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´╗┐Title: A Proposal for the Better Supplying of Churches in Our Foreign Plantations, and for Converting the Savage Americans to Christianity
Author: Berkeley, George, 1685-1753
Language: English
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*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Proposal for the Better Supplying of Churches in Our Foreign Plantations, and for Converting the Savage Americans to Christianity" ***




For the better Supplying of



_Foreign Plantations_,


Converting the Savage _Americans_

By a COLLEGE to be erected in the
_Summer Islands_, otherwise called the
Isles of _Bermuda_.

_The harvest is truly great, but the labourers are few_, Luke c.
10. v. 2.


Printed by H. WOODFALL, at _Elzevir's-Head_ without
_Temple-Bar_: And sold by J. ROBERTS, near the
_Oxford-Arms_ in _Warwick-Lane_, 1725. (Price Sixpence.)

_A PROPOSAL for the better Supplying of Churches in our foreign
Plantations, &c._

Although there are several excellent persons of the church of England,
whose good intentions and endeavours have not been wanting to propagate
the gospel in foreign parts, who have even combined into societies for
that very purpose, and given great encouragement, not only for English
missionaries in the West-Indies, but also, for the reformed of other
nations, led by their example, to propagate christianity in the East:
It is nevertheless acknowledged, that there is at this day, but little
sense of religion, and a most notorious corruption of manners, in the
English colonies settled on the continent of America, and the islands.
It is also acknowledged, that the gospel hath hitherto made but a very
inconsiderable progress among the neighbouring Americans, who still
continue in much-what the same ignorance and barbarism, in which we
found them above a hundred years ago.

I shall therefore venture to submit my thoughts upon a point, that I
have long consider'd, to better judgments, in hopes that any expedient
will be favourably hearkned to, which is proposed for the remedy of
these evils. Now in order to effect this, it should seem the natural
proper method, to provide, in the first place, a constant supply of
worthy clergy-men for the English churches in those parts; and in the
second place, a like constant supply of zealous missionaries well
fitted for propagating Christianity among the savages.

For though the surest means to reform the morals, and soften the
behaviour of men, be, to preach to them the pure uncorrupt doctrine of
the gospel, yet it cannot be denied that the success of preaching
dependeth in good measure on the character and skill of the preacher:
Forasmuch as mankind are more apt to copy characters than to practise
precepts, and forasmuch as argument, to attain its full strength, doth
not less require the life of zeal, than the weight of reason; and the
same doctrine, which maketh great impression, when delivered with
decency and address, loseth very much of its force by passing through
aukward or unskilful hands.

Now the clergy sent over to America have proved, too many of them, very
meanly qualified both in learning and morals for the discharge of their
office. And indeed little can be expected from the example or
instruction of those, who quit their native country on no other motive,
than that they are not able to procure a livelihood in it, which is
known to be often the case.

To this may be imputed the small care that hath been taken to convert
the negroes of our plantations, who, to the infamy of England, and
scandal of the world, continue Heathen under Christian masters, and in
Christian countries. Which cou'd never be, if our planters were rightly
instructed and made sensible, that they disappointed their own baptism
by denying it to those who belong to them: That it would be of
advantage to their affairs, to have slaves who should _obey in all
things their masters according to the flesh, not with eye-service as
men-pleasers, but, in singleness of heart as fearing God_: That gospel
liberty consists with temporal servitude: and that their slaves would
only become better slaves by being Christian.

And though it be allowed that some of the clergy in our colonies have
approved themselves men of merit, it will at the same time be allowed,
that the most zealous and able missionary from England must find
himself but ill qualified for converting the American Heathen, if we
consider the difference of language, their wild way of living, and
above all, the great jealousy and prejudice which savage nations have
towards foreigners, or innovations introduced by them.

These considerations make it evident, that a college or seminary in
those parts is very much wanted; and therefore the providing such a
seminary, is earnestly proposed and recommended to all those, who have
it in their power, to contribute to so good a work. By this, two ends
would be obtained.

First, the youth of our English plantations might be themselves fitted
for the ministry; and men of merit would be then glad to fill the
churches of their native country, which are now a drain for the very
dregs and refuse of ours.

