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At present, the distribution of the Prayer Book in the diocese is continued, as before reported to the Convention, by the Prayer Book and Homily Society of Maryland ; the funds being obtained by offerings collected at my visitations. A few excellent ladies
in Baltimore are going on, as they have done for many years, to : employ the scanty sum they are able to gather by personal appli
cations and receive from the contributions of a very few parishes, in the publication of religious tracts suited to the wants of our people and demands of the clergy. They have for some time stereotyped all they publish, and are thus gradually accumulating a stock of plates which will enable them to keep always on hand a supply of all their publications. The want of a depository, in which these might be always accessible, together with a full supply of the extensive series of tracts of the New York Prot. Epis. Tract Society and of the truly excellent and useful publications of the General Sunday School Union of the Church, is much felt. That the demand for all these means of nourishment and growth for the Church is steadily increasing is a favorable indication of healthful energy; but it makes the want of suitable provision for its supply more pressing, and the duty of taking measures to that effect more bounden.
The consecrations of churches in the past year have been both remarkable. The first, at Easton, of Christ Church in St. Peter's Parish, Talbot county, was the consummation of an effort among the most energetic and praiseworthy that have been at any time made in the diocese. The erection of a stone church in Easton, substantial, roomy and well adorned, not only neat but beautiful, without remaining debt, and without relinquishing the former church, still used for sacred purposes, is a triumph of enterprise, liberality and perseverance on the part of all concerned in the undertaking, which deserves especial commemoration and all our thanks, as an example by which every other part of the diocese may be profited. A goodly assemblage of the clergy from both shores were partakers together in the joy of their beloved brother
on the day of the crowning of his long deferred hopes and many labors, and returned I am sure, feeling, with me, that it was good to have gone up to the Lord's house with His rejoicing people, and to have seen how He had prospered those who labored for the glory of His Name in humble diligence and faith.
The other consecration was of a much humbler edifice, but not less beautiful, and equally remarkable as a proof how much can be accomplished by a few zealous spirits unwearied in labor and of unshrinking faith. St. John's Church, Huntingdon, Baltimore county, on the York road, near this city, is in my estimation the most strictly correct and chaste ecclesiastical edifice in the dio. cese. It is, to be sure, small and unexpensive, but it is also substantial, and if unpretending, yet in every respect of the very best materials, design and finish that were attainable with the amount of expenditure that was practicable. It occupies new ground, being erected by a congregation formed within the last
Under its present indefatigable rector, the congregation is making growth if not rapid, yet very sound and sure, and nowhere among us is the beauty of holiness in the devout participation of our solemn services more regularly and heartily exemplified than in its house of worship.
The Institutions have been, of the Rev. Benjamin Franklin into the rectorship of St. John's Parish, Harford county, on the Fifth Sunday after Trinity, July 4th ; and of the Rev. Richard Clarence Hall, into the rectorship of St. John's Church, Hunting. don, on Thursday the 30th of December.
I have received from the Bishop of Pennsylvania notice of the displacement from the holy ministry of Marcus A. Cushman, George Allen, and Oliver Shaw, late Presbyters of that diocese; from the Bishop of South Carolina a similar notice concerning Allston Gibbs, late Presbyter of that Diocese; from the Bishop of Western New York, a similar notice concerning Washington Van Zandt, late Presbyter of that diocese; and from the Bishop
of Virginia, notice of the degradation of D. W. Dwyer, late a deacon of that diocese.
To the details which have been now submitted, I have found occasion to add little in the way of general remark. Quietness and harmony have prevailed among us in a great degree. May their prevalence continually increase! In order to that, may we ever more and more commit our way unto the Lord, in simplicity and godly sincerity serving Him, holding fast the faithful word as we have been taught, speaking the truth in love, and so growing up into Him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ, from whom the whole Body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the Body unto the edifying of itself in love.
WILLIAM ROLLINSON WHITTINGHAM,
Bishop of Maryland. BALTIMORE, May 3181, 1848.
The Chairman of the Committee appointed by the last Convention to take into consideration the best method of collecting the salaries of clergy men, presented the following report, which, on motion, was ordered to be printed :
The Committee appointed to act under a resolution at the last Annual Convention of this Diocese, relating to the salaries of Clergymen, have given the subject their serious consideration; and beg leave to make the following Report:
The collection of Clergymen's salaries, in the opinion of this committee, ' is a subject upon which the Convention cannot legislate coercively without distorbing the good order and peace of the Church; what cannot be done directly by the Convention upon this subject without harm, may be accomplished indirectly, and with the happiest results.
