Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/134

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128 Southern Historical Society Papers.

noted that "order was daily to haue prayer with a Psalme"; and Wingfield notes that when their store of liquors was reduced to two gallons each of "sack" and "aqua vitae, " the first was "reserued for the communion-table." 8 The Virginia Assembly which met at Jamestown, July 30, 1619, the first representative legislative body convened in America, enjoined the religious instruction of the natives. It also enacted that "all persons whatsoever upon the Sabbath days shall frequent divine service and sermons both forenoon and after- noon. "

Drunkenness, gaming and blasphemy were rigorously punished.

The requirement of church attendance, the interdiction of travel- ling on the Sabbath, and the punishment of various indulgences and immoralities were continued in enactments of increasing severity, and these statutes remained in the Code without modification until the period of the American Revolution, as Hening 1 s Statutes verify. Religious liberty is a priceless boon.

The Established Church in Virginia has been arraigned for the persecution of those differing from them in religious tenets.

The Cavaliers of Virginia and the Puritans of New England agreed in thinking religion an essential part of the State. Between the two, in characteristic elements, there was unavoidable antagonism.

It would be more pleasant and charitable to regard our ancestors as not implacably intolerant.

It is not to be forgotten that the parish levies were largely dis- bursed in the expenses of local government and the support of the poor and helpless.

The historian Beverley states that " liberty of conscience is given to all other congregations pretending to Christianity, on condition that they submit to the parish dues." 10 In 1705 the French Protestant Refugees at Manakin-Town, were exempted from the " payment of all publick and county levies," and the " allowance settled by law for a minister's maintainance," was enacted not to be construed as to the minister of said parish of King William, but that the inhabitants be left at their own liberty to agree with and pay their minister as their circumstances will admit." 11 In 1730, the German Protestants at

HVingfield's Narrative, quoted by Anderson in his " History of the Church of England in the Colonies, " Volume I, page 77. ^Colonial Records of Virginia (Senate Document, 1874), pages 20-27-28.

10 Beverley' s History of Virginia, page 226.

11 Hening" s Statutes, Volume III, page 478.