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health and some circumstances of a domestic nature, he wished to retire from all public employment; and had therefore resigned, at a late meeting of the convention in New-York, his jurisdiction of bishop in that state. In consequence of this resignation, the Rev. Benjamin Moore, D. D. who, on account of Bishop Provoost's resignation of the rectory of Trinity Church, in the city of New York, had been chosen to that place, was also elected to succeed to the Episcopacy. The House of Bishops having taken this subject under their serious consideration, and doubting of the propriety of sanctioning Episcopal resignation, declined any act to that effect. But being sensible of the exigency existing in the state of New-York, they consented to the consecration of an assistant bishop: it being understood, that he should be competent in point of character to all the Episcopal duties; and, that the extent in which the same were to be discharged by him, should be dependent on such regulations as expediency might dictate to the Church in New-York; grounded on the indisposition of Bishop Provoost, and with his concurrence. Conformably with the line of conduct thus laid down, Dr. Benjamin Moore, being duly recommended, was consecrated during the session, in St. Michael's Church, Trenton; and took his seat in the House of Bishops.
In this convention, the important business of the articles was again taken up; and now, for the first time, authoritatively acted on. After repeated discussions and propositions, it had been found, that the doctrines of the Gospel, as they stand in the thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England, with the exception of such matters as are local, were more likely to give general satisfaction than the same doctrines in any new form that might be devised. The former were therefore adopted by the two houses of convention, without their altering of even the obsolete diction in them; but with notices of such changes as change of situation had rendered necessary. Exclusively of such, there is one exception, that of adapting the article concerning the creeds, to the former exclusion of the Athanasian.
It is further to be remembered, that, in regard to subscription to the articles, there is a considerable difference between the form required in the Church of England, as laid down in her thirty-sixth canon, and that prescribed in the constitution of the American Church. The latter form had so far acquired the approbation of the English prelates,
as to be thought sufficient on the part of those who came to them for consecration from America. N.
Throughout this Narrative, it must have appeared, that the object kept in view, in all the consultations held, and the determinations formed, was the perpetuating of the Episcopal Church, on the ground of the general principles which she had inherited from the Church of England ; and of not departing from them, except so far as either local circumstances required, or some very important cause rendered proper. To those acquainted with the system of the Church of England, it must be evident, that the object here stated was accomplished on the ratification of the articles.
The next Triennial Convention was in the city of NewYork, September 11th, 1804. Canons were passed, extending to a greater variety of objects than had been provided for before. An office was framed and ordered to be used, at the induction of ministers to the rectorship of churches. A course of ecclesiastical studies of candidates for orders, was prescribed by the bishops. And the constitution was altered, agreeably to a proposition made in the preceding convention, and notified to the conventions in the states, so as that the future Triennial Conventions shall be in the month of May, instead of September. During, the session, the Rev. Samuel Parker, D. D. rector of Trinity Church, in Boston, was consecrated bishop in Trinity Church, New-York, in the room of Bishop Bass, who had departed this life. There had also died, since the last convention, Bishop Smith, of South Carolina. And it was understood, that the Rev. Edward Jenkins, D. D. who had been elected to supply his place, had declined the station. Since the events here recorded, Bishop Parker departed this life, a few months after his consecration. 0.
The next meeting of the General Convention was in the city of Baltimore, from May 17th, 1808; to the 26th of the same month. Two bishops only (Bishops White and Claggett) were present at this convention: and the Church in seven states only was represented.
There was now ratified the long proposed amendment of the constitution; annulling the provision, by which fourfifths of the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies could accomplish a measure, without the concurrence of the House of Bishops.
There was also proposed another amendment of the constitution, for the preventing of alterations in the liturgy,
unless the same should have been proposed at a previous convention.
The whole body of the canons was reviewed, and underwent considerable alterations.
A committee was appointed, to address the Church in the different states. The objects in view, were to procuro a more full attendance on future conventions, and to extend the Episcopacy to the western states.
“ The Office of Induction," established by the last convention, was changed in name to “ The Office of Institution," and rested on recommendation, not on requisition, as before.
The sense of the two houses was given on two points, which had created diversity of opinion and of practiceWhether a minister ought to officiate at the funeral of any person killed in a duel; and—Whether a minister should unite in marriage any person who has been divorced; unless it be on account of the other party's having been guilty of adultery. Both these questions were decided in the negative.
There was also introduced into the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies, on recommendation of the Church in Maryland, the subject of marriage, as connected with the degrees of consanguinity and affinity. But on communication of the matter to the House of Bishops, it was, on their recommendation, referred to a future convention.
Thirty hymns were added to the Book of Psalms and Hymas.
