A LETTER TO THE Right Reverend Father in God, JOHN, Lord Bishop of LANDAFF; Occasioned by Some Passages in his Lordship's Sermon, on the 20th of February, 1767, in which the American Colonies are loaded with great and undeserved Reproach.


NEW-YORK: Printed for the AUTHOR; and to be Sold by GARRAT NOEL, near the Coffee-House. MDCCLXVIII.



THE Author of the following sheets is not ambitious of appearing in print. From this, the business of his profession, and a sense of his own inability, are suf­ficient discouragements. But his affection for the colonies more particularly traduced in his lordship's sermon, and his greater regard for truth, induced him to become an advocate for injured innocence. While writing the letter, he had no thoughts of prefixing his name: But considering since, that facts asserted by a nameless writer, cannot make their appearance in public with the same degree of credi­bility, as when the assertor can be called upon for his vouchers, he conceived it his duty, in the most public man­ner, to espouse what he thought it his duty to make public. If after all his caution to be rightly informed, he should be so unhappy as to be mistaken in any the most immaterial circumstances, he will acknowledge himself under obliga­tions to the friendly hand that points out his error. This however, he promises, on condition that the person disco­vering his mistake, does it with decency and temper; and is not ashamed to discover his own name. Every anonymous piece he shall accordingly treat with neglect; and if defa­matory or virulent, which is but too much the present mode of writing, he shall treat it, as all such writings deserve, —with contempt.


A Letter to the Bishop of LAN­DAFF.


ON reading Dr. Chandler's appeal to the public, in behalf of the church of En­gland in America, I met with a long quotation in favour of an American episcopate, from a sermon preach'd by your lordship before the incorporated society, for the propagation of the gos­pel in foreign parts, at their anniversary meeting in the parish church of St. Mary-le-Bow, on the 20th of February, 1767. This raised my curiosity to procure the sermon itself; and your lordship will pardon me for saying, that the perusal of it excited at once my indig­nation and sorrow;—my indignation, that any man should so grossly have abused your lordship's confidence in his veracity, by the most unparallelled misrepresen­tation of facts; and my sorrow, that a person of your lordship's good sense and distinguished character, should have placed any confidence in so impudent an informer. For indeed, my lord, I question whether there be a pamphlet in the nation, that in proportion to the length of the sermon, contains so great a number of aberrations [Page 2] from the truth. And as the facts alledged are extremely injurious to the characters of men, and many of them, to the memory of the most excellent persons deceased, (whom we have the greatest reason to believe, have, long since, received the approbation of their and your lordship's final judge) whoever abused your lordship's credulity, is on this account, the more inexcusably cul­pable. How far your lordship is yourself to blame, for preaching and publishing so many interesting facts, on such incompetent testimony as your lordship has relied on, I will not presume to determine. This how­ever, I think I may venture to say without offence, that as the charges adduced by your lordship, affect the reputation of great numbers of his majesty's loyal subjects in these colonies, proportionable deliberation and pains were necessary to investigate the truth. And tho' the most sedulous and impartial inquirer may be deceived by misinformation; yet in the present case, it was so easy a matter to have attained to the utmost certainty, that directly the reverse of many assertions in your lordship's sermon was true; that it is not a little surprizing your lordship should have suffered yourself to have been so palpably misled. And if a prelate of your lordship's abilities and candour, was so unhappily induced to take up an ill report against your neighbour, from the mouth or pen of some malicious deceiver, how much easier may we imagine, will a misjudging and cen­sorious world adopt, what has been preached and printed by so distinguished a personage as the bishop of Landaff. It cannot therefore, I humbly presume, be deemed officious or impertinent, in vindication of the characters so unjustly defamed in your lordship's sermon, to remove those prejudices you have unfortunately imbibed; or to prevent their being farther diffused, and more deeply [Page 3] rivetted, by a discourse, which from the dignity of its author, must naturally carry great weight, and make very durable impressions. And it appears truly won­derful to me, that amongst the great numbers in this country, who are capable of performing this benevolent task, not one that I know of, except Dr. Chauncey of Boston (to whom I am obliged for several facts and observations) hath hitherto attempted it. The passages in your sermon, my lord, which I would be understood to have particularly in view, are those which relate to the American colonies. Your lordship says, page 6, ‘Since the discovery of the new world, the same provi­sion hath not been made of ministers, necessary to the support of christianity among those who removed thi­ther, especially in the British colonies.’ This, my lord, affirmed of the colonies without discrimination, is so contrary to truth, that with respect to many of them, they exceed perhaps in such provision, every other part of the christian world. In the New-England colonies particularly, they have from their earliest settlement been peculiarly attentive to the most ample provision of a gospel ministry. Their legislative acts, from the com­mencement of those colonies, abundantly evince this attention. By these provision is always made for the establishment and support of the gospel ministry in every new-erected township; and without such establishment, within three years from the settlement, the grants are liable to an absolute forfeiture. In consequence of this provision, with the divine blessing on their pious endea­vours, christianity has not only been supported, but so faithfully preached, and so zealously inculcated, that I will venture to affirm, there is not a more virtuous, not a more religious people upon the face of the earth. In­deed, my lord, from the most authentic accounts respec­ting [Page 4] the state of religion in England, I have reason to think, they surpass both in the theory and practice of christianity, those who have the advantage of enjoying it under the supports of a legal establishment, and are perpetually basking in the full sunshine of episcopal pre-eminence. Nay, I doubt not your lordship will readily admit, that notwithstanding the millions expended on the dignitaries of the church, and the boasted advantage of episcopal ordination, the people of England do not outshine in purity of morals, either the protestant can­tons of Switzerland, the republic of Holland, or the church of Scotland; all which however know nothing about episcopacy, except, as these colonies, I mean, at a convenient and comfortable distance. And though re­crimination, my lord, is reputed to be just; yet it is so very disagreeable, that I shall not attempt to heighten the lustre of the lives and examples of the New-England clergy, by the foil of those in the mother country. Let it suffice to inform your lordship, as what may be depen­ded upon for matter of fact, that there are now within the bounds of New-England, not less than five hundred and fifty ministers, some of the presbyterian, but the greater part of the congregational persuasion, regularly set apart to the pastoral charge of as many christian con­gregations, having been previously qualified with divine and human literature in the course of a liberal education, at some of their colleges. They are moreover, men of irreproachable lives, and orthodox in principle, who discharge their sacred function in a manner that does honour to the holy religion they profess. And can it be said, my lord, with the least appearance of truth, of such a country as this, (a country so thinly inhabited, and so recently emerging out of a state of political non­existence) that it has ‘not made a provision of ministers [Page 5] necessary for the support of christianity?’ In truth, my lord, however the people of Britain, may, on ac­count of their remote situation from us, be prevailed on to credit such marvellous reports, the North-Americans could not be more astonished, should your lordship assert, that this part of the world is not inhabited by any of the human species, but only by Satyrs, and Cen­taurs, and Griffins.

