Page images
PDF
EPUB

CHAPTER VIII.

HIS SETTLEMENT IN VIRGINIA-APPLIES FOR ORDINATION

PECUNIARY DIFFICULTIES.

AFTER Bishop Moore arrived in Richmond, he forwarded to my brother in Alexandria, his license to act as Lay Reader. The following is a copy of his letter, in connexion with the certificate.

RICHMOND, November 25th, 1814. “ Dear Sir :—From that acquaintance which Mr. Wilmer must have, with the different parishes in his neighbourhood, I should think it advisable for you to listen with great attention to his advice. I would, therefore, recommend it to you, to visit Shepherdstown, and in case they should not afford you a support, some other situation may soon present itself to view, more agreeable to your wishes.

“Sunday week, I have engaged to perform Divine service in a vacant Parish, about thirty miles distant from this city. Should the people discover a wish to have the service regularly attended to; and should they also possess the disposition to furnish a suitable support, I will inform Mr. Wilmer upon the subject, who will, I am confident, make the necessary communication to you.

“I should be happy to ascertain the situation of your brother. Should he have received encouragement at Dumfries, please to inform me of the extent of his expectations. I really feel very much interested for him, and shall be happy in contributing all in my power to procure him an establishment.--My knowledge of things is at present very circumscribed. After I have visited the dif. ferent Parishes in the State, I shall have it in my power to say more upon the subject of vacancies.

“ It rejoices me to find that your reception in Alexandria, has been marked with such features of cordiality. If a cup of cold water given to a disciple, shall receive a disciple's reward, the inhabitants of that place will reap abundant blessings. May their measure be pressed down and running

over.

“I inclose you a license to officiate as a Lay Reader, in any Parish to which you may be invited. It is grounded upon the presumption, that the Standing Committee of the Church, have acknowledged you as a candidate for Holy Orders, and are willing to recommend you to me in that character. I mention this circumstance to you, in order to manifest to those gentlemen, my disposition to act in perfect concert and harmony with them.

sincere regards to Messrs. Wilmer and Morris, their families and your own, I remain, dear Sir, your friend and obedient servant,

RICHARD CHANNING MOORE.

With my

“P. S. Since writing the above, I have received the certificate from the Standing Committee.”

“RICHMOND, November 26th, 1814. “This is to certify, that Mr. Benjamin Allen, Jr. has expressed to me his desire to be considered as a candidate for Holy Orders, in the Church of Virginia committed to my care.

By virtue therefore of the authority vested in me, by the canons of the said Church, I do hereby license him to read the service prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer, and to deliver, at the same time, such printed discourses as shall be approved by myself, or by some of the clergy duly settled in the neighbourhood in which he may be called to officiate ; he continuing in the communion of

the Protestant Episcopal Church in Virginia, and conforming himself to those rules by which it is governed.”

“RICHARD CHANNING MOORE, Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church,

In the State of Virginia."

My Brother was directed to a scene of labour over the Blue Ridge, a fertile and delightful region, but not well supplied with the ministrations of the Gospel. After remaining a few days in Alexandria, he left his family, and on foot, directed his course to that country. He finally arrived at the residence of the Rev. Wm. Meade, in Frederick county, near Winchester, a distance of from fifty to seventy miles from Alexandria. From thence, he went on to Mr. Beverly Whiting's, in the neighbourhood of Charlestown, about twenty miles from Mr. Meade's. After this, he visited Charlestown and Shepherdstown, in Jefferson county, and speedily made arrangements to settle in those places, as Lay Reader. In about two weeks, he returned to Alexandria ; and in about two weeks more, he removed his family to Charlestown and its vicinity. A view of his location is presented in the following letter, which he addressed to me, dated“ CHARLESTOWN, Jefferson county, Va.

January 6th, 1815. Very Dear Thomas :-Providence has brought me to a goodly land, where I am surrounded with abundance. Two parishes here, Charlestown and Shepherdstown, will afford me a very comfortable living, and I trust enable me to pay up the

arrearages of my unfortunate business. Were it to do again, I suppose I should undertake the same; but it was ex. tremely hazardous : Well, the consequence is, that here I am settled down with great, very great prospect of usefulness, and there, in Prince William, are you, with, I trust, the same prospects. Let us both be thankful. more to encourage each other to the good work, and by

}

Let us try mutual prayer for each other's success, give aid. Great is the work, but remember who has said, “My grace is suffi. cient for thee,'

“My salary is not yet fully subscribed, but it is sup. posed it will be from twelve to fifteen hundred dollars. With this, I hope and trust my Heavenly Father will enable me to pay my debts. I suppose I am twelve or fifteen hundred dollars behind hand. It will cost me about five hundred to live; so that with the help of my friends, now in Virginia, I hope to pay the State of New-York folks in a year or two. Let me be clear of debt, and have souls enough to preach to, and enough to eat, drink, and wear and it is all I want. I doubt not, the whole will, in good time, be granted me.

“I am very much engaged preaching to the poor blacks I go from plantation to plantation, and preach to them in the morning after breakfast or after dark, under the eye and guidance of their masters. They promise good effects from it already. Many true Christians have I found among them. Their situation requires close attention. I preach almost as often as once a day to them on some plantation or other, and intend to do so constantly.

“ You may find some masters who are not pious themselves; in such cases, you must proceed with the greatest caution and prudence. Remember, a little misguided zeal will do more harm than months can undo. Try to get into the good graces of such masters first, and propose the thing by degrees. Be wise as a serpent, and harmless as a dove. Let this prudence guide all your actions. This is the way to gain much influence and do much good. Imitate Mr. Wilmer, be not forward or positive. Imitate not- -; try not with, knock me down arguments, to subdue every one to your will—but mildly, but firmly pursue your duty, and rather insinuate the truth than throw it at a man.

“ I know you will be zealous and active, and I trust, you will not neglect the poor slaves. As to the slaves, remember one thing, though it was wrong to bring them here, and make them slaves, still, since so it is, it is best they remain slaves. Free them, and they would destroy both themselves and their masters. They are better off when with good masters, than our lower class of whites. Seek then to make them contented with their allotment. I find it necessary to talk to them just as I would to children, otherwise they cannot understand.

“Let me advise you as to the mysteries of the Gospel, such as election, &c., to say little about them. The wisest man on earth can throw no light on them. Preaching them is unprofitable. Preach, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. Such was our Saviour's preaching

“H. and G. are very well. I am very anxious to have you give me all the particulars about your situation. Write soon.

“I preach in the Presbyterian Church in both parishes. In Shepherdstown, we have a church almost finished. In Charlestown, is an old one, but out of town. They talk of building a new one.

"I was much disappointed at your not writing or coming to see us." He again writes,

“ March 31st. “We are very well, and well situated. If all my debts were paid, I should be quite happy. Providence has enabled me to forward one hundred and fifty dollars already toward payment, and I hope, ere a great while, to be free from them. Truly, those who seek first the Kingdom, have every thing added. Here we have the finest friends, a delightful country, and fine prospects of usefulness. My county, Jefferson, elected a vestry last Monday, for the first time, I suspect, for twenty-five years: and an adjoining county, Berkley, in which I have laboured some, has done

« EelmineJätka »