SOME ACCOUNT OF THE Charitable Corporation, LATELY ERECTED For the Relief of the WIDOWS and CHIL­DREN of Clergymen, in the Communion of the Church of England in America; with a Copy of their CHARTERS, and FUNDAMENTAL RULES.

AND ALSO A SERMON, Preached in Christ-Church, PHILADELPHIA, Octo­ber 10, 1769, before the said CORPORATION, on Occasion of their FIRST MEETING.

By WILLIAM SMITH, D. D. Provost of the College and Academy of Philadelphia.

Published, by Order, for the Benefit of the CHARITY.

PHILADELPHIA: Printed by D. HALL, and W. SELLERS, op­posite the Jersey Market. MDCCLXIX.



Most worthy PRELATES!

THE CORPORATION lately erected "for the relief of the WIDOWS and CHILDREN of Clergymen, in the communion of the church of England in America," having honoured me with their commands to publish the following SERMON, together with some account of the rise and progress of the pious and charitable design which it recommends; permit me to offer Both to the world under your patronage—not only as, by Charter, the manage­ment of the Charity itself is committed to the inspection of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and the Bi­shop of London, for the time being; but likewise as an humble acknowledgment of the obligations which each of you, my Lords, who now adorn those Sees, have been pleased to confer on,

Your most dutiful, and most obedient son and servant, WILLIAM SMITH.
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Some Account of the Rise and Progress of the Cha­ritable Corporation, "for the Relief of the Wi­dows and Children of Clergymen, in Communion of the Church of ENGLAND in America."

THE distressed circumstances, in which the Episcopal Clergy in the more northern provinces of America, and especially the Missionaries in the service of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, have too frequently been obliged to leave their families, had long been matter of dis­couragement to many from entering into the ministry of our Church, as well as of regret to pious and worthy mem­bers thereof.

AFTER sundry overtures, from time to time, it was at length resolved, at a meeting of the clergy at Elizabeth-Town, in New-Jersey, October 1767, to appoint a com­mittee to frame some plan of provision for the distressed wi­dows and children of such of our clergy as should die in nar­row or necessitous circumstances. In pursuance of this ap­pointment, the reverend Dr. Auchmuty, Rector of Trinity Church, the reverend Dr. Cooper, President of King's Col­lege, both of New-York, the reverend Mr. Cooke, Mis­sionary in Monmouth county, New-Jersey, and myself, met at Perth-Amboy, May 12, 1768; and drew up a scheme for the approbation of our brethren; recommending it to them to sollicit charters in each of the three provinces of New-York, New-Jersey and Pennsylvania, that we might be a body corporate, in which ever of these provinces we might have occasion to meet.

[Page 5]THIS scheme having obtained the approbation of several succeeding meetings of the clergy, and a draft of a charter being settled, two persons were appointed in each province to sollicit the passing thereof; viz. the reverend Dr. Auch­muty, and Dr. Cooper, in New-York; the reverend Mr. Cooke, and Mr. Odell, in New-Jersey; and the reverend Mr. Peters *, and myself, in Pennsylvania. And justice requires, that the most public and grateful testimony should be given of that readiness and cheerfulness, with which the several Governors consented to the grant of the charters in their respective provinces.

THE charter for Pennsylvania was obtained the 7th of February last; the honorable JOHN PENN, Esq the Go­vernor, having ordered the seal to be put to it on the first application. And the worthy and honorable Proprietaries of the province, as soon as the design was made known to them in London, took the earliest opportunity to signify their hearty approbation of it, and wishes for its success. His Excellency, Governor FRANKLIN, shewed the same readiness, and the charter for New-Jersey was compleated in May. That for New-York, altho' cheerfully assented to by his Excellency Sir HENRY MOORE, Baronet, was de­layed by his indisposition and death; but the passing it was one of the first acts of his successor, the honorable Lieu­tenant Governor COLDEN, who put the seal to it, the 29th of September last.

AS it will be of use, to the members of the corporation especially, that each of them should have a copy of their charters to have recourse to, as occasion may require, I shall here insert that for New-York; not meaning thereby any other preference than what is usually claimed by that co­lony, in virtue of seniority, among her sister ones.

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CHARTER Of the CORPORATION, for the Relief of WIDOWS and CHILDREN of CLERGYMEN, in the Commu­nion of the CHURCH of ENGLAND, in America.

