Protestant Episcopal Church
Protestant Episcopal Church This is the legal title of one portion of the Church of Christ which has its local habitation in the United States of America. The first part indicates its position relatively to the Roman Catholic Church, as protesting against the errors and repudiating the claims of that Church to supremacy in doctrine, discipline, and worship; the second part of the title expresses its attitude towards other Christian bodies who have rejected episcopacy on the ground that it is not of divine origin, and. therefore, not of universal and permanent obligation. The history of the Protestant Episcopal Church is consequently of more than ordinary interest, since, on the one hand, it has been compelled to resist the Roman Catholics and their progress, and, on the other, has been forced to maintain its position among Protestants, without being able to form any union or engage in any concert of action with them. In the present article it will be the writer's aim to give a tolerably full account of the history and progress of this Church, together with some supplementary statements and remarks in regard to its peculiar claims and adaptedness for the great work of evangelizing our country and helping to make the Gospel known throughout the dark places of the earth where heathenism prevails.
I. History. — Here a natural division suggests itself at once, viz.:
(1.) History of the period during colonial times to the close of the Revolutionary war. This period covers rather more than a century and a half, and during it Church people looked directly to the mother country for ministerial supply and religious privileges in general.
(2.) The period after the Revolution, when efforts were successfully made to obtain the episcopal succession from England, the Protestant Episcopal Church was duly organized, its liturgy, articles, constitution, etc., were adopted, and its bishops and clergy in different parts of the country were brought into union as one body, with the General Convention as its central legislative power. This period covers the years 1783 to about 1808.
(3.) The later history of the Church, marking its growth, increase in wealth and numbers, educational efforts, missionary labors, and the like, with as full and accurate statistics as call be obtained of its present position and work.
1. Early and Colonial History. — In the latter part of the 16th century, Sir Humphrey Gilbert left England to endeavor to form a settlement in America. Among the motives avowed as influencing him were "the honor of God, compassion of poor infidels captivated by the devil (it seeming probable that God hath reserved these Gentiles to be reduced into Christian civility by the English nation), advancement of his honest and well- disposed countrymen willing to accompany him in such honorable actions, and reliefe of sundry people within this realme distressed." Though Gilbert met with no success and was lost at sea, other efforts were made by his half-brother, Sir Walter Raleigh, in 1584, in Carolina and Virginia. These too, though in the main unsuccessful, were not wholly without fruit. In 1606 the Virginia Company obtained its charter, and in 1607 the settlement at Jamestown was begun. Among the articles and order of the charter it was expressly required that "the presidents, councils, and ministers should provide that the true word and service of God be preached, planted, and used, according to the rites and doctrine of the Church of England, not only in the said colonies, but also as much as might be among the savages bordering upon them." A clergyman of the English Church, Rev. R. Hunt, accompanied the expedition, and with unwearied zeal, and with piety and devotion worthy the highest praise, labored in his vocation to the end of his life. Other godly men followed, especially Rev. A. Whitaker. who has been honored with the title "Apostle of Virginia." Through his agency the Indian maiden Pocahontas was converted and baptized. and proved herself of great service to the colony. "As the first colonists of Virginia were exclusively members of the Church of England, the legislature of the colony decreed a provision for the clergy, at the rate of fifteen hundred pounds of tobacco and sixteen barrels of flour annually for each clergyman.
As each new borough was formed, it was ordered that a portion of glebe land should be set apart for the use of the incumbent. Tithes were afterwards instituted. Discipline was enforced by laws which. it must be admitted, were unjustifiably severe; and a peremptory enactment was passed that none but ministers episcopally ordained should be allowed to officiate in the colony" (Hawkins). Early efforts were made to provide for the education of English and Indian youth by founding a college, and ten thousand acres of land were set apart, and large sums of money collected. In 1619, when Sir Thomas Yeardley became governor of Virginia, the legislature manifested commendable zeal in the same direction. The officers and agents of the Company were urged to train up the people in true religion and virtue, and also "to employ their utmost care to advance all things appertaining to the order and administration of divine service according to the form and discipline of the Church of England, carefully avoiding all factious and needless novelties, which only tend to the disturbance of peace and unity." The most earnest desire was shown to convert the Indians to the faith of Christ, and to educate them in accordance with this faith. Mr. G. Thorpe, a man of good parts and breeding, was appointed head of the new institution, and it was confidently hoped and expected that the red men would ere long become Christians and members of a civilized community; but a rude shock was given to this hope by the Indians, who, hating and fearing the intruders, as they considered the whites to be, resorted, in 1622, to a bloody massacre; this, it may be noted, would have been complete extermination, had not a Christian Indian disclosed the plot the night before, and thus prevented its entire fulfilment. The deplorable result was, the embittering the feelings of all towards the Indians and a fierce war of retaliation; so that, for the time, the college, missionary labors, and Christian education were abandoned. In 1625 Virginia became a royal colony, and though its religious concerns were not so zealously looked after as under the charter, yet the people as a whole remained steadfast in their attachment to the Church of England, and their determination to sustain it in every way in their power. Virginia, too, where many cavaliers sought refuge, was loyal to the exiled monarchy when Cromwell came into power, while New England, on the other hand, sympathized heartily with the "lord protector" and his work. After the Restoration, in 1660, the colonial legislature, under Berkeley, the royal governor, gave early attention to the repairs and building of churches, the canonical performance of the liturgy, the ministration of God's word, the baptizing and Christian education of the young, etc. It is, however, sadly true that religion had greatly declined among the people; violent contests occurred between the governors and the assembly of the people; the ruling party was intolerant; popular discontent increased; and rebellion actually broke out. So injurious were these disturbances and the wicked passions to which they gave rise that almost of necessity piety and godly life and conversation declined; and the Church became weakened to such an extent that, it is recorded, out of fifty parishes, nearly all were destitute of glebe, parsonage, church, and minister, and there were not more than ten in holy orders left. In 1685 Rev. James Blair came as missionary to Virginia. Four years later he was appointed commissary of the bishop of London, a position of great responsibility and trust, especially with regard to discipline of both clergy and laity. He also held a seat in the council, and continued at his post as commissary for more than half a century, exercising a most beneficial influence in every way, and particularly in restoring and enlarging the good work of the Church. It was through his energetic efforts and well-directed zeal that the College of William and Mary was chartered in 1692. Its design was "that the Church in Virginia may be furnished with a seminary of ministers of the Gospel; that the youth may be piously educated in good letters and manners; and that the Christian faith may be propagated among the Western Indians, to the glory of Almighty God." Blair became president of this the second college founded in America, and lived to a very advanced age.
The neighboring colony of Maryland, founded in 1633 by lord Baltimore, a Roman Catholic, with some two hundred families and two or more priests of that Church, was noted for freely opening its doors to "every person professing to believe in Jesus Christ." The colonial assembly in 1639 declared, in the words of Magna Charta, that "Holy Church within this province shall have all her rights and privileges." Whether by this term was meant the Church of England or not, it is certain that the influence and membership of that Church were largely extended. The general progress of the colony was so successful that at lord Baltimore's death, in 1676, there were in Maryland ten counties and about sixteen thousand inhabitants, the largest part of whom were Protestants. At this date a letter was addressed to the archbishop of Canterbury by a clergyman named Yeo, complaining of the low state of morals in the colony, and of the fact that the clergy of the Church of England had no settled incomes like their brethren in Virginia, and that consequently their position was neither so respectable nor so well calculated to effect good as it ought to be. Efforts were made to induce the proprietary to provide maintenance for the Church; this, however, he wholly refused. Seditious movements thereupon were set on foot against him as being a "papist," and it was maliciously rumored that the Roman Catholics, in complicity with the Indians, were purposing to massacre the Protestants. On the accession of William of Orange in 1688, a so-called "Protestant revolution" took place, and for three years the government was in the hands of the insurgents. Lord Baltimore having been deprived of his rights as proprietary, a royal governor was sent into Maryland, and in 1692 the Church of England was established by law; the province was divided into thirty parishes, and tithes were imposed for support of the clergy upon every inhabitant, no matter what might be his religious opinions. The Roman Catholics and Quakers opposed this with all their might, and with more or less success. In 1696 new laws were made, which still, however, recognised the Church of England as by law established as entitled to all its rights, privileges. and freedom. The clergy, feeling the need of aid from home, begged the bishop of London to send them a commissary at least (since they were not allowed to have a bishop), "to redress what was amiss and supply what was wanting in the Church." Dr. Thomas Bray, a very estimable and truly godly man, was the one chosen to fill this important position. At great personal sacrifice he accepted it. He secured as many pious and devoted clergymen as he could to go with him to America, and was soon enabled to increase the number of those laboring in Maryland from three to sixteen. He began the formation of colonial libraries, and as one step led to another, and as he perceived how great was the need and how important was the result of combined action on the part of the members of the Church, he conceived the noble idea of founding the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, and that for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. The latter was chartered in June, 1701, the former in 1698. Early in March, 1700, Dr. Bray arrived in Maryland, and entered at once with zeal and diligence upon his work. He assembled the clergy, delivered charges, administered discipline, and was active in having a bill passed by the legislature for the settlement and maintenance of the parochial clergy. By this bill it was provided "that the Book of Common Prayer and administration of the sacraments, with the rites and ceremonies of the Church, according to the use of the Church of England, the Psalter and Psalms of David, and morning and evening prayer, therein contained, be solemnly read by all and every minister or reader in every church or other place of public worship within this province." Despite some opposition, the king gave the enactment his consent, and it became law. Although Dr. Bray's stay in Maryland was terminated in 1701, he never ceased his efforts in behalf of the Church there; and it is on record that out of some thirty thousand inhabitants in Maryland at this date, the majority were in communion with the Church of England.
The Carolinas and Georgia were among the later colonies in the southern part of America. Several ineffectual efforts had been made from 1630-60 to found settlements in the region of Albemarle Sound; but it was not till after the restoration of Charles II that a body of noblemen (Clarendon, Albemarle, etc.) undertook the task, and met with success. "Being excited," as they declared, "by a laudable and pious zeal for the propagation of the Gospel, they begged a certain country in the parts of America not vet cultivated and planted, and only inhabited by some barbarous people who have no knowledge of God." The charter allowed entire freedom of religious opinion, and no one was to be disturbed on these matters by the public authorities. We are sorry to say, however, that, notwithstanding the pious and proper language quoted above, the noble proprietaries made no provision for the spiritual interests of the colonists or for the conversion of the Indians. The famous John Locke's "grand model" of government (1670) turned out to be a grand failure, and was abolished in 1693. George Fox, the founder of the Quaker denomination, visited Carolina and gave quite an impulse to the peculiar notions in religion which he entertained. The religious condition of the colony at the close of the century was on the whole very unsatisfactory, and ungodliness prevailed to a lamentable extent. Early in the 18th century the majority of the colonists were dissenters, yet acts were passed in 1704-6, establishing the Church of England as the religion of the province. This produced trouble and resistance of course, and was of no real advantage to the Church. The Society for Propagating the Gospel sent missionaries into the Carolinas, and some, though mostly ineffectual, struggles were made to stay the floods of ungodliness, fanaticism, and semi-heathenism; it was a hard and almost hopeless contest during the greater part of the century. Georgia owed its origin to Oglethorpe's benevolent designs and efforts from 1732 onward. Religious privileges were freely accorded. The German Lutherans and Moravians were early in the field. A small company of Jews came also; and a body of Scotch Highlanders founded New Inverness in 1736. At this date, too, John and Charles Wesley were in Georgia. John Wesley was parish minister in Savannah, and for a while matters went on very well and satisfactorily; but ere long the strictness of Wesley in enforcing the rubrics, and the dissatisfaction of the colonists who were very restive under Church discipline, led to dissension and irreconcilable differences; so that Wesley "shook off the dust of his feet," as he phrases it, and left Georgia in disgust. George Whitefield soon after came to Georgia, and though he was continually itinerating to and from England and through the northern colonies, stirring up great excitement by his fiery zeal and energy, yet his labors in Georgia as a clergyman of the Church of England met with fair success. The same statement may here be made as in the case of the Carolinas, that missionaries of the Society for Propagating the Gospel did what they could in behalf of religion and the Church; but they were far too few and ill-supported to accomplish much.
Turning our attention from the southern colonies where, as in Virginia, the Church of England was planted at the date of the earliest settlement in America, and where it flourished despite the fact of being deprived of an essential element in the life and growth of the Church, viz. episcopal presence and supervision, we may next glance at the more northerly portion of the continent. New York (formerly New Netherland) was first colonized by the Dutch in 1615 onward, and of course was in its religious character presbyterian, like the Hollanders at home. In 1664 it was seized by the English, and became a part of the colonial empire of England. After a time the Church of England obtained precedence, and for a while was supported by public tax. Trinity Church was founded in New York city in 1696; the Rev. W. Vesey was its first rector, and was also for fifty years commissary of the bishop of London; it is probably the wealthiest church corporation in the United States. New Jersey (New Sweden), in like manner, and the banks of the Delaware from the mouth inland, were settled by Swedes in 1638. Later (1676), the Quakers came in as colonists, and though in religious profession the inhabitants were principally Presbyterians and Quakers, yet there was open toleration to all other Christian believers. Missionaries of the Society for Propagating the Gospel were at an early day earnestly and zealously at work, at several points in New Jersey, and besides the names of Talbot, Beach, and others, that of Dr. T . B. Chandler, of Elizabethtown, must ever be held in grateful memory by churchmen. The Protestant Episcopal Church has always been comparatively strong in New Jersey Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn in 168182, and, so far as religion was concerned, was tolerant to all of every name. It deserves to be mentioned, too, that, as in the early history of Virginia, kindness and gentleness were displayed towards the native tribes, and no Quaker blood was ever shed by the Indians. 'The first Episcopal Church founded in Pennsylvania was Christ's Church, Philadelphia, in 1695; and at various points the missionaries of the Society for Propagating the Gospel were, during the early part of the 18th century, actively engaged in preaching the Gospel. Great ungodliness prevailed in all directions. and fanaticism, in its most offensive, hurtful form, displayed itself; but the clergy labored on, amid every discouragement, and their labors were blessed to a large extent.
