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as well as the other baptists in New-England, are chiefly upon the Calvinistic plan as to yoctrines, and independents in regard to church governInent. There are, however, fome who profess the Arminian tenets, and are called Arminian baptifts Others observe the Jewishi or Saturday Sabbath, from a persuasion that it was one of the ten conniandmenis, which they plead are all in their nature moral, and were never abrogated in the New Testament, and trust at least be deemed of equal validity for public worship as any day particularly fet apart by Jesus Christ and his apostles. These are called sabbatarian, or seventh-day baptilts. There are others who are called separate baptifts. The baptists in general refase to communicate with other denominations ; for they hold that iinmersion is neceffary to baptism, and that baptifin is necessary to communion. Therefore they suppose it inconsistent for them to admit unbapvised persuns (as others are in their view) to join with them in this ordirance. The baptists are encreasing in New-England; but their increase is much more rapid in Kentucky and the southern states. The number of their congregations in New-England in 1784, was 155. Of these seventy-one were in Massachufetts; twenty-five in New-Hamphire ; thirty in Rhode-Island, and twenty-nine in Connecticut f.
The other religious denominations in Rhode island are congregationalists, friends or quakers, epifcopalians, moravians and jews. There is also a fuall number of the univerlal friends, the disciples of Jemina Wilkinson. Besides these there is a considerable number of the people who can be reduced to no particular denomination, and are, as to religion, strictly Norbingarians.
In fome parts of this state, public worship is attended with punctuality and proprieiy, in others they make the fabbath a day of visiting and feltivity; and in others they esteem every day alike, having no place of meeting for the purpose of religious worthip. They pay no taxes for the support of ecclefiaitics of any denomination ; and a peculiarity which distinguillies this state from every other protettant country in the known world is, that no contra formed bý the minister with his people, for his falary, is valid in law. So that ministers are dependent wholly on the integrity of the people for their support, since their salaries are not tecoverable by iaw. It ought in justice, however, to be obferved, that the clergy in general are liberaly maintained, and none who merit it have teafon to complain for want of support
1 Literature.] The literature of this state is confined principally to the towns of Newport and Providence. There are men of learning and abilities scattered through other towns, but they are rare. The bulk of the inhabitants in other parts of the state, are involved in greater ignorance perhaps than in any other part of New-England. An impartial history of their transactions fince the peace, would evinee the truth of the above oblervations.
At Providence, is Rhode-Iliand college. The charter for founding ohne this Seminary of Leaming was granted by the general assembly of the fate, An, 1764, in confequence of the petition of a large number of the
See Backus's Church Hift. of New England,
most respectable characters in the fate. By the charter, the corporation
This inftitution was founded at Warren, in the county of Bristol, and
In the year 1970, the college was removed to Providence, where a large, elegant building was erected for its accommodation, by the genetous donations of individuals, mostly from the town of Providence. It is situated on a hill to the eaft of the town ; and while its elevated situation renders is delightful, by. commanding an extensive, variegated profpect, it furnishes it with a pure falubrious air. The edifice is of brick, four stoties high, 150 feet long, and 46 wide, with a projection of ten feet each side. It has an entry lengthways, with rooms on each side. There are forty-eight rooms for the accommodation of students, and eight larger ones for public uses. This roof is covered with flate.
From December 1796, to June 1982, the college edilice was vsed by the French and American troops for an hospital and barracks, so that the course of education was interrupted during that period. No degrees were conferred from 1776 to 1786. From 1986 the college again became regular, and is now very flourishing, containing upwards of fixty students.