GEORGE the Third, by the Grace of God, of Great-Britain, France and Ireland, King, De­fender of the Faith, and so forth; TO all to whom these presents shall come, GREETING. WHEREAS our loving subjects, the clergy of our pro­vince of New-York, in North-America, in communion of the church of England, as by Law established, by their humble petition, presented to our trusty and well-beloved Sir Henry Moore, Baronet, our Captain General and Go­vernor in Chief in and over our province of New-York, and the territories depending thereon in America, Chancellor and Vice-Admiral of the same, and read in our council for our said province on the twenty-second day of March now last past, Have set forth, that the clergy of the church of England in the American colonies, and especially the mis­sionaries in the service of the Society for the propagation of the gospel in foreign parts, are, with great difficulty, able to provide for their families, so that their widows and children are often left in great distress; that for remedy thereof corporations have, by charters, been erected in the provinces of Pennsylvania and New-Jersey, for receiving, managing and disposing of such sums of money, as may be contributed and given as a fund towards the support and re­lief [Page 7] of the widows and children of the said clergy; and for the further promotion of which laudable and charitable de­sign, the petitioners humbly prayed our royal charter, un­der the seal of our said province of New-York, to create them, and such other persons as should be named therein, a body politic and corporate, with the like powers and im­munities as are contained in the above-mentioned charters, granted in the colonies of Pennsylvania and New-Jersey, or such other powers and privileges, as might be thought ex­pedient by our said Captain General and Governor in Chief. WHEREFORE we, favouring the said useful and laudable design, and being fully convinced of the loyalty and affection of the clergy in America, in communion of the church of England, as by law established, to our royal person and government, are graciously pleased to grant to the Petitioners their reasonable request—KNOW YE, that of our especial grace, certain knowledge, and meer motion, We have given and granted, and by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, Do give and grant, that our trusty and well-beloved Cadwalader Colden, Esq our Lieutenant-Governor and Commander in Chief of our pro­vince of New-York, Sir William Johnson, Baronet, John Watts, Charles Ward Apthorpe, and Henry Cruger, Es­quires, of the province of New-York; William Alexan­der, Esq claiming to be Earl of Stirling; Peter Kemble, Charles Read, James Parker, Samuel Smith, and Frederick Smythe, Esquires, of the province of New-Jersey; James Hamilton, Lyn-Ford Lardner, Benjamin Chew, and James Tilghman, Esquires, of the city of Philadelphia, in the province of * Pennsylvania; the Reverend William Smith, Samuel Auchmuty, and Thomas Bradbury Chandler, Doc­tors in Divinity; Myles Cooper, Doctor of Laws; Rich­ard Peters, William Currie, Richard Charlton, Philip Read­ing, [Page 8] George Craig, John Ogilvie, Samuel Cooke, Samuel Seabury, Thomas Barton, Charles Inglis, William Thomp­son, Jacob Duché, Leonard Cutting, Alexander Murray, Ephraim Avery, John Beardiley, Jonathan Odell, Samuel Magaw, John Andrews, Abraham Beach, William Ayres, and William Frazer, clerks; Joseph Galloway, Alexander Stedman, John Ross, Richard Hockley, Samuel Johnson, Thomas Willing, John Swift, Samuel Powel, Francis Hopkinson, and William Atley, Esquires, and Doctor John Kearsley, of the province of Pennsylvania; John Ta­bor Kempe, John Livingston, Elias Debrosses, James De Lancey, James Cortland, Isaac Willet, Nicholas Stuyve­sant, James Duane, Jacob Le Roy, Benjamin Kissam, Ja­cob Walton, and William Axtell, of the Province of New-York, Esquires; Cortlandt Skinner, Daniel Coxe, and John Lawrence, Esquires, of the province of New-Jersey; and such other persons as shall be hereafter elected and ad­mitted members of the corporation erected, and to be erect­ed, by these presents, according to the tenor hereof, and of such bye-laws and constitutions, as shall hereafter be made by the said corporation, be, and for ever hereafter shall be, by virtue of these presents, ONE BODY CORPORATE AND POLITIC in deed, fact and name, by the name of, THE CORPORATION FOR THE RELIEF OF THE WIDOWS AND CHILDREN OF CLERGYMEN IN THE COMMUNION OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND IN AMERICA, and them by the same name, ONE BODY CORPORATE AND POLITIC in deed, fact and name, we do for us, our heirs and succes­sors, fully create, constitute and confirm, by these presents; and Do grant that by the same name they, and their succes­sors, shall and may have perpetual succession, and shall and may, at all times hereafter, be persons able and capable in the law to purchase, take, have, hold, receive, enjoy and transmit to their successors lands, tenements, rents and hereditaments, within our said province of New-York, [Page 9] York, to the value of One Thousand Pounds Sterling by the year in the clear, above all out-goings and reprizes, in fee simple, or for any other estate, term or interest, whatsoever; and to take, have, hold, receive, enjoy and transmit to their successors, goods, chattels, monies, and effects, but at no one time to exceed the sum of Twenty Thousand Pounds Sterling in the gross, within our said province of New-York, And may and shall, by the name aforesaid, do and execute all things touching and concerning the same, for the bene­fit, succour and relief of the WIDOWS and CHILDREN of such deceased clergymen, who have been in communion of the church of England, as shall or may be contributors to the funds of the said corporation, and in such manner, rates, proportions and annuities, as shall be reasonably settled, ad­justed, agreed to, and expressed in the bye-laws and regula­tions, which shall be made, from time to time, by our said corporation, and their successors. And also, that they, and their successors, by the name aforesaid, be, and shall be for ever hereafter, persons able and capable in the law to sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, answer and be an­swered unto, defend and be defended, in all or any courts of justice, and before all or any judges, officers or other persons whatsoever, in all and singular actions, plaints, pleas, suits, causes, matters and demands, of what nature, kind or sort soever. And that it shall and may be lawful to and for them our said corporation, and their successors, for ever hereafter, to have a Common Seal for their use, and in their affairs and business, and the same, at the will and pleasure of them, and their successors, to change, alter, break and make new, from time to time, as they shall think best: And for the well governing and ordering the affairs of our said corporation, we do, for us, our heirs and successors, further grant, that it shall and may be lawful for them, and their successors, to meet together on the First Tuesday af­ter the feast of Saint Michael, in every year, and at such [Page 10] other time and times, and in such places, upon such public notice given, as may be fixed and agreed upon by certain fundamental regulations, to be first duly made and enacted, by a majority of our said corporation, and never afterwards to be altered, but by a like majority of the members for the time being: And they our said corporation, being so met, in such number, and agreeable to such notice, as shall be fixed by the said fundamental regulations, shall have full power and authority, from time to time, to make other ne­cessary laws and regulations, and to transact, manage and settle; all such matters and things, touching and concern­ing the affairs of our said corporation, as they shall be im­powered and authorized to transact, settle and manage, by virtue of the fundamental laws and regulations of our said corporation, once duly made and enacted by a majority of the contributors and members as aforesaid. And all the bye-laws and regulations so made, whether concerning the election of officers and servants, or concerning the Govern­ment, and management of the estate, goods, chattels, re­venue, business and affairs, of our said corporation, shall have full effect and force, and be binding upon, and invi­olably observed by, all the members of the said corporation, from time to time, according to the tenor and effect of the same; PROVIDED that the same be reasonable in their own nature, and not contrary to the laws of that part of Great-Britain, called England, or of our said province of New-York. AND FURTHER, we do hereby constitute and appoint Richard Peters, of the city of Philadelphia afore­said, clerk, to be the First President of this our corporation; and Thomas Bradbury Chandler, doctor in divinity, to be the First Treasurer; and Jonathan Odell, clerk, to be the First Secretary; who shall continue in their respective offices until the first Tuesday after the feast of Saint Michael, now next ensuing, and from thenceforwards until one president, one or more treasurer or treasurers, and one secretary be [Page 11] chosen in their rooms, in such manner, and for such term and period, as shall be settled by the fundamental regula­tions, to be made for that purpose by a majority of the said corporation, duly met and convened. AND LASTLY, we do hereby, for us, our heirs and successors, ordain, or­der, and appoint, that the accounts and transactions of the said corporation, legally and properly vouched and authen­ticated, shall, from time to time, and as often as demand­ed, be laid before the Lords Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and the Bishop of London, for the time being, or such person and persons as they may from time to time ap­point for that purpose, in America, in order that the said Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and the Bishop of London, for the time being, or such person and persons, ap­pointed by them as aforesaid, may ratify and confirm the said accounts, or subject them to such revisal, check and confirmation, as may be thought just and reasonable. IN TESTIMONY whereof, we have caused these our let­ters to be made patent, and the great seal of our said pro­vince of New-York to be hereunto affixed, and the same to be entered on record in our Secretary's office, in our city of New-York, in one of the books of patents there remaining. WITNESS our said trusty and well-beloved Cadwalader Colden, Esquire, our Lieutenant Governor and Commander in Chief of our said province of New-York, and the ter­ritories depending thereon in America, at our Fort, in our city of New-York, by and with the advice and consent of our council for our said province of New-York, the twen­ty-ninth day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixty-nine, and of our reign the ninth.

The gentlemen named before the clergy, are of the councils of the different provinces.

[Page 12]THE Charters granted in Pennsylvania and New-Jersey being, in every article, the same as the above, it would be needless to insert copies of them here. The names of the persons incorporated are the same in all of them, and stand in the same order; excepting only, that the names of those who are of the Council for each province, stand first in the charter granted in that particular province.

As the first meeting appointed by each charter, was to be on the Tuesday and Wednesday next following the Feast of St. Michael, 1769, which were the 3d and 4th of this present October; most of the Clerical, and sundry of the Lay Members, met accordingly at Burlington, in New-Jer­sey, on Tuesday, October 3d; and the President having ta­ken the chair, the different Charters were read, and com­pared with each other.

ON the day following, the members who were met, be­ing 19 in Number, presented an Address of Thanks to his Excellency Governor FRANKLIN, which he answered with the warmest wishes for the success of the pious design for which the corporation had been erected; and added, that it would always give him pleasure to render any acceptable service to the members or the Church of England.

As humble Application had been made some time before to the venerable Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, praying their countenance and assistance in carrying the de­sign into execution; their Answer, signed by their wor­thy Secretary, the reverend Dr. Burton, was produced and read as follows, viz. ‘That as a mark of their earnest de­sire to forward so benevolent an undertaking, they wil­lingly charge themselves with an annual contribution of Twenty Pounds Sterling to the Scheme for each of the provinces of New-York, New-Jersey and Pennsylvania; that is, SIXTY POUNDS STERLING per annum in the whole; for which the treasurer of the Corporation for the relief of the WIDOWS, &c. may draw on the trea­surer [Page 13] to the Society, for propagating the gospel, com­mencing from the time that the Charters should be ob­tained, and the Subscriptions of the Clergy themselves take place here.’—The Thanks due to the venerable So­ciety for such a fresh mark of their goodness and kindness to the Episcopal Clergy in these parts, are ordered to be properly transmitted to them.

FINDING that a majority of the members of the Cor­poration could not be conveniently convened at Burlington, to enact Fundamental Rules, agreeable to the tenor of the Charters, it was sound necessary to proceed to Philadelphia, without breaking up; and a committee was appointed to have all the necessary papers in readiness. It was also a­greed, that there should be an Anniversary Sermon before the Corporation; and that each of the Clerical members should preach in turn, agreeable to the Order in which their names stand in the charters. By this regulation it fell to my share to be prepared to preach the following SERMON at Philadelphia, as soon as the requisite majority should be convened; and I sincerely wish it may be found an introduction in any degree worthy of a Charity so truly founded in the best principles of Religion, as well as Hu­manity!

THE remainder of the business being transacted after the sermon, will be taken notice of in its place.

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A SERMON, Preached in Christ-Church, Philadelphia, October 10, 1769, before the Corporation for the Relief of the Widows and Children of Clergymen, in Communion of the Church of ENGLAND, in America.

JOB xxix. 11—13.

When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me; BECAUSE I deliver­ed the Poor that cried, and the FATHERLESS, and him that had none to help him. The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me, and I caused the WI­DOW's heart to sing for joy.

JEREMIAH xlix. 11.