In all the colonial enterprises thus far, as we have seen, the Church of England was allowed a reasonably fair and just privilege of ministering to the wants of its own people, and extending its boundaries and influence, as best it could in accordance with the rights of others. But when we look at New England, and see what treatment the Church met with there, the contrast is striking indeed. Here, as is well known, the first settlers were those called in the ecclesiastical history of the time Puritans. They were men who had been engaged in long and fierce contentions with the established Church in England. They were men also of stern and unyielding natures, and among them, the leading ones at least, for good reasons, as they held, hated the Church with as nearly a perfect hatred as is possible for man to attain. There was no term in the vocabulary of reproach which they did not heap upon the Church and its clergy and members, as well as its liturgy and services. They refused to allow two clergymen of the Church, who were in New England in 1623-24, to preach and labor in any way in their vocation; and the brothers Browne, two of the original patentees of the Massachusetts Bay Company, who desired to enjoy the services of the Church of England, and that too only in a private dwelling, were shipped off in 1629, without ceremony, by Endicott, the governor, on the ground that they were "factious and evil- conditioned." Thus was begun that series of oppressive actions and intolerant disregard of the rights of others which resulted later in the judicial murder of the Quakers. In a letter, dated April 7, 1630, when a large body of Puritans were embarking from England under Winthrop and Saltonstall, they spoke of themselves as men "who esteem it an honor to call the Church of England, whence we rise, our dear mother; and we cannot part from our native country, where she specially resideth, without much sadness of heart, and many tears in our eyes; ever acknowledging that such hope and part as we have obtained in the common salvation we have received in her bosom, and sucked it from her breasts." Yet these same men and their successors, with strange and painful disregard of the plain meaning of their words, resolved upon and put in practice intolerance in its most vengeful form. They had suffered, as they averred, bitter persecution and grievous wrong in England from the "lord bishops" in authority there, who gave no heed to their conscientious scruples in Church matters; but, so far from showing forth love and gentleness and kindness and liberality as regards other people's consciences, they seem, when the power fell into their hands, to have become, in all matters relating to religion, harder than the granite rock; and, with a spirit as unpitying and hateful as that of the Inquisition itself, they determined that no man, woman, or child, where they had strength to stop it, should ever hold any opinion or have any religious faith which they, the "lord brethren" of New England, did not approve. They fined, imprisoned, or banished recusants of all sorts. "God forbid," said they, through Endicott, an impersonation of bigotry, "that our love of truth should be so cold that we should tolerate errors!" They allowed no one who differed from them to live among them. Convicted Anabaptists were "whipped unmercifully." Quakers, who with fanatical violence defied the magistrates and ministers, were sentenced, after the first conviction, to lose one ear; after the second, another; after the third, to have the tongue bored through with a red-hot iron; and several of them were put to death; but in 1661 Charles II, by a peremptory order, forbade further outrage of this kind. As to the Indians, though the colonists were under chartered obligation to treat them well and endeavor to convert them to Christianity. these were looked upon as having no rights to be respected, as wolves, savages, heathen. and doomed, like the Canaanites of old, to utter excision as speedily as possible. It was only such men as Roger Williams in Rhode Island, and the estimable John Eliot, the Apostle to the Indians, and the comparatively few who sympathized with them, that helped to relieve New England bigotry and intolerance from being denounced as utterly detestable. The Puritans, in carrying out their principles, organized what they called churches on the same plan of independency as that employed in civil matters. They looked upon themselves as under no restraint. and as owing no obligation or courtesy to their "dear mother, the Church of England," and they thought and acted as if they could just as readily have — to use a pet phrase of later days — a church without a bishop as a state without a king. Of course, under such a condition of affairs, and with such antagonism and prejudice against the Church and all appertaining to it. it could make little or no progress in New England; and it is a fact to be noted that for some sixty years after the landing on Plymouth rock there was not a single Episcopal church in all that part of the country. It was not till the year 1679 that Charles II, on the earnest representation of some of the inhabitants through the bishop of London, caused a church to be built in Boston. William of Orange subsequently settled an annual bounty of £100 for endowment.
From this time onward, however, owing to the unwearied and judicious efforts of the Society for Propagating the Gospel, something began to be accomplished, in despite of penal enactments and bitter, uncompromising hatred. Missionaries were sent out to various points in New England, as well as the other colonies (except Virginia and Maryland)); and as they were honest, faithful men, abounding in labors, travelling over large districts, and ministering the Gospel to all whom they met with, they deserve all honor, and their labors were not without fruit. Had the Church of England listened to that supplication for bishops which went up continually and earnestly, and had she been permitted to send out worthy men for the episcopal office, the growth and prosperity of the Church in America would have been vastly greater and more secure; but the ungodliness of men in power, the hampered condition of the Established Church, and the active opposition of the Puritans in New England and of the dissenters in England as well as their special friends in America, always succeeded in overpowering the cry of the destitute and the numerous and powerful remonstrances of the Society for Propagating the Gospel. At one time there were two nonjurihig bishops in America, viz. Dr. R. Welton and Dr. J. Talbot (1722), the former in Philadelphia. the latter in Burlington, N. J.; but they were not allowed to exercise episcopal functions except by stealth, and the government soon after interfered and put an entire stop to all action on their part. As early as 1704, a missionary of the society took up his residence in Newport, R. I., and continued there nearly half a century. During his ministry, and that of several helpers in the work, he could not but note the depressing effects of schism and heresy, there being then quite as many denominations in Rhode Island as there have been in subsequent days. Bishop Berkeley deserves to be named in this connection for his noble disinterestedness and zeal. In 1725 he entered upon his great philanthropic and Christian enterprise of' erecting a college at Bermuda. to serve as an institution for educating the children of the planters, and suitable ones from among the natives as missionaries in order to convert the savages to Christianity. In 1728 Berkeley was in Rhode Island, and had not the government of Walpole kept him out of the £20,000 voted, he would probably have accomplished his benevolent design. The next year he returned to England, and reluctantly gave up his cherished plan. Some eighteen years later lie caused to be sent as a gift to the library of Harvard College a very valuable collection of books, containing such authors as Hooker, Pearson, Barrow, Hammond, Clarendon, etc., and these no doubt helped to leaven the minds of some in New England, who, weary of the despotism of independency, and grieved and distressed at there being multitudinous sects of all kinds and characters, were disposed to seek, and did seek, refuge in the sober, staid, and godly ways of the Church of England. It is also worthy of note here that early in the 18th century, about thirty-five years before Berkeley's donation to Harvard College, a library of books. similar in character and value to those just named, had been sent to Yale College, which was now established in New Haven. At this date there was not a single Episcopal Church in Connecticut, and very few families of Church people. There were, however, in this region, several earnest seekers after truth, dissatisfied and cheerless in their then position, among whom may be named especially Timothy Cutler, an accomplished scholar, and president of Yale College; Daniel Brown, one of the tutors; and Samuel Johnson, a Congregational preacher at West Haven. These, in company with others in like condition of mind, set to work to examine into the important subject of the ministry and doctrines of the apostolic and early Church. The result was, rather to the astonishment and alarm of most of their associates, a thorough conviction on their part that there was no valid ministry except through the laying-on of the hands of a bishop, and that the doctrines set forth in the Prayer-book are the true and full expression of the truth of the Gospel. Of course, Messrs. Cutler and Brown could not stay any longer in Yale College, which neither recognised nor tolerated the Church of England in any shape, but, in common with Congregationalists generally, as we are gravely told, "entertained fears lest the introduction of Episcopal worship into the colony should have a tendency gradually to undermine the foundations of civil and religious liberty." Accordingly these gentlemen resigned their positions, and, accompanied by Mr. Johnson, they sailed for England in November. 1722, were ordained to the ministry, and (except Mr. Brown, who died of smallpox) returned to America as missionaries of the society the following year. Dr. Cutler became rector of Christ's Church, Boston, and Dr. Johnson was settled at Stratford, Conn. Both of them were among the foremost men in the colonial Church, and were of especial service in defending its claims, warding off attacks, and promoting its growth and welfare. Both, too, lived till nearly the close of the colonial period, Dr. Cutler dying in 1765, Dr. Johnson in 1772. In fact, the Church in Connecticut was more than ordinarily blessed, and we find that, prior to the Revolution, it was comparatively vigorous and zealous in good works. The names of Beach, Seabury, Jarvis, Hubbard, and others abundantly evince this. Without attempting to go into details, it may here be stated that down to the outbreak of the Revolution, the Society for Propagating the Gospel maintained, on an average, thirty clergymen in the New England states, and about fifty in the other colonies. One list of churches which was sent home by a missionary in 1748 makes the number in New Hampshire two, in Rhode Island five, in Massachusetts twelve, in Connecticut seventeen-total, thirty-six. It must be borne in mind, too, that each missionary was placed in the centre of an extensive district, and supplied as far as possible the spiritual wants of the people, whom ofttimes he could reach only by long and even dangerous journeys to and from distant settlements. The Society did all that its means allowed in sending missionaries in all practicable directions, and it may justly and properly be noted of its work that when it began its operations in the colonies, it found but five churches; and when compelled by the revolt of the colonies to close its labors, it left the country with some two hundred and fifty churches.
The Church of England in America was peculiarly unhappy in its position just before anti at the period of the revolution. It had no popular favor to fall back upon in those days of trial. It was small in proportion to other Christian bodies, especially in the north, and it was hated and despised by the ill-informed multitude, who regarded it as virtually identical with priestcraft and tyranny. A considerable number of its clergy, particularly those who were English-born, felt compelled by their ordination vows to adhere to the cause of the king. This was sure to bring distress and trouble upon them and the Church likewise; for when the disputes with the mother country reached that crisis which culminated in the war of the revolution, there could be no longer any hesitation as to the side which every man must take. Then it became a necessity for a man to side with his country or with the king's party; he must be a patriot, heart and soul, or he must he ranked with and suffer with the odious Tories. The result was the abandonment of their fields of labor by most of the clergy in the employ of the Society for Propagating the Gospel, who found their only safety in flight to England or the British provinces; the closing of nearly all the churches; and, worse than all, the disgraceful ruin and defilement heaped upon many church edifices. It was none the less hard and unjust to American churchmen to be forced to bear all this in addition to the trials of war, inasmuch as it is only simple justice to put it on record, to the perpetual honor of the Church and the vindication of its members against the freely circulated charge of lack of patriotism in the great struggle against the tyranny of the English government, that the commander-in-chief of our army was a churchman, and the first chaplain of Congress was William White, a clergyman of the Protestant Episcopal Church.
2. History subsequent to the Revolution, including the full organization and entrance on its work of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States. — When, at last, the war was over, and the independence of the United States was acknowledged (1783), it became a matter of immediate concern to those who had heretofore been dependent on England for ordination of clergy, and for efficient and steady help from the Society for Propagating the Gospel, to ascertain what was now to be done. Here they were, few in numbers comparatively; cut off from all direct connection with the English Church; having not even the small comfort of being considered as any longer in the diocese of London; with no means of helping themselves; no bishops, few clergy, and these scattered over a large surface of country; in great perplexity as to the proper course to be pursued; and reduced pretty nearly to the condition of hopeless uncertainty.; In Virginia, for instance, at the beginning of the Revolution, there were 164 churches and chapels and 91 clergymen; at the close of the great struggle a large number of these churches had been destroyed; 95 parishes were extinct or forsaken; of the remaining 72, there were 34 without ministerial services; while of the 91 clergy only 28 remained. But, bad and distressing as was the state of affairs, it was not altogether desperate. The great Head of the Church did not abandon his people in their trouble.
Those brave and honest men who had tried for years and years to induce the government and Church of England to allow them to have a bishop — were thoroughly conscious that they must not now give up in despair. The mean and paltry reasons of state, and the venomous prejudice that had been stirred up from this side of the water against the continuous supplication for a bishop during nearly a century just past — these could certainly no longer have any force; for now there was a new nation in the world, in no wise hampered by any union of Church and State; now it could not be pretended that there was any danger to public liberty from the Episcopal Church having and enjoying what it regards as essential to its very life and growth. To us, at this day, when a century of existence has been granted to the United States, and the Protestant Episcopal Church has proved its right to be what it has now become, it seems almost incredible that it could ever have been seriously urged against that Church that its having bishops of its own was (in some strange, unaccountable way) hurtful and dangerous to liberty and true patriotism. However singular it may appear that such an opinion should prevail among fair-minded, intelligent persons, the fact is indisputable; this opinion did prevail, and did cause great trial and suffering to the Church in America. All that can be said is, that as prejudice is usually utterly unreasoning, and will listen to nothing which militates against its preconceived conclusions, so we have no alternative but to attribute some, at least, of the opposition to the Episcopal Church to this hard, stony prejudice; while it is almost certain that a large part of the opposition arose from settled hatred towards the Church and a determination to prevent its growth and influence. Bishop White's testimony is instructive in this connection. Writing in 1836, he says, "What a wonderful change has the author lived to witness in reference to American episcopacy! He remembers the ante-revolutionary times, when the presses profusely emitted pamphlets and newspaper disquisitions on the question whether an American bishop were to be endured; and when threats were thrown out of throwing such a person, if sent among us, into the river, although his agency was advocated for the sole purpose of a communion submitting itself to his spiritual jurisdiction.... The order has existed among us for nearly the half of a century, and not a single complaint has been heard, either of usurpation to the injury of any other denomination, or of arbitrary government within our own." Organization and union, as far as practicable, were now of first importance. It was no new thing for the clergy to meet in their several districts from year to year. This had been done at intervals all through the 18th century, up to the end of the colonial period. In Virginia and Maryland, where the Church of England was established by law, meetings, consisting of a large number of the clergy and laity, were held in the spring of 1784-85. In Virginia, the chief effort was to rid the Church of State control, to obtain liberty to act freely in ecclesiastical matters, and to have the Episcopal Church incorporated in accordance with the laws of the state, so as to hold and retain its rights of property in churches, glebe lands, etc. A general willingness was expressed of uniting with Episcopal churches in other states; but ground was taken in regard to bishops and their office and position which alarmed the Northern churches. The Virginia notion was to reduce a bishop to the lowest possible point, to use him simply for ordaining and confirming, to make him serve as a parish minister, and be amenable to the convention, etc. In Maryland, a special effort was made to secure a bill of rights for the Episcopal Church, for objects similar to those just named in the case of Virginia; "a declaration of certain fundamental rights and liberties of the Protestant Episcopal Church of Maryland" was set forth; and Dr. William Smith was chosen to go to England for the purpose of obtaining episcopal orders. It may be mentioned here that, for various and sufficient reasons, Dr. Smith did not obtain the proper papers, and was never consecrated. Farther south, a convention, consisting of a small number of clergy and laity, was held in Charleston, S. C., in 178586. The feeling against the Church of England was very bitter in that part of the country, which had suffered greatly from the ravages of the British armies. This convention, acknowledging the need of the three orders in the ministry, was willing to go so far as a general approval of union, but stipulated that there was to be no bishop settled in that state without the consent of the Church there. In January, 1784, Dr. Beach, of New Brunswick, N. J., made a suggestion to Dr. White, of Philadelphia, and Dr. Provoost, of New York, that a conference of as many of the clergy as could be conveniently got together be held, to take into consideration the condition of Church affairs. Previously to this, in August, 1782, before the recognition of American independence, and when it seemed as if the ministry of the Church were almost annihilated, Dr. White had issued a pamphlet, entitled "The Case of the Episcopal Churches in the United States Considered." In this pamphlet, which excited considerable attention, the writer, apprehending the possibility of the Church being compelled to go forward without obtaining the succession from England, advocated the formation of a new body, without bishops in the regular line — in fact, a new presbyterian denomination. This, however, was only in case absolute necessity required such a course, and, as bishop White himself subsequently stated, it was suggested only for such a possible state of affairs. The writer was, in reality, too good a churchman not to embrace joyfully the opportunity which was offered three years later of obtaining the succession in the English line. A meeting of several clergymen from New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, members of the Corporation for the Relief of Widows and Children of Clergymen, was held in New Brunswick, May 11, 1784. At this meeting a number of laymen were also present, and another meeting was appointed for October in the same year in New York. Accordingly, Oct. 6.1784, some fifteen clergymen from New England, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland, and eleven laymen from the same states, assembled in New York. The principal result was the making of several important recommendations, such as, that there be a General Convention of the Episcopal Church; that each state send clerical and lay deputies; that the doctrines held by the Church of England be adhered to; that the Prayer-book be altered only in so far as civil changes demand: that in any state having a bishop, he be, ex officio, a member of the convention; that the clergy and laity deliberate together, but vote separately; that the first meeting of a general convention be held in Philadelphia on Tuesday before the Feast of St. Michael, in 1785, etc. Probably the most important benefit secured by the action of this body was a recognition of the value and need of lay representation as not only right in itself, but also in admirable harmony with the constitution of a republican form of government. The New England feeling was quite strong against the having a lay element in Church councils, and for a few years it appeared as if serious discord might arise, and hinder the union of the churches in the several states; but, happily the point was conceded, though with some reluctance, by the Connecticut bishop and clergy in 1789. One other point of difference existed at the time. The Connecticut sentiment was decidedly in favor of securing a bishop first, and then proceeding to act as a fully organized Church, in passing laws, revising the liturgy, etc., and such was the course adopted in that state. Dr. Samuel Seabury, bishop-elect, meeting with annoying difficulties and delays in England, was consecrated by Scotch bishops, in November, 1784, and, on his return home early in the summer of 1785, entered at once upon his duties as bishop of Connecticut. The churches in the middle and more southerly portions of the country held an opposite opinion to that entertained in Connecticut and Massachusetts, and in accordance therewith went forward, and took various steps antecedent to the obtaining of the succession from England.
