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´╗┐Title: Report of Commemorative Services with the Sermons and Addresses at the Seabury Centenary, 1883-1885.
Author: Episcopal Church. Diocese of Connecticut
Language: English
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Thanksgiving, Easter-Day, March 25, 1883,
 Service at Woodbury, March 27, 1883
      Bishop Williams's Address,
      Dr. Beardsley's Address,
 Diocesan Convention, 1883,
      Bishop Williams's Sermon,


Diocesan Convention, 1884,
      Bishop Williams's Sermon,
 Service at Hartford, November 14, 1884,
      Dr. Tatlock's Address,
      The Bishop's Reply,
      Dr. Beardsley's Address,
      Mr. Nichols's Address,
      Mr. Hart's Address,
      Bishop Williams's Address,
      Exhibition of Seabury Relics,


Diocesan Convention, 1885,
      Bishop Williams's Sermon,
 Service at Middletown, August 3, 1885,
      Bishop Williams's Address,
      Dr. Beardsley's Historical Sketch,


     Bishop Williams's Sermon,
      Presentation of Paten and Chalice,
      Presentation of Address and Reply,
      Presentation of Pastoral Staff,
      Dr. Beardsley's Address,
      Address from St. Andrew's Church,



In his address to the Diocesan Convention of 1881, Bishop Williams
suggested the appointment of a committee to provide for the
appropriate commemoration of the centenary of the election of the
first Bishop of Connecticut in the last week of March, 1783. On
motion of the Rev. Dr. Beardsley, this suggestion was referred to
a committee of three clergymen and two laymen, with the Bishop as
chairman. The Bishop appointed on the committee the Rev. Dr.
Beardsley, the Rev. Samuel F. Jarvis, the Rev. Samuel Hart, the
Hon. F. J. Kingsbury, and the Hon, H. B. Harrison.

At the Convention of 1882, on recommendation of this committee,
the following resolutions were adopted:

_Resolved_, That the Bishop be requested to set forth a
special thanksgiving to be used throughout the Diocese on the one-
hundredth anniversary of the election of Bishop Seabury, March
25th, 1883, being Easter-Day and also the Festival of the
Annunciation. _Resolved_, That a memorial service, with
addresses, be held in St. Paul's Church, Woodbury, on Tuesday in
Easter-week, March 27th, 1883, for which the Bishop be desired to
make the necessary arrangements.

_Resolved_, That the Bishop be further requested to provide
for a commemorative service with an historical discourse at the
opening of the Annual Convention of 1883.

It was also, on motion of the Rev. S. F. Jarvis,

_Resolved_, That a committee consisting of the Bishop, three
priests, and two laymen be appointed,.....to present to the
Diocesan Conventions of 1883 and 1884, if they shall deem it
expedient, a detailed plan or plans for the further special
observances as a Diocese of the centenary commemoration of Dr.
Seabury's Consecration, of the first Convocation summoned by him,
of the first Ordination on this continent, and of any ecclesiastical
events which are specially and historically connected with
this Diocese and which it may be deemed desirable to celebrate.

The committee appointed under this resolution was the same as that
appointed in 1882. In accordance with resolutions recommended by
this committee in 1883 and 1884, the Convention requested the
Bishop to make arrangements for commemorative services on the
fourteenth day of November, 1884, the hundredth anniversary of the
Consecration of Bishop Seabury, and on the third day of August,
1885, the hundredth anniversary of the first ordination held by

The Bishop having delivered an historical discourse at the opening
of the Convention of 1883, commemorative of the election of Bishop
Seabury, on motion of the Rev. Dr. Giesy, the thanks of the
Convention were tendered to him, and he was "respectfully and
earnestly requested" to preach a sermon at the next Convention in
commemoration of Bishop Seabury's Consecration. A like vote was
passed in 1884, desiring the Bishop "to supplement the sermons
delivered at this and the preceding Conventions with a third at
the Convention of 1885, necessary to the historical completion by
the same hand of the centenary commemoration of the Consecration
of the Rev. Samuel Seabury, D.D., as the first Bishop of

This volume contains a report of the Centenary Commemorative
Services held in accordance with the resolutions, and also the
historical sermons preached by the Bishop at the request of the
Convention. In the Appendix will be found Bishop Williams's sermon
preached at the commemoration in Aberdeen in October, 1884, with
an account of the part which the delegation from Connecticut took
in that commemoration, including the Rev. Dr. Beardsley's paper on
"Seabury as a Bishop."






The one-hundredth anniversary of the election of Bishop Seabury
fell on Easter-Day (being also the Festival of the Annunciation),
1883. In accordance with the request of the Diocesan Convention,
the Bishop set forth the following special Thanksgiving to be used
throughout the Diocese, immediately after the General Thanksgiving
at Morning and Evening Prayer on that day:

ALMIGHTY GOD, Who by Thy Holy Spirit hast appointed divers orders
of ministers in Thy Church, we give unto Thee high praise and
hearty thanks, that Thou didst put it into the hearts of our
fathers and brethren to elect, on this day, to the work and
ministry of a Bishop in Thy Church, Thy servant, to whom the
charge of this Diocese was first committed; and that Thou didst so
replenish him with the truth of Thy doctrine and endue him with
innocency of life, that he was enabled, both by word and deed,
faithfully to serve Thee in this office, to the glory of Thy name,
and the edifying and well-governing of Thy Church. For this so
great mercy, and for ail the blessings which, in Thy good
Providence, it brought to this portion of the flock of Christ, we
offer unto Thee our unfeigned thanks, through Jesus Christ our
Lord, to Whom, with Thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and
glory, world without end. _Amen_.

On Tuesday in Easter-Week, March 27th (the day of the week on
which the Festival of the Annunciation fell in 1783), a
commemorative service was held in St. Paul's Church, Woodbury, at
11 o'clock A.M. The Bishop began the Communion-service, the Rev.
S. O. Seymour of Litchfield reading the Epistle, and the Rev. E.
E. Beardsley, D.D., LL.D., of New Haven reading the Gospel. After
the Nicene Creed, a part of the 99th hymn in the old Prayer-Book
collection was sung; and the Bishop then made an address based on
the closing words of the Epistle: "I work a work in your days, a
work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it
unto you."

The Bishop spoke of the faith and the courage which inspired the
clergymen who met a hundred years ago in that quiet village to
elect the first bishop of Connecticut. They felt that they owed a
sacred duty to God; and, not stopping to speculate upon the needs
of some imaginary Church of the future, they did what was
specially needed for the welfare of the Church in their own day.
At the beginning of the war of independence there had been twenty
missionaries of the mother Church of England laboring in the
colony. They were in great part supported by the Venerable Society
in England, and they were under oaths of loyalty to the Crown; it
was not strange, therefore, that their sympathies were not on the
popular side. They were obliged to suffer great hardships; and the
end of the war found the Church in Connecticut in a very depressed
condition, with the clergy and people scattered and some of the
parishes quite broken up. Fourteen clergymen were left, and of
these ten met in the study of the Rev. John Rutgers Marshall on
the Festival of the Annunciation in 1783, to take counsel as to
what was to be done. Peace had not been proclaimed, but it was
known that the war was at an end; and the circumstances of the
times were such that they thought it necessary to take action at
as early a day as possible. And they instructed their candidate
that if he should fail to obtain consecration in England, he
should seek it at the hands of the bishops of the disestablished
church of Scotland.

Men had very real thoughts about Holy Orders then, when they were
obliged to cross the ocean for what they believed to be valid
ordination, and when one man out of every five who sought
ordination in England lost his life from shipwreck or disease. The
results of their faithfulness have been far greater and more wide-
reaching than they could have imagined. They would not have
believed it possible that at the end of a century there would be
in Connecticut nearly two hundred clergymen and twenty-two
thousand communicants, the Book of Common Prayer being used by
devout congregations throughout the limits of the State; and that
not only would this Diocese bear witness to God's blessing on
their faithfulness, but that there would be a united and
prosperous Church throughout the land, owing to them much of its
unity and prosperity. The lesson which we learn from them is that
Christ's work is to be done in Christ's own way, and that, thus
done, it will certainly abide.

The Rev. Dr. Beardsley, after a brief introduction, added
substantially as follows:

It is very evident that the clergy who met here on the Festival of
the Annunciation, 1783, were full of earnestness and the spirit of
self-sacrifice in their efforts to organize the Episcopal Church
in Connecticut and provide for her completeness and continuance
under a changed form of civil government. The seven years'
struggle of the Thirteen Colonies for independence of the power of
Great Britain was ended, and the poor people exhausted on every
side, were at a loss to know what methods should be adopted to
rise from their depression and recover in any degree their former
prosperity. The Missionaries of the Church of England--of whom
fourteen were left in Connecticut at the close of the Revolutionary
War--- had been aided by stipends from the Venerable Society
for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, but
these stipends, by the Constitution of the Society, ceased when
the separation finally took place. Of the fourteen Missionaries,
all save two [Footnote: The Rev. John Rutgers Marshall was born in
the city of New York, 1743, was an alumnus of Columbia College,
ordained 1771, and died 1789. The Rev. Daniel Fogg was a native of
New Hampshire, a graduate of Harvard College, ordained 1770, and
died 1815.]

The full list includes the Rev. Messrs. Samuel Andrews of
Wallingford, Gideon Bostwick of Great Barrington (reckoned
ecclesiastically as in Connecticut), Richard Samuel Clarke of New
Milford, Ebenezer Dibblee of Stamford, Daniel Fogg of Brooklyn,
Bela Hubbard of New Haven, Abraham Jarvis of Middletown, Richard
Mansfield of Derby, John Rutgers Marshall of Woodbury, Christopher
Newton of Ripton, James Nichols of Plymouth. James Scovill of
Waterbury, John Tyler of Norwich, and Roger Viets of Simsbury. ]
were born in the Colony of Connecticut, and all had been compelled
to cross the ocean to obtain Holy Orders--there being no bishop in
this country--though the boon had often been solicited from the
English Church and as often denied. The trammels of State alliance
and the policy of preferring political expediency to religious
right prevented the authorities from venturing upon a spiritual
act and granting the prayer of the petitioners. The clergy had
ministered to their flocks all along in the face of intolerance
and bitter opposition from the Puritan body, and the war for
independence had subjected them to peculiar trials and reduced
them to the verge of ruin. But, without thinking of themselves, or
how they should be supported in the broken and disastrous
condition of their cures, their first effort or chief anxiety was
to provide for the now entirely headless Church; and so in Mid-
Lent, on the Festival of the Annunciation, March 25th, one hundred
years ago, ten of the fourteen clergy remaining in Connecticut
quietly assembled in this place, and, after careful, and, we must
believe, the most prayerful deliberation, they selected two
persons--the Rev. Jeremiah Leaming being the first choice, and
then the Rev. Samuel Seabury--as suitable, either of them, to go
to England and obtain, if possible, Episcopal consecration. It was
a secret meeting so far as giving any public notice of it was
concerned, and it was confined to the clergy, perhaps, among other
reasons, for fear of reviving the former opposition on this side
to an American Episcopate, and thus of defeating their plan to
complete the organization of the Church and secure its inherent
perpetuity in this country. The times were troubled, and the
establishment of peace with a foreign power did not necessarily
produce tranquillity and happiness at home. Mischiefs and
jealousies still lingered with those who had contended for
liberty, and the chief Protestant sects, which have all erected
their banners and had their camping-ground in the Church of
England, were ready to welcome her weakness and overthrow because
her priests and her people, for the most part, had been on the
side of the Crown during the long struggle for independence. But
it is not possible to destroy what God holds in His hand. The
passions of men work vast evil till, in calmer moments, they
subside and a better light shines through their principles and
their actions.

The outcome of the meeting at Woodbury, after many hindrances and
perplexities, was the consecration by the non-juring Bishops of
the Church of Scotland of the Rev. SAMUEL SEABURY as the first
Bishop of Connecticut and of the Episcopal Church in the United
States. We owe to this consecration some of the best features of
our Book of Common Prayer. We owe to it the compactness and unity
of our great American Communion, and surely it was well to have
what we used on Sunday last--a form of thanksgiving for this our
hundredth anniversary of the election of Bishop Seabury that God
did "so replenish him with the truth of His doctrine and endue him
with innocency of life that he was enabled, both by word and deed,
faithfully to serve Him in the office of a bishop to the glory of
His name and the edifying and well-governing of His Church."

The Bishop then proceeded with the office of the Holy Communion,
being assisted in the service by the Rev. Professor Hart of
Trinity College, and in the administration to the clergy and a
large number of the laity by the Rev. Dr. Beardsley, the Rev. T.
B. Fogg of Brooklyn, and the Rev. J. F. George, rector of the
parish. Before the benediction, the Bishop read the special
thanksgiving set forth for Easter-Day.

