Proposals for Propagating the Gospel in all Pagan Countries

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Title

Proposals for Propagating the Gospel in all Pagan Countries

Description

'Proposals for propagating the Gospel in all Pagan countries.' The first proposal, published in Gordon's Geographical Grammar, is for raising a fund to train clergy in pagan languages and send them out as missionaries. Supplementary proposals, designed for a future edition, are for establishing missionary schools in various Indian communities to train them in English and Christianity, as he is convinced that the multiplicity of their languages makes his first proposal impractical. Dated 6 Jan. 1701/1 in notation.

Date

6 January 1701

Identifier

Lambeth SPG 7 4-7

Text Item Type Metadata

Text

PROPOSALS
For Propagating the Gospel in \all/ Pagan Countries

Did every freeholder in the three Kingdoms advance only for one year the Five hundredth part of his yearly xxxxxxx Income. Did those Merchants of this great City (who are particularly concern’d in our forreign Plantations, and daily imploy great multitudes of Pagan Slaves in their service) allow the Two hundredth part of one years [gain]. And finally, Did the clergy of the Three Kingdoms appropriate to this pious use One Hundredth part of their yearly Revenues. I say, Did Priest and People thus unanimously combine together in carrying on this most Christian Design: what an easy matter were it in a short time? to raise such a Fund of Money that the Annual Interest therof might sufficiently serve to send yearly some pious and able Divines into all Quarters of the world. And since rational Methods might be taken to have several Pagan Tongues taught in this our own Island; a considerable part of the aforesaid money might be likewaies imployed to educate a competent number of young Students of Theology in those foreign Languages: which number being still continued would serve (as a choice Nursery) to afford a constant supply of able Men who might yearly goe abroad and be sufficiently qualifyed at their first arrival to undertake that great work for which they were sent.

(N.B. The forgoing Proposal was publish’d in the end of Mr Gordon’s Geographical Grammar. The following Proposals are New and design’d (if approved off) to be publish’d in a third Edition of that Grammar now in the press.)
PROPOSALS
For propagating the Gospel among the Native Indians of North America

Wheras the latter part of the foregoing Proposal (which imports that Europeans might learn the present Indian Languages) doth seem impracticable to several by reason of the prodigious multitude of those pagan Tongues, and the vast variety of quite different [dia]lects: Whereas This (I say) is generally aggreed upon to be a mighty Barr to the propagation of the Gospel in any Pagan Countrey, and particularly North America: Could we Therfor remove that Barr by extirpating the various Dialects of the Indian Jargon, and establish in its room the knowledge of the English Tongue: That one stept, I humbly suppose, would much facilitate the great design of Civilizing and Converting that part of the Heathen world. Now That such a Project is feasible in itselfe; and hoping that this Hint may be afterwards improv’d by some person of a good reach, I begg leave to publish to the world these few Proposals following.

1. It is Propos’d That the venerable Corporation for propagating the Gospel in foreign parts may be pleased to depute some fitt Person or persons to travel thro’ that large Tract of Land (or a considerable part of it) adjacent to the Western side of the English Plantations on the Continent of North America: and That purposely to observe the true Genius of the various Nations inhabiting the same; whereby it is humbly presum’d, that the venerable Society aforesaid will be the better enabled to take due measurs in those Attempts that may be hereafter made to Civilize and Convert that part of the Heathen World.
2. That part of the World being duly surveyed, and the Natives therof found any waies tractable, it is propos’d in the next place That there be built several Houses upon the Fronteers of the English Plantations bordering on the Natives Countrey (or rather in or nere to some of the Indian Towns) and That those Houses be situated at a competent distance from one another, and able to shelter the Inhabitants from the injuries of bad weather, wild beasts, and barbarous Indians,

3. That such Houses being once prepared; a Company of Boys [Twenty or Sixteen at least] with a discreet Godly young Man to instruct them, be sent to each of those Houses; there to be bred up, and live together in a most exemplary manner, as so many truly Religious Seminaries.

4. That each of those Seminaries be allow’d a person, who understands surgery and pharmacy: and He to act (besides the proper business of his profession) as School-Master’s-Assistant; and likewaies to look after the Civil Concerns of the Seminary.

5. That each of those Seminaries be allowed some necessary servants, and Those well disposed young men, for keeping the Boyes neat and clean; and for dressing their Victuals.

6. That each of those Seminaries have a pious and zealous Clergy Man to look narrowly after their Morals; and frequently to perform Divin Service among ‘em. And That the Boyes of the Seminary doe punctually attend publick Prayers thrice a day: be often imployed in reading the H[oly] Scriptures, singing of psalms &c and duly observe all the Fasts and Festtivals of our Church.

7. That the Priest and School-Master of each Seminary use their best Endeavours to keep the Boyes of the Seminary from doing any Injury to the Natives of the place, And That

they
they use all means possible to allure the Children of the Indians to associat and play with the Boyes of the Seminary as often as they can: That thereby the young Indians may insensibly acquire something of the English Tongue. And wheras It must be supposed That the Indian and English Boyes, by frequent Converse will learn each other’s Language: Altho’ the knowledge of the Indian Tongue will be of considerable use for the Seminary yet the extirpation of the Indian Jargon and propagation of the English Tongue must be chiefly intended.

