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sist on properer securities for these poor slaves, than such as commonly offer among themselves."
We cannot but ask here, why all this, and much more, in the six pages before alluded to, on this point, was left out in the edition of 1817 ?
The text which forms the ground-work of these four Sermons, is Col. iv : 1.-—“Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal, knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.” After an exceedingly appropriate introduction, in which is considered the great principle of the text, Mr. Bacon lays down the particular obligation drawn from it, announced in the title page, and then goes on to consider, first, the nature of this obligation ; secondly, the advantages attending a due compliance therewith ; thirdly, the common excuses and objections which are made concerning it ; and lastly, in what manner this duty may best be performed, to the discharging of our consciences, and with the greatest probability of success.
The consideration of these four points, occupies his four Sermons. To say that his language, in discussing them, is classical, yet plain ; his thoughts fresh, yet clear; his positions sustained ably and conclusively, and sometimes eloquently ; and that the Gospel is distinctly and faithfully presented; and all with the most intrepid, yet affectionate and Christian spirit, -is saying only what is true, simply true.
“O great and glorioas Lord, pour forth thy Holy Spirit into our hearts, that our affections, being fixed on the performance of that which Thou commandest, and our endeavors for propagating the Gospel being guided and assisted by its blessed influence, Thy kingdom may be exalted among us, and the heathen taught to praise Thy holy name, through faith in Thy Son, Jesus Christ, our only Saviour and Redeemer.”
Such are the concluding words with which Mr. Bacon parts with those whom he addresses in these Sermons.
Immediately, on their being published, they were placed in the list of books for distribution, by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, in England, and, not long since, were continued on that list. And would that they were here, and now again re-printed, in a beautiful style, with attractive binding, and placed in the hands of every master and mistress in our land. They would speak to their hearts and consciences, as no other little work of the kind has yet spoken. Can no one, indeed, be found to do this ? Why, having the imprimatur of the Society above mentioned, may not our Church Book Society do it ? or why, having the testimony given it by the late Bishop of Virginia, may not the Evangelical Knowledge Society do it? Why?
But the pocr colored slaves were not the only class in his parish which enlisted Mr. Bacon's interest, and engaged his attention. Under date of July 14, 1750, we have a subscription paper, headed thus
“Whereas, profaneness and debauchery, idleness and immorality, are greatly owing to a gross ignorance of the Christian religion, and to sloth and idleness, especially among the poorer sort in this province—and whereas, many poor people are very desirous of having their children taught, etc., -we, whose names are underwritten, do hereby promise and agree to pay, yearly, etc., for setting up a Charity Working School, in the parish of St. Peter's, in Talbot County, for maintaining and teaching poor children to read, write, and account, and in instructing them in the knowledge and practice of the Christian religion, as taught in the Church of England,” etc.
And so diligent had Mr. Bacon been in this matter, that, at a meeting of the subscribers at the parish Church, on the 29th of September, he had obtained annual subscriptions amounting to $284, and donations of $164 more. Trustees were then elected.
On the 14th of October, he preached a Sermon for its benefit, from Gal. vi : 10; on which, after an admirable introduction, he considers, first, the nature and extent of Christian Charity. And having stated in what it consists, he
says: “For the proof of this, we need only cast our eyes upon the life of the holy Jesus, our great pattern and exemplar, who went about doing good, and healing all manner of infirmities. His first, great work, was that of the salvation of men's souls :—yet we find, that of the multitudes who came to him, laboring under sickness, or disorders, he never omitted one opportunity of doing good to their bodies and that he also administered assistance to the poor in money, is plain from several passages of his life.”
And pursuing this point, he adds :• In its nature, it is pure and disinterested, remote from all hopes or views of worldly return, or recompence from the persons we relievewe are to do good and lend, hoping for nothing again. In its extent, it is unlimited and universal, and though it requires that an especial regard be had to our fellow Christians, is confined to no persons, countries, or places, but takes in all mankind-strangers, as well as relations or acquaintances; enemies, as well as friends; the evil and the unthankful, as well as the good and grateful. It has no other measure than the love of God to us, Who gave His only begotten Son, and the love of our Saviour, Who laid down His life for us, even while we were enemies. It reaches not only to the good of the soul but also to such assistance as may be necessary for the supply of the bodily wants of our fellow creatures. And the absolute necessity of practising this duty, is the very same with that of being Christians ; this being the only sure mark by which we may be known and distinguished from such as are not Christians, or disciples of Christ; by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
In the second place, he considers the benefits and advantages arising from the practice of this charity ; and this he does in a most stirring, home-reaching manner, not to say eloquently,—not however forgetting to say, “I would not here be understood, as if I intended in the least to depreciate the merits of our Saviour's satisfaction for sin, or to substitute any works of charity we are capable of, instead of it. We can only obtain pardon at the hands of God, through Him Who is the true propitiation for our sins."
He then considers some common objections to charitable contributions, which, he states, “may all well be supposed to arise from covetousness, or an unwillingness to part with the present penny. Covetousness is indeed a Goliath, a giant of the first magnitude, which is always ready to defy and set at naught the best formed arguments and motives, drawn from reason or Scripture, all the armies of the living God.”
