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A SERMON PREACHED BEFORE THE CORPORATION For the Relief of the WIDOWS and CHILDREN of CLERGYMEN, in the Communion of the CHURCH of ENGLAND in AMERICA; AT THEIR ANNIVERSARY MEETING ON October 2d, 1771, at PERTH-AMBOY. TO WHICH IS ANNEXED A BRIEF ABSTRACT OF THEIR PROCEEDINGS.

BY THOMAS B. CHANDLER D. D. Rector of St. John's-Church, Elizabeth-Town, NEW-JERSEY, and Missionary from the Society for the propagation of the Gospel in foreign parts.

SOLD FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE FUND.

BURLINGTON, Printed by ISAAC COLLINS.

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AT the Anniversary Meeting of the Corporation for the Relief of the Widows and Children of Clergymen in the Communion of the Church of England in America, at the City of Perth-Amboy, on the second day of October, 1771.

AGREED that the thanks of the Corporation be given to the Reve­rend Dr. Chandler, for his Sermon preached this day before them; and that he be requested to deliver a copy of the same to the Corpora­tion to be printed.

JONATHAN ODELL Secretary.
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TO HIS EXCELLENCY WILLIAM FRANKLIN ESQ. GOVERNOR OF NEW-JERSEY: IN TESTIMONY OF THAT ESTEEM WHICH IS DUE TO DISTINGUISHED MERIT, AND OF THAT GRATITUDE TO WHICH A GENEROUS PATRON AND BENEFACTOR IS INTITLED FROM EVERY WELL-WISHER TO OUR CHARITABLE CORPORATION, THE FOLLOWING SERMON IS MOST RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED.

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GAL. vi. 10.

As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them which are of the Houshold of Faith.

TO do good, as we have opportunity, and according to our respective abilities, is a duty clearly pointed out by NATURE, and repeatedly com­manded in the more express language of REVELATION.

EVERY man's own particular frame— his innumerable wants of assistance from others—his situation as a member of so­ciety—and the tendency of this practice to improve and dignify the Agent; are natu­ral proofs of our obligation to perform kind and beneficent actions, or, in the words of my text, to do good unto all men.

SUCH are the nature and frame of man, that what is most worthy of the name of Happiness is found, by experience, to be utterly inconsistent with an unfeeling sel­fishness. He that confines his aims and prospects to his own private interest, is a stranger to, and doth not intermeddle with, [Page 2] the most substantial and cordial satis­faction, which this life affords. There is a generous, noble and exquisite pleasure, experienced by the friendly and benevo­lent, which is incomparably superior to what a person of his character has ever felt, or can feel. As therefore the Author of our nature has annexed a much greater degree of happiness to the exercise of the benevolent, than of the selfish, Affections; it is evidently his will and intention, which are the foundation of all moral obligation, that every human creature should, as op­portunity offers, perform acts of kindness and beneficence.

THE innumerable wants of assistance from others, which we constantly experi­ence, are also a manifest indication of the same intention. No man, for any considerable time, in the present state of the world, can even support life, by his own endeavors. Not a single day passes, from his first entrance upon this stage of existence until he makes his final exit, in which a man would not be miserable, were it not for the labor and assistance of other people*. If he is possessed of riches, for which he is always chiefly [Page 3] beholden to others; he must know that bare riches—that silver and gold, how much soever some men may place their hope and confidence in them, will nei­ther feed nor cloath him. They are in reality no otherwise useful to him, than as they may be exchanged, for what will immediately answer his necessities and wants. If he has bread enough and to spare; yet he finds that, in the literal sense of the expression, man doth not live by bread alone; but that other things are as necessary as his daily food. The same observation might be extended to all the different circumstances of life. No situation can be assigned, in which a man does not frequently want assistance, nor any in which he is not, in his turn, capable of giving assistance to others that want it, in some form or other. But if he refuses to give assistance, he has no right to demand it; the claim being mutual and conditional. This farther shews it to be the design of Di­vine Providence, in placing him in such a state, that he should be assisting to others; or, that he should do good to them, as he has opportunity, and as cases may require.

[Page 4]THIS obligation will appear in a light that is still more striking, if we consi­der ourselves as members of society. All the individuals belonging to the human species, however dispersed or distant from one another, or however differing in sentiments, manners, or poli­tical interests, yet constitute one society or system, which is united together by many inviolable bonds. This general society is divided into various distinct bodies or lesser societies; the members of which are linked together by still closer ties, than those which connect the distant members of a larger system. Thus the subjects of every kingdom, or the inhabi­tants of any country that are united under the same government, form a distinct civil society; and they have a more intimate connection with one ano­ther, than what arises from their relation as men, or as belonging to the same species. So again: the professors of the same religion, the disciples of the same master, constitute a society of a different kind; compared by St. Paul *, in one instance at least, to the human body; all the parts or members of which have their respective uses and functions assigned [Page 5] them, and are mutually subservient to one another. And it deserves our no­tice, that in proportion as society is re­duced into a smaller compass by sub­division, the members of it become of more consequence, and their mutual good offices are more necessary.

If we consider ourselves then as mem­bers of society, whether in a larger or more confined view, whether in a civil or religious sense; it will appear to be our duty to act as members of society. Now to act as members of society, is to perform all those offices towards the body in general, and our fellow-members in particular, which the station assigned us, and the relation we are in, require; that is, according to our power, to contribute, in the first place, what is necessary to the be­ing, and then to the well-being, both of the body, and of any of its members; or, in o­ther words, to do all the good that we can.

SUCH conduct appears also to be our duty, as it naturally improves us; for we are under the same obligations to improve and perfect ourselves, as we are to preserve ourselves. Every right act has a tendency to produce a right habit and disposition of mind; and the excel­lency of any moral agent consists as [Page 6] much, at least, in a right habit and disposition, as in intellectual capacity or power. The Supreme Being is infinite perfection; and the more any other be­ing resembles him, the farther he is ad­vanced towards a state of perfection. And the more any creature performs acts of goodness and kindness, and has acquired the habit of performing them, the more he resembles that adorable Being, whose goodness is perpetually exercised, and extends to all the parts of the creation; and who delights in con­stantly beholding millions of his creatures, of different ranks and orders, from the highest Angel down to the lowest reptile, enjoying the various degrees of perfection and happiness, which they have derived from his bounty.

THE same considerations that prove it to be our duty to do good at all, prove also that we should do it, to all men, as we have opportunity. Why we should be bound to do good, and not to do all the good in our power, will be impossible to shew. To suppose that a man has ten degrees of ability to do good, and yet that he is under obligations to exercise no more than five of them, is to suppose that the other five degrees of this ability [Page 7] were given him for no purpose. But, in truth, the obligation is always in pro­portion to the power and opportunity; since it arises from the circumstances and connections in which GOD has placed us.

