THE SMALL-POX IN NEW YORK; DEATH OF HIS WIFE; RESIGNATION OF THE PRESIDENCY AND RETIREMENT TO STRATFORD; CORRESPONDENCE WITH FRIENDS IN ENGLAND; RE-APPOINTMENT TO HIS FORMER MISSION; ADDRESS TO THE BISHOP OF LONDON; THE STAMP ACT; CONTINUED INTEREST IN THE COLLEGE; AND CLERICAL CONVENTION.
A. D. 1763-1766.
FOR some time it had been known that the disease which Johnson so much dreaded was more or less prevalent in town. He had not chosen to avail himself of the stipulation made with the Governors that he might retire into the country on its appearance, but had remained at his post, and used additional caution, to avoid the contagion. When the last Commencement was held (1762), he was carried to the Chapel in a close carriage; and ill all the letters to his son for the rest of the year, he expressed his thankfulness to God for the continuance of good health, and seemed to be cheered with the hope of soon getting away from a situation of such peculiar anxiety. He began to think of having accommodations provided for him in Stratford, and his son, writing to him in Christmas week, said, "If you determine absolutely to remove in the Spring you will let me know by-and-by, whether I shall prepare to enlarge my house, or endeavor to hire one for you, if any should offer."
By this time the small-pox had appeared in several dwellings near the College, and he and his wife were obliged to keep as close as possible in the building, and with this precaution they hoped to be safe. Towards the end of January, however, Mrs. Johnson became very ill with what was thought to be only a bad cold, but alas! on the first day of February her real disorder developed itself, which proved to be the smallpox. She received the information with composure, and, from a tender regard for the welfare of her husband, desired him to leave her with his prayers in the hands of God, and withdraw to a place of less danger. For two days he occupied a room in the other end of the College building, and then his friends, thinking him too much exposed, he retired three miles distant to the country seat of Mr. Watts, and there waited in painful suspense the result of his wife's sickness. He had not long to wait, for on the 11th of February, overwhelmed with grief, he wrote to his son, "The thing that I feared is come upon me, God's will is done. Your good mother died on Wednesday evening, the 9th," and he added that they were probably then carrying her to her grave, to lie by his own mother," under the Chancel of Trinity Church.
This bereavement was a crushing blow to him, and he resolved at once to resign the presidency of the College and go into retirement. He tarried a fortnight longer at the country seat of his friend, wrote his letter of resignation to the Governors, and then committing his affairs to Mr. Cooper and a lay-gentleman, "hired an able hand with a sleigh" to take him to Stratford, where he arrived February 25, 1763. He was now in the 67th year of his age, blessed with good health, but having natural infirmities which called for a less anxious and active life. His connection with the College had been a sacrifice to him in a pecuniary sense, and in resigning the charge of it, he modestly hinted that he might be entitled to some consideration for his many hardships and losses. That it had not prospered more was not owing to any fault of his, but to "providential misfortunes or to the Governors themselves, in not providing a good Grammar school; for," said he, "till provision is made both for a better classical and English education, the College can never flourish." The following correspondence has a meaning that is more than simply official: --
NEW YORK, March 2, 1763.
REVEREND SIR,--At the meeting of the Governors of King's College yesterday, your letter addressed to them was laid before them. They are sensibly touched with your late misfortune, and the immediate occasion of your retiring; and that vein of benevolence, which runs through your letter, could not but very much affect them.
I have the pleasure to be the instrument of returning their thanks for your faithful service as President, and your good offices for promoting the interest of the College hitherto, and your affectionate wishes for the future prosperity of it, gratefully accepting your kind offer of continuing your endeavors on all occasions for the advancement of that good work; and they wish you health and happiness.