Leave thy FATHERLESS CHILDREN, I will preserve them alive; and let thy WIDOWS trust in me.

JAMES i. 27.

PURE RELIGION and undefiled, before God and the Father, is this—To visit the FATHERLESS and WIDOWS in their affliction; and to keep ourselves unspotted from the world.


IT is from no affectation of singularity, that I have in­troduced this discourse to you, with Sundry texts of scripture, instead of One; but to shew how rich are the sacred oracles of God, as in exalted lessons of BENE­VOLENCE in general, so particularly that amiable branch [Page 15] thereof which I am to recommend to your present regard. Thro' the whole inspired books of the Old Testament, as well as the New, we shall scarce find a writer that hath not made the cause of the FATHERLESS and WIDOWS peculi­arly his own.

AMIDST a very imperfect system of Morality, even in the Heathen-world, the voice of God, speaking in the hearts of men, had carried their Lessons of Benevolence to a more exalted pitch, than most other branches of their Doctrine; in so much, that some of their Sages could embrace, in the calm Wish of PHILANTHROPY, the whole * human species.

BUT it was from the Scriptures of GOD, and particular­ly from the divine Documents of our SAVIOUR and his A­postles, that the doctrine of UNIVERSAL LOVE AND CHA­RITY, received its finishing lustre, and was placed on its true foundation▪ Altho' the motives to this heavenly vir­tue be strong, both in the Old and New-Testament, yet are they carried infinitely farther in the Latter, and pressed home upon nobler and more animating principles.

TRUE it is, that no writer can express a more amiable Spirit of Benevolence, nor recount his acts of Mercy and Kindness, with more conscious delight and complacency, than the author of the book of Job; as well in the passage before us, as elsewhere—

‘WHEN the ear heard me, then it blessed me; when the eye saw me, then it gave witness to me’—and why? ‘BECAUSE I delivered the Poor that cried, and the FA­THERLESS, and him that had none to help him. The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me, and I caused the WIDOW's heart to sing for joy.’

THE principles upon which he acted in all this, may per­haps be understood from what he says afterwards—

FOR—‘If I have withheld the Poor from their desire, or caused the eyes of the WIDOW to fail; if I have eaten [Page 16] my morsel myself alone, and the FATHERLESS hath not eaten thereof; if I have seen any perish for want of cloathing, or any Poor without covering, and his loins have not blessed me—and he were not warmed with the fleece of my sheep—If I have made Gold my hope, or have said to the fine Gold, thou art my confidence—this were an Iniquity to be punished by the Judge; for I should have denied that God is above *.’

SO that the sum of his argument seems to amount just to this—That if out of the Good Things wherewith my Al­mighty Creator hath abundantly blessed me, I should re­fuse to communicate and provide for the Destitute, I should be worthy of the highest punishment. For this would be, in effect, to claim all those things as my own absolute and perfect property, which are only given me in trust by my benevolent Maker. It would be denying that the Almighty reigns in heaven Above, the sole and absolute source of eve­ry thing we enjoy here Below. In such case, justly might He re-claim his own, strip me of all his bounty hath given me, turn me naked into the world, leave the wife of my bo­som destitute, and my children, in their turn, to beg in vain for that bread which my unfeeling heart refused to others.

SCARCE any higher than this will the Old Testament do­cuments of Love and Beneficence be found to run; and no small height it is—but founded, however, on arguments of Almighty justice and judgment, seemingly reaching no far­ther than to secure the divine favour in this world. Whol­ly in this strain is the language of the old law itself—

‘YE shall not afflict any WIDOW OF FATHERLESS CHILD; for if ye afflict them in any wise, and they cry unto me, I will hear their cry, and my Wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the Sword; and YOUR WIVES shall be WIDOWS, and Your Children FATHER­LESS .’

[Page 17]SUCH denounciations of Wrath and Punishment, like the Thunderings and Burnings of the Mount, were suited to bend and awe the hearts of a people, whose Genius was too gross and servile, or too stubborn, to be woo'd and won by the soft breathings of Everlasting LOVE. And here the danger was, that attentive only to the Letter of the Law, and its awful Sanctions, but not discerning its divine Spi­rit, the outward offices of LOVE and BENEFICENCE, might be fulfilled from Carnal motives—to secure the Divine fa­vour in this world—as considering that the more liberally they might give, the more liberally they would be supplied, of God's infinite bounty. Or the fond Praise of Men might be no small motive—that ‘the ear which heard them might bless them, and the eye which saw them, bear witness to their good deeds.’

OF this Spirit were those who affected ‘to bestow their Alms before men.’ But when JESUS CHRIST came to give a more noble foundation to the Law of LOVE and CHA­RITY, this Ostentatious Spirit met with his early reprehen­sion. Altho' he did not annul the Old Testament motives to Love and Alms-giving, he added new ones, infinitely more powerful and animating. He placed Life and Im­mortality before us. He taught us that we were Candidates for an Eternity of Glory, which none could be fit to in­herit, but they who, having the LOVE OF GOD shed abroad in their Hearts, did, for his sake, Love all his CREATURES, and prepare their Souls for the final enjoyment of Him, thro' the constant exercise of every act of Kindness and Mercy here below. And in the rapturous glimpses he gives us of this future and eternal bliss, and of that awful pro­cess and sentence which is to fix the doom of mankind— CHARITY to the Poor, the Sick, and the Needy, is made the grand Preparation of the Heart, for all that we can hope to enjoy from him.

[Page 18]NOR was it by Doctrines alone, but by constant and liv­ing Example, that this heavenly Temper was inculcated by Him. As his Errand into the world was at first pro­claimed by choirs of Angels to be ‘Glory to GOD on high, with Peace and GOOD-WILL to Men on earth’—so GOOD-WILL to Men was the leading principle of his whole life; which was at last closed with an act of GOOD-WILL so stupenduously great, that both Men and Angels were left astonished at the Benevolence thereof—For he died to save sinners—He breathed out his last in ‘LOVE which pas­seth knowledge ,’—constituting LOVE as the grand criterion, whereby all who should afterwards profess his name, might be truly known § as his.

IN this evangelic view, well might LOVE be stiled a New Law; as founded not in a mere Regard to almighty Justice, or Fear of almighty Judgment; but in a Heart that is cast into the very Mold of LOVE itself—in a Temper that is Angelic, nay, even Seraphic, Godlike, Divine, and alrea­dy so raised above this world, as to be daily ripening for the world to come!

FOLLOWING this Doctrine of LOVE, given by our bles­sed SAVIOUR, nay, Living in it, and Feeling it in all its di­vine efficacy, his faithful Apostles constantly pressed it home to men, upon his own heavenly principles. Thus we find St. James, in the Text read to you, placing all Religion in a Heart thus set loose to the world—thus breathing the dictates of Humanity and Love.

‘PURE Religion, and undefiled before God (our Savi­our) and the Father, is This—To visit the FATHER­LESS and WIDOWS in their affliction, and to keep our­selves unspotted from the world.’

BUT the fervent Apostle St. Paul, of all others, with his usual zeal, enters the fullest into this subject. His 12th and 13th chapters to the Corinthians, are one continued [Page 19] lecture on our SAVIOUR's heavenly Doctrine of CHARITY; which, by a sublime train of argument, he exalts above all other Virtues and Graces—even above those truly Evange­lic Ones—FAITH and HOPE.

IF therefore, we would wish to understand this essential Doctrine aright, and to be truly actuated by the Life and Spirit of Heavenly Love, a short analysis of our Apostle's arguments, will be of the utmost use; and also be the best introduction I can give to the recommendation of that par­ticular Branch of Charity; for which I have the honor to be appointed an humble advocate before you.

THERE had started up, in the Church of Corinth (as there hath, alas! in many churches since) a sett of men, who being elated with an over-weening conceit of their own Spiritual Gifts—the strength of their FAITH, and the ar­dor of their HOPE, in Christ Jesus—made that a plea for lording it over their brethren; and for Spiritual Pride, rash Condemnation, and censorious contempt of others; con­tending that those endowed with superior Gifts and Ac­quisitions, were as the Head, Heart, and Vital parts of the Body, while others were as the meaner Members.