After the service the clergy and other visitors were hospitably
entertained by the ladies of St. Paul's parish in the house in
which the Rev. J. R. Marshall lived in 1783, and in the very room
in which the ten clergymen met to elect the first Bishop of

The following is a list of the clergymen who were present:

The Rt. Rev. the Bishop; the Rev. Dr. E. E. Beardsley, New Haven;
the Rev. Messrs. H. A. Adams, Wethersfield; R. R. M. Converse,
Waterbury; W. C. Cooley, Roxbury; T. B. Fogg, Brooklyn; J. F.
George, Woodbury; Prof. Samuel Hart, Hartford; J. G. Jacocks, New
Haven; E. S. Lines, New Haven; R. W. Micou, Waterbury; S. O.
Seymour, Litchfield; James Stoddard, Watertown; Hiram Stone,
Bantam Falls; Elisha Whittlesey, Hartford; Alex. Mackay-Smith, New
York City.

On the twelfth day of June, 1883, the annual Convention of the
Diocese met in Trinity Church, New Haven. The opening service was
made a formal commemoration of the election of Bishop Seabury.

Morning Prayer was begun by the Rev. Samuel Fermor Jarvis, Rector
of Trinity Church, Brooklyn, grandson of the Rev. Abraham Jarvis
who was Secretary of the Convention in 1783 and afterwards the
second Bishop of the Diocese; the First Lesson (Isaiah lxi.) was
read by the Rev. George Dowdall Johnson, of the Diocese of New
York, great-grandson of the Rev. Dr. Samuel Johnson, "the Father
of Episcopacy in Connecticut"; the Second Lesson (Ephesians iv. to
verse 17), by the Rev. Thomas Brinley Fogg of Brooklyn, grandson
of the Rev. Daniel Fogg who was one of the electors of Bishop
Seabury; and the Nicene Creed and the Prayers, including a special
Thanksgiving, by the Rev. Samuel Hart, Seabury Professor in
Trinity College, great-great-great-grandson of one of the five who
with Johnson and Cutler signed the paper touching their
ordination, which was presented to the "Fathers and Brethren" in
the Library of Yale College on the thirteenth day of September,
1722. The Bishop began the office of the Holy Communion, using the
Collect for St. Simon and St. Jude's Day; the Epistle (that for
St. Matthew's Day) was read by the Rev. Edwin Harwood, D.D.,
Rector of Trinity Church, and the Gospel (that for St. Barnabas's
Day), by the Rev. E. E. Beardsley, D.D., LL.D., Rector of St.
Thomas's Church, New Haven, Historian of the Diocese and
Biographer of its first Bishop. The Sermon was preached by Bishop
Williams, as follows:


Men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought
to do.

I know no better words than these to give direction to our
thoughts in the service of this day. It is a service of deepest
thankfulness and of most sacred memories. It takes us back over
the years of a century. It brings to our remembrance the story of
the more than threescore previous years which led up to the event
that we commemorate. It awakens hope and trust for a coming and
unknown future. It binds those memories of the past and those
hopes for the future into one living body of thanksgiving, which,
for all who have gone before us, for ourselves, and for those who
are to follow us, must find utterance in the words of the
Psalmist: "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy Name
give the praise, for Thy loving mercy and for Thy truth's sake."

Go back with me, brethren, in your thoughts, to the beginning of
the century the close of which we commemorate. It is the Festival
of the Annunciation in 1783; and we find ourselves in an inland
village of what was, ere long, to become the Diocese of
Connecticut, the village of Woodbury. It was not then the village
of our time, the long street of which, with its venerable elms and
well-kept homesteads, nestles beneath the craggy heights that
overlook it, or spreads out in peaceful loveliness towards stream
and valley. Things were on a smaller scale then, rougher and ruder
than they now are. One house, at least, still stands that was
standing then; and if we enter it we shall find ourselves in the
"glebe-house" which is the abode of the missionary of the Society
for the Propagation of the Gospel, and in the presence of ten of
the fourteen clergy of Connecticut who were ministering in their
cures at the close of the War of the Revolution. Neither history
nor tradition has preserved to us all the names of these true-
hearted men. We know, however, from written records, that
Marshall, in whose house they met, Jarvis of Middletown, who was
their secretary, and Fogg of Brooklyn, whose correspondence tells
us what we should not otherwise have known, were among them.
[Footnote: It is more than probable, I think, that Mansfield of
Derby, Hubbard of New Haven, Newton of Ripton, Scovill of
Waterbury, Clark of New Milford, Andrews of Wallingford, and Tyler
of Norwich were also present.] Beyond these we are left to

We may imagine, though we can never fully enter into, the deep
anxiety of the hour, with all its doubts and fears so far
surpassing its hopes and encouragements. We remember how they felt
themselves compelled to meet in the utmost secrecy, not, as has
been sometimes unworthily intimated, because they feared their own
people, but because they knew not what interference might befall
them from the powers that were should their purpose be made known.
We think of them as, on that Festival of the Incarnation, they
knelt down in an isolation and desolation of which we can have no
knowledge, to implore the guidance of the Heavenly Wisdom in their
counsels and efforts for that Divine Institution which, because of
the Incarnation, is the Body of the Lord Jesus Christ. We
recognize what a venture of faith they were about to make in
sending one forth to seek consecration to the Episcopate, that so
he might discharge the office of the Bishop in the Church of God
to a flock weak and despised, "scattered and peeled"; and what a
greater venture of faith he would make who should go forth on that
errand, so doubtful and uncertain. We picture to ourselves all the
conditions of difficulty and discouragement by which they were
surrounded. We remember that the story of succeeding years,
familiar as household words to us, was hidden from them in the
darkness that veiled an unknown future. We know that they could
not even have dreamed of all that was to come out of that day's
doings. We think of all these things and many others, which I will
not attempt even to suggest, leaving it to your own thoughts to
fill out details that are omitted, and the one conclusion to which
all our thoughts and all our ponderings must bring us is, that
those ten men of whom the great world knew nothing then, of whom
it takes no thought now, were, nevertheless, "men that had
understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do."

The two events round which all the memories, the associations, the
details, of this and next year's commemorations group themselves,
are the election of our first Bishop in 1783, and his consecration
at Aberdeen in 1784. It seems to be my duty, to-day, to limit
myself strictly to the first of these; to what led up to it and to
the event itself; leaving it to whoever shall preach the sermon of
next year to speak of what followed the election, of the
consecration itself, and of its outcomes for this Church.

It seems a narrow field--that to which I find myself limited--but,
unless I am greatly deceived, it presents to us topics which will
deserve careful consideration.

First, then, let me say something of what led up to the election
of 1783. In doing so I must go back to the _primordia_ of the
Church in this Diocese.

It ought never to be forgotten that the first missionary--if I
may so speak--of our Church in Connecticut was the Book of Common
Prayer. Keith and Talbot had, indeed, preached at New London in
1702. Muirson had organized the few churchmen at Stratford into a
parish in 1707. Different clergymen had, from time to time,
through the watchful care of Caleb Heathcote--a name that we ought
never to forget--ministered to that little band in their sore
trials and vexations. One, Francis Phillips, had come to them and,
after six months of neglect and carelessness, departed, leaving
only confusion behind him. But long before anything like permanent
ministration was begun at Stratford by George Pigot on Trinity
Sunday in 1722, Samuel Johnson at Guilford had been diligently
studying the Book of Common Prayer put into his hands by Smithson--
another name never to be forgotten--and in those studies we
find, it seems to me, the true beginnings of what was to become
the Diocese of Connecticut. The old Faith enshrined in the
historic creeds of the Prayer-Book; the law and life of worship
embodied in its formularies, all leading up to and centering in
the highest act of Christian worship, the Holy Eucharist; its
ideal of the Christian life taught in its Catechism and carried
out in all its offices from baptism to burial; on these
foundations, no broader and no narrower, was our Church here built
up. God grant that on these foundations it may stand till time
shall end!

I protest against the narrow and unhistoric idea that Johnson and
those who labored with and after him conformed to the Church of
England only because of their convictions touching Holy Orders. No
doubt those convictions were a factor, a most important factor, in
the change they made. But there was a great deal more involved
than that one question. Men who had gone from the dry bones of
Ames's Medulla and Wollebius to the "fresh springs" of Hooker and
Bull and Pearson, must have found how utterly unlike to the
Catholic Faith which they there were taught, were the "distributions
and definitions" of that "theoretical divinity" in which they had
been trained. It was indeed, as one of them said, "emerging
from the glimmer of twilight into the full sunshine of open day."
Men who had unlearned their prejudices against "pre-composed
forms of prayer" by the study of such books as King's _Inventions
of Men in the Worship of God_ and the fifth Book of Hooker's
immortal work, and above all of the Book of Common Prayer
itself, must have reached another and a loftier ideal of
worship than any they had known before. Men who had passed from
the narrow, cramped, and often conventional theories of Christian
living to which they were accustomed, to the reading of Scott's
_Christian Life_ [Footnote: I have often been told, by the
late Dr. Jarvis, that Scott's _Christian Life_ was a favorite
book with our early clergy, especially with Johnson and Beach.]
and the works of Hammond and Ken, had, surely, found something
totally different from anything to which they were wonted. The
question, as it presented itself to them, took on no narrow shape,
ran in no single groove. It covered the Orders, the Faith, the
Worship of the Church of God, and it took in with them the ideal
of the Christian Life. It was no narrower than that; and they who
assume that it was, contradict the conclusions of reason and the
testimony of history. The pioneers of our Church were sometimes,
in their own days, called by their opponents "covenant-breakers."
If, however, they withdrew from covenants entered into by men with
each other, it was only that they might attain the fulness of the
New Covenant in the Blood of the Incarnate Son of God.

I cannot refrain from quoting here the words of the able author of
the _History of the Colonial Church_. Looking back to the
period of which I have been speaking, he says: "The feeling which
prevails over every other, at this present moment, and which alone
I wish to leave on record, is the feeling of deepest gratitude to
those men of Connecticut, who, not from a mere hereditary
attachment to the Church of England, or indolent acquiescence in
her teachings, but from a deep abiding conviction of the truth
that she is a faithful 'Keeper and Witness of Holy Writ,' have
shown to her ministers in every age and country, "the way in which
they can best promote the glory of their Heavenly Master's name,
and enlarge the borders of His Kingdom." [Footnote: Anderson's
_History of the Colonial Church_, iii. 444.]

While, however, the question of ordination was only one out of
many things that drew our fathers and pioneers back to the Church
from which their fathers had gone out, it must, from the very
exigencies of the case, have come into great and constant
prominence. It could not be otherwise. The relations of our
missionaries to the Bishop of London--who had, by what may almost
be called an accident, acquired jurisdiction over English
congregations outside of England [Footnote: It was obtained by
Laud in 1634; see Anderson, i. 410.]--was little more than
nominal. There could be no "well-governing of the Church." If
Orders were sought, "the dangers of the sea, sickness, and the
violence of enemies" must be incurred, and one in every five that
went out sacrificed his life in the attempt to obtain his
ministerial commission. Confirmation was an impossibility; and our
clergy and people were taunted with the solemn mockery--for it was
hardly less--of reading the direction to bring baptized children
to the bishop when there was no bishop to whom they could be

That there was no bishop in America was not due to our clergy or
people here. [Footnote: Possibly Virginia and Maryland are to be
excepted.] The reason must be sought elsewhere. In the second year
of its existence, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel
had entertained the idea of sending a Suffragan to America; and,
even then, the bishops of Scotland "were regarded as the channel
through which that assistance could most readily be obtained."
[Footnote: Anderson, iii. 36.] The project came to no result. If
there is any truth in the tradition that, had it been carried out,
Dean Swift would have been sent as Bishop of Virginia, we may be
thankful that it failed.

It was renewed from time to time, from the reign of Queen Anne to
that of George III., but always without result. Petition after
petition, appeal after appeal was sent from America; the
Episcopate of England was implored to secure the appointment of
"one or more resident bishops in the colonies, for the exercise of
offices purely episcopal--offices to which the members of the
Church of England have an undoubted claim, and from which they
cannot be precluded without manifest injustice and oppression."
[Footnote: Bishop Lowth, _Sermon before the Venerable Society_.]
The colonial churchmen found, indeed, some zealous friends
in the English Episcopate; and one's heart warms as one reads
the names of Sharpe and Berkeley and Butler, of Gibson and
Sherlock and Seeker. But I fear it might be truly said of the
majority of the bishops of England in those days, "that they
thought more of the Acts of Parliament than they did of the Acts
of the Apostles."

From Parliament or the English Ministry nothing could be hoped, so
long as Sir Robert Walpole or the Duke of Newcastle controlled the
action of the State; the name of the first of whom is the synonyme
of private profligacy and public faithlessness, while of the
latter an English historian [Footnote: Lord Macaulay. Nor was
much, if any, more to be hoped for from Pitt, afterwards first
Earl of Chatham.] has said that his selfish ambition "was so
intense a passion, that it supplied the place of talents and
inspired even fatuity with cunning." Not under such auspices was
the Episcopate to be given to America.

