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FOR THE CONNECTICUT EVAN | rica ; and as the Parliament, the
GELICAL MAGAZINE. ruling power, for a season, after Attempts to Christianize the Indians the death of King Charles the in Now-England, &c.
First, incorporated a society for
this excellent purpose, and encou[Contin. from Vol. III. p. 448.] raged contributions through the
kingdom for a permanent fund; NUMBER IX.
justice requires, that in such an CHAPTER II. historical essay as the present, some Some account of the Sociely in Eng, transactions; and particularly that
account should be given of these land for propagating the Gospel
an honorable mention should be in New England, and parts adjacent in America—Of the settle-faithful to their trust, and render
made of the society, who were ment of the Indians at Natick, ed all the pecuniary aid in their and forming themselves into a body politic, under the direction power to enable the New-Englii of Mr. Eliot -They defire to be
missionaries to go on with the formed into a church; elders and work they had begun among the
neighboring churches heathen, and were encouraged to convene upon the occafion, and profecute by considerable fuccess examine their qualifications—The
which appeared at an early period. relation and confefion of an In
I do not yet learn who first dian at this meeting-Rev. Rich- made the proposal for collecard Mather's remarks
tions for this good work; nor the
upon appearance of the Indians at the who first made application to the
Parliament for incorporating a time the council met to examine them.
society, to whose management
the monies that might be collect. S many good people in Eng-ed, should be entrufted.
attentive to Mr. Hutchinson* informs, that the benevolent design of propa- “besides Mr. Edward Winslow of gating the gofpel in New-England, and parts adjacent in Ame- * Hift. Massa. v. i. p. 163.
land were very
Plymouth, (who was in London | with that expedition as is defired, agent for the Mafsachusetts) Mr. unless fit inftruments be encour. Pelham and others forwarded the aged and maintained to pursue it, collections in England : And Ju. schools and clothing be provided, ly 27, 1649,* the Parliament pas. and many other necessaries. sed an act, or ordinance, for the “ Be it therefore enacted by advancement of this good work, the prefent Parliament, that for the following breviate whereof the furthering so good a work, was printed.
there shall be a corporation in “ WHEREAS the Commons of England, consisting of fixteen, viz. England, affembled in Parliament, a president, treasurer, and fourteen have received certain intelligence alīltants ; and that William Steel, from divers godly ministers, and Esq. Herbert Pelham, Esq. James others in New-England, that di- Sherley, Abraham Babington, Re. vers of the heathen natives, thro' bert Houghton, Richard Hutch the pious care of some godly Eng. inson,
George Dun, Robert Tom. lif, who preach the gospel to son, William Mullins, John Hodg. them in their own Indian language, son, Edward Parks, Edward Clud, not only of barbarous, are become Richard Lloyd, Thomas Aires, civil, but many of them forfake John Stone, and Edward Wine their accustomed charms and for. Now, citizens of London, be the ceries, and other satanical delu. firit fixteen persons, out of whom fions, do now call upon the name
the said fixteen persons, or the of the Lord, and give good testi- greater number of them thall
power of God draw. choose one of the said fixteen to ing them from death and darkness be president, another to be treaf. to the life and light of the glori. urer. They, or any nine of them ous gospel of Jesus Christ, which to appoint a common seal. appears by their lamenting with
;" And be it enacted, that a tears their mispent lives, teaching general colle&tion be made, for their children what they are in the purposes aforesaid, thro' all structed themselves; being careful England and Wales ; and that to place them in godly families, the ministers read this act, and and English schools ; betaking exhort the people to a cheerful themselves to one wife, putting contribution to so pious a work. away the rest ; and by their con
HEN. SCOBELL, ftant prayers to almighty God,
Cleric. Parlia." morning and evening in their fam- By* act of Parliament, this corįlies, expressed, in all appearance, poration was called by the name with much devotion and zeal of Of The President and Society for heart.
the propagation of the Gospel in « All which confidered, we New-England: They were em. cannot, but in behalf of the na- powered to receive such sums of tion we represent, rejoice, and give money as from time to time should glory to God for the beginning be collected, or raised by the libe. of so glorious a propagation of ral contributions of such, whose the gospel among these poor hea. hearts God should incline to so :hen, which cannot be prosecuted glorious a work. It was by the .
mony of the
* Morton's Memorial under A. D. 1642.