SAINT Paul attacks them on their own Principles; and, by a beautiful Allusion to the Body Natural, proves that Christians of lower attainments, were as much members of Christ's Mystical body, as those of the highest; and that to condemn or judge uncharitably of them, was as much a Schism in the Body Mystical, as if in the Body Natural, ‘the Foot should say, because I am not the Hand; and the Ear, because I am not the Eye—that therefore, they are not of the Body. For if the whole were an Eye, where were the Hearing? If the whole were Hearing, where were the Smelling?’

JUST so in the Body Mystical. ‘Are all Apostles? are all Prophets? are all Teachers? are all Workers of Mi­racles? Have all the Gifts of Healing? Do all speak with Tongues? Do all Interpret?’

[Page 20]YOU do well, says he, to covet earnestly these "best of Gifts." But, would you have the true Spirit of your Master CHRIST, and be his Followers indeed?—Behold, I will shew you "A MORE EXCELLENT WAY," than that of striving to make yourselves great by Boasting of any your own Acquisitions, however eminent.

HE then begins his divine Sermon on CHARITY; and surely, my Brethren, he could not have delivered himself with a more glorious and fervent Zeal, had he lived to see those fiercer Contentions, that Havock and Destruction, which the want of this Gospel-virtue of CHARITY hath introduced into modern times—that Spirit of Bitterness and Violence; that Thirst of Imperiousness and Dominion; that presumptuous Censure and religious Railing; that Strife for modes and opinions, unessential to Christianity; that Desire of obtruding our own distinguishing Tenets on those around us, rather than the common Commandments of CHRIST; that Earnestness of Compelling their FAITH, ra­ther than provoking their LOVE and OBEDIENCE by our good example—all which unchristian Temper hath been, like the worm at the root of Jonah's Gourd, eating out the very Vitals of Religion; and hath often made this world more like an Aceldama, or field of Blood, than the peace­ful Heritage of the meek and lowly Jesus. For most cer­tain it is, from sad experience, that when once this Temper begins to prevail, not only the LOVE OF GOD is forgotten, but along with it the LOVE OF OUR NEIGHBOURS also; and the Heart, by Habits of Bitterness, Censoriousness, Con­tention, Violence and Revenge, becomes gradually call us, and dead to all the softer impressions of Humanity, Mercy and Good-will.

SAINT Paul, determined to give an early check to this growing evil in the Churches, attacks it with an undaunted firmness, and truly Apostolic ardor.

[Page 21]SUPPOSE, says he, that you had all those Gifts and Ac­quisitions, whereof you so fondly glory—suppose your Elo­quence so great, that you could speak with the tongues of Men and Angels; your Knowledge so enlarged, that you could understand all Mysteries, and interpret all Difficulties; your desire of Alms-giving such, that you could bestow all your Goods to feed the Poor; your Mortification to the world so strong, that you had subdued all carnal appetites; your FAITH sufficient even to remove mountains; your HOPE in CHRIST so fervent, that you could give your Bodies to be burnt for the Truth of his Doctrines—Yet, for all this, I tell you, that "if you have not CHARITY, you are NO­THING!" All these Gifts and Acquisitions—all these good Deeds—are of no estimation in the sight of GOD, if they are not ministerial to that LOVE which is the fulfilling of the whole Law; and are not performed in ‘that more ex­cellent Way of CHARITY,’ which is the Spirit of the Gospel, and the very badge of Christian Perfection!

FOR Eloquence, employed to puff up the vanity of the possessor, and not exerted, in the spirit of Love and Truth, to propagate Universal Holiness, "is but as the sounding Brass, and tinkling Cymbal."

ALMS-GIVINGS, Mortifications, Zeal for Doctrines, or Zeal against them, sanctimonious Appearances, the most consummate Knowledge—all of them are dead and unpro­fitable, if not accompanied with the unfeigned LOVE of God and our Neighbour. Nay, even the divine virtues of FAITH and HOPE are fruitless, unless productive of CHA­RITY, which is Greater than They!

BUT altho' this vast preheminence is given to CHARITY over FAITH and HOPE, let us not think that St. Paul meant to derogate from the latter. On the contrary, he every where magnifies Them, that CHARITY, on the Comparison, may appear the more illustrious. And in this very place, he paints before us, in the strongest colours, the FAITH and [Page 22] HOPE of Abraham, of Moses, the Patriarchs, and first Mar­tyrs; shewing that, by these divine Graces, they were led to persevere in Love and Obedience thro' all the trials of life.—

WOULD we truly know the Apostle's distinction on this head, methinks it may be rendered obvious in a few words, however needlesly perplexed it hath been.

FAITH and HOPE with him are indeed ever made the foundations of true RELIGION. But LOVE is the super­structure; or it is Religion itself, in all its perfection and glory. FAITH, in his comprehensive language, is the ‘Substance of Things Hoped for, the Evidence of Things not seen’—That is to say—a strong Belief in the ador­able Perfections of God, and in the worth and reality of Invisible things—a Belief that as his Veracity hath never failed us in the Past, so neither will it fail in the Accom­plishment of those glorious Future Things which he hath promised, altho' they may be too high and mighty for our present Comprehension. And thus those future Invisible things become Evidenced to us, and presented before us, as if already enjoyed in Substance and Reality; leading us to lay hold of Christ as offered to us in the gospel; all which is connected with, or necessarily productive of, the next divine grace and virtue, stiled by our Apostle HOPE, or "the HOPE of Righteousness by FAITH"—a firm and joyous Confidence, that our sincere, tho' imperfect, Ser­vices will be accepted thro' Him, instead of that unsinning Obedience required by the strict tenor of the Law; and that we shall be Justified, Sanctified, and finally Saved by coming to God, in this "new and living way."

NOW, can such Views of God's Goodness as these, be without LOVE? Or would these views be of any use at all, but for leading us to that LOVE, which begets Obedience and Conformity to what is so Lovely and Venerable?

[Page 23]JUSTLY therefore is this living FAITH stiled the foun­dation of that EVANGELIC Religion, whose essence is LOVE. For surely we cannot have LOVE to Him in whom we have not HOPE; nor have HOPE in Him in whom we have not BELIEVED. But still, if our FAITH and HOPE were to stop short of LOVE and OBEDIENCE, they would be of no value; for Love and Obedience are their end; and are the only perfections that can assimilate us to Angels, or in any wise make us fit for that heavenly Communion, Where LOVE is to constitute our eternal Felicity.

THUS, my brethren, I have endeavoured, as briefly as I could, to state St. Paul's great argument for the Prehe­minence given to CHARITY. And, I trust, what hath been said, will not be deemed a deviation from my subject. For it was my express purpose, by taking a Text from both Testaments, to shew how infinitely more powerful are the Motives to LOVE and Beneficence, under the New than the Old covenant; and that, therefore, if we do not shine superior in all acts of Love and Mercy, under so Loving and Merciful a Dispensation; even the men of Nineveh, and the Queen of the South, shall rise in judgment against us—seeing neither Jew nor Gentile, before the coming of CHRIST, had those gracious and tender Calls to LOVE, Which the Gospel is now constantly sounding in our ear!

YE Sages! ye Rabbi's! ye venerable names of antiquity! we honor you for your Lessons of Benevolence; and rather blush for ourselves that you proceeded so far, than wonder that your progress was no greater.

YET say, O thou JEW, whoever thou wert, in antient times, whose heart was made to glow for thy species, on the principles of thine own Law—say, what would have been thy raptures of Benevolence, hadst thou known the true Messiah, and been tutored in his mild and evangelic doctrines of Love?

[Page 24]SAY also, thou GENTILE-SAGE! whoever thou wert, that by considering God only as the common Creator, and all Men as the work of his hands, couldst from thence infer the duties of Mutual Love among the whole species—say further, whoever thou wert, that, by beholding His stars in the firmament mix their friendly rays in aid of each other, couldst from thence conclude, that all his creatures here be­low ought to mingle in like friendly offices—say, how would thy soul have been enflamed towards God, and to­wards Man, had any Star or Constellation, in all thy Cata­logue, pointed § to Christ the Power of God, dying in an Act of LOVE to thee—nay, setting LOVE before thee, as his last great Command, and the sum total of everlasting bliss?

