Project Canterbury

The Diocese of Jamaica
A Short Account of Its History, Growth and Organisation

By J.B. Ellis, M.A.

London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1913.

Chapter VIII.

DR. LIPSCOMB was succeeded in the Bishopric of Jamaica by the Rt. Rev. Aubrey George Spencer, D.D., who had been Bishop of Newfoundland since 1839. Of Dr. Spencer it may be said that he was one of those self-sacrificing men whose zeal and devotion are largely in excess of their physical strength. His previous career, first as a missionary in Newfoundland and Bermuda, and afterwards as the first Bishop of Newfoundland, augured well for his episcopate in Jamaica. Unfortunately exposure to cold in his northern diocese had told so disastrously on a constitution naturally weak that his possibilities of usefulness in Jamaica were sadly crippled and the years of his active episcopate there were but few. He landed in Jamaica on the 4th of November, 1843, and was enthroned in the parish church of Spanish Town which in his letters patent had been formally created the Cathedral of the diocese. Just as Dr. Lipscomb's episcopate was noteworthy for the large contributions in aid of Church work both from public and from private sources, so was that of Dr. Spencer signalised by the beginning of that gradual withdrawal of external, financial help which, though at the time it shook the prosperity and seemed to retard the progress of the Church, served to create that spirit of unselfish and wide-spread liberality which only required the exigencies of disendowment to find full scope for its display. Soon after his arrival, having ascertained the most urgent needs of the diocese, Bishop Spencer sent a plaintive appeal to the C.M.S. to renew some of its abandoned labours in Jamaica. He wrote:

"Chapels closed, dilapidated school-houses, scattered congregations, thousands of Maroon wanderers, all emancipated slaves, deprived of all means of Christian worship and instruction, notwithstanding the liberal provisions of the late Clergy Act, present me with an unhappy picture on my arrival in this colony, and show the disastrous consequences of your abandonment of a field which your missionaries and catechists were so well qualified to occupy."

The good Bishop may have used rhetoric as an aid to persuasion, but it is difficult to reconcile his account of his first impressions of the diocese either with the latest report of his predecessor or with the glowing accounts given by C.M.S. in 1839, except on the ground that in a tropical land decay, unless arrested, is quite as rapid as growth. At any rate a sad state of things is here revealed. It may be that mission stations had been required to run alone before they were strong enough to stand without external support, and that the inevitable result was "closed chapels, dilapidated school-houses, scattered congregations!" No doubt such an appeal would have met with a liberal response from C.M.S., had it been possible. But it was not possible for the Society to overlook, in favour of Jamaica, the more pressing needs of other fields of its labours. Other troubles and anxieties gathered round the Bishop. Rumours were afloat to the effect that the Island Legislature would be compelled to reduce its generous grants. The West India Fund, founded by the S.P.G., had in the opinion of its directors almost finished its contemplated object, which had special reference to the transition from slavery to freedom and was never intended to be permanent. Notice had been given that the Parliamentary grant to the Fund would be withdrawn in 1846. This was done and the last payments from the Fund were made in iSso. [During the sixteen years this Fund had been in existence the Jamaica Church received from it £49,913 and the Bahamas £8,153, more than one-third of the total contributions, which amounted to £171,777.] In view of these and other like circumstances the only alternative left to the Church was to begin to help itself. Bishop Spencer, happily for Jamaica, had not been without experience of this sort of emergency in Newfoundland, where he had originated a Diocesan Church Society. Accordingly in March, 1844, five months after his arrival, he addressed a circular letter to the clergy on the subject of the formation of an association to be called "The Jamaica Diocesan Church Society for the Propagation of the Gospel." The aim of this society, in brief, was to do by local contributions the work which until then had been mainly done by home contributions. The new Society failed to receive much support from individuals, for Church people at that day were so accustomed to receiving that the "more blessed" habit of giving was but little practised. The Island Legislature, however, came to the society's assistance with a grant of £3,000, to be expended on completing several churches and chapels, which were in the course of erection at the time of the withdrawal of much of the help from home. During the nine years of its existence, from 1844 to 1853, more than 7,000 children of the poorer classes received religious and secular instruction at schools maintained by this society. These figures are not very encouraging, but the times were very hard.

