Project Canterbury

Memoir of Bishop Seabury

By William Jones Seabury, D.D.

New York: Edwin S. Gorham, 1908.
London: Rivingtons, 1908.

Chapter IV. Accession to the Jamaica Parish. 1757.

THE New Brunswick Missionary, with the consent of the Venerable Society, transferred his labours to Jamaica; becoming there the Minister or Rector of Grace Church in the early part of 1757. His official connection with that Parish was described at different times by each of these titles. [In the petition for a charter, as given by Onderdonk (Antiquities of Parish Church of Jamaica, p. 59), Mr. Seabury signs as Rector. In the copy of this Petition in Documentary History of New York, III, 324, the signature is followed by the word Minister.] There are a number of things in this Jamaica settlement which are not a little perplexing; and in view of these perplexities, one is not surprised that serious differences in regard to it existed at the time, and that the appointment of Mr. Seabury should have been afterwards described as having given occasion to the revival of an old feud between the Churchmen and the Dissenters of the place. [Riker's Annals of Newtown--p. 248.]

Without going into all the details of that feud (which may be gathered from the valuable Parish history of the late Mr. Henry Onderdonk, Jr.) it seems nevertheless necessary to give an account of this Jamaica settlement, and of the conditions under which it was accomplished. [Antiquities Parish of Jamaica.] And as the understanding of the situation thus to be indicated may well affect not only our interest in the subject of the present memoir, but also in some degree our appreciation of the position of others in analogous cases, it will perhaps be worth while to look a little into the history of the Ecclesiastical system of which the Provincial Clergy were a part, and into the nature of the difficulties encountered in the application of it at Jamaica.

It is very probable that the title of Missionary is among the oldest of those terms by which the Clergy in their several orders have been from time to time designated. At all events, whether by that title or not, the Clergy were in early times in fact sent by their Bishops to preach the Gospel and dispense the Sacraments to such people, and in such places, as to those having the Episcopal Authority seemed most convenient; and so long as the inhabitants of a country were not yet generally converted to Christianity, this might well continue to be the most desirable arrangement. But when the number of Christians increased, and men began to have settled places of Christian worship, it became convenient that they should have their own clergy resident among them; and this again led to their having something to say in regard to the choice of those who were to minister among them. Naturally a different plan would prevail in consequence of such a change in circumstances; and the settlement of the Clergy in parochial districts would bring about, what has ever since in one form or other been required, that there should be not only the authority to exercise the Ministry, but also the consent of those among whom that authority was to be exercised. So that although ministerial authority as such was not derived from the people, yet the consent to have that authority exercised among them in the particular case was derived from them, or from those who spoke for them. And whereas when the Mission was solely from Episcopal designation, the support of those who were sent was the Episcopal care; so, on the other hand, when the ministry acquired a settled residence they derived their support no longer directly from the Bishop, but from the place wherein they were settled. [Cf. Burns' Ecclesiastical Law: Tit. Parish, III, 60. Ed. London, 1809. Blackstone's Commentaries, Intr., pp. 79-81. Ed. N. Y., 1836.]

Considering the circumstances of the settlement of this Country, the comparatively small number of members of the Church of England and their wide dispersion throughout the Colonies, their non-conforming, and also heathen, surroundings, and the absence of any resident Bishop among them, it seems natural that the Missionary idea should preponderate; and that the jurisdiction of the English Episcopate in this Country (in effect devolved upon the Bishop of London) should resemble in its exercise that of those early Bishops who sent out their Clergy to preach to the people as they saw occasion. To aid in the effective exercise of this jurisdiction, and to provide some measure of that support for which under the earlier arrangement the Bishop would have been responsible, there was organized in 1701 the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign parts (of which mention has so often been, and so often must be, made) which comprised nearly all the Bishops, and many wealthy and influential laymen of the Church of England; and thus the analogy between the mission of the Society, and the Episcopal mission of earlier times became most manifest. Still the parochial idea was so far recognized as that the Missionaries of the Society were ordinarily sent into those places only where Churchmen had grouped themselves together, either with a Church building, or in the hope and effort to attain one. The appointment of a Missionary of the Society, however, while it ordinarily presupposed some organization or association among the people to whom he was sent, did not so much establish him in properly parochial relations, as it helped to sustain him in such relations as might be established in a manner provided by the law, or as the contract of the parties concerned might settle. Hence it was that many of those sent by the Society were not merely Missionaries, but also Rectors, or Ministers put in charge of particular parishes, in accordance with the agreement made or call given by such parishes or their corporate representatives. Here then were parishes growing up in the new Country much in the same way and largely from the same causes as had been operative in the old Country; and so far as the Church congregations were concerned, it was antecedently probable that their proceedings in the formation of parishes and calling and settling of Ministers would be modelled upon the pattern prescribed by the English law--although such proceedings would necessarily be modified according to the circumstances of the residence of those who carried them on.

