hall, library, museum, anatomical theatre and a school for experimental philosophy.
All students, but those in medicine, before the revolution, were obliged to lodge and diet in the college, unless they were particularly exempted by the governors or president and for the security of their morals, &c. the edifice was surrounded by an high fence, which also encloses a large court and garden ; and a porter used constantly to attend at the front gate, which was locked at ten o'clock each evening in summer, and at nine in winter ;
after which hours, the naines of all that came in were delivered weekly to the president.
The college is fituated on a dry gravelly foil, about 150 yards from the bank of Hudson's river, which it overlooks ; commanding a most extensive and beautiful prospect.
Since the revolution ihe literature of the state has engaged the attention of the legislature. In one of their late sessions an act passed constituting twenty-one genilemen (of whom the governor and lieutenant governor, for the time being, are members ex officiis) a body corporate and politic, by the name and stile of. The regents of the university of the state of New York. They are entrusted with the care of literature in general
in the state, and have power to grant charters of incorporation for erecting colleges and academies throughout the stateare to visit these inttitutions as often as they shall think proper, and report their state to the legislature once a year. All degrees above that of master of arts are to be conferred by the regents.
King's college, which we have already described, is now called COLUMBIA COLLEGE. This college, by an act of the legislature passed in the spring of 1787, was put under the care of twenty four gentlemen, who are a body corporate, by the name and style of The truitees of Columbia college in the city of New-York. This body poffeffes all the powers vested in the governors of King's college, before the revolution, or in the regents of the university, since the revolution, fo far as their power respected this inftitution, except the conferring of the higher degrees. No regent can be a trustee of any particular college or academy in the state,
The college edifice has received no additions since the peace. The funds produce, anually, about £ 1000. The library and museum were destroyed during the war. The philofophical apparatus cost about 300 guineas. Until the revolution the college did not flourish. The plan upon which it was originally founded, was contracted, and its situation unfavourable. The former objection is removed, but the latter muit remain. . It has between thirty and forty students, in four classes. The number for several years has been increasing The officers of inttruction and immediate government are, a president, professor of languages, professor of mathematics, professor of logic and rhetoric, professor of natural philosophy, professor of geography, and a professor of moral philosophy.
There are many other profeffors belonging to the university, but their professorships are merely honorary.
There are several academies in the state. One is at Flatbush, in King's county, on Long-Ifland, four miles from Brooklyn-ferry. It is situated in a pleasant, healthy village. The building is large, handsome, and convenient, and is called Erasmus Hall
. The academy is fourishing under the care of a principal and other fubordinate instructors. The trustees of this inftiiution have been incorporated by the regents of the university
There is a very flourishing academy at East Hampton, on the east end of Long-land ; to which also the regents have giv.na charter of incorporation by the name of CLINTON ACADEMY.
There are other academies, or more properly grammar schools, in different parts of the state. There are several in the city of New York, furnished with able instructors ; one at Kingston, in Uliter county; one at Goshen, in the county of Orange ; two at Albany ; one at Skenectady ;one at Lansingburgh, and another at West Chester. None of these have yet applied for charters. Besides these, in many parts of the state there are schools erected, which are maintained by the voluntary contributions of the parents. A spirit for literary improvement, is evidently diffufing its influence throughout the state.
Religion.] The constitution of this state provides for the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profeflion and worship, without discrimination or preference, within the state, for all mankind. Provided that the
liberty of conscience hereby granted, fhail not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the itate.'
The various religious denominations in this state, with the number of their respective congregations, are as follow:
Denominations. No. Congregations. Denominations. No. Congregations. Englith Presbyterian,
87 | German Lutheran, Duich Reformed,
66 | Moravians, (Including fix of the German Methodists, language.)
| Roman Catholic, Baptits,
39 ! Jews, Epifcopalians,
26 | Shakers,
unknown. Friends, or Quakers.
. 201 The presbyterian churches are governed by congregational, presbyterial, and fynodical assemblies. These assemblies poflets no civil jurisdiction. Their power is wholly moral or spiritual, and that only minitterial and declarative. They possess the right of requiring obedience to the laws of Christ, and of excluding the disobedient from the privileges of the church, and the powers requisite for obtaining evidence and inflicting cenfure, but the higheit punishment, to which their authority extends, is to exclude the contumacious and impenitent from the congregation of believers.
The church leffion, which is the congregational assembly, consists of the minifter or inipilters and elders of a particular congregation. This body is invelted with the spiritual government of the congregation.
A fresbytery consists of all the minifters, and one ruling elder from each congregation, within a certain diitrict. Three ministers and three elders, conttitutionally convened, are competent to do business. This body have cognizance of all things that regard the welfare of the particular churches within their bounds, which are not cognizable by the feslion. Also, they have a power of receiving and issuing appeals from the sellions of examining and licenfing candidates for the miniitry-of ordaining, setting, reinoying, or judging minitters -of resolving questions of doctrine or difcipline, and whatever else pertains to the spiritual concerns of the churches under their care.
A Synod is a convention of several presbyteries. The fynod have power to admit and judge of appeals, regularly brought up from the presbyteries -- to give their judgment on all references made to them, of an ecclefiaftical kind- to corice and regulate the proceedings of presbyteries, &c.
The highest judicatory of the presbyterian church is ftiled The general Council of the presbyterian church in the United States of America. This grand council is to consist of an equal delegation of bishops and elders from each presbytery within their jurisdiction, by the title, of commissioners to the general council. fourteen comunitioners make a quorum. The councii conititute the bond of union, peace, correspondence, and inutual confidence among all their churches ; ard have power to receive and issue all appeals and references which may regularly be brought before them from the inferior judicatories-to regulate and correct the proceedings of
the synods, &c.—Thus the whole presbyterian interest is judiciously combined and governed.