YOUR lordship proceeds, ‘A scandalous neglect (to wit, this of not making provision for ministers) which hath brought great and deserved reproach both on the adventurers, and on the government whence they went, and under whose protection and power they still remained in their new habitations.’ To convince your lordship, by an induction of particulars, that these colonies have of late indeed felt the power of the coun­try whence they emigrated, would oblige me to protract this letter to an inexcusable length. A great part of that august assembly, the British parliament, and his majesty's ministers in particular, have exhibited recent proofs, by removing some of our complaints against an undue exertion of power, that it had made us feel but too great a proportion of it. I am sorry, my lord, that so few of the right reverend bench concurred with them in sentiment. But with respect to the protection which the mother country hath afforded us, your lordship has no reason to triumph. Many of the colonies were not only settled without her protection, but by reason of her persecution and intollerance. The emigrants fled from her, into the wilds of America, to find an asylum from those usurpations over the consciences of men; which it will be an eternal blemish on her character, that she so wantonly exercised. After having forsaken houses and lands, and the most tender connections, with every [Page 6] thing dear and estimable amongst human kind, for the undisturbed fruition of the rights of private judgment, sacred by the laws of God and of nature, they had to encounter, without the protection of the government, the sanguinary savages of the desart, with all those unspeakable difficulties of settling a new world in a how­ling wilderness; which nothing but an inflexible trust in God, and the most infrangible resolution of adhering to their religious principles, could ever have surmounted. A character this, my lord, that will, in the opinion of all impartial men, make a brighter figure in history, than can possibly be acquired by haranguing on the excel­lency of christianity from the downy couch of security and ease; or recommending the propagation of it among the pagans, the orator the mean while, remaining at the salutary distance of three thousand miles from the scene of action.

