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commencement of his ministry. He has recently relinquished the care of one of them, which has connected itself with a congregation in Littleton parish, Cumberland, St. Luke's being in Powhatan.
THE CHURCHES IN SOUTHAM PARISH.
The first church determined on was on Tear or Tar Wallett Hill. The church has long been called Tar Wallett. It was built on the land of Daniel Coleman, in what is now Littleton parish, Cumberland. The next was ordered to be on James River, on Thomas Carter's land. The next to be at or near the reading-place called Worley's. At the same time Peterville Church is spoken of as having a reader, and another chapel, called Ham, is ordered to be examined. These last were doubtless built before the division of the parish. Additions are made at different times to some of these churches, as to those of Tear Wallett and South Chapel. Mr. Alexander Trent is allowed to build a gallery for his family. Nicholas Davies and Carter Henry Harrison are allowed to put additions to Ham Chapel for their families. John Mayo and Benjamin Moseby are allowed to build galleries in Peterville Church for their families.
The vestry appears to have performed their duty in regard to a glebe and glebe-houses for the ministers, and to have complied with a law forbidding a vestryman to be a lay reader, by displacing two who were lay readers, or rather by accepting their resignation. A lay reader of disorderly behaviour is also summoned to answer to the vestry.
The following is a list of the vestrymen:—William Randolph, probably the second of that name; George Carrington, probably the first of that name who settled on Willis Creek; (these were the first churchwardens;) Alexander Trent, James Barnes, James Terry, Benjamin Harrison, Charles Anderson, Samuel Scott, Stephen Bedford, Thomas Turpin, John Baskerville, (in 1748, in room of William Randolph, removed,) Benjamin Harris, (in place of Benjamin Harrison, resigned,) Archibald Cary, Thomas Davenport, (in place of Archibald Cary, removed in 1750,) Abraham Sally, William Barnit, Creed Haskins, Wade Netherland, Alexander Trent, Jr., John Fleming, Thompson Swann, Littlebury Moseby, Henry Macon, Roderick Easly, John Netherland, Maurice Langhome, John Railey, George Carrington, Jr., Edward Haskins, John Mosely, John Hughes, Edmund Logwood, William Mayo, Richard Crump, George Williamson, William Ronald, Edmund Vaughan, Peter F. Archer, William Bentley, Edward Carrington, Brett Randolph. The clerks or lay readers were Messrs. Hubbard, Anderson, Terry, Turpin, &c.
LITTLETON PARISH, CUMBERLAND COUNTY.
This was separated from Southam parish in the year 1771. Its early history is very brief,—at least such of it as has come down to us. The Rev. Christopher Macrae appears on our lists of clergy as minister of Littleton parish, Cumberland, in the years 1773-74-76, and 1785; after which he appears no more. In the next year Mr. Mayo Carrington appears as the lay delegate, without any clerical representation. In the year 1790 he appears again with the Rev. Elkanah Talley as the minister. He continues the minister for three years, and then removes to Ware parish, Gloucester. In 1797 the parish is represented by two laymen,—Alexander Brand and James Deane. In the year 1799 the Rev. James Dickenson and Mr. Alexander Trent are in the Convention. There being no journal, and perhaps no Convention, between 1799 and 1805, and none between 1805 and 1812, and having no other means of information, we are unable to say how long Mr. Dickenson continued in the parish, or whether he had any successor until some time after the revival of the Church commenced. Still, there were laymen there who, at the first signs of reviving life, came forward to declare their readiness to help on the good cause. In the first of our renewed Conventions—that of 1812—Mr. Codrington Carrington is the delegate, and, in 1813, Mr. Samuel Wilson.