AS we are connected with all men, and are fellow-members with them of one general society, we should be disposed to do good unto all men. But as the most important relation we bear to others in many respects, is that of fellow-christi­ans; our obligation to do good to those, who are in this relation to us, is propor­tionably stronger. We are, according to the just distinction in my text, as we have opportunity, to do good unto all men; but more especially, and with peculiar attention, unto them which are of the houshold of faith.

WHAT the light of nature thus teaches to be our duty, the voice of revelation universally confirms. Under the Mosaic institution indeed, the precepts injoining kindness and good offices have common­ly a particular reference to those, who were members of the Jewish tribes; who, for wise reasons, were separated from all the families of the earth, and distin­guished with peculiar privileges; and whose affections, still wandering after the [Page 8] vanities and superstitions of the idolatrous nations around them, it was necessary to call off and restrain, with great strictness and severity. Yet notwithstanding, in­stances are not wanting under that dispensation, in which kindness and acts of beneficence were required towards STRANGERS; i. e, persons who were unconnected with them by any political or religious ties, being, in the language of St. Paul, aliens from the commonwealth of Israel.

THUS general benevolence to mankind was recommended to them, and urged, from the example of GOD himself, as well as from the consideration of their own former experiences. HE doth exe­cute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the STRANGER, in giving him food and raiment. Love ye THEREFORE the STRANGER; for YE were strangers in the land of Egypt. * Again: when thou cuttest down thine har­vest in the field, and hast forgot a shief in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the STRANGER, for the fatherless and for the widow: that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands.—And thou shalt remember [Page 9] that THOU wast a bondman in the land of Egypt: THEREFORE I command thee to do this thing. * And the Jews themselves take notice, that a kind behaviour to­wards Strangers is required in one and twenty passages of their law.

SUCH precepts, as the foregoing, have a tendency to impress upon the mind the great natural duty of universal kindness and benevolence; and they were undoubt­edly intended for that purpose. There were cases, it must be confessed, wherein the Jews were commanded to treat some strangers in a very different manner; but the exceptions from the general rule were not many, and special reasons were always assigned for them.

THUS an unrelenting severity towards the Canaanites was directed and prescribed in these words. When the Lord thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee:—and when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee, thou shalt smite them, and UTTERLY DESTROY them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, NOR SHEW MERCY unto them. The Israelites were also commanded to [Page 10] pursue the Amalekites with the same exter­minating acts of hostility, and not to spare them any more than the seven nations of the land of Canaan. Remem­ber what Amalek did unto thee by the way (in your passage through the wilder­ness) when ye were come forth out of Egypt, how he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary, and he feared not God. THERE­FORE it shall be, when the Lord thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about thee—that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under Heaven, thou shalt not forget it. * The great Governor of the world saw fit that these implacable and idolatrous nations, on account of their innumerable provo­cations and enormous wickedness, should be destroyed; and he had an unquestion­able right to make use of the Israelites, as instruments in his hands, to accomplish their destruction: and all those seemingly revengeful instructions, which we meet with in the law of Moses, were necessary in order to a due execution of the righte­ous purposes of Divine Providence.

IF from the Law, we turn to the Gos­pel; [Page 11] we shall find every page of it shining with precepts, or examples, of the most active and unbounded Charity. The infi­nite goodness of GOD, extending to every part of the creation;—the amazing kind­ness, and compassion, and condescension of his blessed SON, of which the whole human race are the objects;—are placed before us as the pattern and standard, by which we are commanded to regulate our affections. The whole system of the Gospel, and every part of it, have a strong tendency to inspire and establish, the most refined and exalted sentiments, and the most vigorous and unlimited exercise, of love and affection to our fellow-creatures.

IT is a fundamental law in this benevo­lent institution, relating to our mutual in­tercourse, that we make our own reasonable wishes and desires, in case our circum­stances were exchanged for those of other men, the rule of our conduct towards them. From this general law no excep­tions are admitted. Neither the ill lan­guage, nor the ill treatment, nor the avowed enmity, nor even the persecution we may have met with (which is one of the worst effects of it) is allowed to ex­cuse us. All this is literally and expressly commanded, and no room for evasion is [Page 12] left us: I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in Heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the Publicans the same? and if ye salute (or treat with common civility) your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even Publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect. *

I have recited these verses in connection, because the whole passage, taken together, not only contains the law of our Blessed Master, but explains the reason of it, as well as the extent and perfection in which it ought to be interpreted.

AND indeed, a benevolent disposition, unlimited with regard to its objects, is represented throughout the New Testa­ment to be of such consequence, that our eternal happiness depends upon our having it. Were our faith strong enough to remove mountains—were our knowledge deep and extensive enough to comprehend [Page 13] all mysteries—would our zeal, even in a good cause, support us under the pains of Martyrdom—and were the tongues of men and of Angels added to our other accomplishments; yet St. Paul assures us, that without charity—by which he means an universal love and affection to our fellow-creatures, as well as to our Maker —they would profit us nothing.*

NOTWITHSTANDING, as has been already observed, and as my text inti­mates, this great and essential qualificati­on is not a blind and undistinguishing affection, leading us equally to love all men, without any regard to the difference of their characters. The love of GOD extends to all men; but some are the objects of his peculiar affection, as being in reality more worthy than others. Among the disciples of our blessed Lord, there was one whom he loved in an emi­nent degree; leaving us, even in this respect, an example, that we should follow his steps. If the righteous is more excellent than his neighbor, he is more deserving of our esteem than his neighbor; for we should esteem every thing, and love every one in some degree of proportion to the real excellence, which that thing or that person possesses.

[Page 14]EVERY man is intitled to some degree of esteem, on this account. The worst of men possess something that is valuable. They bear, in some respects, the image of their Maker. They are, at least, the workmanship of GOD; and therefore they are not to be despised. They are also of the same nature with ourselves, and originally of the same family, being descended from the same ancestors. And however they may be situated, and whatever may be their characters, in other respects; yet still, as they are men, they are intitled to our kindness, and if we are able to relieve their necessities, both nature and religion oblige us to relieve them.

BUT if we are thus to do good unto all men, we are under a more particular ob­ligation to do good to the worthy and deserving, and to those who have a closer connection with us than the mass of mankind. Under this latter head may be reckoned, our countrymen and kindred—our friends and such as have done kind offices to us—those whom Providence has made dependent upon [Page 15] us—those who are united to us by the ties of the same common religion—and the members of the same particular church, worshiping GOD in the use of the same solemn offices; who are, according to reason, and to revelation, intitled to our peculiar affection and kindness.