* Morton's Memorial under the year 1649
fame Parliament enacted, that the as they should appoint, should commiflioners* for the united col. have power and authority to reonies of New England, for the ceive and dispose of the said mo. time being, by themselves, or fuch nies brought in, and paid to the
said treasurer for the time being ; • As some readers of this Magazine or any other monies, goods, or may not be acquainted with the History commcdities, acquired and deliv. of the union of the New-England colo- ered by the care of the said cor, nies, and of the design of the appoint- poration at any time; whose rement of commiflioners and of the busi- ceipt or receipts of fuch person or ness asigned them, I Aall give some brief account of the origin and defiga persons, so authorized by them of this confederation.
The dangers to which the colonies in New-England were expofed from nu.
The commissioners were empowered merous favage tribes, as well as foreign
“ to hear, examine, weigh and deterenemies, first induced them to think of mine all affairs of war, or peace, leagues, ao alliance and confederacy for their aids, charges, and numbers of men for mutual defence and safety: And they warmand all things of like daturc, were prompted to complete the union which are the proper concomitants or feasonably upon having fatisfying evja confequences of fuck a confederation for dence that the Narragapsets, a nume
amity, offence and defence, not interrous tribe, were inimical to them, were meddling with the government of any plotting againft them, and secretly ufing of the jurifdi&tions, which, by a par. their endeavors with other tribes to
ticular article, is reserved entirely tô form a general confederacy to extirpace
themselves." the Englifh. And the local fituation They that would fee a more particuof the planters in the colonics evidently lar account of this confederation may required such an union, as they were consult Mr. Neal's Hift. of N. England, fcattered over a large trad of country. vol. i. p. 223, &C. Governor Hutchin
The General Assemblies therefore of son's History of the Massachusetts, v. i. the four New-England colonies, viz. p. 124, &c.--and Dr. Trambull's Hil. Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticue, tory of Connecticut, vol. i. p. 125, &c. and New Haven, by their commission
--Abrief account is contained in Sec€rs, convened at Boston, entered into a retary Morton's memorial, under the confederation for mutual aid and den year 1643. fence against their enemies, and for These commissioners of the united promoting the general interest of the colonies were appointed correspondents whole, both civil and religious. Accord and almoners to the corporation for the ingly articles of union were agreed upon propagation of the gospel among the by all the commiffioners, and signed by the Indians in New-England. They were commissioners from three of the colo- to attend to the expenditure of the nies, May 19, 1643. The commission monies which the society hould remit ers from Plymouth omitted figning to them from time to time, to be emthem at that time, as their authority ployed in supporting missionaries; and did not extend fo far. But being foon to tranfact any bufiness confided to empowered by their Court, figned them them, relative to evangelizing the hea. at the meeting of the commiffioners in then: And after the grant of a new September following
charter by King Charles the Second, Two commiffioners were chosen (an- the same powers and traft were continnually I conclude] by each of the united ued: This trust was held by them, till colonies : They had occasional, as well the charter of the Massachufects was as stated meetings. The union subfitto vacated. After that, commissioners ed, with some alterations, until the year were specially appointed by the corpo 1686, when all the charters were, in ration, consisting of some principal geneffe&, vacated by a commillion from tlemen of the civil order, and of the King James II.-This confederation was clergy in New-England; and vacancies of eminent service to the colonies in by death, or otherwise, have from time various refpects.
to time been filled up.
should be a sufficient discharge to derived from the establishment of the faid corporation and treasurer. the Parliament. And another
The first president of this cor- thing that embarrassed them very poration was William Steel, Esq. much was, that Col. Beddingand the first treasurer Mr. Henry field a Roman catholic officer in Ashurst. The president contin- the king's army, of whom a conued in office till the restoration. fiderable part of the land was pur
By the authority of this act of chased, seized it for his own use; Parliament, a collection was made pretending he had sold it under
in all the parishes in England. the value, in hopes of recovering · Letters at the same time were it upon the king's return.
published from the two universities The society met to consider of Oxford and Cambridge, calling what was proper to be done in upon the ministers of England this case ; and agreed, in the first and Wales to ftir up their congre- place, to solicit the king for a gations to a liberal contribution, new charter, which they obtained for the promotion of fo glorious by the interest of some good an undertaking.