8. The better to engage the Natives of the Countrey [xxx] for their Children to associat with the Boyes of the Seminary, It is farther Propos’d That each seminary be duly supplyed from England with a good stock of Toyes to be given away among the Indian Children as occasion requires.

9. The Boyes of the Seminary when grown up to be Men and presum’d to be then acquainted with the neighbouring Indians, it Is farther Proposed That they settle as Planters in the Countrey, and match with Indian Women: whereby they may not only begett Christians in a literal sense; but also by such matches, may gett better and surer footing in that Countrey: And may probably so contribute for maintaining the Religious Seminaries, and stocking them with Boyes from among themselves, That in process of time, they will need no manner of assistance from England.

10. That those new Planters bring up their Children purely after the English manner and acquaint them only with the English Tongue, whereby the Indian Jargon may, in some time, be intirely extinguished in that part of the Countrey, the \then/ rising Generation being reasonably

supposed
supposed to be great (if not perfect) strangers unto it.

11. When the English Tongue has thus extended itselfe, and gain’d some considerable ground all along the confines of our English Plantations; It is then Proposed That the various Religious Se- minaries be removed farther in upon the Natives Countrey, and Christian Churches erected in the places where those Seminaries formerly stood: and That for the use of the then rising Generation, which we’re hopefull will be able to make up several Congregation of new-English-Christians.

12. The Religious Seminaries being farther removed (as aforesaid) It is Proposed That they observe the same manner of Living among themselves, and use the same means to allure the young Indians of their new Stations to Learn the English Tongue, and be instructed in the Principles of Christianity, as they did with those in their former settlements. And when they have done their business in those parts, and settled Christian Churches in their room, It is further Proposed That they make a fresh remove into the Natives Countrey; and so on, still making new removes, and still observing the same methods as formerly. By which means, we may in process of time, extend the knowledge of the English Tongue over that large American Continent on the Western parts of our English Plantations; and together with it the knowledge of our most holy Religion: And so make at once a mighty accession of Members to the Christian Church, and add a vast Tract of Land to the English Empire.

Lastly, To stock those Religious Seminaries with Boyes at first, and to furnish them with fresh supplies so long as

occasion
occasion shall be; It is proposed That a sufficient Stock and necessary supplyes be taken out of the charitable schools lately established in and about London. And in caice case, The Parents of those poor Children be unwilling to let their Children goe abroad without hopes of ever returning, It is further Proposed that the Honourable Society for propagation of Christian Knowledge take special care to educate as many Orphans and Foundlings as they can conveniently maintain; since such Children will be wholly at the Societie’s disposal, having no near Relations that will appear sollicitous about them.

Transcription and MS

PROPOSALS
For Propagating the Gospel in \all/ Pagan Countries

Did every freeholder in the three Kingdoms advance only for one year the Five hundredth part of his yearly xxxxxxx Income. Did those Merchants of this great City (who are particularly concern’d in our forreign Plantations, and daily imploy great multitudes of Pagan Slaves in their service) allow the Two hundredth part of one years [gain]. And finally, Did the clergy of the Three Kingdoms appropriate to this pious use One Hundredth part of their yearly Revenues. I say, Did Priest and People thus unanimously combine together in carrying on this most Christian Design: what an easy matter were it in a short time? to raise such a Fund of Money that the Annual Interest therof might sufficiently serve to send yearly some pious and able Divines into all Quarters of the world. And since rational Methods might be taken to have several Pagan Tongues taught in this our own Island; a considerable part of the aforesaid money might be likewaies imployed to educate a competent number of young Students of Theology in those foreign Languages: which number being still continued would serve (as a choice Nursery) to afford a constant supply of able Men who might yearly goe abroad and be sufficiently qualifyed at their first arrival to undertake that great work for which they were sent.

(N.B. The forgoing Proposal was publish’d in the end of Mr Gordon’s Geographical Grammar. The following Proposals are New and design’d (if approved off) to be publish’d in a third Edition of that Grammar now in the press.)
PROPOSALS
For propagating the Gospel among the Native Indians of North America

Wheras the latter part of the foregoing Proposal (which imports that Europeans might learn the present Indian Languages) doth seem impracticable to several by reason of the prodigious multitude of those pagan Tongues, and the vast variety of quite different [dia]lects: Whereas This (I say) is generally aggreed upon to be a mighty Barr to the propagation of the Gospel in any Pagan Countrey, and particularly North America: Could we Therfor remove that Barr by extirpating the various Dialects of the Indian Jargon, and establish in its room the knowledge of the English Tongue: That one stept, I humbly suppose, would much facilitate the great design of Civilizing and Converting that part of the Heathen world. Now That such a Project is feasible in itselfe; and hoping that this Hint may be afterwards improv’d by some person of a good reach, I begg leave to publish to the world these few Proposals following.