In the matter of the settlement in a parish of a Rector or Minister in charge, the provisions of the English Ecclesiastical law could not be entirely complied with in any case, and in most cases could only be approximated. Those provisions were of a very precise and formal character. The substance was a presentation on the part of those who had the right of designation of the Clergyman who was to be settled in the parish, and the acceptance of that presentation by those who had under the law the right of appointment of him who had been presented. No doubt in the simplicity of earlier days all this would be accomplished by the designation of the lord of the Manor or other person having the legal right to present, and the appointment by the Bishop of the person designated. But the passing of time produced a great extension of technical formalities designed to uphold both the rights of the patron, and the laws of Church and State in which those rights were founded. The Clergyman who was duly presented had the right to the position for which he was named, but he had thereby no right in it. The right in it had to be secured by the approval of the authorities: and as this right was of two kinds it was not completely established without a double process; whereby, in the first place, the person presented was put in charge of the spiritualities, or the cure of souls--which was termed Collation or Institution; and, in the second place, was further endued with the legal capacity of receiving and administering the temporalities, or the recovery and disposition of the property connected with the position--which was termed Induction.

The right of presentation which belonged in the old Country to the lord of the Manor or others in analogous position, was the same kind of right as belonged in the new Country to those who by voluntary association had grouped themselves into a parochial organization, or in accordance with legal provisions represented such grouping--the people, or their corporate representatives, holding the place of the Patron of the living. This presentation in England being made to the Episcopal authority, there followed by that authority the Institution. And this although an act of spiritual authority for spiritual ends, yet so far included temporalities as to make the recipient capable of the use and enjoyment of the provision for his support lawfully attendant upon his position. [Between Institution and Collation, there are certain technical distinctions applicable in subsequent contingencies, but so far as the act itself is concerned there is no difference. Collation is the proper word where the living is in the gift of the Bishop himself, and applies to his act of instituting his own nominee. Where a patron presents to the Bishop, the Bishop institutes the person presented. Where the Bishop presents his own Clerk, he collates him--that is to say he institutes him of his own motion without formal presentation. (Burns' Ecclesiastical Law I, 164, 171.) The apparently interchangeable use of these terms of Collation and Institution in Ecclesiastical documents in the Colonies, as where a Governor collates, when he means to institute; or both collates and institutes, is a little confusing. It is perhaps in part to be accounted for by the fact that the Royal Instructions authorizing the Governor to do what the Bishop would have done in England, both terms were used by the Governor so as to cover both kinds of cases in which the Bishop might act.

After Institution, however, "the Clerk is not complete Incumbent, till Induction, or as the Canon law calls it, corporal possession. For by this it is that he becomes seised of the temporalities of the Church, so as to have power to grant them or sue for them;" and he who has received the mandate to induct the instituted Clerk takes his hand and lays it on the key or ring of the Church door, and declares that by virtue of the mandate he inducts him "into the real, actual and corporal possession of the Church of -- with all the rights, profits and appurtenances thereunto belonging." [Gibson's Codex Tit. XXXIV. Cap. IX: vol. II, pp. 859-60. Ed. London, 1713.]

And by acts of Parliament it was provided that every Incumbent was to assent to the Articles of Religion, and publicly in the Church read the Morning and Evening Prayer, and declare his assent thereto in a form which covered also the Sacraments and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church; and that he should receive a certificate of such conformity under the hand and seal of the Archbishop, Bishop or Ordinary of the Diocese. [Ib. II, 861-23.]