As for the rest, the Governors have resolved to take your case into consideration at some future meeting. In the mean time be assured that I am,
Reverend Sir, your very affectionate friend and very humble servant,
GENTLEMEN,--I very humbly thank you for your kind answer to my letter to you, communicated to me by the Honorable Judge Horsmanden, and for your affectionate sympathy with me under my truly compassionable circumstances; and that you take in so good part my past faithful endeavors to serve you, and my persevering solicitude for the prosperity of the College. This, I trust, is a pleasing prelude to that friendship which I hope will always subsist between the Corporation and me, and a further engagement to any good offices in my power for the furtherance of its wants.
I am particularly thankful, gentlemen, for your kind resolution in my favor, to take my present depressed condition into your benevolent consideration at some future meeting, and shall gratefully acknowledge whatever kind dispositions you shall at any time express towards me. With my continued fervent wishes for the prosperity of you and yours, and that dear College,
I remain, Gentlemen, with great regard,
Your most affectionate friend and obed't humble serv't,
It was a time of war during the whole of his Presidency, and the expenses of living in town had been so much greater than was expected, that the Governors could not well refuse a gratuity, and finally voted to settle upon him a pension of fifty pounds per annum. This was secured chiefly through the influence of the Rev. Mr. Auchmuty, who did not think it enough, but was glad to have some recognition of the sacrifices and self-denials of his venerable friend.
Johnson was resolved not to be idle in his retirement. His son "built him an elegant apartment," attached to his own mansion, where, surrounded with his books and his grandchildren, he devoted himself to quiet study and was happy in the enjoyment of his domestic privileges. His literary and theological correspondence was not slackened but rather increased; and the introduction of the works of good authors into this country continued to be an object near his heart. A letter of his to the Rev. Mr. Horne of Oxford, from which an extract was given in the previous chapter, brought forth a reply which must have reached him in the freshness of his sorrow for the death of his wife.
REVEREND SIR,--I am greatly obliged to you for the good opinion you are pleased to entertain of me and any trifle I have published; and rejoice to have an opportunity of recommending a work of' real merit and solidity on the subject of the sacred philosophy, by my learned friend Mr. Jones, who is proceeding on the same plan, with ability and erudition adequate to the work, as fast as his health will permit him. Dr. Patten's controversy with Heathcote, some time since at an end, I presume hath found its way to New York. The Doctor hath published nothing more except an excellent sermon on "Natural Religion." Dr. Newton, Bishop of Bristol, hath lately put forth an admirable work on the "Prophecies," in three vols. octavo. I expect Dr. Jay every minute, to whom I shall deliver this with a letter from Mr. Berkeley; and am with best wishes and prayers for the prosperity of King's College and the worthy President thereof,
Reverend Sir, your most affectionate servant,
MAGD. COLL., November 29, 1762.
STRATFORD, IN CONN., N. E., June 1.
REVEREND AND WORTHY SIR,--
I am very much obliged to you for your most kind letter of November 29, and the very excellent things that accompanied it, which are all entirely to my mind, and I want words to express my gratitude for them. Mr. Jones's Essay is exactly such a thing as I have long wished to see, and I am the more pleased with it as coming from the author of the "Catholic Doctrine of the Trinity," which I had before been highly pleased with. These are indeed the true primitive original philosophy and divinity of the Holy Scriptures, made evident and intelligible. You will please to give him my compliments and thanks for these good works, which I shall earnestly recommend to our booksellers to have always by them, and to my College to be always there taught and inculcated, where your state of the case has already been of good use. I earnestly pray God to give Mr. Jones life and health to finish what he designs; and to you also, good Sir, as well as Dr. Patten, that you may go on to bless the world with your most useful writings, that this unholy age may if possible be reclaimed from its apostatising turn. I had received from Mr. Cooper a high notion of Dr. Morton and ordered my bookseller to procure it, and grow impatient till it comes.
It is of vast importance to us at this distance to have good authors pointed out to us by good judges. I shall therefore be highly obliged to you, if you will be so kind as to communicate to me and my successor such as at any time excel; and indeed it would be happy for us if really good authors could be induced from time to time to present our Library with their productions in every kind.