The first meeting of clergy and laity which can properly be considered as approaching to a general convention was held in Philadelphia in September and October, 1785. Seven states were represented by 16 clergymen and 26 laymen. It was hoped that bishop Seabury and some of the New England clergy might be present; but, as they were not satisfied as yet on several points, they declined attending. Dr. White was chosen president, and Dr.
Griffith, of Virginia, secretary, and the convention proceeded promptly to the work of organization and revision. A plan for obtaining the episcopal succession, and an address to the archbishops and bishops of the Church of England were discussed and agreed upon. These papers were mainly the production of Dr. White, and were manly and dignified in tone and statement. A draft of alterations of the liturgy, in order to adapt it to the existing condition of civil affairs, and to get rid of certain offensive features, was submitted, as was also an "Ecclesiastical Constitution;" and the work went on vigorously till the close of the session, Oct. 7. The committee on altering and improving the Prayer-book were Drs. White, W. Smith, and Wharton. They were authorized to make changes of various kinds, "but in such a manner that nothing in form or substance be altered;" to accompany the volume with "a proper preface or address. setting forth the reason and expediency of the alterations;" and to publish the work for the use of Episcopal churches. The result of their labors was the "Proposed Book," as it is known in Church history. The major part of the alterations were made by Dr. Smith; and these alterations, both as to matter and spirit, deserve the attention of every student of our history. Besides a large number of verbal changes, the article "He descended into hell," in the Apostles' Creed, and the Nicene and Athanasian Creeds, were ejected; the "Articles of Religion" were reduced to twenty; a calendar and table of holydays were set forth; a long preface (the basis of the preface to the Book of Common Prayer as it now is) was added, etc. The volume proved to be quite unsatisfactory. Its changes were looked upon as too radical by many of the clergy and conventions; and hardly had the book been issued before it became evident that the Church was not ready or willing to accept it. From every quarter, when state conventions met, amendments were proposed and urged upon the attention of the Church; and nowhere was the book adopted, except in a few churches for temporary use. Bishop White says it was "a great error" to print the book at all in its then condition, and still more to print a large edition in hope of getting, by its sale, pecuniary returns to be used for charitable purposes. It was a crude and ill-digested affair, and it never received the first sanction of the Church. Subsequent general conventions ignored it altogether, and it will ever remain as the "Proposed Book," not the Book of Common Prayer which was later adopted, and is the Church's permanent heritage.
At the meeting of the next convention in Philadelphia, June 20, 1786, ten clergy and eleven laymen were present. The prospect was by no means encouraging. Indeed, as bishop White states, "the convention assembled under circumstances which bore strong appearances of a dissolution of the union in this early stage of it." The correspondence with the archbishops and bishops in England made it evident that there was an apprehension existing in their minds that the American Episcopal Church was scarcely sound in the faith, and they answered cautiously and with reserve in regard to the application for the episcopate. This was quite natural, and it need occasion no surprise that they objected to many of the alterations in the Prayer-book and to various features in the "Ecclesiastical Constitution," as it was then arranged. Renewed and distinct assurances were expected from the American Church that there was no intention whatever on its part of departing from the Church of England in doctrine or in discipline and worship, except in so far as changed civil relations made it necessary, before the venerable prelates were willing to act as they were asked to do. There was also considerable unpleasant feeling excited by an expressed determination of several members of the convention (Provoost and R. Smith especially) to throw doubt upon the validity of bishop Seabulry's orders, obtained from the line of the Scotch nonjuring bishops. The convention showed its good sense and discretion by refusing to take any action inimical to the bishop of Connecticut or his position; a resolution simply was passed advising the churches then represented in convention not to receive ministers ordained by any bishop in America, during the application pending to the English bishops for episcopal consecration. "A General Constitution of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States," freed from some serious former objections, was agreed upon, as also an answer to the letter from the archbishops and bishops of the Church of England. This latter, with the constitution. it was hoped and expected would give entire satisfaction. At an adjourned meeting held in Wilmington, Del., in October, 1786, the letter just before received from the archbishops and bishops, with forms of testimonials and the act of parliament authorizing the consecration of bishops for foreign countries, were read, and appropriate action was taken. A declaratory "Act of the General Convention of Clerical and Lay Deputies of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the States of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and South Carolina" was passed; and it was determined, in accordance with the earnest recommendation of the archbishops and bishops, to restore the omitted article (descent into hell) in the Apostles' Creed, and to put back in its proper place in the Prayer-book the Nicene Creed. At the same time it was resolved that the Athanasian Creed be omitted altogether, only one clergyman voting in its favor. Testimonials were signed in behalf of Dr. White, Dr. Provoost, and Dr. Griffith, bishops elect respectively of Pennsylvania, New York, and Virginia. The convention refused to give a like testimonial in favor of Dr. W. Smith, bishop elect of Maryland. On Nov. 2, 1786, Drs. White and Proroost embarked for England, and arrived on the 20th; Dr. Griffith, for personal reasons, was unable to accompany them. When they reached London, they were introduced to the archbishop by the American minister, John Adams, who, as bishop White says, in his Memoirs, "in this particular, and in every instance in which his personal attentions could be either of use or as an evidence of his respect and kindness, continued to manifest his concern for the interests of a Church of which he was not a member." After some little delay, owing to Parliament not being in session, the consecration took place, Sunday, Feb. 4, 1787, in Lambeth chapel. The two archbishops, and the bishops of Bath and Wells and of Peterborough, united in the solemn act of giving the apostolic succession to the American Church.* The new bishops very soon left England for home, and, after a long voyage of some seven weeks, arrived in New York on the afternoon of Easter-day, April 7. Thus, at last, was secured for the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States the long and earnestly sought-for privilege of having its organization rendered complete; thus, too, from this date it took its place as a distinct national branch of the Church of Christ, with all the privileges and duties and responsibilities thereunto attached.
*This was certainly a connection by ordination with the Established Church of England, but whether it was truly an "apostolic succession," is a very different question, which we do not think this the proper place to discuss. — ED.
The General Convention of 1789 assembled, July 28, in Philadelphia, bishop White presiding; bishop Provoost was absent. There were seventeen clergymen and sixteen laymen present from seven states, including South Carolina; but none came from New England. An application was made by the clergy of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, asking for the consecration of the Rev. Edward Bass as bishop. This application was placed on the ground that there were now three bishops (the proper canonical number) in America, and that consequently they were fully able to act in the premises. A resolution was unanimously passed "that, in the opinion of this convention, the consecration of the Right Rev. Dr. Seabury to the episcopal office is valid," and the general sentiment was strongly in favor of compliance with the request of the Massachusetts clergy. There was, however, an obstacle which hindered this compliance at this time, viz., the obligation which bishops White and Provoost felt themselves to lie under to the English bishops, not to consecrate any to the episcopal office until there were three in the English line in the United States. Dr. Griffith, in May, 1789, relinquished his appointment as bishop elect of Virginia, and died in Philadelphia during the session. Hence, it was thought best not to act at present upon the application from Massachusetts. A body of canons, ten in number, was adopted; a General Constitution of the Church was agreed upon in substance; an appropriate address was prepared, thanking the archbishops of Canterbury and York for their good offices in regard to the episcopate; also, an address was sent to the President of the United States, which was courteously answered by Washington; and the convention adjourned. August 8, to meet again in the same place, Sept. 29. An important part of the object of this adjourned session was to secure the union of the churches in New England with those already joined together. This was now happily accomplished. Bishop Seabury appeared, and took his place as a member of the convention, as did also deputies from Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. The third article of the constitution was modified so as to secure to the bishops the right to assemble and act as a separate house, in originating measures, etc.; they also were to have from this time a negative on the action of the lower house, unless adhered to by a four-fifths vote. The bishops then withdrew and organized as a house. Bishop Provoost being absent on account of illness, bishop Seabury took the chair. From this date there have been two houses, whose concurrent action is necessary to the adoption of any legislation, the bishops also (since 1808) having the full negative on the action of the other house. The convention now entered upon its most important work, which was to provide and place on a firm foundation the Book of Common Prayer for the American Church. The English liturgy was made the basis, and though entire independence of action was claimed by the House of Deputies, as if there were no book of any authority or obligation now in existence, yet there was, after all, a sense of the propriety and fitness of varying as little as possible from the Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England. Five committees were appointed, to whom were assigned different portions of the work, and they discharged their duties with as much expedition as was practicable. The result, as soon as agreed upon by the house, was sent to the bishops for their action. The alterations were principally verbal, and for the purpose of adapting the services to the needs and uses of a Church situate as the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States was and is. An office of Visitation of Prisoners, a service for Thanksgiving Day, and an order of Family Prayer were added, as also Selections of Psalms to be used instead of those for the day, Tate and Brady's version of the Psalms, and some hymns in metre. One noticeable change was made in the Communion Office, i.e. putting in their proper place the oblation and the invocation of the Holy Spirit, as found in the first Prayerbook of Edward VI. and also in the Scotch Communion Service. This was due mainly to bishop Seabury, who was under something of a pledge to the Scottish bishops to secure this change, if possible. The meekness and wisdom of bishop White were clearly evident in this matter, as in everything. He was always ready to yield where principle was not violated, and he puts it on record that his discussions with bishop Seabury were entirely amicable and satisfactory to both parties. "To this day," he says, "there are recollected with satisfaction the hours which were spent with bishop Seabury on the important subjects which came before them, and especially the Christian temper which he manifested all along." The Apostles' and Nicene Creeds were adopted with hearty assent by the convention. A rubric was prefixed to the former, as follows: "And any churches may omit the words 'he descended into hell,' or may, instead of them, use the words 'he went into the place of departed spirits,' which are considered as words of the same meaning in the Creed." Bishop Seabury desired much to have the Athanasian Creed inserted not as obligatory on all, as in the Church of England, but as permissory for those wishing to use it; but, as bishop White states, the House of Deputies "would not allow of the creed in any shape." The consideration of the "Articles of Religion" was postponed to a subsequent convention. The Book of Common Prayer was formally ratified by the bishops, clergy, and laity in convention, Oct. 16, 1789: "This Convention having, in their present session, set forth A Book of Common Prayer, and Administration of the Sacraments, and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church, do hereby establish the said Book; and they declare it to be the Liturgy of this Church, and require that it be received as such by all the members of the same; and this Book shall be in use from and after the first day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety." A number of canons were passed in regard to episcopal visitations, publishing a list of the clergy, observance of the Lord's day, etc. The consecration of Dr. Bass was deferred. Dr. Madison, of Virginia, was consecrated bishop in England, Sept. 19, 1790; and thus the full number of bishops was secured through the English line. Two years later the consecration of Dr. Claggett as bishop of Maryland united both lines in the American episcopate, bishop Seabury being present and joining in the solemn act.
The convention of 1792 met in New York Sept. 11. There were five bishops, nineteen clerical and fourteen lay deputies in attendance, and the session lasted seven days. The Ordinal was revised and set forth, the alterations being few. An alternate form at the ordination of priests was furnished; instead of "Receive the Holy (host for the office and work of a priest in the Church of God, now committed unto thee by the imposition of our hands; whose sins thou dost forgive, they are forgiven; and whose sins thou dost retain, they are retained. And be thou," etc.; the bishop ordering is allowed to say, "Take thou authority to execute the office of a priest in the Church of God, now committed to thee by the imposition of our hands. And be thou," etc. The consideration of the Articles was further postponed. An act was passed "for supporting missionaries to preach the Gospel on the frontiers of the United States," in which it was recommended that annual sermons be preached in all the churches, that collections be made, and missionaries be sent out as soon as may be, these being under the canonical jurisdiction of the bishop of Pennsylvania. "Agreeably to the requirement of a canon adopted at the last convention, a list of the clergy of the Church is printed in the appendix to the journal. Including the bishops, the number given is one hundred and eighty-four, no lists having been handed in from New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and there being no mention of the number of clergymen at that time in North Carolina and on the Western frontiers. With every allowance there could not have been more than two hundred, the representatives of nearly two thousand who, with English orders, had labored on the American continent since its earliest attempted settlement, two hundred and fifty years before" (Perry). One other matter deserves to be put on record here, not only because of the importance of the object had in view both as regards one of the most influential denominations in the United States and the Protestant Episcopal Church, but also because of the entire failure at that date of so earnest and truly catholic a movement. We give it in the language of bishop White: "Bishop Madison had communicated to the author, on their journey from Philadelphia to New York, a design which he had much at heart-that of effecting a reunion with the Methodists; and he was so sanguine as to believe that by an accommodation to them in a few instances, they would be induced to give up their peculiar discipline, and conform to the leading parts of the doctrine, the worship, and the discipline of the Episcopal Church. It is to be noted that he had no idea of comprehending them, on the condition of their continuing embodied, as at present. On this there was communicated to him an intercourse held with Dr. Coke, one of the superintendents of that society which might have shown to bishop Madison how hopeless all endeavors for such a junction must prove. Nevertheless, he persisted in his well-meant design. The result of this was his introducing into the House of Bishops a proposition, which his brethren. after some modifications, approving of the motive, but expecting little as the result of it, consented to send to the other house." The proposition (as given by bishop White) was placed on a broad and liberal basis, leaving most of matters to future discussion and settlement at a subsequent convention. "On the reading of this in the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies, they were astonished, and considered it as altogether preposterous; tending to produce distrust of the stability of the system of the Episcopal Church, without the least prospect of embracing any other religious body. The members generally stated, as a matter of indulgence, that they would permit the withdrawing of the paper, and no notice to be taken of it. A few gentlemen, however, who had got some slight intimations of the correspondence between Dr. Coke and the author, who would have been gratified by an accommodation with the Methodists, and who thought that the paper sent was a step in measures to be taken to that effect, spoke in favor of the proposition. But it was not to be endured; and the bishops silently withdrew it, agreeably to leave given." Bishop White gives, in addition, the letter of Dr. Coke, and an account of several interviews had with him. The letter is an instructive one in many respects, and shows what Dr. Coke thought of his supposed "episcopal" character, derived from John Wesley; bishop White's remarks and statements also are worthy of grave consideration. The subject has been more than once agitated, and sometimes men have become sanguine of being able to effect the end desired; but as the question of ordination still holds the place which it did in Dr. Coke's day, and the Methodist ministers almost certainly cannot be brought to acknowledge the obligation of being ordained by our bishops in order to officiate in our churches, we apprehend that there never has been any real probability of bringing the Methodists to a sense of the duty and propriety of becoming reunited to the Church at whose altars John Wesley always ministered, and which he at least was never willing to abandon.