As ordained by a canon of the last convention, a pastoral letter from the House of Bishops to the members of this Church was drawn up by them, communicated to the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies, and there read. On the rising of the convention, New
Haven, in the state of Connecticut, was appointed as the next place of meeting. The session was ended, by an attendance on the morning service of the day, which was the festival of the Ascension. P.
Agreeably to the aforesaid appointment, the next General Convention was held in the city of New Haven, on Tuesday, the 21st of May, 1811. It continued in session until Friday, the 24th. Only Bishops White and Jarvis, of the House of Bishops, were present. The Church in nine states was represented.
They ratified the amendment to the constitution proposed at the last convention, restraining from alterations of the liturgy, except such as may be proposed at one convention and determined on at another.
On the subject of the canons, nothing was done, except the repealing of the last, or forty-sixth of the canons, as passed at the last convention, entitled, “ Providing for inaking known the Constitution and Canons of the Church."
The rule prohibiting the officiating at the funerals of persons killed in duels, was so far moderated, as to allow of the same, if, on any occasion, the party in question had manifested repentance.
There were some communications made in regard to the western churches, and the extending of the Episcopacy to them ; but a plan to that effect was not yet matured. Further attention to the subject was committed to the bishops of this Church in Pennsylvania and Virginia.
The attendance of so few of the bishops; three of the four absent bishops being prevented by bodily indisposition, and the remaining bishop being absent by indispensable engagements ; it was agreed not to take up, at present, the important subject of marriages, within certain degrees of consanguinity and affinity.
A pastoral address was sent by the bishops to the other house, to be printed with the journal, agreeably to a requisition of the forty-fifth canon.
It had been expected, that on the occasion of this convention, there would have been a consecration of two bishops : of the Rev. Dr. John Henry Hobart, chosen assistant bishop for the state of New-York; and the Rey. Alexander Viets Griswold, chosen bishop for the four states of Massachusetts, New-Hampshire, Vermont, and Rhode Island. The expectation was disappointed, by the want of the canonical number on the spot. But the testimonials of the bishops elect were signed; and the two bishops present repaired with them to the city of NewYork; where, with the assistance of the Right Rev. Bishop Provoost, whose indisposition, although, with difficulty, permitted his attendance in the place of his residence, and with the assistance of Bishop Jarvis, the consecration was performed, by the presiding bishop, on the 29th of May, in Trinity Church, in the said city.
It was referred to the presiding bishop, “ to address a letter, in behalf of this convention, to the venerable Society in England for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts, informing them that the Church in the state of Vermont is duly organized, and in union with the Protestant Episcopal
Church in the United States, being placed under the jurisdiction of the bishop of New-Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont; that a board of trustees of donations to the Church has been incorporated in the state of Massachusetts; and that, in the opinion of this convention, the society may safely confide the care of their lands in Vermont to such attorney or attornies as may be recommended by the said board of trustees, and approved of by the ecclesiastical convention of Vermont."
When the convention arose, it was agreed to hold the next Triennial Convention in the city of Philadelphia. Q.
The next Triennial Convention was held, agreeably to appointment of that of 1811, in the city of Philadelphia, from Tuesday, the 17th of May, to Tuesday, the 24th of the same month, in the year 1814. The bishops present at it were, Bishop White, of the Church in Pennsylvania; Bishop Hobart, the assistant bishop of the Church in NewYork; Bishop Griswold, of the Eastern Diocese; Bishop Dehon, of South-Carolina ;* and, the second day of the session, Bishop Richard C. Moore, of Virginia.
In the last mentioned state, the Church had been for many years, more and more under a decline. On the decease of Bishop Madison, there had ensued a difficulty in the choice of a successor, until a few gentlemen, some of the clerical and some of the lay order, suggested the choice of the gentlemen mentioned above, who had acquired considerable popularity in the city of New-York ; wherein there was a large congregation under his ministry. The defect of Episcopal maintenance was expected to be surmounted, by connecting the office of bishop with that of the rectory of a church recently erected in the city of Richmond, on the site of a theatre, destroyed a few years before by a fire, wherein a considerable proportion of the inhabitants had been consumed. The requisite testimonials having been furnished, Dr. Moore was consecrated in St. James' Church, Philadelphia, by the presiding bishop, assisted by Bishops Hobart, Griswold, and Dehon. "The sermon preached at the opening of the convention, serving for the consecration also, was by Bishop Hobart, of NewYork. He supplied the place of Bishop Claggett, of Maryland, who was kept away by indisposition.
Bishop Dehon had been consecrated. October 15th, 1812. in Christ Church. in the city of Philadelphia, by the presiding bishop, assisted by Bishops Jarvis and Hobart.