To these causes of failure must, doubtless, be added the
opposition of the dominant religious bodies in the colonies. But
here it must, I think, in all fairness be said, that this
opposition was largely due to the fear that, were bishops sent to
America, they would, somehow and at some time, be "invested with a
power of erecting courts to take cognizance of all affairs
testamentary and matrimonial, and to enquire into and punish all
offences of scandal"; [Footnote: See _Minutes of Convention of
Delegates from the Synod of New York and Philadelphia and from the
Associations of Connecticut, held annually from 1766 to 1775
inclusive_ (Hartford, 1843). It is now a rare pamphlet, but
very valuable for its revelations touching men and measures.] in
other words, that they would be, or would become, officers of the
State as well as bishops in the Church. No such purpose, it is
almost needless to say, was in the minds of those who sought the
establishment of a colonial Episcopate. All they desired was a
bishop or bishops invested with those powers--and no others--
which were recognized in "Holy Scripture and the ancient Canons."
But this was just what some would not, and many others could not,
be brought to understand. The idea of the officer of State,
invested with civil powers and functions, was the vision that
disturbed more minds than we can readily imagine now. Says the
elder Adams, writing in 1815: "Where is the man to be found who
will believe... that the apprehension of Episcopacy contributed,
fifty years ago, as much as any other cause, to arouse the
attention, not only of the inquiring mind, but of the common
people, and urge them to close thinking on the constitutional
authority of Parliament over the colonies?" [Footnote: All parties
agreed that bishops could be sent out only under an act of
Parliament; and there seems to have been no doubt that by such an
act they would be divested of all civil powers and functions. But
it was said, that such an act could be at any time repealed; and
if it were repealed, then, under the common law of England,
bishops in the colonies might hold their courts, and exercise such
functions as were ordinarily exercised by them in the mother
country. The danger may have been largely imaginary; but it was
certainly within the limits of possibility, and must, in all
candor, be fairly considered.]

Under all the circumstances, then, it is no wonder that when the
War of the Revolution ended, and the question came to the minds of
thoughtful churchmen how the Church should strengthen "the things
that remained that were ready to die," their first thought should
have been for the Episcopate. The Faith of the Universal Church
they had in the historic Creeds. Its Worship was preserved for
them in the Book of Common Prayer, But how to provide for the
perpetuation of the "Doctrine and Sacraments and the Discipline of
Christ as the Lord had commanded and as this Church had received
the same," that was the great practical pressing question with
which they were brought face to face. Ordination, Confirmation,
and the government of the Church must of need be secured. Nor can
we greatly wonder if what no entreaties had been able to obtain
while the colonies were a part of the British Empire, seemed now
to many an almost hopeless undertaking. The surrender at Yorktown
in 1781 was to many American churchmen the death-blow to their
hopes for an American Episcopate. There were men enough to see the
difficulties and discouragements, to talk and write and speculate
about them; but where should those men be found who would grapple
with them, and by grappling with them overcome them? I answer,
they were found in those ten clergymen who met at Woodbury in
1783, "Men that had understanding of the times." And is it not
always somewhat after this sort, when any great step is to be
taken, and there are manifold difficulties in the way? Do not men
dwell on the difficulties, and exaggerate the dangers, and suggest
expedients and makeshifts, till some one, without fuss or noise,
takes the step, and lo! the mountain has been levelled and the way
lies open? Depend upon it, there is a wealth of wisdom in these
simple lines:

"From an old English parsonage down by the sea, There came in the
twilight a message to me; Its quaint Saxon legend deeply engraven,
Hath, as it seems to me, teaching from heaven; And all through the
hours the quiet words ring, Like a low inspiration: 'Doe the nexte

And what the next thing was for this Church when these western
colonies became a nation, we have already seen.

The need of some decided and vigorous action was made more obvious
by the fact that one of those makeshifts, just alluded to, by
which difficulties are evaded and not met, had been proposed in
the emergency, and was not unlikely to be adopted. In the summer
of 1782 a pamphlet had been published in Philadelphia, the author
of which, impressed with "the impossibility and present
undesirableness of attempting to obtain the Episcopate from
England," proposed "the combining of the clergy and of representatives
of the congregations in convenient districts with a representative
body of the whole." This representative body was to issue
"a declaration approving of Episcopacy, and professing a
determination to possess the succession when it could be
obtained"; but, meantime, permanent presidents were to be elected
from among the clergy with powers of supervision and ordination.
"An exigence of necessity" was pleaded in justification of this
extraordinary proposition.

On what possible ground an "exigence of necessity" could be
asserted or assumed when no attempt to obtain the Episcopate had
been made, it is very difficult to see. How completely is the
fallacy and unwisdom of the assumption exposed by the clear,
straightforward words of the reply sent from Woodbury on that
memorable twenty-fifth of March: "Could necessity warrant a
deviation from the law of Christ and the immemorial usage of the
Church, yet what necessity can we plead? Can we plead necessity
with any propriety till we have been rejected? We conceive the
present to be a more favorable opportunity for the introduction of
bishops than this country has before seen. However dangerous
bishops might have been thought to the civil rights of these
States, this danger has now vanished, for such superiors will have
no civil authority. They will be purely ecclesiastics... equally
under the control of civil law with other clergymen; no danger,
then, can now be feared from bishops but such as may be feared
from presbyters." And then they further say, how wisely! "Should
we consent to a temporary departure from Episcopacy, there would
be very little propriety in asking for it afterwards, and as
little reason ever to expect it in America."

The men who wrote those words grasped the real exigency as they
who spoke loudest about exigencies and impossibilities did not.
They foresaw, moreover, with the intuition of true wisdom, the
danger of resorting to the temporary expedient that had been
proposed. For, in truth, all history proves that such expedients
and makeshifts always exhibit a tendency to become permanent, and
very soon challenge for themselves a character, as legitimate and
ultimate, which is not claimed for them when they are adopted.
Then that thing, whatever it may be, to which they profess to lead
men up, drops out of sight, and they themselves fill the field of
vision. Had the plan of the Philadelphia pamphlet been adopted,
such I fully believe, such the clergy of Woodbury believed, must
inevitably have been the result. That it was not adopted, that the
dangers inherent in it were avoided, was largely owing to the
action of the day which we commemorate.

In what simplicity and godly sincerity of heart they took the step
that lay right before them, met the difficulty from which others
shrank, did "the next thing," and, therefore, wrought for a
marvellous future! Says a thoughtful writer: [Footnote: Aubrey de
Vere, _Sketches in Greece and Turkey_.] "Men of ambitious
imaginations retire into their study and devise some _magnum
opus_ which, like the world itself, is to be created out of
nothing, and to hang self-balanced on its own centre; after much
puffing, however, the world which they produce is apt to turn out
but a well-sized bubble. Men of another order labor but to provide
for some practical need; and their work, humble, perhaps
occasional, in its design, is found to contain the elements that
make human toils indestructible."

It was fortunate for all who were to come after them that those
men of whom I speak were no dreamers or _doctrinaires_, and
rode no "half-saddled hobbies" of their own construction. They did
not undertake to formulate a creed adapted to the wants of the
American mind and the demands of the eighteenth century; they had
that which was for every mind and all time, in the One "Faith once
delivered to the Saints." They did not attempt to compose a
Liturgy or Forms for Sacred Rites and Services; these they also
had, capable (doubtless) of adaptation and change "according to
the diversity of countries, times, and men's manners," but still
complete for all purposes of worship or ministration, being,
indeed, the growth of all the Christian ages. They did not set
themselves to create a new Church, or even to reason out just what
might possibly be dispensed with here or omitted there because of
"the present distress"; all they had to do, in that little
secluded room where they were assembled, was to provide what was
lacking in that organization which they had received; even as in
that secluded "upper room" in Jerusalem where the eleven were
assembled with the disciples, the vacant place in the Apostolate
was filled up in anticipation of the mighty Pentecostal gift. And
because they were humble enough, and therefore wise enough, to do
just what they did, they "builded better than they knew"; builded
on that only foundation that can be laid, even Jesus Christ;
builded, also, as "wise master-builders," not with the "wood, hay,
stubble" of man's gathering, but with the "gold, silver, precious
stones" of the "New Jerusalem that cometh down from heaven."

There is another thought that ought not be passed by. Says an old
Father, speaking of the Episcopate: "_Nomen oneris non honoris";
"It is the name of a burden rather than of an honor." So here, the
question was not, To whom shall we give the honor? but, Who can
best take up and bear the burden? And what a burden it was! The
wearisome quest for consecration, sure to be protracted and
doubtful as to its result; the insufficient provision--if indeed
any provision at all was made--for the maintenance of the bishop-
elect during the period of his anxious waiting; [Footnote: Bishop
Seabury wrote under date of Jan. 5, 1785: "Two years' absence from
my family, and expenses of residence here, have more than expended
all I had."] the return, if unsuccessful, with the certainty of
being told that another might have succeeded where he had failed;
if successful, with the alternative certainty of coming to a weak
and despised Church, poor in this world's goods and "everywhere
spoken against"; the life-long struggle with its tremendous
uncertainties; surely, he who should undertake the burden of these
things and many more besides, would need not only the "_robur et
aes triplex circa pectus_" of the heathen poet, but the faith
that "could remove mountains" also. Who was to be the man?

"All eyes were turned to the venerable Jeremiah Leaming, who had
defended the Church with his pen, and suffered for her in mind,
body, and estate," and he was the first choice of the clergy at
Woodbury. It was felt, however, that his acceptance was doubtful,
and the difficulties which might prevent it were fully recognized.
The original draught of the letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury
places the election and the recognition of the difficulties
attending it beyond all doubt, by a passage, which, when Leaming
declined the undertaking, was, of course, omitted. These are the
words: "His age and infirmities, we confess, were objections on
his part we felt the force of. His yielding to our desires, to
encounter the fatigues and dangers of such a voyage, which (free
from all motives for personal ambition, for which in our situation
there is very little temptation) nothing but a zeal almost
primitive would lead him to do, much the more endears him to us.
He is indeed a tried servant of the Church, and bears about him in
a degree the marks of a Confessor." [Footnote: That Leaming was
the first choice of the clergy at Woodbury has been questioned.
But three things put it beyond doubt: (1) The original letter
quoted in the text; (2) Bishop Jarvis's sermon, preached before a
Special Convention, May 5, 1796, called to elect a successor to
Bishop Seabury, in which the fact is distinctly asserted; (3)
Bishop Seabury's letter to Dr. Morice, Secretary of the Venerable
Society, under date Feb. 27, 1785, which, when read in the light
thrown on it by the original letter and the sermon, can admit of
only one interpretation.]

Leaming was not there to speak for himself; and the contingency of
his declining to accept the burden was too pressing not to be
provided against. Wherefore another was designated, one whose name
is forever shrined in the deep love and reverence of this Diocese,
and held in grateful remembrance in this Church, the Rev. Dr.
Samuel Seabury. Who doubts that in this two-fold designation
earnest prayer was made to Him "Who knoweth the hearts of all
men"? Who doubts that though no lots were cast, it was left to the
ordering of Providence to "show whether of those two the Lord had
chosen"? That ordering, as we all know, laid the burden upon
Seabury. The brave step was taken, the venture of faith was made.
God provided the man to assume the weighty charge; and for that
and all that came of it, we offer him to-day "high laud and hearty

The same wise and prudent forecast which provided against one
possible contingency provided also against another, and in its
provision exhibited a truer comprehension of what the Church of
Christ, as a spiritual Kingdom, really was than any statesman and
many prelates in England seem to have then attained. Says one who
was present at Woodbury, writing to a friend who became the second
Bishop of Massachusetts: "We clergy have even gone so far as to
instruct Dr. Seabury, if none of the regular bishops of the Church
of England will ordain him, to go down to Scotland and receive
ordination from a non-juring bishop." [Footnote: Letter of the
Rev. Daniel Fogg to the Rev. Samuel Parker; _Connecticut Church
Documents,_ ii. 213.] I am in no wise concerned to deny that
the thought of applying to the Scottish bishops may have been an
entirely original thought in the mind of more than one person in
England in the years 1783 and 1784. But there can be no doubt--for
the fact is proved, not by unwritten reminiscences after a lapse
of years, but by contemporary documents--that this purpose was in
the minds of our clergy long before it could have been conceived
in England; before, indeed, it was known there that Seabury would
seek consecration at the hands of the English prelacy.

The line and limits which I have prescribed to myself in this
discourse forbid me to speak as I fain would speak of my great
predecessor. That privilege will belong to the preacher of next
year. But I may say, and say it with all reverence, that if ever
in our eventful history the guiding hand of God appears, it seems
to me to manifest itself in the election of our first bishop.
Doubtless brave men lived before Agamemnon, but Agamemnon was not
the less brave for that. Doubtless there were strong men and true
men here before Seabury--had there not been, there would have
been no place for him--but there was none stronger and none truer
than himself. He was misrepresented by some and misunderstood by
others in his lifetime. He has been misunderstood and misrepresented
since. But all that is over. Thanks to his careful biographer
and to his own unstudied revelations of himself, men know
him better now. The voice of detraction is silent, and there
are none to contradict us when we say of him: "His body is buried
in peace, but his name liveth forevermore."