The fynods of New-York and Philadelphia, during their session at Philadelphia, in May, 1788, resolved themselves into four fynods, viz. The fynod of New-York; the synod of Philadelphia ; the synod of Virginia; and the fynod of Carolina. These fynods are to meet annually in their respective states, whence they take their names, and once a year, by their commissioners, in general council, at Philadelphia.
'There are number of Presbyterian churches, commonly called Seceedo ers, who have a separate ecclesiastical jurisdiction. These, as well as the other presbyterians, and the Dutch reformed churches, hold the doctrines of the gospel upon the Calvinistic plan, without any effential differences.
The Dutch reformed churches in this state are divided into four claffes ; viz. The claffis of New York, comprehending eighteen churches; the classis of Kingston, twenty-three churches; the classis of Albany, twentythree churches; a part of the classis of Hackinlak, four churches. These claffes, together with the claffis of Hackinfak and New-Brunswick, in New Jersey, compose the Dutch reformed fynod of New York and NewJersey. The claffes consist of ministers and ruling elders ; each claslis de Jegates two ministers and an elder to represent them in fynod. From the firit planting of the Dutch churches in New-York and New-Jersey, they have, under the direction of the classis of Amsterdam, been formed exactly upon the plan of the established church of Holland, as far as that is ecclesiastical. A strict correspondence is maintained between the Dutch reformed fynod of New-York and New-Jersey, and the synod of NorthHolland, and the clasis of Amsterdam. The acts of their fynods are mutually exchanged every year, and mutual advice is given and received in disputes respecting doctrinal points and church discipline.
The principles and conftitution of the Baptist churches have already been mentioned.
The Episcopalian churches hold the same principles –have the same mode of worship and church government -- and are in every other respect constituted upon
the same plan with the church of the same denomination in England.
For an account of the Friends and the Moravians, see Pennsylvania.
The Methodilt interest, though finall in this state, has greatly increased in the fouthern states fince the revolution. They have estimated their number at 37,800. But their numbers are so various in different places, at different times, that it would be a matter of no fmall difficulty to find out their exact amount. The late famous Mr. John Wesley has been called the Father of this religious sect. They warmly oppose the Calvinistic doctrines of election and final perfeverance, and maintain that finless perfection is attainable in this life. Their mode of preaching is entirely extemporaneous, very loud and animated, bordering on enthusiasm. They appear studiously to avoid connection in their discourses, and are fond of introducing pathetic stories, which are calculated to affect the tender paffions. Their manner is very solen:n, and their preaching is frequently attended with a surprising effect upon their audiences. Their churches are fupplied by their preachers in rotation.
The Shakers are a feet who sprung up in Europe. A part of them camne over from England to New-York in 1974, and being joined by others, they fettled at Nisqueaunia, above Albany, whence they spread their doctrines, and increased to a considerable number, but their interest is now fast declining. The late Anna Leese, whom they stiled the Elea Lady, was the head of ihis sect. Her followers asserted, that she was the woman spoken of in the twelfth chapter of the Revelation, and that she fpoke feventy-two tongues : And although these tongues were unintelligible to the living, the conversed with the dead who understood her language. They alledged also that she was the mother of all the Elect:--that the travailed for the whole world - that no blessing could descend to any person but only by and through her, and that in the way of her being poffefsed of their fins, by their confefling and repenting of them, one by one, according to her direction. The Elect Lady used to assert that she was immortal--that the day of judgment had commenced, and that she and her followers were already set to judge the world. But her death has indisputably proved that she was not immortal as to her bodily presence; and this circumttance, no doubt, has created suspicions in the ininds of some of her followers respecting some other of her affertions and doctrines, and occasioned them to renounce the scheme.
Their worship, if fuch extravagant conduct may be fo called, confifts principally in dancing, finging, leaping, clapping their hands, falling on their knees, and uttering themselves in groans and fighs, in a found relembling that of the roaring of water ; turning round on their heels with astonishing swiftness, to fhew, as they say, the power of God. All these gesticulations are performed in the most voilent and boitterous manner, and occasion, at intervals, a shuddering, not unlike that of a person in a ftrong fit of the ague. Hence they are called, not improperly, Shakers.
Before we leave this head, we inust inention, that in April, 1784, the legislature of this state paffed an act enabling all religious denominations to appoint truttees, not less than three, or more than nine, who shall be a body corporate, for tlie purpofe of taking care of the temporalities of their refpective congregations, and for the other purposes therein mentioned.
The miniiters of every denomination in the state are fupported by the voluntary contributions of the people, raised generally by subscription, or hy a tax upon the pews, except the Dutch churches in New-York, Albany, Skenectady, and Kingston, which have, except the two last, large ellates confirmed by a charter. The Episcopal church also in New York poffefs a very large estate in and near the city.
Constitution and Courts of Justice. The present constitution of the state was eitablished by convention, authorised for the purpose, April 20, 1777.
The supreme legislative powers of the state are vested in two branches, a Senate and Afsemhly. The members of the senate are elected by the free. holders of the itate, who possess freehold estates to the value of £.100, clear of debts. For the purpose of electing senators, the state is divided into four great districts, each of which chooses a certain number, viz.
New York, Southern district, i Suffolk,
Dutchefs, including the West Chester, King's,
Distric: counties of