Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

but also as it gives us time and op- no doubt, of the propriety of cona portunity to consult on other things, tinuing our Easter collections. which concern the interest and pros- Though they have been less geneperity of our Churches; and to ral, and of course less productive, adopt, or recommend such measures than was expected, they have been as will best promote the noble cause of great use. Mr. Henshaw, Mr. in which we are engaged, and ex- Humphrey, Mr. Safford, Mr. Blake, tend our vigilance and oversight to Mr. Beach, and Mr. White, have the minuter parts of our ecclesiasti- been employed, or aided as Missioncal concerns. How interesting to aries from that little fund; and their

; the Christian; how important to labours, we have reason to believe, society, and to the best interests of have been much blessed. The state our fellow men, is the purpose for of this fund will be laid before you. which we are now convened! How The Charge delivered before the can we conscientiously separate till last Convention, together with a we have done what shall be in our Pastoral Address to our Churches, power, and consistent with our du- on the subject of those collections, ties, as a Convention of these states, and others' connected with it, has to build up the kingdom of our bles- been printed, and the expense desed' Redeemer; to promote piety frayed from the monies collected for and true godliness among the peo- the printing and distribution of ple, and increase the prosperity of tracts; it being thought, from the the Church which we represent. circumstances of our Church, and Permit me to suggest some few the great importance of calling the things, as not unworthy to be num- attention of our people to these subbered among the subjects of your jects, the Address might be as usedeliberations. And though they ful for distribution, as those tracts may be of such a nature, as no mea- which, intrinsically, are far more exsures within the powers of this Con- cellent and valuable. vention, as such, can directly effect, It is our duty, not only to collect let them, if thought worthy of such funds for missionary purposes, but regard, be retained in our memories, also carefully to save those which, that, as individuals, and in our re- through the kind providence of spective parishes, we may apply God, and the piety of his people, such remedies, and promote such may have been given us. measures, as wisdom may teach and gather up the fragments which reduty require.

main, that nothing be lost.” ProAt our last Biennial Convention, perty which has been given for any it was requested that more attention pious or religious use, let us most might be given to what is required conscientiously, and in the fear of in the 45th Canon. I have yet re- God, appropriate, so far as shall be ceived but few of the returns neces- in our power, to the use designed. sary to make the Report, which that Should we neglect this duty, how canon requires.' And as the time can we expect the divine blessing! now draws nigh when the General By its faithful performance, perhaps, Convention are to meet, I have still something may be added to our to request that this business may means of supplying our destitute not be neglected.

brethren with the gospel ministraThe supplying of our vacant pa- tions. We ought thankfully to acžishes with ordained ministers, and knowledge it as a most favourable assisting those which are small and circumstance, and signal mercy, poor, with regular preaching, or, at that we have an incorporated Soleast, with occasional ministrations, ciety on such liberal principles, and are duties to which, as far as is prac- yet so wisely restricted, that funds ticable, we are urgently called. In for any charitable or religious puryour deliberations on this very im- pose, may there, with perfect secuportant subject, you will consider, rity, be deposited, and will most

66 'Let us

>

Success.

a

[ocr errors]

a

July, 1817.] Convention of the Eastern Diocess.

213 surely and faithfully be applied, as who are settled, should preach often the pious donors shall direct. Let in the small vacant parishes; and us not be remiss in availing our- that their people on such occasions selves of so great a blessing. This accept, during the absence of their Palladium of the Eastern Diocess, ministers, the service of candidates; we may well hope, will be, in the or that divine service be performed, hands of a merciful Providence, and an approved sermon read, by the instrument of its stability and some pious member of the Church :

If we are not wanting to or even, if necessary, that a Church ourselves, and the noble cause in be shut for a Sunday. This must which we are engaged, on this basis be a painful sacrifice to a devout may hereafter be established a fund, congregation, who delight in the which shall be commensurate to the worship of God; but it is a sacriexigence of our Churches.

fice which, if offered with a free will Another measure for aiding and and good heart, will be approved supplying our small and vacant and accepted of God. Remember Churches, among the most obvious what are the great objects çf our reand most hopeful, is the formation ligion; not personal gratification, of Missionary Societies, which, of but to do good, to promote the salcourse, will merit, and, no doubt, en- vation of mankind, and extend the gage your mature deliberation. A borders of the Redeemer's kingdom.