I date, you see, Sir, from this place, whither I am retired to spend with my only and most tender and dutiful son the little declining remainder of my time, being near sixty-seven, and wanting retirement, though, thank God, in perfect health except somewhat paralytic. I did not indeed intend quite so soon to leave the College, but so it pleased God. I was suddenly driven from it by the small-pox breaking out in my family and depriving me of the dear partner of my life. But I hope it will immediately be well governed and instructed by Mr. Cooper, who is well esteemed and appears to be an ingenious, industrious, and prudent young gentleman. I have still the same care for it as ever so far as can be at this distance--about seventy miles,--the post weekly passing, and I hope now and then to visit it. If you do me the favor to write again, please direct to me here, to the care of the Rev. Mr. Auchmuty of New York.
I am, Reverend and dear Sir, with great esteem and regard,
Your most obliged and affectionate friend and servant,
He wrote to Dr. Burton, the Secretary of the Society, in the autumn of 1763, to express his thanks for the proposition to transfer Mr. Winslow to a Mission near his friends in Boston, that he might himself be reappointed to Stratford. He had not had much thought of doing more in his advanced years than to direct the theological studies of a few young candidates for Holy Orders, and send them with commendatory letters to England. But this opportunity of resuming parochial duty was too attractive to be disregarded. It met with favor from Mr. Winslow, who for many reasons was desirous of a change. "I have communicated the proposal to him," said Johnson, "which he was fond of, as it would place him near his friends. He had indeed had thoughts of it before, but some of his friends had discouraged him about it. However, upon this offer of it, he is now thinking in earnest about it and is treating with the Wardens and Vestry of Braintree, to see whether it may prove to his advantage, and he will soon let the Society know whether he accepts, as I am apt to believe he will."
Mr. Winslow's name was suggested at one time as a suitable person to take the Rectorship of Trinity Church, New York; and the son of Dr. Johnson, writing April 9, 1764, from that city, whither he had gone to be inoculated for the small-pox, said to his father, "Good Dr. Barclay made me a visit yesterday though he was but illy able to get up-stairs; he has had a bad week of it. He returns his affectionate compliments to you, but is at present by no means fit to undertake such a journey as you propose, as he cannot ride above three or four miles in a day, and durst by no means be out of the way of his physicians. The Doctor's illness has occasioned the Church to think of looking out for another clergyman. Mr. Auchmuty has desired my opinion of Mr. Winslow, whom I have recommended as the best preacher I know of, but as I have not his liberty to mention it, I must beg you will say nothing of it at present, and perhaps he will write to you himself on the subject."
Letters were addressed afterwards directly to Mr. Winslow, but he seems not to have favored a settlement in New York, for he was shortly transferred to Braintree, and the venerable Doctor took his place and returned to pastoral work among a people who had not forgotten his fidelity, though for ten years they had only heard his voice occasionally. With the assistance of a student at times in reading the service, he found little difficulty in fulfilling his duties, and his residence in the Colony again became a tower of strength to the Church in Connecticut.
The following letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, in answer to one which appears in the previous chapter, shows how earnest he was at this juncture for the complete establishment of the Church in America:--
September 20, 1764.
It grieves me that your Grace must be so persecuted with that tormenting distemper for which nothing can atone, but what were good Bishop Berkeley's opinion and hopes, that it might prevent more fatal maladies in the decline of life, and tend to lengthen one's days. This I do at least earnestly pray may be the happy event with respect to your Grace's precious life, which is of so much importance to the present age.
