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putting it out of the power of those here, who have every good disposition to serve us, to forward our application. He wished great care might be taken of the character of those sent for consecration, as much depended on this. They should, however, commit themselves to our discretion in this respect, and hoped they should have no reason to repent it. He declined answering the question I was desired by Dr. White to put to him, respecting the validity of Scotch consecrations, having first asked me whether the question came from the convention? I told him it was to satisfy private inquiries, which were made with no view of seeking consecration from that source.* I find we can have no bishop, until we let the prelates here see what Church we have made. I think it would be prudent in our Church to put off any material alterations until we have bishops consecrated. If we make any substantial alterations, they will be carped at by those who will make the bishops uneasy; and to keep peace at home, they will refuse to meddle abroad, notwithstanding their strong desire to do what we wish.
I am, gentlemen,
RICHARD PETERS. Rev. Dr. White, Rev. Dr. Smith, Rev. Mr. Provoost,
Hon. James Duane, Samuel Powell, Esq.
P. S. Mr. Adams has been very attentive to the business of an address, with which he waited on the archbishop, who in return waited on him with the answer transmitted. I think the committee shonld return him their thanks, for the part he (Mr. Adams) has taken.
Do not publish the bishops' answer, as it will get over here, and be a subject of news-paper discussion.
* Notwithstanding the prudent reserve of the archbishop at this time, he is said to have given his influence in favour of the nonjuring bishops about three years afterwards; when, on the decease of the last Pretender, they began to pray for the king on the throne, and some of them came up to London, to solicit the repeal of the penal laws made against them.
No. 18. Page 142.
An Act of the Clergy of Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
The good Providence of Almighty God, the fountain of all goodness, having lately blessed the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, by supplying it with a complete and entire ministry, and affording to many of her communion the benefit of the labours, advice, and government of the successors of the apostles ;
We, presbyters of said Church in the states of Massachusetts and New-Hampshire, deeply impressed with the most lively gratitude to the Supreme Governor of the universe, for his goodness in this respect, and with the most ardent love to his Church, and concern for the interest of her sons, that they may enjoy all the means that Christ, the great Shepherd and Bishop of souls, has instituted for leading his followers into the ways of truth and holiness, and preserving bis Church in the unity of the spirit, and the bond of peace; to the end that the people committed to our respective charges may enjoy the benefit and advantage of those offices, the administration of which belongs to the highest order of the ministry, and to encourage and promote, as far as in us lies, a union of the whole Episcopal Church in these states, and to perfect and compact this mystical body of Christ, do hereby nominate, elect, and appoint, the Rev. Edward Bass, a presbyter of said Church, and rector of St. Paul's, in Newburyport, to be our bishop; and we do promise and engage to receive him as such, when canonically consecrated, and invested with the apostolic office and powers, by the right reverend the bishops hereafter named, and to render him all that canonical obedience and submission, which, by the laws of Christ and the constitution of our Church, is due to so important an office.
And we now address the right reverend the bishops in the states of Connecticut, New-York, and Pennsylvania, praying their united assistance in consecrating our said brother, and canonically investing him with the apostolic office and powers. This request we are induced to make, from a long acquaintance with him, and from a perfect knowledge of his being possessed of that love to God and benevolence to men, that piety, learning, and good morals, that prudence and discretion, requisite to so exalted a station, as well as that personal respect and attachment of
the communion at large in these states, which will make him a valuable acquisition to the order, and, we trust, a rich blessing to the Church. Done at a meeting of the Presbyters, whose names are
underwritten, held at Salem, in the County of Essex,
T. FITCH OLIVER,
JOHN COUSENS OGDEN,
WILLIAM MONTAGUE, Minister of Christ Church, Boston.
TILLOTSON BRUNSON, Assistant Minister of Christ Church, Boston.
Resolves on the foregoing.
1st. Resolved, That a complete order of bishops, derived as well under the English as the Scots line of Episcopacy, doth now subsist within the United States of America, in the persons of the Right Rev. William Whitc, D. D. bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the state of Pennsylvania; the Right Rev. Samuel Provoost, D. D. bishop of the said Church in the state of New-York; and the Right Rev. Samuel Seabury, D. D. bishop of the said Church in the state of Connecticut.