This inftitution is under the instruction of a precedent, a profeffor of natural and experiental philosophy, a profeffor of mathematics and aftrọnonný, a professor of natural history, and three tutors. The several classes are initructed in the learned languages, and the various arts anut Iciences. The studies of the freshınan year, are the Latin and Greek languages, English grammar and rhetoric. Of the sophimore, Guthrie's geog!phy, Ward's arithmetic, Hammond's algebra, Sheridan's rhetor cal grammar, and lectures on elocution, Watt's logic, and Cicero Oratore. Of the junior, Horace, Kaim's elements of criticisin, Euc ad's elements, Atkinson's epitome, Love's surveying, Martin's grar anar, Philofophia Britannica, and Ferguson's astronomy. Of the senior Lu
This name to be altered when any generous Benefattor arises, bo by bis liberal donation fall enuitle bimfelf to the bonour of giving the cal. Age a name.
cian's dialogues, Locke's essay on the human understanding, Hutchin. fon's moral philosophy, Bolingbroke on history, and a review of all the ftudies of the several years. Every year are frequent exercises in speaking and the various kinds of composition. There are two examinations, several public exhibitions for speaking, and three vacations annually. The institution has a library of between two and three thousand volumes, containing a valuable collection of antient and modern authors. Also a finall, but very valuable philsophical apparatus. Nearly all the funds of the college are at interest in the treasury of the state, and amount to almost two thousand pounds.
At Newport there is a flourishing academy, under the direction of a rector and tutors, which teach the learned languages, English grammar, geography, &c.
Societies. A marine fociety was established at Newport in 1952, for the purpose of relieving distreffed widows and orphans of maritime brethren, and of such of their society as may need afliltançe.
Curiojties.]. About four miles north-east of Providence lies a small village, called Pawiucket, a place of some trade, and famous for lamprey eels. Through this village runs Pawtucket rider, which empties into Providence river, two miles east of the lown. In this river is a beautiful fall of water, directly over which a bridge has been built, which divides the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from the state of Rhode-Ifand. The fall, in its whole length, is upwards of fifty feet. The water passes through feveral chalms in a rock which runs diametrically across the bed of the Atream, and serves as a dam to the water. Several mills have been erected
these falls ; and the spouts and channels which have been constructed io conduct the Atr.ams to their respective wheels, and the bridge, have taken very much from the beauty and giandeur of the fcene, which would otherwise have been indescribably charming and romantic.
Constitution. The constitution of this state is founded on the charter, granted by Charles II. in the fourteenth year of his reign ; and the frame of government was not essentially altered by the revolution. The legirjature of the state consists of two branches—a senate or upper houfe, com. posed of ten members, called in the chartér affiftants and a house of representatives, calliposed of deputies from the feveral towns. The members of the legislature are chosen twice a year ; and there are two fesion's of this body annually, viz. on the first Wednesday in May, and the last Wednesday in October.
The supreme executive power is vested in a governor, or in his absence, in the deputy governor, who are chosen annually in May by the füffrages of the people. The governor presides in the upper house, but has only a single voice in enacting laws.
There is one fupreme judicial court, composed of five judges, whose jurisdiction extends over the whole state, and who hold two courts anually in each county.
In each county, there is an inferior court of common pleas and general felii ons of the peace, held twice a year for the trial of causes not capital, arifirig within the county, from which an appeal lie's to the supreine
The justices of the peace, as in other states, have cognizance of small causes ; and since the revolution their powers have been enlarged to an uncommon, if not to a dangerous extent.
Hiftory.] This state was first settled from Massachusetts. Motives of the same kind with those which are well known to have occasioned the settlement of most of the other United States, gave birth to this. The emigrants from England who came to Massachusetts, though they did not perfectly agree in religious sentiments, had been tolerably united by their common zeal against the ceremonies of the church of England. foon as they were reinoved from ecclefiaftical courts, and possessed of a patent allowing liberty of conscience, they fell into disputes and contentions among themselves. And notwithstanding all their sufferings and complaints in England, excited by the principle of uniformity, (such is human nature) the majority here were as fond of this principle, as those from whose persecution they had fled.
The true grounds of religious liberty were not embraced or understood åt this time by any fect. While all disclaimed persecution for the sake of conscience, à regard for the public peace, and for the preservation of the church of Christ from infection, together with the obstinacy of the heretics, was urged in justification of that, which, stripped of all its disguises, the light of nature and the laws of Christ in the most folemn manner condemn.