YOUR lordship proceeds in the following words. ‘To the adventurers, what reproach could be cast hea­vier than what they deserv'd? Who, with their native soil, abandoned their native manners and religion; and er'e long were found in many parts without re­membrance or knowledge of God, without any divine worship, in dissolute wickedness, and the most brutal profligacy of manners. Instead of civilizing and converting barbarous infidels, as they undertook to do, they became themselves infidels and barbarians. And is it not some aggravation of their shame, that this their neglect of religion was contrary to the pre­tences and conditions under which they obtained royal grants, and public authority to their adventures? The pretences and conditions were, that their design was, and that they should endeavour the enlargement of commerce, and the propagation of christian faith. [Page 7] The former they excuted with sincerity and zeal; and in the latter most notoriously failed.’ —While rumi­nating, my lord, on those striking words, ‘living with­out remembrance or knowledge of God, without any divine worship, in dissolute wickedness, and the most brutal profligacy of manners!’ I am almost tempted to think, that your lordship hath mistaken some history of the Cape of Good-Hope, for that of New-England. Indeed, I have no conception that the most exquisite pencil is capable of drawing a more hideous picture of human nature: Nor do I think that even the Hottentots themselves, if we may credit the more modern travel­lers, are sunk into such an amazing depth of depravity and pollution. Bating the article of divine worship, I never heard of a people, whom your lordship's picture more strongly resembles, than some of the episcopal clergy in the province of Maryland, and the West-India islands; but for them also, it is rather too high-wrought, and coloured beyond the life. Your lordship, 'tis true, has not been pleased in direct terms, to tell us in what parts the adventurers were thus irreligious, dissolute, brutal, and beyond all parallel profligate in their man­ners: But by certain distinguishing strokes in this deep-shaded and dismal portrait, it is sufficiently evident, that your lordship intends the adventurers who settled New-England. This I collect from the following words in the paragraph under consideration.— ‘Their not civilizing and converting the barbarous infidels, as they undertook to do:’ And this in contrariety ‘to the pretences and conditions under which they obtained royal grants;’ and in a word, their implicative decla­ration by those pretences and conditions, that their design was, and that they would endeavour the propa­gation of the christian faith.’

[Page 8]As I cannot find, my lord, that any incorporated company of adventurers to America, entered into the engagements mentioned by your lordship, or obtained any charter on such condition, except those who fixed their residence in New-England; I must conclude those were the emigrants, to whom your lordship more par­ticularly alludes. I therefore take it for granted, it is against them, that your lordship has preferred the heavy accusation, of abandoning with their native soil, their native manners and religion, &c. It is certainly to be presumed, my lord, that you was not personally acquainted with any adventurers who died an hundred years before your lordship was born. Nor from any history of that people, could so disgustful a description be collected, there being no account of them extant, but what does honour to their moral and religious character. Nay, my lord, so far from deserving to have their memories stig­matized with so uncommon a brand of infamy, that they were remarkable for all the opposite virtues. In­stead of living without the remembrance or knowledge of God, they maintained a constant sense of the deity, to whom, for his preservation of them amidst the perils of the great deep, and their deliverance out of the hands of their persecutors, they conceived themselves under renewed and additional obligations. Their lives were suitable to those devout sentiments. Instead of living without divine worship, their first care was to found churches, to found colleges for a learned gospel ministry, and to frame laws for the support of the public worship of God. Nor have those colonies from their first settle­ment to this day, been without provincial laws, to enforce an attendance on public worship, and punish the profanation of the sabbath. Laws religiously ob­served, and not wantonly violated, as in London, where [Page 9] the lord's-day is less distinguishable by a proportionate appearance of religion, than a partial depopulation of the city, disgorging her myriads to revel in the coun­try, and spend that consecrated portion of time, (to borrow your lordship's expressive, and in this place, most apposite language, in more than mere dissipation even) in dissolute wickedness. So far from being disso­lutely wicked, that they were remarkable not only for their sobriety, temperance, chastity and gravity, but moreover for a kind of precision and rigidness of man­ners, very prevalent in the nation at the time of their departure; but which king Charles the second, and his profligate courtiers soon laughed out of it; and together with it, a great deal of real and substantial piety, which all the English clergy, with their united efforts, have not been able hitherto to restore to the same flourishing and vigorous condition. With respect to their brutal profligacy of manners; the charge, my lord, is so gross, and the contrary so universally known to be true, that an attempt to refute it, after what has already been said (and for which I vouch every history of that people) would be a manifest mispending of your lordship's time. You cannot, my lord, require, that we should transmit depositions from hence, to prove, that the sun shines in America as well as in Europe. And yet it is not more notorious to all this part of the continent, that the people to whose memories your lordship has been so injurious, did, in fact, deserve the above amiable and excellent character, than that we enjoy the light of that glorious luminary. Nay, in a matter so generally known, it were a strange task to be obliged to adduce particular testimony. It would be like the hardship complained of by archbishop Tillotson, in his sermon against transub­stantiation, that it might well seem strange if any man [Page 10] should write a book, to prove that an egg is not an elephant, and that a musket bullet is not a pike.

