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amongst the masters of the world, in his days, merely from a want of true religion. The very catalogue is enough to make one shudder, and may be found in the first chapter of his Epistle to the Romans. He tells us they were filled with all unrighteousness, &c. &c. Where there is oppression, and no sense of religion, vice and immorality must abound.

Having remarked on the low state of Christianity amongst the Slaves in Jamaica, or rather the absence of almost all Christianity but the name, three or four parishes excepted, I should present the public with a very imperfect view of the moral and religious state of things in our colonies, did I not make some further observations on the clergy themselves. And this I do principally from this motive; viz. because the whole body has been attacked from more than one quarter in Jamaica, and I wish to remove the odium from those who do not deserve it, and place it where it ought to rest.

I have already observed, that many of the clergy (rectors and curates) were anxious to advance the knowledge of religion in their parishes, but had been in a great measure prevented through the too general profanation of the Sabbath, and the labouring and marketing of the Negroes on that day. If the clergy open their churches, and attend regularly to officiate, they ought not to

be blamed because the white inhabitants do not choose to attend, and will not give their Slaves time to do so. Most of the clergy do attend on the Sunday mornings, and would in the afternoons also, were they encouraged; but they cannot compel men to do as they wish, nor is it quite safe for them to preach against certain customs or vices, such as Sabbath-breaking, fornication, &c. Some few, who have attempted a reformation in these things, have incurred much displeasure, and have been stigmatized with the name of Methodists; some members of their congregations have, moreover, in consequence, deserted them. Still it is much to be wished, that a greater number of regular and pious clergymen of the church of England could be induced to go out to our western colonies; as, from their learning and character, they would certainly produce more effect among the whites; and from their humanity and piety, it is to be hoped, amongst the Slaves also. For want of such men, some have been ordained heretofore that would not otherwise have been admitted into the church, and several of whom (I am sorry a sense of duty obliges me to say) have not been so attentive to their arduous duties as they should have been. This has been the case also since the passing of the Curate's Bill; for £500 a year, was an inducement to some colonial

gentlemen, who could not acquire so good an income any other way, to offer themselves, and through the imprudence and remissness of some of the rectors, they got testimonials signed, through which means they have obtained ordination.

To two or three that presented testimonials for signature, some of the rectors I know objected, and refused to sign the same; but others, from friendship or the requests of interested friends, were induced to affix their names.

In one case, a gentleman who stands high at the government-house, and takes nearly as much power upon himself as the governor, sent to the late rector of Spanish-Town a form of testimonials for a candidate for holy orders, with a request that he would put his name to it, which (the old gentleman told me himself) he did with reluctance; but remarked, that a request from the great man was law.*

Through such means as these, several Creole gentlemen on half-pay, and clerks, not too well qualified, have obtained ordination, and hold situations which the most pious men would almost shrink from, when considering how great an account they must render to a merciful but just Judge, for the charge of so many thousands of unconverted souls; so that the good and pious Prelate, whose office it is to ordain for the * Note 14. See Appendix.


colonies, has, from the best and most Christian intentions, been imposed upon; (with all deference and reverence I say it;) having been taught to believe that every one recommended was a religious person, when self-interest only, or a provision from the income of a promised living or curacy was the principal inducement, as the subsequent conduct of some of them has sufficiently proved.

One of these curates was suspended by His Majesty's Ecclesiastical Commissaries, for an improper sermon preached in Kingston Church; but in a few days after he was appointed to another curacy in a different part of the island. He did very little duty there, and shortly after this appointment he was owner of a small vessel which traded to Kingston, and was regularly consigned to a well-known merchant there, since a bankrupt. This however was not profitable enough, as may be supposed; for he went on board of her himself, made a voyage in her to Cuba, and returned safe and prosperous with an assorted cargo, some part of which, (I was credibly informed,) was exposed for sale in his own parish, not in his name, but for his account. The only punishment he incurred for this disgraceful conduct, was the loss of his salary for the time he was absent, through the vestry of the parish. This thoughtless Creole was only

in deacon's orders, though he managed, after some time, to get testimonials signed to enable him to take priest's orders also, and was on his passage home for that purpose; but the vessel in which he embarked never reached England, as it was wrecked, and the poor young man, I am sorry to add, perished, with nearly all the others on board.

Two or three of the half-pay gentlemen also have done but little duty and less good; for when they do officiate, it is in that careless and indevout manner, that the few who attend them are not benefited. One of them, lately an ensign, had a private house fitted up by order of the vestry, in a very large parish, where he officiated once a fortnight; but it being in a situation where but few of the Negroes attended, (as not many properties were in the neighbourhood,) another and more eligible place was selected and fitted up for divine service; but though he was requested by the rector and some of the vestry to officiate once every other Sunday, there also, he would not do it, as he said the fatigue was too great for him. The consequence was that some of the vestrymen were dissatisfied, (not always the case in Jamaica,) and one of the most active of them came to me and requested I would go up to the Mountain-chapel for a few Sundays, or otherwise, he said, if divine service were not

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