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in, Mr. Bacon had so far advanced with his compilation of the Laws, that he issued proposals for the publication of the Volume. But these proposals, Gov. Sharpe informs us, Jan. 28, 1761, in a letter to Lord Baltimore's Secretary, met with a cold reception. And this, it would appear, because he would not leave out the “ Tonnage Law," so-called, and the Act of 1704, for the support of Government.
There was a political party then existing, called Patriots, who denied that these Acts were now in force. To this Mr. B. dissented ; and by his enemies,—and, said Gov. Sharpe, 26th May, 1760, he has not a few,-every failing he had been guilty of was greatly exaggerated, and they threw every difficulty in the way of his publication. Mr. James Bisset, an Attorney at Law, of the Baltimore Bar, as we learn, seized upon
opportunity, and published what he called "an Abridgment, and Collection of the Acts of Assembly,” in which the Acts referred to, and the Preambles to all, not to mention other things, were left out,-in a small 8vo. volume, on bad paper, at a low price, from the press of William Bradford, in Philadelphia, 1759, which he dedicated to the then Attorney General, Stephen Bordley, Esq., one of the Patriot class. To this work, Mr. Bisset obtained 1100 subscribers ; thus setting aside, far as might be, any call for Mr. Bacon's work.
From whence Mr. Bacon's personal enemies had arisen, is not difficult to be imagined. That he had been guilty of failings, need not be denied. No man can claim exemption here ; and political ones are not the first to be forgiven. He was, as we have seen, personally identified with Lord Baltimore's Government, and had been given the best parish in the Province, which was said then to be equal to the living of an English Bishopric.
But though hindrances were thrown in the way, yet his project of publishing was not to be thwarted. Lord Baltimore, for this purpose, subscribed £100 sterling, $444; Gov. Sharpe, £100 currency, $266; and nineteen others, which included the names of the two Dulanys, the two Charles Carrolls, Scott, Wallace, Thomas Johnson, Tasker, Chamberlaine, Lloyd, Cal
vert, Ridout, Brice, etc., £50 each. Nor were the Clergy and Vestries, wanting in their patronage. This difficulty, thus surmounted, did not at once, however, bring out the work. Most unreasonable and unexpected delays occurred, in getting type and paper from London, and it was not until in 1765 that the volume made its appearace. It was then published in Annapolis, in a folio, as is so well known, of the largest size, of 1,000 pages. The paper and the type were of uncommon excellence. And it may be questioned whether a nobler book to the eye, looking at the presentation copies, was ever issued from the American press. Whatever was the utility of this volume, at that time, to the Church, or to the civil community, as a body of Law, it has now, certainly, a yet higher value, as a historical work. It is the history of the progress of Maryland from its earliest days, not only as to its legislation, but of its civil and ecclesiastical provisions, as enacted by the wisdom of its General Assembly, carrying us through a period of one hundred and thirty years.
Mr. Bacon, as we have seen, left Talbot County, with his health greatly impaired ; and the conclusion of this, his last public work, did not find it improved. In July of 1767, Gov. Sharpe speaks of him, as advanced in years, and in declining health. He lingered on, however, till, in 1768, when, on Tuesday, the 24th of May, he died ; full of years, and having accomplished much. He had exercised his ministry in Maryland twenty-three years, and left memorials of it, as enduring as they are creditable to his name. And whether we look at him as the Chistian minister, or as an active philanthropist, or as the man of his day, we may well ask, is it right that he should be forgotten, and his name go down to the future unhonored ?
At his death, he left behind him a widow and three daughters, who appear to have soon returned to Talbot, and there to have resided. Elizabeth, the eldest daughter, at the request of her uncle, Sir Anthony Bacon, of Glamorganshire, Wales, he having no children, went over and lived with him, and inherited from him £10,000 sterling. Before, however, Sir Anthony's death, she had married Geo. Price Watkins, of Brecon, in VOL. XVII.
