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quisites, which may amount to 5, or 6,000 more, which is a very good living, [being near $600.] And when the old parson dies, which he will, in a very little time, I hope he will get the berth. It is about 50,000 Ibs. of Tobacco per annum, which is worth in this country, one year with another, 500l. paper money, or £250 sterling ; ($1,080.] And as parsons are allowed to trade with their tobacco, if he will ship it to England, it may produce as much more per annum.”

Mr. Bacon had now thus become the Curate of the parish; was esteemed by those whose esteem was worth having, and held to be a sober, learned, and good man, and very agreeable. So speaks Mr. Callister. The parson of the parish mentioned was the Rev. Daniel Maynadin. He had been the incumbent of the parish for more than thirty-two years. He was by birth a French Protestant, but had taken Orders in the Church of England. Late in this very year he died, leaving sons and daughters, whose descendants still remain and occupy a high social condition. As Mr. Callister had hoped, Mr. Bacon succeeded to the incumbency of the parish, and his ministry proved most acceptable. The congregation, during this his first year, so increased, that the vestry found it necessary to enlarge the Church, by an addition of nearly one half. On the 21st of Aug., 1746, Mr. C., in writing to Mr. William Henderson, the King's officer at Ramsay, another town in the Isle of Man,

says to him :

“ I presume you have been acquainted, in the Island, with Mr. Thomas Bacon. He is now our parson, and I think him the worthiest clergyman I ever knew, not excepting the Bishop (Wilson].”

To his I rother, at the same date, he writes :

“Mr. Bacon has, since my last, been inducted into the parish, and gives entire satisfaction to all his parishioners."

One month after this, he writes to the same,-"Mr. and Mrs. Bacon desire their compliments to you. Mr. Bacon lives now in Town, [Oxford,] next door but one to our house." parish had indeed a large glebe near by the Church, at which the former incumbent resided. But it is not unlikely that, from its isolated condition, and Mr. B.'s social turn, he found Oxford more to his liking, though six miles distant.

On the 20th of Nov., writing again to Mr. Tear,—“I showed Mr. Bacon your letter,” he says. “He expressed much satisVOL. XVII.




faction in being so honorably mentioned. I cannot at this time promise to send you any of Mr. Bacon's music, (for he was a composer as well as a performer,] but I shall, I expect, send you some by the next opportunity.”

Previous to Aug. 1747, Mr. Callister had removed from Oxford to the head of the Wye, some twenty-four miles distant, quite in the northern part of the county, and Mr. Bacon had removed to a place called Dover, twelve miles or more distant. On the 23d, Mr. C. writes to his brother,—“Mr. Bacon and his family are well, and in great esteem. Since I removed up here, they are removed from Oxford about twelve miles nearer me. I had the pleasure to entertain them, on the first of March last, at Oxford, when Mr. B. toasted you ; and Mrs. B. pressed, with tears of gratitude, some little obligations they owed you.” She had left the loved home of her youth, braved the dangers of the ocean, and was now dwelling in a far distant and comparatively wilderness land, where, in places not far off, was still the lingering haunt of savages. O, it is no wonder, when her thoughts were borne homeward, as they now were, that tears should come thus, at the recollection of kindnesses bestowed by those she loved there in days past. It was not the overflowing of any sickly sensibility,

Here Mr. Callister's letter-book, kindly furnished me by the Goldsboroughs of Myrtle Grove, fails us ; but among papers yet remaining, are found a number of short notes, on business matters, addressed him by Mr. Bacon in his own hand writing. One among them is this :

“Dear Harry, I was not at home when your messenger came or returned,—else should have performed your commands. This is to summon you and Mrs. Callister to attend, according to promise, at my house-warming. Should be glad if Mr. and Mrs. Emerson would bear you,company.


T. BACON. 22d Jan. 1748.

His Excellency, of Oxford, will be here, with the facetious and merry magistrate Captain. Fail not to obey this summons, as you will answer the contrary at your peril.”

At this time, he had become settled at his new home, Dover, and thus called his friends around him to celebrate the event. It shows his buoyancy of spirits then, but we may well sup


pose, from his known character, that the house-warming spoken of did not mean the frolic so usual on such occasions.

But we come now more directly to his work in preaching to his people. In the preface to a small volume of Sermons, published two years after this, he thus addresses his parishioners :

"Upon being appointed your minister, I began seriously and carefully to examine into the state of religion in the parish, and I found a great many poor negro slaves, belonging to Christian masters and mistresses, yet living in as profound ignorance of what Christianity really is, as if they had remained in the midst of those barbarous, heathen countries, from whence they or their parents were first imported. Being moved therefore with compassion, at seeing such numbers of poor souls wandering in the mazes of sin and error, as sheep having no shepherd, no kind, tender-hearted Christian to set them right, and considering them as a part of the flock which Almighty God had placed under my care, I began seriously to consider in what manner I could best discharge my duty towards them, and deliver my own soul from the guilt of their blood, lest they should perish through my neg. ligence.