At present, there are, I am told, many churches vacant in our
plantations, and many very ill supplied; nor can all the vigilance and
wisdom of that great prelate, whose peculiar care it is, prevent this,
so long as the aforesaid churches are supplied from England.

And supplied they must be, with such as can be pick'd up in England or
Ireland, till a nursery of learning for the education of the natives is
founded. This indeed might provide a constant succession of learned and
exemplary pastors; and what effect this must be supposed to have on
their flocks, I need not say.

Secondly, the children of savage Americans, brought up in such a
seminary, and well instructed in religion and learning, might make the
ablest and properest missionaries for spreading the gospel among their
countrymen; who would be less apt to suspect, and readier to embrace a
doctrine recommended by neighbours or relations, men of their own blood
and language, than if it were proposed by foreigners, who would not
improbably be thought to have designs on the liberty or property of
their converts.

The young Americans necessary for this purpose, may, in the beginning
be procured, either by peaceable methods from those savage nations,
which border on our colonies, and are in friendship with us, or by
taking captive the children of our enemies.

It is proposed to admit into the aforesaid college only such savages as
are under ten years of age, before evil habits have taken a deep root;
and yet not so early as to prevent retaining their mother tongue, which
should be preserved by intercourse among themselves.

It is further proposed, to ground these young Americans thoroughly in
religion and morality, and to give them a good tincture of other
learning; particularly of eloquence, history, and practical
mathematicks: to which it may not be improper to add some skill in

If there were a yearly supply of ten or a dozen such missionaries sent
abroad into their respective countries, after they had received the
degree of master of arts in the aforesaid college, and holy orders in
England, (till such time as episcopacy be established in those parts)
it is hardly to be doubted, but, in a little time the world would see
good and great effects thereof.

For, to any considering man, the employing American missionaries for
the conversion of America, will, of all others, appear the most likely
method to succeed; especially if care be taken, that, during the whole
course of their education, an eye should be had to their mission; that
they should be taught betimes to consider themselves as trained up in
that sole view, without any other prospect of provision, or employment;
that a zeal for religion, and love of their country, should be early
and constantly instilled into their minds, by repeated lectures and
admonitions; that they should not only be incited by the common topics
of religion and nature, but farther animated and enflamed by the great
examples, in past ages, of publick spirit and virtue, to rescue their
countrymen from their savage manners, to a life of civility and

If his majesty would graciously please to grant a charter for a college
to be erected in a proper place for these uses, it is to be hoped a
fund may be soon raised, by the contribution of well-disposed persons,
sufficient for building and endowing the same. For as the necessary
expence would be small, so there are men of religion and humanity in
England, who would be pleased to see any design set forward for the
glory of God and the good of mankind.

A small expence would suffice to subsist and educate the American
missionaries in a plain simple manner, such as might make it easy for
them to return to the coarse and poor methods of life in use among
their countrymen; and nothing can contribute more to lessen this
expence, than a judicious choice of the situation, where the seminary
is to stand.

Many things ought to be considered in the choice of a situation. It
should be in a good air; in a place where provisions are cheap and
plenty; where an intercourse might easily be kept up with all parts of
America and the islands; in a place of security, not exposed to the
insults of pyrates, savages, or other enemies; where there is no great
trade, which might tempt the readers or fellows of the college to
become merchants, to the neglect of their proper business; where there
are neither riches nor luxury to divert, or lessen their application,
or to make them uneasy and dissatisfied with a homely frugal
subsistence: lastly, where the inhabitants, if such a place may be
found, are noted for innocence and simplicity of manners. I need not
say of how great importance this point would be toward forming the
morals of young students, and what mighty influence it must have on the

It is evident the college long since projected in Barbadoes would be
defective in many of these particulars; for though it may have its use
among the inhabitants, yet a place of so high trade, so much wealth and
luxury, and such dissolute morals, (not to mention the great price and
scarcity of provisions;) must at first light seem a very improper
situation for a general seminary intended for the forming missionaries,
and educating youth in religion and sobriety of manners. The same
objections lie against the neighbouring islands.