It is interesting to note that the American Book of Common Prayer provides (for permissive use) an "Office of Institution," which is a formal authorization of a Presbyter by the Bishop to enter upon the cure of souls in a parish or Church to which he has been legally admitted. Thus the process in our practice seems to be transposed -----the legal contract of the Clergyman with the Vestry being equivalent to Presentation and Induction under the English system, and the spiritual authorization of Institution following Induction instead of preceding it as in that system. The delivery of the keys of the Church may have been suggested by the practice at an Induction: but they are explicitly received as pledges of Institution, and with the promise of a faithful Pastorate.

The observance in the Colonies of all the legal provisions which have now been partially recounted was not, as has been aid practicable. Yet some provisions were fulfilled, such as the certifying by the Bishop of the promise of conformity, which could be made at the time of ordination; and the public reading of the prayers, and declaration of assent on the part of the Clergyman newly admitted to his cure. And other provisions were observed in principle, if not in form. The right of choice on the part of the parish, or the legal representatives of the people, was not only recognized, but in New York Province the endeavour was made to provide by law for its exercise. And it was the care of the Kings, in their role of Nursing Fathers to obviate the want of a resident Bishop as far as they could, by instructing the Governors whom they commissioned, to exercise the Episcopal right of appointment, and to some extent, in respect at least of exterior jurisdiction, the rights of oversight and discipline. In 1686, for example, James II authorizes and empowers Governor Dongan to collate any person in any Church or Chapel, or other Ecclesiastical Benefice as often as such shall happen to be void in the Province of New York and dependent Territories; and to supply the best means for removing such as appear to give scandal by their doctrine or manners. [Ecclesiastical Records of the State of New York (compiled by Hugh Hastings, State Historian), vol. TT, p. 918.]

But remedies are proverbially worse sometimes than diseases, and it is seriously to be questioned whether the means taken in the Province of New York to uphold by statute the right of choice or presentation to a parish, were not productive in some respects of more harm than good.

New York being in Colonial times of the nature of a Provincial Establishment, it would appear that its constitution depended upon the Commissions or Instructions of its Governors, and that its legislative power, so exercised as not to be repugnant to the laws of England, resided in the Provincial Assembly, in which an elective House of Representatives acted in connection with the Governor and his Council.9

In the year 1693, Governor Fletcher, reporting to England, says of the Provincial Legislature--"I have gott them to settle a fund for a Ministry in the City of New York and three more Countys which could never be obtained before, being a mixt people and of different perswasions in religion."

The Act referred to is entitled "An Act for settling a Ministry, and raising a maintenance for them in the City of New York, County of Richmond, Westchester and Queens County passed Sept. 22, 1693;" and it provides "that in each of the respective Cities and Counties hereafter mentioned and expressed, there shall be called, inducted,11 and established, a good sufficient Protestant Minister, to officiate, and have the cure of souls;" in the City of New York, one; in the County of Richmond, one; in the County of Westchester, two; in the County of Queens, two--one for Jamaica and adjacent towns and farms, the other for Hempstead and adjacent towns and farms; that there should be annually assessed, levied and paid, for the maintenance of these Ministers, in New York one hundred pounds; Westchester, one hundred (fifty for each of two); Richmond, forty; Queens, one hundred and twenty (sixty for each of two); that ten Vestrymen and two Church Wardens were to be annually chosen by the Freeholders; that the Justices and the Vestrymen were to lay the tax for the Minister and poor of their respective places; that the Church Wardens were to pay the maintenance to the Ministers; that ach of the Ministers was to be called by the respective Vestrymen and Church Wardens; and that former agreements with Ministers throughout the Province were not to be affected by the Act. [New York Ecclesiastical Records, ut supr. II, 1076-9.]

Whatever Fletcher's influence may have been in procuring the enactment of this law, it was insufficient to induce the lower House to consent to an Amendment which he proposed to it; which consisted in inserting, after the direction that the Ministers should be called by the Vestrymen and Church Wardens, the provision that those so called be "presented to the Governor to be approved and collated." This amendment they refused to make upon his request: for the which he rates them very soundly; faulting them for positively denying his proposed amendment though only of "three or four words," and "very immaterial," and saying, "I must take leave to tell you, if you seem to understand by these words (calling the Minister) that none can serve without your collation or establishment, you are far mistaken; for I have the power of collating or suspending any Minister in my government by their Majesties letters patents; and while I stay in the government I will take care that neither heresy, sedition, schism nor rebellion be preached amongst you, nor vice and profanity encouraged." [Ibid., II, 1075-6.]