My first attempts towards it consisted in occasional conversation and advice, as often as I happened to meet with any of them at my own house, or at a neighbor's, or upon the road, etc., and, in short, familiar exhortations, as opportunity brought a number of them together, at any quarter where I visited their sick, or at their funerals or marriages. I then determined to preach to them on particular Sundays or holy days."

In carrying out this determination, he preached, this year, two Sermons to “a congregation of black slaves," and published them, just as they were heard. They were printed in London. They were intended, simply, as a draught, or foundation of his future discourses to them, which would be only larger explanation of the practical duties which he had here but little more than hinted at. And one reason given for their publication, as he states, was, that possibly “it might raise a spirit of emulation among his brethren, to attempt something in their respective parishes towards the bringing home so great a number of wandering souls to Christ. In setting this scheme, for the better instruction of the negroes, on foot in my parish, I consulted nothing but conscience, and had no other view than the discharge of that duty I so solemnly took upon me, at my being admitted into holy Orders.” To bring souls home to Christ thus,this was his object, and such was the spirit and the manner in which he began and prosecuted the work.

Of these two Sermons, the text is, Eph. vi: 8. And he considers, first, why they ought to serve God; secondly, what service or good things, God expects from them; and then, what kind of reward they may expect to receive from Him. And it is certainly not too much to say, that each point is set forth plainly, faithfully, and earnestly, and exhibits an admirable example of coming down to the capacities of those whom he was addressing, without vulgarity, and of reaching the conscience with sound gospel truth,

In a note to Mr. Callister, of May 3, 1748, from Dover, he mentions not only his wife and son, but also the Chapel. This is the first mention of the old Chapel which we meet with, which had just then been erected, in the North East part of the parish, called Chapel Hundred. Its erection shows us that the attendance on his public services had so increased, at this time, as to require this additional provision. The remains of this Chapel still exist. But where is tủe spirit of its founder fled, that nothing but those remains exist ? Are there no souls to be brought to Christ in that neighborhood, and provided for in this late day, by the Church in that parish ?

But Mr. Bacon did not stop in his work in behalf of the slaves, with what he had thus far done. During the year 1749, he preached four Sermons to Masters and Mistresses, which were published in London the next Summer. In 1817, they were republished here, in a cheap form, by the late Bishop of Virginia, then the Rev. Dr. Meade, leaving out, however, the title page, the very valuable preface, and some other portions ; in one place to the amount of six pages ; and this, too, without a single hint of any such omissions. Why this was done, of course we do not know; but that it was just to the author, no one can hesitate to deny. The Volume, as at first published, was a small 12mo., with this title page :

“ Four Sermons, upon the great and indispensible duty of all Christ. ian Masters and Mistresses, to bring up their negro slaves in the knowledge and fear of God, preached at the parish Church of St. Peter's, Talbot County, in the Province of Maryland, by the Rev. Thomas Bacon, Rector of said Parish,” &c.

Having mentioned, in his preface, what he had felt it to be his own duty to do, in this work, and spoken of its greatness and of its difficulties, he tells us that he found he must have help; and this, he adds,

“ Put me upon considering where laborers might be had. And finding, upon the strictest and most impartial inquiry, that it is the indispensible duty of all masters and mistresses, to bring up their slaves in the knowledge and fear of God, I was determined to call in assistance from where it was due. I therefore, as steward, and in the name of the Lord of the harvest, do press and invite you to work in His Vineyard, and do promise, on His part, that whatsoever is right, whatsoever is just and equal, that shall


receive." After meeting some objections, learnedly and successfully, he says, “that negroes, being of the human species, have souls as well as we, and are equally capable of salvation. Christian duty, therefore, would require of us to endeavor their conversion, and labor for the good of their souls, though they did not belong to us. Much more, then, are we bound to this duty, as they are part of our families and substance, and absolutely under our power and direction.”

And he takes occasion to say, in this connection, that,

“ The bringing of children to Baptism is, in the office (therefor), called a charitable work, because the putting of souls in the way of salvation is the highest act of Christian charity. This charitable work is, plainly, a branch of the duty of all owners of slaves, who ought either to appear for them in person at the font, or provide sufficient god-fathers and god-mothers for them in Baptism. These are called sureties, because they give security, in the presence of God and the congregation, that the member brought by them to be received into Christ's Church, shall be taught all things which a Christian ought to know, and believe, to his soul's health, and shall be virtuously brought up, to lead a godly and a Christian life. Every member thus received, becomes a debtor to that Covenant, to the belief and practice of God's laws. And the god-fathers and god-mothers are in the nature of bond-men to the Church, for the due performance of them. And if it be your duty to bring your slaves into covenant with God, as it was formerly the duty of Jewish masters to bring theirs into covenant with Him, by circumcision, which surely cannot admit of any dispute, you ought, at least, to provide sufficient sureties for them at the font, if you care not to appear for them in person. And you must, in your hearts and consciences, acquit me from any ill-natured charge of stiffness or preciseness, if, in pursuance of my duty to God, and the Church, whose minister I am, I shall always inVOL. XVII.


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