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Answer.

SIR,

I request you to present to the honourable council, my grateful sentiments of their polite attention to the interests of the Episcopal Church, in your communication of this morning.

Their condescension will be an apology for my troubling them with the perusal of an act of the British parliament, having the same operation with the liberal and brotherly proceeding of the Danish government and clergy. And the liberty I have taken may hereafter exempt some of my brethren from the suspicion of having entered into obligations inconsistent with their duty to their country.

But, sir, it would be injustice to the Episcopal Church, were I to neglect to inform the honourable board, that I take it to be a general sentiment, not to depend on any foreign authority for the ordination of ministers, or for any other matter appertaining to religion. As the light in which we shall hereafter be viewed by our fellow-citizens must depend on an adherence to the above mentioned principle, I take the liberty to submit to the honourable council two printed accounts of proceedings held in this city and in New-York.

With my most dutiful thanks to the honourable board, and with all due submission, I am, sir,

, Their and your very humble servant,

WM. WHITE. April 6th, 1785. J. Armstrong, Esq.

No. 2. Page 79.

Communication of the Clergy of Connecticut, to the Arch

bishop of York.

New-York, April 21, 1783. MY LORD,

The clergy of Connecticut, deeply impressed with anxious apprehension of what may be the fate of the Church in America, under the present changes of empire and policy, beg leave to enıbrace the earliest moment in their power to address your grace on that important subject.

This part of America is at length dismembered from the British empire; but, notwithstanding the dissolution of our civil connexion with the parent state, we still hope to retain the religious polity; the primitive and evangelical doctrine and discipline, which, at the reformation, were restored and established in the Church of England. To render that polity complete, and to provide for its perpetuity in this country, by the establishment of an American Episcopate, has long been an object of anxious concern to us, and to many of our brethren in other parts of this continent.

The attainment of this object appears to have been hitherto obstructed by considerations of a political nature, which we conceive were founded in groundless jealousies and misapprehensions that can no longer be supposed to exist: and therefore, whatever may be the effect of independency on this country, in other respects, we presume it will be allowed to open a door for renewing an application to the spiritual governors of the Church on this head; an application which we consider as not only seasonable, but more than ever necessary at this time; because, if it be now any longer neglected, there is reason to apprehend that a plan of a very extraordinary nature, lately formed and published in Philadelphia, may be carried into execution. This plan is, in brief, to constitute a nominal Episcopate by the united suffrages of presbyters and laynien. The peculiar situation of the Episcopal churches in America, and the necessity of adopting some speedy remedy for the want of a regular Episcopate, are offered, in the publication here alluded to, as reasons fully sufficient to justify the scheme. Whatever influence this project may have on the minds of the ignorant or unprincipled part of the laity, or however it may, possibly, be countenanced by some of the clergy in other parts of the country, we think it our duty to reject such a spurious substitute for Episcopacy, and, as far as may be in our power, to prevent its taking effect.

To lay the foundation, therefore, for a valid and regular Episcopate in America, we earnestly entreat your grace, that, in your archiepiscopal character, you will espouse the cause of our sinking Church, and, at this important crisis, afford her that relief on which her very existence depends, by consecrating a bishop for Connecticut. The person whom we have prevailed upon to offer himself to your grace, for that purpose, is the reverend Doctor Samuel Seabury, who has been the society's worthy missionary for many years. He was born and educated in Connecticut-he is

personally known to us—and we believe hiin to be every way qualified for the Episcopal office, and for the discharge of those duties peculiar to it, in the present trying and dan

gerous times.

All the weighty considerations which concur to enforce our request, are well known to your grace; we therefore forbear to enlarge, lest we should seem to distrust your grace's zeal in a cause of such acknowledged importance to the interests of religion. Suffer us then to rest in humble confidence that your grace will hear and grant our petition, and give us the consolation of receiving, through a clear and uninterrupted channel, an overseer in this part of the household of God.

That God may continue your life and health, make you in his providence an eminent instrument of great and extensive usefulness to mankind in general, a lasting blessing to the Church over which you preside in particular; and that the present and future sons of the Church in America, may have cause to record and perpetuate your name as their friend and spiritual father,-and, when your sacred work is ended, that you may find it gloriously rewarded, is and shall be the devout prayer of the clergy of Connecticut, by whose order in convention assembled,) and in whose behalf, this letter is addressed to your grace, by your grace's most obedient, humble servant, (Signed,)

ABRAHAM JARVIS, Minister of the Episcopal Church in Middletown,

and Secretary to the Convention.

