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that, induced by ill health, and some melancholy occtirrences in my family, and an ardent wish to retire from all public employment, I resigned, at the last meeting of our Church convention, my jurisdiction as bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the state of New-York.
“I am, with great regard,
« SAMUEL PROVOOST. . “ Right Rev. Bishop White."
The House of Bishops having considered the subject brought before them by the letter of Bishop Provoost, and by the message from the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies, touching the same, can see no grounds on which to believe, that the contemplated resignation is consistent with ecclesiastical order, or with the practice of Episcopal Churches in any ages, or with the tenour of the office of consecration. Accordingly, while they sympathize most tenderly with their brother, Bishop Provoost, on account of that ill health, and those melancholy occurrences which have led to the design in question, they judge it to be inconsistent with the sacred trust committed to them, to recognise the bishop's act as an effectual resignation of his Episcopal jurisdiction. Nevertheless, being sensible of the present exigencies of the Church of New-York, and approving of their making provision for the actual discharge of the duties of the Episcopacy, the bishops of this house are ready to consecrate to the office of bishop, any person who may be presented to them with the requisite testimonials from the General and State Conventions; and of whose religious, moral, and literary character, due satisfaction may be given. But this house must be understood to be explicit in their declaration, that they shall consider such a person as assistant or co-adjutor bishop, during Bishop Provoost's life, although competent in point of character to all the Episcopal duties; the extent in which the same shall be discharged by him, to be dependent on such regulations as expediency may dictate to the Church in New York, grounded on the indisposition of Bishop Provoost, and with his concurrence,
No. 25. Page 186.
Forms of Subscription.
Form in this Church-" I do believe the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the word of God, and to contain all things necessary to salvation. And I do solemnly engage to conform to the doctrines and worship of the Protestant Episcopal Church in these United States."
Form in the Church of England - The thirty-sixth canon requires the candidates, after reference, first, to the royal supremacy ; second, to the Book of Common Prayer, with the ordinal; and third, to the thirty-nine Articles, to signify his assent as follows :"I, N. N. do willingly and ex animo subscribe to those three articles above mentioned, and to all things that are contained in them."
No. 26. Page 190.
The house resumed the consideration of the matters brought before them by the Rev. Ammi Rogers, and came to the following determination concerning the same.
After full inquiry, and fair examination of all the evidence that could be procured, it appears to this house, that the said Ammi Rogers had produced to the standing committee of New-York, (upon the strength of which he obtained holy orders) a certificate, signed with the name of the Rev. Philo Perry, which certificate was not written nor signed by him.
That the conduct of the said Ammi Rogers in the state of Connecticut, during bis residence in that state, since he left New-York, has been insulting, refractory, and schismatical in the highest degree; and, were it tolerated, would prove subversive of all order and discipline in the Church; and that the statement which he made in justification of his conduct, was a mere tissue of equivocation and evasion, and, of course, served rather to defeat than to establish his purpose.
Therefore, this house do approve of the proceedings of the Church in Connecticut, in reproving the said Ammi Rogers, and prohibiting him from the performance of any ministerial duties within that diocese; and, morcover, fare of opinion, that he deserves a severer ecclesiastical censure, that of degradation from the ministry.
In regard to the question, To what authority is Mr. Rogers amenable ? this house are sensible, that there not having been previously to the present convention, any sufficient provision for a case of a clergyman removing from one diocese to another, it might easily happen, that different sentiments would arise as to this point. We are of opinion, that Mr. Rogers's residence being in Connecticut, it is to the authority of that diocese he is exclusively amenable. But as the imposition practised with a view to the ministry was in New York, we recommend to the bishop and standing committee of that state, to send to the bishop in Connecticut such documents, duly attested, of the measure referred to, as will be a ground of procedure in that particular.
We further direct the secretary, to deliver a copy of the above to the clerical deputies from Connecticut, and another copy to the Rev. Ammi Rogers. And we further direct, that either of the aforesaid parties be permitted to have any documents respectively delivered in by them, a copy of it being first taken ; except the petition and affidavit of the Rev. Ammi Rogers, of which he may have a copy if desired, as may either of the parties have of any document delivered by the other party.
No. 27. Page 218.
Of the Homilics.
The House of Bishops, taking into consideration, that the two books of Homilies are referred to in the thirty-fifth 'article of this Church, as containing a body of sound Christian doctrine; and knowing, by their respective experience, the scarcity of the volume, rendering it difficult for some candidates in the ministry to possess opportunities of studying its contents, propose to the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies, to make it a standing instruction to every bishop, and to the ecclesiastical authority in every state destitute of a bishop, to be furnished (as soon as may be) with a copy or copies of said work, and to require it to be studied by all candidates for the ministry within their respective bounds; under the expectation, that when offering for ordination, the knowledge of its contents will be indispensably required.
This was concurred in by the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies.
No. 28. Page 219.
Concerning Posture during Psalmody.
Whereas a diversity of custom bas of late years prevailed in the posture of ministers and of the people, during the act of singing the psalms and the hymns in metre; the former practice of sitting during this part of the service gradually giving way to the more comely posture of standing; it is hereby recommended by this convention, that it be considered as the duty of the ministers of this Church, to encourage the use of the latter posture, and to induce the members of their congregations, as circumstances may permit, to do the same: allowance to be made for cases, in which it may be considered inconvenient by age, or by infirmity. Practice, under this recommendation, is to begin from the time when suitable information shall have been given by the clergy to their respective flocks. And it shall be the duty of every minister, to give notice of this recommendation to his congregation, at such time as in his discretion may be the most proper.
The carrying into effect of the contemplated change, may be delayed by the bishop of any diocese, or, where there is no bishop, by the ecclesiastical authority therein, until there shall have been time and opportunity of explaining satisfactorily the grounds of the measure.
No. 29. Page 220.
Of a Proposal of new Anthems, and of Sanction requested in
favour of a proposed Book.
The following proposition was submitted and agreed to, and communicated to the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies.
The House of Bishops communicate to the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies, the following resolve, and the following rule of the House of Bishops, to be entered on their journal after being returned by the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies.
There was laid before the house, an address from the Rev. Dr. William Smith, of Connecticut, together with sundry anthems, selected from holy scripture, and adapted to certain fasts and feasts of the Church. The object of the address is to induce the establishment of the said anthems as parts of the liturgy.
Whereupon, Resolved, That it is not expedient, during this convention, to go into a review, either in whole or in part, of the Book of Common Prayer. It could not, howeyer, but give satisfaction to the bishops to recollect, that anthems taken from scripture, and judiciously arranged, may, according to the known allowance of this Church, be sung in congregations, at the discretion of their respective ministers. On this occasion, a question arose, how far it may be proper, at any meeting of the convention, to give their sanction, or that of this house in particular, to any work, however tending to religious instruction, or to the excitement of pious affections. In reference to this subject, it is the unanimous opinion of the bishops present, that no such sanction should be given. And it is hereby made a rule of the house, that if any application should be made, tending to such effect, it shall not be considered as regularly brought before them.
The above was returned by the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies, with their respectful thanks, for what they were pleased to call the judicious course adopted by the bishops, in reference to the two subjects.
No. 30. Page 224.
Concerning the Identity of this Church with the former Church
of England in America.
The following declaration was proposed and agreed to:
It having been credibly stated to the House of Bishops, that on questions in reference to property devised before the revolution, to congregations belonging to “ the Church of England,” and to uses connected with that name, some doubts have been entertained in regard to the identity of