And if we consider the accounts given of their avarice and
licentiousness, their coldness in the practice of religion, and their
aversion from propagating it, (which appears in the withholding their
slaves from baptism) it is to be feared, that the inhabitants in the
populous parts of our plantations on the continent are not much fitter,
than those in the islands above mentioned, to influence or assist such
a design. And as to the more remote and less frequented parts, the
difficulty of being supplied with necessaries, the danger of being
exposed to the inroads of savages, and above all, the want of
intercourse with other places, render them improper situations for a
seminary of religion and learning.

It will not be amiss to insert here an observation, I remember to have
seen in an abstract of the proceedings, &c. annexed to the Dean of
Canterbury's sermon, before the society for the propagation of the
gospel in foreign parts; that the savage Indians, who live on the
continent, will not suffer their children to learn English or Dutch,
lest they should be debauched by conversing with their European
neighbours: which is a melancholy, but strong confirmation of the truth
of what hath been now advanced.

A general intercourse and correspondence with all the English colonies,
both on the islands and the continent, and with other parts of America,
hath been before laid down, as a necessary circumstance, the reason
whereof is very evident. But this circumstance is hardly to be found.
For on the continent, where there are neither inns, nor carriages, nor
bridges over the rivers, there is no travelling by land between distant
places. And the English settlements are reputed to extend along the
sea-coast for the space of fifteen hundred miles. It is therefore
plain, there can be no convenient communication between them, otherwise
than by sea; no advantage therefore, in this point, can be gained by
settling on the continent.

There is another consideration, which equally regards the continent and
islands, that the general course of trade and correspondence lies from
all those colonies to Great Britain alone: Whereas, for our present
purpose, it would be necessary to pitch upon a place, if such could be
found, which maintains a constant intercourse with all the other
colonies, and whose commerce lies chiefly or altogether (not in Europe,
but) in America.

There is but one spot that I can find, to which this circumstance
agrees: and that is the isles of Bermuda, otherwise called the Summer
Islands. These having no rich commodity or manufacture, such as sugar,
tobacco, or the like, wherewithal to trade to England, are obliged to
become carriers for America, as the Dutch are for Europe. The Bermudans
are excellent shipwrights and sailors, and have a great number of very
good sloops, which are always passing and repassing from all parts of
America. They drive a constant trade to the islands of Jamaica,
Barbadoes, Antego, &c. with butter, onions, cabbages, and other roots
and vegetables, which they have in great plenty and perfection. They
have also some small manufactures of joyner's work and matting, which
they export to the plantations on the continent. Hence Bermudan sloops
are oftener seen in the ports of America, than any other. And indeed,
by the best information I could get, it appears they are the only
people of all the British plantations, who hold a general
correspondence with the rest.

And, as the commerce of Bermuda renders it a very fit place, wherein to
erect a seminary, so likewise doth its situation, it being placed
between our plantations on the continent, and those in the isles, so as
equally to respect both. To which may be added, that it lies in the way
of vessels passing from America to Great Britain; all which makes it
plain, that the youth, to be educated in a seminary placed in the
Summer Islands, would have frequent opportunities of going thither and
corresponding with their friends. It must indeed be owned, that some
will be obliged to go a long way to any one place, which we suppose
resorted to, from all parts of our plantations; but if we were to look
out a spot the nearest approaching to an equal distance from all the
rest, I believe it Would be found to be Bermuda. It remains, that we
see whether it enjoys the other qualities or conditions laid down as
well as this.

The Summer Islands are situated near the latitude of thirty-three
degrees; no part of the world enjoys a purer air, or a more temperate
climate, the great ocean which environs them, at once moderating the
heat of the south winds, and the severity of the north-west. Such a
latitude on the continent might be thought too hot; but the air in
Bermuda is perpetually fanned and kept cool by sea breezes, which
render the weather the most healthy and delightful that could be
wished, being, (as is affirmed by persons who have long lived there) of
one equal tenour almost throughout the whole year, like the latter-end
of a fine May; insomuch that it is resorted to as the Montpelier of

Nor are these isles (if we may believe the accounts given of them) less
remarkable for plenty than for health; there being, besides beef,
mutton, and fowl, great abundance of fruits, and garden-stuff of all
kinds in perfection: To this, if we add the great plenty and variety of
fish, which is every day taken on their coasts, it would seem, that a
seminary could no where be supplied with better provisions, or cheaper
than here.