Mr. Roger Williams, a minister, who came over to Salem in 1630, was charged with holding a variety of errors, and was at length banished from the then colony of Massachusetts, and afterwards from Plymouth, as a dif turber of the peace of the Church and Commonwealth; and, as he says, ' a bull of excommunication was fent after him. He had several treaties with Myantonomo and Canonicus, the Narraganfett fachems, in 1634 and 3635, who assured him he should not want for land. And in 1634-5 he änd twenty others, his followers, who were voluntary exiles, came to a placed called by the Indians Mooshausick, and by him Providence.
Here they settled, and though secured from the Indians by the terror of the English, they for a considerable time greatly suffered through fatigue and want
The unhappy divisions and contentions in Massachusetts still prevailed; and in the year 1636 Governor Winthrop Atrove to exterminate the opinions which he disapproved. Accordingly a fynod was called at Newtown (now Cambridge) on the zoth of August, when eighty erroneous opinions were presented, debated, and condemned ; and a court held in Oktober following; at the same place, banished a few leading perfons of those who were accused of these errors, and censured several others; not, it seems, for holding these opinions, but for feditious conduct. The disa putes which occasioned this disturbance, were about the same points as the five questions debated between the fynod and Mr. Cotton, which are thus described by Dr. Mather: They were about the order of things in our union to our Lord Jefus Christ; about the influence of our faith in the application of his righteousness; about the use of our fanctification in evidencing our justification ; and about the consideration of our Lord Jesus €hrift by men yet under a covenant of works ; briefly, they were about the
points whereon depend the grounds of our assurance of blessedness in a better world t.
The whole colony of Massachusetts, at this time, was in a violent ferment. The election of civil officers was carried by a party spirit, excited by religious diffention
Those who were banished by the court, joined by a number of their friends, were in quest of a new settlement, and came to Providence, where they were kindly entertained by Mr. R. Williams, who, by the assistance of Sir Henry Vane, jun, procured for them, from the Indians, Aquidnick, now Rhode Island. Here, in 1638, the people, eighteen in number, formed themselves into a body politick, and chose Mr. Coddington, their leader, to be their judge, or chief magiftrate. This
the fachems signed the deed, or grant of the island ; for which Indian gift, it is said, they paid very dearly, by being obliged to make repeated purchases of the same lands from several claimants.
The other parts of the state were purchased of the natives at several successive periods.
In the year 1643, the people being destitute of patent, or any legal authority, Mr. Williams went to England as agent, and by the alsistance of Sir Henry Vare, jun. obtained of the Earl of Warwick (then governor and admiral of all the plantations) and his council, ' a free and absolute charter of civil incorporation, by the name of the incorporation of Providence Plantations in Narragansett Bay.' This lafted until the charter granted by Charles II. in 1663, by which the incorporation was ftiled, The English colony of Rhode-Ifland and Providence Plantations in New-England.' This charter, without any essential alteration, has remained the foundation of their government ever fince.
As the original inhabitants of this state were perfecuted, at least in their own opinion, for the sake of conscience, a most liberal and free toleration was established by them. So little has the civil authority to do with religion here, that, as has been already hinted, no contract between a minister and a fociety (unless incorporated for that purpose) is of any force. It is probably for these teasons that so many different sects have ever been found here ; and that the Sabbath and all religious inftitutions have been more neglected in this, than in any other of the New-England states. Mr. Williams is faid to have become a Baptist in a few years after his fettling at Providence, and to have formed a church of that persuasion ; which, in 1653, disagreed about the rite of laying on of hands, some holding it necessary to church communion, and others judging it indifferent ; upon which the ehurch was divided into two parts. At Newport Mr. John Clark and some others formed a church, in 1644, on the principles of the Baptists ; which church was afterwards divided like that at Providence.
In 1720, there was a congregational church gathered at Newport, and the Reverend Nathaniel Clap was ordained as pastor. Out of this church another was formed in 1728. The worship of God according to the rites of the church of England was instituted here in 1706, by the Society for propagating the golpel in foreign parts; and in 1738 there were seven
worshipping + Mag. B. 7. P. 17.