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NARRATIVE OF EVENTS
CONNECTED WITH THE
RISE AND PROGRESS
PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH
1606-1618. The Rev. Mr. Hunt, one of the first Colonists—His Prudence, Piety, and
Christian Temper-First Administration of the Sacrament in Virginia First Church at James Town ; Destruction by Fire-First recorded Marriage in the Colony_Church placed under Martial Law,Second Church at Henrico-Rev. Mr. Whitaker ; his Character; “ The Apostle of Virginia”-Baptism and Marriage of Pocahontas—Character of the first Clergymen-Instance of the Influence of the Clergy.
AMONG the early records which communicate the history of the permanent settlement of Virginia, is to be found the name of a clergyman, whose modest worth and Christian character form an appropriate introduction to a narrative which records the progress of that church to which he belonged. This clergyman was the Rev. Robert Hunt, one of the petitioners for the charter granted by James I. to the London Company, on the 10th of April, 1606. How far the determination to become one of the first emigrants may have influenced Mr. Hunt, in soliciting the charter,can
not now be known with certainty: it is probable, however, that it was not without its weight; as we find him, on the 19th of December, 1606, embarking for Virginia with the leaders of the infant colony about to be planted under the auspices of the newly formed Company. And fortunate was it for the enterprise that such was the case. An unhappy jealousy arising between the individuals who were to compose the council of the colony threatened ruin to the whole undertaking, until the prudent conduct and pious exhortations of Mr. Hunt succeeded in allaying their mutual animosity. It is but justice to the memory of this worthy man to state, that scanty as are the materials from which to form an estimate of his character, enough is still recorded to show that it was one of which no clergyman need to be ashamed. His heart was in the business, and he wanted not resolution to accomplish the object. “On the 19th of December, 1606,” (says one who bore a part in the enterprise, “wee set saile, but by vnprosperous winds were kept six weekes in the sight of England; all which time, Mr. Hunt, our preacher, was so weake and sicke that few expected his recourie ; yet, although we were but ten or twelve miles from his habitation, (the time wee were in the Downes,) and notwithstanding the stormy weather, nor the scandalous imputation (of some few little better than atheists, of the greatest rank amongst us) suggested against him, all this could never force from him so much as a seeming desire to leaue the businesse, but preferred the seruice of God, in so good a voyage, before any affection to contest with his godlesse foes, whose disastrous designs (could they have prevailed) had euen then ouerthrowne the businesse, so many discontents did then arise, had he not with the water of patience and his godly exhortations (but chiefly by his true deuoted examples) quenched those flames of enuy and dissension."*
• 4 Purchas's Pilgrims, p. 1705.