About forty years ago, upon cutting down many tall cedars, that
sheltered their orange-trees from the north west-wind (which sometimes
blows, even there, so as to affect that delicate plant) great part of
their orange plantations suffered; but other cedars are since grown up,
and no doubt a little industry would again produce as great plenty of
oranges, as ever was there heretofore. I mention this, because some
have inferred from the present scarcity of that fruit, for which
Bermuda was once so famous, that there hath been a change in the soil
and climate for the worse. But this, as hath been observed, proceeded
from another cause, which is now in great measure taken away.

Bermuda is a cluster of small islands, which lie in a very narrow
compass, containing, in all, not quite twenty thousand acres. This
groupe of isles is (to use Mr. Waller's expression) walled round with
rocks, which render them inaccessible to pyrates, or enemies; there
being but two narrow entrances, both well guarded by forts. It would
therefore be impossible to find any where, a more secure retreat for

The trade of Bermuda consists only in garden-stuff, and some poor
manufactures, principally of cedar and the palmetto-leaf. Bermuda hats
are worn by our ladies: They are made of a sort of mat, or (as they
call it) platting made of the palmetto leaf, which is the only
commodity that I can find exported from Bermuda to Great Britain; and
as there is no prospect of making a fortune by this small trade, so it
cannot be supposed to tempt the fellows of the college to engage in it,
to the neglect of their peculiar business, which might possibly be the
case elsewhere.

Such as their trade is, such is their wealth; the inhabitants being
much poorer than the other colonies, who do not fail to despise them
upon that account. But if they have less wealth, they have withal less
vice and expensive folly than their neighbours. They are represented as
a contented, plain, innocent sort of people, free from avarice and
luxury, as well as the other corruptions that attend those vices.

I am also informed, that they are more constant attendants on divine
service, more kind and respectful to their pastor (when they have one)
and shew much more humanity to their slaves, and charity to one
another, than is observed among the English in the other plantations:
one reason of this may be, that condemned criminals, being employed in
the manufactures of sugar and tobacco, were never transported thither.
But, whatever be the cause, the facts are attested by a Clergyman of
good credit, who lived long among them.

Among a people of this character, and in a situation thus
circumstantiated, it would seem that a seminary of religion and
learning might very fitly be placed. The correspondence with other
parts of America, the goodness of the air, the plenty and security of
the place, the frugality and innocence of the inhabitants, all
conspiring to favour such a design. Thus much at least is evident, that
young students would be there less liable to be corrupted in their
morals; and the governing part would be easier, and better contented
with a small stipend, and a retired academical life, in a corner from
whence avarice and luxury are excluded, than they can be supposed to be
in the midst of a full trade and great riches, attended with all that
high living and parade which our planters affect, and which, as well as
all fashionable vices, should be far removed from the eyes of the young
American missionaries, who are to lead a life of poverty and
self-denial among their countrymen.

After all, it must be acknowledged, that though every thing else should
concur with our wishes, yet if a set of good governors and teachers be
wanting, who are acquainted with the methods of education, and have the
zeal and ability requisite for carrying on a design of this nature, it
would certainly come to nothing.

An institution of this kind should be set on foot by men of prudence,
spirit, and zeal, as well as competent learning, who should be led to
it by other motives than the necessity of picking up a maintenance. For
upon this view, what man of merit can be supposed to quit his native
country, and take up with a poor college-subsistence in another part of
the world, where there are so many considerable parishes actually void,
and so many others ill supplied for want of fitting incumbents? Is it
likely, that fellowships of fifty or sixty pounds a year should tempt
abler or worthier men, than benefices of many times their value?