BUT as your lordship has neither acquired this intelli­gence by personal acquaintance, nor historical informa­tion, I can conceive of no source from whence it could so probably have been drawn, as that of the society's missionaries. And believe me, my lord, if you make use of no other channel of conveyance, your lordship will but too seldom be justly informed. This declara­tion must naturally appear so harsh and uncharitable, that I think myself obliged to assign the reason on which it is grounded. I will, my lord, assign two. In the first place, many of those missionaries, in their accounts respecting their mission, have for many years past, made it a practice to misrepresent facts. And secondly, it being their interest so to do, a moderate share of the knowledge of mankind, will be sufficient to induce us to consider as incompetent witnesses, any set of men who are personally interested in the testimony they deliver.

But in what sense, my lord, did those adventurers abandon their native religion? If your lordship means by their native religion, the doctrines of christianity as contained in the thirty-nine articles of your church; they were so far from abandoning it, that it were to be wished it had been as inviolably preserved by those whom they left behind them. These were the very doctrines which they, in their time, universally believed, constantly taught, and warmly inculcated. These are the doctrines which their posterity, to this day, believe, teach, and inculcate. Nay, they believe, teach and inculcate them, in the same scriptural and unadulterated sense, in which they were believed, taught and inculcated at the time of the reformation. They believe, teach, and incul­cate them, without those sophisticating glosses, by which [Page 11] they have since, in the mother-country, been wrested to favour the heresy of Arminius; which your lordship well knows was not their native sense; and consequently, as far as the English clergy do now pervert them to any such meaning; so far have they ‘abandoned their native religion.’ And if there be any among the descendants of those adventurers, who have, in this sense, I mean in a perversion of those articles, abandoned their native religion, they generally happen, I know not by what fatality, to be members of the episcopal churches. Few, my lord, very few of any other denominations amongst us, have hitherto professed that wonderful dexterity in taylorship, of making robes of righteousness, and garments of salvation, out of—filthy rags.

YOUR lordship's charge, is certainly so groundless, that there never was a people in the world, who have been more assiduous in preserving their native religion, and in transmitting it, pure and incorrupt, to their poste­rity. If catechisms are conducive to this end, they have published as judicious and elaborate ones as any part of the protestant world hath ever produced. Let any impartial man read their productions of this kind; a lesser and a larger one by Mr. Norton, the like by Mr. Mather, several by Mr. Cotton, one by Mr. Davenport, one by Mr. Stone, one by Mr. Norris, one by Mr. Noyes, one by Mr. Fisk, several by Mr. Elliot, one by Mr. Sea-Born Cotton, and a large one by Mr. Fitch; and then let him say, whether true divinity was ever better handled; or whether they were not the most genuine sons of the church of England, who thus maintained her fundamental articles: Articles, so often subscribed, and afterwards denied, by some who are most prompt to monopolize that name to themselves. Have ecclesi­astical councils any tendency this way? I find one at [Page 12] Cambridge so early as the year 1648, adopting the West­minster confession of faith; and another at Boston in 1680, settling the doctrine and discipline of their churches. The resolutions of the latter, my lord, are comprized in a work of great theological erudition; and which required a little more towards its composition, than the skill of construing a chapter in the Greek testament, or reading a sermon of another man's writing, a la mode D'Angleterre. Ecclesiastical synods or con-sociations have ever since been in use among them; and what may appear extraordinary to an English prelate, they have been so conducted as never to give any just umbrage to the civil power.

BUT if your lordship means by their native religion, an implicit submission to ecclesiastico-political power arbitrarily assumed, and tyrannically exercised; or, a recognition of any man on earth, as supreme head of the christian church, in derogation of the transcendent authority of him, to whom angels and authorities, and powers are made subject; or a superstitious attachment to rights and ceremonies of human invention, to the neglect of vital piety and purity of heart; it is agreed, my lord, that in this sense, they did in good earnest abandon their native religion; and 'tis devoutly to be wished, their posterity may never be so infatuated as to resume it.

