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from the respectable diocese of Maryland. But, the writers of the letter alleged no specific facts; they referred to no evidence; and the accused party declared, that they had not even notified to him the accusation.
The writers of the letter demanded a hearing by counsel. Setting aside the insufficiency of the applicants, the novelty of the proposal, and all question of the propriety of such a precedent to be set by any three bishops who might be assembled; it could not but occur to those now present, that the other party in the case would be the convention of Maryland, who had no opportunity of being heard by counsel. Had Dr. Kemp been considered as the other party, there would have been evident impropriety in subjecting biin to a hearing, under a charge brought against him inexpectedly, and remote from his place of residence. Perhaps it was expected, that the consecration would be delayed, with a view to a future hearing. But neither ought the bishops to have acceded to this, when it would have been to subject to reproach the character of a clergyman, who had been greatly respected in the diocese during nearly twenty-five years, and this at the request of two clergymen, who do not appear to have hazarded the charges in the convention; and who, in bringing them forward at this time, must have thought differently from those who joined with them in the protest. For it would be injurious to the religious profession, and to the understandings of the latter, to suppose that they had withheld those charges, while they were urging objections of far less magnitude.
These were the reasons on which the bishops rested their procedure, and they were detailed by them, in a letter to Bishop Claggett.
Soon after the consecration of Dr. Kemp, the object of the opposition to him, as it was cherished by some of his opponents, showed itself without disguise. Four or five clergymen, who had obtained the concurrence of some respectable persons in that preparatory measure, but not in what followed, applied first to Bishop Claggett, and, on bis refusal, to Bishop Provoost, to consecrate singly the person who should be elected by the applicants. It is not necessary to prove, that the bishops so applied to were men of too
* It was with a view to an influence on the question of the election of Dr. Kemp, that the story concerning the election of Dr. Griffith, noticed in this work (page 144,) was handed about; probably fabricated by some, but certainly bedieved without intentional error by others.
much truth and honour, to have considered for a moment of so unprincipled a proposal. But the matter should be remembered, as pregnant with admonition. A bishop of this Church, during the service of consccration, after uttering the solemn words_“In the name of God, amen," promises conformity and obedience to the doctrine, the discipline, and the worship of this Church. According to the application, all the checks designed to govern in admission to the Episcopacy, were to be disregarded.
That small number of clergymen exhibited themselves as competent to an act, to which they had recently affirmed an incompetency, in two-thirds of the clergy and representatives of the laity, in convention. And all this was under the profession of serving the cause of vital godliness.
On the subject of a theological school, discussed in the General Convention, as set forth on the journal, a plan, different from that adopted, was recommended by the convention of Pennsylvania. It was as follows :
« 1st. That there be a recommendation to the Church in the several states, to raise a fund, the income of which may be applied, as the general wisdom of the Church inay direct.
“ 2dly. That wherever there is such a concentration of clergymen, as that they can assemble often, and at convenient times, they may be requested to bestow their endeavours gratuitously, for the accomplishing of the present object; and,
3dly. That the income of the contemplated funds be applied to such local endeavours, if thought expedient, so as to secure the especial attention of one or more of the clergy, to be devoted altogether or in part, to the educating of young men for the ministry, until a general plan be adopted, if that should be considered hereafter as more eligible."
The reasons which weighed to the preference of this plan, were—the time intervening between one convention and another—the expediency of limiting the views of that body, to what is essential to the keeping of us together as one Church—the danger of local jealousies, and the easier maintenance of students, under their paternal roofs: which would not always apply according to either of the scheines, but would be much more frequent under that proposed than under the other. There was, however, such a latitude left by the suggestion from Pennsylvania, as that there might hereafter be a general seminary grafted on it, either to the superseding of the local schools, or for the finishing of the education of the scholars, as might be expedient. It is to be hoped, that the other plan, after having been generally adopted, will be universally, and with effect, supported.
On the subject of improper amusements, there was a controversy of soine warmth, in the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies. In the House of Bishops, there was unanimity in the course taken. This course as recorded on the journal, and including some sentiments in the Pastoral Letter, addressed to the members of the Church generally, and read as usual in the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies, was said to have conciliated to their disappointment, those in the latter house who had pressed for a stronger measure, which had not been carried. There having been misrepresentations of what passed on this subject from speakers on each side; and, as what finally proceeded from the bishops was said to have been satisfactory to each, there may be use in presenting it at large; accordingly, it is given in the Appendix, No. 31.