And except able and worthy men do first engage in this affair, with a
resolution to exert themselves in forming the manners of the youth, and
giving them a proper education, it is evident the mission and the
college will be but in a very bad way. This inconvenience seems the
most difficult to provide against, and, if not provided against, it
will be the most likely to obstruct any design of this nature. So true
it is, that where ignorance or ill manners once take place in a
seminary, they are sure to be handed down in a succession of illiterate
or worthless men.

But this apprehension, which seems so well grounded, that a college in
any part of America would either lie unprovided, or be worse provided
than their churches are, hath no place in Bermuda; there being at this
time several gentlemen in all respects very well qualified, and in
possession of good preferments, and fair prospects at home, who having
seriously considered the great benefit that may arise to the church and
to mankind from such an undertaking, are ready to engage in it, and to
dedicate the remainder of their lives to the instructing the youth of
America, and prosecuting their own studies upon a very moderate
subsistence in a retirement, so sweet, and so secure, and every way so
well fitted for a place of education, and study, as Bermuda.

Thus much the writer hereof thought himself obliged to say of his
associates: for himself, he can only say, that as he values no
preferment upon earth, so much as that of being employed in the
execution of this design; so he hopes to make up for other defects, by
his industry and zeal.

In Europe, the protestant religion hath of late years considerably lost
ground, and America seems the likeliest place, wherein to make up for
what hath been lost in Europe, provided the proper methods are taken:
Otherwise the Spanish missionaries in the South, and the French in the
North, are making such a progress, as may one day spread the religion
of Rome, and with it the usual hatred to protestants, throughout all
the savage nations in America; which would probably end in the utter
extirpation of our colonies, on the safety whereof depends so much of
the nation's wealth, and so considerable a branch of his majesty's

But if this scheme were pursued, it would in all probability have much
greater influence on the Americans, than the utmost endeavours of
popish emissaries can possibly have; who from the difference of
country, language and interest, must lie under far greater difficulties
and discouragements than those, whom we suppose yearly sent out from
Bermuda to preach among their countrymen.

It cannot indeed be denied, that the great number of poor regulars,
inured to hard living, and brought up in an implicit obedience to their
superiors, hath hitherto given the church of Rome, in regard to her
missions, great advantage over the reformed churches. But from what
hath been said, it is, I think, evident, that this advantage may be
over-ballanced by our employing American missionaries.

Nor is the honour of the crown, nation, and church of England
unconcerned in this scheme; which, it is to be hoped, will remove the
reproach, we have so long lain under, that we fall as far short of our
neighbours of the Romish communion in zeal for propagating religion, as
we surpass them in the soundness and purity of it. And at the same
time, that the doing what may be so easily done, takes away our
reproach; it will cast no small lustre on his majesty's reign, and
derive a blessing from heaven on his administration, and those who live
under the influence thereof.

Men of narrow minds have a peculiar talent at objection, being never at
a loss for something to say against whatsoever is not of their own
proposing. And perhaps, it will be said in opposition to this proposal,
that if we thought ourselves capable of gaining converts to the church,
we ought to begin with infidels, papists, and dissenters of all
denominations at home, and to make proselytes of these before we think
of foreigners; and that therefore our scheme is against duty. And
further, that considering the great opposition, which is found on the
part of those who differ from us at home, no success can be expected
among savages abroad, and that therefore it is against reason and

In answer to this I say, that religion like light is imparted without
being diminished. That whatever is done abroad, can be no hindrance or
lett to the conversion of infidels or others at home. That those who
engage in this affair, imagine they will not be missed, where there is
no want of schools or clergy; but that they may be of singular service
in countries but thinly supplied with either, or altogether deprived of
both: That our colonies being of the same blood, language, and religion
with ourselves, are in effect our countrymen. But that christian
charity, not being limited by those regards, doth extend to all
mankind. And this may serve for an answer to the first point, that our
design is against duty.