Having had twelve months' experience of his new diocese. Bishop Spencer held his primary visitation in the Spanish Town Cathedral on the I2th of December, 1844, on which occasion there were gathered together a larger number of Church of England clergymen than had ever before been assembled on the western side of the Atlantic. The actual number present was 75, two in excess of the number which met in Toronto in the previous June. In his address at this visitation the Bishop said:--

"According to the returns which have been collected from the several clergy and carefully collated, there are in Jamaica seventy-six Churches and chapels of ease, either consecrated or ready for consecration, and eleven chapel school-houses under Episcopal license, affording accommodation to 51,000 persons. Of these buildings I have myself consecrated five, while thirteen more are reported as waiting that rite at my hands. In the parish churches and in most of the chapels Divine Service is performed twice on every Sunday, and once at least in the course ol the week. I wish I could add that to each church a Sunday-school is attached. In Jamaica we have in all ninety clergymen; of whom sixty-five may be reckoned as stated ministers, deriving their maintenance from the local Legislature and having their stations legally and permanently assigned; seven are curates paid by Her Majesty's Treasury, and placed at the disposal of the Bishop; eight are missionaries of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, with a moiety of their salaries locally disbursed; three are sent under Episcopal license to particular stations by the Church Missionary Society; five are curates paid by the incumbents whom they assist; and two are supplied by the schools of which they are the principal masters.

"The whole cost of the maintenance of the clergy, exclusive of the Bishop and the Archdeacon, amounts to £32,000 annually (not including allowance for house rent), of which £3,900 is defrayed in England, and he remaining charge provided within the colony.

"It would appear from the scholastic tables which I have caused to be constructed and which are formed from specific and accurate returns, that there are within the island 100 schools in connection with the Established Church, in which about 7,000 children receive daily instruction, at the annual cost of £7,297, or little more than £1 sterling for each child. Of this expense the sum of £1,224 was borne last year by the S.P.G.; £826 by the S.P.C.K.; £1,252 by the parents of the pupils; and £5,117 by local endowments-and vestry grants."

The Bishop's statistics given in this address of the number of persons attached to the Church of England are rather startling. He estimated the population of the Colony at 400,000, of whom 220,000 had "declared themselves Dissenters," while the rest either belonged to no denomination or were members of the Established Church.