This episode indicates very clearly the different views which might be taken as to the interpretation of this Statute, and as to the extent of the rights which it conferred upon the Vestries for which it provided; and the history of the Jamaica Parish at least is the history of disputes, litigated and un-litigated, resulting in large part from its adoption. The Act was absolutely vicious in principle as providing for the taxation of people whether Churchmen or Dissenters for the support of a Ministry which was no doubt originally intended to be a Church of England Ministry; and it was so faulty in its wording as not to make that intention clear beyond cavil, but on the other hand to give ground for argument that dissenting Ministers were within its provisions. The House of Representatives which Fletcher "gott" to pass it, was no doubt shrewd enough to see the bearing of the amendment which he afterwards proposed to it, thinking to make his original intent more clearly expressed in it; and their refusal showed what they for their part designed in passing it. The Act required the election of Vestries after the manner of civil elections; endued them with power to call Ministers; and provided for raising the maintenance by civil taxes collectible by civil process. Hence a Vestry elected by what Fletcher called "a mixt people and of different perswasions in religion," would presumably be equally "mixt," and the person called might be of any of the "different perswasions," as the Dissenters were not slow to urge. On the other hand it was insisted that the Minister to be called must be, in the language of the Act, "a good sufficient Protestant Minister," and that these adjectives were not applicable to one who was not duly qualified by the Church's Ordination and the corresponding certificate of the Bishop of London. The contention that a good sufficient Protestant Minister meant a Minister of the Church of England, some Churchmen of the present day might be loath to make, but it was entirely natural then, in view of the common enough practice of discriminating the Church of England from the Church of Rome by calling it the Protestant Church. In the Charter of Trinity Church, New York, for example, are several instances of this usage; the "good sufficient Protestant Minister "of the Act of 1693, being quoted in connection with provision for worship "according to the Rites and Ceremonies of our Protestant Church of England;" the Church building to be dedicated to such worship "according to Rites and Ceremonies of the Protestant Church of England;" and the body corporate to be named "The Rector and Inhabitants in communion of the Protestant Church of England as now established by our laws." [Charter Trinity Church; New York Ecclesiastical Records, ut supr. II, 1136.] But in fact this meaning of the limitation was disputed by the Dissenters, who persistently claimed the control of the Church property, asserted their right to the nomination of the Minister or, failing that, endeavoured to prevent the payment of the Minister's dues for which in several instances suit had to be brought.

Notwithstanding the determined claim of the Dissenters, however, that the Act established their rights, it would seem as if they were not always at ease as to their construction of the Act, since they tried to procure other legislation which would be less open to question. In one of his reports to England, in 1699, Governor Bellomont says--"The House of Representatives sent up a bill to me and the Council for settling a Dissenting Ministry . . . but it being contrary to His Majesty's instructions, and besides having been credibly informed that some of these Ministers do hold strange erroneous opinions in matters of faith and doctrine, I would not give the assent to that Bill, but rejected it." [New York Ecclesiastical Records, ut supr. II, 1331.] And again, in 1700, "I find in looking over my papers and notes, I had forgot to acquaint your Lordships of a petition of the Inhabitants of Suffolk County, and another of those of Queens County, in this Province for the settling of a Dissenting Ministry among them, ... I gave no countenance to those Petitions then nor will I recommend them now. I think the best way is to forget them." [Ibid. II, 1392-3.]

The only thing in fact that hindered the appointment of Dissenting Ministers under the Act, when the Dissenters were a majority in the Vestry, was that the Governors constantly took the ground that such a course was contrary to their instructions from the Crown, and therefore could not be permitted. These Instructions were given with particularity in the earliest history of the Province, and several times repeated; and, even if not so specific in the case of every Governor, would doubtless constitute a tradition to which each in succession would conform. Those given by William and Mary to Governor Sloughter show the substance of the requirements as to religious matters; and the following extracts from them will enable us to understand the control which the Governors had and exercised over the Ecclesiastical situation.