To the second point I answer; That ignorance is not so incurable as
error; that you must pull down as well as build, erase as well as
imprint, in order to make proselytes at home: Whereas, the savage
Americans, if they are in a state purely natural, and unimproved by
education, they are also unincumbred with all that rubbish of
superstition and prejudice, which is the effect of a wrong one. As they
are less instructed, they are withal less conceited, and more
teachable. And not being violently attached to any false system of
their own, are so much the fitter to receive that which is true. Hence
it is evident, that success abroad ought not to be measured by that
which we observe at home, and that the inference, which was made from
the difficulty of the one to the impossibility of the other, is
altogether groundless.

It hath more the appearance of reason to object (what will possibly be
objected by some) that this scheme hath been already tried to no
purpose, several Indians having returned to their savage manners after
they had been taught to write and read, and instructed in the Christian
religion; a clear proof that their natural stupidity is not to be
overcome by education.

In answer to this, I say, that the scheme now proposed hath never been
tried, forasmuch as a thorough education in religion and morality, in
divine and humane learning, doth not appear to have been ever given to
any savage American; that much is to be hoped from a man ripe in years,
and well grounded in religion and useful knowledge, while little or
nothing can be expected from a youth but slightly instructed in the
elements of either: that from the miscarriage or gross stupidity of
some, a general incapacity of all Americans cannot be fairly inferred:
that they shew as much natural sense as other uncultivated nations:
that the empires of Mexico and Peru were evident proofs of their
capacity, in which there appeared a reach of politics, and a degree of
art and politeness, which no European people were ever known to have
arrived at without the use of letters or of iron, and which some
perhaps have fallen short of with both those advantages.

To what hath been said, it may not be improper to add, that young
Americans, educated in an island at some distance from their own
country, will more easily be kept under discipline till they have
attained a compleat education, than on the continent; where they might
find opportunities of running away to their countrymen, and returning
to their brutal customs, before they were thoroughly imbued with good
principles and habits.

It must nevertheless be acknowledged a difficult attempt, to plant
religion among the Americans, so long as they continue their wild and
roving life. He who is obliged to hunt for his daily food, will have
little curiosity or leisure to receive instruction. It would seem
therefore the right way, to introduce religion and civil life at the
same time into that part of the world: either attempt will assist and
promote the other. Those therefore of the young savages, who upon trial
are found less likely to improve by academical studies, may be taught
agriculture, or the most necessary trades. And when husband-men,
weavers, carpenters, and the like, have planted those useful arts among
their savage country-men, and taught them to live in settled
habitations, to canton out their land and till it, to provide vegetable
food of all kinds, to preserve flocks and herds of cattle, to make
convenient houses, and to cloath themselves decently: This will assist
the spreading of the gospel among them; this will dispose them to
social vertues, and enable them to see and to feel the advantages of a
religious and civil education.

And that this view of propagating the gospel and civil life among the
savage nations of America, was a principal motive which induced the
crown to send the first English colonies thither, doth appear from the
charter granted by King James I. to the adventurers in Virginia. _See
Purchas's pilgrims, part 4. b. 9. c.i._ And it is now but just (what
might then seem charitable) that these poor creatures should receive
some advantage with respect to their spiritual interests, from those
who have so much improved their temporal by settling among them.

It is most true, notwithstanding our present corruptions, that there
are to be found in no country under the sun men of better inclinations,
or greater abilities for doing good than in England. But it is as true,
that success, in many cases, dependeth not upon zeal, industry, wealth,
learning, or the like faculties, so much as on the method, wherein
these are applied. We often see a small proportion of labour and
expence in one way, bring that about, which in others a much greater
share of both could never effect. It hath been my endeavour to discover
this way or method in the present case. What hath been done, I submit
to the judgment of all good and reasonable men; who, I am persuaded,
will never reject or discourage a proposal of this nature on the score
of slight objections, surmises, or difficulties, and thereby render
themselves chargeable with the having prevented those good effects,
which might otherwise have been produced by it.

For it is, after all, possible, that unforeseen difficulties may arise
in the prosecution of this design, many things may retard, and many
things may threaten to obstruct it; but there is hardly any enterprize
or scheme whatsoever for the publick good, in which difficulties are
not often shewing themselves, and as often overcome by the blessing of
God, upon the prudence and resolution of the undertakers: though, for
ought that appears, the present scheme is as likely to succeed, and
attended with as few difficulties, as any of this kind can possibly be.