Owing to the prevalence of epidemic disease in Philadelphia and its vicinity, the convention of 1795 was but thinly attended, and from the same cause no convention was held in 1798. A special convention, however, met in Philadelphia, June 11, 1799. Eight states were represented, nineteen clerical and ten lay deputies being present. Bishop Seabury, who had died in 1796, was succeeded by bishop Jarvis, consecrated Sept. 18, 1797. Dr. R. Smith was made bishop of South Carolina in 1795, and Dr. Bass of Massachusetts in 1797. At this convention an attempt was made to obtain its approval of Dr. U. Ogden, bishop elect of New Jersey; but it failed entirely, and Dr. Ogden a few years later joined the Presbyterians. A proposition was made to hold General Convention every five years; a form of consecration of a church or chapel was set forth; and seventeen articles were reported and read. These were ordered to be laid over, and printed in the journal. The clergy-list gives seven bishops and two hundred and twelve clergymen. At the convention of 1801, held at Trenton, N. J., Sept. 8, it was announced that bishop Provoost had resigned his jurisdiction as bishop of New York. Under the circumstances it was deemed right to consecrate Dr. Benjamin Moore as his assistant, the principle being distinctly stated that bishop Provoost was bishop during his life, and that bishop Moore was simply assistant or coadjutor, competent to all episcopal duty, but still to act in concurrence with bishop Provoost. The principal work of the convention was the final settlement of the question as to articles of religion. The printing of the seventeen articles, in the journal of 1799, produced one good result, viz., showing how difficult it was and would be to agree upon a new set of articles for the Protestant Episcopal Church, and leading the minds of the convention to a ready acceptance of the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England. It was bishop White's view that these articles were really "the acknowledged faith of the Church" all along, and that the safest and most satisfactory course was to make certain necessary changes, arising out of the actual condition of affairs, and then to adopt the Thirty-nine entire. This was accordingly done, and, as bishop White states, the articles "were adopted by the two houses of convention, without their altering even the obsolete diction in them; but with notices of such changes as change of situation had rendered necessary." Article VIII was amended by leaving out the Athanasian Creed. Article XXI, on general councils, was omitted, the reason being given in a note, "because it is partly of a local and civil nature, and is provided for, as to the remaining parts of it, in other articles." The XXXVth Article, on the homilies, was retained, with a note added suspending "the order for the reading of said homilies in churches until revision of them may conveniently be made, for the clearing of them, as well from obsolete words and phrases as from the local references." Article XXXVI was altered in so far as to set forth that the ordinal of 1792 contained the Church's views and principles on this important point. Article XXXVII in the English Prayer-book was omitted, and a new one substituted, "Of the Power of the Civil Magistrate." The articles as a whole were then ratified by both houses of convention, and they have ever since held their place in the Prayer-book and standards of the Church. Bishop White's remarks, in this connection, deserve to be quoted: "'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 separating 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."
3. History of the Protestant Episcopal Church since the beginning of the century.— The standards of the Church having thus been adopted and secured, in the final setting-forth of the Book of Common Prayer, its history and progress since that date are those of a completely organized branch of the Catholic Church. That it did not at once expand itself and cover the land is sadly true, and that it has had in later years its times of sore trial and despondency is equally true. There was unhappily in the early part of the century a lack of thorough education in Church principles; there were the prevalence of sectarianism, jealousy felt by the various Protestant denominations, the sleepless enmity of the Roman Church towards the Protestant Episcopal Church, and wide-spread ungodliness on every hand, resulting in spiritual torpor and almost death. For a time it seemed (as Dr. Hawks says of Virginia) as if naught but "gloomy darkness" enveloped the Church. By a strange combination of circumstances, the act of the legislature of Virginia confiscating the glebes and Church property, which was resisted on the ground of being clearly illegal, became law by the death of the presiding judge in the court of appeals the night before he was to deliver the decision, all written out, securing to the Church its just rights. The effect upon the Church in Virginia was fearful and well-nigh disastrous, especially in the ruin and utter abandonment of church edifices and the dyingout of religion in every shape among the people. Even when, in 1814, a brighter day began to dawn, "the journals of the convention by which bishop R. C. Moore was elected show the presence of but seven clergymen and seventeen laymen. We look back upon the past, and are struck with the contrast. Seven clergymen were all that could be convened to transact the most important measure which our conventions are ever called upon to perform, and this in a territory where once more than ten times seven regularly served at the altar. We look back still farther, and find the Church, after the lapse of two hundred years, numbering about as many ministers as she possessed at the close of the first eight years of her existence" (Hawks). In Maryland and its neighbor Delaware, matters were hardly any better. "In 1803 there was a spirit of indifference to religion and the Church too extensively prevalent in the parishes; nearly one half of them were vacant; in some, all ministerial support had ceased. Some few of the clergy had deserted their stations; and of the residue, several, disheartened and embarrassed by inadequate means of living, had sought subsistence in other states. Infidelity and fanaticism were increasing; and, on the whole, there never was a time when ministers were more needed, or when it was more difficult to obtain them" (Hawks). Such was the state of things in general at the South in the early part of the 19th century. Further North, in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and much of New England, the prospects were more cheering. The consecration of John Henry Hobart as assistant to bishop B. Moore of New York, May 29, 1811, and of Alexander Viets Griswold for the eastern diocese (i.e. Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Vermont) at the same date, were indications of healthy growth. The former became especially prominent, during his episcopate of nearly twenty years, as the representative of what are called "High-Churchmen"* in the Protestant Episcopal Church, and his influence on the character, claims, and position of the Church in the United States, in the estimate of his own people as well as the various Christian bodies among whom he lived, can hardly be overvalued. No one could possibly, or did, misunderstand him, and he was so resolute withal in the open avowal of his principles and convictions, and so ready to defend them on all occasions, even that "unchurching" dogma, as many like to call it, that it may be doubted if any bishop or clergyman of the Protestant Episcopal Church has ever done so much as John Henry Hobart in defining the position and claims, and educating, so to speak, the whole Church to the adoption of fixed and settled views on this important subject. Bishop Hobart's personal character and devotion to his work, his unquestioned purity of purpose in all that he did, his lifelong free and cordial correspondence with bishop White (whom no one ever charged with being a High-Churchman), strengthened, undoubtedly, his influence; and even those who differed with him, and represented what are called "Low- Church" views and principles, could not but respect a high-toned, conscientious advocate of principles to which they were, with equal conscientiousness, totally opposed. It is not, probably, too much to affirm that the steadfast adherence of the Protestant Episcopal Church to its standards of doctrine, discipline, and worship, and its fixed and often expressed determination (through the General Convention and its action), never to recede from its attitude towards either Rome or Protestants of various names, are due in great measure to the labors, teaching, and publications of bishop Hobart, and the large number of clergymen and laymen who have been educated in the Church principles with which his name is associated.
* Perhaps it may be well to say here that the terms or appellations "High- Churchman." "Low-Churchman," "evanglelical," "ritualist or ritualistic," etc., are used simply for convenience, and to save repeated periphrases. The writer of these pages neither affirms nor denies the applicability of the words to or about those specially concerned. No disrespect is meant to any one, on the one hand, by the use of terms, and, on the other, is any claim of superiority made in behalf of those to whom the word is applied. — ED.
The action of the General Convention, from this time onward, has been devoted to legislating for the best interests of the Church, and as far as possible to taking such steps as are calculated, under God's blessing, to promote the increase of faith and holy obedience, to guard against the intrusion of error and unsound doctrine, and to place various matters of doubt or difference of opinion on such a footing that the largest toleration be allowed, in these respects, consistent with preserving the faith once delivered to the saints and the maintenance of apostolic truth and order. In 1804 a "Course of Ecclesiastical Studies" was set forth by the bishops, and it still remains in its original shape, notwithstanding that many and valuable works, in the several departments of theology, have since been published, and are in use in our seminaries and schools of divinity. The General Convention of 1871, in its canon on examinations for orders, says: "In all these examinations reference shall be had, as closely as possible, to the course of study established by the House of Bishops, and to the books therein recommended, or equivalent works of more recent date." In 1808
the bishops, in a message to the House of Deputies, who had asked for the enactment of the English canon concerning marriages, expressed their doubts as to the propriety of entering upon the question: and at a later date (1841) there were two reports of committees presented on this subject, the majority adverse to legislation, the minority in favor of enacting the canon. Thus the matter stands, the civil law being supreme, except in regard to marriage of divorced persons, which is as follows: "No minister of this Church shall knowingly, after due inquiry, solemnize the marriage of any person who has a divorced husband or wife still living, if such husband or wife has been put away for any cause arising after marriage; but this canon shall not be held to apply to the innocent party in a divorce for the cause of adultery, or to parties once divorced seeking to be united again" (see Hoffman, Law of the Protestant Episcopal Church, p. 71-84). The words of bishop White ought to be quoted in this connection: ' On a retrospect of the transactions of this convention there is entertained the trust that it did not end without a general tendency to consolidate the communion; although, in the course of the business, there had been displayed, more than in any other convention, the influence of some notions leadlinlg far wide of that rational devotion which this Church has inherited from the Church of England. The spirit here complained of was rather moderated than raised higher during the session. But it being liable to be combined with schemes of personal consequence, there is no foreseeing to what lengths it may extend in future." In 1814 the subject of a theological seminary was discussed, and the need of such an institution began to be evident. Three years later its organization was resolved upon, and initiatory measures were adopted. Its officers, course of study, etc., were finally agreed upon in 1820, and it began its work. The seminary was removed from New Haven to New York, and the next year it was finally established as "The General Theological Seminary of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States." By this action, however, it was distinctly understood that there was to be no hindrance to any state or diocese establishing a seminary of its own. Time has shown the wisdom of this policy of non-interference; for, in consequence of the vast extent of territory of the United States, it is found to be simply impossible to gather all the candidates for orders in the Church within the walls of the seminary in New York. We may mention here that there are divinity schools or seminaries in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Wisconsin, and other Western states and dioceses. — At this convention the identity of the Protestant Episcopal Church with the Church of England was declared in the following terms: "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 the body to which the two names have been applied, the House think it expedient to male the declaration, and to request the concurrence of the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies therein, that 'The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America' is the same body heretofore known in these states by the name of 'The Church of England;' the change of name, although not of religious principle in doctrine, or in worship, or in discipline, being induced by a characteristic of the Church of England, supposing the independence of Christian churches, under the different sovereignties to which, respectively, their allegiance in civil concerns belongs. But that, when the severance alluded to took place, and ever since, the Church conceives of herself as professing and acting on the principles of the Church of England is evident from the organizations of our conventions, and from their subsequent proceedings as recorded in the journals, to which, accordingly, this convention refer for satisfaction in the premises. But it would be contrary to fact were any one to infer that the discipline exercised in this Church, or that any proceedings therein, are at all dependent on the will of the civil or of the ecclesiastical authority of any foreign country." The result of this declaration was, some twelve years later in Vermont, where the Society for Propagating the Gospel had formerly owned lands, "that all the material points of law were settled in favor of the Church." — At this session also the constitution of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Church was perfected, and the American Church has since done much — though not so much as it might and ought to have done — in preaching the Gospel in the waste places in our own land, and in sending the light of Christian truth and power to heathen lands and peoples. From this date the Church seems to have experienced more fully than before the goodness and mercy of God in sending his grace upon it, and to have given plain indications of healthy increase in the various parts of our country.— Following the uniform plan, adopted under bishop White's gentle but firm guidance and influence, of keeping clear of entanglements, the convention, in 1820, refused to allow the officiating of persons not regularly ordained; and such is the law at the present day: "No minister in charge of any congregation of this Church, or, in case of vacancy or absence, no churchwardens, vestrymen, or trustees of the congregation, shall permit any person to officiate therein without sufficient evidence of his being duly licensed or ordained to minister in this Church." Hence, whatever individual clergymen may venture to do in such cases in the way of inviting ministers of various sorts into their churches, it is always to be borne in mind that they do it of their own will and pleasure, and in violation of the canon which they have promised to obey. As a further illustration of the Church's policy, it may be noted that, in 1823, an offer was made by the Colonization Society that the Episcopal Church should send a delegate to act with that society in its benevolent plans. It was deemed inexpedient to accept the offer, the bishops holding that the objects of this society were "more of a political than religious nature." — At the convention of 1826 bishop Hobart presented a plan for shortening the morning service, in respect to the Psalter, the Lessons, Litany, etc., and also for improving and rendering more effective the confirmation service in the Prayerbook. Quite unexpectedly, considerable excitement followed this proposal, and three years later, when the sense of the state conventions became known as adverse to any changes in the services, the plan was quietly dismissed from all further consideration. So strong is the conservative element in the councils of the Church, and so great is the unwillingness to make any — even the least-changes in the Prayer-book, that daily morning and evening prayer, with all that belong to them, have continued to be, and are, obligatory in their entire fulness. It is tolerably certain, however, that some, if not many, of the wisest and most devoted among the clergy would gladly welcome a permissory use of a shorter form of daily service for certain occasions, and under certain circumstances, where it would tend to greater edification and obviate some of the vulgar objections against liturgical forms and services. Something looking to this result was accomplished by an expression of the views of the bishops, at the General Convention of 1856; but at the next convention (1859) it was evident, from the course of debate on the "Memorial," as it was called, and the general sense of the House of Deputies, that the Church was not then, nor has it since been, ready to make any ventures in the direction of liturgical relaxation and Church comprehension.
