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stumbling-block out of the way of the Church's popularity, and 1 hope that it may be found practicable to do so. But whether the service be longer or shorter, if ministers preach the Gospel faithfully and perform all other duties piously and zealously, great will be the effect. Numbers will be added to the Lord of such as shall be saved. Too many instances of a true conversion and most exalted piety are to be found in our own and Mother-Church to allow of a doubt on this point. The great want of the Church is more pious and zealous ministers, who understand and preach the Gospel. Let them be sons of the Church,-not converts, except they be young,—not proselytes from other ministries. It is not reasonable to expect many useful and acceptable ones from the pulpits of other denominations. All experience is against it. If respectable, influential, and happy in the places of their birth, training, and minis try, it will not often happen that either conscience, choice, or judgment will induce them to leave their old associations. Most honourable exceptions there are. I have known such,-have laid my hands on such, and highly esteem them. But, at the same time, I have ever made it my boast, that if in any thing I have done good service to the Church, it has been in dissuading from our ministry those who would have gladly entered it, but who, like too many others, might have done us evil instead of good, —might either havo been drones in our hive, or else have taken our ministry on the way to Rome. When I have heard it boasted that hundreds have left other ministries, drawn by the superior and exclusive claims of ours, and have known who and what too many of these were, I have mourned over the fact instead of rejoicing at it, and regarded it as the judgment of Heaven upon us for urging, to an extreme which neither Scripture nor our Protestant fathers nor our standards justify, the exclusive claims of the Episcopal ordination. At the same time, when I have heard some of other denominations declare that none but the unworthy ever leave them, I could not forbear the hint that there must be something most defective in the training of their ministers, when they have so many unworthy ones to spare.

The great complaint of those who desire some change is, that our Church does not, as at present administered, operate on the masses,—especially that we have so few of the very poor in our congregations, although some have laboured very faithfully to this end. It ought certainly to be regarded as a great unhappiness and defect to be without a due admixture of such. Ministers ought to covet the poor for their congregations, and seek them by all proper means. They should do it for their own sakes, and for that of the

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rich of their flock, as well as for the benefit of the poor.


presence of the poor will help them to preach the Gospel in a plainer and more effective way,—will exercise all their ministerial graces,will call forth the alms of their parishioners the more abundantly. Our services, rightly understood and used, are admirably adapted to the poor and ignorant. It is deeply to be lamented that so much prejudice exists in the minds of the great mass of the American people against our Church and her peculiarities, so that thus far but little success has attended even the most zealous efforts of some who have devoted themselves to the work. Various circumstances connected with our political and religious history have contributed to this. With all the republicanism of our country, there is as much of social and religious prejudice, caste, and division among us as in

any nation of Christendom, although it differs considerably in some of its modes. Political and religious demagogues are continually fostering it in order to promote their ends. Religious associations are hard to be broken. “Can a people forsake their gods?” may be asked now in relation to the religious sects of our country, as formerly concerning the sects in pagan lands. Two or three denominations among us have absorbed almost all of the poorer classes, and claim them as their birthright. To induce even a few of such to unite with us is attended with great difficulty, for against no denomination of Christians are their prejudices so strong as against our own. Still, let us endeavour to allure as many as possible of the more neglected ones into our fold, and tend them well. If any modifications of our system can adapt it the better for this purpose, most assuredly let it be done. In ordaining men for the purpose, however, let us beware of lowering our standard too much. Our Lord and the Apostles, who preached so well to the poor, were filled with all knowledge by the Spirit. All other denominations are raising their standard of ministerial qualification. Some expressions have been used among us which have excited fears that we were about to err in this respect. I have no such fears myself. At any rate, I am confident that a few mistakes in ordaining ignorant and unsuitable men would soon correct the error.

I have thus in a most imperfect manner completed my recollection of such things in the diocese of Virginia and in the General Church as seemed most worthy of being recorded. I had thought, in view



of death, to leave behind me some such notices; but it may be better to have been surprised into this earlier statement, so that if I have fallen into any mistakes I may have the opportunity of correcting them, as I should be grieved to misrepresent even in the slightest degree the Church of my affections, or any member of it.