At this time the Colony was passing through a severe ordeal, which could not fail to affect the Church. A succession of earthquakes, storms and floods well nigh ruined the agricultural interests in some parts of the Island: an outbreak of cholera in 1850 claimed more than 32,000 victims, nearly 8 per cent, of the population: the difficulty of securing labourers, together with the equalisation by the Imperial Parliament of the duties on free and slave-grown sugar, threw many estates out of cultivation. Remedial measures all seemed in vain. A costly attempt was made to introduce European immigrants, but with no success; abortive efforts were made to cultivate tea, tobacco and silk. There was a legislative deadlock owing to the impossibility of the two branches of the Legislature agreeing; taxation was enormous and jobbery very general, while a belief was prevalent among the peasantry that the United States of America were likely to take possession of the Island and to consign the negroes to slavery again. Social order was thus threatened with collapse and material adversity was likely to bring with it a withdrawal of such spiritual blessings as the people enjoyed. The Church indeed was so absolutely identified with the State that circumstances which injuriously affected the latter could not fail to tell seriously on the former. Together must they rise or fall. Thus, at a time of depression, in some instances of ruin and poverty, when those in trouble had a right to look for consolation and encouragement from the ministrations of the Church, the clergy themselves were so bound up with the well-being of the State that they could not rise to the occasion. Subsequent calamities have proved the advantage of having in the Church of England, distinct from any department of the State, an outside power and influence to assist, to inspire, to guide those on whom trouble has fallen. Certainly in Jamaica, whatever may be the case elsewhere, Experience clearly shows that an entire dependence for support upon the secular powers, however pleasant in the days of colonial prosperity, saps the vitality of a Church and checks the growth of that firm and independent spirit which is so necessary in the time of adversity. The political, social and material troubles alluded to above led to what was known to contemporary writers as "the retrenchment struggle." Bearing in mind the altered finances of the colony and the fact that Nonconformist Churches were doing useful work, unassisted by State subsidies, the Ecclesiastical Establishment, costing the colony more than £40,000 a year, was a fair object for the attack of reforming economists. No alteration in the financial status of the clergy was actually made until Bishop Spencer had retired from the active supervision of the diocese, but the growth of the Church was necessarily retarded by the unsettled and distressed condition of the colony. For a short period, indeed, the state of the Island Exchequer was such that the clergy had to work without receiving any pay, a fate which was perhaps not undeserved by a Church, many of whose servants in days gone by had been in the habit of receiving pay without doing much work in return. But if the Church in these hard times did not advance much, she cannot fairly be said to have fallen back: if she was unable to "lengthen her cords" she did not fail to "strengthen her stakes." Here and there, thanks to the continued liberality of S.P.G., new openings for work were taken advantage of, but the leading feature of Church life during Bishop Spencer's residence in Jamaica was the strengthening and consolidating of existing churches and congregations rather than the opening up of new ground. In this work the Bishop received ready support wherever his needs were known. The missionary work stood still, but the parochial work increased. One or two extracts from the Bishop's correspondence will illustrate this. At the close of his first visitation of the diocese in 1845 he wrote:--

"The results of this personal intercourse with my clergy and people are, I thank God, already apparent. Parochial vestries, which had withheld pecuniary grants to the national schools are now, in many instances, liberal in their supplies; the funds of the Church Society are enriched; local contributions for the enlargement and repairs of chapels are more numerous; the number of pupils in the schools is generally on the increase, and the co-operation which I have met with from the magistrates and vestries is universal."

In the following year the Bishop reported that three of the S.P.G. missionary stations, namely those at Ocho Rios, Manchioneal and Dallas, had been transferred to the Island Establishment. His remarks in reference to the last-named of these places may be quoted in full:--

"I cannot," he writes, "close this letter without adverting to the extraordinary success with which it has pleased God to bless the efforts of a clergyman, lately an S.P.G. Missionary to the district called Dallas, in the mountains called Port Royal. The Church on this mountain was projected and commenced by my lamented predecessor, but finding no probability of procuring the completion of the building on the large scale on which it was designed; finding, moreover, that the inhabitants of this district were, for the most part, members of the Baptist congregation, and that not more than 100 could be brought to the school-house licensed as a temporary chapel, I determined on removing the stipendiary curate, then in charge, to the more promising district of Guy's Hill. Within a year after this removal, I was induced to ordain the Rev. Colin McLaverty, a gentleman of some private fortune and the proprietor of an estate in the district of Dallas, assigning to him a stipend--£i$o of which was paid by the Society (S.P.G.) on the expectation that by his influence and means, aided by a grant from the Diocesan Church Society, he would be able to effect the completion of the Dallas Church, and collect such a congregation as might ultimately justify the adoption of the station by the Colonial authorities. This good work has, I rejoice to say, been effectively done by this exemplary missionary of the S.P.G. The chapel will be fit for consecration before or at Easter; the station has been constituted an island curacy; nearly 1,000 Converts, diligently prepared by Mr. McLaverty, are now awaiting at my hands the rite of confirmation."

This is a remarkable record of missionary work, which carries us back in thought to Apostolic times, and is probably unparalleled in the history of the Jamaica Church.