My brethren, we shall have lingered to little purpose among these
memories of the past, unless we take away with us something for
the present hour with its duties and responsibilities. Two
thoughts seem to me to rise prominently to view from the survey we
have been making; two voices speak to us from those past years.

First we learn the lesson--it has already been spoken of--that
only by the true-hearted and faithful discharge of the lowly duty,
can we rise up to, or make real, the lofty aim. Said pious George

"Pitch thy behaviour low, thy projects high, So shalt thou humble
and magnanimous be."

The roots and foundations of all great things, in nature or in the
buildings that man rears, lie underground and out of sight.
Thoughtless gazers may think little of them; but no towering oak,
no stately temple, can stand without them. Above all, in the
Church of God, he who works on any other rule than this will lose
his labor, it may be will lose himself, and find written at last
over his most cherished plans the woeful words: "All is vanity."

Another thought presents itself, another voice is heard full of
the inspiration of faith and hope, telling us of the abiding
presence of the Lord with His Church, carrying us back to those
two unfailing promises: "I will pray the Father and He shall give
you another Comforter that He may abide with you forever"; "Lo, I
am with you alway, even unto the end of the world!" In very truth,
in that day of doubt and dismay this Church was "as a cottage in a
vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged
city." To-day we look upon her as "she hath sent out her boughs
unto the sea and her branches unto the river," and we bless God
for the greatness of "His goodness" and the greatness of "His

Do we rejoice, dear brethren, in all this with trembling? Do we
seem to hear, from the not distant horizon, the muttering of
storms which are gathering around us and may burst upon us? Do we
see tokens not only of assault from without, but of betrayal from
within? Then let us take courage from our past; let us do what
those who went before us did; let us, like them, "keep that which
is committed to our trust"; and if "evil men and seducers wax
worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived," let us, as they
did, "continue in the things which we have learned, knowing of
whom we have learned them."

And finally, let us give these thoughts--the lesson of the one and
the inspiration, not without warning, of the other--shape and
utterance in the prayer, more full of meaning to us than it could
have been to the people of the elder covenant:

"The Lord our God be with us as He was with our fathers; let Him
not leave us nor forsake us; that He may incline our hearts unto
Him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep His commandments, and
His statutes, and His judgments which He commanded our fathers."

The Bishop then proceeded with the Communion-office, being
assisted in the service by the Rev. William Jones Seabury, D.D.,
Professor in the General Theological Seminary and Rector of the
Church of the Annunciation, New York, great-grandson of Bishop
Seabury, and in the administration by the Rev. Drs. Beardsley,
Harwood, and Seabury, and the Rev. Dr. W. E. Vibbert, Rector of
St. James's Church, Fair Haven. Among the sacred vessels used in
the service were the Paten and Chalice used by Bishop Seabury in
St. James's Church, New London.




NOVEMBER 14, 1784.

The Diocesan Convention of 1884 met on the tenth day of June in
St. James's Church, New London.

Morning Prayer was read at 9 o'clock by the Rev. William B.
Buckingham, Rector of the Parish, the Rev. Samuel H. Giesy, D.D.,
Rector of Christ Church, Norwich, and the Rev. Storrs O. Seymour,
Rector of Trinity Church, Hartford. At 10-1/2 o'clock, after the
singing of the 138th Hymn, the service of the Holy Communion was
begun. The Bishop was assisted in the service by the Rector of the
Parish, the Rev. E. E. Beardsley, D.D., LLD., Rector of St.
Thomas's Church, New Haven, the Rev. Samuel F. Jarvis, Rector of
Trinity Church, Brooklyn, and the Rev. James Stoddard, Rector of
Christ Church, Watertown. After the Nicene Creed the Bishop
preached the Sermon as follows:


What do these feeble Jews? Will they fortify themselves? Will they
sacrifice? Will they make an end in a day? Will they revive the
stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?

It is difficult to imagine a more hopeless undertaking--as men's
eyes looked on it--than the attempt to rebuild Jerusalem and the
Temple at the close of the captivity. For seventy years their
ruins had lain in the condition which Isaiah describes in such
impressive words: "Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation;
our holy and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised Thee,
is burned up with fire; and all our pleasant places are laid
waste." Jerusalem was indeed "a heap of stones."

And who were they that should undertake to bring beauty, strength,
and order out of all this ruin and desolation? A small and
despised remnant of a once powerful people straggling back, as it
might seem, in handfuls, from their seventy years' captivity.

Follow Nehemiah in his lonely night-ride as he makes his solitary
circuit around the broken walls. Look at the scattered companies
of the re-builders as they set about their work; so separated from
each other, on that long line of ruined towers and bulwarks, that
a trumpet must be sounded to gather them together, should they be
attacked by enemies. Think of the sinking of heart with which the
first stone to be relaid must have been lifted; think of the scorn
with which they who hoped to see the failure of the forlorn
attempt must have looked on him who lifted it; and you can then
make real to yourselves the greatness of the undertaking and the
apparently hopeless inadequacy of the means at hand for its
accomplishment. No wonder that the enemies of Judah and Jerusalem
cried, "What do these feeble Jews?" No wonder that "Judah said,
The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed and there is
much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall." No
wonder that the provincial Jews--as they have been termed--sent
"ten times" to recall their brethren aiding those who were
laboring at Jerusalem, No wonder that Nehemiah "made his prayer
unto God," and said, "Hear, O our God, for we are despised!"

Taking up, as I am to do to-day, the narrative of the events which
followed on, and were the outcome of, the election of our first
Bishop of which I spoke to you last year, and which gather round,
and centre in, his consecration at Aberdeen a hundred years ago, I
seem, as I try to reproduce those days and make them real to our
minds, to hear Words uttered so like to those which have just been
brought together that they appear to be the very echoes of that
far distant past. Enemies are crying, "What do these feeble Jews?"
Timid friends are saying, "The strength of the bearers of burdens
is decayed"--we cannot do the work. But brave hearts and loving
hearts murmured to themselves, "Our God shall fight for us"; and
among them all there was no truer, braver heart than that of
Seabury, as, taking up the burden laid on him, he set forth on his
quest--nobler than the knightliest of olden times--for that sacred
Deposit which he was to bear to our western world.

How fared he in his quest? In the answer to this question we shall
find the topic that invites attention now. And first of all,
something must be said of the documents and testimonials which he
carried with him. These were, so far as the clergy of Connecticut
were concerned, prepared by the secretary of the meeting held at
Woodbury (afterwards our second bishop), the Rev. Abraham Jarvis.
They are quite too long for reading here; but it must be said of
them that they are admirably conceived and expressed, and set
forth a much truer and sounder ideal of the Church of God in its
obligation to the State on the one side, and its spiritual duties,
under the one Headship of Him Whose "kingdom is not of this
world," on the other, than seems to have then prevailed in the
mother country. Two passages from the letter of our clergy to the
Archbishop of Canterbury, I venture to quote in proof of what has
just been said.

"America is now severed from the British empire; by that
separation we cease to be a part of the national Church. But,
although political changes affect and dissolve our external
connection, and cut us off from the powers of the State, yet, we
hope, a door still remains open for access to the governors of the
Church; and what they might not do for us, without the permission
of government, while we were bound as subjects to ask favors and
receive them under its auspices and sanctions, they may, in right
of their inherent spiritual powers, grant and exercise in favor of
a Church planted and nurtured by their hand, and now subjected to
other powers.".... "Permit us to suggest, with all deference, our
firm persuasion that a sense of the sacred Deposit committed by
the great Head of the Church to her bishops, is so awfully
impressed on your Grace's mind, as not to leave a moment's doubt
in us of your being heartily disposed to rescue the American
Church from the distress and danger which now, more than ever,
threaten her for want of an Episcopate."

To the same purpose they spoke in their letter to the Archbishop
of York. "This part of America is at length dismembered from the
British empire; but, notwithstanding the dissolution of our civil
connection with the parent State, we still hope to retain our
religious polity, the primitive and evangelical doctrine and
discipline, which at the Reformation were restored and established
in the Church of England." And then they go on to say that, to
complete and perpetuate this polity, "an American Episcopate" must
be secured.

How clearly the men who used this language shewed that they fully
comprehended the position and rights of a National Church; the
obedience which "in all things temporal" the Church owes to the
powers that are ordained of God; her complete independence and
autonomy "in things purely spiritual"; and the great fact that by
no political changes was this Church severed from the Church of
England or from the historic Church of all the ages, so long as
she continued "stedfast in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship,
and in the breaking of the bread and the prayers!"

The testimonials and letters thus furnished by the clergy of
Connecticut were strengthened by similar documents signed by the
venerable Leaming and by the rector and the assistant minister of
Trinity Church, New York, and others. [Footnote: These testimonials,
bearing date April 21, 1783, have misled some persons into
the idea that Seabury was elected on that day in New York.
This is a mistake easily made if one carelessly glances at
the documents, but impossible if the documents are read.] Armed
with these testimonials, and bearing a letter from the clergy of
Connecticut to the Venerable Society imploring the continuance, at
least for a time, of their stipends, the Bishop-elect reached
London on the seventh day of July, 1783.

And now began the wearisome and wearing delay of all those slowly-
passing months, during which the postulant for the Episcopate was
hoping against hope for an enabling act of Parliament, under which
the bishops of England might proceed to consecrate him to the
office of a Bishop in the Church of God.

It forms no part of my purpose to enter into all the details of
that most unattractive period; but I may not pass by the different
obstacles to action which presented themselves, or were presented
with whatsoever purpose, as those months dragged their slow length
along. I know how difficult it is to carry one's self back into a
distant period of time and to surround one's self with its real
circumstances and conditions, especially when these are connected
with what were then new and perplexing civil and ecclesiastical
relations. But I cannot wonder that, looking back on so many
failures in regard to an American Episcopate, and the apparent
inability of those whose aid was invoked to grasp the issue
presented with all its grand possibilities--I cannot wonder that
the clergy of Connecticut should have said: "We hope that the
successors of the Apostles in the Church of England have
sufficient reasons to justify themselves to the world and to God.
We, however, know of none such, nor can our imagination frame
any." [Footnote: _Address of the Connecticut Clergy to Bishop
Seabury_, 1785.]

I name first, among the difficulties urged, the fear "that there
would be no adequate support for a bishop"; and I name it first
simply because it was, probably, the least. The answer to it that
came from our clergy was dignified and conclusive. "We can
contemplate," they said, "no other support for a bishop than what
is to be derived from voluntary contracts, and subscriptions and
contributions, directed by the good will and zeal of the members
of a Church who are taught, and do believe, that a bishop is the
chief minister in the kingdom of Christ on earth.... A bishop in
Connecticut must, in some degree, be of the primitive style. With
patience, and a share of primitive zeal, he must rest for support
on the Church which he serves, unornamented with temporal dignity,
and without the props of secular power." Whether the English
prelacy did or did not grasp, and acquiesce in, this ideal of a
bishop and his office, I cannot find that they pressed this
objection further.

A second obstacle was thus expressed: "It would be sending a
bishop to Connecticut, which they [the bishops of England] have no
right to do without the consent of the State, and such a bishop
would not be received in Connecticut." The phrase "consent of the
State" is ambiguous. It may refer to the Continental Congress or
to the authorities of the particular State concerned. If, however,
there were any who gave to the phrase the first of these
interpretations, they appear to have speedily abandoned it and to
have adopted the second. Apparently they supposed that the civil
authority in Connecticut might claim the right, and exercise the
power, to forbid a bishop to come within the limits of the State,
and to set him adrift with "the wide world before him where to
choose," a veritable bishop _in partibus_, without home,
habitation, or name. There can be little doubt that these fancies
were pressed by, if they did not originate with, persons belonging
to the so-called "Standing Order" in New England, under the lead
of a prominent minister in Connecticut.

To meet the difficulty, it was stated that a committee of the
Convention of the clergy of Connecticut had consulted with leading
members of both Houses of Assembly touching the "need, the
propriety, or the prudence of an application to government for the
admission of a bishop into the State," and that the result of the
conference showed that no such Act was needed, inasmuch as the
Assembly had already given all needful "legal rights and powers"
to all bodies of Christians of whatever name, and, therefore, to
the Church among them; that, if not needed, there could be no
propriety in applying for it; and, finally, that any such
application would be imprudent and unwise, in that "there were
some who would oppose it, and would labor to excite opposition
among the people, who, if unalarmed by any jealousies, would
probably remain quiet." How far these wise and reasonable
conclusions commended themselves to the bishops of England I am
unable to state.

A third difficulty remained; and this, it must be owned, had more
substance to it than those just considered. It related to the
oaths in the Ordination Office. These could not, of course, be
taken by the person seeking consecration; nor could the
consecrating bishops dispense with them on their own authority;
nor would the dispensation of the sovereign suffice, even should
it be given, unless with, at least, the concurrence of the Privy
Council, or--and this seems to have been the final conclusion--an
Act of Parliament.

