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Fourthly. The time will probably come, but is not likely to be soon, wiren a representation to each house will be constituted by deputation from sundry districts, into which the very extensive country occupied by us will become ecclesiastically divided. This may dictate another profitable arrangement that of an ecclesiastical assembly in each district, in each of the two years intervening between every two General Conventions. The assemblies now proposed need not be limited to the choice of representatives, and may profitably receive appeals from diocesan determinations, in matters of discipline. With legislation they should have no concern. It may be suggested, that there might be provided an appeal from the diocesan Episcopacy to the House of Bishops : but this would cause inconvenient delay. Another expedient might be, the application of the convention concerned, or of its standing committee, to three conveniently situated bishops for the hearing of the appeal. But a better should be in prospect, in the contemplated division into districts.
It is to be regretted, that in the minds of many, there is the supposition, that a bishop should always be engaged in visitations. To this there are several objections.
1. It is contrary to the usage of all ages, except in regard to bishops strictly missionary, and without relation to particular dioceses.
2. A bishop will generally have a family, to whom a reasonable portion of his time will be as much due, as are any of his services to the Church.
3. The scheme is inconsistent with the expectation of a learned Episcopacy.
4. It will be oppressive on a bishop advanced in years, or infirm.
The author is sensible of what would be an indecorum, in his affecting to influence ecclesiastical measures, after the time, which cannot be distant, of his retirement from this earthly scene. But if on any subject there may seem possible use in sentiments entertained by him, he does not perceive any reason for the withholding of them; although there is much reason for the delivery of them with diffidence; and with the being aware, that unexpected motives of conduct may occur.
On a review of this document, the author judges it not irrelevant, to record some sentiments long entertained by him, as to arrangements which should be kept in prospect, to be carried into effect when circumstances may permit.
Let there lic in a diocese, and in some city or town as central as may be, a church of which the bishop is to be the parochial pastor, and in which he is to preach babitually, when not engaged in visitations. In such a church, the viocesan convention will occupy the standing, and will perform the duties of an ordinary restry. This will be as near to primitive practice, and to that of the Church of England, as is consistent with the circumstances of our Church. Such a pastor should bave an assistant minister, to be provider for out of the pew-money. The maintenance of the bishop should be froni an Episcopal fumul.
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