The mention in the previous extract from the Bishop's correspondence of his removal of a state-paid clergyman from a district which was well served by a Baptist minister reminds us that the principle, first adopted by the Missionary Societies and afterwards followed by the Church, was to start in districts where help was most needed and not to attempt to interfere with other men's labours. The Church strove to Christianise and to civilise, not to episcopalianise or to proselytise.

In further proof of this and to show how careful Bishop Spencer was to discourage proselytising, and how long a period of probation he imposed on those who, on conscientious grounds, wished to come from the ministry of one denomination to that of another, we may quote the following words from a letter dated 2nd September, 1847:

"It will interest you to hear that Mr. -------------- had been for many years a-----------Minister, but being convinced of the danger of separation proposed to me three years ago to be employed as a Catechist and to bring over both his own chapel and his congregation to the Church. After placing this gentleman during that long interval under the Rural Dean and three clergymen in his neighbourhood, I felt myself justified in admitting him on their testimonials to the order of Deacon."

In the year 1847 Archdeacon Pope, after twenty-two years' zealous service in the diocese, resigned the Archdeaconry of Jamaica and, on the recommendation of the Bishop, the island was divided into three Archdeaconries, those of Surrey, Middlesex, and Cornwall, commensurate with and called by the same names as the three civil counties into which Jamaica is divided. The stipends (£600 per annum each) of the new Archdeacons were charges on the Consolidated Fund. On the 18th of November, 1847, an event of some interest took place at the consecration of a little mountain Church at Coning-ton, namely, the confirmation of the young king of the Mosquito Indians, who came to Jamaica principally for that purpose. "The first convictions," writes Bishop Spencer, "of Christian faith which have evidently taken hold of the mind of this young prince argue well for the gradual conversion of his subjects, and if it were within the character and power of the Society (S.P.G.) to establish a mission at Blewfields, the capital of his dominions, they would add to their history the record of another triumph of the cross, well worthy of the name and object of the S.P.G." We have already seen that the Jamaica Assembly had sent a missionary to the Mosquito Coast in the year 1750. This was done in response to a letter received from the Mosquito Indians by the then Governor, Mr. Edward Trelawny, asking amongst other things for his

"assistance in sending us some Powder, shot, flints, small arms and cutlasses to defend our country and assist our Brothers Englishmen; and a good schoolmaster to learn and instruct our young children, that they may be brought up in the Christian Faith. All we beg is that he may bring with him his books and a little salt; as for anything else we will take care to provide for him and a sufficient salary for his pains. We likewise promise him that he shall have no trouble to look for victuals, nor any provisions; for we shall take care to provide for him such as our country can afford."

The Governor forwarded a copy of this letter to S.P.G. who, between 1767 and 1777, sent out four missionaries, one of whom died a few days after his arrival, while the stay of the others was very short, as they could not stand the climate. Mr. Christian Post did excellent work as a Catechist from 1767 to 1785, bravely bearing danger, poverty, sickness, full of mercy and of good works, so generous out of a small income that his wife was driven to complain that he would "leave nothing when he died but a beggar's staff." The Mosquito Territory is now a part of the Diocese of Honduras. The peculiar interest which attaches to the Mosquito Indians lies in the belief that they may be of the same race as those who inhabited Jamaica at the time of its discovery and that possibly some of them may be descendants of those who were fortunate enough to make good their escape from Spanish tyranny.