BUT here thy perspective was limited—where (blessed be God) ours is infinitely extended; for CHARITY (to crown our Apostle's eulogium on it) never Faileth, but endureth for ever: It hath a place among the perfections of God, which neither FAITH nor HOPE can have; since, where all is pure VISION, there can be no exercise for FAITH; nor, where all is perfect FRUITION, can there be room for HOPE. Our FAITH and HOPE can give us no re­semblance of God; but our CHRITY makes us, in some sort, what He himself is in a Superlative manner—the Helpers of the Helpless, and partakers of his own joy in beholding a happy world! Our FAITH and HOPE may serve us as the Handmaids of LOVE here below; but leaving them behind us, as of no further use, our LOVE is all that we shall carry hence with us, as our Dowery from Earth to Heaven!

AS yonder majestic * Delaware is fed and supported in its course, by tributary rills and springs flowing from each mountain's side, till at length it comes to mix its waters [Page 25] with its Parent Ocean, where it no longer stands in need of their scanty supplies; so FAITH and HOPE are the nourish­ing Springs of our LOVE in our journey Heaven-wards; but when once arrived there, we shall no longer stand in need of their Aid. ‘When that which is Perfect is come, that which is in Part shall be done away.’ Our FAITH shall be swallowed up in VISION, and our HOPE in FRUITION; but our CHARITY and LOVE shall remain for ever, mixing and blending in the unbounded ocean of PARENTAL and ETERNAL LOVE!

O CHARITY, thou heaven-born Virtue! Can the tongues of Men, or even of Angels, speak more excellent things of thee? Or can a more transcendent rank be now assigned thee—than, that the Saviour of the world hath thus made thee the badge of Christian perfection; and his inspired followers have enthroned thee as the Queen of all Evange­lic Graces and Virtues; declaring, that neither the Mar­tyr's zeal, nor the self-denial of the Saint, nor all Lan­guages, nor all Knowledge, nor any Virtue besides, can profit or adorn the man any thing, who is unadorned with thy sweet celestial garb! But he who is thus adorned, is the most august spectacle upon earth—whom even Angels sur­vey with delight, as cloathed in that peculiar garb, which Christ himself vouchsafed to wear here below, and which shall not need to be put off in Heaven above.

WE see, then, my brethren, that Gospel-Charity, thus explained, includes in it almost unspeakable things; its shortest character, to sum up all in a few words, being no less than this—

"An ardent and seraphic LOVE OF GOD, grafted in a stedfast Belief of his adorable Attributes, a firm Reliance on the goodness and justice of his Moral Government, a rap­turous and comprehensive view of his scheme of Providence, a Heart thoroughly touched and melted with that asto­nishing Plan of Love manifested in Christ, and a Mind [Page 26] darting forward to those everlasting scenes of bliss promi­sed thro' him, in a well grounded and triumphant Expecta­tion of their sure accomplishment. Now the true LOVE OF GOD, founded on such exalted principles as these, cannot but be accompanied with the second branch of Gospel-Charity, the LOVE OF OUR NEIGHBOUR also—engaging us in an affectionate Concern for the welfare of our Whole Spe­cies, with a quick and pervading Sense of all the Good or Evil that can befal them in this world; considering them as Brethren—made by the same PARENT-GOD; Redeem­ed by the same SAVIOUR-JESUS; travelling together to the same heavenly Country, and commanded to alleviate each others burdens, "and not to fall out by the way."

TO you then, who have this just conception of the na­ture of Gospel-Charity, and have the true Love of God, and of Mankind, reigning in your hearts, my intended Applica­tion will be easy. For if all acts of Love and Beneficence, so far as our abilities and opportunities reach, be branches of this heavenly virtue, I have the authority of Scripture to say, that the Cause of the FATHERLESS and WIDOWS, claims a primary and most special regard.

IN the Text, taken from Jeremiah, the Almighty himself, in the midst of the severest denounciations against a rebellious people, yet seems to relent in mercy towards the FATHERLESS and WIDOWS—‘Leave thy FATHER­LESS CHILDREN, I will preserve them alive; and let thy WIDOWS trust in me.’

UNDER the Law, remarkable was the attention paid to the STRANGER, the FATHERLESS, and the WIDOW. ‘When thou cuttest down thine Harvest, and hast forgot­ten a Sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go to fetch it— it shall be for the STRANGER, the FATHERLESS, and the WIDOW—when thou beatest thine Olive-tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again—when thou gather­est the Grapes of thy Vineyard, thou shalt not glean it [Page 27] afterwards—it shall be for the STRANGER, the FA­THERLESS, and the WIDOW *.’

EVEN David, altho' he resisted his own natural affec­tions, and continued inexorable to the recal of a favourite Son, who had offended him, yet could not withstand those mournful accents of the WIDOW of Tekoah—‘Help. O King—I am indeed a WIDOW-WOMAN, and my Hus­band is Dead’

THE story is truly tender, tho' feigned. And if this WIDOW's Apparent Distress could procure an oath of Da­vid, that a hair of her son (whose life was forfeited to the public) should not fall to the ground, only by pleading, that if this son was lost, ‘her coal, which was alive, would be quenched, and neither name nor remainder be left to her husband on earth’—I say, if this story of Feigned Distress could so far prevail, surely the voice of Real Distress will have a still greater influence—the voice of WIDOWS indeed! not pleading for lives forfeited to the law, but for Themselves, and their Children—for the Names and Remainders of your own Clergy, that they may not be wholly lost upon earth—the Names and Remain­ders of men, who have once been your dear Friends in CHRIST-JESUS; men who, in their life-time, have administered to you heavenly Counsel, and sweet Comfort, in his precious Word and Covenant; and men who may have often opened your Souls to flow in those godlike streams of Benevolence and Charity to others, wherewith those Helpless Remainders of themselves now stand in need to be relieved and refreshed at your hands.

MANY words are not needful to explain the nature and propriety of such a Charity as this, nor need I mention the long Call there hath been for its establishment.

YOU well know the situation and circumstances of the Clergy of the Church of England, in these Northern Co­lonies; [Page 28] for the Relief of whose families, when left in di­stress, this design is more particularly set on foot. Except in a few places, their chief support depends on the Bounty of our fellow-members of the Church in Great-Britain; and that venerable Society, who have the Distribution of this bounty, have of late been obliged, and will be still more obliged, to retrench their allowance; that, like faith­ful Stewards, they may be likewise able to reach out their helping hand to those numerous Petitioners for New Mis­sions, which arise from the constant encrease of People in these Colonies.

THE additional Support which our Clergy receive from their Congregations, is generally small, and exceedingly precarious; decreasing sometimes in Nominal, often in Real value; while the expence of every Necessary in life is proportionably encreasing.

DECENCY, a regard to Character, to their own Useful­ness, to the credit of Religion, and even your Credit, among whom they minister, require them to maintain some sort of Figure in their families, above those in common professions and business; while, certain it is, on the other hand, that any sober reputable Tradesman, can turn his In­dustry to more account than They.

THE like regard to Decency and character also forbids our Clergy to follow any Secular employ, in aid of their circumstances; unless, perhaps, here and there one, by Education, should have been qualified for some Practice in the Healing Art of Medicine, which is not deemed incom­patible with the Pastoral duty, where it is not too large.

ON the whole, this I will venture to assert, that were the generality of our Clergy to make their calculation according to the way of the world, the money * expended in their education at Schools and Colleges, a Voyage for Holy Or­ders, [Page 29] and the purchase of necessary books (if it had been laid out at first as a common Capital at Interest) would bring them a greater annual return, without any trouble or fa­tigue, either of Body or Mind, than they can procure by the labour of their whole lives, in discharge of their pastoral duty, exclusive of the Bounty of benevolent persons in the mother country.

I AM far from mentioning these things as Complaints; I know they are of Necessity in many places; and I trust none of my brethren among the Clergy will ever make their Cal­culation in this way; but keep their Eye on their MASTER's Service, looking forward to the "Recompence of Reward." Yet what I mention is so far necessary, as it shews incontesti­bly the great propriety of the design before us.

