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In Their Own Words

September 10, 1738

Contentious Sunday Recorded in Journal

As the Trustees’ secretary, William Stephens kept an almost daily journal of the happenings in colonial Georgia. His entries for Sundays were usually very brief, mentioning someone reading the “divine service.” But the events on this Sunday were not routine:

“Sunday. The Service in the Morning was read (as before) by Mr. Habersham; but in the Afternoon Mr. Dyson being in Town, whose character was grown infamous, by reason of a scandalous Life, and frequent Debauchery; for which Reason Mr. [George] Whitfield had left behind him, when he went away, a short Letter which had been delivered to Mr. Dyson, forbidding him in any Manner, to officiate in the Church here; which if he did, he might expect to hear farther from him: Notwithstanding this, Mr. Dyson took upon him to exercise his ministerial Function, after first asking who would hinder him; to which Mr. Habersham only replied, that he had nothing to say more than what Mr. Whitfield had wrote, which he expected would have been observed. Some few went out of the Church, and many who staid were much offended, especially such as knew how notorious he was grown …; another of his greatest Intimacy of late was, Capt. Watson, a vile, busy Mischief-maker among the People, and to his Principles of Religion, much of the same Stamp with that Arch-Deist Aglionby, lately deceased [see Aug. 23 In Their Own Words entries] –Two worthy Companions for a Priest of the Church of England!”

Source: William Stephens, A Journal of the Proceeding in Georgia ([not city]: Readex Microprint Corporation, 1966), Vol. I, pp. 283-284.