In 1849 Dr. Spencer completed a long visitation tour of the greater part of Jamaica and on his return was presented with an address, signed by a number of the clergy, from which, as well as from his reply, we may get a glimpse of the condition of the Church at that time. The address speaks of the "healthy life and operation of many ecclesiastical institutions; of a growing observance of religious order and moral duties; and of the pious liberality of some who, even in the present distress, have devoted their time, their labour and their substance to the Church of Christ and the education of His poor." On the other hand we read in the same document of an "appalling deficiency of churches and schools in many populous districts, and a total want of them in others." The Bishop's reply speaks of useful work being quietly done, of his confirmation of 10,000 persons during his recent visitation, of an increase in the number of clergy and of centres of Christian teaching and of the fact that "congregations exhibit more of the Christian life in their conduct than was formerly manifested among them." In the light of coming events the following passage from the Bishop's reply seems almost prophetic:--

"The quiet which we now experience may indeed be but the calm which indicates the coming storm, and soon may we be called upon to endure.the action of the agitated elements, and to deal with the political and social convulsions we may nevertheless believe to be but the 'wind and storm fulfilling His Word.' "

In 1853 it was found that the Diocesan Church Society, extending its operations over the whole Island, did not adequately represent the requirements of different districts and therefore it was resolved to substitute for it three distinct societies, one in each archdeaconry. The wisdom of this decision may well be questioned. The frequent change of the names of Societies, Institutions, even of places, connected with the Church in Jamaica, can hardly fail to give an impression of a want of continuity and permanence in the Church's work. Nor is the present generation quite cured of this trick. As a matter of fact such an impression is not altogether well founded: certain operations have necessarily been tentative and some have been discontinued in due course, but on the whole the growth has been gradual and uniform with no very violent catastrophes. The new Societies thus created were least inactive in the Archdeaconries of Surrey and Middlesex and after a short existence perished of inanition. When the bundle was undone the separate sticks were easily broken. They failed, in the then depressed condition of the Colony, to receive much substantial support and mainly served to show how much of the work of previous years was merely scratching the soil, and how much remained yet to be done. They are important to our purpose here because they enable us to contrast the actual condition of Church affairs at the time with the flourishing position represented by official returns to the Bishop. In 1854, at the first anniversary meeting of the Surrey Society, held in Kingston, the Committee had to report a falling off both in numbers and in efficiency; thirteen schools out of thirty-one had been closed during the past year, while schoolmasters had been kept for months without remuneration. The lower classes are described as being indifferent to the advantages of education, and the committee pointed to "the lamentable deterioration of morals and absence of principle in the masses of the population of this colony." At the corresponding meeting of the Middlesex Society, held in Spanish Town, a curious incident occurred. The chair was taken by the Governor, Sir Henry Barkley, who before presiding had not taken the precaution to read the Report. In his opening address His Excellency expressed his great satisfaction in finding that the efforts of Ministers were devoted to the establishment of schools in every portion of the diocese: he was glad to find so much enterprising spirit in the colony for the formation of religious and other societies; there was no necessity for him to dilate on the progress of this Society in the past (it was only one year old) for the meeting would be addressed by gentlemen who were more cognisant than he was with the true state of things. Some of these' more cognisant' gentlemen must have astonished His Excellency. The Secretary led the way and reported that there had been no advance made in education, but that there had been a "lamentable diminution in the number of Church Schools and Church Scholars throughout almost every part of the Archdeaconry." The freewill offerings of the people (about 150,000) of the county of Middlesex had amounted to less than £140, and nearly two-thirds of the children of Jamaica, the men and women of the next generation, were destitute of religious and secular education of any kind. Archdeacon Courtenay spoke at length on the "destitute and ignorant condition of the people and the low state of the schools." It was an ignorance "more deplorable, pregnant with deeper evils and more urgently demanding remedy than many persons felt it to be." The Attorney-General, speaking from his professional experience, corroborated the secretary and the Archdeacon, as likewise did other gentlemen "more cognisant" than the Governor with the true condition of Jamaica. The language of compliment, not to say of flattery, is not infrequently used by Chairmen of public meetings, and even Colonial Governors have been known to say foolish things, but the statements made at this meeting have a deeper and more solemn lesson for us. They tell a sad tale, which must be told, sad as it sounds in the telling. Bright spots there undoubtedly were around the home of some devoted missionary, or beneath the shadow of church, chapel, or school, but in spite of the liberality of Imperial and Colonial Governments, the munificence of Societies and the generosity of individuals, the great mass of the population was almost uninfluenced by religion and the provision made for the education of the men and women of the future barely touched the hem of what was necessary.