IT certainly requires little attention to what passes around us, to see that the families of our deceased Clergy are often left among the most distressed in their vicinity. The Fa­ther, by strict oeconomy, and good Example, may be able to support them in some degree of Reputation, during his own Life, altho' not to flatter them with the hopes of any Patrimony at his death. By his own Care, and some con­veniency of Schools, he may give the Sons the rudiments of an Education for his own profession, or some other useful one in the world. The Mother, with the like anxious Care, and fond Hopes of rendering the Daughters respect­able among their Sex, may employ her late and early toil to train their Minds to those virtues, and their Hands to that Diligence and Industry, which might one day make them the sweet accomplished companions of worthy men in do­mestic life.—

BUT alas! amidst all these flattering dreams and fond pre­sages of the heart, the Father, perhaps in his prime of years and usefulness, is called from this world. The Prop and Stay of all this promising Family is now no more! His Life was their whole dependence, under God, even for daily [Page 30] Bread! His Death leaves them almost destitute—destitute, alas! not of Bread only, but even of Council and Protec­tion upon earth!

FATAL reverse—Ah! little do the world in general, and especially they who bask in the easy sunshine of afflu­ence and prosperity—little do they know the various com­plicated scenes of private anguish and distress—Here they are various and complicated indeed!

THE Bereaved and Disconsolate MOTHER, as soon as Christian Reflection begins to dry up her tears a little, finds them wrung from her afresh by the melancholy Task that re­mains to her. She is now, alas! to reduce the once flatter­ing hopes of her tender Family, to the standard of their present sad and humbled condition! Hard Task indeed! The Son is to be told that he must no more aspire to reach the station which his Father filled; and the Daughter is to learn that, in this hard and selfish world, she must no longer ex­pect to become the Wife of him, to whom she once might have looked on terms of equality—The Son, perhaps, must descend to some Manual employ, while even the poor pit­tance necessary to settle him in That, is not to be found; and the Daughter must serve strangers, or be yoked perhaps in Marriage for Mere Bread; while the mournful mother (without the slow-procured help of Friends) can scarce fur­nish out the decent Wedding-garment!

WHAT did I say? the decent Wedding-garment, and a Marriage for Mere Bread? This were an Issue of troubles devoutly to be wished for!—But, ah me! The Snares of POVERTY in a Mind once bred up above it—shall every unguarded unprotected Female be able to escape them? Alas! no—Some VILLAIN-DECEIVER, with Vows and broken Oaths, with LOVE in his Mouth, and HELL in his Heart, taking advantage of Innocence in Distress, lays his scheme of destruction sure; and with the ruin of the Daugh­ter, [Page 31] brings the Mother's grey hairs down to the grave with accumulated sorrow!

JUST, but indignant, Heaven! Is there no chosen Ven­geance in this World, to heap on the heads of such per­fidious monsters, to SAVE them from that Vengeance, which they have merited, tho' yet we dare not wish them, in the World to come!

THIS sad part of the Catastrophe of many Females, de­scended from fathers, once venerable and pious in their day, we would willingly have passed over in silence; were not the experience of what has happened in other countries, more than sufficient to awaken our apprehensions in this.

THE picture here drawn, is no exaggerated one; and when the Children of Clergy, in low circumstances, are in an early age deprived of both Parents—then are they OR­PHANS indeed! and every distress, every temptation, falls upon them, with aggravated weight!

TO be FATHERS, then, to such FATHERLESS CHIL­DREN; to take them by the hand, and lead them out, thro' the snares of the world, into some public Usefulness in life, that the Name and Memorial of our dear Brethren and faith­ful Pastors deceased, may not be wholly lost upon earth— I say, to DO THIS, and give some Gleams of comfort to the afflicted WIDOWS and MOTHERS that survive—must surely be one of the most delightful Actions of a BENEVO­LENT Mind; and THIS, my brethren, is the glorious ob­ject of the CHARITY for which we are Incorporated, and which we have undertaken to sollicit and conduct.

BLESSED, therefore, be all they in this world and the next (Laity and Clergy) into whose Hearts God hath put it, to associate for so noble and pious a purpose. In like man­ner, may that venerable Society in England be blessed, whose annual Subscription hath laid so liberal a Foundation for the work; and blessed also be those Governors of Provinces, [Page 32] who have so cheerfully and readily given us their Charters for carrying it into execution!

HAPPY in such Beginnings and such Countenance, let us set ourselves earnestly to the discharge of our Part; leav­ing the Issue to GOD, and the Benevolence of good Men.

SOME *, perhaps, there may be, long accustomed to view every Transaction of our Church on this Continent with a jealous eye, and who being loudly tenacious of every pri­vilege of their own, tho' sparing in their allowance to o­thers—may therefore conceive more to be Intended by this undertaking than is Expressed.

TO such, however, if it may have any weight with them, I will declare, that altho' every thing relative to this design from the beginning has passed thro' my own hands, assisted by a few others, appointed for that purpose, I have never known the least hint or thought of any thing further ex­pected from the execution of it, than what our charters express.

BUT should it have all that happy Effect to us which some may apprehend from it, namely—that of producing a more intimate Connexion and UNION among our Clergy and Church-members; surely it is what we ought most ardent­ly to desire and pursue, at this time especially.

WHEN we see our Church and Ministry unreasonably opposed, and borne down in their common and essential rights; when we behold men seemingly Leaguing together to perpetuate this opposition from Father to Son; it can cer­tainly be no Harm in us, but our bounden Duty, to look to our own Concerns also; and particularly to take some [Page 33] Thought, that our Children be not left wholly Destitute in a world where We, and They on our account, are likely to meet with so little favour from many—

BUT my subject is CHARITY—I would not violate that subject; and I bless God that it hath not been violated, on our part, on this trying occasion; and that our general con­duct hath been such, as not to discredit the long-approved Moderation of that Church to which we belong.

IN the spirit of meekness and sober argument, firm, but (we hope) decent, our endeavour hath been to shew—That the Fears and Jealousies mustered up concerning us, could have no possible Foundation, without a total Abolition of the whole system of Law and Policy in these Colonies; that the Contingency which could render such an Abolition pos­sible, is as unlikely to happen as any thing that can well be imagined in this world; and that therefore, on the whole, it rests with the Consciences of our opponents themselves, to reconcile their own conduct to any principles of BRO­THERLY LOVE and CHARITY, or to any other principles whatever, not bordering on Intolerancy of Spirit, and an undue lust of Dominion on their own part.

SO far, we may felicitate ourselves. And if to have act­ed thus can be thought a breach of CHARITY, we must reply, that there is a CHARITY to Truth and Right, su­perior to all others. We have now but one step further, my brethren, to secure a Conquest, equally compleat and glo­rious—Let us, in the continuance of every act of Mode­ration, Love and Well-doing, be a LIVING ANSWER to Gainsayers; and the time may yet come, when, every other Strife being suspended, we shall all be so mollified one to another, so possessed of the Spirit of Gospel-Love, that we shall think it our mutual Honor, as it is our mutual Duty, to mix our whole endeavours in the Propagation of our Common Christianity, only striving whose Zeal shall be fore­most—nay, and even to mix our Deeds of Charity to [Page 34] the distressed, they with us, and we with them, as God shall give us abilities, without regard to Sect or Party.

HAPPY time, should it ever take place! For then would Men indeed FEEL a Truth, now little attended to; and which I wish I could write in letters legible to the whole Universe—"That there is a greater Weight and Moment of CHRISTIANITY, in one Deed of Benevolence, where we have the Power to do Good, or in one Sigh for Distress, where we have not the power (proceeding from a heart that is right towards God, and towards man) than in all the doubtful Points of Controversy, all the Opposition to Modes and Forms, that have busied and enflamed the world ever since the REFORMATION—and which will never deserve the true name of a REFORMATION, till this foul Reproach is wiped away from it also!"

BUT till that happy time arrives, it is to those of our own Communion we must chiefly look, for the success of the pious Charity before us. Humane and benevolent as they are known to be in all cases of Distress, the FATHER­LESS and WIDOWS of their own Clergy will never be with­out Advocates and Benefactors among them.

THE particular Rules by which this Charity is to be con­ducted are open to all; and the main support of the Fund is to be the annual Subscriptions of the Clergy themselves, with such casual Benefactions as, by the Providence of GOD, may be added to it.

IF Success should, in any Degree, be answerable to our hopes and wishes, it will surely be a high Satisfaction to the members of our Churches, to behold their Ministers so relieved from those anxious cares, which every man must have on the prospect of leaving a distressed Family behind him, as to proceed cheerfully in all Duty; knowing, that altho' they can acquire little, and leave less of their own in this world, there is some small provision to place their [Page 35] children above total want, and some Protectors and Friends to guard their Infant-years.