In the "Great West," as it used to be called, it became plain at this date that the Protestant Episcopal Church had a work of no ordinary interest and importance to perform. The rapid filling-up of the states west of the Alleghanies, and the sad fact that, in the race for life and increase of wealth and power, religion, in any and every form, was almost wholly ignored. caused no little anxiety and concern to thoughtful men in the older states;
for it was too certain not to be clearly seen that if the West were to be abandoned to chance efforts and the zeal of a few religious men here and there, the result would be that that portion of the country would grow up into might and wealth virtually heathen or infidel, and would be without the restraining bonds of Christian faith and morals, and the civilizing and elevating influences of the Gospel of Christ. In the good providence of God, there was a man, named Philander Chase, whose heart was turned in this direction. After considerable experience in missionary labors in various quarters, Chase set out for Ohio in 1817, determined to give himself to the work of an evangelist in that part of the United States. His labors were blessed, and he seemed to be the very man for the work to be (lone; hence, in 1819 he was consecrated bishop of Ohio. Every kind of labor and toil came upon him, but he bore tip under it all. Yet the deep consciousness that, if the Gospel was to be preached, there must be men to do it — men, too, educated and trained for this special work, in a new country and among new settlers — pressed heavily upon his mind, and caused him to revolve anxiously what he was to do in such a state of affairs. le concluded to visit England, and to beg for means to found a college and seminary in Ohio for the education of young men for the ministry. The voyage was undertaken (though its expediency was doubted by many), and bishop Chase obtained in all some thirty to forty thousand dollars in aid of his much-cherished object. He returned home in July, 1824, ands during the next two years was busily engaged in laying the foundation of Kenyon College and the Theological Seminary at Ganmbier (both names being derived from prominent donors to the cause). In due time the college went into operation, bishop Chase assuming the presidency. Not long after, however, there arose differences of opinion between him and the professors as to the ex tent of the bishop's powers in this office. The convention of the diocese sustained the professors, which led to an immediate resignation by the sturdy old man, not, only as president of the college, but also as bishop of Ohio. This was in September, 1831, and the case of his resignation of the diocese came before the General Convention of 1832. The House of Bishops pointedly censured abandonment of the diocese under such circumstances; but, in order that the Church should not suffer harm, the bishops united with the other House in approving the election of Dr. C. P. McIlvaine, who was consecrated bishop of Ohio, Oct. 31, 1832. Bishop Chase, we may mention here, continued his course westward, and was elected to the episcopate of Illinois in 1835. He visited England again, received further liberal donations in aid of the cause of Christian education, and founded another institution, which he called Jubilee College. For this he obtained, in 1847, a charter to his mind on the point of the bishop's control in its affairs. Since those days, headed by the venerable Jackson Kemper, missionary bishop of the North-west, sent out in 1835, the Protestant Episcopal Church has not been altogether unmindful of its duty and privilege; and all through that vast field beyond the Mississippi, even to the Pacific Ocean, there are heralds of the cross engaged in their sacred vocation. The episcopate, since 1859, has been coextensive with the boundaries of the United States; and the Church, in its complete organization, has been, and is, striving to bring men to the obedience of the faith of Christ.
The venerable William White, in the fiftieth year of his episcopate, was called away to his rest, July 17, 1836. His name will ever be held in grateful memory by the Church in America, as well for the long-continued and earnest labors in its behalf which he was permitted to perform, as for the wisdom and judgment of his course on all occasions during a life extended far beyond the ordinary limit allotted to man. Meekness and gentleness, a large-hearted liberality, a spirit of genuine toleration, a willingness to yield for peace' sake in all matters where principle was not, in his judgment, clearly involved — these and the like qualities fitted him admirably for the station he was called upon, in God's providence, to fill; and we may with reverent thankfulness trace the indications of God's goodness and mercy to his Church in America, that such a man was raised up to take large share in its early struggles and history, and to live to so great an age as to see the "little one become a thousand," and the grain of mustardseed grow up, and become a tree, and shoot out great branches. Bishop White's biographer and intimate friend, Dr. B. Wilson, classes him among "the Low Church divines, as they were called in England, of the established Church in that country," and the good bishop has been claimed as representing that portion of the clergy in the Protestant Episcopal Church to whom the same title has been applied. Doubtless, bishop White was not what is termed a "High-Churchman;" for, though he was on terms of great intimacy with bishop Hobart (of whom we have before spoken), and entertained for him warm affection and sincere respect, yet he was never willing to express his assent to all the views of bishop Hobart on the subject of the ministry, and the necessity of the apostolic succession in order to constitute a lawful ministry in the Church. He held episcopacy to be of divine origin, and therefore, of course, the best form and mode of Church government; but, in view of the condition of the Protestant world, he did not consider it to be absolutely necessary, or that those who depart from or reject it are guilty of causing and perpetuating schism in the body of Christ. On the other hand, he was not at all a "Low-Churchman," in the sense of undervaluing episcopal organization and responsibility, or looking upon it as a matter of little or no moment. This was very evident by his steadfast adherence to the Church's ways and course in all matters where it was needful to take a stand in regard to other Christian bodies. His courtesy and kindness of heart, and his truly charitable estimate of the views held by pious people not connected with the Protestant Episcopal Church, and of the sincerity of their motives and aims, naturally led him to look with favor upon what might be proposed where it is usually thought Christians of all names can work together for the common good; but, practically, in all such matters he maintained his ground as stoutly as any High-Churchman ever did. He held steadily to the opinion that the Protestant Episcopal Church was much better off by keeping to itself in all ecclesiastical affairs, and that it was entirely inexpedient to form unions or alliances of any kind, or to "exchange pulpits," as the phrase is, or. in fine, to run the risk of any sort of possible entanglements with other denominations. This was the result of settled conviction on bishop White's part, and it was well understood to be so on all hands. It did not, however, prevent his having and preserving personal intercourse with Christians of every name; it did not lead him to indulge in denunciations of or interference with others, however far they may, in his judgment, have wandered from the true path; and it did not produce any ill feeling towards him by those who might have complained, in his case as well as that of others, of what is often termed "exclusiveness," or "bigotry," on the part of the Protestant Episcopal Church. If ever there have been any who have gone down to their graves without a single enemy, or without even a whisper against their characters for purity and integrity of life, bishop White certainly deserves to be ranked among these. Since the venerable patriarch passed away, the Protestant Episcopal Church has continued to go forward, increasing in numbers year by year, and growing, it is trusted, in grace and deeper and truer devotion to the Lord and Master of us all. It has had its seasons of controversy and earnest struggles (as what Church has not?) between men of differing views, conscientiously and sincerely held on both sides; and it has seemed at times as if controversy were eating into the very heart of the Church, and arousing passions and tempers far from accordance with the spirit of the Gospel. Some notice of these must here be given, not only as a part of the history of the Protestant Episcopal Church, but also as illustrating its present position and its probable future in the great work of evangelizing this nation.
The Oxford Tract movement (begun at the University in 1833, culminating in Tract No. XC in 1841, and extending over some ten years in addition) was one which was warmly, even hotly, debated, and produced for the time a controversy of no small magnitude and bitterness. The excitement in England, and the results flowing from the movement there, were transferred to America. Party spirit lifted its head on high. Energetic supporters of the tracts and their teaching entered the arena, and equally energetic opponents ranged themselves against the tracts and all who favored them. On the one side it was urged that the tracts taught nothing more than the well-established High-Church doctrines of the old English divines, and it was claimed that this teaching was legitimately within the limits allowed by the standards of the Church of England. It was also said that there was great need of rousing the minds of Church people to the importance of doctrines which had fallen greatly, if not quite, out of sight, such as the apostolic succession, the value and obligation of the holy sacraments, the real presence in the Lord's Supper, the importance of priestly absolution, the necessity of securing a return to the unity of the primitive Church, etc. On the other side, the whole movement and the entire teaching of the tracts were fiercely denounced as tending directly to Romanizing and unprotestantizing the Church. When in England numerous perversions to Rome took place at this time, and especially when John Henry Newman, the coryphaeus of the whole undertaking, gave in his adhesion to the Roman Church (1845), it was triumphantly affirmed that a similar result would happen in the Protestant Episcopal Church, and thus prove to the world how pernicious was the teaching of these tracts, No. XC last and worst of all. Quite a number of persons did abandon the communion of the Church, and submit themselves to Rome; but there was not anything like the exodus which had been predicted, since between 1842 and 1852, including one bishop only Ives, of North Carolina, in 1852), there were less than thirty who left the Church's ministry for the sake of Roman Catholic inducements, and these, with two or three exceptions, were men of little or no influence in the Church or community. SEE OXFORD TRACTS. In connection with the Oxford Tract movement, and more or less infected with the unhappy spirit of discord existing at the time, there occurred what is ordinarily known as "the Carey Ordination." Arthur Carey was a student in the General Theological Seminary, a young man of excellent character and good ability. He graduated in 1843. It was thought and generally understood that he was strongly inclined to the ultra teaching of the tracts in the direction of Romanism; and Drs. Hugh Smith and Henry Anthon, both of New York, who took some pains to ascertain Carey's views and sentiments, deemed him to be unfit for ordination in the Protestant, Episcopal Church. The bishop of New York, however (B. T. Onderdonk), after an examination of the young man, held by six presbyters in conjunction with Drs. Smith and Anthon. decided that he was worthy to obtain orders. Drs. Smith and Anthon publicly protested in the church at the time of the ordination, but bishop Onderdonk went forward and ordained Mr. Carey, July 2, 1843. (He died in March, 1844.) As was to be expected, this action of the bishop of New York gave offence in various parts of the Church. It was much discussed in religious journals and in pamphlets, and bishops Chase, McIlvaine, and Hopkins commented upon it in public, and with much severity of language. In January, 1844, bishop Onderdonk addressed a pastoral letter to his diocese, in which he protested against the course adopted by the above bishops, and called for a trial, if they saw fit to initiate it. A trial, accordingly, was begun at the close of the year; but it was based, as we shall see, on charges entirely diverse from theological unsoundness. Meanwhile, the General Convention of 1844 met in Philadelphia in October. Twenty-four bishops were present, and ninety- three clerical and( eighty-four lay deputies. In addition to its other labors, the whole matter of the Oxford Tract movement, and its effects upon the American Church, came up for consideration. Several days were spent in the discussion of the general subject of errors in doctrine and practice in the Church, and an earnest effort was made to obtain from the convention a distinct and positive condemnation of the error and false teaching which, it was charged, were rife in the Church. We need not go into details. In the lower house resolutions were offered asking the bishops to '"promulgate a clear and distinct expression of the opinions entertained by this convention respecting the rule of faith, the justification of man, the nature, design, and efficacy of the sacraments," etc. It was also stated, in an amendment, that "the minds of many of the members of this Church throughout its union are sorely grieved and perplexed by the alleged introduction among them of serious errors in doctrine and practice, having their origin in certain writings emanating chiefly from members of the University of Oxford in England;" and, further, that ' it is exceedingly desirable that the minds of such persons should be calmed, their anxieties allayed, and the Church disabused of the charge of holding, in her Articles and Offices, doctrines and practices consistent with all the views and opinions expressed in said Oxford writings, and should thus be freed from a responsibility which does not properly belong to her." But the house did not agree to any of the resolutions offered in this shape. It was, however, finally "Resolved, That the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies consider the Liturgy Offices, and Articles of the Church sufficient exponents of her sense of the essential doctrines of Holy Scripture; and that the canons of the Church afford ample means of discipline and correction for all who depart from her standards; and, further, that the General Convention is not a suitable tribunal for the trial and censure of, and that the Church is not responsible for, the errors of individuals, whether they are members of this Church or otherwise." Thus the house disposed of the question; and the bishops, on their part, in compliance with certain memorials sent to them, gave expression to their godly counsel and warning in the pastoral letter which was soon after issued. In December, 1844, bishops Meade, Otey, and Elliott made a formal presentment against bishop Onderdonk, of New York, "as being guilty of immorality and impurity." The trial was held in the city of New York. There were seventeen bishops present, constituting the court, viz. P. Chase, Brownell, Ives, Hopkins, Smith, McIlvaine, Doane, Kemper, Polk, Delancey, Madsden, Whittingham, Lee, Johns, Eastburn, Henshaw, Freeman; also the three presenters, and bishop Onllerdonk as respondent. The trial began December 10, and was continued from day to day till January 3, 1845, when bishop Onderdonk was pronounced guilty by eleven votes, and sentenced to suspension from the office of a bishop and from all the functions of the sacred ministry. Bishop Onderdonk protested in the strongest terms his innocence, and published a Statement of facts and Circumstances in regard to his trial. It may be mentioned that the condemned bishop never acknowledged himself to be in any wise guilty (died 1861). The "Prayer of the Diocese of New York to the House of Bishops for relief from sufferings consequent upon the sentence of the Episcopal Court, January, 1845," was made September 25, 1850; but this and all other efforts put forth to have him restored tailed; and a new canon having been adopted applicable to the case of a diocese with a suspended bishop, Dr. J. M. Wainwright was consecrated provisional bishop of New York, in November, 1852. During these years, since the General Convention of 1844, the tractarian controversy gradually subsided. Both sides became weary of the struggle. Nearly everything had been said which could be said. A number of eminent men in the Church had put their views into written shape (as Jarvis, Seabury, Hawks, McIlvaine, Hopkins, Stone, and others); and after a while, the storm was lulled, the atmosphere became purified, and the Church was gladdened with a return of sunshine and comparative peace and quiet.
The disturbed condition of the country, in consequence of the secession from the Union of several of the Southern States, caused no little anxiety to the hearts of many of the Church's members, lest the Protestant Episcopal Church too should suffer harm in the great and terrible struggle which had been begun in 1860-61, and was to be tiolght out to the bitter end. It was but natural that the bishops in the southern dioceses should begin to meet and act separately, as if the dismemberment of the United States were a completed fact. They did so by organizing a council, framing a constitution and canons, etc.; and for a time there was grave apprehension lest the Church should be deprived of its union and communion as heretofore. The General Convention of 1862 met in New York, with much reduced numbers, of course; and this subject came before the convention, and was fully debated. Resolutions pledging support to the government were adopted; and a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer was observed, October 8, 1862, in view "of the present afflictive condition of the country." At the next convention, however, held in Philadelphia, October, 1865, the Church was entirely reunited; harmony and concert of action were restored; and those who for some years had been acting apart gladly joined again in combined efforts for the good of the whole Church in the United States. There was held a service of thanksgiving to Almighty God for the restoration of peace to the country and unity to the Church. At this convention resolutions were adopted, urging that Christian parents, in the discharge of their bounden duty, should not only train their children in the ways of truth and godliness; should not only furnish them with sound, healthful reading and education in the Church's schools and colleges; but should also strive, by prayer and spiritual culture, to form in their sons a desire to serve God in the sacred ministry. In the House of Deputies it was also "Resolved, That, in the judgment of this house, there has never been a time in the history of our Church when the demand for missionary effort, at home and abroad, was so urgent and imperative as at the present moment; and that we earnestly call upon our constituents, in every diocese of this Church, to arouse themselves to realize the exigencies of the hour, and to labor and give and pray with a freer heart and more fervent zeal." Further resolutions advocated a system of itinerancy. and the due use of lay aid in carrying forward the work of the Church.