OF this part of your lordship's charge, I cannot take my leave without humbly adoring (in which I am con­fident your lordship, with every other pious christian, will heartily join me) that all-wise and over-ruling provi­dence, which out of the evil of that prelatical oppression whereby those venerable persons were expelled their native soil, hath educed so important a good, as the settlement of such an immense territory; and by that means [Page 13] of being greatly instrumental in advancing the British empire in America, to an unrival'd degree of extent, power and opulence. Nay, of the still superior and more inestimable good, of preserving amongst their progeny, that pure and undefiled religion, which in the land of their nativity, hath, since their emigration, to your lordship's certain knowledge, suffered so lament­able a declension. After having thus, my lord, had the honour of so largely contributing towards the aug­mentation and grandeur of his majesty's dominions; after the many illustrious proofs of rising superior to the most discouraging obstacles; and surmounting perils, and want, and toil, and famine, and the sword of the wilderness, when they had but to return to their native soil, to be restored to all the comforts and delights of life; would they have consented (about what the generality of men, and especially those in quest of pre­ferment, make no long deliberation) to sacrifice their consciences to their temporal interest!—After such signal interpositions of heaven,—such irresistible mani­festations of the finger of God in their behalf;—and, after having left behind them such a sweet memorial, such a more than brazen monument, of the sincerity of their profession: After all this, I say, it might have been hoped, my lord, that their ashes at least should have remained undisturbed; nor their memories been traduced with reproaches, greater perhaps, than were ever deserved by the most flagitious of mankind. Sorry am I therefore, sorry on your lordship's account, as well as from the veneration I bear to their memory, that a prelate of the church of England, in these boasted times of moderation and candour, at the distance of more than a century, and for the single crime of (what by far the greater part of protestant christendom, is [Page 14] deemed no crime at all) non-conformity to the episcopal mode of church government, should pursue them, even beyond the grave, with a spirit so apparently vindictive, and with such unusual asperity and virulence of language.

I shall dismiss this head, my lord, with observing, that had I met with the terms native religion, in the works of an author of inferior name, I should have been apt to hesitate about their propriety. I have often heard of a man's native country, as signifying that in which he is born: But as no man is born in, or with, any religion, I shall for the future, in adopting that mode of expres­sion, think it prudent to avail myself of (what no critic will perhaps presume to controvert) your lordship's authority and example.

YOUR lordship proceeds by saying, that, ‘instead of civilizing and converting barbarous infidels, as they undertook to do, they became themselves infidels and barbarians; and that it was some aggravation of their shame, that this their neglect of religion was contrary to the pretences and conditions, under which they obtained royal grants, and public authority to their adventures.’ Had you levelled this charge, my lord, against that venerable body before whom your lordship delivered the sermon in question, they would doubtless have complained of the accusation: And yet with respect to their endeavours, in civilizing and con­verting barbarous infidels, which I suppose will be allowed to be part of the grand design of their incorporation, I will venture to affirm, that they have been more defi­cient than the adventurers upon whom your lordship is pleased to fix the charge. If by ‘the propagation of the gospel in foreign parts,’ is to be understood the episcopising of dissenters in the American colonies; [Page 15] they have indeed made some attempts towards it. But how the preaching of the gospel, by their missionaries, in places in which it was preached, before either the society or their missionaries had a being, can be called civilizing and converting barbarous infidels, I leave your lordship and the whole world to judge. What barba­rians, my lord, have they civilized? What infidels have they converted? The immense sums expended by the venerable society, are not laid out in missions amongst the native pagans, who know not the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent: They are squandered, ridiculously squandered on missions to places where the gospel was preached, and, (admitting the articles of the church of England, as the standard of orthodoxy) more faithfully preached before. This, my lord, however people at home may be mendicated or sermonized out of their money, is so notorious here, that an attempt to adduce proofs to evince it, would be like holding a candle to the sun. Nor are they generally sent, even into those interior settlements, in which people are more destitute of the means of grace; but into such, where they are most amply provided with them. In short, my lord, if the original design of the society, in their missions to those parts of America, was, as before observed, to proselyte dissenters to episcopacy; they have executed it with a considerable degree of assiduity; and the pay hath undoubtedly been more than the purchase. But if it was to christianize aboriginal indians; or to subserve the cause of christianity in any other sense, except as abovementioned, they have; (with all due submission and reverence be it spoken) notoriously failed. Or should it be insisted upon, that the principal design of the society is not to christianize indians; but to maintain the public worship of God among our own people in [Page 16] the American plantations; it will appear, from a survey of great part of Maryland and Virginia, the true state of which, from their constant commercial intercourse with Great Britain, cannot be a secret, that in the execution of this part of their design, they have been extremely delinquent.