BUT a still higher Satisfaction will arise at the last Day, to all who have participated in such LABOURS OF LOVE—to hear those whom their Benevolence hath relieved, testify­ing for them before their ALMIGHTY JUDGE—or rather to hear their ALMIGHTY JUDGE himself testifying in the name of those relieved Destitutes, and embracing them with the following glorious sentence—

‘COME, ye blessed of my Father! inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world—’

‘FOR I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat; thirsty, and ye gave me drink; a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me; sick, and ye visited me; in prison, and ye came unto me.’

THAT all of us may be so Habituated to acts of Mercy and Love in the present world, as to be found fit for this happy sentence in the next, may GOD, of his infinite Mer­cy, grant thro' JESUS CHRIST! Amen.

[Page 36]AFTER the conclusion of the foregoing SERMON, a ve­ry generous collection was made at the Church-doors for the benefit of the Charity, as will appear by the annexed list of donations. And the members of the corporation, having continued in church till the congregation was dis­missed, proceeded from thence to present an address of thanks to the honourable Governor PENN, for his Grant of a Charter; requesting that their thanks might, in like man­ner, be transmitted, thro' him, to the honourable Proprie­taries of the province, THOMAS PENN, and RICHARD PENN, Esquires, for the hearty approbation they had given of the design; to all which his Honour was pleased to return a very affectionate answer, expressive of his readiness, at all times, to serve the interest of the Church of England in general, and this Charity in particular.

AFTER dining together, the corporation applied themselves to the business for which they were met; and the great attention paid to it by the lay members—the ac­curacy and care with which all the proposed articles and fundamental rules were examined, digested and corrected, especially by the gentlemen of the law, deserve to be held continually in grateful remembrance by the Clergy. Some of the gentlemen who were present, had been kind enough to come from 30 to 60 miles distance, to make up the re­quisite majority. The same zeal would have been manifest­ed by the respectable Lay-members residing at New-York, notwithstanding their great distance, if their presence had been absolutely necessary. But it was resolved to spare them as much as possible till the next year's meeting. The members present at this meeting of October 10th, 1769, were as follow.

Reverend Richard Peters, President.
  • [Page 37]Hon. * John Penn, Esq Lieutenant-Governor of Pennsylvania,
  • Hon. † James Hamilton, Esq
  • † Benjamin Chew, Esq Attorney-General of Pennsylvania,
  • † James Tilghman, Esq
  • ‡ Charles Read, Esq
  • ‡ Frederick Smythe, Esq Chief Justice of New-Jersey,
  • Joseph Galloway, Esq Speaker of the Assembly of Pennsylvania,
    • Alexander Stedman,
    • John Ross,
    • Richard Hockley,
    • Samuel Johnson,
  • Thomas Willing, Esq one of the Judg­es of the Supreme Court, Pennsylva­nia,
    • John Swift,
    • Samuel Powel,
    • Francis Hopkinson,
  • Dr. John Kearsley,
  • Daniel Coxe, Esq of Trenton, New-Jersey,
  • John Lawrence, Esq Mayor of Bur­lington, New-Jersey.
    D. D.
    • Rev. William Smith,
    • Samuel Auchmuty,
    • Thomas Bradbury Chand­ler,
  • Myles Cooper, L. L. D.
    • William Currie,
    • Richard Charlton,
    • George Craig,
    • Samuel Cooke,
    • Thomas Barton,
    • William Thompson,
    • Jacob Duché
    • Leonard Cutting,
    • Alexander Murray,
    • Jonathan Odell,
    • Samuel Magaw,
    • John Andrews,
    • Abraham Beach,
    • William Ayres,
    • William Frazer,
    • Henry Muhlenberg,

The above Members being a full majority, agreeable to the tenor of the Charters, the following FUNDA­MENTAL LAWS and REGULATIONS were unanimously agreed to and enacted.

N. B. SAMUEL ATLEE, Esq did not arrive time enough for this meeting, but was present the day following.

[Page 38]

FUNDAMENTAL LAWS and RE­GULATIONS, of the Corporation for the Relief of the Widows and Children of Clergymen in the Communion of the Church of ENGLAND in America, duly made and enacted at Philadelphia, on the 10th Day of October, 1769, by a Majo­rity of the Members of the Corporation met for that Purpose, according to the Tenor of their Charters.

LAWS relative to ANNUITIES, &c.

I. THE yearly contributions of the clergy, whose widows and children shall be hereby intitled to annuities, shall not be less than eight Spanish milled dol­lars, of the present current weight, namely, seventeen pen­ny-weight and six grains, nor more than twenty-four such dollars, or the value thereof, in current money of the pro­vince, where each contributor lives.

II. No annuities shall be paid but to the widows and chil­dren of such clergymen as shall have been contributors to the fund; and the respective annuities to be paid to the wi­dows and children of such clergymen, shall be five times the sum of their annual contributions.

III. In order to have a certainty, both as to the quan­tum, as well as the payment of the annual rates, each con­tributor shall abide by that rate or class which he first choo­ses; unless he shall change into another class, on such terms as to the corporation shall appear to be reasonable: And each [Page 39] contributor shall pay his annual contribution to the cor­poration, on or before the first Wednesday after the feast of St. Michael in every year, under the penalty of one penny in the pound for every day's default: And if the said penalty of one penny in the pound, together with the whole con­tributions due, shall not have been paid up during the life of the contributor, then his widow and children shall re­ceive only an annuity proportionable to the payments made by the husband or father.

IV. Every yearly contributor, who shall marry oftner than once, shall pay one year's contribution extraordinary on every such marriage, as he makes the chance in general worse against the fund.

V. If the husband or father of any person or persons, in­titled to an annuity on this plan, shall not have paid five an­nual contributions into the fund; then the widow and chil­dren shall only be intitled to ten per cent. per annum for thirteen years, on the amount of the contributions paid by the deceased.

VI. If any contributor shall have paid for five years, or any number of years under fifteen, and exceeding five, the annuitants shall receive only half the annuity which belongs to the rate or class subscribed to by the deceased, until such time as the yearly deduction of half the annuity, added to five or more payments, made by the deceased (without com­puting interest) shall together make a sum in the fund, e­qual to the sum of fifteen annual payments in the rate or class to which such deceased contributor belonged; which partial annuities, payable agreeable to this article, shall be proportioned between the widow and children as hereafter fixed, in respect to full annuities, viz.

VII. If there be no children, the widow of every con­tributor, if fewer than fifteen payments shall have been made by the deceased, shall receive the whole annual sum due by the last preceding article; and if fifteen such pay­ments [Page 40] shall have been made complete by the deceased, then the widow shall receive the whole annuity due on the hus­band's contribution during her widowhood; and if she mar­ry again, she shall, from the time of such second marriage, receive only half such annuity during her natural life.

VIII. If there be a child, and no widow, such child shall be intitled to the whole or partial annuity for thirteen years, agreeable to the foregoing articles; but if there be more than one child, and no widow, the annuity, whether whole or partial, shall be equally divided among them, to be laid out, in case they are minors, in their education or appren­ticeship, with the advice and approbation of such executors or guardians as the father may have nominated; and if none such shall have been nominated by the father, then in such manner for the benefit of the child or children, as the cor­poration shall direct.

IX. If there be a widow, and one child, the annuity, whether whole or partial, shall be equally divided between them, under the limitations aforesaid: And if there be a widow, and two or more children, she shall have one third during her widowhood, or one sixth during her natural life, if she should marry a second time; and the remainder for thirteen years, shall be laid out for the use of the children as aforesaid.

X. The corporation may, if they think proper, with the consent of the annuitants, or of their guardians, if they be minors, pay the child or children of contributors such a sum in hand, as shall be equal to the annuity of such child or children, according to the number of years for which such annuity should be paid, deducting legal interest, and taking into the account the chances against the life of such child or children, for the term such annuity is to be paid.

XI. The corporation shall have power to increase the rates of annuities, as the state of the fund shall admit; and for that end, all benefactions that shall be made to this fund [Page 41] shall, for the term of ten years to come from this day, be put out to interest, on good land security, and the said in­terest, annually collected, and again put out to interest, shall be appropriated as an augmentation of the capital stock, for the said term of ten years; and, after the expiration of the said term, the interest of all benefactions shall be equally divided among all the children of contributors for the term that their annuities respectively shall continue payable, ac­cording to the foregoing articles.