The most recent controversy through which the Protestant Episcopal Church has been called upon to pass, or, perhaps, more exactly speaking, is still passing, is that which is familiarly known as "ritualism." The question took a definite shape as early as the General Convention of 1868. Two reports, a majority and minority, were made in the House of Deputies, on the conduct of public worship. The former pleaded for "liberty in things indifferent or unessential, so long as unity can be maintained, and spiritual edification promoted, in any other way;" it also deprecated "the enactment of any canon on the subject of ritual as unwise and inexpedient at the present time." The minority report urged strongly "the maintenance of our wonted uniformity and simplicity in public worship," and denounced "all innovations on the common order of the Church which wound the consciences of many of its true and loving members," such as, "the burning of lights in the order for the Holy Communion, the burning of incense, reverences to the holy table or the elements thereon, the elevation of the elements," etc. After much debate, the action of the convention resulted in referring all matters of doubt in these respects to the godly counsel and judgment of the bishops in their respective dioceses, and the appointment of a committee of five bishops (viz. bishops A. Lee, Williams, Clark, Odenheimer, Kerfoot), to consider whether any additional provision for uniformity in matters of ritual, by canon or otherwise, is practicable and expedient, and to report to the next General Convention. In October, 1871, the convention again came together, on this occasion in Baltimore, Md. The attendance was very full; distinguished visitors from England and from some of the colonial churches were present; and a spirit of forbearance and good-will seemed to prevail, notwithstanding so exciting a subject as "ritualism" was before the convention. A very elaborate report was presented by the committee of five, in which, after much sound reasoning on the importance and value of uniformity in the public services of the Church, and the statement of the fact that "diversities of use" had grown and spread, the committee urged that some legislation was certainly necessary. They specified the various additions in the way of ornaments in the Church and novel practices, such as having a crucifix or carrying a cross in procession, bowings, prostrations, mixing wine and water for the Holy Communion, solitary communions, surpliced choirs, additional vestments freely used in some churches. and such like; and they recommended the appointment of a joint committee of three bishops, three presbyters, and three laymen to consider and report upon these matters to the convention then in session. Such a committee, consisting of able and well-tried men, was appointed, and, through bishop Whittingham and Dr. W. C. Mead on Lehalf of the committee, reported a "canon of ritual." In this proposed law it was affirmed that "this Church recognises no other law of ritual than such as it shall itself have accepted or provided;" and the provisions for ritual in this Church were stated to be (1) the Book of Common Prayer, with the offices and ordinal thereto appended; (2) the laws of the Church of England in use in the American provinces before 1789, and not subsequently superseded, altered, or repealed by legislation, general or diocesan, of this Church; (3) the legislative or judicial action or decisions of this Church in its conventions, general or diocesan, or by its duly constituted authorities. Animated discussions followed in the House of Deputies. Amendments and substitutes were proposed again and again, and though the House of Bishops passed the canon reported by the joint committee, the lower house did not succeed in coming to any agreement as to this canon. It was attempted to postpone indefinitely the whole matter, but without success. The favorers of ritualism endeavored to get the convention committed to some action in accordance with their views; the opponents of ritualism were equally urgent in seeking to obtain legislation directly condemnatory of numerous acts and observances peculiar to the ritualistic party. A very prominent advocate of the system (Dr. De Koven, of Wisconsin) made a speech against the canon as adopted by the House of Bishops. He used strange and even offensive language in support of his sentiments and opinions, and challenged any one who pleased so to do to present him for trial, he having boldly adopted and uttered as his own the words of one of the most ultraritualists in England: "I believe in the real, actual presence of our Lord, under the form of bread and wine, upon the altars of our churches. I myself adore, and would, if it were necessary or my duty, teach my people to adore, Christ present in the elements under the form of bread and wine." The discussions, though exciting and continued from day to day, were conducted with good temper and general fairness. As. on the whole, where neither side in a controversy is willing to yield, it is usually found to be the easiest way to get out of present difficulty to pass some comprehensive resolutions, which may mean more or less according to the mode of looking at them by different parties, such was the course now adopted. It was finally "Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, That this convention hereby expresses its decided condemnation of all ceremonies, observances, and practices which are fitted to express a doctrine foreign to that set forth in the authorized standards of this Church. Resolved, That, in the judgment of this house, the paternal counsel and advice of the right reverend fathers, the bishops of the Church, are deemed sufficient, at this time, to secure the suppression of all that is irregular and unseemly, and to promote greater uniformity in conducting the public worship of the Church and in the administration of the holy sacraments." Thus, as we have intimated above, the real question at issue was postponed rather than adjudicated. Ritualism went on its course with additional vigor and confidence, and its opponents became more and more dissatisfied with the existing state of things. Consequently the struggle, as was to be expected, was renewed again when the General Convention met in New York in October, 1874. Memorials were presented from various quarters on this subject, resolutions were introduced bearing directly upon it, and legislation was earnestly called for in order to restrain what was termed excess of ritual in the public service of the Church. In the House of Deputies the question of confirmation of the bishop elect (Dr. G. F. Seymour) of Illinois came up. He was charged with being an active member of the advanced ritualistic party; his case was discussed for a whole week in secret session, and, though Dr. Seymour energetically denied the imputations cast upon him, after a long struggle confirmation was refused by a close vote — viz. nineteen to twenty-two clerical, thirteen to twenty-seven lay. (Four years later Dr. S. was elected to the episcopate, and is now  bishop of the diocese of Springfield. Ill.) This result in the Seymour case was looked upon as virtually a victory of the anti- ritualists, and after much debate in both houses agreement was had to the following effect. A canon was passed, almost unanimously (tit. i. can. 22), requiring every bishop to summon the standing committee as a council of advice, in case complaint is made to him in writing, by two or more presbyters, that ceremonies or practices not authorized by the Book of Common Pravel and symbolizing erroneous or doubtful doctrines, have been introduced into any Church, specifying, in regard to the Holy Communion, "the elevation of the elements in such manner as to expose them to the view of the people as objects towards which adoration is to be made; any act of adoration of or towards the elements in the Holy Communion, such as bowings, prostrations, or genuflections; and all other like acts not authorized by the rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer;" further, if' after investigation it is found that such practices have been introduced, the bishop shall admonish, in writing, the offending minister to discontinue such practices or ceremonies; and if he disregard such admonition, it shall be the duty of the standing committee to cause him to be tried for a breach of his ordination vow. Every minister charged with violation of this canon is to have opportunity to be heard in his own defence; the charges and findings are to be in writing, and a record is to be kept by the bishop and the standing committee of the proceedings in the case. Such was the latest direct action of the highest legislative authority of the Church on this subject. The opponents of ritualism have apparently settled down in the conviction that the present canon is sufficient to enable the bishops effectually to repress, when necessary. all unseemly practices in this direction. The favorers of ritualism, on the other hand (at least, the more outspoken of them), have treated with scant courtesy the action of the convention of 1874, and affirm that "the canon is flagrantly unconstitutional, and that no bishop has ever dared to put it in use, and none ever will." At the General Convention of 1877 the matter was hardly at all alluded to. This the anti-ritualists interpret as in their favor, in the confidence that the Church has become weary of the dispute, and is disposed for the future to adhere to the old-fashioned, simpler, less ornate ways of conducting public services. The ritualists hold the opposite view, and it was rather exultingly proclaimed in a letter to the New York Tribune, by Dr. John Henry Hopkins (just after the convention of 1877 had adjourned), that the result of the war against the system, of which he is one of the ablest advocates, "is victory all along the line for the ritualistic advance, and that this victory is so complete that the renewal of hostilities hereafter is hopeless." As a party, it is certain that the ritualists have shown themselves to be bold, confident, energetic, and full of zeal in behalf of the cause which they have undertaken to maintain. In the American Church they are probably not so numerous in proportion as in the Church of England; but, as an offset to this. it is to be noted that they have enlisted in their ranks numbers of the younger clergy, and, in view of what they have already accomplished, they not unnaturally look forward to ultimate and complete success. The bishops, to whom are committed the oversight and regulation of this whole matter under the canon, are in a rather difficult and delicate position. As, on the one hand, they are compelled to tolerate much that is regarded as defective and in violation of the plain meaning of the rubrics and canons, so, on the other, they may reasonably be expected to shrink from pressing too severely upon those who carry ritualistic practices to more or less of excess. The opinion may here be expressed — simply as an opinion, without reference to the merits of the questions at issue — that ritualism has had its day, and that, while it may be admitted that considerable, perhaps even great, good has resulted and may yet further result from this movement, it will not be likely again to assume any special prominence in the history of the Protestant Episcopal Church.
The bringing of this topic before the reader in continuous order, from its rise to the present time, has necessarily led to the omission of a number of interesting historical facts and incidents in the progress of the Church of late years: these are herewith succinctly presented in their proper sequence and connection. On a previous page has been noted the action of the General Convention on the subject of liturgical relaxation and Church comprehension. This was in 1856 and 1859. At the convention of 1868 various "memorials" were presented pleading for larger latitude in the use of the Prayer-book. This was reported against by the House of Bishops, and the following resolution was unanimously adopted: "Resolved, That. in the opinion of this house, such latitude in the use of the Book of Common Prayer as the memorialists ask could not be allowed with safety, or with proper regard to the rights of our congregations." In 1874 the question of shortened services came up, but no definite action was had. The convention expressed its sense by resolution simply, "'that nothing in the present order of Common Prayer prohibits the separation, when desirable, of the Morning Prayer. the Litany, and the Order for the Administration of the Lord's Supper into distinct services, which may be used independently of each other, and either of them without the others: provided that when used together they be used in the same order as that in which they have commonly been used and in which they stand in the Book of Common Prayer." At the next convention (October, 1877), the committee on canons in the House of Deputies reported in favor of an "order concerning divine service," more especially for shorter services on other days than Sundays and the greater festivals and fasts. To this the bishops declined to agree, and by general consent a joint committee was appointed to sit during the recess on the matter of providing shortened services, by rubric or otherwise, this committee to report in 1880. — In a country such as ours, where the laws regulating marriage and divorce differ considerably in different states, this subject must necessarily cause much perplexity and annoyance to the clergy, unless they have some law of the Church to guide and control their action. This was long felt throughout the Protestant Episcopal Church, and in hope of some remedy or aid the matter was brought before the General Convention of 1868. A canon was enacted forbidding a clergyman to solemnize matrimony where there is a divorced wife or husband of either party still living, with a proviso in favor of the innocent party in a divorce for the cause of adultery. In 1877 the canon was put in its present shape, as follows: 'No minister, knowingly after due inquiry, shall solemnize the marriage of any person who has a divorced husband or wife still living, if such husband or wife has been put away for any cause arising after marriage; but this canon shall not be held to apply to the innocent party in a divorce for the cause of adultery, or to parties once divorced seeking to be united again. If any minister of this Church shall have reasonable cause to doubt whether a person desirous of being admitted to holy baptism, or to confirmation, or to the holy communion, has been married otherwise than as the Word of God and discipline of this Church allow, such minister, before receiving such person to these ordinances, shall refer the case to the bishop for his godly judgment thereupon: provided, however, that no minister shall, in any case, refuse the sacraments to a penitent person in imminent danger of death." Questions touching the facts of any case named in the former part of the canon are to be referred to the bishop, and he is required to make inquiry such as he deems expedient, and to deliver his judgment in the premises. At the same convention (1877), an effort was made to have the Table of Prohibited Degrees, contained in the English Prayer-book, inserted in the American Book of Common Prayer, but it did not meet the approval of the convention. — Some extravagant and unwarranted assertions having been made at various times as to the meaning of "regeneration," and its effects, etc., in the offices for infant baptism, there was issued, at the General Convention of 1871, the following "declaration of the bishops in council:" "We, the subscribers, bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, being asked, in order to the quieting of the consciences of sundry members of the said Church, to declare our conviction as to the meaning of the word regenerate in the offices for the ministration of baptism of infants, do declare that, in our opinion, the word regenerate is not there so used as to determine that a moral change in the subject of baptism is wrought in the sacrament" (signed by all the bishops present, forty-eight in number).
The movement begun in Germany in 1870-71 by Dr. Dollinger and others has been watched by the Protestant Episcopal Church with deep interest and earnest hope that it may tend ultimately to solid reform in the Continental churches now in communion with Rome. In the convention of 1871, the bishops recorded their hearty sympathy with the heroic struggle then being made for religious liberty on the part of the Old-Catholic Congress recently assembled in Munich; and in 1874 it was "Resolved, That this house, with renewed confidence, reiterates the expression of its sympathy with the bishop and synod of the Old-Catholic communion in Germany, and the promise of its prayers for the divine blessing and direction on their work; also, that three bishops be appointed a commission of this house to keep up fraternal correspondence with the bishop and synod, for exchange of information and consideration of overtures for reconciliation and intercommunion between sundered churches." The course pursued by the highest legislative authority on the subject of churches or congregations established in foreign lands in communion with the Protestant Episcopal Church illustrates the views and principles on which this Church deems it right to act. Twenty years ago, the Rev. W. O. Lamson began services in Paris, specially for the benefit of Church people sojourning in or visiting that city. The General Convention of 1859 recognised the propriety and lawfulness of having Protestant Episcopal churches abroad. Congregations accordingly have been organized during the interim since 1859 in Rome, Florence, Dresden, Geneva, and Nice, making six in all at this date (1878). At the General Convention of 1877 the matter was carefully regulated by canon, which says, "It shall be lawful, under the conditions hereinafter stated, to organize a church or congregation in any foreign country (other than Great Britain and Ireland, and the colonies and dependencies thereof), and not within the limits of any foreign missionary bishop of this Church." In order to secure proper and legitimate action, and also suitable control over these foreign churches or congregations, the canon goes on to state fully the mode in which they may be organized and conducted — viz. they must recognise their allegiance to the constitution of the American Church; must produce proper certificates; must be in canonical submission to a bishop, who is in charge of all such churches and is aided by a standing committee duly appointed; and they must conform to the provisions laid down for discipline, in case it become necessary. The bishop in charge at this date (1878) is the Rt. Rev. Dr. Littlejohn, of Long Island.