MAY I now entreat your Lordship's patience, while I recount, by way of contrast, some of the attempts of those adventurers and their posterity, in the execution of the laudable purpose of civilizing and converting barbarous infidels.

IT appears by a sermon of Dr. Cotton Mather, printed in the year 1698, that there were then in the province of the Massachusetts-Bay, more than thirty indian assemblies, for religious worship; and above three thou­sand christian indians. ‘The sacred books of the old and new testament, were, in their day, by the skill and labour of the indefatigable Elliot, translated into the indian language; and dispersed among the natives for their instruction in things pertaining to the kingdom of God and of Christ. For this purpose, he made himself first acquainted with their language; when thus accomplished, he preached to them in their own tongue, and in many of their villages; and by the blessing of God, on his diligent endeavours, many believed and turned to the lord. He soon had several companions, and afterwards successors, who were faithful and zealous in instructing these savages in the gospel-method of salvation. Schools were erected among them, and such books put into their hands, in their native language, as their edification called for. The consequence was, that in several villages, indians met together every lord's-day, for the worship of God through Jesus Christ, and churches of them [Page 17] were gathered, who walked in the fear of the lord, and the religious observation of all gospel ordinances. To the bible, Mr. Elliot added, a version of the psalms in indian metre; which it was their practice to sing. This indian bible is the only one that was ever printed in this hemisphere of the universe.’ After being made acquainted with the above facts, I doubt not, if your lordship's sermon should ever be re-printed, you will at least think it proper, to except that worthy and venerable servant of God, Mr. Elliot, out of the number of those, who, ‘instead of civilizing and converting barbarous infidels, became themselves infidels and barbarians. For my part, I cannot but think, that the laborious work of learning an indian language; of translating the holy scriptures into that language, and of spending one's life amongst savages, inevitably subject from their manner of living to innu­merable inconveniences, for the benevolent purpose of instructing them in the christian religion, justly merits a note of approbation, from the pen of a christian bishop. Could any of the society's missionaries, my lord, boast so illustrious an instance of labour, fatigue, patience, and self-denial; in what splendid and glowing colours might we not expect to find it immortalized; when their usual exploits of baptizing a few infants or negroes, which might have been done by others at less than a tenth part of the expence, or the reading a borrowed sermon, to persons in the full enjoyment of all gospel ordinances, is annually celebrated with notable ostenta­tion and applause; to the great consumption of the paper manufactory, and the no small effusion of epis­copal ink!

WHAT follows, my lord, is extracted from the rev. Mr. Thomas Prince's general account of the English [Page 18] ministers, who resided at Martha's Vineyard. ‘Mr. Thomas Mayhew, son of an excellent man of this name, began, in another part of the province, the work of gospelising the infidel-natives, so far back, as 1642. And this good work, has been carried on by one and another of this name and family, from that day to this. In 1657, many hundred indian men and women, were added to the christian societies, in this part of the country, of such as might be said to be "holy in their conversation;" and that did not need for knowledge, to be taught, "the first principles of the oracles of God;" besides many hundreds of more superficial professors. In the year 1689, the indian church, under the care of Mr. John Mayhew, son of the above Thomas, consisted of an hundred commu­nicants, walking according to the rule of the scrip­tures.’

I shall now, my lord, beg leave to lay before your lordship, an historical quotation from Dr. Chauncey's remarks, on certain passages in your lordship's sermon. ‘The Rev. Mr. Experience Mayhew, son of the before mentioned John, and father of the late memorable Dr. Mayhew, a gentleman of such superior natural endowments, that he would, had he been favoured with common advantages, been ranked among the first worthies of New-England; and who spent a life protracted several years beyond eighty, in the service of the indians, published in the year 1727, an octavo volume, entitled, Indian Converts; in which he has given an account of the lives of thirty indian ministers, and above eighty indian men, women, and young persons, within the limits only of Martha's Vineyard, an island in the Massachusetts province. And of these, as he was a gentleman of established reputation, [Page 19] for both judgment and veracity, it may be charitably said, they were all real converts, to the faith of Christ, and some of them in a distinguishing degree, clearly evidenced by their manner of life; which was such, as may make many English professors blush, of whom it may be hoped, that they are christians in truth, as well as name. In the attestation to this account, signed by eleven Boston ministers, some of whom are now alive, it is said, ‘that they who may ignorantly and imperiously say, nothing has been done, may be confuted; and that they, who are desirous to see something that has been done, may be entertained and gratified; here is now exhibited a collection of examples, wherein the glorious grace of our great redeemer has appeared to, and on, the INDIANS of New-England. It must not be imagined, these are all that could have been collected; for all these are only selected from one island.’ —It is said farther, the author of this history, Mr. Experience Mayhew, is a person of incontestable veracity:—We again say, his truth may be relied on, his fidelity is irreproachable.