"You shall take care that God Almighty be devoutly and duly served throughout your Government: The Book of Common Prayer as it is now established, read each Sunday and Holyday, and the blessed Sacrament administered according to the rites of the Church of England; You shall be careful that the Churches already built there, shall be well and orderly kept and more built as the Colony shall by God's blessing be improved; and that besides a competent maintenance to be assigned to the Ministers of each Orthodox Church, a convenient house to be built at the common charge for each Minister, and competent proportion of Land assigned to him for a Glebe and exercise of his Industry.

You are to take care that the Parishes be so limited and settled as you shall find most convenient for the accomplishing this Good work.

Our Will and Pleasure is, That no Minister be preferred by you to any Ecclesiastical Benefice in that our Province, without a certificate from the Right Reverend, the Bishop of London, of his being conformable to the Doctrine and Discipline of the Church of England, and of a good life and conversion.

And if any Person preferred already to a Benefice shall appear to you to give scandal either by his Doctrine or man--ers you are to use the best meanes for the removall of him, and to supply the vacancy in such manner as we have directed. And also our Pleasure is, that in the direction of all Church affairs, the minister be admitted into the respective Vestrys.

And to the end the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the said Bishop of London may take place in that our Province as far as conveniently may be; We do think fitt that you give all countenance and encouragement in the exercise of the same, excepting only to the collating to Benefices, Granting Licenses for marriages and Probates of Wills, which we have reserved to you our Governor, and to the Commander in chief for the time being." [New York Ecclesiastical Records, ut supr. II, 991.]

Such was the footing upon which the Governors stood in reference to presentations made under the law of 1693; and in view of the history and terms of this law it is not difficult to understand either the course pursued by the Dissenters, or the attitude of the Governors in respect to it. The Dissenters claimed rights under the letter of the Statute: the Court party, the Governor and the Churchmen assumed to construe the Statute, and to impart a meaning to its literal terms. Their construction was probably correct, and at any rate harmonized with what had been the original purpose of procuring the passage of the Act: but it was quite contrary to the purpose of those who had passed it, and who had said in it what they intended for the preservation of their previously existing rights. For apart from this law as interpreted by their opponents, it does not appear that the Dissenters were wholly without justification. At least it is true that they were originally in possession of some buildings for purposes of worship which had been erected by general taxation: so that, with respect to these, they first held the position which was afterwards held by the Churchmen.

Upon the settlement of Jamaica in 1656 mostly by Presbyterians and Independents, action was taken by town authority for the building of meeting house and parsonage. [Onderdonk's Antiquities Parish of Jamaica, p. 5.] Later they laid aside the plan of building by town vote, and proceeded under the Church Building Act of 1699, "by virtue of which the Church was built and distress made on Churchmen, Quakers and Baptists, people of the Dutch Congregation etc. promiscuously for payment of the rates toward the same. The other dissenters who were forced to comply were very much dissatisfied at this procedure of the brethren and many of them appeared in the interest of the Church, thinking no way so effective to defeat their adversaries; and this was the beginning of the Church of England in Jamaica." [New York Documentary History, III, 244, cit. Onderdonk's Antiquities Parish of Jamaica, p. 9.] The first regular Church services appear to have been in 1702, under Lord Cornbury's Government. Afterwards in 1704 he established and inducted Rev. Mr. Urquhart, and upon the representation that the Church and House having been built under Public Act could belong to none but the Church of England, he gave his warrant to dispossess the Dissenters. [Onderdonk's Antiquities Parish of Jamaica, p. 17.] In Newtown in 1704 was a Church built and lately repaired by tax levied on the inhabitants, which, formerly possessed by a dissenting Minister, was now occupied by Mr. Urquhart under sanction of Cornbury. Flushing had no Church, being chiefly inhabited by Quakers. [Ibid., p. 21.]

The explanation of these proceedings given by Mr. Urquhart to Governor Lovelace in 1709, was that "by virtue of an Act of General Assembly of this Province, "a Church" was built at Jamaica. . . . It is so called by them, and a very great many of the principal builders have always declared that they intended it for a Church of England. Besides, the very words of the first Act for settling the Ministry itself, (viz. "That in each of the respective cities there shall be called, inducted and established a good, sufficient Protestant Minister, etc.") can mean no other; for it was never known that any sect of dissenters ever called the place appointed for the public worship "a Church," or that they elected "Church Wardens" or "Vestrymen," or that their Ministry ever received "induction," as by that Act is particularly expressed. [Onderdonk's Antiquities Parish of Jamaica, p. 27.]

