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lage, and converted into a mill-house! Northampton county extends from the south side of Accomack to the Capes, and has a population of seven or eight thousand. I have never heard of but one Presbyterian who resided within its limits; and he, I believe, became a member of the Episcopal church a short time before his death, which occurred a few years ago. He was a son of that gentleman of Somerset, whose conversion from Episcopacy to Presbyterianism, is noticed by Dr. Miller, in his life of Rodgers.
The planting of a christian church in a new world, an important work.-Francis
Makemie unquestionably the first Presbyterian minister that visited this conti nent-He was a native of Ireland - When he first came, not known; but he was permanently settled in Accomack county, Virginia, in A. D. 1690.-Account of his family, residenee, &c.-Mr. Makemie's circumstances, character, labours, &c. His persecutions in New York by Lord Cornbury. The pamphlet which he published on the occasion. His library extensive.-A portion of it bequeathed to the First Presbyterian church in Philadelphia, &c.
REV. AND DEAR SIR,
The planting of a christian church in “ a new world,” is a great work. “ The Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Selah.” Civil governments can torture men's bodies, and after that, have no more that they can do; the influences of the church will be felt by myriads of immortal spirits, myriads of ages after this “great globe and all which it inherits," shall have been burnt up.
The Presbyterian church in America contains probably two hundred and fifty thousand members, and her labours of love girdle the earth: let us inquire then about the planting of this vine, “whose boughs are sent out unto the sea, and her branches unto the rivers." Great effects from little causes, or grand results from small beginnings, afford matter
for pleasing speculation, whether it be in tracing the terrors of an earthquake to a little fissure which was in the earth before the sun was rolled together; or in passing from the present condition of the Presbyterian church in America to a period of time, when but a single man proclaimed her scriptural truth and order at any place between the icy “recesses of Baffin's Bay and the frozen Serpent of the South.”
Francis Makemie was unquestionably the minister of the Presbyterian church, who first visited this continent. He was a native of Ireland. I know not when he reached this country, or at what places he had laboured; but he had settled himself permanently in Accomack county, Virginia, anterior to the year 1690.* His residence was situated on a creek called Matchatanck, which empties into the Chesapeake Bay a little south of the village of Onaucock. Miss Naomi, the eldest daughter of Mr. William Andersont of Accomack, became his wife. He died in 1708, no doubt in the summer of that year, leaving a widow, two daughters and a large estate. His daughters were named Elizabeth and Anne. Elizabeth survived her father but a short time, for she left this world in the same year, young and unmarried, and her mother soon afterwards followed her. Anne intermarried with a gentleman named Holden, and died without issue near the end of the year 1787, or in January, 1788. There flows not a drop of Ma
* See Appendix B. + See Appendix A.
kemie's “ blood in the veins of any living creature.” Mrs. Holden was a wealthy widow, and warmly attached to the Presbyterian church. The pastor of the church at Pitts's creek (about which you will hear more hereafter,) although not at all related to her, was one of her executors and legatees, and the church itself is still aided by one of her bequests.*
We can take no view of Mr. Makemie, which does not present him in an interesting attitude. He was well educated, and records prove that he was benevolent, and a thorough-bred Presbyterian. He was not only a divine, but an importing merchant; and the frame of his will,t and the contents of his rich library, would induce us to think that he had also studied law. As a commercial man he must have been skilful, and was eminently successful. As a citizen he assisted in enforcing those wholesome laws so important to every community, but peculiarly so to one in its infancy. In his personal transactions he would neither do, nor suffer wrong ;-he obeyed the law himself and wielded it against its transgressors. As a minister of the gospel, he must have possessed the spirit of those who visit the ends of the earth that they may preach the unsearchable riches of Christ.
Mr. Makemie did not emigrate to America, that he might live in ease, and fatten upon luxuries extorted from an unwilling people by an established church, or to exchange a rude and unlettered society
* See Appendix B.
+ See Appendix A. first paragraph.
for one more learned and refined ;-on the contrary, his faith and practice might and did expose him to persecution and pecuniary loss, and he abandoned the elegancies of life to reside with those who had just taken possession of a wilderness. Instead of “riotous living” he endured labour, travelled much, preached often, and at last died greatly beloved.
I am reminded of the cruel treatment which he received in New York, during the administration of Lord Cornbury. Where is the pamphlet in which he published the particulars ? Was there not one copy of it in the library of the late Rev. Dr. J. P. Wilson? If the book can be found, it certainly should be re-published.
The library of Mr. Makemie, (which of course he must have imported) has been referred to. I do not remember the number of its volumes, but it contained hundreds. By his will, he gave one hundred and twenty of his English books to his wife and daughters; his law-library to a gentleman named Hamilton, and the remainder of his library to “ Mr. Jedediah Andrews, minister at Philadelphia.” After the death of Mr. Andrews or his removal from Philadelphia, the bequest disposes of the books given to him as follows:-I give and bequeath said library to such minister or ministers as shall succeed him, [Rev. Mr. Andrews) in that place and office, and to such only as shall be of the Presbyterian or Independent persuasion, and none else.* He further directs :
* See Mr. Makemie's will, Appendix A.