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amid such a heterogeneous mass of sectaries and Papists. One of the most firm friends of education and the Church in this colony, was Sir Francis Nicholson, sent over as Governor in 1694. During the ten years of his administration, more than thirty Churches were erected, to which he was a large contributor. He also procured the passage of a law, establishing a free school in every county.
Of the early Clergy of Maryland, the names of only a few are now known, and if it be not already too late, we trust that some true son of the Church in that Diocese, will rescue from oblivion, what may yet be gleaned from the scanty records of the past. The object is as interesting as it is important, and though few are willing to undergo the labor and fatigue of the research, all will rejoice in the results which may be obtained. Fortunately, the name of Rev. Dr. Bray, the Bishop of London's Commissary in this colony has been preserved, and his memory should be cherished by all who take any interest in the cause of missions. He received his appointment in 1696, and immediately entered upon the duties of his office, with all the ardor of the devoted missionary. To his labors and influence the Churches in this country owe those libraries which furnished the early Clergy with the means of deepening their piety, strengthening their faith, and vindicating the truth with such success. To his energy and untiring zeal, we owe also the establishment of those two great mediums of British benevolence,- The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge ; and, The Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts. To both of these societies, and to the last in particular, the Church in this country owes a debt of gratitude it can never over pay.
MASSACHUSETTS. Though the first Church in this colony was not established until 1680, there had ever been Churchmen among the inhabitants. The ambiguous language employed by the early colonists, deceived some then, as it has since, in regard to their real character ; and when John and Samuel Brown,—the one a lawyer and the other a merchant, objected to the abolition of the use of the Book of Common Prayer, (1628,) they were sent from the colony by Endicott, as seditious persons. So also, the Rev. William Blackstone, who left England long before Winthrop and his company, in order to escape “the power of the Lords Bishops," was compelled to remove to Rhode Island in order to rid himself of the tyranny of the Lords Brethren." Again, Mr. William Vassall
, one of the Assistants, who came over with Governor Winthrop, was also suspected of being an Episcopalian, and VOL. 1.—NO. 1.
because of the annoyance he received on this, or some other account, soon left the colony, and afterwards settled in that of Plymouth. So also, Mr. William Coddington, another of the Assistants, becoming disgusted by the persecuting spirit manifested by the colonial authorities, left Massachusetts and became the father of Rhode Island. At the very time when Pennsylvania was opened as a refuge to the fugitive and the oppressed, and Maryland was taking the ground of religious freedom to all, Massachusetts preached against toleration as a sin which would bring down the judgments of heaven upon the land. But narrow and cold as were Puritan views of liberty in New England; in New York and New Jersey, the most generous aspirations in favor of rational liberty have been cherished from the earliest times, and in Virginia, Georgia, and the Carolinas, the warmest love of freedom has been mingled with a high and romantic chivalry. The first settlers of New England had many noble virtues ; but the love of liberty, in any proper sense of the term, can not be reckoned among them.
In 1646, Robert Child, Thomas Burton, John Smith, Thomas Fowle, David Yale, Samuel Maverick, and John Dand, presented a Remonstrance and Petition” to the General Court of Massachusetts, asking for themselves and all the members of the Church of England and Scotland, permission to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences; in answer to which they were fined for sedition and contempt of government. On the accession of Charles II, a letter was sent by the King to this colony, highly gratifying to the colonists, except so much as required liberty of conscience for Churchmen as well as others, and which forbid their being molested because of the use of the Prayer Book. The colonial authorities being more dilatory in executing this part of the King's injunction than was deemed consistent with duty, the King sent four commissioners, in 1664, to hear and determine all points of difficulty, among whom was Samuel Maverick, Esq., son of the Samuel Maverick already mentioned. In 1679, several of the inhabitants of Boston petitioned the Bishop of London for assistance in establishing the services of the Church in that place. Upon application by the Bishop, the King ordered the erection of a Church, and in 1686, Rev. Mr. Ratcliffe came over as the minister of the new parish. Among the first members, are the names of Lydgett, Luscomb, White, McCartie, Ravenscroft
, Clerke, (Clark?) Turfery, (Durfey ?) Bankes, Bullivant, Proctour, Wissenduke, Brindley and Mallett. Mr. Ratcliffe was succeeded by Rev. Samuel Myles, who continued in the Rectorship of King's Chapel, (as the Church was called,) for many years. This was the only Church in Massachusetts until 1722, when Carist Church was built and placed under the charge of Rev. Dr. Cutler, late President of Yale College.