An association taking its rise in Europe, and calling itself the "Evangelical Alliance," held its sixth General Conference in New York, Oct. 2-12, 1873. It was composed of delegates from various Protestant denominations, foreign as well as American, who claim to be considered "evangelical" in the proper and precise sense of that word. Among its delegates from abroad was the Very Rev. R. Payne Smith, D.D., dean of Canterbury, who brought with him a letter of sympathy from his grace, Dr. Tait, archbishop of Canterbury. The dean took part in the work of the Alliance, as did also a very few of the American Episcopal clergy; having fraternized with the Presbyterians at a public communion service, he was called to account by Dr. Tozer (recently an English missionary bishop in Africa, and just then on a visit to New York), and was censured through the papers of the day. The assistant bishop of Kentucky, Dr. Cummins, likewise joined in this irregular service, and thereby foreshadowed what soon after took place — viz. the commencement of the schism to which his name has been attached. He had become greatly dissatisfied with the state of affairs in the Protestant Episcopal Church; he was impressed with the fact, as he esteemed it, that this Church is too exclusive and in continual danger of going over to Rome, and so he made up his mind to abandon it to its fate and set up a new organization of his own, a sort of half-and-half Episcopal and Presbyterian arrangement. Under date of Nov. 10, 1873, he addressed a letter to bishop Smith, his diocesan, in which he enumerated various reasons or causes for the course he had resolved upon. He declared that his conscience was burdened with being compelled to officiate as bishop in ritualistic churches in Kentucky; that he had lost all hope of seeing eradicated from the Church's standards and services sacerdotalism and ritualism; that he was much hurt at being blamed for sharing in the service above alluded to in a Presbyterian place of worship, and that, consequently, he had determined to transfer his "work and office" to another sphere. Dr. Cummins was entirely right in abandoning the Church if he could not stay in it with a clear conscience, and labor in it in accordance with his solemn vows at ordination, one of which was especially, "with all faithful diligence to banish and drive away from the Church all erroneous and strange doctrine contrary to God's Word." Inasmuch, however, as he had abandoned his post, and was soon after degraded from the ministry, he had no "office" to carry with him, though he assumed that he had, and undertook to act as a bishop when he was no longer a bishop. Bishop Smith of Kentucky (who was also senior bishop), on receiving Dr. Cummins's letter, immediately instituted proceedings in accordance with the canon; Dr. Cummins was at once suspended from all exercise of the ministry; and the six months of grace allowed for retraction having passed away, the formal deposition took place June 24, 1874 (ratified afterwards in full House of Bishops at General Convention in October, 1874). SEE REFORMED EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
The "Cheney case," as it has been called, may properly be dealt with in this connection. especially as Mr. Cheney has become quite prominent in the schismatical body which Dr. Cummins originated. The case, in substance, is as follows: The Rev. C. E. Cheney, of Christ's Church, Chicago, Ill., having mutilated the service for public baptism by omitting the words regenerate and regeneration wherever they occur, was brought to trial and suspended by bishop Whitehouse, February 18, 1871, the suspension to last until he should repent and amend. Mr. Cheney refused obedience; and the vestry of Christ's Church having invited him to continue with them, despite the sentence, he acceded to their wish. The result was that he was tried by an ecclesiastical court for contumacy, and, on the 2d of' June, was finally degraded. But the vestry continuing to hold on to the property of Christ's Church, contrary to law and justice, Mr. Cheney remained where he was, until he joined the followers of Dr. Cummins and his movement. The question of the right to the property being a very serious one, as involving the whole subject of the right of religious bodies to hold property and prevent its alienation, the case of Christ's Church, Chicago, was carried into the courts, where, in accordance with precedent in like cases, it was decided in favor of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the diocese of Illinois. Not satisfied with this, the parties interested in getting possession of the church had the case taken by appeal to the Supreme Court of the state, where, early in 1878, singularly enough, the decision of the lower court was reversed, and judgment was given in favor of the vestry and congregation as against the diocese. So far as this particular piece of property is concerned, the matter is of no great importance; but the principle involved is of the gravest consequence. It has been decided, over and over again, that all ecclesiastical organizations shall possess the power to be governed by their own laws, so long as those laws do not interfere with the established law of the land; and, consequently, that all property belongs, of right, to those who adhere to and sustain the laws and principles of their respective organizations. If church property, by the action of vestries and congregations, call be legally diverted from its rightful ownership, in the way in which this in Chicago has been taken away from the Church, then there is no tenure of property anywhere which is safe. The subject has aroused attention among other Christian bodies, who are quite as much interested as the Protestant Episcopal Church can be in the fundamental question at issue. It is to be hoped that the Supreme Court of the United States will be called upon to interpose, and settle fully and clearly a point of so great moment to all Christians or religious associations of every name.
In regard to the "provincial system," so called, we may briefly state that, as early as 1850, a motion was made in the House of Bishops by bishop Delancey to appoint a committee of five bishops, five clergymen, and five laymen, "to report to the next triennial General Convention on the expediency of arranging the dioceses, according to geographical position, into four provinces, to be designated the Eastern, Northern, Southern, and Western Provinces, and to be united under a General Convention or Council of the Provinces, having exclusive control over the Prayer-book, Articles, Offices, and Homilies of this Church, to be held once every twenty years." In 1853 no action was had, but the committee was continued, and the matter handed over to the next convention. It came up in 1856, but was indefinitely postponed by the bishops. The subject was brought up again in 1874, was warmly discussed, and again indefinitely postponed. In 1877 a preamble and resolution were offered in the House of Deputies expressing a desire to obtain "an authoritative recognition of the provincial system," and referring to the committee on canons "to inquire into the expediency of repealing the prohibition against suffragan bishops, and making such canonical provisions as will enable dioceses (just before described) to give the name and style of provincial or coprovincial bishops to all such bishops who may be elected and consecrated to assigned districts within their respective jurisdictions." The resolution was adopted; but in the House of Bishops the entire subject was again committed to a special committee, to report at the convention of 1880. There the matter stands for the present. It remains to be seen whether the Church will deem it best to adopt this system, or to continue under the arrangement now in existence. A canon was adopted in 1868 authorizing federate councils, as follows: "It is hereby declared lawful for the dioceses now existing, or hereafter to exist, within the limits of any state or commonwealth, to establish for themselves a federate convention, or council, representing such dioceses, which may deliberate and decide upon the common interests of the Church within the limits aforesaid; but before any determinate action of such convention, or council, shall be had, the powers proposed to be exercised thereby shall be submitted to the General Convention for its approval. Nothing in this canon shall be construed as forbidding any federate council from taking such action as they may deem necessary to secure such legislative enactments as the common interests of the Church in the state may require." No definite action under this canon has as vet been carried into effect in any state. The subject has been discussed quite largely, and the various propositions connected with it now rest with the same committee who have the provincial system in hand and are to report in 1880.
An earnest and interesting communication to the presiding bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church was made, in 1871, by bishop Wilberforce, of Winchester, in relation to the work then commenced in England for the revision of the authorized version of the Holy Scriptures. At the General Convention held the same year, it was, in the House of Bishops, "Resolved, That the Rt. Rev. the Presiding Bishop be, and hereby is, requested to return to the Rt. Rev. the Lord Bishop of Winchester a courteous and brotherly acknowledgment of his communication relating to a revision of the English of the Holy Scriptures, stating that this house, having had no part in originating or organizing the said work of revision, is not at present in a condition to deliver any judgment respecting it, and at the same time expressing the disposition of this house to consider with candor the work undertaken by the Convocation of Canterbury, whenever it shall have been completed and its results laid before them." The attitude thus taken by the bishops in behalf of the Church is one of cautious reserve, but perhaps not too much so, considering the importance of the subject.
The Protestant Episcopal Church having made considerable progress in Hayti (numbering eleven clergy in 1874), and needing episcopal supervision and aid, was supplied with a bishop, under the arrangement of a "Covenant" entered into with the Church in that republic, and the Rev. Dr. J. T. Holly was consecrated as first bishop, in November, 1874. The terms of the covenant made it the duty of the Church in the United States to extend its nursing care to the Church in Hayti during its early growth and development; and four bishops, with the bishop of Hayti, were constituted a commission to take episcopal charge of the Church in Hayti, and secure its maintenance of the doctrine, worship, and discipline of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, until such time as there should be three bishops resident in Hayti. and exercising jurisdiction in the Church there. When that time arrives, this Church will cease from all further charge or care of the Haytian Church.
The General Convention of 1877 met in Boston, Mass., on Oct. 3 for the first time that it met in that city since its organization after the civil war. It was very largely attended, and was marked by a spirit of good-will and earnest effort to promote in every way the interests of Christ's kingdom here on earth. There were no specially exciting topics on hand (as ritualism, etc.); and the action of the convention, so far as our present purpose is concerned, can be summed up in brief space. Probably the most important step taken was the reorganization of tine Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society. Heretofore there had been a Board of Missions (a very large and rather cumbrous body), appointed triennially, and acting in the respective departments at home and abroad. After much discussion, the following canon was adopted: "Constitution of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, as established in 1820, and since amended at various times.
"ART I. This society shall be denominated," etc.
"ART. II This society shall be considered as comprehending all persons who are members of this Church.
"ART. III. There shall be a Board of Missions of such society, composed of the bishops of this Church, and the members for the time being of the House of Deputies of this Church, bishops and deputies sitting apart as in General Convention, or together when they shall so decide. The Board of Missions thus constituted shall convene on the third day of the session of the General Convention, and shall sit from time to time as the business of the board shall demand.
"ART. IV. There shall be a Board of Managers, comprising all the bishops as meinbeis ex officio, and fifteen presbyters and fifteen laymen, to be appointed by the Board of Missions at every triennial meeting of the General Convention, who shall have the management of the general missions of this Church, and shall remain in office until their successors are chosen, and shall have power to fill any vacancies that may occur in their number. Eight clerical and eight lay members shall constitute a quorum. This board shall, during the recess of the convention, exercise all the corporate powers of the Domnestic and Foreign Missionary Society. The Board of Managers shall report to the General Convention, constituted as a Board of Missions, on or before the third day of the session of the General Convention "ART. V. The Board of Managers is authorized to form, from its own members, a committee for domestic missions and a committee for foreign missions, and such other committees as it may deem desirable to promote special missionary work, and is also authorized to appoint such officers as shall be needful for carrying on the work.
"ART. VI. The Board of Managers is intrusted with power to establish and regulate such missions as are not placed under episcopal supervision, and to enact all bylaws which it may deem necessary for its own government and for the government of its committees: provided always that, in relation to organized dioceses and missionary jurisdictions having bishops, the appropriations shall be made in gross to such dioceses and missionary jurisdictions, to be disbursed by the local authorities thereof. The board shall notify to the several bishops the gross sum so appropriated, and those bishops shall regulate the number of mission stations, appoint the missionaries, and assign to them their stipends, with the approval of the Board of Managers.
"ART. VII. No person shall be appointed a missionary who is not at the time a minister of the Protestant Episcopal Church of regular standing; but nothing in this section precludes the committees from making pecuniary appropriations in aid of missions under the care of other churches in communion with this Church, or of employing laymen or women, members of this Church, to do missionary work.
"ART. VIII. The Board of Managers is authorized to promote the formation of auxiliary missionary associations, whose contributions, as well as those specially appropriated by individuals, shall be received and paid in accordance with the wish of the donors, when expressed in writing. It shall be the duty of the Board of Managers to arrange for public missionary meetings, to be held at the same tine and place as the General Convention, and at such other times and places as may be determined upon, to which all auxiliaries approved by the Board of Managers may send one clerical and one lay delegate.
"ART. IX. This constitution may be altered or amended at any time by the General Convention of this Church. All canons, and all action by or under the authority of the General Convention, so far as inconsistent with the provisions of this canon and such amended constitution, are hereby repealed: provided always that nothing herein shall in any manner impair or affect any corporate rights of the said society, or any vested right whatever. This canon shall take effect immediately." The principal and immediate effect of this reorganization was, on the part of the Board of Managers, a resolution to reduce central expenses connected with the mission work. Thus the department of home missions to colored people was assigned to the care of the committee on domestic missions; a very considerable reduction of expenses was made in carrying on the work among the Indians; several officers were dispensed with, and a general reduction of salaries took place, the result being a saving of some $12,000 per annum. It deserves also to be stated here that the American Church Missionary Society, the especial agency of those of the clergy and laity who declined in former years to act in conjunction with the Board of Missions, now acceded to the wish long before expressed by the board. The society continued its organization as a society; the work in Mexico, which had been very largely sustained by it, was handed over to the foreign committee; and it was resolved that, in general, its members should hereafter act in concert with the Board of Managers of the newly organized Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church. This was deemed a happy resolve on their part, and excellent results are expected to follow in consequence.
For some years past there has been a growing desire to add greater effectiveness to the labors of godly and devoted women in the Church. The matter was brought up at the General Convention of 1874, but no action was obtained. In 1877 it came again before the convention. and a canon of "Deaconesses or Sisters" was proposed. After much discussion, however, the convention, apparently not feeling quite sure of its ground, refused to pass the proposed canon, and the following resolution was adopted: "That it be referred to a joint committee of three bishops, three clerical and three lay deputies, to inquire and report to the next General Convention what legislation may be necessary and expedient for the authorization and regulation of women working in this Church under the name of deaconess or sister." Thus the matter lies over till 1880.
As the Church of England recently adopted a new Lectionary, it was deemed advisable by the convention of 1877 to place this revised Table of Lessons for Sundays and holydays before the Protestant Episcopal Church. Accordingly, it was formally resolved by both houses that the Lectionary be permitted to be used until the next General Convention. This Table, therefore, not only of Lessons for Sundays and holydays, but also of Daily Lessons, and Lessons for Lent and for Ermber Days and Rogation Days, is allowed to be used by ally clergyman in place of those in the calendar in the Prayer-book, and a copy has been sent to every clergyman of the Protestant Episcopal Church. Whether it will be found to be so great an improvement upon the existing Table of Lessons as has been supposed by many may be doubted. The trial, however, of three years will lead to some settled agreement upon a matter so largely affecting the question of how to obtain the greatest edification in the reading of Holy Scripture in the public worship of the Church.
At the close of the convention of 1877 a joint resolution was adopted, which is worthy of being quoted in this connection, inasmuch as it shows the spirit and cresire of this Church in regard to the very important as well as difficult subject of public-school education:
"Resolved, That it, is the solemn conviction of this General Convention, in both houses, that it is the duty of the clergy and laity of the Church to take, so far as the opportunity is afforded them, an active interest in the public schools provided by the state for the purpose of extending the important benefits of a secular education to all our citizens, and of diffnsing side by side with these as much of religious influence and instruction as is possible; to supplement them with thorough Christian teaching else-where, and to add proper Church schools and institutions for the whole, and more complete work of esncation, wherever they are needed and the means for their support can be commanded;
"Resolved, That, with the concurrence of the House of Deputies, a joint committee, consisting of two bishops, two presbyters, and two laymen, be appointed to consider this whole matter during the recess of the convention, to collect facts and prepare suggestions for the next General Convention, and to promote, by any means deemed advisable, the general work of Christian education."
II. Fundamental Principles, Constitution, Government, etc. — From what has already been stated, it is clear that the Protestant Episcopal Church, while holding in common with other Christians evangelical doctrines — as the incarnation, the divinity of our Lord, the atonement, the inspiration of Holy Scripture, salvation through faith in Christ, and all such like — at the same time takes the ground that it is the American branch of the "one holy Catholic Church" spoken of in the Nicene Creed. It was planted on these Western shores, under God's good providence, to be what it aims to be — the National Church of the United States. It is a historical Church. It traces its lineage through the Church of England directly back to the apostles of our Lord; and it gives, as its deliberate judgment, that "it is evident unto all men, diligently reading Holy Scripture and ancient authors, that from the apostles' time there have been these orders of ministers in Christ's Church- bishops, priests, and deacons." It is not a new or recently formed denomination, and in this respect differs from the great bulk of Protestant Christian bodies, whatever titles they may give to their respective organizations. Its creed is the same creed which has been in use substantially in the same form since the very beginning — viz. that which is commonly called the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed as finally set forth by the General Councils in the 4th century, and received everywhere and by all throughout the Catholic Church. Its liturgy is the very concentration of the deep piety, soundness in the faith, earnestness, zeal, and fervor of the wise and holy and good of all the early as well as later ages; and its services of prayer and praise, combining the use of this liturgy with the continual and frequent reading of Holy Scripture in men's ears, are in the truest and highest sense of the word evangelical, and calculated to meet all the longings of the pious soul for spiritual communion with God our Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and through the quickening energy of the Holy Ghost.*
*This statement of course represents our contributor's opinion; but the paragraph contains several points upon which much might be said on both sides. — ED.