When we remember how potent an element in bringing on the
Revolution of 1688--a revolution which had placed the House of
Hanover on the throne of Great Britain--the question as to the
sovereign's dispensing power had been; what an engine of tyranny
in the State and of destruction to the Church James II. had
intended to make it; and how offensive, if not dangerous, any
revival of it might well appear, we need not wonder that the
bishops of England should have declined to act under it, or that
the sovereign should have declined to give it, unless it could be
guarded and supported by forms and sanctions of unquestionable

All this is clear enough. But what does not appear is, why a more
hearty and earnest effort was not made to secure the needed
legislation. No such effort could have been expected from the
authorities of the State. They who cared nothing for an Episcopate
in America before the War of the Revolution, were not likely to
care more for it after the war was ended. If, as they had all
along been led to believe, the idea of an Episcopate was offensive
to the Colonies, it could hardly, they would say, be less
offensive to the States in the first flush of their acknowledged
independence. Nor were influences lacking, either in England or in
America, which were brought to bear in blocking that legislation
without which the English Prelacy declined to act. It is,
therefore, easy to understand the apathy of government. But it is
not so easy to understand, and it is far less easy to justify, the
apparent apathy of those who, it might justly have been thought,
"in view of the sacred deposit committed by the great Head of the
Church to her bishops," would have been heartily disposed to avert
the dangers which darkened the future of the Church in America.
What makes the inaction more inexplicable is, that while these
negotiations were pending, an Act of Parliament was actually
passed which enabled "the Bishop of London to admit foreign
candidates to the order of deacon or priest, but gave no
permission to consecrate a bishop for Connecticut or for any of
the American States." Who can wonder that Seabury was, at last,
driven to say, "This is certainly the worst country in the world
to do business in; I wonder how they get along at any rate"!
[Footnote: Letter to Mr. Jarvis, May 24, 1784.]

As I have read, time and again, the record of that weary waiting,
the story of that hope perpetually deferred, I have always risen
from the reading with the profound impression that I have been
brought into contact with a bravely patient and an utterly
unselfish man.

Alone in what was now to him a foreign land, separated from his
family which had been left here in New London, seeing his worldly
means which were "all embarked in this enterprise" rapidly wasting
away, without any influence to back him but the righteousness of
his cause, with his very loyalty to the crown made an objection to
him where one might have expected the precise opposite, he never
bated one jot of effort--however it may have been as to heart and
hope--but met difficulties, answered objections, dealt with
obstacles with a brave patience that marks him as a veritable
hero. [Footnote: A story was set about by Granville Sharpe, whose
prejudices led him to be unjustly credulous, that at his first
interview with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Seabury, in answer to
the objections raised by his Grace, turned abruptly on his heel,
saying, "If your Grace will not grant me consecration, I know
where I can get it"; and so set off for Scotland. There is no
truth whatever in the story. Seabury's letters, as well as all the
circumstances, completely disprove it. Nor does the fact that
Sharpe believed it, excuse his biographer, who might have known
better, for giving it currency.]

Nor was this the persistence of a self-seeking and ambitious man,
bent on attaining something for himself. It occurred to him, not
unnaturally, that possibly if the State of Connecticut were to be
asked to give permission for a bishop to reside within its
borders, it might be easier to secure such permission for another
than for one who had been imprisoned in New Haven for his loyalty.
Accordingly he wrote to his friends here: "I beg that no clergyman
in Connecticut will hesitate a moment on my account; the point is
to get the Episcopal authority into that country"; and then he
went on to say that, if another is designated, "he shall have
every assistance in my power." These are not the words of a self-
seeking man--a man of low ambitions. But they are the words of a
man filled with a great purpose, inspired with a great thought,
ready to do and to bear and to wait, so the purpose can be
accomplished and the thought take shape. All is summed up by him
in a single sentence: "Believe me, there is nothing that is not
base that I would not do, nor any risk that I would not run, nor
any inconvenience to myself that I would not encounter, to carry
this business into effect." [Footnote: While these negotiations in
England were in progress, an application was made, without
Seabury's knowledge, to Cartwright of Shrewsbury, an irregular
non-juring bishop. As, however, this was subsequent to the opening
of negotiations with Scotland, nothing, fortunately, came of it.
It has been said that an application was made to, or an offer
received from, the Danish government, looking to a consecration by
Danish bishops. This, however, is a mistake. No application was
ever made for consecration in Denmark; while the offer of the
Danish government, made through Mr. Adams, our then Minister to
England, related only to the ordination of candidates for the
diaconate and priesthood. The passage of the Act of Parliament,
mentioned above, prevented the necessity of acting on the offer;
and fortunately so, for the Danish Episcopate is only titular.]

Nearly fourteen months had now elapsed since Seabury arrived in
London. It was clear that consecration must, if obtained at all,
be obtained elsewhere than in England, and naturally his thoughts
reverted to Scotland. So careful, however, was he to consult in
all things those who had elected him, that he would take no
decisive step--notwithstanding the instructions given from
Woodbury in March, 1783--till they had been communicated with, and
their views obtained; so that it was not till August 31, 1784,
that he wrote to Dr. Myles Cooper. The letter is creditable alike
to his head and his heart. No word of personal disappointment and
vexation, no line of reproach finds place in it is the letter of a
manly man, too strong in faith and purpose to waste time in
complaints and repinings. He applies through his friend to the
bishops of Scotland, and adds: "I hope I shall not apply in vain.
If they consent to impart the Episcopal succession to the Church
of Connecticut, they will, I think, do a good work, and the
blessing of thousands will attend them. And perhaps for this
cause, among others, God's providence has supported them and
continued their succession under various and great difficulties;
that a free, valid, and purely ecclesiastical Episcopacy may from
them pass into the Western world."

Let me pause, just here, to remind you that this was the third
time that men's minds were turned to the Scottish bishops in
connection with an American Episcopate.

When, in 1703, the Venerable Society had it in mind to send out to
America a Suffragan to the Bishop of London, it was thought that
consecration could be most readily obtained from the bishops of

In the autumn of 1782, one year after the surrender of Lord
Cornwallis at Yorktown--an event which practically settled the
question of the independence of the thirteen colonies--the Rev.
Dr. George Berkeley, a son of that great prelate who sang of the
"westward course of empire," addressed a letter to Bishop Skinner,
coadjutor to the Primus of the Scottish Church, suggesting that
the bishops of Scotland should consecrate a bishop for America,
and saying, "had my honored father's scheme for planting an
Episcopal College, whereof he was to have been president, in the
Summer Islands, not been sacrificed by the worst minister that
Britain ever saw, probably under a mild monarch (who loves the
Church of England as much as I believe his grandfather hated it)
Episcopacy would have been established in America by a succession
from the English Church, unattended by any invidious temporal rank
or power."

No doubt the question thus proposed to the Scottish bishops was
carefully considered, but the result was unfavorable to Dr.
Berkeley's wishes. Bishop Skinner wrote: "Nothing can be done in
the affair with safety on our side, till the independence of
America be fully and irrevocably recognized by the government of
Britain; and even then the enemies of our Church might make a
handle of our correspondence with the colonies as a proof that we
always wished to fish in troubled waters, and we have little need
to give any ground for an imputation of this kind,"

No one who recalls the frightful provisions of the penal acts of
Parliament passed in 1746 and 1748, which were plainly intended to
annihilate the Scottish Church, and were unrepeated when Bishop
Skinner wrote the words just quoted, can wonder at the hesitation
of the Scottish bishops. For in executing these laws in days not
long passed, "so vigilantly were the Scottish Episcopal clergy
watched...that it was with the utmost difficulty they could
celebrate any of the services of religion. There are instances of
individual clergymen performing public worship no less than
sixteen times in one day.....The service was often performed in
farm-houses, or in the out-houses of the farmhouse, if these were
conveniently constructed. In either case the clergyman, the
family, and four persons were in the apartment, and dozens or
hundreds of others stationed themselves in as favorable positions
as they could, to listen to the prayers of the Church. Sometimes
divine service was celebrated under a shed, in which was the
number allowed by law, while the people stood at a small distance
in the open air. At times, again, when there was no apparent
danger; pastor and people met in the recesses of woods, in
secluded glens, and on the sides of sequestered mountains, where
the vault of heaven was their covering, the moss turfs their
humble altar, and perhaps a solitary seat their pulpit."
[Footnote: John Parker Lawson's _History of the Scottish
Episcopal Church_, pp. 300-302. See also the Rev. W. Walker's
most interesting _Life of John Skinner of Linshirt_, chap.
iii. To make the general statements in the text plainer, I add, in
a foot-note, some details which time forbade me to introduce into
the sermon. By the Act of 1746, "every person exercising the
function of a pastor or minister in any Episcopal meeting in
Scotland, without registering his letters of orders, and taking
all the oaths prescribed by law, and praying for his Majesty King
George and the royal family by name" was "for the first offence to
suffer six months' imprisonment; and for the second, or any
subsequent offence, was to be transported to some of his Majesty's
plantations in America for life; and in case of his return to
Great Britain, to suffer imprisonment for life." All chapels were
to be closed; and even in a private house only four persons
besides the family were allowed to be present at any service. In
1748, no letters of orders, not given by some bishop of England or
Ireland, were allowed in Scotland; and no persons were allowed to
officiate as chaplains in private families, or to preach or
perform any divine services in houses of which they were not the
masters, unless they belonged to the Presbyterian establishment.
These atrocious acts were, undoubtedly, intended to destroy "root
and branch" the Scottish Church. Happily some laws are so
stringent that their very stringency prevents their thorough
execution. It should never be forgotten that the English
Episcopate unanimously opposed the Act of 1748 in the House of
Lords.] In very truth, so far as the worship of God was concerned,
"they wandered"--these churchmen of Scotland--"in deserts and in
mountains and in dens and caves of the earth."

We may not sympathize with the political scruples of the non-
jurors of Scotland. But any men who so possess the courage of
their convictions as not to shrink from loss of goods and danger
of life, and who accept the trials of martyrdom without posing as
martyrs in personal comfort and security, deserve and will receive
the veneration of all true-hearted and right-minded men. And in
this matter, "let all history declare whether in any age or in any
cause, as followers of Knox or of Montrose, as Cameronians or as
Jacobites, the men--aye and the women--of Scotland have quailed
from any degree of sacrifice or suffering." [Footnote: Lord
Stanhope, History of England, in. 210.]

To return:--The correspondence between Bishop Skinner and Dr.
Berkeley was continued through the winter of 1782-1783, but
without any actual result. [Footnote: Scottish Church Review, i.
36-43.] In the autumn of 1783--some four months after Seabury's
arrival in England--a letter was sent to the Scottish Primus by
Mr. Elphinstone, a man of literary reputation, the son of a
Scottish clergyman, in which the following question was put: "Can
consecration be obtained in Scotland for an already dignified and
well vouched American clergyman, now in London, for the purpose of
perpetuating the Episcopal reformed Church in America, particularly
in Connecticut?" [Footnote: Wilberforce, American Church,
p. 205.] At the same time Dr. Berkeley renewed his correspondence
with Bishop Skinner in these words: "I have this day [Nov.
24] heard (I need not add with the sincerest pleasure) that
a respectable Presbyter, well recommended from America, hath
arrived in London, seeking what it seems in the present state of
affairs he cannot expect to receive in our Church. Surely, dear
sir, the Scotch prelates, who are not shackled by any Erastian
connexion, will not send this suppliant empty away. .... I scruple
not to give it as my decided opinion that the king, some of his
cabinet counsellors, all our bishops (except, peradventure, the
Bishop of St. Asaph [Footnote: Dr. Jonathan Shipley.]), all the
learned and respectable clergy of our Church, will at least
secretly rejoice if a Protestant bishop be sent from Scotland to
America--more especially if Connecticut is to be the scene of his
ministry." [Footnote: _Scottish Church Review,_ i. 106; where
the rest of the correspondence is also given.]

The question now brought before the Scottish bishops, was, as will
be readily seen, a different one from that proposed nearly two
years before. Then they were asked to originate action and to send
out a bishop, selected by themselves, to take his chances of being
received by the clergy and church-people in America. Now the
proposition was to complete action already begun, and to invest
with the Episcopal character a person selected in America and sent
out to obtain consecration. Wisely did the Scottish prelates
decline to take the former course, which could only have increased
the difficulties of the situation. As wisely, and with a noble
recognition of the importance of what they clearly regarded as the
great responsibility and solemn duty laid upon them, did they
decide to adopt the latter. Said one of them: "Considering the
great Depositum committed to us, I do not see how we can account
to our great Lord and Master, if we neglect such an opportunity of
promoting His truth and enlarging the borders of His Church.
"These words have in them the ring of a firm conviction of duty,
and a thorough understanding of the true character and position of
Christ's kingdom upon earth.

Still, ready as they were to take the responsibility, and even the
possible dangers, of consecrating the applicant for the
Episcopate, there were some further questions to be asked, and at
least one doubt to be removed. They owed it to themselves, and to
the Church of God, to be well assured of "the candidate's
learning, piety, and principles," and also "to know whether the
proposal was only from himself, or if it was a plan laid with his
American brethren, and if he was recommended and his consecration
solicited by them." It is needless to say that ample and entire
satisfaction was given on both these points.