For to any man, who considers the divine power of religion, the innate
force of reason and virtue, and the mighty effects often wrought by the
constant regular operation even of a weak and small cause; it will seem
natural and reasonable to suppose, that rivulets perpetually issuing
forth from a fountain, or reservoir, of learning and religion, and
streaming through all parts of America, must in due time have a great
effect, in purging away the ill manners and irreligion of our colonies,
as well as the blindness and barbarity of the nations round them:
Especially, if the reservoir be in a clean and private place, where its
waters, out of the way of any thing that may corrupt them, remain clear
and pure; otherwise they are more likely to pollute than purify the
places through which they flow.

The greatness of a benefaction is rather in proportion to the number
and want of the receivers, than to the liberality of the giver. A wise
and good man would therefore be frugal in the management of his
charity; that is, contrive it so as that it might extend to the
greatest wants of the greatest number of his fellow-creatures. Now the
greatest wants are spiritual wants, and by all accounts these are no
where greater than in our western plantations, in many parts whereof
divine service is never performed for want of clergy-men; in others,
after such a manner and by such hands as scandalize even the worst of
their own parishioners: where many English, instead of gaining
converts, are themselves degenerated into Heathen, being members of no
church, without morals, without faith, without baptism. There can be
therefore, in no part of the Christian world, a greater want of
spiritual things than in our plantations.

And, on the other hand, no part of the Gentile world are so inhumane
and barbarous as the savage Americans, whose chief employment and
delight consisting in cruelty and revenge, their lives must of all
others be most opposite as well to the light of nature, as to the
spirit of the Gospel. Now to reclaim these poor wretches, to prevent
the many torments and cruel deaths which they daily inflict on each
other, to contribute in any sort to put a stop to the numberless horrid
crimes which they commit without remorse, and instead thereof to
introduce the practice of vertue and piety must surely be a work in the
highest degree becoming every sincere and charitable Christian.

Those, who wish well to religion and mankind, will need no other motive
to forward an undertaking calculated for the service of both: I shall,
nevertheless, beg leave to observe, that whoever would be glad to cover
a multitude of sins by an extensive and well judged charity, or
whoever, from an excellent and godlike temper of mind, seeks
opportunities of doing good in his generation, will be pleased to meet
with a scheme that so peculiarly puts it in his power, with small
trouble or expence to procure a great and lasting benefit to the world.

Ten pounds a year, would (if I mistake not) be sufficient to defray the
expence of a young American in the college of Bermuda, as to dyet,
lodging, clothes, books, and education: And if so, the interest of two
hundred pounds may be a perpetual fund for maintaining one missionary
at the college for ever; and in this succession, many, it is to be
hoped, may become powerful instruments for converting to Christianity
and civil life whole nations, who now sit in darkness and the shadow of
death, and whose cruel brutal manners are a disgrace to humane nature.

A benefaction of this kind seems to enlarge the very being of a man,
extending it to distant places and to future times; inasmuch as unseen
countries, and after ages, may feel the effects of his bounty, while he
himself reaps the reward in the blessed society of all those, who,
_having turned many to righteousness, shine as the stars for ever and

                     *      *      *      *      *


_Since the foregoing proposal was first made publick, His MAJESTY hath
been graciously pleased to grant a charter for erecting a college by
the name of St. PAUL's college in Bermuda, for the uses abovementioned.
Which college is to contain a president and nine fellows. The first
president appointed by charter is George Berkeley, D.D. and Dean of
Derry. The three fellows named in the charter, are William Thompson,
Jonathan Rogers, and James King, Masters of Arts and Fellows of Trinity
College near Dublin. The nomination of a_ _president is reserved to the
Crown. The election of fellows is vested in the president and the
majority of the fellows; as is likewise the government of the society.
The Lord Bishop of London for the time being is appointed visitor: and
such of His MAJESTY's principal Secretaries of State for the time being
as hath America in his province, is appointed chancellor of the said
college. The president and fellows have the power of making statutes to
be approved by the visitor: they have also the power of conferring
degrees in all faculties. They are obliged to maintain and educate
Indian scholars at the rate of ten pounds per Annum for each. They are
obliged to transmit annual accounts of the state of the college, number
of students, their progress, &c. to the chancellor and visitor. The
aforesaid president and fellows are licensed to hold their preferments
in these kingdoms till one year and a half be expired after their
arrival in Bermuda. This society is incorporated with the usual
clauses, hath power to receive benefactions, purchase lands, keep a
common seal, &c. Lastly, all in office under His MAJESTY, are required
to be aiding and assisting to the protection and preservation thereof._