In the same year, 1854, Bishop Spencer held what proved to be his last visitation of the Jamaica part of his diocese. The Ecclesiastical Returns sent in to him in view of this visitation revealed a degree of prosperity which, if figures have any force, has not since been reached and which I find it impossible to reconcile with the foregoing and other statements. The returns in question show a staff of 81 clergymen, ministering in 96 churches, which provided accommodation for 50,000 persons and were attended by 125,600 persons. The total cost of this establishment to general revenue and parochial funds amounted to £60,000 per annum, apart from contributions from the Imperial Treasury, from S.P.G., from the Christian Faith Society and from other sources.

Having completed his visitation, Bishop Spencer's health quite broke down and he was ordered home. His medical advisers gave him no hope of ever being able to resume his espiscopal labours in the Tropics and accordingly he was compelled to apply for the appointment of a Co-adjutor Bishop. There being no provision lor pensioning the Bishop, he was allowed nominally to retain the Bishopric with its income (from the Consolidated Fund) on condition that he paid a substantial sum to the Co-adjutor who supplied his place in Jamaica. After a good deal of unnecessary delay, and in spite of difficulties which might well have been avoided, Dr. Reginald Courtenay, who had been Archdeacon of Middlesex (Jamaica) since 1853, was consecrated a Bishop in April, 1856, and appointed Co-adjutor Bishop of Jamaica, taking the title of Bishop of Kingston.

While the negotiations for the appointment of a co-adjutor were being carried on, the Jamaica Assembly had agreed on a measure of retrenchment which financially affected the clergy. The reduction of one's income without one's own consent and against one's own wishes is seldom a pleasant process, but then it was plain that the large subsidy given by the State to the Church was in excessive disproportion to the reduced revenues of the colony. Happily the action of the Government does not seem to have been prompted by any deficiency of service on the part of any great number of the clergy. It was entirely a matter of ways and means. At last the following scheme was agreed on. The clerical stipends were reduced, rectors to £400, island curates to £340, on the understanding that any clergyman who declined to accept this new arrangement should be paid his original salary until December, 1858 when the Clergy Act1 expired, after which date a still further reduction, which would be compulsory, would be made in such cases. Most of the clergy wisely and cheerfully accepted the reduction, but a few continued to draw the full amount of their original salaries. On the 1st of January, 1860, these latter were put on the further reduced income, which they continued to receive for a few years, after which they were placed on the same footing as those who had accepted the commutation. In 1858 the same Clergy Act was re-enacted for eleven years with the additional provisions that the number of Island curates should be increased to fifty and that the Island Treasury should pay half the stipend of ten additional curates, the other half being provided by the Bishop out of funds placed at his disposal by English societies.

In April, 1858, two years after his consecration, Bishop Courtenay delivered his primary charge, an able, outspoken statement which enables us to learn something both about the work of the Church and the position and needs of the colony. Speaking of the clergy, the Bishop quoted facts and figures which were, he said, "numerous enough to vindicate the character of the clergy generally, and to prove that the labours of the ministers of religion have the blessing of God upon them and deserve to be thankfully acknowledged, encouraged and promoted." But when he turns to speak of the general condition of the island, the Bishop's words are painful to read. The truth is not always welcome and is often unlovely, but no good purpose can be gained by concealing it. "We are," said the Bishop, "in Jamaica in a land but partially reclaimed from heathenism--from heathen superstition and licentiousness. How often, reversing the Apostolic rule, those we would convert in understanding are children, while in malice they are men. Unable to read or write--without books, without instruction, without external control, unintellectual, immoral--the baser impulses of human nature are indulged without restraint either from a sense of shame or of religious obligation."