OF all religions, that of the Gospel produces the most intimate union among its professors. They are all governed by the same laws, and intitled to the same privileges, and included in one general purchase; and not only so, but they are taught to consider themselves as so many branches of the same vine—as so many limbs or members belonging to the same body. As the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is CHRIST: for by one spirit we are all baptized into one body, whether we be (originally) Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have all been made to drink into one spirit *. And, in another passage, the Apostle lays it down, and argues from it, as an established principle, that Christians are members one of another .

[Page 16]SUCH are the illustrations, in Scripture, of the inseparable connection of Christi­ans with CHRIST, and with one another. No society, whether civil or religious, introduces so close an union between its members as the Church of CHRIST does: our obligation therefore, as fellow-christians, to cultivate brotherly love, and to do good to one another, is greater than it is, or can be, in any other religious society.

IN collective bodies of men, as well as in the natural body, all the members have their respective offices assigned them, more or less honorable—of greater or less im­portance; and they who perform the more important and honorable Offices, are in­titled to proportionably greater kindness and respect, than others who are placed in an inferior station. In the houshold of faith, they who are appointed, as stewards, to dispense to the various members of it that provision which is to nourish and support them, are, on account of their rank, and especially if faithful to their trust, in the estimation of St. Paul, wor­thy of double honor *. The honor due to them evidently appears to be, not an useless, unavailing respect, but an active principle, performing all those good Of­fices, [Page 17] by which esteem and affection are properly signified.

THE lowest instance of this nature, is, if possible, to prevent their falling into distress or necessitous circumstances; and, where this hath not been done, to relieve their distresses, and supply their wants. So much indeed is due to them on the common foot of humanity; and they would have a right to expect it, were they strangers or enemies. They are still more intitled to this kindness, con­sidered as Christians. For if any one that deserves the name of christian—if one of the least of our brethren, is known to be in such a condition, we are to give him meat; if he is thirsty, we are to give him drink; if he is a stranger, or desti­tute of particular friends to receive him, we are to take him in; if he is naked, and unable to provide for himself, we are to cloath him; if he is sick, or in prison, we are to visit him, with a view of relieving him. All this is commanded, and you know the penalty: Depart from me ye cursed, into ever lasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels *.

BUT surely something more must be due to the CLERGY, than to Christians [Page 18] of the lowest degree! for, as has been observed, they are the most important members of the mystical body of CHRIST, without whose functions the body must soon perish. We are not forward to speak on this subject, nor to say what we esteem to be our just rights; — in an age wherein the least intimation of our claim­ing any superior respect, or kindness, on account of our stations in the Church, is so liable to be treated as PRIESTCRAFT. However, we ought sometimes to remind men, in what manner our office is repre­sented in Scripture; and briefly to do this, on the present occasion, I doubt not but the candid will think excusable.

THE clergy then are spoken of, by our Saviour himself, as sterwards, whom their lord has made rulers over his houshold, to give them their portion of meat in due sea­son—as shepherds, set over the flock of Christ—as the salt of the earth, the light of the world &c. St. Paul speaks of them as embassadors for Christ, employed by him to negociate matters that concern the salvation of sinners. They are in other places represented as persons appointed and commissioned by CHRIST, to dispense the mysteries of his Gospel, to apply the seals to his covenant, and to convey those [Page 19] spiritual mercies which are infinitely more valuable than all earthly enjoyments. And we know that it is also a part of their office, to present the homage and adoration of their fellow-christians, before the throne of the Divine Majesty. Such are their office and employment, accord­ing to the language of Scripture; and we can freely leave it for others to judge, whether persons of this rank and distinc­tion in the Church of CHRIST, are not intitled to peculiar kindness and respect from Christians in general.

AMONG the several ways in which this kindness and respect are to be shewn, I shall confine myself to a single one; be­cause I would not lose sight of the occa­sion of our present assembling, to which all that has been hitherto said has a particular reference. The instance then that I shall mention, is that of providing a comfortable and decent maintenance for them and their families. As they are commonly situated, this is a natural expression of that respect which is due to them; and, at the same time, it would contribute greatly to their useful­ness, as it would enable them to devote themselves to their proper business, with­out distraction.

[Page 20]EASY circumstances, in some measure, animate and enlarge the mind, and in­spire it with suitable confidence, vigour and resolution: whereas the faculties are cramped, and cannot be exerted to ad­vantage (as many of us can tell you from experience), by a perpetual anxiety to procure, what we shall eat, and what we shall drink, and wherewithal we shall be cloathed. To this may be added, (what some of you perhaps can tell us from experience), that less attention is paid to the instructions and exhortations of the clergy, when they are known to be in mean and indigent circumstances, than when their condition is otherwise.

HAD I time, I might easily shew, that it was the opinion of the most celebrated legislators of antiquity, and of those na­tions which are most respected for their wisdom and sound policy *, that an ho­norable [Page 21] support ought to be provided for the ministers of religion; and that it was chearfully contributed. I might set before you the conduct of the Jews in this case; which ought to have the more weight, as GOD himself was pleased to prescribe it. But I will only ob­serve, with regard to the Jews, that although the tribe of Levi, which was set apart for the performance of the pub­lic offices of religion, was the least of all the tribes; yet to the Levites was assign­ed the tenth part of all the produce of the labour, land and stock, of the other tribes. Besides all this, they had the property of forty-eight cities in the diffe­rent parts of that dominion. The Priests had also the first fruits of the cattle, corn, wine, oil &c, which were annually dedicated to GOD. To which may be added, that they received a certain price for the redemption of every first-born; to say nothing of many voluntary oblations, [Page 22] and the remainder of all the things, part of which had been offered in sacri­fice. All this must have amounted to a large standing revenue, and has been calculated at a third part of the whole produce of the country; out of which is only to be deducted, what was expended in supporting the service of the tabernacle, and afterwards of the temple *.

THE positive part of this law, we con­fess, has no obligation upon Christians; nor do the ministers of the Gospel claim the same maintenance, either as to kind or degree, with the Jewish Priests. But the moral law obliges us, and the posi­tive law of CHRIST obliges us; and both these laws require an honorable and de­cent support for the Christian clergy; whose office demands much greater abilities and application in order to execute it properly—is much more use­ful and honorable in itself—and requires a much greater preparation for it, than that of the Jewish Priests.

OUR Blessed Saviour indeed has not prescribed to his followers, how large a support, nor after what mode, they should provide for his ministers. But when he [Page 23] first sent out his Apostles, he directed them to make no provision for themselves during their mission; assigning this rea­son, the workman is worthy of his meat *. And when he sent forth his seventy dis­ciples, he gave them the same direction, repeating the same reason . From whence it is evident, that he expected and intended, that the preachers of the Gospel should receive a full maintenance.