I was almost overjoyed after our feeble efforts here to find one, who I did not doubt was the ablest hand in the kingdom, had condescended to undertake our mighty giant, and in the opinion of our people had utterly disarmed him; nor had any of the Dissenters, that I can hear of, a word to say, except Mayhew himself, who, upon its being immediately reprinted here, directly advertised an answer preparing, contrary to the advice of his best friends. I had it from a good hand that a man of the best sense among them told him he was completely answered, and advised him by no means to attempt a reply. But undaunted, he would not be dissuaded, and in a few days published it; but I am told, in a letter from Boston, that "to his mortification very little is said about it.".... In a word, I am verily persuaded it will do much the most good here as well as at home of anything that has yet been published. It is doubtless now in your hands, and you are the fittest judge whether any reply is necessary.
Neither had I, my Lord, ever heard of the case of Mr. Price and Barret, in which there might be too much truth, as I remember Mr. Price was too intemperate for the sake of his farm, in his endeavors to propagate the Church there.
I beg your Grace's pardon that I seemed perhaps a little too impatient in my last with regard to the settling Episcopacy in these countries, where I know that all the Church people (except a few lukewarm persons and free-thinking pretenders to it, and sometimes attendants on it, but are really enemies to any establishment) are very desirous of it; and that all moderate Dissenters, who, I believe, are the most numerous in the whole, and who know what is really designed, have little or no objection to it; and that the number of such bitter zealots against it is comparatively few, and chiefly in these two governments, either such loose thinkers as Mayhew, who can scarcely be accounted better Christians than the Turks, or such furious bitter Calvinistical enthusiasts as are really no more friends to monarchy than Episcopacy; and against people of both these sorts Episcopacy is really necessary towards the better securing our dependence, as well as many other good political purposes.
Your Grace's quiet, private, and conciliating method, is doubtless best if the point can be gained, as it ought to be, in that way; but as I knew of no steps taken or like to be, and as your Grace was so infirm, I was afraid nothing would be done without some general and strong solicitations from hence, without which indeed I feared the ministry would hardly think anything about it themselves, or that we were at all solicitous for it here. I am therefore greatly rejoiced that something is doing, that the two chiefs of the separation have no objection to it, and that your Grace is assisted by two such great, worthy, and active gentlemen as the Archbishop of York and the Bishop of London; and that they have so good an interest; and that so great a minister as the Duke of Bedford has given so favorable attention to it and promised to promote it. These are very hopeful beginnings, and from these, together with the other considerations your Grace mentions, it should seem scarce possible that it should miscarry; so that I hope our first news in the spring will be that it is done, and that our governments all depend immediately on the Crown. May God Almighty grant a happy success to your Grace's faithful endeavors that his Church here may at length at this crisis be provided with worthy Bishops, without which, according to the original constitution of the Church (in my humble opinion), no Church can be perfect; which if it should please God to grant, I could then cheerfully sing my nunc dimittis! but if He should not, the best thing that could be done would be to go into Dr. Smith's proposal, which we have long wished for.
The reason for not increasing missions here might be allowed good at this juncture; the young men are safe returned, and will doubtless be very useful. [Rev. Abraham Jarvis, afterwards Bishop of Connecticut, and Rev. Bela Hubbard, for forty-five years Rector of Trinity Church, New Haven.] I hope Mr. Jarvis may do tolerably for several years, as his people are much more able. But Mr. Hubbard must in two or three years be otherwise provided for, if the Society cannot help Guilford, which for the reasons I mentioned to your Grace, I earnestly hope they may by that time safely do.