2d. Resolved, That the said three bishops are fully competent to every proper act and duty of the Episcopal office and character in these United States, as well in respect to the consecration of other bishops, and the ordering of priests and deacons, as for the government of the Church, according to such rules, canons, and institutions, as now are, 'or hereafter may be duly made and ordained by the Church in that case.
3d. Resolved, That in Christian charity, as well as of duty, necessity, and expediency, the Churches represented in this convention ought to contribute, in every manner in their power, towards supplying the wants, and granting every just and reasonable request of their sister Churches in these states; and, therefore,
4th. Resolved, That the Right Rev. Dr. White, and the Right Rev. Dr. Provoost, be, and they hereby are, requested to join with the Right Rev. Dr. Scabury, in complying with
the prayer of the clergy of the states of Massachusetts and New-Hampshire, for the consecration of the Rev. Edwarı Bass, bishop elect of the Churches in the said states; but that, before the said bishops comply with the request aforesaid, it be proposed to the Churches in the New-England statcs, to meet the Churches of these states, with the said three bishops, in an adjourned convention, to settle certain articles of union and discipline among all the Churches, previons to such consecration.
5th. Resolved, That if any difficulty or delicacy, in respect to the archbishops and bishops of England, shall remain with the Right Rev. Doctors White and Provoost, or either of them, concerning their compliance with the above request, this convention will address the archbishops and bishops, and hope thereby to remove the difficulty.
No. 19. Page 143.
An Address to the Most Rererenil the Archbishops of Can
terbury and York.
Most VENERABLE AND ILLUSTRIOUS FATHERS
AND PRELATES, We, the bishops, clergy, and laity of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the states of New York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and SouthCarolina, impressed with every sentiment of love and veneration, beg leave to embrace this earliest occasion, in General Convention, to offer our warmest, most sincere, and grateful acknowledgments to you, and (by your means) to all the venerable bishops of the Church over which you preside, for the manifold instances of your former condescension to us, and solicitude for our spiritual welfare. But we are more especially called to express our thankfulness, for that particular act of your fatherly goodness, whereby we derive, under you, a pure Episcopacy and succession of the ancient order of bishops, and are now assembled, through the blessing of God, as a Church duly constituted and organized, with the happy prospect before us of a future full and undisturbed exercise of our holy religion, and its extension to the utmost bounds of this continent, under an ecetesiastical constitution, and a form of worship, which we believe to be truly apostolical.
The growing prospect of this happy diffusion of Christianity, and the assurance we can give you that our Churches are spreading and flourishing throughout these United States, we know, will yield you more solid joy, and be considered as a more ample reward of your goodness to us, than all the praises and expressions of gratitude which the tongues of men can bestow.
It gives us pleasure to assure you, that, during the present sitting of our convention, the utmost harmony has prevailed through all our deliberations, that we continue, as heretofore, most sincerely attached to the faith and doctrine of the Church of England: and that not a wish appears to prevail, either among our clergy or laity, of ever departing from that Church in any essential article.
The business of most material consequence wh come before us, at our present meeting, hath been an application from our sister Churches in the eastern states, expressing their earnest desire of a general union of the whole Episcopal Church in the United States, both in doctrine and discipline; and, as a primary means of such union, praying the assistance of our bishops in the consecration of a bishop elect for the states of Massachusetts and NewHampshire. We therefore judge it necessary to accompany this address with the papers which have come before us on that very interesting subject, and of the proceedings we have had thereupon, by which you will be enabled to judge concerning the particular delicacy of our situation, and, probably, to relieve us from any difficulties which may be found therein.
The application from the Church in the states of Massachusetts and New-Hampshire is in the following words.
(Here follows the application as in the preceding number.] At the meeting aforesaid,
Voted, That the Rev. Samuel Parker be authorized and empowered to transmit copies of the foregoing act, to be by him attested, to the right reverend the bishops in Connecticut, New York, and Pennsylvania; and that he be appointed our agent, to appear at any convocation to be holden at Pennsylvania or New-York, and to treat upon any measures that may tend to promote an union of the Episcopal Church throughout the United States of America, or that may prove advantageous to the interest of the said Church.
EDWARD BASS, Chairman.
A true copy.
(Attest) SAMUEL PARKER.