ST. Paul strongly asserts, and proves, and insists upon, the right of the minis­ters of the Gospel to be supported by it; and, that Christians ought not to think it any great matter to make due provision for them. Speaking to the Corinthians on this subject, he says: who goeth a warfare at any time at his own charges? Who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? Or, who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? Say I these things as a man, or saith not the law the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox, that treadeth out the corn. Doth GOD take care of oxen, or saith he it al­together for OUR sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written; that he that [Page 24] ploweth, should plow in hope; and he that thresheth in hope, should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great matter if we reap your carnal things?—Do ye not know that they who minister about holy things, live of the things of the temple; and they who wait at the altar, are partakers with the altar? Even so HATH THE LORD ORDAINED, that THEY WHO PREACH THE GOSPEL, SHOULD LIVE OF THE GOSPEL *.

IN this passage, St. Paul proves the right of the clergy to a maintenance, from the reasonableness of the thing, which requires that a man should be rewarded according to his services; and this he illustrates by the cases of soldiers, husbandmen, shepherds &c. He enforces his argument from the Jewish law; which expressly provided, that those who ministered at the altar should be support­ed by it. And he concludes with the most decisive argument of all, the autho­rity of CHRIST himself; who ordained, says he, that they who preach the Gospel, should live of the Gospel.

THIS ordinance and law of CHRIST he esteemed to be of such great impor­tance [Page 25] in the Christian church, that a due attention to it is made one of the articles of his charge to Timothy. Let the elders, says he, that rule well, be accounted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine. That this double honor principally means a liberal support and maintenance, is evident from the next words: For the Scripture saith, thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn: and the laborer is worthy of his hire *. On the same principle he exhorts the Galatians, in my context, to the practice of the same duty: Let him that is taught in the word, communicate, to him that teacheth, in all good things .

IT is time now that I shew, how the preceding general observations are appli­cable to the present occasion. You want not to be informed, that this annual meeting is in order to promote the cha­ritable design of our CORPORATION, which is to raise and conduct a fund, FOR THE RELIEF OF THE WIDOWS AND CHILDREN OF CLERGYMEN IN THE COMMUNION OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND IN AMERICA. This design corresponds exactly with St. Paul's [Page 26] exhortation in my text; which is to do good unto all men in general, but more ESPECIALLY unto them which are of the houshold of faith.

BY the houshold of faith is undoubtedly meant the Christian church; and, in the exercise of kindness, or in doing good, why a distinction should be made by Christians in favor of their fellow-Christians, has been particularly shewn. It has also been shewn, that the reason for this preference extends farther, and equally requires, that some Christians should be treated with a higher degree of respect and kindness than others: and that this may justly be said of the clergy, whose station in the church is more useful, more important, and con­sequently more honorable, than that of Christians in common.

AMONG the proper methods of doing good to them, one has been particularly noticed; namely, that of securing to them a freedom from the distracting cares of the world, by providing for them an easy and comfortable maintenance— so far as mens circumstances enable them to make this provision. Besides the reasonableness of doing this, and its being an essential part of that beneficence [Page 27] which is recommended in my text; more direct proof has been made, from the declarations of our blessed Saviour, and the words of an eminent Apostle, that this is a necessary and important duty, not to be evaded consistently with the Christian character.

WHEREVER therefore it has been ne­glected, the clergy have been debarred from a just night; and the injury, like all other injuries, ought to be repaired, as speedily and effectually as possible. And wherever the failure has been owing to want of ability, (which, if real, and not pretended, is always a sufficient excuse, in the sight both of GOD and man), care ought to be taken to render the ill consequences as light as the case will admit of.

THAT the clergy of our church in these colonies, some individuals excepted, receive, upon the whole, but a scanty support *; [Page 28] a few moments attention to their case will convince men of liberal sentiments, who perhaps are the only competent judges. When I declare that our main­tenance is generally deficient, I mean, that it is not an adequate compensa­tion for the expences we have been at in preparing ourselves for this service; —that it does not allow us to devote ourselves intirely to the business of our functions;—and that it does not enable us to leave our families in comfortable circumstances when we are taken away from them.

THE expences attending our education for the ministry may be easily imagined. It requires the application of many years, to make a tolerable proficiency in the learned languages: a long time is com­monly spent by us in other academical improvements: and these ought always to be succeeded, as I trust they common­ly are, by a course of theological studies [Page 29] —before we presume to offer ourselves as candidates for holy orders. During the two former of these periods, that is, during the long time of our classical and academi­cal education, besides food and apparel suitable to our stations, instruction must be paid for, and many books must be purchas­ed. When we are ready to offer ourselves for the service of the church, which must be at an age * when men may have been long settled in any other employment, there is still a heavy load of expence (to whose reproach shall I speak it? for a re­proach it certainly is;) to be sustained, in a voyage to a distant quarter of the globe for ordination. This last expence, heavy as it is, is a hardship peculiar to the candidates of our own church in the colonies; and such an one as, I am persuaded, is not to be paralleled in the annals of history.

THOSE of us who live to return from this voyage (for it has proved fatal to the lives of many of our candidates) are fixed in parishes or missions, the in­comes [Page 30] of which are greatly inferior to the profits of other callings, which re­quire not more than half the time, nor so much as half the expence, to prepare for them. With these incomes we are expected to live, as other people in public and reputable stations live—to be not behind them in shewing hospitality —and to be the very foremost in every work of charity. If we answer not these expectations, many will impute it to avarice, to churlishness, or to any thing, rather than to its true cause. If such an opinion of us once gets abroad, perhaps the whole order is reproached with us; at least, our own ministrations are slighted, and the interest of religion proportionably suffers.

IT is not within the power of many of us to avoid these evils. We are not allowed to call in to our aid any secular employ, one only perhaps excepted, for which but few of us are qualified; nor indeed can we easily find leisure, from the important business of our sacred profession, to pursue one. Such of us therefore as have any independent pro­perty of our own, find it necessary to expend from it; and the rest of us are obliged to shift as well as we can. In [Page 31] the mean while, as to ourselves, the ex­pectation of a reward in a better country will greatly support our spirits under our hard fortune in this; but still it must necessarily give us pain to consider, what may become of our poor widows and children, after our departure.

