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filled the frontier counties with enterprising men that formed a line of defence against the savages. But reports reached him from Hanover and James City, which were not frontier counties, and which contained no Presbyterian colony, such as might have been found in Lunenburg, Charlotte, Prince Edward, Appomattox, Cumberland, Campbell, Nelson, Albemarle, Rockbridge, Botetourt, Augusta, Frederick, Jefferson, and Berkeley. Charges of proselytism and blasphemy followed these reports, and roused the mild and tolerant Gooch to inquire into the cause of this excitement and disturbance. Report upon report, charge upon charge, exasperated his excited spirit. Witnesses were named, and express words were set down. The Governor took up the matter with vehemence, as will appear from the following extracts from the records of the General Court, preserved in the capitol in Richmond city.

The General Court, consisting of the Governor and Council, commenced their regular sessions April 15th 1745. “Present, William Gooch Lieutenant Governor, John Robinson, John Grymes, John Custis, Philip Lightfoot, Thomas Lee, Lewis Burwell

, William Fairfax." The grand jury did not appear till the fourth day, Thursday April 18th. They were—“William Beverly, gent, foreman,-Benjamin Cocke, Richard Bland, James Skelton, Richard Corbin, Mann Page, Francis Ness, Daniel Hornby, George Douglass, Tarlton Fleming, Richard Bernard, Ralph Wormley, William Nelson, Edmund Berkley, Nathaniel Harrison, John Ravenscroft, James Littlepage, Nicholas Davies, Charles Ewell, Richard Ambler, Carter Burwell, and John Harmer.” The Governor delivered them the following charge, which does not appear on the records of the Court, but is copied from Burke, vol. 3d, p. 119 and onward, who copied it from a Williamsburg paper—“Williamsburg, April. . 25th. Thursday last being the fourth day of General Court, his Honour the Governor was pleased to deliver the following charge to the gentlemen of the grand jury; which they afterwards requested his Honour to permit to be published

Gentlemen of the Grand Jury, Without taking notice of the ordinary matters and things, you are called to attend, and sworn to make inquisition for, I must on this occasion turn to your thoughts and recommend to your present service another subject of importance, which I thank God has been unusual, but, I hope, will be most effectual, I mean the information I have received of certain false teachers that are lately crept into this government; who, without order or license, or producing any testimonial of their education or sect, professing themselves ministers under the pretended influence of new light, extraordinary impulse, and such like satirical (Satanical, qu.?) and enthusiastical knowledge, lead the innocent and ignorant people into

all kinds of delusion; and in this frantic and prophane disguise, though such is their heterodoxy that they treat all other modes of worship with the utmost scorn and contempt, yet as if they had bound themselves on oath to do many things against the religion of the blessed Jesus, that pillar and stay of the truth and reformed church, to the great dishonor of Almighty God, and the discomfort of serious Christians, they endeavour to make their followers believe that salvation is not to be obtained (except, qu.?) in their communion.

“ As this denunciation, if I am rightly advised, in words not decent to repeat, has been by one of them publicly affirmed, and shows what manner of spirit they all of them are of in a country hitherto remarkable for uniformity in worship, and where the saving truths of the gospel are constantly inculcated, I did promise myself, either that their preaching would be in vain, or that an insolence so criminal would not long be connived at.

" And therefore, gentlemen, since the workers of a deceitful work, blaspheming our sacraments, and reviling our excellent liturgy, are said to draw disciples after them, and we know not whereunto this separation may grow, but may easily foretel into what a distracted condition, by long forbearance, this colony will be reduced, we are called upon by the rights of society, and what, I am persuaded will be with you as prevailing an inducement, by the principles of Christianity, to put an immediate stop to the devices and intrigues of these associated scismatics, who having, no doubt, assumed to themselves the apostacy of our weak brethren, we may be assured that there is not any thing so absurd but what they will assert and accommodate to their favourite theme, railing against our religious establishment; for which in any other country, the British dominions only excepted, they would be very severely handled.

“However, not meaning to inflame your resentment, as we may without breach of charity pronounce, that 'tis not liberty of conscience, but freedom of speech, they so earnestly prosecute; and we are very sure that they have no manner of pretence to any shelter under the acts of toleration, because, admitting they have had regular ordination, they are by those acts obliged, nor can they be ignorant of it, not only to take the oaths, and with the test to subscribe, after a deliberate reading of them, some of the articles of our religion, before they presume to officiate. But that in this indulgent grant, though not expressed, a covenant is intended, whereby they engage to preserve the character of conscientious men, and not to use their liberty for a cloak of maliciousness,--to that I say, allowing their ordination, yet as they have not, by submitting to those essential points, qualified themselves to gather a congregation, or if they had, in speaking all manner of evil against us, have forfeited the privilege due to such compliance; insomuch, that they are entirely without excuse, and their religious professions are very justly suspected to be the result of jesuitical policy, which also is an iniquity to be punished by the judges.

“I must, as in duty bound to God and man, charge you in the most solemn manner, to make strict enquiry after those seducers, and if they, or any of them, are still in this government, by presentment or indictment to report them to the court, that we, who are in authority under the Defender of our faith, and the appointed guardians to our constitution and state, exercising our power in this respect for the protection of the people committed to our care, may show our zeal in the maintenance of the true religion; not as the manner of some is, by violent oppression, but in putting to silence by such method as our law directs, the calumnies and invectives of these bold accusers, and in dispelling as we are devoutly disposed, so dreadful and dangerous a combination.

