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knowing, as a minister, one only love. On the 9th of November, 1742, he married the widow of Governor Spottswood, who was one of his parishioners and living at Germanna. By this marriage he had two children, Ann Thompson, who was born at Germanna, in 1744, and married Mr. Francis Thornton, of Fall IIill, near Fredericksburg, at the early age of fifteen years, cight months. The other is Mr. William Thompson, of whom I have as yet received no certain information. In the year 1760, Mr. Thompson married a second wife, Miss Elizabeth Roots, by whom he had three children,- Mildred Thompson, John Thompson, and Philip Roots Thompson. The last married the daughter of old Mr. R. Slaughter, one of the vestrymen of that name in St. Mark's parish, and moved many years since to Kanawha, where his descendants for the last forty years have formed a little congregation of zealous Episcopalians.

But although Mr. Thompson was so good and amiable a man, and, as tradition informs us, one of the most imposing of men in his person, he did not easily succeed in securing his first wife, in consequence of the family pride of the children, which objected to the union of the widow of Governor Spottswood with a minister of the Gospel. Such was the opposition that, after an engagement, she begged to be released. This caused the following letter, which all must agree is a masterpiece of its kind. Its effect has already been told in the fact of their marriage in a few months. An entire reconciliation of all parties, however, was not effected until many years after, by the intervention of the Rev. Robert Rose, the friend and executor of Governor Spottswood, as I have said elsewhere. Copy of a Letter from the Rev. John Thompson to Lady Spottswool.

“MADAM :-By diligently perusing your letter, I perceive there is a material argument, which I ought to have answered, upon which

your strongest objection against completing my happiness would seem to depend, viz. : That you would incur ye censures of ye world for marrying a person of my station and character. By which I understand that you think it a diminution of your honour and ye dignity of your family to marry a person in yo station of a clergyman. Now, if I can make it appear that ye ministerial office is an employment in its nature y® most honourable, and in its effects y® most beneficial to mankind, I hope your objections will immediately vanish, y you will keep me no longer in suspense and misery, but consummate my happiness.

"I make no doubt, madam, but ye you will readily grant y no man can be employed in any work more honourable than what inmediately relates to ye King of kings and Lord of lords, and to ye salvation of souls, immortal in their nature, and redeemed by ye blood of the Son of God. The powers committed to their care cannot be exercised by yo greatest princes of earth; and it is ye same work in kind, and ye same in



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ye design of it, with ye of ye blessed Angels, who are ministering spirits for those who shall be heirs of salvation. It is ye same business ye ye Son of God discharged when he condescended to dwell amongst men.

Which engages men in yo greatest acts of doing good, in turning sinners from ye errors of their ways, and, by all wise and prudent means, in gaining souls unto God. And the faithful and diligent discharge of this holy functiou gives a title to ye highest degree of glory in the next world; for they y' be wise shall shine as y brightnes of ye firmament, and they y' turn many to righteousness as ye stars forever and ever.

“All nations, whether learned or ignorant, whether civil or barbarous, have agreed in this as a dictate of natural reason, to express their reverence for the Deity, and their affection to religion, by bestowing extraordinary privileges of honour upon such as administer in holy things, and by providing liberally for their maintenance. And that the honour due to the holy function flows from yo law of nature appears from hence, -y'in ye earliest times y civil and sacred authority were united in ye same person. Thus Melchisedeck was King and Priest of Salem; and among y® Egyptians yo priesthood was joined with ye crown. Yo Greeks accounted yo priesthood of equal dignity with kingship, which is taken notice of by Aristotle in several places of his Politicks. And among the Latins we have a testimony from Virgil y' at ye same time Anias was both priest and king. Nay, Moses himself, who was Prince of Israel, before Aaron was consecrated, officiated as priest in ye solemn sacrifice by which yo covenant with Israel was confirmed. And ye primitive Christians always expressed a mighty value and esteem for their clergy, as plainly appears froni ecclesiastical history And even in our days, as bad as ye world is, those of ye clergy who live up to ye dignity of their profession are generally reverenced and esteemed by all religious and well-disposed men.

“From all which it evidently appears y* in all ages and nations of yo world, whether Jews, Heathens, or Christians, great honour and dignity has been always conferred upon ye clergy. And, therefore, dear madam, from hence you nay infer how absurd and ridiculous those gentlemen's notions are who would fain persuade you y marrying with y® clergy you would derogate from yo honour and dignity of your family. Whereas in strict reasoning the contrary thereof would rather appear, and y' it would very much tend to support ye honour and dignity of it. Of this I hope you will be better convinced when you consider the titles of honour and respect y' are given to those who are invested with yo ministerial function as amply displayed in yo Scriptures. Those invested with yi character are called ye ministers of Christ, stewards of ye mysteries of God, to whom they have committed ye word of reconciliation, ye glory of Christ, ambassadors for Christ in Christ's stead, co-workers with him, angels of ye Churches. And then it is moreover declared y' whosoever despiseth them despiseth not man but God. All which titles shew y' upon many accounts they stand called, appropriated, and devoted to God himself. And, there fore, if a gentleman of this sacred and honourable character should be married to a lady, though of ye greatest extraction and most excellent personal qualities, (which I am sensible you are endowed with,) it can be no disgrace to her nor her family, nor draw ye censures of ye world upon them for such an action. And therefore, dear madam, your argument being refuted, you can no longer consistently refuse to consummate my happiness.