IMAGINATION can hardly picture to itself scenes of deeper distress, than are sometimes really to be found in the fami­lies of clergymen, when the source that supplied them is at once dried up. Be­reaved of their support—deprived of their habitations—turned abroad to the world, wounded, and half-dead, in a more piti­able sense than the traveller bound from Jerusalem to Jericho was *; their condition is such, as would move the compassion even of a Samaritan. How then must it affect every tender, humane and gene­rous heart in this Christian assembly! Indigence is terrible in all cases; but when it succeeds fulness of bread—when it comes suddenly—when it falls upon persons of delicate sensibility , who from [Page 32] their former way of life are peculiarly unable to help themselves, it is more than doubly distressing.

NOW, to remedy such distress, or ra­ther to prevent it as far as possible, which is still a greater act of humanity; a corporation has been erected, consisting of the clergy in general, and gentlemen of the first rank and character in these three colonies; whose countenance and assistance, in this good work, are ac­knowledged with all gratitude. A fund is now established by charter; to which the clergy themselves are large annual subscribers, and to which several gene­rous donations have been already made. That venerable society, which is famed throughout the Christian world for its charity—a charity, to which our church in these colonies, in a great measure, owes its existence—contributes a yearly [Page 33] allowance of £ 60 sterling. Collections have been made in several congregations, the largeness of which is not less honor­able to them, than to this institution. But notwithstanding all that has been done, much remains still to be done, in order to make our fund adequate to the purpose for which it is intended: and we must depend upon the farther kindness and compassion of our friends, to assist in making up the deficiency.

AND in order to obtain it, can it be necessary to do more, than to give a plain and true representation of the design? Can it be needful to make use of arguments or entreaties, to prevail with our friends, who are of the same houshold with ourselves, to assist us in a work, in which, at the same time, their own reputation is peculiarly concerned, as well as the honor of their religion?

IT has been shewn, in this discourse, that the clergy have an undoubted right to a comfortable maintenance for them­selves and their families; which right ought to take place, where the state of a country will admit of it: yet, for want either of inclination or ability in their friends, that their maintenance is deficient in these colonies. But, at pre­sent, [Page 34] we relinquish the claim. We are not now contending for rights; nor do we demand any thing for ourselves: we only request your CHARITY, in mak­ing some decent provision for the relief of our wives and children, when they shall come more sensibly to feel the bitter effects of that ill fortune which has hi­therto attended us. We make this application and request, in full confi­dence of your humanity and compassion. We are persuaded that you will not, that you cannot, disregard so pitiable a case, and pass by on the other side; a case, perhaps as worthy of your notice, of your friendly interposition, all circum­stances attended to, as the providence of GOD has ever called you to consider.

WE desire you to do no more, on this occasion, than what your abilities will fairly admit of—to give no more, than what you can conveniently spare, or what may easily be retrenched from the superfluities of living; of which every man is allowed to judge for him­self. And you may be assured, that whatever shall be given in this way will be faithfully applied, if not for the im­mediate support of the clergy themselves, yet for the support of those who are as [Page 35] dear to them as themselves, when they shall need it most. Whatever is given in this way will therefore lay us under equal obligations, with what is given to our­selves.

AND, at the last day, when all our accounts, both of justice and charity, shall be publickly audited, each of us will make the acknowledgment, with re­gard to what you shall contribute to this fund, for the relief of our widows and children: inasmuch as ye have done it unto my little ones, whom I left behind me in a helpless condition, and to her who was most dear to me on earth, ye have done it unto me. The like acknow­ledgment will also be made by one, whom you are under infinitely greater obligations to regard; even the Son of Man, when he shall appear, surrounded with his Angels, and seated on the throne of his glory *.

THAT our conduct on this, and all other occasions, may meet with appro­bation in that day, may GOD of his infinite mercy grant, through the merits and mediation of JESUS CHRIST, whose charity and compassion led him to die for us; to whom therefore, with the Father and Holy Ghost, be glory and dominion, adoration and praise, now and forever!

[...]
[Page 41]

A copy of the CHARTER, and an abstract of the PROCEEDINGS, of the CORPO­RATION for the relief of the widows and children of Clergymen in the com­munion of the church of England in America, with a general account of BENEFACTIONS, and of the stated contributions to their fund, from the date of its commencement, October 4th, 1769, to October 4th, 1771.

THE PUBLIC has been already informed, that this charity is con­ducted by the clergy in general and a number of very respectable gentlemen of the laity, who are incorporated for that purpose by three distinct charters of simi­lar tenor, vesting the same members with all the powers requisite for the discharge and execution of this benevolent trust, in the three provinces of New-York, New-Jersey and Pennsylvania. A ‘public and grateful testimony has been given of that readiness and cheerfulness, with which the several governors consented to the grant of these charters in their respective provinces.’ And the mem­bers of the corporation do, further, thank­fully acknowledge themselves indebted to the officers of government in these [Page 42] provinces, for their kindness and generosity in refusing to accept the fees, to which, on that occasion, they were by law intitled. The following is a copy of the charter granted by his Excellency the governor of New-Jersey.

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 it hath been represented unto us, that the clergy of the church of England in our American colonies, and especially the missionaries in the service of the society for the propagation of the gospel in foreign parts, have in general but a small support, and have always found it difficult to make any tolerable pro­vision for their families, so that their widows and children are often left in great distress; and whereas, in order to provide a remedy for these growing diffi­culties, humble application hath been made to us, that we would erect and constitute a corporation in our province of New-Jersey, for receiving managing and disposing such sums of money as may be subscribed and paid in from time [Page 43] to time by the clergy and missionaries themselves, and such benefactions as may be given by charitable and well-disposed persons, as a fund towards the support and relief of the widows and children of the ministers of the church of England in our said American colonies;

