BLTC Press Titles


available for Kindle at Amazon.com


The Haunted Bookshop

Christopher Morely


The Pictorial Key to the Tarot

Arthur Edward Waite


Novalis Including Hymns to the Night

Novalis, George MacDonald, Thomas Carlyle


The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Baltasar Gracian


Colonial churches in the original colony of Virginia

by Unknown

Excerpt:

Truly these voyagers "Went out, not knowing whither they went." Where they will land, what they will find, what coasts, what bays and rivers; how broad the land will be, how far away, when they land, it will still be to the long-sought "other sea," all is unknown. This was in December, 1606.

The two companies which had undertaken to colonize Virginia were enthusiastic in their work. Already the Northern Company had sent out one ship in the previous August (1606), and of course she had not been heard from. In fact, she never reached Virginia at all, but fell in with a Spanish fleet in the West Indies and was taken, and most of her officers and men were even then in Spanish prisons. Also, in the following June two other ships were sent out by the Northern Company. They reached "Virginia," away up on the Kennebec river, in Maine, where, after much suffering and many deaths, the colony was frozen out, those who survived returning to England.

The three ships which came to Jamestown came out between these two disastrous ventures, being sent out by the First, or London Company. On December 19, 1606 (O. S.), they set sail with between one hundred and forty and one hundred and fifty colonists; and with the exception of short stops in the Canaries and in the West Indies, they were in the ships until April 26, 1607 (O. S.). For six weeks they were held by unprosperous winds in sight of England; and then it was that we first hear of the character and influence of their pastor, the Reverend Robert Hunt.

As we have seen in the last paper, the far-sighted Christian statesmen and patriots who planned and sustained this first permanent English colony in America were most careful to make full provision for the religious status and spiritual needs of the colony. There could be no question as to the religion.

The recent Romish Gunpowder Plot to blow up the King and the Protestant House of Parliament was yet fresh in all memories. England was enthusiastically Protestant, and Protestantism was practically undivided, and united in the Church of England.

For their pastor Smith records that the Archbishop (Bancroft) of Canterbury appointed the Rev. Richard Hakluyt, the historian of English voyages of discovery, to be minister to the Colony, and that by the authority of Hakluyt the Rev. Robert Hunt was sent out .

"Master Edward Maria Wingfield" speaks as if the choice of Hunt to be their minister had rested with him. "For my first work (which was to make a right choice of a spiritual pastor) I appeal to the remembrance of my Lord of Canterbury, his Grace, who gave me very gracious audience in my request. And the world knoweth Whom I took with me [i. e., Hunt]; truly, in my opinion, a man not any waie to be touched with the rebellious humors of a Popish spirit nor blemished with the least suspicion of a factious scismatic, whereof I had a speciall care."

Whoever chose him, all agree in praising him. Smith calls him "an honest, religious, courageous divine; during whose life our factions were oft qualified, and our wants and greatest extremities so comforted that they seemed easie in comparrison of what we endured after his memorable death."

Again it is recorded of him that during the six weeks the ships were kept ill sight of England, "All which time Master Hunt, our preacher, was so weake and sick, that few expected his recovery. Yet, although he were but twentie myles from his habitation (the time we were ia the Downs), [from which we infer that his home must have been in. Kent], and notwithstanding the stormy weather, nor the scandalous imputations (of some few, little better than Atheists, of the greatest ranke among us) suggested against him, all this could never force from him so much as a seeming desire to leave the business, but preferred the service of God in so good a voyage, before any affection to contest with his godlesse foes, whose disastrous designes (could they have prevailed) had even then overthrowne the business, so many discontents did then arise, had he not, with the water of patience and his godly exhortations (but chiefly through his true devoted examples) quenched those flames of envie and dissention."


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