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supplies for the troops—Attack on the judges, and also the custom-house officers—Question as to legality of writs of assistance—Speech of Mr. Otis—Peace of 1763.
IN order to preserve the account entire of the controversy about fixed salaries, many incidental matters of interest have been omitted, which if now thrown together in a retrospective review will enable us to judge of the state of the colonies during the last forty years. The trade of the provinces, notwithstanding the restrictions to which it was subject, was greatly augmented. In the latter years of William III. the annual exports of the provinces to England amounted to about £320,000. The imports were nearly the same. The traffic with Europe, the West Indies, the Canaries, and the Azores, the greater part of which was illicit, was estimated at about an equal amount. The “plantation duties” collected in the colonies were sufficient to pay the expense of the customhouse establishment, and to leave a net surplus of £1,200 a-year.
Schemes continued to be indulged in America for the encouragement of domestic manufactures; but these enterprises, and the acts of the Assemblies for promoting them, were regarded in Great Britain with much jealousy. Woollen cloths, at that time, were the chief English production for exportation. A law, designed to cramp this business in the colonies, prohibited the transport of domestic woollens from one province to another, or the export of colonial wool or cloth to any foreign market. At the commencement of the century, the venerable Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts was incorporated. No religious association, perhaps, in the world, has produced so much good, or is at this moment diffusing so much benefit over the distant parts of the empire. Although its first efforts were comparatively feeble, from the state of its funds, its salutary influence was visible in the extension of the Church, and the dissemination of good sound principles. Throughout the colonies new congregations were forming, and additional pastors demanded. At last the Society became sensible of the error that had originally been committed, and was still allowed to continue, in its missionary work in America, in not placing the clergy under proper episcopal control. To remedy this evil, it was proposed to send over bishops. But knowing the imputations to which their conduct would be subject, and the misrepresentations of their motives, which would be maliciously invented, and vindictively circulated, they stated the object they had in view, and the limited extent of jurisdiction they required. They assured the colonists, 1st, “That no coercive power is desired over the laity in any case, but only a power to regulate the behaviour of the clergy who are in episcopal orders, and to correct and punish them according to the laws of the Church of England, in case of misbehaviour or neglect of duty, with such power as the commissaries have exercised. 2nd. That nothing is desired for such bishops that may in the least interfere with the dignity, authority, or interest of the Governor or any other officer of State. Probates of wills, licence for marriage, &c., to be left in the hands where they are, and no share in the temporal government is desired for bishops. 3rd. The maintenance of such prelates not to be at the charge of the colonies. 4th. No bishops are intended to be settled in places where the government is in the hands of Dissenters as in New England, &c., but authority to be given only to ordain clergy for such Church of England congregations as are amongst them, and to inspect into the manners and behaviour of such clergy, and to confirm the members thereof.” As the Society feared, their avowal awakened a storm of sectarian opposition and abuse, that unfortunately terrified them from proceeding with their laudable and necessary plan of giving effect to the teaching and discipline of the Church. It was observed everywhere that Episcopalians were loyal subjects and averse to those schemes of separation, which were now becoming so general and so popular; but the secession of several eminent Dissenting ministers alarmed the Puritans still more. The Connecticut College, transferred from Saybrook to Newhaven, and named Yale after one of its early benefactors, had been latterly entrusted to the rectorship of the Rev. Timothy Cutler, a minister of talent and distinguished learning. To the surprise and alarm of the good people of New England, Cutler, with the tutor of the college and two neighbouring ministers, took occasion, on a commencement day, to avow conversion to Episcopacy—a lapse in which they persisted in spite of an elaborate, and, as the audience thought, most convincing argument set forth on the spur of the moment by the Governor, Saltonstall, in favour of Congregationalism. Cutler was forthwith excused from all further service as rector of the college, and provision was made for requiring of all future presidents, satisfactory evidence of the soundness of their faith in opposition to Armenian and prelatical corruptions. This prompt discipline, and the vehement outcry raised against the deserters, terrified and stopped several others inclined, it was suspected, to join in the revolt. Defection nevertheless continued to spread. Cutler became rector of a new Episcopal Church in Boston. The dismissed ministers were maintained as missionaries by the Society, and a new element through their