Full text: Religion, colonising & trade

other places, and began to punish offenders and put 
the law in more strict execution, which God Almighty 
prosper.” The first meeting of the founders of the 
Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, the 
eldest of the missionary societies of the Church of 
England, was held on March 8, 1698-9 ; and it would 
seem that the entry in Evelyn’s diary referred to this 
Society, unless he had in mind what a late secretary of 
the S.P.C.K.! described as its ‘direct antecedents.’ 
These were religious societies founded in London and 
Westminster in connexion with the Church of England 
about 1678, and societies for reformation of manners, 
including both churchmen and nonconformists, about 
1691. It is interesting to recall that Part I of the 
* Pilgrim’s Progress > was first published in 1678, and 
Part II in 1684. In 1701 the S.P.C.K. gave birth to 
the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in 
Foreign Parts, to which the work of providing clergy 
for the plantations was handed over. Under date 
May 3, 1702, Evelyn entered in his diary, Being 
elected a member of the Society lately incorporated for 
the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, I sub- 
scribed £10 per am. towards the carrying it on.’ 
The most prominent among the founders of the 
S.P.CK. was Dr. Thomas Bray.? He was born in 
v A Chapter in English Church History, S.P.C.K. Minutes and Cor- 
tespondence, 1698-1704, edited by the Rev. Edmund McClure, M.A., 
* See the account of Dr, Bray given in the History of the Society for 
Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1698-1898, by W. O. B. Allen and 
Edmund McClure, pp. 15-16, etc.” See also Public S piret illustrated in 
the Life and Designs of the Reverend Thomas Bray, D.D., late Minister of 
St. Botolph Without, Aldgate, London, 1746, B.M. Biographical Tracts, 
London, 1719-46, 491, c. 18. The author was Samuel Smith, 
L.L.D., Rector of All Hallows, London.

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