The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941 Page: 389
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seriously and has availed himself of sound materials. The
book is apparently a dissertation.
Mr. Farish undertakes the study of the relation of Southern
Methodism to social reform during the period from 1865 to 1900.
During this period the Methodists ranked first among the re-
ligious groups in the Southern states. The 1890 census showed
a somewhat larger Baptist membership in the South, but the
Methodists had more property investments by eight millions of
dollars. By its organization into conferences and its supervision
by an intinerant episcopate, the Methodist Church had means
of bringing pressure to bear upon preachers and members.
During this period from twelve to twenty weekly papers were
published by the denomination in the South; and nine per cent
of Methodist communicants subscribed to the church papers,
the largest percentage of subscribers in any denomination ex-
cept the Presbyterian. Moreover, there were Methodist insti-
tutions of learning in every part of the Southern states, ninety-
five of them by 1878. By means of these agencies the Church
exercised an influence on Southern opinion in the thirty-five
years following Appomattox which deserves the careful study
that has been given to it.
Mr. Farish's method seems sound. He has not contented
himself with official statements but has made a careful study
of the articles and letters contributed to the church press and
the reports of discussions in Annual and General Conferences.
In this way he has been able to gather a large amount of
valuable data concerning the currents of opinion in the entire
membership of the Southern Methodist Church. He has made
use of the usual sources for Methodist history and a decent se-
lection of other materials.
Part of the dissension between the Northern and Southern
branches of the Methodist Church which led to the separation
in 1844 was based on a fundamental difference of views on the
theory of the relation of Church and State. On one side was
the belief that the limits of the Church's activities were definite-
ly and distinctly defined by the Scriptures. The second theory
gave to the Scriptures a less strict interpretation and to the
Church a broader humanitarian mission. The theoretical ques-
tion, of course, became a living issue in the matter of slavery.
The Southern Church held that slavery was a civil institution
and that the Church had no connection with it except to attempt
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941, periodical, 1941; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146052/m1/428/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.