One thing--and it brings out the doubt just alluded to-the
Scottish bishops could not quite comprehend. Says Bishop Skinner,
speaking for his brethren as well as for himself: "I should be
glad to know why he [Dr. Seabury] has been refused consecration in
England; as I cannot conceive any good reason for denying this,
after what Government has already yielded to the United States.
The Bishop of London, I presume, does not now think of exercising
any spiritual jurisdiction where the secular power of Britain is
no longer acknowledged. And if all the respectable characters you
mention would secretly rejoice at the establishment of Protestant
Episcopacy in America, even through Scotland, there must be some
ostensible reason for their withholding that confidence and
support they would otherwise give to this proposal." [Footnote:
Letter to Dr. Berkeley, under date of Nov. 29, 1783.]

Long years of suffering had taught the Scottish bishops caution,
nor can it be wondered at that while they were "keenly alive to
the necessity of preserving the Scottish Church from the odium
that would have been incurred by any hasty or mistaken step," they
were also "utterly at a loss to understand why considerations of a
purely political kind should have had such enervating influence on
the English bishops as to render them passive spectators of the
destitution of their American children." Brave men, men ready to
run needful risks and meet unavoidable dangers, are not the men
who are willing to be made cat's-paws. How the doubt was resolved
I am unable to say. That it was resolved is certain; since on the
8th of December, 1783, it was known that consecration could be
obtained in Scotland.

Just here the questions arise: Why, if the Scottish bishops were
ready to proceed to consecration in December of 1783, was that
solemn act deferred for near a twelve-month--till November of the
following year? And why did Seabury himself delay his application
to Scotland till August of the same year? The answer is found in
Seabury's own letter of August, 1784, already quoted, in which he
formally applies to the bishops of Scotland. He says: "With regard
to myself, it is not my fault that I have not done it before, but
I thought it my duty to pursue the plan marked out for me by the
clergy of Connecticut, as long as there was a probable chance of
succeeding." [Footnote: Seabury's letter to Dr. Cooper of August
31, 1784. On the back of this letter there is a note, written
either by Bishop Skinner or, more probably, by his father, the
Rev. John Skinner of Linshart, in these words: "Dr. Berkeley, in
consequence of some fear suggested by Bishop Skinner, wrote the
present Archbishop of Canterbury [Dr. John Moore] that application
had been made by Dr. Seabury to the Scottish bishops for
consecration, and begged that if his Grace thought the bishops
here ran any hazard in complying with Seabury's request, he would
be so good as to give Dr. Berkeley notice immediately; but if his
Grace was satisfied that there was no danger, there was no
occasion to give any answer. _No answer came._" _Scottish
Church Review_, i. 113. In view of all these facts and circumstances,
how utterly preposterous is the gossiping story retailed by Granville

The explanation was satisfactory, and on the 2nd of October,
Bishop Kilgour, the Scottish Primus, wrote: "Dr. Seabury's long
silence, after it had been signified to him that the bishops of
this Church would comply with his proposals, made them all think
that the affair was dropped, and that he did not choose to be
connected with them; but his letter, and the manner in which he
accounts for his conduct, give such satisfaction, that I have the
pleasure to inform you that we are still willing to comply with
his proposal to clothe him with the Episcopal character, and
thereby convey to the Western world the blessing of a free, valid,
and purely ecclesiastical Episcopacy; not doubting that he will so
agree with us in doctrine and discipline, as that he and the
Church under his charge in Connecticut will hold communion with us
and the Church here on catholic and primitive principles; and so
that the members of both may with freedom communicate together in
all the offices of religion." Reasons are also given why the
consecration should take place in Aberdeen.

To this letter of the Primus, Seabury replied at once, expressing
to the Scottish bishops his thankfulness "for the ready and
willing mind which they manifested in this important affair," and
giving utterance to the prayer--how wonderfully answered!--"May
God accept and reward their piety, and grant that this whole
business may terminate to the glory of His name and the prosperity
of His Church!"

The way seemed now to be cleared; and the 5th of November found
Seabury in Aberdeen. One might reasonably have supposed that all
difficulties were now surmounted. But it was not so. It is not
necessary to go into details; they would simply set forth a
painful story of human infirmity and self-seeking. It is enough to
say that while Seabury was travelling northward a letter--inspired
at least by a clergyman in America--was sent from London to the
Scottish Primus, containing a personal attack on the bishop-elect,
and warning the Scottish bishops of the unknown evils that would
follow on his consecration. The manly uprightness and good sense
of Bishop Skinner dispersed these unsubstantial mists of
detraction if not of malice, and he thus disposed of the unworthy
attempt to injure Seabury and intimidate his consecrators: "I
cannot help considering the whole of this intelligence as a mean
and silly artifice of some enemy to Dr. Seabury, who secretly
envies us the introducing such a worthy man into America in the
character of a bishop, a character I am fully satisfied he is in
every way qualified to support with honor to himself and all
concerned with him. For if there be truth and candor in man, I
honestly declare I think it is in Dr. Seabury." [Footnote: The
letter to the Primus with the other correspondence is given in the
_Scottish Church Review_, i. 111-118.]

We have reached, at length, the consummation of this more than
knightly quest, this veritable pilgrimage, the story of which I
have tried to tell. When I began it last year, I asked you to go
with me, in thought, to a secluded inland village in our own
Diocese. Now I must ask you to go with me to a grey old city, the
capital of northern Scotland, which looks out upon the German
ocean. It is a place of old renown, for it had a name before one
civilized man had set foot on this northern continent. Did time
permit, much might be said about it; for it was once the home of
Hector Boethius, praised by the great Erasmus, and in far later
times the home, also, of Forbes of Corse and Henry Scougal; and
its clergy and people in 1639 refused the "solemn League and
Covenant" until it was forced upon them at the point of the sword,
and renounced it when the pressure was withdrawn. It is sometimes
called "the city of Bon-Accord," from the legend of its arms. And
that legend must always for us have a higher than any earthly
application, for it must always speak to us of "the unity of the
Spirit in the bond of peace." Nor ought another thing to be
forgotten to-day. The first place in which a clergyman in English
orders ever officiated in Connecticut--as a clergyman of the
Church of England--was here in New London, destined to be the home
of our first bishop; and that clergyman was the Rev. George Keith,
a native of Aberdeen. [Footnote: He was the guest of the Rev.
Gurdon Saltonstall, minister of the town, who afterwards presided
at the discussion in the Library of Yale College in 1722. The
service in New London was Sept. 13, 1702.]

Passing into the part of New Aberdeen known as the Long Acre, and
ascending to "a large upper room" in the house occupied by the
Coadjutor-Bishop of the Diocese, we find ourselves in the midst of
a large congregation of the clergy and the faithful and in the
presence of the three officiating prelates. Two [Footnote: Robert
Kilgour, Bishop of Aberdeen, and Arthur Petrie, Bishop of Moray. ]
are men far on in years; one [Footnote: John Skinner, Coadjutor of
Aberdeen.] is in the full maturity of his manhood, and to him is
committed the office of the preacher. As the sermon ends, we hear
the words of the concluding verses of the ninetieth Psalm, in the
version of Tate and Brady--the last two of which, as we read them
with the story of the succeeding century in mind, may also seem a

"To all Thy servants, Lord, let this Thy wondrous work be known;
And to our offspring yet unborn, Thy glorious power be shewn

"Let thy bright rays upon us shine, Give Thou our work success;
The glorious work we have in hand, Do Thou vouchsafe to bless,"

The supreme point of the solemn office is reached. A young priest,
who has not yet seen thirty summers, holds the book from which the
aged Primus reads the awful sentence of ordination and the charge
which follows it; that youthful priest is Alexander Jolly,
afterwards the saintly Bishop of Moray. The imposition of
Apostolic hands is given; the work begun here in 1783 is
consummated, and our Diocese rejoices in its first bishop.

Nor is this all. The golden chain of the succession that starts
from the Master's hand is stretched westward across an ocean. The

"Church of Jesus Christ, The blessed Banyan of our God,"

sends out a branch to root itself in our western world; a branch
which our eyes have seen "rise, and spread, and droop, and root
again," until in its self-repeating life it has crossed this
continent, and is firmly rooted on our, then unknown, Pacific

"Long as the world itself shall last, The sacred Banyan still
shall spread; From clime to clime, from age to age, Its sheltering
shadow shall be shed; Nations shall seek its pillared shade, Its
leaves shall for their healing be; The circling flood that feeds
its life, The blood that crimsoned Calvary."' [Footnote: Bishop
Doane of New Jersey; _Ficus Religiosa_.]

And here I pause to-day. Another year, please God, we must bring
to remembrance what followed the consecration in Scotland, the
newly-consecrated bishop's return to America, and the share that
he and his Diocese had in organizing this Church in the United

Here and now it is enough to have told the story--not as it should
be told, but as I have had power to tell it--of his consecration.
Standing above the honored sepulchre [Footnote: Bishop Seabury's
remains rest under the chancel of St. James's Church, New London.
] that holds the mouldered remains of him who a hundred years ago
knelt down in that distant land to receive the warrant of his high
commission in the Church of God; in this fair temple, which
replaces the far humbler one in which he ministered as a parish
priest; beside that monument, which attests the loving gratitude
of a Diocese that will never let his memory be forgotten; two
thoughts--bringing with them a thankfulness too deep for
utterance--fill mind and heart alike: the first, the thought of
that brave, patient, self-sacrificing soldier of the Cross, who
dared all and gave all, that he might win for us the precious gift
that binds us to the historic Church and through it to the great
day of Pentecost and the mount of the Ascension; the second, of
those venerable fathers who, to communicate this gift, rose above
all personal considerations, and put aside possibilities that
might have daunted many a brave soul, because on their hearts was
written--as with a pen of iron on living rock--that charge to all
Christ's ministers which comprehends and covers all duties and
responsibilities: "It is required in stewards that a man be found

THE Centenary of the Consecration of Bishop Seabury was
commemorated in Aberdeen by services on the seventh and eighth
days of October, 1884, at which the Bishop of Connecticut and a
delegation of the clergy attended. In the appendix will be found
an account of these services, including Bishop Williams's sermon,
Dr. Beardsley's historical paper, and other addresses.

The anniversary was observed by the Diocese of Connecticut on the
fourteenth day of November, 1884, at Christ Church, Hartford. The
Church was decorated with flowers and ferns; Bishop Seabury's
mitre was placed on the right of the Chancel, and a _facsimile_
of the Concordate which he made with his consecrators was
hung opposite. At 11 o'clock a long procession of the clergy
entered the Church, followed by Bishop Paddock of Massachusetts
and Bishop Williams, before whom the Rev. W. F. Nichols
carried the pastoral staff presented to him at Aberdeen;
the processional hymn was "The Church's One Foundation." Bishop
Williams began the Communion-office, using as a Collect that for
St. Simon and St. Jude's Day. The Epistle (that for St. Mark's
Day) was read by the Rev. W. B. Buckingham, successor of Bishop
Seabury as Rector of St. James's Church, New London (wearing a
surplice which once belonged to Bishop Seabury); and the Gospel
(that for St. James's Day) was read by the Rev. J. J. McCook,
Rector of St. John's Church, East Hartford. After the Nicene
Creed, the latter part of the old metrical version of the
ninetieth psalm was sung, as it had been sung at Aberdeen a
hundred years before:--

To satisfy and cheer our souls, Thy early mercy send; That we may
in all our days to come In joy and comfort spend.

To all Thy servants, Lord, let this Thy wondrous work be known;
And to our offspring yet unborn, Thy glorious power be shown.

Let Thy bright rays upon us shine, Give Thou our work success; The
glorious work we have in hand Do Thou vouchsafe to bless.


After the hymn, the Rev. William Tatlock, D.D., Rector of St.
John's Church, Stamford, a member of the Standing Committee of the
Diocese, and during Dr. Beardsley's absence its President,
addressed the Bishop as follows:

_Dear Bishop_:

The clergy of your diocese, assembled to welcome you on your
return from Scotland, can find no better words in which to do it
than some which were used on the similar occasion one hundred
years ago. "We embrace with pleasure this early opportunity of
congratulating you on your safe return to your native country, and
on the accomplishment of that enterprise in which, at our desire,
you engaged. Devoutly do we adore and reverently thank the great
Head of the Church that He has been pleased to preserve you." The
voyage to-day is neither "long" nor "dangerous," but we have
followed you with our prayers, and have rendered our thanksgivings
that He has conducted you in safety to the haven where you would
be. We are glad to know that the voyage was more prosperous than a
century ago it was wont to be, and that you and the four honored
brethren who accompanied you have not experienced the old
proportion of fatalities. We greet them and welcome them with you.
We appreciate most warmly the courtesy with which you were
received--how could it have been otherwise, indeed?--and the
greeting you have had from those who in this generation bear the
historic names of Nelson and Douglas and Gordon; and that
Wordsworth and Harold Browne have met with the master in theology
at whose feet so many of the American clergy have sat. The desire
has at last been gratified, which of late years has been so
generally-felt, that the mother churches of Scotland and England
might have opportunity to receive and welcome _you_ as the
representative, duly accredited by her bishops, of the Church in
America; that one who does not seek occasions, but whom occasions
seek, should speak for her on this worthy occasion in commemoration
of the great founder of her Episcopate. We believe that this
interchange of courtesies and sympathies, especially between
the Churches in Scotland and Connecticut, will gladden and
strengthen both in their common work for the Master through the
century to come.