This Sermon was dedicated to the Trustees, and published in London, in a quarto pamphlet of twenty-eight pages. More subscriptions and donations were obtained soon after this, and the school appears to have gone into operation in 1751.
On the 23d day of Aug. 1752, Mr. Bacon preached another Sermon at his Church, in behalf of this school. This he also published, dedicating it to Lord Baltimore, but no copy has yet been procured by us. On the 23d of the December following, he sent it to Lord Baltimore, and to Bishop Wilson, in England, and in due time, he received most encouraging returns.
Such was the consideration which he had now obtained in the Church of the province, that, in writing to the Bishop of London, the venerable Mr. Adams, of Somerset, then in the forty-seventh year of his Rectorship there, speaks of Mr. Bacon, as the fittest minister in the province, to be made his Lordship’s Commissary; but that he could not discharge the duties of that office, owing to the affliction under which he was permanently suffering.
Keeping his philanthropic object constantly before him, in 1753, Feb. 13, he purchased or procured a farm, of Mr. David Robinson, for the school, on which, subsequently, a brick building was erected. It was about a mile West of the Church, on the road leading therefrom to Oxford.
In August of this year, there was a Convention of the Clergy of the Province, at Annapolis, when, of the forty Clergy then in the parishes, fifteen were present. Of this Convention, Mr. Bacon was made the Secretary. During its sittings, he communicated to that body, letters received by him from Lord Baltimore, and from his Secretary for Maryland. Mr. B., from a Committee to prepare a reply, thus expressed this one thing, among others, that we, as Missionaries of our Divine Master's Gospel, may be enabled to diffuse its sacred light among the savage nations, now involved in heathen darkness, till they all become one Fold, under one Shepherd; keeping thus prominent and uppermost, their Missionary position in view.
Not far from this time, Gov. Sharpe sent the following note to his Secretary, John Ridout, Esq., by whom it was forwarded to Mr. Bacon :
“ His Lordship, [Frederick, Lord Baltimore,] desires his best compliments and service to the Rev. Mr. Thomas Bacon, Rector of the Parish of St. Peter's, in Talbot County, and desires he may be assured, that his Lordship will, ere long, send a testimony of his approbation and real good will, by money, for setting up and carrying the plan of the Charity Working School, to be set up in St. Peter's parish, into execution, with respect to his and the Trustees' pious and charitable designs. I desire you would acknowledge his Lordship's and Mr. Secretary Calvert's receival of Mr. Bacon's letters to them, dated Dec. 23, 1752, of wbich acknowledgment will be sent them."
The testimony thus fore-shadowed, at length came, and is as follows: it is from my Lord Baltimore's Secretary, and dated, 5th Jan., 1754:
“Sir:I had not been so long deficient in the acknowledgment of your first, but by reason, the Governor was by my Lord advertised in relation to your request, viz., for the benefit of a Charity Working School, to be set up in the parish of St. Peter's, Talbot County. The Lord proprietor has directed me to inform you, he has perused and considered the general plan, with the proposals and rules relative to the School. The advantages that may arise from such a scheme give bim happiness; the tendency being to promote religion and industry among bis tenants under bis government. And as a peculiar mark of his favor and protection, with the means to forward so pious, humane, and public a benefit, he has given instruction to Mr. Edward Lloyd, bis agent and receiver general, to pay into the hands of the treasurer of the School, hy virtue of a note or order drawn on him, signed by the Trustees of the School elected, of which he desires you will inform them, viz., the sum of one hundred guineas sterling, (8466,] as a free gift, to be laid out as you and the Trustees shall think most meet, and the sum of twenty (20) pounds a year ($86.60,] together with five pounds ($21.66,) a year from Lady Baltimore, making the sum of twenty-five pounds a year, to be paid by two equal, balf-yearly payments, to commence from the date of instruction, and so to con. tinue to be paid by the present agent, and all succeeding ones, unless his Lordship's heirs or assigns, as proprietors, shall think fitting to signify to the contrary, with other reservations in reference to bis Lord. ship's instructions to Mr. Edward Lloyd.
Your request of the boys of the School, called nominal Baltimore hoys, and by title from his Lordship, you have here his direction and leave, to stile them so; and as an additional token of his favor and approbation, he sends you his thanks for your obliging dedication and edifying Sermon, preached on the occasion of the Charity School, at St. Peter's parish, 23d of Aug. 1752. Your true friend and humble servant,
P.S. I have desired Mr. Lloyd, my Lord's agent and receiver general to pay, annually, five pounds sterling, for the benefit of the Charity School of St. Peter's parish, in Talbot County, in two balfyearly payments, to commence from the date of his Lordship's instruction relating thereto, and to be paid to the elected Trustees, by their note or order, on my account, which I desire you will advise them of, and wbich, with pleasure, I desire their acceptance."
In addition, thus, to the donation of $466, the annual subscriptions of the three amounted to near one hundred and thirty dollars. His tenants, spoken of in this letter, were the