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Letter from Alexander Stewart to Philip Bearcroft
Stewart, Alexander, 1725-1772
October 10, 1760
Volume 06, Pages 315-316

[From North Carolina Letter Book. S. P. G.]
Mr. Stewart to the Secretary

Bath, N. Carolina Oct. 10, 1760

Revd Sir

In my last dated 20th May sent from this by way of Virginia. I acknowledged the Rect of your favor but just then come to hand, together with the Society pamphlets, Stackhouses Histy &c. and informed you that the numbers of the Baptized that half year in my mission had been 121 white and 26 black infants, of adults white 2 & 9 black of actual Communicants 139 &c, and at the same time desired, that my most grateful thanks should be made, to the society for the Books sent, which were a long time getting round from So Carolina.

Since the writing of which letter nothing material has occurr'd in my mission, the number of infants baptized by me this half year being 82 white & 13 black, of adults, 2 white men (one by immersion) & 5 negroes, actual communicants 96, & the number of inhabitants

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about 2100. Besides in Septr I visited Currituck & woodstock Chapels in Hyde County, where they have no resident minister, & there baptized 46 white & 9 black infants & preach'd & read prayers to 2 large congregations, so that the whole of my returns this year is 249 white infants Baptisms & 48 black 4 white & 14 black adults & actual communicants 235.

When I mentioned that I baptized a person by immersion, I should be sorry that it should be thought by the society that it was either thro' affectation or singularity, I assure you sir, (tho' I know that it is conformable to our Rubric, to the practice of the primitive Christians of the Apostles & of the Jews before the coming of our saviour, generally to Baptize in that way) that it is only to keep people from falling off from our Church, that this person & some others not mentioned, have been baptized in that way by me, for of late years this province is overrun, with a people that at first called themselves anabaptists, but having now refined upon that scheme, have run into so many errors & have so bewildered & I may almost say bewitched the minds of people, that scarcely will they listen to anything that can be said in defence of the church we belong to. As far as my capacity and abilities would admit I have done my best endeavours to confute their errors. I wrote a small tract collected from the best authors I could here find in defence of the Baptism of our church (4 copies of which I sent the society last year) I dispersed 400 copies of it gratis thro this province, for want of Dr. Wall's abridgement of his history; this for some time Check'd their proceedings, but such a spirit of rash judging & censoriousness, such a notion of Inspirations, impulses, visions & of their sect being the peculiar elect of God, is gone out among them that till time convinces them to the contrary it is impossible that any abstracted reasons will, however Sr if there be any Pamphlets, in the societies collection in defence of the articles & Rubrick of our church they can no where be better bestowed than to this province.

I am Revd Sir &c

at St Thomas' Bath Town