_As this college is proposed to be built and endowed by charitable
contributions and subscriptions, all well-disposed persons, whether of
the laity or the clergy, are desired to assist, as opportunity shall
offer, in forwarding and collecting the same without loss of time; to
the end that the President and Fellows may be able to set out for
Bermuda in next spring; which is proposed, in case provision can be
made by that time of sixty pounds per Annum for each: And it is hoped
that the charity and zeal of sincere Christians will not suffer a
design of this nature to be disappointed for want of necessary
provision. The contributions and subscriptions aforesaid, may be
deposited in the hands of any of the persons hereafter named._

John           Arbuthnot M.D. in Corke-street.

Revd. Martin   Benson, arch-deacon of Berks, and prebendary of Durham,
               in Albemarle-street.

Francis        Child Esq; Banker in Fleet-street, and Alderman of the
               city of London.

Revd. Dr.      Cobden, chaplain to the L. Bp of London, at Fulham.

Sir Clement    Cotterel Bart. in Dover-street.

Sir Thomas     Crosse Kt. in Westminster.

Sir Daniel     Dolins Kt. at Hackney.

Thomas         Green Esq; in Westminster.

Revd. Mr.      Hargrave, chaplain to his Grace the Duke of Newcastle,
               and prebendary of Westminster.

Edward         Harley Esq; auditor of the Imprests in Lincoln's-Inn.

Benj. & Henry  Hoare Esquires, Bankers in Fleet-street.

Archibald      Hutcheson Esq; in James-street, near Golden-square.

Revd. Dr.      King, master of the charter-house, and first chaplain to
               the Lord Chancellor.

Revd. Dr.      Lisle, rector of Bow, and chaplain to his Grace the A.B.
               of Canterbury.

Revd. Dr.      Lupton, prebendary of Durham, and preacher at

Revd. Dr.      Marshal, rector of Foster-lane, and prebendary of

Revd. Dr.      Mayo, Treasurer to the Society for promoting Christian
               Knowledge, at St. Thomas's Hospital in Southwark.

Revd. Dr.      Moss, Dean of Ely, and preacher at Gray's-Inn.

Revd. Dr.      Pelling, rector of St. Ann's Soho, and prebendary of

Revd. Dr.      Pierce, vicar of St. Martin's in the Fields.

Hon. Augustus  Schutz Esq; Master of the Wardrobe to his Royal

Revd. Dr.      Sherlock, Dean of Chichester, and Master of the Temple.

Sir William    Wentworth Bart. in Clarges-street, or in York.

_The money received by these Gentlemen is to be laid out in
purchasing lands or perpetual annuities for endowment of the College
aforesaid, and in building and providing necessaries for the same, by
order or with the approbation of_

    His Grace William Lord Arch-Bishop of Canterbury.

    The Right Honourable Peter Lord King, High Chancellor of Great

    His Grace Thomas Duke of Newcastle, Principal Secretary of State
    for the Plantations in America, &c.

    The Right Reverend Edmund Lord Bishop of London.

_Who have been pleased to accept the Office of Trustees or Overseers of
so useful a charity._

_N.B. Till such time as the contributions and subscriptions amount to a
sum sufficient for providing five persons with the above-mentioned
salaries of sixty pounds per Annum, the subscribers shall not be
desired to pay in their money._


*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Proposal for the Better Supplying of Churches in Our Foreign Plantations, and for Converting the Savage Americans to Christianity" ***

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