A miscellany, containing several tracts on various subjects. By the Bishop of Cloyne:
Berkeley, George, 1685-1753.
Page  191

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 the same Ignorance and Bar∣barism, Page  192 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 considered, to better Judgments, in Hopes that any Expedient will be favourably hearkened 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 Clergymen for the English Churches in those Parts; and in the second Place, a like constant Supply of zealous Missionaries, well fitted for pro∣pagating 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 Cha∣racter 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 Planta∣tions, Page  193 who, to the Infamy of England, and Scandal of the World, continue Heathen under Christian Masters, and in Christian Countries. Which could 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 fear∣ing God: That Gospel Liberty consists with temporal Servitude; and that their Slaves would only become better Slaves by being Christians.

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 Semi∣nary, 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 sup∣plied; Page  194 nor can all the Vigilance and Wisdom of that great Prelate, whose peculiar Care it is, pre∣vent this, so long as the aforesaid Churches are supplied from England.

And supplied they must be, with such as can be picked up in England or Ireland, until 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 re∣commended by Neighbours or Relations, Men of their own Blood and Language, than if it were pro∣posed 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 Friend∣ship 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 Learn∣ing; Page  195 particularly of Eloquence, History, and prac∣tical Mathematicks; to which it may not be im∣proper to add some Skill in Physic.

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 doubt∣ed, 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, dur∣ing 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 inflamed by the great Examples in past Ages, of public Spirit and Virtue, to rescue their Country∣men from their savage Manners, to a Life of Ci∣vility and Religion.

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 dis∣posed 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 Page  196 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 ju∣dicious 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 Pirates, 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 Mission.

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 Sight seem a very im∣proper Situation for a general Seminary intended Page  197 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 Plan∣tations on the Continent are not much fitter, than those in the Islands abovementioned, 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 ex∣posed to the Inroads of Savages, and above all, the Want of Intercourse with other Places, render them improper Situations for a Seminary of Re∣ligion 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 Canter∣bury's Sermon, before the Society for the Propa∣gation 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 Circum∣stance, 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 Page  198 no travelling by Land between distant Places. And the English Settlements are reputed to extend along the Sea-coast for the Space of fifteen hun∣dred 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 alto∣gether (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 Ber∣mudans 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 Manu∣factures of Joiners Work and Matting, which they export to the Plantations on the Continent. Hence Bermudan Sloops are oftner seen in the Ports of America, than any other. And indeed, by the best Information I could get, it appears they are the Page  199 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 Con∣ditions 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 mo∣derating 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 Montpellier of America.

Nor are these Isles (if we may believe the Ac∣counts given of them) less remarkable for Plenty Page  200 than for Health; there being, besides Beef, Mut∣ton 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 men∣tion 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 Pi∣rates 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 Students.

The Trade of Bermuda consists only in Gardenstuff, 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 Pal∣metto-leaf, which is the only Commodity that I can find exported from Bermuda to Great-Britain;Page  201 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 con∣tented, 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 re∣spectful 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 To∣bacco, were never transported thither. But, what∣ever 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 fa∣vour 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 Page  202 small Stipend, and a retired academical Life, in a Corner from whence Avarice and Luxury are ex∣cluded, 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 In∣cumbents? Is it likely, that Fellowships of fifty or sixty Pounds a Year should tempt abler or wor∣thier 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 pro∣vide Page  204 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 in∣structing 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 the Sincerity of his Endeavours.

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 Missi∣onaries 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 Page  202〈1 page duplicate〉Page  204〈1 page duplicate〉Page  204 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 Re∣venue.

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 Dif∣ference of Country, Language and Interest, must lie under far greater Difficulties and Discourage∣ments than those, whom we suppose yearly sent out from Bermuda to preach among their Coun∣trymen.

It cannot indeed be denied, that the great Num∣ber of poor Regulars, inured to hard Living, and brought up in an implicit Obedience to their Su∣periors, 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-balanced 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.

Page  205 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 De∣nominations at home, and to make Proselytes of these before we think of Foreigners; and that there∣fore 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 Experience.

In answer to this I say, that Religion like Light is imparted without being diminished. That what∣ever 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 singu∣lar 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 Country∣men. 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 na∣tural, and unimproved by Education, they are also unincumbred with all that Rubbish of Superstition Page  206 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, se∣veral Indians having returned to their savage Man∣ners 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 over∣come 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 human 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 Know∣ledge, while little or nothing can be expected from a Youth but slightly instructed in the Elements of either: That from the Miscarriage or gross Stu∣pidity 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 Po∣liteness, which no European People were ever known to have arrived at without the Use of Letters or of Page  207 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 return∣ing 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 In∣struction. 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 Husbandmen, Weavers, Carpenters, and the like, have planted those useful Arts among their savage Countrymen, 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 clothe themselves decent∣ly: This will assist the spreading the Gospel among them; this will dispose them to social Virtues, 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,Page  208 was a principal Motive which induced the Crown to send the first English Colonies thither, doth ap∣pear from the Charter granted by King James I. to the Adventurers in Virginia. See Purchas's Pil∣grims, Vol. 4. b. I. c. 9. And it is now but just (what might then seem charitable) that these poor Creatures should receive some Advantage with re∣spect 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 Eng∣land. But it is as true, that Success, in many Cases, depends 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 Diffi∣culties, 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 Enterprise or Scheme whatsoever, for the public Good, in which Difficulties are not often shewing themselves, and as often overcome by the Page  209 Blessing of God, upon the Prudence and Resolution of the Undertakers; though, for ought that ap∣pears, 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 con∣stant regular Operation even of a weak and small Cause; it will seem natural and reasonable to sup∣pose, 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, re∣main 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 Pro∣portion 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 Manage∣ment 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 Plan∣tations, in many Parts whereof divine Service is never performed for want of Clergymen; in others, after such a Manner and by such Hands, as scan∣dalize even the worst of their own Parishioners; where many English, instead of gaining Converts, are themselves degenerated into Heathens, being Page  210 Members of no Church, without Morals, with∣out Faith, without Baptism. There can be there∣fore, in no Part of the Christian World, a great∣er Want of spiritual Things than in our Plan∣tations.

And, on the other hand, no Part of the Gen∣tile World are so inhuman and barbarous as the sa∣vage Americans, whose chief Employment and De∣light 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 Virtue 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 Under∣taking 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 God-like Temper of Mind, seeks Opportunities of doing Good in his Genera∣tion, 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 Ameri∣can in the College of Bermuda, as to Diet, Lodg∣ing, Clothes, Books and Education: And if so, the Interest of two hundred Pounds may be a per∣petual Page  211 Fund for maintaining one Missionary at the College, for ever; and in this Succession, many, it is to be hoped, may become powerful Instru∣ments 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 human 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 Coun∣tries 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 end ever.

P. S.

SINCE the foregoing Proposal was first made public, 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 BERKE∣LEY, D. D. and Dean of Derry. The three Fel∣lows named in the Charter, are WILLIAM THOMP∣SON, 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 So∣ciety. The Lord Bishop of London for the Time Page  212 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 ap∣pointed Chancellor of the said College. The Pre∣sident and Fellows have the Power of making Sta∣tutes to be approved by the Visitor: They have also the Power of conferring Degrees in all Facul∣ties. They are obliged to maintain and educate Indian Scholars at the rate of ten Pound per Annum for each. They are obliged to transmit annual Ac∣counts of the State of the College, Number of Stu∣dents, their Progress, &c. to the Chancellor and Visi∣tor. 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 Pre∣servation thereof.