I. AT every annual meeting, agreeable to the charter, there shall be one president, one or more treasu­rers, and one secretary chosen for the ensuing year; and if any of the said officers should be absent from any meeting, the members met shall choose another to officiate in his stead, during that meeting. At any annual meeting, the mem­bers met as aforesaid, shall have power to elect such new members as they shall think fit, and likely to promote the good purposes of the charity; and all elections whatsoever, shall be by ballot; and the majority of votes shall be suffi­cient for the election of the president, treasurer or treasurers, and secretary; but no new member shall be admitted, un­less four fifths of the whole votes be in his favor.

II. There shall at each annual meeting be chosen a stand­ing committee of six members, consisting of two out of each of the three provinces, who, together with the pre­sident, treasurer or treasurers, and secretary, shall direct and carry on the necessary correspondence of the corporation, and from time to time assist the treasurer or treasurers, in managing the rents and estate of the corporation, and in putting out at interest the monies coming into the stock, either by the annual contributions of the clergy, or the oc­casional donations of benevolent persons, for which good land security shall be taken, at least to double the value of [Page 42] the monies lent, payable in Spanish milled dollars of the present current weight, namely, seventeen penny-weight and six grains each, or the value thereof in current money of the province where the loan is made.

III. The annual meetings of the corporation, appointed by the charter, shall be alternately held in the provinces of New-York, New-Jersey and Pennsylvania; and six weeks previous notice of the time and places of all annual meetings, shall be given by the secretary, in one or more of the public News-papers, published in New-York, and in Philadelphia. And if an occasional meeting of the corporation should be found at any time necessary, and the standing committee of business, to be appointed agreeable to the rules of the so­ciety, should apply in writing to the president of the cor­poration, to call such meeting at any particular place within the said three provinces, the president shall call such oc­casional meeting at the place requested by the committee, giving such public notice thereof, by the secretary, as is di­rected above. And at all such meetings, whether occasion­al or stated, any number of members met, not being less than fifteen, shall have power to make bye-laws, and in ge­neral, have all the powers granted by charter to this cor­poration, other than the making, altering or repealing fun­damental laws and regulations; provided always, that when any part of the stock of the corporation is to be disposed of, or any augmentation of annuities to be made, the same shall be expressed in the previous public notices hereby directed to be given of such meetings.

IV. The treasurer or treasurers, shall give such security to the corporation every year, or as often as thereto required, in such sum or sums as the corporation at any annual meeting may judge sufficient, for the faithful discharge of the trust reposed, and to be reposed, in him or them; and farther, he or they shall, at each annual meeting, exhibit his or their accounts to the corporation, for their inspection and approbation.

[Page 43]AFTER passing the Laws, the following Officers were elected for the ensuing year.

    • Reverend Mr. Richard Peters.
    • For New-York. Rev. Dr. Auchmuty.
    • For New-Jersey. Rev. Dr. Chandler.
    • For Pennsylvania. Francis Hopkinson, Esq
    • Rev. Dr. Cooper,
    • John Tabor Kempe, Esq
    • Daniel Coxe, Esq
    • John Lawrence, Esq
    • Rev. Dr. Smith,
    • Samuel Powel, Esq
    • Reverend Mr. Jonathan Odell.

THEN adjourned, to meet to-morrow at 10 o'clock.

At a Meeting of the Corporation, October 11, 1769. Twenty-two Members present.
The following EXPLANATORY RULE was made and agreed to.

WHERE AS in the foregoing Fundamental Rules, &c. of this Corporation, which were passed yesterday, upon as full and mature consideration, as the time would ad­mit, there still appear some things, relative to the payments to be made by the Clergy, whose widows and children are to be entitled to annuities, which seem to have been tacitly IMPLIED, and which it might nevertheless be better to EX­PRESS fully, that there may be no misapprehension of the [Page 44] sense of the articles afterwards; WHEREFORE, we the Sub­scribers, being all the Clergy, who were present at the set­tlement of the said Fundamental Articles, and who are the Parties to be bound by them in the matters to be now men­tioned, DO hereby declare, That we apprehend the sense of the Articles to be, that every Clergyman, who shall become a Contributor, in order that his WIDOW and CHILDREN may be entitled to an Annuity at his Decease, is to continue the payment of his yearly Contribution during his life, and not to stop at the end of fifteen years; the whole calcula­tions being on the principle of payments for life. And if any Clergyman should die in Arrears of his annual Pay­ments, our sense of the Articles is further—that all his Ar­rears, with the Penalty of one Penny in the Pound per day, is to be deducted out of the Annuities payable by the fore­going articles to the WIDOWS and CHILDREN: And, as we declare ourselves to be as much bound by this explanatory Article, as if it had been included in the Fundamental ones, so every other Clergyman, who shall become a contributor, in order that his WIDOW and CHILDREN may be entitled to an Annuity, shall make and subscribe this Declaration. And we recommend it to the next Annual Meeting, where a Majority of the whole Corporation shall be met, to give this Declaration such further Sanction as may be thought necessary.

Signed by the twenty Clergymen who were present.

AN address of thanks to the Honourable Cadwalader Colden, Esq Lieutenant Governor of New-York, for his grant of a charter, was drawn up, and ordered to be present­ed to him, in the most respectable manner, by the mem­bers of the Corporation residing in that province.

THEN adjourned, to meet at New-York, the first Tues­day after the feast of St. Michael, 1770, unless sooner called by the President, agreeable to the Law made to that effect.

[Page 45]


AS but one week hath intervened since the opening of this Charitable Scheme, it cannot be expected that the List of Benfactions should yet be large, or extend be­yond a few individuals in the city of Philadelphia. The foregoing Sermon was the first public notification of the design; and, excepting the collection at the Church-door, no application hath yet been made to benevolent persons, it being judged best to delay every thing of this nature till the Plan should be first laid before the world. The thanks of the Corporation are, however, to be sincerely offered, for the following Benefactions already come in, viz.

 * Pennsylvania Money.
To the Congregation of Christ-Church, Philadelphia, for their generous contri­butions at the church-doors, amounting to£ 40100
To a Gentleman, for 6l. sent by Dr. Smith,600
To a Gentleman, for 3l. by Dr. Chandler,300
To a Gentleman, for 6l. by Ditto,600
To a Gentleman, for 10l. by Mr. Cooke,1000
To a Lady, for 1l. by Dr. Smith,100
To a worthy and benevolent Clergyman, a member of the Corporation, for his ge­nerous benefaction paid into the hands of Mr. Treasurer Hopkinson,20000
The Subscriptions of the Clergy already entered for the present year, are14100
 £ 407100

THE names of the different benefactors, where they are known, are inserted in the treasurer's books; but are not at present published, as their leave has not been yet re­quested for that purpose.

[Page 47]

The FORM of a LEGACY To the Corporation for the Relief of the WIDOWS and CHILDREN of Clergymen in the Commu­nion of the Church of ENGLAND in America.

ITEM. I GIVE to the "Corporation for the Relief of the Widows and Children of Clegymen in the Com­munion of the Church of England in America," the sum of [...] to be raised and paid, by and out of all my ready money, plate, goods, and personal effects, which by law I can or may charge with the payment of the same (and not out of any part of my lands, tenements and hereditaments) and to be applied towards carrying on the charitable purposes, expressed in the charters granted to the said Corporation, in the provinces of New-York, New-Jersey, and Pennsylvania, in America.

N. B. IT will be necessary to observe the above Form in any legacy in Great-Britain and Ireland; but in the Colonies, where Charters are granted to the Corporation, a legacy in lands, or in money, payable out of the sale or rent of lands, will be valid; and then the form may be thus—

ITEM. I give to the "Corporation for the Relief of the Widows and Children of Clergymen in the Communion of the Church of England in America," and to their succes­sors for ever, [...] acres of land, situated, lying and being in [here describe the lands] or, if it is money payable out of lands—

ITEM. I give to the Corporation [using the charter stile as before] the sum of [...] to be paid, within [...] after my decease, out of all my effects, goods and estate [Page 48] whatsoever, whether real or personal, and to be applied to­wards carrying on the charitable purposes, expressed in the charters granted to the said Corporation, in the provinces of New-York, New-Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

A BENEFACTION to the Corporation may be sent to ei­ther of the Treasurers, or other Officers, mentioned in the list of officers for the present year.


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