If a regret may properly be expressed on this occasion of
rejoicing, it is that the Primus of Scotland and the Primate of
all England were hindered from personal participation in an
occasion which had their warmest sympathies, Seabury's consecration
will always be the poetic incident in American Church history,
and it would have been a sweet revenge of time to have had
them united in the ratification of an act of piety and charity
which the predecessor of the one did not dare, and of the other
dared to do. Of that act and its momentous issues so much has been
and will be said, and more fittingly, both here and elsewhere to-
day, that it is enough if the churchmen of Connecticut be
permitted now to say through me, that it is a privilege for which
they are deeply grateful to have been instrumental in bringing
about the very first movement of the Church in Britain from an
insular to a Catholic position; in demonstrating--to quote the
words of Lord Nelson uttered in your hearing at Aberdeen--"that
establishment and endowment are not necessary to Church life." For
it is to be remembered that not only was there not an Anglican
bishop exercising acknowledged jurisdiction in America before
Seabury, but there was not an Anglican bishop anywhere outside of
the British Isles. Our fathers, sending Seabury for consecration,
awakened the English Church to the consciousness that it had a
duty to the world in extending its episcopacy beyond the shadow of
its cathedrals and palaces. For this great result, "so far beyond
what they had hoped for," of their wise and holy enterprise, we
humbly adore the great Head of the Church on this hundreth
anniversary of its inception in the consecration of the first
bishop of Connecticut.

For thirty-three years, dear Bishop, chief pastor of the first
American diocese, you have carried on wisely and well the work
which Seabury began, going in and out among us with the pastoral
spirit in your heart, of which the graceful gift of the Scottish
Church to you is the expressive symbol: "To the flock of Christ a
shepherd." We welcome you once more to your home and to ours; to
the diocese you love and serve; to the parishes which love and
reverence you; and to the institutions you have founded and
fostered. You have been absent from us long enough for our comfort
and, as we gladly believe, for yours. Fourscore and four years of
the eighteenth century Connecticut endured to have its bishop on
the other side of the Atlantic. Three months is enough in the
nineteenth. May the twentieth find you here, with pastoral staff
in hand, and loyal hearts and sustaining hands of clergy and laity
all around you, and half a century of episcopal work behind you--a
golden track of useful and honored years; and before you the large
reward--"not of debt but of grace"--for the due use of the many
talents and the fulfilment of the large responsibilities entrusted
to the fourth bishop of Connecticut.

And with this welcome to you and your companions--our
representatives--we would renew the expression of the pious hope
with which a hundred years ago the clergy of Connecticut concluded
their address of welcome to their first bishop: "Wherever the
American Episcopal Church shall be mentioned in the world, may
this good deed, which the Scottish Church has done for us, be
spoken of for a memorial of her!"


Bishop Williams replied:

I cannot express to you, my dear brother and my dear brethren, the
thankfulness--and I think I may speak for my brethren of the
delegation to Scotland--with which your kind words fill my heart.
I can truly say that I saw no brighter day than that on which I
returned to my own diocese, my clergy, and my people. And I say
this with a full recognition of the great joy and gladness of
those days in Aberdeen, the memory of which must abide while life
shall last.

The memories of the past, the blessings of the present, the hopes
of the future, all centred there, roused all souls, sank into all
hearts. It was a great sight to behold the Churches in Scotland,
England, Ireland, and America, together with those of the
dependencies of Great Britain, and from the islands of the sea,
lands that no one knew of a hundred years ago. It told its own
story, made its own impression of unity and brotherly love, "the
unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

No description can tell you sufficiently of the warmth of our
welcome and the abounding hospitality which met us. You must have
heard the kindly word, and looked into the beaming eye, and felt
the hearty hand-grasp, to make those things real. And far down
underneath all, giving life to all, was the deep sense of that
communion in which by the fourfold Apostolic bond we were bound
together in Christ Jesus.

I have asked the brethren whom you so kindly sent with me to say
something to you, one of the past as contrasted with the present,
another of the first day, and another still of the second day of
the commemoration at Aberdeen.


The Rev. E. E. Beardsley, D.D., LL.D., rector of St. Thomas's
Church, New Haven, historian of the diocese and biographer of
Bishop Seabury, then made the following address:

So much has been written and spoken about the consecration of
Bishop Seabury, that it must be well understood by all intelligent
Connecticut churchmen, if not by all American churchmen. It is
quite unnecessary to take you over the familiar ground; but I have
been sometimes asked; "What was the Scottish Episcopal Church,
that her bishops a century ago should venture an act which the
bishops of the Church of England declined to undertake?" The
question involves an answer which goes back a century farther,
even to the time when Episcopacy was established in Scotland as a
state religion under the reign of the Stuart kings. The revolution
of 1688 caused the fall of James II., king of Great Britain and
second son of Charles I., and with him fell the Episcopal Church
in Scotland, as an establishment William, the Prince of Orange,
had married his daughter Mary, and fitting out an expedition when
the people were ripe for a change, he invaded England, and seizing
the throne, was crowned with his wife to the sovereignty of the
realm. The Church of England took a prominent part in forwarding
this revolution, which was a religious one in its origin, and in
transferring the crown, on the abdication of James II., to the
heads of William and Mary. The Anglo-Saxon mind combines with love
of liberty a veneration for national institutions and traditions.
It resisted in this instance the determination of the king to
render himself absolute and restore the Roman Catholic religion in
England. Hence the English Church as a whole felt herself bound to
cast off allegiance to him, for, in addition to the various
oppressions which he had heaped upon her, he had sought in the
character of supreme governor to force upon her the adoption of
doctrines and ceremonies contrary to those which she was under the
most sacred obligations to hold and defend.

But it was not so with the Scottish Church. James had never
tyrannized over her or harassed her with oppressions, and
therefore she continued to assert her allegiance to him, and, of
course, to recognize the claims of his descendants. The Scottish
bishops were in the English line of succession from leel-with
orders as valid as those of the Archbishop of Canterbury--but,
because they cast in their lot with the house of Stuart and
refused to take the oath of allegiance to the new sovereign or to
pray for him in their liturgy, they and their flocks were put
under disabilities and subjected to the severest penalties,
without producing the effect, however, of changing in the
slightest degree their religious or political sentiments. Three
times within the next half century a part of the Scottish people
rose in arms against the king of England in favor of the exiled
Stuart family, the last formidable rising being in 1745, under
Charles Edward, the Pretender, who was disastrously defeated at
the battle of Culloden; and then the worst horrors of civil war
followed; parsonages and places of worship were destroyed, more
stringent laws were enacted against the sympathizers with the
Stuart dynasty, and the Episcopal clergy were forbidden to
officiate except in private houses, and then only for four persons
besides those of the household, or if in an uninhabited building
for a number not exceeding four. For a first offense they were
subject to imprisonment for six months, and for a second to
transportation for life to the American plantations. Laymen
attending a prohibited meeting were liable to a fine of five
pounds for the first offense and an imprisonment of two years for
the second.

This was the state of things when Seabury (afterwards bishop)
embarked in mid-summer, 1752, for Scotland to attend a course of
medical lectures at the University of Edinburgh, and upon its
completion to proceed to London and receive Holy Orders in the
Church of England. On the morning of the Sunday after his arrival
in Edinburgh, he inquired of his host where he might find an
Episcopal service, and was answered: "I will show you; take your
hat and follow me; but keep barely in my sight, for we are closely
watched and with jealousy by the Presbyterians." He followed him
through narrow, dirty lanes and unfrequented streets, and finally
disappeared in an old building several stories high, and ascended
to an upper room where a little band of faithful churchmen had
gathered to worship God in the forms of the liturgy and according
to the dictates of their conscience. That building stood until a
few years ago. A friend in Edinburgh gave me a photograph of it,
which is valuable as showing the uninviting quarters to which the
poor Episcopalians were driven in those days to find freedom in
their religious services. The upper room where they met was
acquired by purchase in 1741, and the tradition is that the person
who sold it, being an invalid churchman, reserved to himself the
right to occupy an apartment on the same floor with a window
opening into it that he might hear and share in the service. A new
church, retaining the old name, St. Paul's, Carubber's Close, has
been built on the ancient site with space for future enlargement,
and it was my privilege to preach in this church last September,
and a very attentive congregation helped to brighten for both
myself and Professor Hart, who accompanied me, the interesting
historic associations.

Well, two and thirty years pass away and the same Seabury who
joined in the worship offered there under such discouraging
circumstances has crossed the Tweed and appears in an upper-room
in Long-Acre, Aberdeen, to receive a spiritual gift which for
reasons of state had been refused him by the bishops of the Church
of England.

The old Scottish Church, sometimes called the catholic remainder
of the ancient Church of Scotland, differed in no essential
particular from the Church of England except that she did not lean
upon apolitical Episcopacy--an Episcopacy directed and controlled
by parliamentary legislation. She was now in the lowest depths of
depression and adversity. Her bishops had become reduced to four
and her clergy to forty, and these ministered, it is true without
molestation for the most part, to the little remnants of faithful
churchmen scattered through the cities and villages of the land.
Probably the feeling among outsiders was that the Scottish
Episcopal Church would never again have much influence or attract
many adherents. Three of the four bishops, however, when duly
applied to, took the matter of raising Dr. Seabury to the
apostolic office into immediate and solemn consideration and
consecrated him without delay. One of them said: "I do not see how
we can account to our great Lord and Master, if we neglect such an
opportunity of promoting His truth and enlarging the borders of
His Church."

And for whom did they consecrate this bishop, but for Connecticut,
whose clergy with far-seeing wisdom had taken the earliest steps
after the independence of the colonies to secure the Episcopacy--
a boon which, though greatly desired and needed in this country,
had long been sought for to no purpose? The Church in Connecticut,
and indeed in all the American colonies, was at this time in a
critical, headless condition--living, yet on the verge of death,
and something must be done to save and restore what was so broken
and disordered. I suppose there could not have been more than two
hundred Episcopal clergymen, if there were as many, in all the
colonies at that date, and fourteen of them were in Connecticut
ministering to weak and diminished flocks that had more to hope
and pray for than in human probability they were likely to

How much did that simple consecration service in the upper-room in
Long-Acre, Aberdeen, open up for Churches of the one faith! If the
act was not sublime in itself, it was the beginning of a sublime
history, and the English Church thereupon awoke to a sense of her
duty to the child she had long nursed in the colonies and now left
friendless and forlorn, as well as to a more decent recognition of
the poor, down-trodden Scottish communion. The offensive laws
which had been for some time comparatively inoperative were soon
repealed or modified by act of Parliament; and the laity, more
than the clergy, felt the advantage of the relief gained, which
was fully secured to them by legislative enactments half a century
later. The House of Hanover was entirely accepted and prayed for
in the Scottish as in the English liturgy. Then the Episcopal
Church in Scotland began to rise from the dust, and to-day she has
seven bishops and two hundred and seventy clergymen, with a
zealous and hearty laity who are not content to possess spiritual
privileges without making them practically useful. We were all
struck with the reverence among the Scottish people for the fourth
commandment, and with the spectacle of goodly numbers of every
religious denomination going to the house of God in company. I am
sure they quite surpass the Americans in the regularity of their
attendance upon public worship, and a Scotch mist, which
oftentimes is about equal to a New England rain, seems not to be
considered a sufficient excuse for staying at home when the Lord
invites us into His sanctuaries. The external improvement, or
rather advancement, of the Scottish Church is seen in various
things. Her decayed and barn-like churches have been succeeded by
substantial and appropriate, and in many cases beautiful edifices,
and altogether she is now in a better condition, with brighter
prospects, than at any period in her previous history.

But leaving Scotland, how does the contrast stand with the
American Church as placed along with her condition one hundred
years ago? Connecticut has her one bishop, but her fourteen clergy
have increased to nearly two hundred, and her parishes have
fourfolded in numbers, and more than fourfolded in strength,
activity, and generosity. When Leaming preached the sermon before
the convention of the clergy in Middletown at the welcome given to
Seabury on his return from Scotland, the Church was so insignificant
in the State that no notice was taken of the occasion in
the contemporary prints, and she was so poor that it was
a problem how the parishes could decently support their
rectors, now that the stipends of the Society for the Propagation
of the Gospel had been withdrawn. Seabury himself, writing to a
Scottish bishop three years later, said: "We have now sixteen
presbyters in this diocese and four deacons who will soon be in
priests' orders. Four more--i. e., twenty-four in the whole--will
be as many as the present ability of the Church can support. It
does, however, grow, and converts from Presbyterianism are not
unfrequent." The growth has been so great that at our last annual
convention in this diocese the reported contributions, including
parochial expenses and salaries, amounted to upwards of $620,000,
and if there had been no omissions to make returns the aggregate
would have--been considerably larger. If we give a moment's
attention to the whole Church in the country, we find that we have
sixty-six living bishops, the list from Seabury down numbering one
hundred and thirty-four; and the clergy in all the dioceses and
missionary jurisdictions must be well nigh on to four thousand.