To this line of argument the Dissenters did not easily reconcile themselves: and at town meeting 1726-7 a majority of the freeholders voted that the stone building or meeting house, with the ground whereon it stands, now in the occupation of Mr. Thomas Poyer (who had been inducted in 1710) be granted in trust for the town to certain persons "some of the surviving trustees by whom it was built, to be disposed of according to the first intention of the builders." On the strength of which vote "the Presbyterians brought suit for the recovery of the stone Church," [Ibid., p. 41.] in which they were successful, and it subsequently remained in their possession. [The account of this suit given by Governor Cosby to the Duke of Newcastle in a letter of May 3, 1733, affords interesting reading and illustrates the contemporaneous Church feeling on the subject, as may appear from the following extract given by Onderdonk in his Antiquities of the Parish Church of Jamaica (pp. 44-5).]

"Some years ago the dissenters of the parish of Jamaica brought an ejectment against the Church minister for the Church he preached in and was possessed of. When the trial came on, the defendant's counsel demurred to the plaintiff's evidence. Morris, the Chief Justice, desired them to waive the demurrer, telling them that if the jury

The Churchmen were thus left in their turn without a place of worship, but instead of seeking to regain that which they had lost they proceeded to build a new Church with such help as they could obtain. In the meantime they worshipped in the Town Hall under Rev. Mr. Colgan who had been inducted by Governor Cosby in 1732-3, and the new Church was opened April 5, 1734, under the name of Grace Church; and in 1735 a Church was also erected at Newtown.

It seems plain that whatever justification there might have been for the claim of the Dissenters to the old Church, there could be none to the new Church which had been built by voluntary contributions for Church of England use, except such as might be based upon the law of 1693. This ground, however, they insatiably sought to occupy; and after the decease of Mr. Colgan in 1755 the "mixt" vestry elected by "a mixt people," in which the Dissenters were a majority, proceeded to present to the Governor, Sir Charles Hardy, one Mr. Simon Horton, a dissenting teacher, for induction into Grace Church. "But the Governor, in obedience to his instructions from his Majesty, would not admit him into that cure, because he could not produce a certificate under the Episcopal seal of the Bishop of London of his conformity to the Liturgy of the Church of England; and when no person qualified, had been presented to the Governor after more h n six months, His Excellency was pleased to collate the Rev Mr. Samuel Seabury, Jr., Missionary at New Brunswick, to the cure of the Church at Jamaica town." That this appointment was in accordance with the desire of the major part of the Congregation in regular attendance upon the services of the Church is understood to have been the case, the tradition being that the Governor would not act until such desire had been expressed.

The Instrument by which the settlement was made one would expect to have declared, or ordered, the Induction of the Clergyman designated. This had been very distinctly expressed in the case of Mr. Colgan, the predecessor of Mr. Seabury, by Governor Cosby, who ordered him to be collated and inducted into the real, actual and corporal possession of the Church, with all its rights and appurtenances;" but Hardy, in the present case, uses the terms "collate, institute, and establish," instead. The reason for this is not apparent. It is possible that in view of existing sensitiveness in regard to the matter of temporalities, he thought it more prudent to use the words collate and institute which related to the spiritualities, and to trust to the efficacy of the additional word establish, to secure to the Clergyman appointed any such temporalities as might happen to have remained unappropriated by the dissenting claimants. The original document reads as follows:

"I, Sir Charles Hardy, Knight, Captain-General, and Governor-in-chief, in and over the Province of New York and the territories depending thereon, in America, and Vice-Admiral of the same, do, in pursuance of the power devolved upon me, collate, institute and establish you, Samuel Seabury, Jr., minister of the parish church of Jamaica, in Queens County, on Nassau Island (commonly called Grace Church), and the adjacent towns and farms thereunto belonging, to have the care of the souls of the parishioners of the said parish church, towns and farms, and take your care and mine.

Given under my hand and the prerogative seal of the Province of New York, the 12th. day of January, 1757.

l. s. Charles Hardy."

