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On December 22, 1620, Massachusetts was occupied by 102 Puritan settlers, who arrived there in the Mayflower from Southampton.
New Hampshire was founded in 1623 by Calvinists from Hampshire in England; Connecticut in 1631. In 1634 Maryland was settled by Lord Baltimore and about 200 Roman Catholic families; Rhode Island, in 1636, by Baptists, who sought an asylum from Puritan intolerance in Massachusetts; North Carolina was colonized from Virginia in 1653; in 1664 New York, New Jersey, and Delaware were taken from the Dutch; in 1670 South Carolina was granted by Charles II. to Lord Berkeley, with the promise of religious equality to all sects; in 1682 Pennsylvania, purchased from the Duke of York, was peopled by Quakers under William Penn. In 1733 Georgia, the youngest of the original states, was founded by General Oglethorpe as a refuge for debtors after their release from prison in England.
The foundation of the States was based upon a religious principle b. King James I., in the charter which he granted in 1606 for the settling of Virginia, made reference to "the preaching of the true Word and observance of the due service of God according to the rites and doctrines of the Church of England,
• As early as 1589 Sir Walter Raleigh gave £100 (no inconsiderable sum at that time) in “especial regard and zeal for planting the Christian Religion" in Virginia.
not only among the British Colonies, but also as much as might be among the savages bordering upon them:" and that “all persons should kindly treat the savage and heathen people in those parts, and use all proper means to draw them to the true service and knowledge of God.”
After the Restoration the features of moral and religious evil in our transatlantic colonies drew towards them the attention of some good and pious men at home. Sir Leoline Jenkins founded by his will two missionary Fellowships at Jesus College, Oxford, for Clergymen who might be willing to go as missionaries into our plantations; and Robert Boyle, after having planned a scheme for the propagation of the Gospel among the natives of New England, founded those lectures which bear his name, to convert infidels to the true faith of Christ, and to promote the missionary objects which he had at heart.
The Bishops of London sent out Commissaries who, even if they had jurisdiction, had not the authority and power of Bishops; though the efforts of such men as Dr. Blair, who was appointed Commissary to Virginia in 1683, and held that post for fifty-three years, and of Dr. Bray, appointed Commissary of Maryland in 1695, were beyond praise.
In the reign of William III. the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, and that for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts three years
later, were organized, the second of which applied itself, with a success that cannot be overrated, to
, sending missionaries to the plantations.
But the appointment of Bishops (which was sorely needed if the Church of England was to hold its own) met with almost uninterrupted opposition from successive governments. As early as 1638 the energetic mind of Laud had formed a plan for sending out Bishops into New England; but it was defeated by the breaking out of the civil wars, and by the overthrow of the throne and of the Altar both at home and in the Colonies. After the Restoration a patent was actually made out, under the direction of Lord Clarendon, appointing Dr. Alexander Murray as Bishop of Virginia, with a general charge over the other provinces. The plan, however, was defeated by a change of ministry, and the accession to power of the Cabal government; nor is it likely that under a concealed Papist like Charles, or again under an avowed Papist like his successor, the plan would receive much encouragement from government.
Next came the reign of William III. But William was himself a Presbyterian, and never had any particular regard for the Church's system. Many of the Colonies which had been founded by Dissenters had grown into importance, and although they were themselves granted full liberty to govern their own body as they liked, they objected to the same liberty
being granted to the Church ; in vain the Americans,
2 laity as well as clergy, petitioned again and again for an Episcopate; the Dissenters both in America and England were opposed to it, and it was William's object to court and favour the Dissenters; so nothing was effected.
But with the reign of Queen Anne a better prospect opened out, and it seemed as if something would really be done for the American Church. In 1709 a memorial on the subject was presented to the Queen; in 1710, Colonel Nicholson, the Governor, urgently advocated the appointment of a Bishop for Virginia ; a plan was actually on foot for sending out (the future Dean) Swift as Bishop; in 1712 a Committee of the S.P.G. was appointed to consider of proper plans for the residence, of the revenues, and the methods of procuring Bishops and Bishoprics for America,” and earnestly represented to the Queen the great importance of the subject. A comprehensive scheme for the founding of four Bishoprics, two for the Islands, to be settled at Jamaica and Barbadoes, two for the Continent of America, to be settled, the one at Williamsburg in Virginia, the other at Burlington in New Jersey, met with the personal approbation and encouragement of the Queen. The S.P.G. received munificent bequests for the purpose ; and a sum of £600 was actually expended on the purchase of Burlington House, New Jersey, for the palace of one of the Bishops.
But just as success seemed on the point of crowning these efforts, the Queen died.
With the accession of the Hanoverian family, the long period of torpor which prevailed throughout the eighteenth century commenced. The deadening influence of the Latitudinarian Bishops appointed by William began to produce its results. The Church languished under such Bishops as Hoadly; the nation knew little and cared less about Church principles, and ceased to take interest in the matter; above all, Walpole's government was deaf to all appeals founded on justice to the Church, and lent its ear to the objections of the Dissenters; and so a blight fell alike on the Church in England and the Church in the Colonies.
Still Archbishop Tenison, Latitudinarian as he was, favoured the scheme, and by his will, in 1715, left £1,000 towards an American Episcopate, and the S.P.G. continued urgent in the cause. That Society represented to the King that “since the time of their incorporation in the late reign, they had used their best endeavours to answer the end of their institution, by sending over at great expense ministers for the more regular administration of God's Holy Word and Sacraments, together with schoolmasters, pious and useful books, to the Plantations and Colonies in America ;" they told him how the the late Queen had favoured their project, and they implored him to carry out the intentions