KNOW YE therefore, that we, favor­ing the said useful and laudable design, and being fully convinced of the loyalty and affection of the clergy of the church of England in America to our person and government, of our especial grace, certain knowledge and mere motion, have given and granted, and by these presents, for us and our successors, DO give ordain constitute declare and grant, that the Honorable Peter Kemble, Charles Read, James Parker, Samuel Smith and Frede­rick Smyth Esquires of our province of New-Jersey; the Honorable Sir William Johnson Baronet, Cadwallader Colden, John Watts, Charles Ward Apthorp and Henry Cruger Esquires of our province of New-York; the Honorable James Hamilton, Lynford Lardner, Benjamin Chew and James Tilghman Esquires of the province of Pennsylvania; the Re­verend William Smith, Samuel Auch­muty, and Thomas Bradbury Chandler, [Page 44] Doctors in Divinity; Myles Cooper, Doctor of Laws; Richard Peters, William Currie, Richard Charlton, Philip Reading, George Craig, John Ogilvie, Samuel Cooke, Samuel Seabury, Thomas Barton, Charles Inglis, William Thomson, Ja­cob Duché, Leonard Cutting, Alexander Murray, Ephraim Avery, John Beardsley, Jonathan Odell, Samuel Magaw, John Andrews, Abraham Beach, William Ayres, and William Frazer, clerks; Cort­land Skinner, John Lawrence and Daniel Coxe Esquires of our province of New-Jersey; John Tabor Kempe, John Living­ston, Elias Desbrosses, James De Lancey, James Van Cortlandt, Isaac Willet, Nicho­las Stuyvesant, James Duane, Jacob Le Roy, Benjamin Kissam, Jacob Walton and William Axtell Esquires of our pro­vince of New-York; Joseph Galloway, John Ross, Richard Hockley, Samuel Johnson, Thomas Willing, Samuel Pow­ell, Francis Hopkinson and William Atlee Esquires and Doctor John Kearsley of the province of Pennsylvania; and such other persons as shall hereafter be elected and admitted members of the corporation erected, and to be erected, by these presents, according to the tenor hereof, and of such by-laws and consti­tutions, [Page 45] 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 and in 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 and in name, we do for us, and for our 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 for ever 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 pro­vince of New-Jersey to the value of One Thousand Pounds Sterling by the year in the clear, above all out-goings and repri­sals, in fee simple, or for any other estate, term and interest, whatsoever; and also to take, have, hold, receive, enjoy and trans­mit to their successors, goods, chattels, monies, and effects, but at no one time to [Page 46] exceed the sum of twenty thousand pounds sterling in the gross, within our said province of New-Jersey; 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 by-laws and regulations, which shall be made, from time to time, by the 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 the said corporation, and their [Page 47] 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 the said corporation, we do, for us, and for our successors, further grant, that it may be lawful for them, and their successors, to meet together on the first Wednesday after the feast of Saint Michael, in every year, and at such 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 the said corporation, and never afterwards to be altered, but by a ma­jority of the members for the time being: and they the said corporation, being so met, in such number, and agreeably 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 the [Page 48] said corporation, as they shall be impow­ered and authorized to transact, settle and manage, by virtue of the fundamental laws and regulations of the said corpora­tion, once duly made and enacted by a majority of the members as aforesaid. And all the by-laws and regulations so made, whether concerning the election of officers and servants, or concerning the government, and management of the goods, chattels, estate, revenues, business and affairs, of the 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-Jersey. AND FURTHER, We do hereby constitute and appoint Richard Peters of Philadelphia, clerk, to be the first president of this 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 [Page 49] Wednesday after the feast of Saint Michael, in this year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixty-nine, and from thenceforwards until one president, one or more treasurer or trea­surers, and one scretary be chosen into 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 we do hereby, for us, and our 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 before the Governor with any three of his Majesty's council of New-Jersey, for the time being, in order that they, the said Archbishops of Canterbury and York and the Bishop of London, or the Governor with any three of his Majesty's council of New-Jersey, for the time being, may ratify and confirm the said accounts, or subject them to such revisal check and confirmation as may be thought just and [Page 50] reasonable. And our will and pleasure is, and we do by these presents give and grant for us and our successors forever, that these our letters patent, or the in­rollment thereof in our secretary's office in our said province of New-Jersey, shall be good and sufficient in the law to all intents and purposes whatever against us our heirs and successors, without any other licence grant or confirmation from us our heirs or successors hereafter to be had or obtained, notwithstanding the misreciting or not naming or misnaming of the officers, franchises, privileges, or other immunities aforesaid, or any of them, and notwithstanding a writ of ad quod damnum hath not issued to enquire of the premises, or any of them, before the ensealing thereof, To HAVE TO HOLD AND ENJOY all and singular the privileges, advantages, liberties and immunities, and all and singular the premises hereby given and granted, or meant mentioned or in­tended to be hereby given and granted, unto them the said corporation for the relief of the widows and children of clergymen in the communion of the church of England in America, and their suc­cessors forever. IN TESTIMONY where­of we have caused these our letters to be [Page 51] made patent, and the great seal of our said province of New-Jersey to be here­unto affixed; WITNESS our trusty and well-beloved WILLIAM FRANKLIN, Esquire, Captain General, Governor and Commander in Chief, in and over our said province of New-Jersey and Territo­ries thereon depending in America, Chan­cellor and Vice-Admiral in the same, &c. at our city of Burlington the twenty-ninth day of March in the ninth year of our reign, anno domini one thousand seven hundred and sixty-nine.

REED.

THE first meeting of the corporation was held, agreeably to the tenor of the foregoing charter, on the first Wednesday after the feast of Saint Michael, the fourth day of October 1769, at Burlington; from which place they were adjourned, to meet again on the Tuesday following at Phila­delphia; where, a majority of the mem­bers being met, the FUNDAMENTAL LAWS and REGULATIONS of the corpo­ration, as directed by charter, were duly made and enacted; a copy of which is here inserted.

[Page 52]

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.

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 [Page 53] 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 contributor shall pay his annual contribution to the cor­poration, on or before the first Wednes­day after the feast of Saint 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.

[Page 54]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 agreea­bly 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 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 [Page 55] 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, agreeably 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 [Page 56] 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 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.

[Page 57]

LAWS relative to MEETINGS and BUSINESS.

I. AT every annual meeting, agree­ble 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, teasurer or treasurers, and secretary, shall direct and carry on the necessary correspondence of the corporati­on, [Page 58] 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 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 agreeably to the rules of the society, should apply in writing to the president of the corporation, [Page 59] 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 by-laws, and in general, shall 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, 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 60]ALTHOUGH the foregoing laws and regulations were enacted upon as full and mature deliberation as the time would admit, yet, upon reconsidering them carefully the next day, when the number of members present was not sufficient to authorize any alteration or amendment, some things, relative to the payments to be made by those of the clergy whose widows and children were to be intitled to annuities, seeming to have been tacitly implied, which ought rather to have been fully expressed, in order to prevent any future misapprehen­sion of the sense of those articles; it was therefore thought expedient, that an explanatory article should be added, to be agreed to and subscribed by all the clergy present, and, in future, by every clergyman who should become a con­tributor, in order to intitle his widow and children to an annuity from this fund; until such time as a majority of the members of the corporation should again be met, to give this explanatory article, such further sanction as might be thought necessary. In this explanatory article the clergy declare their sense of the [...] laws and regulations to be, that every clergyman, who shall become [Page 61] a contributor, in order that his widow and children may be intitled 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 they further declare their sense of the articles to be, that if any clergyman should die in arrears of his annual pay­ments, all his arrears, with the penalty of one penny in the pound per day, are to be deducted out of the annuity payable to the widow and children.