HERE, my lord, before we proceed farther, let us enquire, whether the missionaries in these parts, must not be guilty of the most inexcusable neglect, in not infor­ming themselves about the propagation of the gospel amongst the indians, or render themselves obnoxious to the heavier charge of wilful and pertinacious misrepre­sentation? Nay, my lord, was it not their duty, their bounden duty, as faithful ministers of Jesus Christ, and embarked in the same common cause, with others, his professed disciples, of enlarging the borders of his king­dom, and especially of directing some of the benign rays of the sun of righteousness, to illuminate those who sat in the region and shadow of death;—was it not their [Page 20] indispensible duty, I say, to have informed the society of those glorious endeavours, and instead of wilfully con­cealing, or artfully disguising them, to have employed the superior advantage of their correspondence with the society, in soliciting their aid, or rather importunately imploring their christian munificence? And may I not assert, without speaking unadvisedly, that your lordship appears, from what has been already offered, to be so notoriously mistaken, with respect to the not civilizing and converting barbarous infidels, that the single family of the Mayhews, hath done more towards accomplishing that desirable end, than all the society's missionaries on the continent of North America?

AND what hath not been attempted in times of more modern date, for the advancement of the same glorious design? "There are at this day," says that reverend and learned divine Dr. Chauncey, already mentioned, ‘within the province of the Massachusets-Bay only, sixteen ministers, english and indian, statedly labouring, as pastors of so many Indian churches, or as preachers to assemblies of Indians, that meet together for divine worship; nine english lecturers, and seven stated school-masters, besides occasional ones; all which are under the care of commissioners here, from the honourable company for the propagation of the gos­pel in New-England, and parts adjacent in America. The above account was handed to me from the records of the above commissioners. There are at the settlement called Mashpe, two hundred Indians, under the care of the Rev. Mr. Hawley, who know no God besides the ever-living Jehovah, and statedly pay worship to him, through the one mediator Jesus Christ.’ Doth this, my lord, look like a notorious failing, in their endeavours to propagate the christian [Page 21] faith? Does this look like becoming themselves infidels and barbarians? But on this important head, so highly wrought up in your lordship's sermon, to persuade the people of England of the necessity of an American episcopate, which to me appears the grand burden of the discourse, I must beg your lordship's patience a little longer.

IT is now above thirty years since an indian mission hath been established at Stockbridge, on the borders of the Massachusets-Bay, and executed by dissenting mini­sters. Accounts of this undertaking are in print; and the society's missionaries could be at no loss to procure them. Mr. David Brainard, a dissenting minister, and missionary from the society in Scotland, for propagating christian knowledge, spent his life in gospelizing several tribes of the natives, both in the province of New-York and New-Jersey. Being of too delicate a constitution, to undergo the hardships to which he was exposed, and too ardently engaged in the work to quit it, he fell a sacrifice to the cause; and his name ought to be trans­mitted to posterity with immortal honour. A journal of his labours and success among the indians, was published by himself in his life-time, and since his decease reprinted in London; so that it appears incre­dible, that any missionary in New-Jersey should be ignorant of the matter. He was succeeded by his bro­ther, Mr. John Brainard, a missionary from the same society, equally laborious and indefatigable, who is still pursuing the same laudable design. At Lebanon, in the colony of Connecticut, Dr. Wheelock, another dissenting minister, has for some years past carried on a school, for the instruction of indian children in reading, writing, and the principles of christianity, with an express view of sending the gospel among the indians. [Page 22] Of this he has published a narrative; which it is ama­zing should never have fallen into the hands of any of the missionaries.* Mr. Kirtland, a young gentleman educated at this school, has for three years past, with indefatigable industry, and sometimes at the peril of his life, been propagating the christian faith amongst some tribes of the six nations. There is now, my lord, in England, an indian minister, educated at this school, who has for two years past had his majesty's brief to make collections for its support, and hath during that time been preaching throughout the kingdom. I am astonished, that a thing so extraordinary in its nature, and so frequently mentioned in the english prints, should not have reached the ears of a person so sollicitous as your lordship appears to be, about the propagation of the gospel amongst our barbarous infidels. Can it be a secret in England, my lord, that his most gracious majesty, hath, by his royal bounty and liberality, at once encouraged and dignified that undertaking; and thereby set a shining example to all christian monarchs, not to forget, amidst the arduous affairs of state, the kingdom of THE PRINCE OF PEACE? Nay, had your lordship only vouchsafed to spare a moment from secu­lar business, during the last session of parliament, that amiable and pious nobleman, my lord Dartmouth, could minutely have informed your lordship, of the rise and progress of that excellent seminary; and that himself was president of a board of trustees, for the distribution of the money collected for it in England.

