The SPIRITUAL GOVERNMENT. [The Societies.]34


No Act to be valid, unless the President or Vice-President, and seven others of the Members be present, and consenting thereunto.

Such as shall be present at the first or second Meeting of the said Society, or at any Meeting on the third Fridays in the Months of November, February, May, and August yearly for ever, may ordain and make Constitutions, Laws, Statutes, &c. and also to execute Leases for Years.

Lawful for them to depute such Persons, as they shall think fit, to take Subscriptions: and to gather and collect such Monies as shall be by any Persons elected for the said Purposes.

The said Society every Year to give an Account in Writing to the Lord Chancellor, or Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, the Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench, or the Lord Chief Justice of Common Pleas, or any two of them, of the several Sums of Money by them received and laid out by vertue of these Presents, &c. and of the Management and Disposition of the Revenues and Charities.

The first President was the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury.
Treasurer, Mr. John Trimnel, Merchant.
Auditors, William Melmoth, Esq; living at Lincoln; and John Hedges, Merchant.
Secretary, John Chamberlayne, Esq; in Petty-France, Westminster.

The Seal of this Society hath these Words round the Edge; SIGILLUM SOCIETATIS DE PROMOVENDO EVANGELIO IN PARTIBUS TRANSMARINIS. It is the Representation of a Ship under full Sail, making up towards a Foreign Land; the Natives all about near the Shoar, with their Hands stretched out, or lifted up, and some on their Knees. A Minister in a Gown in the fore part of the Ship looking towards them, with the Gospel open in his Right Hand. And a Label in the middle of the Seal thus inscribed, TRANSIENS ADJUVA NOS: The Sun in the Firmament brightly shining out.

The Seal of this Society.

This Society hath already made considerable Progress, having, besides Books and other Things, sent several Ministers of the Church of England into his Majesty's Dominions and Colonies in the West Indies, to be by Letters sent from thence to the Places where they are to reside. But there is great need of many more, to instruct the English and such Indians as live under them, or near them, in the Principles of Christian Religion, and to minister the Word and Sacraments, and to do other Spiritual Offices among them. And for this Purpose, in a general Meeting of the Society held Jan. 15, 1702, they did agree, that all the Bishops in the Realm, who were Members of this Society, should be earnestly desired to recommend it to their Archdeacons and their Officials, that Publick Notice might be given at their next Visitations, that such Clergymen as had a Mind to be employed in this Apostolical Work, and could bring sufficient Testimonials, according to a certain Form thereunto annexed, that they were duly qualified for it, might give in their Names to their respective Bishops, in whose Dioceses they lived, or to their Archdeacons, to be communicated by them to the Society; who would consult with the Bishop of London, in order to the sending them to such Places as had most need, and where they might do most good. And the Society would take Care, where there was not a sufficient Maintenance already settled, that they might not only have a competent Subsistence, but also sufficient Encouragement, due to those that devoted themselves to the Service of Almighty God, and our Saviour, in that Respect.

The Progress this Society hath made.

And for the furthering of this extensive Christian good Work, there set forth,

PROPOSALS for the Encouragement and Promoting of Religion and Learning in the Foreign Plantations; and to induce such of the Clergy of this Kingdom, as are Persons of Sobriety and Abilities, to accept of a Mission into those Parts.


WHEREAS the Propagation of the Christian Faith, and the Increase of Divine Knowledge, amongst all sorts of Persons in his Majesty's Foreign Plantations, are the Wishes, Desires, and Prayers, of all pious and serious Christians, and such as are zealous of God's Glory, and the Salvation of Mens Souls: And whereas that blessed Work, next under God, does principally depend upon the Abilities of the Clergy in those Parts, the Exemplariness of their Lives, and their Industry in Teaching others: Whereas also, the Clergy that are already in the Plantations, as well as those who are to be sent thither, cannot (humanely speaking) be so capable of informing themselves, and of instructing others in the Design of Christianity, in the Nature of the Covenant of Grace, in the Meaning and Importance of the Articles of our most Holy Faith, and in the Nature and Extent of all Christian Duties, without the Assistance of some good Commentators upon the Holy Scriptures; and one at least, or more of those Authors, who have best treated upon each, and every of those Points: Whereas also for the supply of that Want, Men of Parts and addicted to Study, will hardly be induced to leave the Expectations they may have of better Encouragement and Improvement in their Native Country, to go to remote Parts and Climates less agreeable, without such Advantages, as will over-balance all Considerations inclining them to stay at Home; and especially, not without a competent Provision of such Books, as are necessary for their Studies in those Places where they are to serve; few of them that go over from hence being able to furnish themselves with so many Books as they shall need: And lastly, whereas Insufficiency and Scandal in the Clergy of those Places, in all Probability, would be most successfully prevented, both in this and future Ages, should every Parochial Minister in the Plantations have a Library of well chosen Books, of all those Kinds before mentioned, in which he might spend his Time to his own Satisfaction, and with Improvement and Profit both to himself and others:

To promote therefore so Blessed and Noble and End, as the Propagation of Christian Knowledge in those Parts; and, as well to encourage those who are there already employed in the Ministry, as also to invite other able Ministers over, and to furnish both with proper Means for accomplishing so good a Work: It is humbly offered to all that are hearty Well-wishers to the Souls of Men, and the Honour of their Saviour, to consider, and, as they shall see Cause, to favour these Proposals following.

1. That the Lord Bishop of London be pleased to make a Catalogue of what particular Books his Lordship shall judge most immediately and necessarily useful, to make up a sufficient Library to a Parochial Minister in any Plantation, wherewith he may be sufficiently enabled both to inform himself, and to instruct others, in all the Necessary and Essential Parts of Christianity.

Parochial Libraries.

2. That so many of such Libraries be sent by the Lord Bishop of London, by the hands of such as his Lordship shall commission for that Purpose, to be appropriated and affixed, one to each Parish in the Foreign Plantations, particularly those of Mary-Land and Virginia; and farther as the Fund to be raised shall enable.

3. That