The proposal for the adopting of a standard edition of the Bible, was in consequence of the discovery of a large edition, extending very widely a corruption of Acts vi. 3. by perverting it to a sanction of congregational ordination. Instead of “ whom we may appoint over this business," which is the exact translation of the original, the edition has it “whom ye may appoint over this business.” While the matter was before the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies, a lay member, standing in a pew, and observing a Bible, took it to turn to the place in question, when he perceived it to be a copy of the edition in which the corruption had been detected. The proposal of determining on a standard edition, bad been made without the expectation of its being acted on during the session. It was closed with a joint vote of the two houses, to hold the next triennial meeting in the city of Philadelphia, and with prayer by the presiding bishop, before both houses, as usual.
Although the object of the “ Additional Statements and Remarks” is limited to the proceedings of the General Convention of 1817; there being no subsequent transactions which have bearings on the doctrine, or the worship, or the discipline of the Church; yet it may not be irrelevant to record, that, since that period, there have been consecrated the Rev. Philander Chase, D.D. for the state of Ohio, and the Rev. Thomas C. Brownell, D. D. LL. D. for the state of Connecticut: the former, on the 11th day of February, 1819, in St. James's Church, Philadelphia, by the presiding bishop, assisted by Bishops Hobart, Kemp, and Croes; and the latter, on the 27th day of October, 1819, in Trinity Church, New Haven, by the presiding bishop, assisted by Bishops Hobart and Griswold.
As the act of the convention of 1785 was authenticated by the signatures of all the members of the body; as it laid the foundation of the succeeding transactions; and as it has never been given in full to the public; the only evidence of it being the original, in the possession of the author ; it has appeared to him, while the preceding sheets were in the press, that the object of this work calls for the editing of the instrument in its proper form. The address to the English prelates is referred to, but not comprehended in the act. Delicacy having dictated the allowance of reasonable time for the delivery of it.
Neither of the instruments entitled “ Alterations, &c." has been before published; although the results of them have appeared, in what has been called the Proposed Book: but, as the book is gradually disappearing, it may be hereafter important, to have an exhibition of them as they stand in the original act. The constitution as then proposed, as ratified in 1786, and as done away in 1789, is in the book of printed journals, but not in any preceding part of this work.
For the said act, see Appendix, No. 32.
In the foregoing statements and remarks, the more immediate object was the recording of facts, throwing light on the measures of conventional bodies; and the expressing of opinions, which arose out of the various subjects under notice: the opinions being proposed, with the hope that they will have such weight, as on examination may be thought their due. The work being brought to a conclusion, and the reader being qualified to judge of the merits of another motive to be disclosed; it is now declared to be the conviction, that instruction may be gathered from the detail.
1st. On a retrospect of the low condition in which the Episcopal Church had been left by the revolutionary war; of her clergy, reduced almost to annihilation; of the novelty
of the business arising out of the existing crisis; of the despair of many, as to the perpetuating of ihe communion, otherwise than in connexion with an establishment, from which it was for ever severed; of an unwillingness to recognize such a severance, although brought about by the providence of God, and the recognizing of it agreeable to a prominent principle in the institutions of the parent Church; of a difficulty, to be done away only by legislative acts, which perhaps it would be impossible to obtain, and which 'we could not apply for, consistently with our civil duties; of the apprehension of conflicting opinions in different sections of the United States, between which there had been hitherto no religious intercourse; of the existence of known differences, on some points; and with all these things, of danger from selfish passions, so apt to intrude under imposing appearances, defeating the best intended endeavours in collective bodies; it must be perceived, that there were formidable obstacles to be surmounted, in combining the insulated congregations with the respective clergy of those who had any, under an indisputable succession of the Episcopacy; and with an ecclesiastical legislature, necessarily differing in form from that under which we had been from the beginning, yet the same with it in principle. The difference between what has been thus looked back on, and the present circumstances of the Church, is a ground of gratitude to Almighty God. In what degree, this change of prospect has been promotive of piety and of correct conduct, will not be known until the day which will “try every man's work, whether it be of gold, and silver, and precious stones," or, “ of wood, and hay, and stubble.” In the mean time, we have encouragement to proceed, in humble dependence on him, without whom, even “ Paul may plant, and Apollos may water" in vain.
20. It is trusted that there will be no indecorum in recalling the attention of the reader to the absence of selfish passion in all the preceding records of the results of ecclesiastical legislation. If those who have been engaged in the proceedings have been supposed in this work to have fallen into error in some instances, it is hoped that the noticing of it will not give offence; especially as it is by one who, in the same work, has occasionally acknowledged error in himself, and who is ready to believe, that it may have happened to him in many instances, in which he has not sufficient sagacity, nor sufficient distrust of himself, for the detecting of it. He confidently believes of the mem