YOUR lordship is equally mistaken in another fact. In the 19th page of the sermon I find these words. ‘The want of seminaries in those parts, for the educa­tion [Page 23] of persons to serve in the ministry of the gospel: A great disadvantage; so great that there is reason to apprehend, it may one day undo all that the society have been for many years labouring to do.’ Strange it is, my lord, and to me utterly unaccountable, that so accurate an enquirer should so egregiously err, in a matter of such general notoriety, as public seminaries of learning. We have no less than six colleges on the continent of North America; which are perhaps more by one half, than are really necessary for the purpose of a liberal education, in the present state of this country. There is a very antient one in the Massachusets-Bay ▪ The contiguous colonies of Connecticut, New-York, New-Jersey, and Pennsylvania, have each of them one; and the dominion of Virginia another. That in New-York, being able to boast a most honourable origin; being distinguished by a president, a clergyman of the church of England, as by law established, and founded with a particular eye to the advancement of episcopacy in America, will probably e'er long appear as conspi­cuous above the rest, as father Aeneas amongst his fellow-adventurers. Such a number of seminaries of learning is amply sufficient, one would imagine, for the education of ministers, to propagate the gospel throughout the whole extent of the habitable globe. Instead of being deficient in this respect, the most judicious among us, think our public seminaries superfluously multiplied. We want hands, my lord, more than heads. The most intimate acquaintance with the classics, will not remove our oaks; nor a taste for the Georgics cultivate our lands. Many of our young people are knocking their heads against the Iliad, who should employ their hands in clearing our swamps, and draining our marshes. Others are musing, in cogitation profound, on the ar­rangement [Page 24] of a syllogism, while they ought to be gui­ding the tail of a plough. It therefore gives me concern, my lord, that your apprehensions of the want of semi­naries undoing all that the society have for many years been labouring to do, should unhappily discompose the serenity of your lordship's mind, even for a single mo­ment. The apprehension is certainly groundless. But I will not venture to promise, my lord, that our super­numerary colleges will not, by diffusing a spirit of in­quiry, create a general conviction, that it may, with greater truth be affirmed of the labours of the society, what Grotius so modestly said of his own, that they had been lost, nil operose agendo; or that your lordship hath, by preaching and printing the sermon in question, —done those things which you ought not to have done.

IT must indeed, be admitted, that some of our colleges, for want of professors, and the comparative smallness of their libraries; and others, through a very slender philosophical apparatus, cannot pretend to vie with the universities at home. Considering, however, the infancy of the country, they are far from being con­temptible; nor has it ever been remarked, that the clergy of the church of England, who have received their education at any of those seminaries, several of whom have been honoured with the degree of doctors of divinity, in England,* are inferior in literary accom­plishments, to those who have been educated in the English universities. Be this as it may, it is notorious, that the American colleges are friendly to liberty, and our excellent constitution; and so firmly attached to revolution-principles, and the illustrious house of Hano­ver, that not one of them, as far as I have been able [Page 25] to learn, hath ever produced (with all humble submission to the famous university of Oxford) a single Jacobite or Tory.

WITH this, my lord, I shall humbly take my leave, hoping that for the sake of truth, and the cause of reli­gion, especially remembring how greatly your lordship has been deceived in the present case, you will be so gracious for the future, in whatever concerns the Ame­rican colonies, as to require the highest evidence of which the nature of the thing is capable. And heartily wishing, my lord, (it being easy to see for what purpose these kind of misinformations are calculated) that your lordship may be so successful, and so thoroughly satisfied in the discharge of your episcopal function, within the limits of your present diocese, as never to think it your duty, to exchange the See of Landaff, for an American Bishoprick.

I am, my Lord, Your Lordship's most obedient humble servant, THE AUTHOR.

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