“In short, gentlemen, we should deviate from the pious path we profess to tread in, and should be unjust to God, to our king, to our country, to ourselves and to our posterity, not to take cognizance of so great a wickedness, whereby the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is turned into lasciviousness.

In this charge the Governor admits the existence of the Act of Toleration, and its applicability to the colony of Virginia, and urges that the preachers visiting in Hanover and the surrounding counties, were liable to the rigour of the law, because they had not taken license according to the provisions of the


The next day the Grand Jury brought in various presentments, of which the following is the record on the files of the General Court: “April 19th, 1745. The Grand Jury appeared according to their adjournment, and were sent out of court, and after some time returned, and presented Daniel Allen and Randal Richardson, and John Evans for assault and battery,—true bill. They also made several presentments, not drawn into form, in the words following,—to wity-We, the Grand Jury, on information of James Axford, do present John Roan for reflecting upon and vilifying the Established Religion, in divers sermons, which he preached at the house of Joshua Morris, in the parish and county of James City, on the 7th, 8th, and 9th of January last, before a numerous audience, in the words following, to wit,— At church you pray to the Devil—and · That your good works damn you, and carry you to hell,'-—' That all your ministers preach false doctrine, and that they, and all who follow them, are going to hell,' and · The church is the house of the Devil,--that when your ministers receive their orders they swear that it is the spirit of God that moves them to it, but it is the spirit of the Devil, and no good can proceed out of their mouth.'

“On the information of Benjamin Cocke, we present Thomas Watkins, the son of Edward Watkins, of the parish and county of Henrico, for reflecting on the Established Religion, on the 12th of this instant, by saying,—“your churches and chappels are no better than the synagogues of Satan.”

“We present Joshua Morris, of the parish and county of James city, for permitting John Roan, the aforementioned preacher, and very many people, to assemble in an unlawful manner at his house, on the 7th, 8th, and 9th of January last past.

Mr. Roan returned to Pennsylvania, before the meeting of the court, at which this charge had been given. We have no record of his visiting the Presbyterian colonies along the frontiers. The probability is, however, that he did not neglect them. He never afterwards visited Virginia. He lies buried at Derry Meeting house, near Dixon's ford, on the Swatara, in Dauphin county, Pennsylvania.

Beneath this stone
Are deposited the remains

Of an able, faithful,
Courageous and successful minister of Jesus Christ

Pastor of the United Congregations of Paxton, Derry,

and Mountjoy,
From 1745, to October 3d, 1775,

Aged 59.

The Synod held its sessions in Philadelphia; and in their sessions on Monday, May 27th, 1745—“A letter from a gentleman in Virginia, with a printed charge given by the Governor of that colony, to the grand jury, was laid before the Synod; by which it appears that the government of that colony is highly provoked by the conduct of some of the new party who preached there, and therefore the Synod judge it necessary to send an address to that Governor, informing him of the distinction between this Synod and that separated party, that so their conduct may not be imputed to us, nor provoke that government to deny us the liberties and favours we have enjoyed under it. Therefore, the Synod appoints Messrs. Cross, Thomson, Alison, and Griffith, to be a committee to draw up said address against the next sederunt. The next morning—“the address to the Governor of Virginia was brought in and approved, and is as follows;—"To the Honoura

ble William Gooch, Esq., Lieutenant Governor of the Colony of Virginia, &c.-The humble address, &c.

"May it please your honour; The favourable acceptance which your fIonour was pleased to give our former address, and the countenance and protection which those of our persuasion have met with in Virginia, fills us with gratitude, and we beg leave on this occasion in all sincerity to express the same. It very deeply affects us to find that any who go from these parts, and perhaps assume the name of Presbyterians, should be guilty of such practices, such uncharitable, unchristian expressions, as are taken notice of in your honour's charge to the grand jury. And in the meantime it gives us the greatest pleasure that we can assure your honour, these persons never belonged to our body, but are missionaries, sent out by some, who, by reason of their divisive and uncharitable doctrines, and practices, were in May, 1741, excluded from our synod, upon which they erected themselves into a separate society, and have industriously sent abroad persons whom we judge ill-qualified for the character they assume, to divide and trouble the churches. And therefore, we humbly pray, that while those who belong to us and produce proper testimonials, behave themselves suitably, they may still enjoy the favour of your honour's countenance, and protection. And praying for the divine blessing on your person and government, we beg leave to subscribe ourselves,

“ Your honour's, &c,


To this the Governor replied. The letter is preserved in the records of Synod of Philadelphia for 1746.

66 Gentlemen : The address you were pleased to send me as a grateful acknowledgment for the favour which teachers of your persuasion met with in Virginia, was very acceptable to me, but altogether needless to a person in my station, because it is what by law they are entitled to."

“And in answer to your present address, intended to justify yourselves and members from being concerned in a late outrage committed against the purity of our worship, and the sound appointment of pastors for the services of the altar of the established church, which some men calling themselves ministers, were justly accused of in my charge to the grand jury, you must suffer me to say, that it very nearly affects me, because it seems to insinuate as if I was so uncharitable as to suspect men of your education and profession could be guilty of unchristian expressions, that can only tend to the increase of schism and irreligion, which I give you my word was far from my thoughts.

“As the wicked and destructive doctrines and practices of itinerant preachers ought to be opposed and suppressed by all

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