. motion for that purpose is, if I mis- It is laudable in every Christian take not, already before the Conven- congregation to desire the constant tion. Whether one general Society and regular administration of the shall be established for the Diocess, word and doctrine, and never need

, or whether it may not be preferable lessly to relinquish the comforts of to establish one in each state, con- the sanctuary. But in this, as in fining its object and operation to other things, it is in some cases its respective district, ought also to more blessed to give than to rebe considered.

ceive." While we enjoy a fulness The want of Prayer Books in our of Gospel privileges, let us not forChurches is so great and general, get those who are totally destitute ; as to be a subject worthy of your who have no preaching, no divine present attention. Next' after the

service, no sacraments. To assist word and the ministers of God, this such, even in the way now proposed, is the best gift that you can send. may be as true Christian charity, as Its value and usefulness are too to relieve the temporal wants of well known in this Convention to your suffering fellow creatures. If, require praise. Through the pious from “ good will towards men,” and liberality of Christians of all deno- to extend the influence of the Reminations, Bibles are dispensed to a deemer's Gospel, Christians somelarge proportion of those disposed times deny themselves the comfortto read them. Various tracts have able refreshments of his house, it also been distributed in great abun- will, we need not doubt, be even dance; but this Book of Common more acceptable to God, and better Prayer, second only to the Bible, in promote their own salvation, than a its utility among us, is in many rigid claim to all their privileges. places scarcely to be obtained. In such case our prayer should atCould measures be taken, either by tend our minister in his labours of gratuitous distribution, or by so dis- love. persing cheap editions, that all who

Finally, while so many are lookare disposed to purchase may find ing up to us as fathers in Israel, and them, it would be attended with ex- watchmen in Zion, let us, as faithful tensive and salutary effects. stewards of the manifold grace of

Permit me also to recommend, God, apply ourselves with the most during the present necessity, and as awakened solicitude, and serious a temporary relief, that our Clergy, concern, to all the various and inter

of peace.

esting duties of this Convention; superseded that party-spirit which and let us not fail, on this occasion, once disturbed the Diocess of Maryto lift our hearts most devoutly to land. To accomplish this object, has God, beseeching that he will be been my most ardent desire ; and present with the council of his every exertion will be continued on Church, here assembled, in his name my part to produce that happy state and presence ;” that he will " direct of things, when we shall all live in and prosper all our consultations,” the unity of the faith and in the bond and bless the measures which shall be adopted, “to the advancement of By referring to the Journal of the his glory, the good of his Church,” last Convention, it will be seen that, and the general order, peace, and in the opinion of that body, the conhappiness of society.

gregation of St. Peter's Church in ALEX. V. GRISWOLD, Baltimore, could not be considered Bishop of the Eastern Diocess.

as a part of the Protestant Episcopal. Windsor, Sept. 25, A. D. 1816. Church while they adhered to Mr.

Dashiell, and allowed him to preach Address to the Convention of the Pro. in their Church. This consequence

testant Episcopal Church in the Di- the sincere members of the Church ocess of Maryland, delivered June 5, were anxious to avert; and of course

1817, by the Right Rev. Bishop KEMP. they adopted such means as would My Rev. Brethren of the Clergy, and recover their house of worship, and Gentlemen of the Laity,

secure their unity with the Episcopal SINCE the last Convention, several Church. occurrences of great interest to the After the sentence of contumacy Church have taken place.

had taken effect upon Mr. Dashiell, a The first that claims our attention number of the members petitioned is the death of our late venerable the civil court to grant a mandamus, Bishop, the Right Rev. Dr. Claggett. "to be directed to the vestry, comWhen he last presided in this body,“ manding them to report the vacancy his health was so impaired, that he “in the Rectorship of St. Peter's