What hindered good Dr. Barclay from mentioning the two things your Grace tells me he neglected, I am not able to say, unless it was the great infirmity he then began to labor under, which soon disabled him for public duty, and last month put a period to his very valuable life, to the inexpressible grief of his church, and indeed all the churches. The worthy and faithful Mr. S. Auchmuty was soon unanimously chosen in his place, and one Mr. Inglis in his, whom I know not, but I have good reason to think that Mr. Auchmuty will prove a worthy incumbent, and I wish for the honor of the Church and his station, that being of nigh twenty years' standing of our Cambridge, he might also succeed the Doctor in his degree. As to Mr. Caner, he was bred and graduated at our New Haven College, but was also created M. A. at Oxford, March 3, 1735, on the recommendation of Archbishop Potter; and Mr. Chandler of the same College proceeded M. A. in 1748, and had a diploma ffrom Oxford, June 4, 1753, I believe, by your Grace's influence. And now I am upon the subject of degrees, [Those for which Johnson asked in this letter were all conferred in 1766.] as I can't but retain a great affection for Oxon. and am desirous of continuing may connection with it, will your Grace forgive me if I mention my only son, who is a lawyer, for whom I am desirous of a Doctor's degree in that faculty? His name is Wm. Samuel. He is M. A. of seventeen years' standing in both our Colleges, and after a laborious study of the law he has been above ten years in the practice of it to good acceptance, and is studious in Divinity as well as in Law, and much engaged in the interest of the Church and true religion. He is well known to the bearer, Mr. Harison, from whom your Grace may have a further account of him if you think it needful. Mr. Apthorp's affairs suddenly calling him home, I beg your Grace's particular regard to him as a very worthy young gentleman. As I continue to pray earnestly for your Grace's health and long life, I humbly beg the continuance of your prayers and blessing in behalf of, etc.,
The hope of obtaining Bishops, which now appeared so bright, was not realized. The ministry disappointed all the friends of the measure by neglecting the case of the Church and directing attention wholly to the civil affairs of the Colonies. Great confusions and tumults soon after followed both here and at home in consequence of the passage of the Stamp-act, and advantage was taken of this state of things to raise a fresh clamor against the establishment of Bishops in America. It was claimed that nineteen twentieths of the American people utterly opposed the scheme, and no correction of such a statement was ever accepted by the ministry. Dr. Johnson and the clergy of Connecticut sent congratulatory addresses, to Bishop Terrick on his advancement to the See of London, and a correspondence ensued which must have opened his eyes, though he was powerless to effect a reform. Johnson wrote to him as follows:--
July 15, 1765.
I take this opportunity with the utmost gratitude to acknowledge your Lordship's most kind and condescending letters of February 22, both to the clergy and me,--theirs I sent to them at their Convention, which I could not attend by reason of the distance and badness of the roads, and I hear they have also most graciously acknowledged it in a joint letter to your Lordship. I am glad your Lordship is pleased with the worthy Mr. Harison's account of the clergy in this Colony, which I hope they will be more emulous to deserve.
It is, my Lord, a kind condescension that you are pleased to desire of me an account of the state of religion in these parts of the world. It is with much difficulty that I write, having a trembling hand, and therefore I can be but brief.
The true state of religion in America, with respect to the several denominations, is this: The Independents or Congregationalists, as they call themselves here in New England, especially in the Massachusetts and Connecticut Colonies, without any regard to the king's supremacy in matters of religion, have got themselves established by law and are pleased to consider us as Dissenters, but are miserably harassed with controversies among themselves, at the same time that they write against the Church. One great cause of their quarrels is the Arminian, Calvinistical, Antinomian and enthusiastical controversies which run high among them and create great feuds and schisms; and these occasion the great increase of the Church, at which they also are enraged, though themselves are the chief cause of it.
As to the Presbyterians, my Lord, they chiefly obtain in the Southwestern Colonies, and have flourishing presbyteries and synods, especially in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, in their full vigor; while in all these parts the poor Church is in a low, depressed, and very imperfect state for want of her pure primitive Episcopal form of government. We do not, my Lord, envy our neighbors, nor in the least desire to disquiet them in their several ways. We only desire to be upon at least as good a foot as they, and as perfect in our kind as they in theirs; and this we think we have a right to, both as the Episcopal form was the only form of government at first universally established by the Apostles, and is the primitive form established by law in our mother country; and therefore cannot but think ourselves extremely injured in not being provided for, and in a state little short of persecution in our candidates being forced, at a great expense of both lives and fortune, to go a thousand leagues for every ordination, as well as destitute of Confirmation and a regular government. So that unless we can have Bishops, especially at this juncture, the Church, and with it the interest of true religion, must dwindle; while we suffer the contempt and triumph of our neighbors under this neglect, who plume themselves with the hope that the Episcopate is more likely (as from the lukewarmness and indifference of this miserably apostatizing age they have too much reason to do) to be abolished at home, than established abroad. And indeed, my Lord, they are vain enough to think the civil government at home is itself really better affected to them than to the Church; and even disaffected to it; otherwise it would establish Episcopacy here as it is there. Pudet haec opprobria commemorare.