No. I.



At a Convention of the Clergy of Virginia, begun on Wednesday, the eighth day of April, 1719, in the College of William and Mary, in the city of Williamsburg, Mr. Commissary Blair called over a list of the clergymen of this Colony, and the following members answered to their names:

Mr. Selater, Mr. Guy Smith, Mr. Lewis Latane, Mr. Thomas Sharpe, Mr. Hugh Jones, Mr. Andrew Thomson, Mr. Ralph Bowker, Mr. Cargill, Mr. George Robinson, Mr. Monroe, Mr. Eml. Jones, Mr. Bar. Yates, Mr. Wm. Finney, Mr. John Shaife, Mr. Alex. Scott, Mr. John Worden, Mr. Benj. Pownal, Mr. Wm. Brodie, Mr. John Bagge, Mr. Fran. Mylne, Mr. Brunskill, Mr. Fountaine, Mr. Geo. Seagood, Mr. James Robertson, Mr. James Falconer.

Absent. Mr. Alex. Forbes, Mr. John Bell, Mr. Giles Rainsford, Mr. James Breghin, Mr. John Span, Mr. Owen Jones, Mr. John Prince, Mr. James Tenant, (out of the country,) Mr. Daniel Taylor, (excused by letter,) Mr. Saml. Bernard, (sick,) Mr. James Cleck, (sick,) Mr. Wm. Black.

Then Mr. Commissary Blair read two letters from the Lord-Bishop of London, our Diocesan, one to himself, and another to Reverend the Clergy of Virginia, and recommended the particulars of them, which letters are as followeth,-viz.:

To the Rev. Mr. Blair, Commissary of Virginia. DEAR BROTHER :-You will find in the enclosed the reason I have for writing it, and will, I doubt not, agree in opinion with me that it cannot but be useful to put the clergy under you in mind of their duty, even if there should be no failing, much more if there be any. I therefore desire you to communicate this letter to them, and to use all proper means to redress any deviations from our rules, considering that both you and I are to be answerable if we neglect our duty in that part.


I have wrote to the Governor, and entreated him to give you all

proper countenance and assistance in these matters, and am persuaded he will be ready so to do upon any application you may have occasion to make him.

I should be glad to hear from you what vacant churches are in your parts, to the end I may use my best endeavours to procure you a supply.

I am, sir,

Your assured friend and brother, FULHAM, August 6, 1718.


To the Reverend the Clergy of Virginio.. REVEREND BRETHREN :-It is always a joy to me to hear of the good success of your ministerial labours, and no less a grief to hear of any

defaults and irregularities among you ; to which disadvantageous reports I am not forward to give credit, finding that wrong representations are frequently made. Some occasions have been given to apprehend, there may have been faults and miscarriages in the life and conversation of some among you, which I trust are corrected; and that the grace of God, and a sense of duty you owe to Him, his Church, and to yourselves, will so rule in your hearts, as that I shall no more hear any thing to the disadvantage of any of you upon that head. Nevertheless, I cannot but give you notice, that I have information of some irregularities, which, if practised, will need very much to be redressed; and I cannot but hope, if such things there be, you will not be unwilling to do your part, as I think it a duty to do mine by this advisement.

Whether any ministers be settled among you who have not a license from my predecessor or myself, I must leave to the inquiry of your Governor, who is instructed in that case, and will, I believe, upon notice given, be ready to act accordingly, as also in reference to institutions and inductions. At least I must hope, that, by this case and yours, none will be suffered to officiate in the public worship of God, or perform any ministerial offices

religion, but such only as are Episcopally ordained; and from all such I cannot but expect a regular conformity to the established Liturgy, from which none of us can depart without violating that solemn promise we made at our ordination.

I bave desired Mr. Commissary to communicate this to you, and, as I hope he will use all fitting earnestness in pressing the observation of these things, so I doubt not he will be able to procure a redress for those or any other disorders in the worship of God, when the same shall come to his knowledge. I am, reverend brethren, Your affectionate brother and assured friend,

John LONDON. Fulham, August 6, 1718.

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