These weighty words--and many others might be quoted to the same effect--the accuracy of which has never been called in question point mainly to two facts; firstly that the clergy of that day were men of higher character and attainments than those of previous years and, secondly, that no amount of diocesan, or parochial, organisation could possibly dispense with the absolute necessity for distinct and systematic missionary work. This is the moral which meets us whenever, in the course of our history, we pause to note the position and prospects of the Church; and this too, though to a decreasing extent, is one of the problems which the present rulers of the Church are endeavouring to solve.

If it be asked--and the question is a very natural one--how so deplorable a condition of things came to prevail in Jamaica, in spite oi the efforts of the Church and of other religious bodies and in seeming contradiction to official reports of Church progress, the answer is not far to seek. In the first place it must be remembered that the negro population of Jamaica was at that time less than a generation from slavery days and it is ridiculous to expect one generation--or even two, three, or four generations--of African people to show the growth and development which have required centuries for their production in other races. Doubtless many, perhaps a majority, of the freed negroes originally attached themselves to some Christian Church in gratitude for the part which Christian teachers had taken in advocating and securing their freedom. The white man had given them freedom; black and white were equally subjects of one Queen and the black man would show his equality by adopting the white man's Creed. In the second place it must be borne in mind that the facility with which land was acquired and the ease with which a small settler could earn a sufficient competence from the rich soil of the island had materially changed the aspect of the population. In the old slavery days the population was in groups or large settlements, but emancipation gave the freed labouiers an opportunity to occupy small settlements of their own and thus to move away from the former centres of population. The first churches were naturally and as a matter of convenience built near the homes of the Church people and, as we have seen, much of the work of the missionaries actually began on sugar estates. And as the labouring classes asserted their independence of paid labour and worked on their own little properties, whether as owners or as squatters, they were scattered far and wide over the island, out of reach of church or chapel or school, before any religious or educational impressions had had time to take permanent root. [In illustration of the way in which negroes got scattered and practically lost and cut off from all knowledge of outside life, we may mention that the Rev. J. Morris, a hardworking S.P.G. missionary at Keynsham, reported in 1857 that a former slave had lived for twenty years in ignorance of his emancipation md that it was difficult to make him realise that "free is come."] For, however willing a clergyman might be to follow the migrations of his flock, there were plenty of reasons to prevent him doing so. His own congregation required his full time; his own schools demanded his personal attention; the wanderers could only be got at by long rides over rough and almost inaccessible paths and hill-tracks or the beds of mountain torrents, and a country parish of sixty square miles may under such conditions fairly be called unworkable. So it happened that as the industrious negroes acquired their own small settlements and moved farther and farther from the centres of Christian teaching, so did the insufficiency of religious and moral instruction become emphasised. I believe this to be the true explanation of the state of the Church in Jamaica at that date. All the clergy who in recent years had been ordained in the colony may not have been models of clerical efficiency, (where are they models?) but to attribute the sad condition of a great mass of the people to ministerial neglect would be as unreasonable as to hold an enthusiastic East-end clergyman in London responsible for the vice and crime with which he is trying to cope. Indeed, the disestablished Church of England in Jamaica owes so much to the unselfish and unflinching labours of some of those who ministered during what seemed to be these days of deterioration that we are bound to look outside the clerical staff for the causes of that degeneration which for a short time threatened to overwhelm the colony. With the political, social and other causes which were tending to the same end we have here nothing to do, but I believe that I have correctly stated the real reason for any decline which observers have found in the influence of the Church during the middle decades of thelast century. Unless, then, the Church of England was to be content to be represented by a limited number of foci of religion--oases of Christianity in a desert of heathenism--it must renew its missionary methods. To Bishop Courtenay is due the inauguration of a Missionary Society within the diocese. If missionaries were not to be sent from England to Jamaica, then Jamaica must find and form and train her own missionaries.

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