The position of the Protestant Episcopal Church relatively to Protestantism, on the one hand, and Romanism, on the other, is somewhat peculiar, but yet clearly marked out and defined. It cannot, consistently at least, recognise the validity of the ministry of the great body of Protestant denominations, whether Presbyterian or Congregational, for it distinctly enunciates that the only lawful ministry is that in the three orders. Hence it cannot have communion with them, or interchange of services, or union of action in undertaking to spread the Gospel throughout the world. It recognises, it is true, the validity of the episcopate in the Roman Catholic Church, but at the same time it positively and unqualifiedly repudiates the errors in doctrine and worship of that corrupt Church, not only in its own proper home in Italy, but also wherever, in violation of the ancient canons, it has spread itself. The Protestant Episcopal Church has no sympathy with, but is in direct antagonism to, the claims of Rome in regard to the denial of the sufficiency of Holy Scripture for salvation, transubstantiation, sacrifice of the mass, purgatory, celibacy of the clergy, elevation of the Virgin Mary into a sort of goddess to be worshipped, the absolute supremacy of the pope by divine right over all the world in civil as well as religious matters, etc. Hence it cannot act in any concert with the Roman Church, or further its plans and purposes in any wise.
The constitution, framed for the purpose of uniting the Church in working together as one body, we give in full. It was adopted in October, 1789, and has remained the same ever since, with the exception of a few alterations which became necessary in consequence of the growth of the Church, the increase of the episcopate, and the formation of several dioceses within the limits of the larger and more populous states.
"ART. I. There shall be a General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America on the first Wednesday in October in every third year, from the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-one, and in such place as shall be determined by the convention; and in case there shall be an epidemic disease, or any other good cause to render it necessary to alter the place fixed on for any such meeting of the convention, the presiding bishop shall have it in his power to appoint another convenient plaice (as near as may he to the place so fixed on) for the holding of such convention: and special meetings may be called at other times, in the manner hereafter to be provided for; and this Church, in a majority of the dioceses which shall have adopted this Constitution, shall be represented before they shall proceed to business, except that the representation from two dioceses shall be sufficient to adjourn; and in all business of the convention freedom of debate shall be allowed.
"ART. II. The Church in each diocese shall be entitled to a representation of both the clergy and the laity. Such representation shall consist of not more than four clergymen and four laymen, communicants in this Church, residents in the diocese, and chosen in the manner prescribed by the convention thereof; and in all questions, when required by the clerical or lay representation from any diocese, each order shall have one vote; and the majority of suffrages by dioceses shall be conclusive in each order, provided such majority comprehend a majority of the dioceses represented in that order. The concurrence of both orders shall be necessary to constitute a vote of the convention. If the convention of many diocese should neglect or decline to appoint clerical deputies, or if they should neglect or decline to appoint, lay deputies, or if many of those of either order appointed should neglect to attend, or be prevented by sickness or any other accident, such diocese shall nevertheless be considered as duly represented by such deputy or deputie as may attend, whether lay or clerical. And if, through the neglect of the convention of any of the churches which shall have adopted, or may hereafter adopt, this Constitution, no deputies, either lay or clerical, should attend at any General 'Convention, the Church in such diocese shall nevertheless be found by the acts of such convention.
"ART. III. The bishops of this Church, when there shall be three or more, shall, whenever general conventions are held, from a separate house, with a right to originate and propose acts for the concurrence of the House of Deputies, composed of clergy and laity; and when asty proposed act shall have passed the House of Deputies, the same shall be transmitted to the House of Bishops, who shall have a negative thereupon; and all acts of the convention shall he authenticated by both houses. And in all cases, the House of Bishops shall signify to the convention their approbation or disapprobation, (the latter with their reasoning in writing) within three days after the proposed act shall have been reported to them for concurrence; and in failure thereof, it shall have the operation of a law. But until there shall be three or more bishop's, as aforesaid, any bishop attending a General Convention shall be a member ex officio, and shall vote with the clerical deputies of the diocese to which he belongs; and a bishop shall then preside.
"ART. IV. The bishop or bishops in every diocese shall be chosen augieelaly to such rules as shall be fixed by the convention of that diocese and every bishop of this Church shall confine the exercise of his episcopal office to his proper diocese, unless requested to ordain, or confirm, or perform any other act, of the episcopal office, by any Church destitute of a bishop.
"ART. V. A Protestant Episcopal Church in any of the United States, or any territory thereof, not now represented, may, at any time hereafter, be admitted on acceding to this Constitution; and a new diocese, to be formed from time or more existing dioceses, may be admitted under the following restrictions, viz.:
"No new diocese shall be formed or elected within the limits of any other diocese, nor shall any diocese be formed by the junction of two or more dioceses, or parts of dioceses, unless with the consent of the bishop and convention of each of the dioceses concerned, as well as of the General Convention; and such consent shall not be given by the General Convention until it has satisfactory assurance of a suitable provision for the support of the episcopate in the contemplated new diocese.
"No such new diocese, shall be formed which shall contain less than six parishes, or less than six presbyters who have been for at least one year canonically resident within the bounds of such new diocese, regularly settled in a parish or congregation, and qualified to vote for a bishop. Nor shall such new diocese be formed, if thereby any existing diocese shall be so reduced as to contain less than twelve parishes, or less than twelve presbyters who have been residing therein, and settled and qualified as above mentioned: pnovided that no city shall form more than one diocese.
"In case one diocese shall be divided into two or more dioceses, the diocesan of the diocese divided may elect the one to which he will be attached, and shall thereupon become the diocesan thereof; and the assistant bishop, if there be one, may elect the one to which he will be attached: and if it be not the one elected by the bishop, he shall be the diocesan thereof.
"Whenever the division of a diocese into two or more dioceses shall be ratified by the General Convention, each of the dioceses shall be subject to the constitution and canons of the diocese so divided, except as local circumstances may prevent, until the same may be altered in either diocese by the convention thereof. And whenever a diocese shall be formed out of two or more existing dioceses, the new diocese shall he subject to the constitution and cannons of that one of the said existing dioceses to which the greater number of clergymen shall have belonged prior to the erection of such new diocese, until the same may be altered by the convention of the new diocese.
"ART. VI. The mode of trying bishops shall be provided by the General Convention. The court appointed for that purpose shall be composed of bishops only. In every diocese, the mode of trying presbyters and deacons may be instituted by the convention of the diocese. None but a bishop shall pronounce sentence of admonition, suspension, or degradation from the ministry, on any clergyman, whether bishop, presbyter, or deacon.
"ART. VII. No person shall be admitted to holy orders until he shall have been examined by the bishop and by two presbyters, and shall have exhibited such testimonials and other requisites as the canons in that case pro vided may direct. Nor shall any person be ordained until he shall have subscribed the following declaration:
"'I do believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments 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 the United States.'
"No person ordained by a foreign bishop shall be permitted to officiate as a minister of this Church until he shall have complied with the canon or canons in that case provided, and have also subscribed the aforesaid declaration.
"ART. VIII. A Book of Common Prayer, administration of the sacraments, and other rites and ceremonies of the Church, articles of religion, and a form and manner of making, ordaining, and consecrating bishops, priests, and deacons, when established by this for a future General Convention, shall be used in the Protestant Episcopal Church in those dioceses which shall have adopted this Constitution. No alteration or addition shall be made in the Book of Common Prayer, or other offices of the Church, or the articles of religion, unless the same shall be proposed in one General Convention, and by a resolve thereof made known to the convention of every diocese, and adopted at the subsequent General Convention. Provided, however, that the General Convention shall have power, from time to time, to amend the Lectionary; but no act for this purpose shall be valid which is not voted for by a majority of the whole number of bishops entitled to seats in the Huse of Bishops, and by a majority of all the dioceses entitled to representation in the House of Deputies.
"ART. IX. This Constitution shall be unalterable, unless in General Convention, by the Church, in a majority of the dioceses which may have adopted the same; and all alterations shall be first proposed in one General Convention, and made known to the several diocesan conventions, before they shall be finally agreed to or ratified in the ensuing General Convention.
"ART. X. Bishops for foreign countries, on due application therefrom, may be consecrated, with the approbation of the bishops ,of this Church, or a majority of them, signified to the presiding, bishop, he thereupon taking order for the same, and they being satisfied that the person designated for the office has been duly chosen and properly qualified; the Order of Consecration to be conformed, as nearly as may be, in the judgment of the bishops, to the one used in this Church. Such bishops, so consecrated, shall not be eligible to the office of diocesan or assistant bishop in any diocese in the United States, nor be entitled to a seat in the House of Bishops, nor exercise any episcopal authority in said states." From the constitution just given it is evident that the General Convention is the highest legislative authority in the Church, and its legislation is for the benefit of the whole Church throughout the United States. There is as yet no Court of Appeals, although it is felt that there is need of such a court. It is believed that it will ere long be constituted, so as to adjudicate upon all those matters which a body, made up as the General Convention is, cannot adequately judge or act upon. Each diocese, whether a whole state or a portion of a state, is independent of all control except that of the general laws of the Church enacted by the General Convention. Each bishop, and the clergy and laity under his jurisdiction, meet in annual convention and legislate upon all subjects which specially concern the diocese and the preaching of the Gospel within its limits. Each parish also, consisting of its rector, vestry, and congregation, is independent in its sphere of labor, subject only to the canons of the diocese and of the whole Church, and to a visitation, at least yearly, of the bishop of the diocese. Thus freedom of thought and action is secured to all, with a due and proper subordination to higher authority in all cases where higher authority must needs supervene.
The laws which regulate Church affairs are contained in the "Digest of the Canons for the Government of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States," as passed and adopted in the general conventions from 1859 to 1877. The canons are arranged in the most methodical and approved style of legal enactments; they have been prepared by some of the ablest canonists and lawyers in the communion of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and they cover the entire ground respecting which the Church can legislate as a whole or united body. They are distributed into Four Titles, Canons of each Title, and Sections of Canons. Historical notes as to dates are added, so that any particular canon upon any subject legislated upon by the Church may be traced from its origin through all its modifications to the present time. Title I is "Of the Orders in the Ministry and of the Doctrine and Worship of the Church." There are twenty-four canons under this Title, and they cover fully and explicitly all questions relating to candidates for orders, examinations, ordination of deacons, ordination of' priests, general regulation of ministers and their duties, qualifications, consecration and work of bishops, domestic and foreign missionary bishops, mode of securing an accurate view of the Church, the use of the Book of Common Prayer, etc. Title II is "Of Discipline." There are thirteen canons under this Title, relating to offences for which ministers may be tried and punished, dissolution of pastoral connection, renunciation of the ministry, abandonment of the communion of the Church by a bishop, the trial of a bishop, judicial sentences, regulations respecting the laity, etc. Title III is "Of the Organized Bodies and Officers of the Church." There are nine canons under this Title, having reference to meetings of General Convention, standing committees, trustees of the General Theological Seminary, congregations and parishes, organization of new dioceses, etc. Title IV relates to "Miscellaneous Provisions." It has four canons, in reference to repealed canons, enactment, etc. of canons, time when new canons take effect. Our limits do not admit of printing these canons in full, nor is it necessary, inasmuch as they are readily accessible to all interested in their contents.
III. Statistics. — As showing the steady increase and spread of the Protestant Episcopal Church, we give the bishops, clergy, and dioceses by decades since 1820, as follows:
Years Bishops Presbyters and Deacon Total Dioceses 1820 9 301 310 15 1830 11 514 525 20 1840 19 1040 1059 27 1850 32 1557 1589 29 1860 43 2113 2156 33 1870 52 2786 2838 39 1890 72 4028 4100 51
From the Church Almanac, we learn that in 1889 there were nearly 3800 parishes, with churches and chapels, in the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States.
Baptisms during the year (infant and adult) — 58,536 Confirmations — 38,868 Marriages — 15,830 Sunday-school teachers — 41,325 Sunday-school scholars — 376,710 Communicants — 484,059 Contributions for missionary and church purposes — $11,468,841
Home missionary bishops nine, exercising jurisdiction in the great territories as well as several of the Western states, in Texas. and on the Pacific coast. Their salaries and travelling expenses (amounting to at least $30,000 per annum) are paid by the domestic committee. There are over 200 missionaries at work in these fields. Foreign missionary bishops three- one in China, one in Japan, one in Africa (to which add bishop in Hayti). There are in these jurisdictions, in addition to the bishops, thirty-five other clergymen (foreign and native), together with about 200 assistants, mostly native catechists, lay readers, and teachers. The missionary work in Greece is simply educational, and is conducted by one lady, assisted by 12 native teachers. In the Mexican Church there are at work the Rev. H. C. Riley, D.D., and P. G. Hernandez (bishops elect), with four other presbyters, two ladies, and 79 lay readers. The number of communicants in foreign fields is about 4000. There are also 31 day schools with 1800 scholars, and 18 Sunday-schools with 861 scholars.
Theological seminaries and schools (in 15 dioceses and 1 missionary jurisdiction) — 16
Church colleges (in 12 dioceses and 2 missionary jurisdictions) —14
Academic institutions (in 26 dioceses and 6 missionary jurisdictions): — 81
Other educational institutions (in 13 dioceses) — 32
Church hospitals (in 20 dioceses and 2 missionary jurisdictions —27
Church orphan asylums (in 20 dioceses and 2 missionary jurisdictions) — 30
Church homes (in 21 dioceses) — 34
Periodicals devoted to the interests, support, and defence of the Protestant Episcopal Church: The Churchman (weekly), New York; The Southern Churchman (weekly), Alexandria, Va.; The Episcopal Register (weekly), Philadelphia, Pa.; The Standard of the Cross (weekly), Cleveland, 0.; The Western Church (weekly), Milwaukee, Wis.; The Pacific Churchman (weekly), San Francisco, Cal.; Our Dioceses (weekly), Detroit, Mich.; The Spirit of Missions (monthly), New York; The Church Magazine (monthly), Brooklyn, N. Y.; The Church Eclectic (monthly), Utica, N. Y.; The American Church Review (quarterly), New York.
IV. Authorities. — Works used in the preparation of the present article: White [Bp.], Memoirs of the Protestant Episcopal Church (1836, 8vo); Wilson, Life of Bishop White (1839, 8vo); Wilberforce [Bp.], History of the Protestant Episcopal Chutch (1849. 12mo); Anderson. History of the Church of England in the Colonies (1856, 3 vols. 12mo); Hawkins, Missions of the Church of England in the North American Colonies (1845, 8vo); Hawks, Contributions to the Ecclesiastical History of the United States (1836, vol. i, 8vo, Virginia; 1839, vol. ii, 8vo, Maryland); id. Constitution and Canons of the Protestant Episcopal Church (1841, 8vo); Sprague, Annals of the American Pulpit [Episcopalian] (1859, vol. v, 8vo); Coit, Puritanism (1845, 12mo); Hoffman [Murray], Law of the Protestant Episcopal Church (1850, 8vo); id. Ecclesiastical Law in the State of New York (1868, 8vo), and The Ritualistic Law of the Church (1872, 8vo); Vinton, Canon Law and the Constitution of the Protestant Episcopal Church (1870, 8vo); Perry [Bp.], Handbook of the General
Conventions, 1785-1877 (1877, 12mo); Hawks and Perry, Journals of General Convention from 1785 to 1853 (1861, vol. i, 8vo, with notes).*
*The above article was originally written for our pages by the Rev. J. A. SPENCER, D.D., of New York city, and was afterwards reprinted by its author, from advance proofs, in another work which he was then editing. We have slightly modified one or two expressions to which many of our readers might take exception. — ED.