A long interval again appears where all seemed hopeless. At length, in 1843, the Rev. Mr. Kinckle takes charge of it in connection with some other of the waste places around. He is succeeded in 1844 by the Rev. Mr. Bulkley, who, after some years, was succeeded in part by the present minister, the Rev. Mr. Meredith, who, in connection with the church in Buckingham, serves the congregation at Ca-Ira. Of the ministers yet alive it is not my purpose in these sketches to speak. Of those whom we have named as the ministers of this parish before 1800 we know nothing, either by report or otherwise, with the exception of Mr. Elkanah Talley and Mr. Macrae. Of the former we have spoken elsewhere in terms which it was our regret to use. Of the latter the testimony of those who ought to have known him best is most satisfactory. He was by birth and education a Scotchman,—probably ordained about 1765 by the Bishop of London. He was a man of prayer, retiring from his family three times a day for purposes of private devotion and study. He was a Scotchman, and not a modern Virginian, in his notions and habits of governing his children and the boys committed to his care, and was therefore complained of as too strict. He did not enter with spirit into the American Revolution, and was suspected of favouring the other side, though he said and did nothing, so far as we can learn, to give just offence. He had a right to a conscientious opinion on the subject; but the temper of the times did not allow this, and some violent young men either waylaid him at night or took him out of his bed, and severely chastised him, leaving him naked in the woods. Tradition says that he was prudent in the affair, and never opened his lips in the way of complaint or sought to find out his nocturnal and cowardly assailants, well knowing that it was too good a story to be kept secret, and that if he did not they would reveal it. Accordingly, in due time, they boasted of the deed and were witnesses against themselves. They were summoned before a tribunal of justice, which did not allow any patriotic feeling to prevent the punishment of such an outrage. A heavy fine was accordingly inflicted upon them. Patrick Henry, who was then in the Legislature, being well acquainted with Mr. Macrae, took some public occasion to animadvert upon the conduct of these young men, and spoke in the highest terms of Mr. Macrae. The sons of Mr. Macrae, I believe, are all dead, but three daughters and grandchildren are yet alive, and love the Church and the religion of their fathers.'
* The following is an extract from a letter received from one of the daughters of Mr. Macrae:—
"We were young at the time of our father's death, and regret not being able to give a more satisfactory history of his life. He was educated in Edinburgh, I believe, at the same college with Beattie, author of the celebrated Hermit. They were classmates, and corresponded in after-life. A professorship was offered him as soon as he graduated, and he was told all that would be required was that he should sign his belief in the Confession of Faith. He said he had never read it, but would do so immediately. On perusing the volume, there were portions he could not conscientiously subscribe. He therefore came to America, and settled in Surrey county, Virginia, where his health failed, and during that attack he became interested on the subject of religion, returned to England, and was ordained by the Bishop of Loudon; came back to Surrey county, (where he married Miss Harris, in 1778, the daughter of Mr. John Harris, one of his vestry,) where he laboured for several years. His own and family's ill health determined him to remove to Cumberland county, where he preached for many years at Tar Wallett and Turkey Cock. During the Revolutionary War he was called out to visit (the messenger said) a dying neighbour who was anxious to see him. He had not proceeded a mile from home, when three men, armed with clubs, assailed and knocked him off his horse The servant that accompanied him rode with speed to friends, who came immediately to his rescue. They left, supposing he would not survive. One of the men was
I have no record from which to derive the names of vestrymen or their doings in this parish. I know nothing of its former
killed, on that very spot, by a tobacco-hogshead, and another revealed the whole matter just before he was hung for some capital offence. A petition was sent to the Legislature, then in session at Williamsburg, praying that he, Mr. Macrae, might be banished. Patrick Henry instantly rose, and said that there were many fictitious names on that paper; that he knew Mr. Macrae intimately, and that if he was banished they would lose one of their best citizens; he hoped nothing would be done till he could send an express to Cumberland, who returned with a counterpetition, signed by the most respectable portion of the community, praying that he might remain with them; which was granted. Letters were put in the pulpit threatening his life if he ever dared to preach there again, but he knew no fear when in the path of duty, and never in a single instance omitted going to church. The Rev. Christopher Macrae died at his residence in Powhatan county, on the l!2d of December, lfe08, in the seventy-fifth year of his age. Dr. Cameron preached his funeral sermon."
Parson Huchanon has often lamented to us that his brother Macrae would not consent to be nominated as Bishop. He gave his advanced age as the reason for declining.