CAROLINA. The planting of the Carolinas took place in the last half of the seventeenth century, under circumstances which left religion to take care of itself, and no Church was formed there, until 1682, under Rev. Atkin Williamson, who had been in the colony some years previous. He died in the course of
a few years after, suffering much from poverty and bodily infirmity, and was succeeded in 1696, by Rev. Samuel Marshall; who also died in 1699. He was succeeded by Rev. Edward Marston, 1700. St. Philip's was the only Church existing at this time. All denominations of Christians were tolerated, and all but Papists permitted to exercise their own preferences in religious worship. The history of the Church in the Carolinas, during the first half of the eighteenth century, abounds with interesting occurrences, but as they do not fall within the scope of this article, they must be passed in silence. We can not forbear, however, to mention the name of Clement Hall, who labored in North Carolina from 1744, to 1759. Mr. Hall had been many years a resident in the colony, and for some time in the commission of the peace, before taking Orders. During the fifteen years of his ministry, he travelled about thirty-three thousand miles, and baptized over ten thousand persons. A more devoted, faithful, or successful missionary was never in the employ of the Venerable Society, and his memory ought to be cherished and revered by all, and especially by the Churchmen of North Carolina. Much of interest may yet be learned concerning him, besides what can be found in the reports of his labors preserved in the archives of the Propagation Society, and ought to be rescued from oblivion at once. We commend the subject to the attention of the Churchman and antiquary of that region. His biography would be especially seasonable at the present time.
New York. The first appearance of any Churchmen in this colony, was about 1693,—the first vestry of Trinity Church was elected about 1697. Rev. Mr. Vesey was chosen the first Rector, and discharged the duties of his office with faithfulness and zeal, for half a century. During a large part of this time, he was the Bishop of London's Commissary in this Province, conducting the ecclesiastical oversight thereof, with singular discretion and judgment.
Rhode Island. This colony had individual Churchmen within its limits from a very early period; but no Church was formed until 1698, or 9, when one was organized at Newport. This parish owed its existence to the exertions of Sir Francis Nicholson, of Maryland, of whose beneficence we have already spoken, who was also a contributor towards the erection of the Church, in 1702. The Organ of this parish, given by Dean (afterwards Bishop) Berkley, has continued to be used there to the present day.
The remark we have so often made in regard to the deficiencies of parochial annals, is applicable to the Carolinas, New York, and Rhode Island, without qualification ; for although much has been done, much more remains to be accomplished. The materials for filling up the chasms in our history are more abundant than many suppose, and if others would imitate the example of a patriarch of Carolina, whose unwearied diligence has collected materials sufficient for scores of brief Clerical biographies, we should not want the materials for a complete history. Let the history of every parish be written, if possible, by those who planted it. Let the circumstances which led to it, and the history of the individuals doing it, be distinctly ascertained and recorded,
not by guessing at the facts, but by careful examination and research. The importance of so doing is greater than most writers imagine. If the prophet who was to foretell the history of the Church, were to be unmindful of that inspiration from which he obtained his knowledge, he would receive the just condemnation of all. Now the historian who writes history falsely, through negligence or design, is equally culpable with the prophet in the case supposed. And why should it not be so ? Both are writing the history of God's dealings with his people,—the first obtaining his knowledge from revelation, the other from human records. The prophet and the historian, are, therefore, discharging the same office,-one looking forward on things to come, the other backward, upon things already past. Hence the duty of both is alike responsible, the reward of both alike glorious, and the doom of deceit equally perilous with both.