JOHN THOMPSON. “ May, 1742.”

While we entirely agree with all that is written above as to the respectability of the ministry, we would caution against an ill use that is sometimes made of the principle advocated by Mr. Thompson. No matter how high the birth, how complete the education, of a lady, if she be truly pious, humble, and devoted to good works, she may be a suitable helpmate to a minister; but it is not often that one very delicately brought up in the higher walks of life can accommodate herself to the circumstances of many of the clergy. As to those who are born to large fortune, let the ministers of religion rather avoid than seek them as companions, taking warning from the many unhappy failures which have resulted from such experiments.

We now proceed with the history of the parish. After employing the Rev. Charles Woodmason for a short time, the vestry elected the Rev. Edward Jones, of Carolina, and had him inducted,-a thing of rare occurrence. In this year Mr. John Waugh is chosen vestryman. In the year 1773, it appearing that no convenient place, having water, could be found on the land purchased for a glebe, the vestry obtained one hundred more, at a cost of one hundred and fifty pounds, from Mr. Francis Slaughter. One of the churches being burned that year, the vestry determined to build one forty by sixty of wood, on Mr. Robert Freeman's or Peter Bowman's land. This order being reconsidered, it was resolved to build one eighty feet by thirty, of brick, on the land of Peter Bowman. In this year Captain Richard Yancey was vestryman in the place of Major John Green, who had entered the Continental service. In the year 1778, the vestry recommend subscriptions for paying the officers of the church. In the same year Biskett Davenport vestryman in place of William Williams, deceased. In February, 1780, Mr. Jones resigned the parish, and the vestry advertised it.* Mr. John Gray resigned his seat, Robert Pollard chosen vestryman. In April, 1780, the Rev. Mr. Stephenson was elected. The last meeting recorded in the vestry-book is in 1784. On the journal of the Convention in 1796, Mr. Stephenson appears as the minister of St George's Church, Fredericksburg, and Mr. Woodville as from St. Mark's parish, they having changed places, as Mr. Woodville had been the minister of St. George's. Mr. Woodville had married the daughter of Mr. Stephenson, who was also the father of Mr. Andrew Stephenson, our late minister to England, and of Mr. Carter

* The Rev. Mr. Iredell also officiated for a time in this parish, but was a disgrace to the ministry.

VOL. II.-6

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Stephenson, who died some years since in Fredericksburg. With Mr. Woodville I became well acquainted soon after my entrance on the ministry, being often at his house (the glebe) in Culpepper, where he connected a school with the ministry, both of which he conducted in the most conscientious manner, being himself a man of unblemished character. His son James became a lawyer of distinction in Botetourt county, and his son Walker has for many years been supplying some parts of his father's old parish. With his wife and two daughters, Fanny and Sarah, I became intimately acquainted, and with purer spirits I do not expect to be acquainted on this side of heaven. The former has long since gone to her rest. The two latter—Fanny, who married Mr. Payne, and is the mother of a numerous offspring, and Sarah, who is unmarried, and lives with her—are residing in Mississippi. I often hear from them, and rejoice to know that they still love Virginia and the old Church of Virginia. I cannot take leave of old St. Mark's parish and vestry without a brief reference to those who once composed them,-tho Spottswoods, Slaughters, Pendletons, Fields, Lightfoots, Barbers, Greens, Peytons, Caves, Balls, Williamses, Strothers, Knoxes, Stephenses, Watkinses, and others, who amidst all the adversities of the Church have been faithful to her. Others have followed in their path,—the Thompsons, Carters, Randolphs, Winstons, Mortons, Stringfellows, Cunninghams, Thoms, and others; but death, removals, and other circumstances, have sadly hindered her progress. Perhaps no part of Virginia has suffered more in this way than the county of Culpepper.

As I am writing of the past for the gratification and benefit of the present, and not of the present for the use of the future, I can despatch the remaining history of St. Marks in a few words. Soon after the resuscitation of the Church of Virginia commenced, a new church, called St. Stephen's, at Culpepper Court-House, was established within the bounds of St. Mark's parish, and the Rev. William Hawley appears on the journal during the years 1814 and 1815 as the minister. He laboured and preached zealously there and in Orange, and with much effect. He was followed by Mr. TIerbert Marshall, who for some years laboured faithfully and successfully. In the year 1827, the Rev. George A. Smith commenced service and continued it for several years. The Rev. Annesley Stewart performed some duty there after Mr. Smith's removal.

The Rev. John Cole has now for a long term of years been minister in Culpepper. Previously to his coming a new church

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had been built at Culpepper Court-House, and since his settlement in the parish two new ones have been built on opposite sides of the county, near each branch of the Rappahannock, while the old brick church in Forke is still remaining. A comfortable parsonage has also been provided for the minister.

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