BY the foregoing laws and regulations a plan was settled for the management and disposition of a fund, that was, partly, to arise from the stated contributi­ons of those whose families were to be intitled to relief and assistance from it. These contributions of the clergy are considered as the annual savings of a strict and severe economy, laid out in the purchase of small annuities, to be kept in reserve for their wives and chil­dren, in case they should come to be widows and orphans. To such a fund, where the parties to be benefited by it were themselves to exert their utmost ability towards its establishment, it could [Page 62] not be doubted that large additions would be made by the generosity and charity of the benevolent and tender-hearted; especially as the wants and distresses of those, who by this institution are to be relieved and assisted, could not fail to have been peculiarly interesting and affecting to persons of humanity and sensibility. Two years, only, and a few months, have passed since the corpo­ration was erected; and the members of it have the pleasure to acknowledge, that they are already indebted to the worthy and humane, for as much assis­tance as could have been expected in so short a time; and they are encouraged to promise themselves a continuance of the public favor to the excellent charity, which they have undertaken to manage and conduct.

IT was intended, that a full account of the benefactions, received during the former year, should have been annexed to the sermon, preached before the cor­poration at New-York, and published, at their request, by the Revd. Dr. Auch­muty; to whom such an account was accordingly transmitted by the secretary: but, by some accident, it was lost. This occasioned the omission of several articles, [Page 63] which, otherwise, would have been then acknowledged. A general account is, therefore, here inserted, of the encou­ragement and assistance hitherto received by the corporation; who now return their sincere thanks for the following benefactions, which, as nearly as it could be ascertained, are mentioned accord­ing to the order of time in which they were received.

 * Lawful Money of New-Jersey.
To the congregation of Christ-Church, Philadelphia, for their contribution, made at the first annual meeting of the Corporation, October 10, 1769,£. 40 — 6
To the Rev. Dr. Peters, president of the Corporation,200 — 0
To a Gentleman, by the Rev. Mr. Cooke,10 15 4
To a Gentleman, by the Rev. Dr. Smith,6 — 0
To a Lady, by the same hand,1 — 0
To a Gentleman, by the Rev. Dr. Chandler,6 — 0
To a Gentleman, by the same hand,3 — 0
To a Person unknown, by the Rev. Dr. Peters,— 15 0
To several Ladies, by the Rev. Mr. Duche,14 8 0
To Mrs. Jackson, by the Rev. Mr. Craig,1 — 0
To Mrs. Vanlear, by the same hand,1 — 0
To the Lord Bishop of London, by the Rev. Dr. Peters, £ 20 Sterling,33 — 0
[Page 64]To his Excellency Governor Franklin, by the Rev. Mr. Odell,£. 10 — 0
To the congregation of St. Mary's Church, Burlington, by the same hand,5 8 0
To the congregation of St. Andrew's Church Mount-holly, by the same hand,2 5 9
To the Hon. Sir William Johnson, Ba­ronet, by the Rev. Dr. Auchmuty,9 7 6
To the congregation of Trinity-Church, New-York, for their contribution made at the annual meeting of the corporation, October 2, 1770,140 11 5¾
To a person unknown, by Dr Auchmuty,3 — 0
To another person, by the same hand,1 17 6
To a Lady unknown, by the Rev. Dr. Ogilvie,3 — 0
To a military Gentleman, by the same hand,3 — 0
To another military Gentleman, by the same hand,3 — 0
To another military Gentleman, by the same hand,1 17 6
To a Gentleman unknown, by Dr Auchmuty,2 16 3
To a Lady, by Dr. Ogilvie,3 — 0
To the Rev. Mr. Provost, by Dr. Auchmuty,9 7 6
To the Rev. Mr. Forbes, by the same hand,1 7 2¼
To a Lady unknown, by Dr. Ogilvie,3 — 0
To a Gentleman unknomn, by Dr. Auchmuty,8 4 0¾
To a Lady unknown, by the same hand,1 10 0
To the Rev. Mr. Preston, by Dr. Chandler,1 14 8¼
To the venerable Society for the propa­gation of the Gospel in foreign parts, their annual contribution, £ 60, sterling97 — 7½
To Mr. William Hilton, by Dr. Chandler,— 18 9
To the Right Hon. Lord Dartry of Ire­land, by Major Fell.5 2 0
To Col. John Lawrence, of Charles-Town, South-Carolina, by Dr. Peters,7 10 0
To Mr. J.M. of Philadelphia, by Dr. Smith.1 — 0
To Mrs. P. of Philadelphia, by the same hand,2 — 0
To Thomas Smith, Esq. of Charlestown, South-Carolina, by the same hand,£. 3 — 0
To Mr. Elliot, of the same place, by the same hand,3 — 0
To John Smyth, Esq. of Perth-Amboy, by the same hand,3 — 0
To Robert Pringle, Esq. of Charlestown, South-Carolina, by the same hand,6 — 0
To Col. Armstrong of New-Castle coun­ty, by the same hand,5 — 0
To John Morton, Esq. of Chester, by the Rev. Mr. Craig,3 — 0
To Mr. John Crosby, jun. of Chester, by the same hand.2 — 0
To Henry Hale Graham, Esq. of Ches­ter, by the same hand,1 5 9
To the congregation of St. Martin's, Chichester, by the same hand,1 1 4
To the congregation of St. Peter's Church, Perth-Amboy, for their contribution, made at the annual meeting of the corporation, October 2, 1771,30 3 2
To two persons unknown, by Cortland Skinner, Esq.1 15 4

BESIDES the benefactions above ac­knowledged, it remains to mention one, which (though not yet come to hand) is no less intitled to the public thanks of the corporation. At the annual meeting in New-York, October 2d, 1770, a com­mittee being named, to devise a proper seal for the corporation, Jocob Le Roy Esq. offered to pay the expence of any seal that should be agreed upon, the price not ex­ceeding ten guineas. This generous offer was politely accepted by the board; and [Page 66] a seal was accordingly ordered, and is daily expected from England.

AND here also it is, with pleasure, ac­knowledged, that the sincere thanks of the corporation are due to the Rev. Mr. Thomas Wharton, rector of St. Michael's at Bridgetown, in Barbados; who, on the first intelligence he received of this chari­table institution, warmly interested him­self in its behalf, soliciting his brethren and acquaintance, in that Island, to join with him in contributing ‘to so lauda­ble, so worthy an undertaking.’ Such are the terms in which he expresses his approbation of the scheme, and his zeal for its success, in a letter to Dr. Smith, dated so early as May, 1770; in which he intimates to the corporation his hope of procuring some considerable contribu­tions to their fund. The corporation have not yet received any direct account of the success of his application; but the rea­diness and zeal with which it has been seconded and supported by the clergy, and by many of the principal gentlemen of the laity. in Barbados, appear from the following advertisement, which was lately inserted, for several weeks together, in the Barbados Mercury.

