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support of a Clergyman, and that each minister should receive a stated salary of not less than two hundred pounds a year besides. This Governor, upon his arrival in the plantation, convened a House of Burgesses, consisting of two delegates chosen by the people of every town, or plantation. This was the first legislative assembly ever convened in the county, and was strictly the representative of the people. This body set out the glebes required by the charter, and from that time Episcopacy became the established religion of the colony. Thus we see, that religion, education, and liberty, were the leading characteristics of the infant colony of Virginia, so long as the colony was left at liberty to manage its political concerns for itself. Nearly, if not quite all the obnoxious laws in regard to toleration, subsequently enacted, appear to have originated with the Company at home, and could rarely be enforced in the rigorous spirit demanded by the letter of the law. But all the noble designs of the generous hearted colonists were arrested, and the colony itself nearly destroyed, by the horrible massacre of 1622. And it deserves to be mentioned, that those who escaped, owed their preservation to the faithfulness of a converted Indian.
We have not the means of tracing the connection and dependence of the subsequent history of the Church in Virginia, owing to those sad deficiencies existing in her parochial annals, of which we have already spoken. This deficiency we trust will ere long be supplied to a considerable extent, by the faithful labors of one who has long given himself to this department of her history. That the plans of the pious founders of this colony were not executed in the spirit of those who conceived them, is too well known to need repetition. The rule of Governors from abroad, all of whom knew little, and many of whom cared less for the wishes and wants of the colony,—the indifference and irreligion of many a Clergyman whose learning and morals, even in that age of ignorance and laxity, were not sufficiently elevated to obtain employment at home, rendered independent of the colonists by the laws of the Company, led to distrust, disgust, and open opposition on the part of the colonists,-paralyzing, in a great measure, the zealous and devoted labors of those pious men who adorned alike the ministry of the Church, and the character of the Christian. So far as we can judge from the facts already known, we are authorized to infer, that had the colony of Virginia been permitted to govern itself without interference from the Company, its history would have been far different; and also, that had the Church enjoyed that Episco
pal supervision which belongs to the very idea of Episcopacy, the Church there would have been preserved from the day of darkness and desolation which subsequently came over it. But notwithstanding all these discouragements, the War of the Revolution found in this colony alone, one hundred and sixtyfour Churches and Chapels, with ninety-one Clergymen.
The colony of Virginia was the first to enjoy the services of the Bishop of London's Commissary,- Rev. Mr. Blair. He came to the colony as a missionary, in 1685; was appointed Commissary about 1689, in which capacity he served the Church with great zeal and fidelity. The Commissary, it may be remarked, was the Bishop's substitute, so far as his authority could be delegated. He could discipline, and judge in ecclesiastical matters, but could neither Ordain nor Confirm.
PENNSYLVANIA. Though it was not until many years later, that the Church of England had any representative in this colony, yet there was a branch of the Reformed Catholic Church planted here as early as 1636. A colony from Sweden, with a Church duly organized by a ministry of Apostolical descent, was planted on the shores of the Delaware this year, and though then differing from the Church of England in some points of doctrine,-(the Church in Sweden adopting the Lutheran Creed,)-has since been united to the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, and consequently, the Church in Pennsylvania must be considered as dating from this period. The plan of this colony seems to have been matured, if not conceived by Gustavus Adolphus, one of the most enlightened and liberal kings of that age. intended as an asylum for all those whom war or bigotry had made fugitives,-as a common benefit to the whole Protestant world, -indeed, to all oppressed Christendom. But circumstances beyond human direction, caused the colony and Church to languish on in silence and neglect, until 1680, when the whole county was granted to William Penn, by the King of England.
The policy of Penn was equally liberal and free with that of Gustavus Adolphus, and Pennsylvania became the resort of the oppressed in Christendom, according to the original design of the Swedish King. The first Clergyman of England in the colony was Rev. Mr. Clayton, Rector of Christ Church, Philadelphia, appointed in 1695. In 1700, Rev. Evan Evans was appointed a missionary to the same colony. He converted more than five hundred Quakers to the Church, in the space of two years. Several parishes were formed in Pennsylvania and on the western shore of Jersey, by the in
defatigable labors of this zealous and devoted man. The Rev. Thomas Crawford was appointed missionary to Dover, 1704. He baptized over two hundred and thirty persons of various ages, in two years after his arrival, within his own mission, besides many in the adjoining counties. “Fifteen very decent Churches” had been built by the members of the Church of England, previous to 1724, besides two belonging to the Swedes. Many circumstances of interest are known, relative to the Church in Pennsylvania at this early period, and yet we have not that fullness of detail necessary to give connection and dependence to the whole. We trust, however, that the links which are wanting will be supplied by the zeal of the antiquary, and the faithfulness of the Churchman. The design with which this colony was founded, and the freedom which has ever characterized all its institutions, renders it an interesting subject of inquiry, both to the Christian and the Statesman.