We have received an old manuscript sermon of Mr. Macrae, on the death of Colonel George Carrington and his lady, who died in the year 1785, within a few days of each other. We have already spoken of this, the first of Carringtons in Virginia, and of his wife Anna, daughter of Mr. William Mayo, one of the two brothers who first came to this country; but it is due to departed worth and piety to add the following testimony from the pulpit. The text is from the 35th Psalm, 37th verse :—" Mark the perfect man and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace." The Bermon itself, I am very sorry to say, is too much like those so common at that day, which, while containing no heretical doctrines, and sometimes having passages recognising the true ones, yet are of the moralizing rather than of the evangelical cast. For instance, although in one place, and in one only, he speaks of "the firm affiance and unshaken confidence in the mercy of God through Christ," yet he often speaks in a manner well calculated to encourage the belief that virtue and integrity must be our reliance. He quotes from Pope, "The soul's calm sunshine and the heartfelt joy are virtue's prize;" says that "Heaven is our reward for a well-spent life;" that " peace is the result of integrity of life:" that "peace and serenity of mind can only be secured by a virtuous life;" of the "reward due to our actions." Now, I doubt not but that some had juster views of the plan of salvation than the language used by them would seem to indicate, and that they intended more by virtue, and goodness, and integrity, than is due to such words: but, after all the allowance that charity can make, we must acknowledge that there was a dreadful deficiency of the Gospel in such preaching, and that sermons of that cast would never awaken sinners to a sense of their lost condition and conduct them to a Saviour. With these remarks, which truth and fidelity require of me, I proceed to the close and application of the sermon :—
"Having now done with the text, give me leave to observe, that though I very rarely say nny thing concerning the character of a departed friend [an honest example, worthy of imitation) on any occasion, I thought it not consistent with duty to pass over the character of persons so eminently distinguishable for the practice of piety and virtue, as our worthy departed friends, Colonel Carrington and his lady, without recommending their exemplary life as a pattern of imitation to those
churches, except that old Tar Wallett has long been in the service of other denominations. Two new ones, one at Ca-Ira and another near Cartersville, have been erected of late years, and are in constant use.
TILLOTSON PARISH, BUCKINGHAM COUNTY.
These come next in geographical order, although not taken from Cumberland county and Littleton parish.
At the time that Albemarle county and St. Anne's parish, in the same, were separated from Goochland, they comprehended all that is now Buckingham, Fluvanna, Nelson, and Amherst, as well as Albemarle. In the year 1757, Tillotson parish was separated from St. Anne's parish, and, in the year 1761, the county of Buckingham was taken from Albemarle.
We have a list of ministers for 1758,—the year after the parish was formed,—but there is none belonging to it. Our next list is for 1773, when the Rev. Mr. Peasly h minister, and continues to be in the years 1774 and 1776. How much longer, if at all, or who, if any, succeeded, is not known, as there are no records until
who survive them. I have had the pleasure of being personally acquainted with them both for more than twelve years past, and cm confidently affirm that they have always appeared to me to be as punctual and exact in the performance of the duties of their several stations, as it is possible for persons clothed with flesh and blood to be. And I have reason to believe, from general report and the relation of their acquaintances, that the same uniformity of conduct and regularity of life had always secured to them an unexceptionable good character in the opinion of all good men of their acquaintance; of which they have left sufficient proof in the world in a numerous offspring, (eleven children,) who nil behave themselves as children of such worthy parents. They were generous and charitable without ostentation, and religious without noise. The gentleman filled the chair of a legislator with the integrity of a Cato, and that of a magistrate with the justice of an Aristides. All the public offices which he undertook (and they were many) he filled with credit and discharged with honour. His benevolent disposition enabled him to serve the public with so much punctuality and exactness, when there was no prospect of any other reward but the pleasure of doing good, that it is rare to meet with an instance of the same kind in an age. I have reason to conclude that both our departed friends had many friends, and no foes—if any—but such as a good man would be ashamed to number among his friends. They had as many virtues and as few failings as we can expect to meet with in any of Adam's fallen race; and, in short, I know not whether I ever knew two characters more perfect that were heads of the same family. It is certain they were both an ornament to human nature, an honour to their country, and a blessing to their neighbourhood. Time would fail me to enumerate their good qualities: suffice it, therefore, to observe that their lives were truly exemplary, and that it is our duty to imitate their virtues, that we may after death partake of their felicity, which, I firmly hope, they do now, and ever will enjoy through the endless ages of eternity.'"