Wales, whose public charities were so magnificently endowed by him. He died without children ; but Mrs. W. lived till in 1843. Rachel, the second daughter, married Mr. Rizden Bozman Harwood, of Talbot County, and left, at her death, two daughters, now resident in Baltimore City. The other daughter, Mary, married Mr. Moses Passapae, of Dorchester County. At her death, she left children there, and her descendants are said now to be resident there.
Mr. Bacon thus left a family behind him; and his published works yet remain, and long will, to tell us something of his story. But where is the Charity Working School of St. Peter's, Talbot, which, in his day, enlisted so much interest in England, as well as in Maryland ? In April of 1787, the lands and buildings, which, for a considerable number of years, probably from the time of the difficulties preceding the Revolution, had not been used for the purpose originally designed, were, as permitted by an Act of the Assembly, passed and conveyed, by the two surviving Trustees, to the Trustees of the
of Talbot County ! for their occupancy and accommodation, and that is the purpose to which they are now devoted. While, therefore, they minister not now, to the religious, moral, or intellectual wants of those for whom they were originally intended, they minister to the physical wants of that class of whom our Lord said, they shall always be with you. It is by Mr. Bacon's labors, thus, that the pockets of the tax payers in the County are relieved, in no inconsiderable degree, from what otherwise they would not be relieved, and he, consequently, this day, is contributing that much to the payment, annually, of the County expenses. May the day come, when they shall be restored to the high and holy purpose, for which, one hundred and ten years ago, they were solemnly set apart, by the offerings and prayers of those whose bodies are now sleeping in the dust; and, surely, the high-minded and honorable of that County will deem it no sacrifice.
Mr. Bacon's humane, benevolent, and amiable deportment gained him the love and esteem of all his parishioners (of all denominations.] He was known to have been an affectionate husband, a tender parent, a kind master, and a most agreeable companion. All this rendered his death, not a loss to his acquaintances only, but to society in general. Viewed in respect to his public character, we find him assiduous, and sparing neither pains nor cost to accomplish a public work, which has transmitted his name, with honor, to posterity. If we view him as a minister of a parish, we see in him a sincere Christian, a diligent pastor, and an able dispenser of the Word ; forgetting not the ignorant, or the poor, and overlooking none. And, viewed as a neighbor. he was ready to advise, speedy to assist, compassionate and charitable. Such, thus, was the world's own testimony, when he was at length taken from it, and placed beyond its censures.
ART. V.- THE NEXT GENERAL CONVENTION.
BEFORE another number of this Review shall have been issued, the General Convention of the Church will have met, and its doings will have become a part of our permanent history. No other meeting of that body was ever looked forward to with so much interest and anxiety. Upon none other, were there devolved duties of higher or more solemn import. Even the Primary Convention, which assembled in Christ Church, in the same city of Philadelphia, in 1785, eighty years ago, yields in importance to the Convention of 1865. For, the question is now to be met and answered, whether the Church in this country is hereafter to be One Church, bound together, not only by Law, but united by love, strengthened by mutual confidence, pledged and sworn to stand heart to heart, and shoulder to shoulder, to do the greatest specific work which God has ever committed to the blood-bought Church of His dear Son.
It is a great point, and let it never be forgotten, that up to the breaking out of the Civil War in 1861, no sectional feuds or animosities had disturbed our peace, or alienated the hearts of brethren. Even at the General Convention of 1859, held in the city of Richmond, when the mutterings of the storm began to be heard, and when sagacious men saw the cloud in the distant horizon, already bigger than a man's hand, and knew what it meant, unless God, in His mercy, should avert the awful judgment, still the members of that Convention, from the East and the West, the North and the South, only clung the closer to each other, and religiously vowed fidelity to one another, and to Christ, and to His Church, with a deeper solemnity. And, in the last General Convention, in this city of New York, in 1862, when the vials of wrath were pouring out their fury, and the brethren came together once more, to counsel and pray for the peace and prosperity of Israel, who can ever forget the impressiveness of that scene, when the seats appointed for the Southern brethren were found to be vacant ?