« AnteriorContinuar »
You must excuse interlineations, &c. as I am just going into the country, and have no time to transcribe.
My friend, Dr. Magaw, has this day put into my hands your letter of the 24th of April, which, I trust, I received with a sense of the importance of the subject, and of the answer I am to give to God, for the improvement of every opportunity of building up his Church. Accordingly, I cannot but make choice of the earliest of the two ways you point out, to inform you, that I shall be very happy in the opportunity of conversing with you at the time proposed.
You mention two difficulties in the way of the proposed union. And there are further difficulties which suggest themselves to my mind. But I can say of the one and of the other, that I do not think them insuperable, provided there be a conciliatory disposition on both sides. So far as I am concerned, I think that such a disposition exists.
It as not been my temper, Sir, to despond in regard to the extension of Christianity in this new world: And in addition to the promises of the Great Head of the Church, I have always imagined that I perceived the train of second causes so laid by the good providence of God, as to be promoting what we believe to be his will in this respect. On the other hand, I feel the weight of most powerful discouragements, in the increasing number of the avowed patrons of infidelity, and of others, who pretend to confess the divine authority of our holy religion, while they endeavour to strip it of its characteristic doctrines. In this situation, it is
. rather to be expected, that distinct Churches, agreeing in fundamentals, should make mutual sacrifices for a union, than that any Church should divide into two bodies, without a difference being even alleged to exist, in any leading point. For the preventing of this, the measures which you may propose cannot fail of success, unless there be on one side, or on both, a most lamentable deficiency of Christian temper.
I remember the conversation you allude to with Mr. Dellam : I hope I did not express myself uncharitably, or even indelicately. As 10 personal offence towards me, it is out of the question : for I had not at that time any connection with St. Paul's Church. But this, as well as the other parts of your letter, may be discoursed of at the proposed interview. Therefore, with assurance of the desired secrecy, and with requesting you to accept a like promise of candour to that which I credit from you, I conclude myself at present,
Your brother in Christ,
No. 22. Page 173.
Testimonial of the Rer. Charles Pettigrew.
We, the subscribers, having met in convention, at Tarborough, in North-Carolina, on the 28th day of May, 1794, for the purpose of considering the declining situation of the
Protestant Episcopal Church in this state, and having chosen the Rev. Charles Pettigrew as a person fit to be our bishop, and worthy to be recommended for consecration to that holy office-but being sensible that the great distance at which the laity as well as the clergy of this state live from each other, deprives us of sufficient personal acquaintance with one another to subscribe a testimonial in the words prescribed by the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church, have thought it necessary and proper to make some deviation therefrom, which we presume to hope will be no obstacle to our laudable pursuit. We therefore do hereby recommend to be consecrated to the office of a bishop, the said Rev. Charles Pettigrew, whom, from his morality, religious principles, piety of life, from his general reputation in a clerical character, from the personal knowledge we have of him, and from his sufficiency in good learn
* The writer of the above answer kept silence on the subject of it, except in the permitted commumcation to the bishops, until the summer of 1804; when be received, in one day, iwo letters from the eastern shore of Maryland. One of them was from the Rev. Simon Wilmer, of the Episcopal Church, aud the other was from the Rev. Mr. M.Klaskey, of the Methodist communion. In a conversation between these two gentlemen, the former had attirmed the fact of Dr. Coke's application, which was disbelieved by the other. This produced their respective letters, which were answered by a statement of the fact. The matter being afterwards variously reported, a copy of the letter was, after some lapse of ,rime, delivered to the Rev. Dr. Kemp, of Maryland, and at last became published in a controversy raised in the diocese.
ing, and soundness in the faith, we are induced to believe
Of the clergy.
Of the laity.
No. 23. Page 174.
Circular of a Commillee in South-Carolina.
Impressed with a fervent desire of being beneficial to the state in general, and of supporting religion among us, we, the subscribers, being a select committee from several of the united Episcopal Churches in this state, who met on the 16th of last October, are directed to address you. The subject is an important one, and requires consideration.
In the document some of the words are in larger characters than the rest. The same words are here given in italics, with the view of making a faithful representation of the instrument: the framers of which were careful to give this explanation of their design; however beneath them an attention to the laws of grammar.
From the proceedings of the two last General Conventions, held at Philadelphia and New-York, it has, with regret, been found by the representatives of this state, that the intention of all the eastern states was to form two separate houses of discussion on the forms and propagation of religion. To this all consented, not foreseeing any ill effects immediately arising from it. The one composed of bishops solely, the other of clergy and laity conjointly; and that a full consent of one house, together with two-thirds of the other, must be obtained, to effectually carry any proposition into effect. But in these two last meetings as above, many proposed, that the House of Bishops should have “ an absolute negative" over the clergy and laity. To this Virginia and South-Carolina were firmly opposed; the eastern states as firmly supported. Th
The next General Convention will be held at Philadelphia, where we wish to be represented, but upon the same determination, if approved by the vestries of our associated churches in this state, of opposition to the absolute negatide ; which, more than probably, will cause a secession of this state and Virginia from the general association. Considering the situation we shall then be left in, we are desirous, by the blessing of Almighty God directing us in our choice, to select one from the clergy of this state, to be sent forward immediately to the northward, and to obtain authority solely to ordain ministers for this state, as well as to renew that ordinance which has too long laid dormant in our country, confirmation. We have thought proper, therefore, to request your opinion on the subject, as we conceive, from many of our rising young men having devoted themselves to the study of divinity, and by selecting some worthy and good man, resident in a parish, and desirous of taking the office of the ministry upon him, and having him ordained, we shall be better enabled to have our churches provided than we are at present by the clergy which we have of late experienced from Europe, or from our northern states; and as this country will then be their native country, and from being accustomed to reside in it, the complaints of its sickliness, which have been the great arguments of desertion from their parishes, will in some measure, if not totally, lose their effect : and as, in that case, the minister may have some property of his own, the subscription of parishes where small, will in this manner be rendered sufficiently ample; as well as the doctrines propagated consistent with the situation the Almighty has been pleased to allot us. We beg leave further to mention,
not with an intention to bias your opinion, bat as a reason for our present application, that Virginia has pursued the steps marked out, and with the blessing of heaven upon their endeavours, and under the direction and guardianship of Bishop Madison,* have obtained sixty good and reputable divines, men, if but of moderate learning, of sound and good morals, who have undertaken the ministry, not from a desire of gain, but from a desire of doing good, and spreading the effects of piety, brotherly love, and charity, in the several parishes where they reside. From these motives, and from the distressed situation we shall be in, if a secession takes place before we are provided with ono to confirm and ordain, for then we must either take what they are pleased to send, or humbly entreat their favours to ordain for us, which might be refused aster our secession, we have presumed to address you, hoping when these important concerns shall come before you, you will not refuse to lend us your aid, both in consulting in the most public manner the sentiments of our brethren at large, and informing us of them, by a representative or representatives, at our next state convention, to be held at St. Michael's Church, on the tenth day of next February, for the express purpose of relinquishing or carrying the above measures into effect. And we have appointed this day in particular (anxiously desirous of being fully represented,) as it is the day previous to the anniversary meeting of the Revolution society, to commemorate the birth day of General Washington, and conceiving many gentlemen may be in town upon so pleasing an occasion. And we are, gentlemen, with all respect and esteem,
Your humble servants.
No. 24. Page 179.
A Letter from Bishop Provoost.
“ New-York, Sept. 7, 1801. • Right REV. AND DEAR SIR,
“I think it my duty to request, that, as president of the House of Bishops, you will inform that venerable body,
• Who showed himself very indignant at the intended compliment.