I humbly thank your Lordship for saying so much in our behalf in your excellent sermon before the Society. Would to God a due notice might be taken of it; I do also most humbly thank you for your kind prayers and blessing, and beg the continuance of them; nor shall I cease to pray earnestly for the long continuance of your Lordship's very important life and health, being truly, my Lord, with great veneration, etc.,
The Stamp-act threw the country into such a ferment and the opposition to its enforcement was so great that steps were early taken to procure its repeal. A Congress of the Colonies met at New York, and the son of Dr. Johnson was chosen to represent Connecticut in that body, and drew up the remonstrance to the King and Parliament against the measure, asserting taxation by themselves and trial by jury as among the inherent privileges of the subjects of the British realm in all her dependencies. The President of the Congress--Ruggles of Massachusetts--would not sign the document; and James Otis, a colleague of his, writing to Johnson after reaching his home in Boston, spoke of the attempt of the Massachusetts Assembly to censure him for his refusal, which he himself prevented, and then added: "The people of this Province, however, will never forgive him. We are much surprised at the violent proceedings at New York, as there has been so much time for people to cool, and the outrages on private property are so generally detested. By a vessel from South Carolina we learn that the people were in a tumult at Charleston and terrible consequences apprehended. God knows what all these things will end in, and to Him they must be submitted. In the mean time 'tis much to be feared the Parliament will charge the Colonies with presenting petitions in one hand and a dagger in the other." [MS. Letter to Wm. S. Johnson, November 12, 1765.]
The Stamp-act was repealed just one year after its passage, and the venerable Missionary, who from his retirement in Stratford had looked with sorrow on the public discontents, was once more hopeful that the establishment of Bishops in this country might receive the attention of the ministry. He had not ceased to be interested in the College at New York, and Mr. Cooper, his successor in the Presidency, had been in the habit of spending more or less of his vacations with him, that they might consult together and devise good things for its welfare. He paid a visit to New York in May, 1766, and was present at the annual Commencement held on the 20th of that month in Trinity Church. It afforded him unspeakable satisfaction to find the College in a prosperous condition, and the graduating class the largest hitherto sent forth.
But there was another matter which interested him at the time quite as much as that of education. The day after the Commencement, fourteen clergymen, two from Connecticut and the rest from the provinces of New York and New Jersey, held a Convention at which Johnson presided and Dr. Auchmuty preached a sermon. The most important business transacted was the adoption of an address to the Society on the extreme hardships the Church in America labored under for want of Bishops. It added to the moral force of the address that two young men, Mr. Giles of New York, and Mr. Wilson of Philadelphia, who had been to England for Holy Orders, had just been lost on their return in a ship that was dashed to pieces near Cape Henlopen. These made ten, whose precious lives sickness or the sea claimed, out of fifty-one who had gone from this country for ordination in a little more than forty years. It was an awful sacrifice for the sake of the Church, and they implored that it might be ended. "It is a greater loss," said Johnson, "to the Church here in proportion than she suffered in the times of Popish persecution in England."
While the clergy were holding this Convention, a Synod of about sixty Presbyterians met at New York with the design, it was said, of asking the General Assembly of Scotland to apply to the Parliament of Great Britain for an act of incorporation in their behalf. Reference was made to this Synod in communicating the address of the clergy, and a letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury, which is among the last, if not the very last that he wrote to his venerated friend, met the considerations urged then and previously, and touched upon another point of great importance:--
LAMBETH, July 31, 1766.