men ; in particular, Lord Chan*Great opposition was made to cellor Hyde, Hon. Robert Boyle, the collection in England : and Rev. Richard Baxter, and Mr. the conversion of the Indians was Alhurst. The charter bears date represented by some as a mere Feb. 7th, in the fourteenth year pretence to draw money from of his majesty's reign, A. D. men of pious minds. Such pre- 1661 ; and declares, constitutes, judices and misrepresentations and ordains, that there be forever have been too common in the hereafter, within the kingdom of Christian world. The work of England, a Society, or Company collecting went on so slowly, that for propagation of the Gospel in an attempt was made to raise a New-England, and the parts
ada fum out of the army. Hugh jacent in America ; and accordingPeters was one of the collectors : 1 ly appoints eight noblemen, and But the corporation wrote to the a considerable number of gentlecommissioners, that he not only men and citizens, to be the first refused to pay a penny himself, members, and persons, whereof but discouraged others, because, the faid company should confift.t as they supposed, he had no hand The members of this fociety in laying the plan. [A case not were not to exceed forty-five : unfrequent among high-minded those mentioned in the charter, men.] However such favorable and their successors, to be chosen accounts were, from time to time, by the society, are constituted forpublished, that such a sum was ever one body corporate in deed, produced by the collectors, as en- and name ; and are to have con. abled the fociety to purchase an tinuance forever, with several estate in land of between five and powers, and privileges as usual in fix hundred pounds a year. such cases : A power is likewise
Upon the restoration of king given them to appoint commifCharles II. in May 1660, the lioners in New England to transcorporation considered their char- act all affairs relating to faid work ter as, in effect, vacated, being in the colonies specified, or virtu
ally included : And by the said on his decease in 1692, Robert letters patents, the Hon. Robert Thompson, Esq. was elected as Boyle, Esq. that ornament to true his fucceffor ; and after his de. philosophy, and to Christianity, cease, Sir Wm. Afhurst, Knight, was appointed the first governor and alderman of the city of Lonof the said society.* This gen- don, was chosen to succeed. In tleman presented three hundred 1726, William Thompson, Esq. pounds to the corporation, for was governor. I have not seen a the pious end of the institution. catalogue of his successors.
The corporation being thus The fund of this corporation established by law, refolved to at- was not large. Mr. Hutchinson, tempt the recovery of their lands. when he wrote his history, which Col. Beddingfield, being favored was published in 1764, estimates by the attorney general, and some the annual proceeds at fix, or sev. other great men, put the society en hundred pounds sterling. Docto no small charge and trouble, tor Douglas, who wrote his Sumby prolonging the suit ; but at mary
Historical, &c. last, it was determined in the fifteen years before, observes, court of chancery, in favor of the
« The whole revenue of the corcorporation, the chancellor declar- poration is £500 to £600 stering it as his opinion, that Bed ling per annum.' Mr. Neal, in dingfield had not so much as the his hiftory, which was published in Thadow of a title to the land, hav- 1720, informs, that he was asa ing fold it for a valuable consider- fured, from the best hands, that ation ; and that, if there was a
the whole revenue of the corporaforfeiture in the case, it was into tion had never then exceeded bethe hands of the king, who had tween five and fix hundred pounds Ggnified his royal pleafdre, that it per annum. should be restored to the corpora- From good authority it may be tion, and applied to those good asserted, that the revenue was exa purposes, for which it was origin- pended with fidelity, and good ally designed
judgment by the corporation, and The powers of this society their commissioners. Dr. C. Mawere limited to New England, and therf highly commends the focithe adjacent borders. Here they ety for their care and faithfulness : formerly maintained many miffion- “ The estate and income was enaries, part English, and part In- trusted in the hands of an honoradian, to preach the gospel to the ble corporation, by whom it is at tribes. They erected schools in this day, very carefully employed proper places ; and furnished the in the Christian service, which it children with catechisms, primers, was designed for.” Dr. Doug pfalters, books of devotion in the las, s a gentleman of information, Indian language ; and with pens, afferts, “ At prefent, they (the ink and paper ; and sometimes corporation] exhibit small, but with clothes.
well placed salaries, to several mis. Mr. Boylet was for a long time governor of the corporation : Upo churchman ; and most of the inembers
were difsenters, or favorers of the cause. • Neal's history of New England, p. Hutchinson, vol. 1. p. 363. 280.
Magnalia, B. III. p. 191. † Mr. Boyle was a very moderate $ Summ. Hift. and Polit, v. ii. p. 122. Vol. IV. No. 1.