Your committee believe that the gross injustice which is done to a large majority of the Clergy, by non-collection and non-payment of their dues, is in a great measure the result of the operations of two causes :
First,—The want on the part of the laity of a correct knowledge of, and an active participation in the operations of the Church.
Secondly,—The large extent of territory in many cases coinmitted to the oversight of the clergy.
With the Bible and Prayer Book, Tract and Missionary work of the Church, those three great moral powers, a large proportion of the laity, have not only, vo direct and personal connexion, but in not a few cases they are almost entirely ignorant of their very existence; hence, in the judgment of your committee, the want of zeal, and the prevalence of that
death-like apathy in all that relates to the general welfare of the Church, i and especially the comfort and happiness of the Ministry. By reason of the
inordinate size of many of the Parishes, and the imprudent union of others, the usefulness of the Ministry is much abridged. No one has either time, energy, or physical ability, to undergo the labor necessary to the discharge of the duties of a faithful Pastor, without which the people committed to his care must insensibly become forgetful of their duty to the Church, and lose sight of affectionate and proper interest in his welfare. Only seeing him at the altar as a Minister of Christ, they do not regard him as human like themselves, requiring a daily supply of food and raiment.
Your committee, then, believe that if the Convention could devise some means by which those two evils could be corrected, that the diocese would in a short time have no occasion to mourn over a stinted and badly paid clergy, or the impoverished condition of the general Treasury of the Church.
Under this impression, your committee have prepared for the consideration of the Convention, such measures as in their humble opinion will arouse the dormant energies of the laity, and thereby correct the evil contemplated by the resolution under which they act, as follows:
Three Boards to be constituted; to be designated Bible and Prayer Book, Tract and Diocesan Missionary Boards ; each Board to be appointed annually by joint ballot of Convention ; and to consist of residents of the city of Baltimore-and lay members of the Protestant Episcopal Church of this Diocese.
The Missionary Board to have charge and control of all Missionary operations appertaining to the Diocese, except the collection of funds.The money paid over to said Board to be used by them in aid of weak Parishes. Said Board to ascertain the pecuniary wants of the Diocese for Missionary purposes, as far as may be in their power, and to meet the same by a tax on each Parish,-keeping in view, in laying said tax, the principle which now regulates the assessment of the Diocese for Conven
tional purposes ; and to report their proceedings to the Annual Convention of the Church.
The Bible and Prayer Book Board to have charge and control of all operations necessary to the procuring of the same ; and supply as far as inay be in their power as many copies of both or either, as the Rector may order ;-to tax as aforesaid, with a sum adequate to the demands of the Board for this purpose, and report their proceedings to the Annual Convention of this Church.
The Board for Tracts to have charge and control over all operations necessary to the procuring of the same; to procure and publish none except those approved of and ordered by Convention; to tax each Parish as afore. said with a sum adequate to the payment of the same; to supply, as far as may be in their power, each Parish with as many Tracts as the Rector may order, and report their proceedings to the Annual Convention of this Church.
Io all instances where two or more Vestries have employed a Rector to take charge of the Parishes which they severally represent, we recommend the same to be dissolved. The Parishes which may be rendered too weak for self-support by this dissolution, be aided by the funds in the hands of the aforesaid Missionary Board, as far as in their opinion may be necessary and to the extent of their ability. No clergy man to accept a call to a vacant Parish until the salary due his predecessor shall have been tendered or paid ; a receipt of the Rector or his legal representatives to be evidence of settlement.
The Rector and Vestry of each Parish to be constituted a Parish Board, whose duty it shall be to collect such funds as may be called for by each of the foregoing Boards, and to transmit the same to the Secretary of cach Board; the amount so transmitted to be stated by the Rector of each Parish in bis Annual Report to the Convention. In all Parishes without Rectors the Vestries alone shall constitute the foregoing Board and perform the duties thereof.
The Lay-delegate of each Parish to report to the Convention the amount paid yearly to his Rector. Said report to be referred to a special commit. tee of the Convention. Every delegate failing to make said report to vacate his right to a seat in Convention. All of which is respectfully submitted,