“ seemed to be impressed with a belief, “ Church to the Bishop; enjoining that his life was drawing towards a and prohibiting them from permitclose, and under this anticipation he "ting George Dashiell to occupy the enjoyed great serenity and composure “parsonage-house, and to officiate in of mind.

any manner in the said Church; The peculiar situation of the Church " and further commanding them to

66 in Maryland required that no time “ choose a minister. Although the

” should be lost in announcing the prayer of the petitioners comprehendcourse that I meant to pursue ; and ed three things, yet the only point of under a due sense of my responsibili- consequence was to compel the vestry ty to her, and with a confident reli- to choose a minister. To report the ance upon Divine grace, I immediate- vacancy to the Bishop was required ly published an Address to the Clergy by a canon, which the civil authority and Laity, declaring, that in conse- had no right to execute ; and the apquence of a resolution passed by the pointment of a Rector would exclude Convention just after my election, I Mr. Dashiell from both the Church considered the charge of the Church and parsonage-house. It is true, it as devolving on me and accordingly was a misapplication of the property I have performed all the episcopal of the Church to bestow it upon a man duties of the Diocess, and visited the who was no longer a minister. But parishes as often as my situation in while the vacancy continued, it might Baltimore would permit. In my vi- have been said, that Mr. Dashiell was sitations, I have been received with a mere tenant, and the law does not great kindness and respect; and I forbid the renting of glebes or parhave the happiness to declare, that sonage-houses, during a vacancy in Christian unity and love hare noarly the Church, to tenants.

[ocr errors]

2

[ocr errors]

on

July, 1817.] Bishop Kemp's Address to the Convention of Maryland. 215

By the 15th section of the act for “ rate them; and therefore could have the establishment of vestries, passed “no authority to interfere with the in 1798, "the vestry of every parish " appointing or choosing of a minister are vested with full power and au

6 at all.” As there was no other thority, from time to time, to choose judge on the bench, the rule was dis" one or more ministers, or readers, charged, and the business dropped. “ of the Protestant Church, (hereto- But so satisfactory was the decision “ fore called the Church of England,) of Judge Nicholson, and so generally " to officiate in any church or chapel admitted to be correct, that the point * belonging to the parish, and to per- may be considered as settled. “ form the other duties of a minister This was a case in which all deno" therein, for such time as the said minations of Christians felt greatly “ vestry may think proper; and they interested, in as much as it involved

may agree or contract with such the maintenance of rights and princi5 minister or ministers, reader or rea- ples, upon which all true religious « ders, for his or their salary, and liberty depends. And it being of

respecting the use and occupation ‘much consequence that this business " of the parsonage-house, or any glebe should be placed on a correct foun

or other lands, or other property, dation, I must beg your attention to " if any, belonging to the parish; and the following remarks:

such terms and conditions as they At the revolution, religious liberty 6 may think reasonable and proper.” was established, but it would appear Here no difficulty stood in the way, that what was implied by true religious . with regard to the existence of the liberty was not sufficiently understood. vacancy. It was not necessary to The mere outlines of it are laid down prove that this was created by the de- in the bill of rights of this state. “ As, gradation of Mr. Dashiell-For by a it is the duty of every man to worprovision of the act authorizing the ship God, in such a manner as he building of St. Peter's Church, the “ thinks most acceptable to Him, al} vestry were not authorized to agree “persons professing the Christian rewith a minister for a longer term than “ligion are equally entitled to protecone year; and it was proved that their “ tion in their religious liberty,” &c. last agreement had expired on the fif- This must mean, that all sects and teenth of March preceding, and that denominations of Christians are perno appointment was made. The sole fectly free to hold and maintain their question with the court then was, religious tenets, to perform their rewhether they had a right to command ligious worship, to administer their the fulfilment of a law of the state of religious ordinances, and to exercise Maryland.

