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A Proposal for the Better Supplying of Churches in

A

PROPOSAL

For the better Supplying of

CHURCHES

IN OUR

_Foreign Plantations_,

AND FOR

Converting the Savage _Americans_ to CHRISTIANITY,

By a COLLEGE to be erected in the _Summer Islands_, otherwise called the Isles of _Bermuda_.

_The harvest is truly great, but the labourers are few_, Luke c. 10. v. 2.

_LONDON_,

Printed by H. WOODFALL, at _Elzevir's-Head_ without _Temple-Bar_: And sold by J. ROBERTS, near the _Oxford-Arms_ in _Warwick-Lane_, 1725. (Price Sixpence.)

_A PROPOSAL for the better Supplying of Churches in our foreign Plantations, &c._

Although there are several excellent persons of the church of England, whose good intentions and endeavours have not been wanting to propagate the gospel in foreign parts, who have even combined into societies for that very purpose, and given great encouragement, not only for English missionaries in the West-Indies, but also, for the reformed of other nations, led by their example, to propagate christianity in the East: It is nevertheless acknowledged, that there is at this day, but little sense of religion, and a most notorious corruption of manners, in the English colonies settled on the continent of America, and the islands. It is also acknowledged, that the gospel hath hitherto made but a very inconsiderable progress among the neighbouring Americans, who still continue in much-what the same ignorance and barbarism, in which we found them above a hundred years ago.

I shall therefore venture to submit my thoughts upon a point, that I have long consider'd, to better judgments, in hopes that any expedient will be favourably hearkned to, which is proposed for the remedy of these evils. Now in order to effect this, it should seem the natural proper method, to provide, in the first place, a constant supply of worthy clergy-men for the English churches in those parts; and in the second place, a like constant supply of zealous missionaries well fitted for propagating Christianity among the savages.

For though the surest means to reform the morals, and soften the behaviour of men, be, to preach to them the pure uncorrupt doctrine of the gospel, yet it cannot be denied that the success of preaching dependeth in good measure on the character and skill of the preacher: Forasmuch as mankind are more apt to copy characters than to practise precepts, and forasmuch as argument, to attain its full strength, doth not less require the life of zeal, than the weight of reason; and the same doctrine, which maketh great impression, when delivered with decency and address, loseth very much of its force by passing through aukward or unskilful hands.

Now the clergy sent over to America have proved, too many of them, very meanly qualified both in learning and morals for the discharge of their office. And indeed little can be expected from the example or instruction of those, who quit their native country on no other motive, than that they are not able to procure a livelihood in it, which is known to be often the case.


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