The compliance on the part of the person appointed with all the Statutory requirements made of him appears to have been scrupulously exact, as is evidenced by a document signed by S. Clowes, Junr., and William Sherlock, attesting his profession of conformity as certified by the Bishop of London, his assent to the Articles, and Rites and Ceremonies, his public reading of the required Services, etc. [Onderdonk's Antiquities Parish of Jamaica, p. 56.]

It does not appear that the process of accession to the parish had involved much trouble to the Parson himself. [I am not informed as to the date of his entry upon the discharge of his duties. Mr. Henry Onderdonk, Jr., in a note from Jamaica, Sept. 20, 1879, tells me of a tradition in that place that he commenced services there on Easter Day, 1757; but he refers to Hawks and Perry's Connecticut Church Documents (I, 323) as stating that he was inducted January 12, 1757. There is, however, nothing necessarily contradictory between the tradition and this statement, as he might have actually begun services some time after his formal Induction. The reference to his "Induction" as of January 12, 1757, seems to be inaccurate. That is the date of Hardy's letter in which, as above observed, he does not use the word "Induction"; though it is possible that a formal Induction might have followed the Governor's Institution, as indeed it would have been orderly that it should. In that case, however, it should have been later than January 12th. Mr. Onderdonk further remarks--"The Mandate for his Induction and certificate of its performance must be recorded in the Secretary of State's Office, Albany: but being in Latin none of the clerks were competent to the task of copying it." The curious reader who is familiar with that tongue is referred to that Office for further information.] As a resident, now, for some months, either in Jamaica or the neighbouring village of Newtown, he would doubtless be familiar with the disputes which appear to have developed immediately upon the decease of Colgan, the former Incumbent. Dr. Chandler of New Jersey, and other Missionaries of the Society had agreed to take care of the Church, officiating in turn until the disputes should subside, and a new appointment to the cure be made. He would naturally be aware of this agreement, and perhaps partaker in it. He ould be more or less known to the inhabitants and cognizant of the position of affairs: and so far as I am aware there is no evidence to show that there was in any quarter a personal opposition to him; though there might have been among the attendants at the Church services some who had dissenting sympathies, or who perhaps were personally addicted to Horton. But the pushing of Horton for the place, and the whole movement, seem to have been outside the Church congregation, and indicate an organized effort on the part of the dissenting majority of the legal Vestry to procure for the dissenting interest in the Community the control of the new Church, as the old Church had already been secured for that interest. This effort happily was unsuccessful; and though there were still some unsettled questions which we may meet later, yet, so far as the possession of the Church and the choice of its Incumbent were concerned, the effort seems to have been the last in the proceedings which have now been reviewed.

It has been one object of this review, as already intimated, to contribute something to the better understanding of the position of the Provincial Clergy in the complicated Ecclesiastical system in which they were involved. But the sketch has, moreover, a certain significance in its bearing upon political questions which engaged the interest of the subject of our story at a somewhat later period in his life. The Jamaica controversy in itself was narrow and merely local. But men took their sides in it nevertheless on principle; and the principles on which they stood were capable of being applied in a wider sphere, and in matters of larger interest than such as pertained to parochial difficulties, and in fact were afterwards so applied. On one side we have seen men devoted to the maintenance of laws which they thought were being perversely evaded or broken: on the other side we have found men deeply conscious of rights which those in authority seemed to them to be tyranically overriding with laws and interpretations of laws. But the same thing was, in one way or other, taking place in other Colonies; and by degrees this was producing the state of mind which led men into more and more sharply defined parties for and against Government. And as the Churchmen, both from predisposition and interest were apt to be found in all those issues on the Government side, this tended to widen the breach between them and the dissenters who were the preponderating influence in many quarters in the popular party, and who were hereditarily among the aggrieved, and were nothing if not solicitous for their rights. This again intensified the opposition to the introduction of the Episcopate, the coming of which seemed likely to strengthen influences which, in the view of the opponents, were already sufficiently strong. And so the interests of the Church became entangled with the more strictly political issues of the times, and the movements of Churchmen in behalf of a resident Episcopacy were regarded with jealous apprehension, and subjected, directly and indirectly, to constant and determined opposition, some evidences of which will appear as we proceed.

Project Canterbury