The Rev. Mr. Evans, in all his communications, as many others had done before him, urged upon the attention of the authorities at home, the importance and necessity of having Bishops consecrated for America, and nearly every devoted missionary of the Venerable Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts, repeated the opinion, and reiterated the petition for their appointment, until the Revolution made us different nations. This subject had attracted serious attention before that time, and twice seemed likely to be realized. On the accession of Charles II. to the throne of England, Lord Clarendon prevailed upon him to nominate a Bishop for Virginia, and a patent was actually made for the Consecration of Rev. Alexander Murray to that Diocese. But the resignation of Clarendon changed the aspect of affairs, and a ministry consisting of two Papists, two infidels and one Presbyterian, was quite willing to overthrow a project for perpetuating a Protestant Episcopacy in the colonies. During the reigns of James II. and William and Mary, nothing was attempted on the subject; but upon the accessson of Queen Anne the prospects of the Episcopate seemed to brighten. The Venerable Society petitioned the Queen and received a satisfactory reply. Arrangements were made in 1712 for creating and endowing four Bishoprics at once, and a house was purchased in Burlington as a residence for one of the Bishops. But the death of the Queen again dissipated the hopes of the Society and the colonists, and delayed for a long time, the accomplishment of their wishes. But the idea was never relinquished, and continued to be advocated by Berk
ley, Butler, Sherlock, Secker, Gibson, Tennison, and other Bishops of the Church, with many of the inferior Clergy, and laity. In 1715, Archbishop Tennison bequeathed £1,000 for the support of an American Episcopate,-and a like sum was given by an unknown donor about 1718. In 1720, Dugald Campbell, Esq. gave £500 for the same purpose, and Lady Elizabeth Hastings added a like sum a few years after.
In 1724, an event occurred which induced the Bishop of London to press the subject of the American Episcopate, more strongly than ever, upon the attention of the Minister of State. In 1720, Mr. Talbot, for many years a missionary in the colonies went to England, and while there, Rev. Dr. Welton was consecrated by Ralph Taylor, a non-juring Bishop of England, who, with the assistance of Dr. Welton, consecrated Mr. Talbot ; and both immediately set sail for America. Dr. Welton was invited to Christ Church, Philadelphia, -Mr. Talbot still continued to reside at Burlington. This circumstance becoming known, Dr. Welton was ordered to return to England, and Mr. Talbot was dismissed from office. Though the act of these men admits of no justification, their character and history authorize the conclusion, that it was an overpowering sense of the want of the Church here, and not any feeling of personal ambition that led to this unjustifiable step. The injustice done to the Churchmen of the colonies, by the authorities at home, in refusing them the Episcopate, is rendered more apparent, by the recollection, that as early as 1749, consecrations of Moravian Bishops in America were authorized and allowed by Act of Parliament, and that as early as 1769, Martin Mack was consecrated a Bishop of that Church, at Bethlehem, in Pennsylvania, by Nathaniel Seidel and Mathew Hehl, two Bishops of that communion; and again in 1771, John Michael Graff was consecrated to the same office by the above named persons. So also, there was a Romish Bishop in Quebec before 1749, and in 1764 one was permitted to sail from England to that place, and to reside there without molestation ;* though Dr. Welton had been ordered home the moment his Consecration was known.
The policy of the English government towards her colo
* It is a fact worthy to be noted, that Pennsylvania, which was originally designed as a refuge for the oppressed of Christendom, had the first non-juring Bishop in the country, in the person of Dr. Welton,—the first Moravian Bishop consecrated in this country, in Mr. Mack,--the first Bishop consecrated by Eng. lish Bishops, in Bishop White, and we believe had the first resident Romish Bishop in the United States, although we are not now able to recall our authority for this impression.
nies, in matters of religion, contrasts most strikingly with that of the other governments of Europe. Though the King of Spain had carefully excluded the power of the Pope from his American dominions, he nevertheless established the Romish Church in all its completeness, and as early as 1649, the Spanish Church in America, reckoned one Patriarch, six Archbishops, thirty-two Bishops, three hundred and forty-six Prebends, two Abbotts, five Royal Chaplains, eight hundred and forty converts
. What would have been the result, had England paid the same attention to the spiritual wants of her colonists, it is impossible to estimate ; but that the Church in this land would have been saved from many an hour of darkness and distress, may safely be asserted.
It may be proper to mention, in this place, a few of the leading particulars, relative to the manner in which the Episcopate was eventually obtained. Previous to the Revolution, the Congregationalists and Presbyterians had made the most unrelenting opposition to the Consecration of Bishops for America, seconded by some Churchmen in the Middle States, and early as 1772, they had obtained assurance from the Ministers of State, that no Bishop should be consecrated for America, without the consent of the Dissenters here. * In 1782, a plan for a sort of temporary substitute for Episcopacy was published, which gave great alarm to northern Churchmen, and accordingly, the moment peace was declared, they elected a Bishop, furnished him with testimonials, and sent him to England privately, for Consecration, in April, 1783. On his arrival there, Dr. Seabury found his way beset by many more difficulties than he had anticipated. The Bishops could not consecrate without a special Act of Parliament authorizing them to do it, and this was refused. After waiting in England more than a year, with no prospect of success, the Clergy of Connecticut directed him to proceed to Scotland, where the way had been opened for his Consecration by the kind offices of Rev. George Berkley. His Consecration by the Bishops of Scotland,
November, 1784, shed new light on this point, in the minds of English politicians, and Granville Sharp, Esq., the fast friend of the American Episcopate, laid hold of it as a means of arousing them to a sense of duty upon a subject to which they had before been deaf and callous. The Episcopal Church of Scotland at that time, was particularly obnoxious to British statesmen, and some who could not be operated upon by the
The authority for this statement is President Stiles.- Lit. Diary, (MSS.) Vol. III. May 27.