Sidor som bilder

plan, which he had long had much at heart, for improving the condition of the Negro Slaves employed in the cultivation of the West-India Islands, and particularly for their better instruction in religious knowledge. As he has left in manuscript the following statement of the causes and consequences of that decree, it is here inserted.

"In 1691, the great Mr. Boyle left a sum of money, amounting to «£.5,400. for the advancement of the Christian religion amongst infidels. With this sum an estate was afterwards purchased at Brafferton, near Boroughbridge in Yorkshire. The Earl of Burlington, and the Bishop of London for the time being, were constituted trustees of the charity; and in 1693, they directed that the profits of the estate should be paid to the President of William and Mary College, in Virginia, to be by them applied to the education and instruction of a certain number of Indian children. This appointment was confirmed by a decree of the Court of Chancery in 1698. The charity continued to be so applied till the breaking out of the American war, soon after which the then Bishop of London forbad the Agent of the College to remit any more money to Virginia. After the peace, the College claimed the rents of the estate, and all the arrears that had accumulated, which, with the sale of some timber, amounted to a very large sum. This was resisted by Bishop Lowth; and on my succeeding to the See of London, a regular suit in Chancery was commenced between me and the College in Virginia. The question was, whether they, being now separated from this kingdom, and become a



foreign, independent state, were entitled to the benefit of this charity. It was the first question of the kind, that had occurred in this country since the American Revolution, band was therefore in the highest degree curious and important. The Chancellor, Lord Thurlow, decided against the College. He excluded them from all share in the charity, and directed that the "Trustees should offer a plan for the appropriation of the charity to some other purpose. In consequence of this decree, I gave in to the Master in Chancery, Mr. Orde, Emy plan) for the application of Mr. Boyle's charity, and proposed for its object, “the conversion and religious, instruction of the Negroes in the British West-India Islands.’ This has been subsequently approved by the Lord Chancellor, and thereiwill now be a revenue of near .£.1,000. per annum, applied to that purpose."

joizon I a reWenue

To this, his own account of the origin and establishment of that Society, I am enabled to add from my own personal observation and knowledge, that he not only in his capacity of President took a leading part in all its transactions, but that he was indefatigable in his efforts to promote the objects of it. With the view of rendering the Scriptures more generally useful to the Negroes, he undertook to make a selection of such parts, both of the Old and New Testament, as appeared to him best adapted to their understandings and condition. He spared no pains in procuring able and conscientious ministers to fill the office of missionaries. He corresponded frequently with them on the state of their

mission. mission. He endeavoured by all the means in his power to conciliate the good-wrH of the planters, to remove the apprehensions they expressed, and to convince them of the policy as well as humanity of educating and instructing their slaves. In short, he did all that the most active and unwearied zeal could do, to advance in every possible way the great purposes of the institution. If, after all, its success fell short of his hopes, as I have heard him often lament that it did, the failure is to be ascribedt not to want of effort in him, but to difficulties, which, though in some instances overcome, he found in others insuperable. The chief of these always has been, and still continues to be, an invincible reluctance on the part of the proprietors and planters of estates in our West-India colonies, effectually to proi 2 mote

« FöregåendeFortsätt »