[Page 67]The benevolent and humane are acquainted, that a subscription has been opened for the re­lief of the widows and orphans of the clergy of the established church in North-America, and that the members of the assembly, and several other principal gentlemen of the Island, have been pleased to encourage the laudable scheme, by cheerfully contributing to the charitable design. Notice therefore is hereby given, that the several clergymen of the Island will receive subscriptions, from such of their parishioners as will be pleased to offer their bounty; and the sums subscribed will be duly transmitted, by Henry Duke Esq. and the Rev. Thomas Wharton.

[Page 68]The following is a general account of the receits and payments of the corpo­ration, as they stood at the last annual meeting, on the 2d of October, 1771; (including the annual contributions of the clergy for the year past, which be­came due on that day.)

RECEITS
By benefactions and charitable contri­butions, from October 4th, 1769, to October 2d, 1771,£. 704 3 2½
By the stated annual contributions of the clergy, for the same term,306 0 0
By one year's interest of £. 300, in the hands of Mr. Treasurer Hopkinson, of Philadelphia,18 0 0
By a fine, for delay of payment of an annual contribution,— 2 0
Total£. 1028 5 2½

PAYMENTS.
For two editions of the sermon, preach­ed before the corporation by Dr. Smith, at the first annual meeting, in Phila­delphia,£. 40 8 3
For engrossing the charter granted in the province of New-York,3 0 0
For engrossing the charter granted in New-Jersey,— 15 0
For a book of minutes for the use of the corporation,— 12 0
For copying several pieces of church-mu­sic, and for other incidental charges, at the annual meeting of the corpo­ration, in New-York,4 10 3
To two bonds in the hands of Mr. Hopkinson,300 0 0
To cash in the hands of Dr. Chandler, for which interest is allowed by the executors of the late Col. Rickets,57 16 3
To a mortgage in the hands of Mr. trea­surer Le Roy, of New-York,187 10 0
To balance due to the corporation, in the hands of the several treasurers,433 13 5½
Total£. 1028 5 2½
[Page 70]

A LIST of the MEMBERS of the Corporation.

  • The Rev. Richard Peters, D. D. President.
  • His Excellency William Franklin, Esq. Governor of New-Jersey.
  • His Excellency William Tryon, Esq. Governor of New-York.
  • The Honorable Cadwallader Colden, Esq. Lieutenant-Governor of New-York.
A
  • The Honorable Charles Ward Apthorp, Esq.
  • Samuel Auchmuty, D. D.
  • The Honorable William Axtell, Esq.
  • Ephraim Avery, M. A.
  • John Andrews, M. A.
  • The Rev. William Ayers.
  • William Atlee, Esq.
B
  • Isaac Browne, M. A.
  • Thomas Barton, M. A.
  • John Beardsley, M. A.
  • Abraham Beach, M. A.
  • Joshua Bloomer, M. A.
C
  • The Honorable Henry Cruger, Esq.
  • Benjamin Chew, Esq.
  • [Page 71] Thomas Bradbury Chandler, D. D.
  • Myles Cooper, L. L. D.
  • The Honorable Daniel Coxe, Esq.
  • Richard Charlton, M. A.
  • George Craig, M. A.
  • William Currie, M. A.
  • Samuel Cooke, M. A.
  • Leonard Cutting, M. A.
  • James Van Cortlandt, Esq.
D
  • Elias Desbrosses, Esq.
  • James De Lancey, Esq.
  • James Duane, Esq.
  • Jacob Duché, M. A.
F
  • The Rev. William Frazer.
G
  • Joseph Galloway, Esq.
H
  • The Honorable James Hamilton, Esq.
  • Richard Hockley, Esq.
  • Francis Hopkinson, Esq.
I
  • The Honorable Sir William Johnson, Bart.
  • Samuel Johnson, Esq.
  • Charles Inglis, M. A.
K
  • [Page 72]The Honorable Peter Kemble, Esq.
  • John Tabor Kempe, Esq. attorney general in the province of New-York.
  • Benjamin Kissam, Esq.
  • Ebenezer Kneeland. M. A.
L
  • The Honorable John Lawrence, Esq.
  • Lynford Lardner, Esq.
  • John Livingston, Esq.
  • Jacob Le Roy, Esq.
  • John Lyon, M. A.
M
  • The Honorable Roger Morris, Esq.
  • The Rev. Mr. Muhlenburgh.
  • Alexander Murray, M. A.
  • Samuel Magaw, M. A.
O
  • John Ogilvie, D. D.
  • Jonathan Odell, M. A.
P
  • The Honorable John Penn, Esq. one of the proprietaries of Pennsylvania.
  • The Honorable James Parker, Esq.
  • Samuel Powell, Esq.
  • Frederick Philips, Esq.
  • Samuel Provost, M. A.
  • John Preston, M. A.
R
  • [Page 73]The Honorable Charles Read, Esq.
  • John Ross, Esq.
  • Philip Reading, M. A.
S
  • The Right Honorable Lord Stirling.
  • The Honorable Samuel Smith, Esq.
  • The Honorable Frederick Smyth, Esq.
  • Cortland Skinner, Esq. attorney general in the province of New-Jersey.
  • William Smith, D. D.
  • Samuel Seabury, M. A.
  • The Rev. John Sayre.
  • John Swift, Esq.
  • Nicholas Stuyvesant, Esq.
T
  • James Tilghman, Esq.
  • William Thomson, M. A.
W
  • The Honorable John Watts, Esq.
  • Isaac Willet, Esq.
  • Jacob Walton, Esq.
  • Thomas Willing, Esq.
[Page 74]

A LIST of the OFFICERS of the Cor­poration, for the present year.

President,
  • The Reverend Richard Peters, D. D.
Treasurers,
  • Jacob Le Roy, Esq. for New-York.
  • Thomas B. Chandler, D. D. for New-Jersey.
  • Francis Hopkinson, Esq. for Pennsylvania.
Standing Committee,
  • The Hon. John Watts, Esq. in N. York.
  • The Rev. Mr. Charles Inglis, in N. York.
  • The Hon. James Parker, Esq. in N. Jersey.
  • Cortland Skinner, Esq. in N. Jersey.
  • Thomas Willing, Esq. in Pennsylvania.
  • The Rev. Dr. Smith, in Pennsylvania.
Secretary,
  • Jonathan Odell.
[Page 75]

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 clergymen 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, [Page 76] 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 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.

END.

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