Testimonial.

Whereas our well beloved in Christ, Samuel Şeabury, doctor of divinity, and missionary of Staten-Island, in this province, is about to embark for England, at the earnest request of the Episcopal clergy of Connecticut, and for the purpose of presenting himself a candidate for the sacred office of a bishop; and that when consecrated and admitted to the said office, he may return to Connecticut, and there exercise the spiritual powers, and discharge the duties which are peculiar to the Episcopal character, among the members of the Church of England, by superintending the clergy, ordaining candidates for holy orders, and confirming such of the laity as may choose to be confirmed-We, the subscribers, desirous to testify our hearty concurrence in this measure, and promote its success; as well as to declare the high opinion we justly entertain of Doctor Seabury's learning, abilities, prudence, and zeal for religion, do hereby certify, that we have been personally and intimately acquainted with the said Doctor Seabury for many years past—that we believe him to be every way qualified for the sacred office of a bishop; the several duties of which office, we are firmly persuaded, he will discharge with honour, dignity, and fidelity, and consequently with advantage to the Church of God.

And we cannot forbear to express our most earnest wish, that Doctor Seabury may succeed in this application, as it will be the means of preserving the Church of England in America from ruin, and of preventing many irregularities which we see approaching, and which, if once introduced, no after care may be able to remove. Given under our hands, at New-York, this twenty-first day of

April, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three.

JEREMIAH LEAMING, D. D.

CHARLES INGLIS, D. D. Rector of Trinity Church, New-York.

BENJAMIN MOORE, D. D. Assistant Minister of Trinity Church,

New-York, and others.

Letter to the Archbishop of York.

New-York, May 24, 1783. MY LORD,

The reverend Doctor Samuel Seabury will have the honour of presenting this letter to your grace. He goes to England at the request of the Episcopal clergy of Connecticut, on business highly interesting and important. They have written on the subject to your grace, and also to the archbishop of Canterbury, and the bishop of London. But, as they were pleased to consult us on the occasion, and to submit what they had written to our inspection, requesting our concurrence in their application, their letters are dated at New-York, and signed only by the Rev. Mr. Jarvis, the secretary to their convention, whom they commissioned and sent here for that purpose.

The measure proposed, on this occasion, by our brethren of Connecticut, could not fail to have our hearty concurrence.

For we are decidedly of opinion, that no other means can be devised to preserve the existence of the Episcopal Church in this country. We have therefore joined with Mr. Jarvis in giving Doctor Seabury a testimonial, in which we have briefly, but sincerely, expressed our sense of his merit, and our earnest wishes for the success of his undertaking.

Should he succeed and be consecrated, he means (with the approbation of the society,) to return in the character, and perform the duties of a missionary, at New-London, in Connecticut; and on his arrival in that country, to make application to the governor, in hope of being cheerfully permitted to exercise the spiritual powers of his Episcopal office there; in which, we are persuaded, he will meet with little, if any opposition. For many persons of character in Connecticut, and elsewhere, who are members of the Episcopal Church, have lately declared they have no longer any objection to an American Episcopate, now that the independence of this country, acknowledged by Great-Britain, has removed their apprehensions of the bishops being invested with a share of temporal power by the British government.

We flatter ourselves that any impediments to the consecration of a bishop for America, arising from the peculiar constitution of the Church of England, may be removed by the king's royal permission; and we cannot entertain a doubt of his majesty's readiness to grant it.

In humble confidence that your grace will consider the object of this application as a measure worthy of your zealous patronage, we beg leave to remind your grace, that several legacies have been, at different times, bequeathed for the support of bishops in America, and to express our hopes that some part of those legacies, or of the interest arising from them, may be appropriated to the maintenance of Doctor Seabury, in case he is consecrated, and settles in America. We conceive that the separation of this country from the parent state, can be no reasonable bar to such appropriation, nor invalidate the title of American bishops, who derive their consecration from the Church of England, to the benefit of those legacies. And perhaps, this charitable assistance is now more necessary, than it would have been, had not the empire been dismembered.

We take this opportunity to inform your grace, that we have consulted his excellency Sir Guy Carleton, on the subject of procuring the appointment of a bishop for the

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