their ecclesiastical government. This The case was argued by lawyers of government is altogether of a spirigreat abilities and distinction; and on tual nature, resting on religious moaccount of its novelty and importance, tives, and enforced by religious sancit excited much interest. The only tions. argument urged against the granting It' seems to have been admitted, of the mandamus was, that the vestry that all religious denominations would had a right to use their discretion as maintain a regular system of ecclesito the time of choosing a Rector, as astical polity. Hence the Protestant no time was limited by law. To this Episcopal Church is recognized as it was replied, that the discretion used descending from the Church of Eng. must be a reasonable one, and not land; and hence marriage is only such as would defeat the object of the permitted to be celebrated by minis, law. Of course Judge Nicholson de- ters “ of the Church of England, micided in favour of the mandamus: “nisters dissenting from that Church, but Judge Bland found the question " or Romish Priests, appointed or

so mingled and blended with spiri- " ordained according to the rites “tual and religious considerations, and ceremonies of their respective " that a civil tribunal could not sepa- . Churches,"

66

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Yet while all denominations are manner, were any of our vestries te completely free and independent, as employ a minister who did not belong to their spiritual concerns, still as they to the Protestant Episcopal Church, are visible bodies requiring houses of they would be justly liable to a civil worship, ministers and church officers, process, and the court would act upon they must possess property; and to the fact being fully established, that hold and manage property, aid from such a minister was not episcopally the civil power is necessary.

ordained. In the state of Maryland In states where religious freedom this doctrine seems only to have graprevails, there are two ways of de- dually gained ground. The churches, fraying the expenses of public worship, chapels, glebes, and all other property, the one by levying contributions on were secured to the Protestant Episthe members of different denomina- copal Church for ever, by the bill of tions in proportion to their property, rights. This was a mere act of justhe other by voluntary donations. In tice as to the glebes, because most if all cities, and in some other places, not all of them had been given to the the pews of the churches are rented church by individuals. to defray all charges. But whatever The glebes being secured, an act mode be adopted, aid from the civil was passed in 1799 for the election of authority is necessary, even to compel select vestries, and one of the purthe fulfilment of contracts as well as poses for which they were elected to carry into effect other regulations. was the preservation and management Hence corporations have been esta- of the glebes. blished to manage the temporalities In course of time, other denominaof churches. Still this implies no tions began to feel the want of acts interference with spiritual concerns. of incorporation, and several congreFor no control is exercised over the gations applied for and obtained such faith, the forms of worship, or the acts. And the Episcopal Church havecclesiastical polity of any religious ing experienced the defects of the vescommunity. And in this way the most try act, petitioned the assembly, and complete religious freedom is render- obtained a law more completely adeed compatible with the state of human quate to the management of the temaffairs. The civil authority lends its poralities of the church. aid in the management of temporali- Applications, however, continuing ties, but neither influences the con- to be made by various denominations science nor the religious rights of any for acts of incorporation, in the year man or set of men.

1802 a general act was passed intendIn such a state of things, courts of ed to answer the purposes of all. justice are as much bound to carry These things taken together amount into effect the provisions of acts of to an admission, that the most comincorporation, as they are to compel plete religious freedom is quite conthe execution of any laws whatever. sistent with power lodged in bodies And in doing this, they may act, and corporate to manage the temporalities they must act in some cases, upon the of churches. And all the provisions facts being duly established, that par- of such acts ought and may be carriticular systems of ecclesiastical go- ed into effect by the civil courts, withvernment existed, and that the rules out the smallest interference with the of this government had been carried faith, institutions, or the ecclesiactical into effect. For instance, to recur to arrangement of any denomination of the case of marriage :- Were the vali- Christians. dity of a marriage

questioned, it might I have thus stated to you the real be necessary to prove, that the minis- situation of our Church, that you may ter by whom it was solemnized was be so guarded as neither to claim priregularly ordained agreeably to the vileges that do not belong to us, or rules and ordinances of his church. yield up rights to which we are clearAnd competent proof to that effect ly entitled. But while we contend would surely be admitted. In like that the most complete religious free:

[ocr errors]
« PoprzedniaDalej »