1. It is Propos’d That the venerable Corporation for propagating the Gospel in foreign parts may be pleased to depute some fitt Person or persons to travel thro’ that large Tract of Land (or a considerable part of it) adjacent to the Western side of the English Plantations on the Continent of North America: and That purposely to observe the true Genius of the various Nations inhabiting the same; whereby it is humbly presum’d, that the venerable Society aforesaid will be the better enabled to take due measurs in those Attempts that may be hereafter made to Civilize and Convert that part of the Heathen World.
2. That part of the World being duly surveyed, and the Natives therof found any waies tractable, it is propos’d in the next place That there be built several Houses upon the Fronteers of the English Plantations bordering on the Natives Countrey (or rather in or nere to some of the Indian Towns) and That those Houses be situated at a competent distance from one another, and able to shelter the Inhabitants from the injuries of bad weather, wild beasts, and barbarous Indians,

3. That such Houses being once prepared; a Company of Boys [Twenty or Sixteen at least] with a discreet Godly young Man to instruct them, be sent to each of those Houses; there to be bred up, and live together in a most exemplary manner, as so many truly Religious Seminaries.

4. That each of those Seminaries be allow’d a person, who understands surgery and pharmacy: and He to act (besides the proper business of his profession) as School-Master’s-Assistant; and likewaies to look after the Civil Concerns of the Seminary.

5. That each of those Seminaries be allowed some necessary servants, and Those well disposed young men, for keeping the Boyes neat and clean; and for dressing their Victuals.

6. That each of those Seminaries have a pious and zealous Clergy Man to look narrowly after their Morals; and frequently to perform Divin Service among ‘em. And That the Boyes of the Seminary doe punctually attend publick Prayers thrice a day: be often imployed in reading the H[oly] Scriptures, singing of psalms &c and duly observe all the Fasts and Festtivals of our Church.

7. That the Priest and School-Master of each Seminary use their best Endeavours to keep the Boyes of the Seminary from doing any Injury to the Natives of the place, And That

they
they use all means possible to allure the Children of the Indians to associat and play with the Boyes of the Seminary as often as they can: That thereby the young Indians may insensibly acquire something of the English Tongue. And wheras It must be supposed That the Indian and English Boyes, by frequent Converse will learn each other’s Language: Altho’ the knowledge of the Indian Tongue will be of considerable use for the Seminary yet the extirpation of the Indian Jargon and propagation of the English Tongue must be chiefly intended.

8. The better to engage the Natives of the Countrey [xxx] for their Children to associat with the Boyes of the Seminary, It is farther Propos’d That each seminary be duly supplyed from England with a good stock of Toyes to be given away among the Indian Children as occasion requires.

9. The Boyes of the Seminary when grown up to be Men and presum’d to be then acquainted with the neighbouring Indians, it Is farther Proposed That they settle as Planters in the Countrey, and match with Indian Women: whereby they may not only begett Christians in a literal sense; but also by such matches, may gett better and surer footing in that Countrey: And may probably so contribute for maintaining the Religious Seminaries, and stocking them with Boyes from among themselves, That in process of time, they will need no manner of assistance from England.

10. That those new Planters bring up their Children purely after the English manner and acquaint them only with the English Tongue, whereby the Indian Jargon may, in some time, be intirely extinguished in that part of the Countrey, the \then/ rising Generation being reasonably

supposed
supposed to be great (if not perfect) strangers unto it.

11. When the English Tongue has thus extended itselfe, and gain’d some considerable ground all along the confines of our English Plantations; It is then Proposed That the various Religious Se- minaries be removed farther in upon the Natives Countrey, and Christian Churches erected in the places where those Seminaries formerly stood: and That for the use of the then rising Generation, which we’re hopefull will be able to make up several Congregation of new-English-Christians.

12. The Religious Seminaries being farther removed (as aforesaid) It is Proposed That they observe the same manner of Living among themselves, and use the same means to allure the young Indians of their new Stations to Learn the English Tongue, and be instructed in the Principles of Christianity, as they did with those in their former settlements. And when they have done their business in those parts, and settled Christian Churches in their room, It is further Proposed That they make a fresh remove into the Natives Countrey; and so on, still making new removes, and still observing the same methods as formerly. By which means, we may in process of time, extend the knowledge of the English Tongue over that large American Continent on the Western parts of our English Plantations; and together with it the knowledge of our most holy Religion: And so make at once a mighty accession of Members to the Christian Church, and add a vast Tract of Land to the English Empire.

Lastly, To stock those Religious Seminaries with Boyes at first, and to furnish them with fresh supplies so long as

occasion
occasion shall be; It is proposed That a sufficient Stock and necessary supplyes be taken out of the charitable schools lately established in and about London. And in caice case, The Parents of those poor Children be unwilling to let their Children goe abroad without hopes of ever returning, It is further Proposed that the Honourable Society for propagation of Christian Knowledge take special care to educate as many Orphans and Foundlings as they can conveniently maintain; since such Children will be wholly at the Societie’s disposal, having no near Relations that will appear sollicitous about them.

Citation

“Proposals for Propagating the Gospel in all Pagan Countries,” USPG Online Exhibition , accessed October 19, 2021, http://emlo-portal.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/exhibition/uspg/items/show/56.

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