GOOD DR. JOHNSON,--I am much ashamed, that I have delayed so long to answer your letters, and still more grieved that I cannot do it now to my own satisfaction or yours. It is very probable, that a Bishop or Bishops would have been quietly received in America before the Stamp-act was passed here. But it is certain, that we could get no permission here to send one. Earnest and continued endeavors have been used with our successive ministers, but without obtaining more than promises to consider and confer about the matter; which promises have never been fulfilled. The King hath expressed himself repeatedly in favor of the scheme; and hath proposed, that if objections are imagined to lie against other places, a Protestant Bishop should be sent to Quebec, where there is a Popish one, and where there are few Dissenters to take offence. And in the latter end of Mr. Grenville's ministry, a plan of an ecclesiastical establishment for Canada was formed, on which a Bishop might easily have been grafted, and was laid before a Committee of Council. But opinions differed there; and proper persons could not be persuaded to attend; and in a while the ministry changed. Incessant opposition was made to the new ministry; some slight hopes were given, but no one step taken. Yesterday the ministry was changed again, as you may see by the papers; but whether any change will happen in our concern, and whether for the better or the worse, I cannot so much as guess. Of late indeed it hath not been prudent to do anything unless at Quebec. And therefore the Address from the clergy of Connecticut, which arrived here in December last, and that from the clergy of New York and New Jersey, which arrived in January, have not been presented to the King. But he hath been acquainted with the purport of them, and directed them to be postponed to a fitter time. In the mean while, I wish the Bishop of London would take out a patent like Bishop Gibson's, only somewhat improved. For then he might appoint commissaries; and we might set up corresponding societies, as we have for some time intended, with those commissaries at their head. He appears unwilling, but I hope may be at length persuaded to it.
Requests have been made to me and other Bishops, first for countenance, then for contributions to Mr. Wheelock's Indian school. My answer was that we heartily wished success to it; and intended to set up one not in opposition, but in imitation of it; that we hoped the Dissenters would sufficiently support Mr. Wheelock's undertaking; but could not hope that they would contribute anything to a similar one of ours; and therefore it seemed requisite, that Churchmen should do their best for ours; though if any would be kind to theirs also, we should not blame them. They seemed pretty well satisfied. My first notion was, that we might maintain Indian boys at Mr. Wheelock's school, who should afterwards take Episcopal Orders. But Mr. Apthorp was clearly of opinion, that they would all disappoint our expectations in that respect. Now if only most, or many of them would, it will be absolutely necessary, that we should set up an Episcopal Indian school; else we shall both neglect our duty and lose our reputation. But we shall need the best advice of our friends, in what place or places, and under what masters and regulations, it will be most proper to attempt this. And the sooner we have such advice the better; for the distance between the Society and the scene of their business is extremely inconvenient. Mr. Barton of Lancaster hath conversed on this subject with Sir William Johnson, who hath desired to be proposed for a member of our Society, and earnestly recommends the Indians to our care at present. We have sent to ask further information from both these gentlemen; and shall be glad of it from all who are capable of giving it. I have mentioned our late and former losses of missionaries to the King, as one argument for Bishops. He is thoroughly sensible, that the Episcopalians are his best friends in America. There seems no likelihood that the Scotch Presbyterians will obtain any further privileges from our Parliament for their American brethren. Nor do I think there is any considerable increase of vehemence against Episcopacy here. Declaimers in newspapers are not much to be minded; nor a few hot-headed men of higher rank. I entreat you to write often and fully to me concerning all the Church affairs of America.
I have not indeed been tolerably regular in my returns to your letters. Gout and business, and principally the delusive hope that a little time would produce good news, have hindered me. I' will endeavor to do better, if God spares my life. But at least your informations and advice will be always highly acceptable and useful to
Your loving brother,