It is in no spirit of boasting that we make this comparison. "Not
unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy Name give the praise,
for Thy loving mercy and for Thy truth's sake." Yet it is becoming
on this one-hundredth anniversary of the consecration of the first
bishop of Connecticut to remember that results under God have
flowed from it so vast in extent that no human eye could have
forseen them at the time; no human heart could have believed that
the Episcopal Church in America, cemented in one body and carrying
with united zeal her doctrines and ritual into every part of our
great republic, would so soon verify in a broader sense than he
used them the words of the ancient seer: "How goodly are thy
tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel! As the valleys are
they spread forth, as gardens by the river's side, as the trees of
lign-aloes which the Lord hath planted." It is becoming also on
this anniversary to remember with profound gratitude that we live
in an age when happily persecution for the sake of religion has
passed away, and when the ever old but ever new commandment of
peace and love rises above sectarian strife and projects its
influence into whole communities of earnest and believing souls.
The responsibilities entailed upon us by our position and our
prosperity are to be read in the light of history, and fulfilled
in the fear of God and in the faith of "the Church which is the
pillar and ground of the truth."


The Rev. W. F. Nichols, Rector of Christ Church, Hartford, and
chaplain to Bishop Williams in his recent visit abroad, spoke of
the first day of the commemoration at Aberdeen:

He said it would be useless to deny that there was an individual
pleasure in having this welcome to round out the happiness of
getting back to one's home and one's work, as there was an
individual pleasure at the honor the diocese had put upon those
whom it had sent with the bishop to Aberdeen, and an individual
appreciation of the prayers that had been offered on both sides of
the Atlantic, in private as well as in public, for preservation on
the journeyings by water and by land--an individual appreciation,
too, of what it was to have around the family altars and the
church altars in Scotland as well as in our own country, voices
joining with those on shipboard in the lines:

"O hear us when we cry to Thee For those in peril on the sea";

and so he ventured personally to thank him who had so kindly
spoken the words of welcome and through him the diocese.

But he did not forget that this was not a welcome to which he
should reply as an individual, but one extended to an embassy
returning from a sacred mission. An embassy responding to its
welcome would naturally refer to two things: the one, the
immediate facts and occurrences of its visit; and the other, the
bearings of the visit upon the relations between the two countries
concerned, Others would do this fully on more general lines; it
had been assigned him to speak more especially of one of the days
of the celebration at Aberdeen, and that was Tuesday, October 7th.
Taking up the first of the two things which an embassy would
naturally report upon, he spoke of the events of the day--the Holy
Communion in the six churches of Aberdeen and in private chapels
at 8 o'clock; the principal service at St. Andrew's Church at 10
1/2 o'clock, with the sermon by our own Bishop from Isaiah lx. 5;
the two hundred clergy (including eighteen bishops from Scotland,
America, England, Ireland, and the colonies), the large
congregation, the use of the Scotch Office for the Holy Communion,
both at the early and the later services; and also, briefly, of
St. Andrew's Church and its decorations. In speaking of the
photograph of the clergy who were present, which was taken at the
close of the service, he pointed out two curious facts about the
groups: without any prearrangement, part of an American flag had
been taken on the plate; and then the only clerical descendant of
Bishop Skinner present--the Rev. J. Skinner Wilson--stood by the
side of the only clerical descendant present of Bishop Seabury--
the Rev. Dr. W. J. Seabury of New York city.

He gave some description of the banquet held at Music Hall in the
afternoon, and of the speeches of those who proposed and those who
responded to the toasts, especially the toast to "The Church in
America," proposed by Dr. Wordsworth, Bishop of St. Andrews, and
responded to by our own Bishop. He referred to some letters which
those who had read the Aberdeen papers sent home had seen, in
which there was discussion of the phrasing of the toast "The
Church _in_ Scotland." He said it did not become him to
comment on the discussion at such a time, only if they should
think of making any change in the phrasing at the next centenary
it occurred to him that "Scotland in the Church" might be tried.

After speaking of another morning commemorative service, at which
Canon Body of Durham preached an able and appropriate sermon, and
giving passing reference to an enthusiastic meeting of the Scotch
"Free and Open Church Association" held in the evening as an
accompaniment to, rather than as a part of, the day's commemoration,
he passed on to speak of the second thing upon which an embassy
would naturally report, and that was the bearings of the day's
events upon the relations between the two Churches. In this
connection he spoke of the sermon and the use of the Scotch
Communion-office of the morning and the hospitality of the
afternoon, which, like the hospitality of the whole stay in
Aberdeen, showed that while the latitude of the place was that of
the far north--it was opposite the northern part of Labrador--the
latitude of the atmosphere and hearts within was most truly that
of the warm and sunny south. In conclusion, he spoke of the
unifying impetus given, both social and spiritual, and expressed
his belief that while the embassy thanked the diocese for the
welcome, all could before God's altar and in that highest
sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving with which they were keeping
the anniversary of the consecration of the first bishop of our
diocese and the American Church, thank Him Who has purchased to
Himself an universal Church by the precious Blood of His dear Son,
that as He was with the ministers of apostolical succession in
their highest office to make the great venture of faith one
hundred years ago, so He has ever been with their successors. Let
all realize how much of that purchase of the Son of God has
already been rendered up to Him since 1784, and how in 1884 we are
empowered by the Holy Spirit to extend the Church of Christ more
and more, not in Scotland only, not in America only, but in the
whole world!


The Rev. Professor Hart of Trinity College then gave an account of
the second day of the commemoration at Aberdeen:

I am to try to give in a few words an account of the many events
of the second day of the commemoration at Aberdeen; they shall be
as far as possible the very words which were used in the addresses
which were read and delivered there. The Holy Communion was
celebrated at an early hour in all the churches of the city; and
the special service of the day was held in St. Andrew's Church.
Before the service began, the Rector of Christ Church, Hartford,
on behalf of a considerable number of the clergy and laity of
Connecticut, presented to the Bishop of Aberdeen, as representing
the Scotch Church, a handsome silver paten and chalice, to be used
by himself and his successors. The written address which he read,
prefacing it with a few words, recognized the two-fold gift of a
century ago--an Episcopate which, in words so often used at the
time, was "free, valid, and purely ecclesiastical," and a
Eucharistic Office embodying catholic and primitive principles.
The Bishop of Aberdeen accepted the gift as a witness of faith in
God's promises, of the love of the brethren, and of unity of
worship, as well in the past and the future as in the present. He
then proceeded to celebrate the Holy Communion according to the
English rite, which the Scotch canons now require to be used at
all synods and ordinations, two other Scotch bishops assisting
him, and the vessels just presented being employed both in the
consecration and in the administration.

At the close of the service the six Scotch bishops present--the
venerable Primus being still confined to his house by illness--met
in Synod, when, after prayer and proclamation, the record of the
acts of the Synod of a hundred years ago and the copy of the
Concordate which was left in Scotland were laid upon the table.
Our bishop then, in accordance with an appointment given him by
the House of Bishops of our Church, presented and read an address
prepared, on behalf of that house, by the Presiding Bishop and the
Bishops of New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and
Minnesota. In it, after expressing their affectionate regards
towards the Scotch bishops for the heroic act of their predecessors,
they called attention to the fact that the name of Bishop
Seabury now stands at the head of a list of over a hundred
and thirty bishops; and that, though our Church is grateful for
the direct connection of her Episcopate with that of the Church of
England, she is glad to remember that, through Bishop Seabury, the
Scotch succession has been transmitted to every bishop consecrated
in this land and will be so transmitted to the end of time. They
also expressed our Church's gratitude for the shaping of her
office of the Holy Communion in such a way as to make it in
harmony with the primitive liturgies. And so, offering warm thanks
for offices rendered, for sympathy expressed, and for examples
set, they gratefully acknowledged the close spiritual and
ecclesiastical relationship which binds the two Churches together.
The Bishop of St. Andrews--Dr. Charles Wordsworth--read the
reply, which was understood to have been framed by the venerable
Primus. It alluded to the former sufferings of the Scotch Church,
and to the fact that those who consecrated Bishop Seabury rendered
themselves liable by that act to felon banishment, but that they
did not count their liberty dear to themselves so that they might
do something for the sake of Christ. It bore witness to the
catholic spirit shown by Dr. Seabury and those whom he represented,
when they confessed that by no temporal misfortunes could
the grace of Orders be affected, thus showing that the low
estate of the Scotch bishops was to them no offense, their poverty
no stumbling-block. Then, recalling God's favor as shown to both
Churches, the reply used those words which God's people have never
forgotten to use in their joy and their prosperity--and in reading
them the voice of the venerable Bishop quivered with emotion--
"_Non nobis, Domine, non nobis, sed Nomini Tuo da gloriam_."

The Rector of St. Thomas's Church, New Haven, attended by the
other clergy of the delegation, then read an address prepared on
behalf of the Bishop, Clergy, and Laity of the Diocese of
Connecticut in Convention assembled, by a committee of which the
Rector of Trinity Church, New Haven, was chairman. It bore witness
to the fidelity and bravery of the Scotch bishops of a century ago
in equipping the Church in our diocese for the work it has since
done and the witness it has borne; and, repeating the words of the
reply which the Connecticut clergy returned to the letter which
Bishop Seabury brought from his consecrators, acknowledged our
indebtedness to them and our gratitude to God, and promised that
we would act with our bishop in maintaining unity of faith,
doctrine, discipline, and worship with the Church from which we
received our Episcopate. Referring to the depressed state of both
Churches a hundred years ago and to their better condition now, we
assured them that we still cling to the ancient faith and order,
and that we shall never forget our debt of gratitude or fail to
recognize and cherish the bond of Christian fellowship sealed in
the Concordate even as our fathers have done. The Bishop of St.
Andrews read a reply from the Scotch bishops to this address. It
spoke of their special pleasure in having Bishop Seabury's
successor present at that time, attended by some of the faithful
of his diocese. It adopted the words of the saintly Bishop Jolly
in saying that Connecticut is to them all a word of peculiar
endearment, as the name of its first bishop ever excites their
warmest veneration. And, in the language of one of the psalms for
this fourteenth day of the month, it thanked God for bringing the
Scotch Church to comparative honor and comforting it on every

The Bishop of Aberdeen then, in behalf of a large number of
contributors, presented to our Bishop the pastoral staff which was
borne before him in the procession this morning, calling his
attention to the figures upon it, of St. Andrew, the patron-saint
of Scotland, St. Ninian, one of the early Celtic evangelists, St.
Augustine of Canterbury, as representing the English succession,
St. John, to whom the Scotch Communion office (and with it our
own) is traced, Bishop Kilgour, the senior consecrator of Bishop
Seabury, and Bishop Seabury himself. Our own Bishop replied in
words which I will not undertake to report in his presence.

In the afternoon two papers were read: one by the Rev. Dr.
Beardsley on "Seabury as a Bishop," giving a sketch of his life
and work, testifying to his fidelity to convictions and his
successful efforts to promote peace, by which he brought about the
unity of the Church in this land; and one by Professor Grub of the
University of Aberdeen, tracing the historic connection between
the Scotch and the American Churches. The discussion which
followed was remarkable for the representative character of those
who took part in it--our own Bishop, the Bishop of Gibraltar,
Canon Trevor of York, Canon White of New South Wales, and Dr.
Aberigh-Mackay of Paris (once of Connecticut).

I can do no more than allude to the crowded meeting at the Music
Hall in the evening, which was addressed in noble speeches by the
Bishop of Minnesota, the Bishop of Winchester, the Rev. Mr. Danson
of Aberdeen, Mr. Speir--a prominent Scotch layman,--and the Bishop
of Albany. There was a wonderful unity of sentiment in what was
said, and nothing was more noticeable than the way in which the
speakers all referred to the impulse given to Church work by the
event which we were commemorating. There was a marvellous
inspiration in the volume of voice in which the great assembly
recited the Nicene Creed; and the dignified and scholarly language
of one of the foremost of English prelates, the earnest and
practical words of the Scotch clergyman and layman, the touching
eloquence of our great missionary bishop, and the impassioned and
bold utterances of the other bishop, who is honored abroad for his
father's sake as well as for his own, all sustained and heightened
the enthusiasm which had been kindled by the services of these
days and the memories and hopes which they had awakened.


At the close of these addresses Bishop Williams said:

You have now heard, my dear brethren, the report of the pilgrims
whom you sent on a pilgrimage of love to that old city where our
succession begins. Visible memorials of all that came together in
Aberdeen in the first week of last month are before you or in your
thoughts. There is the Mitre which tells you of the transmitted
Episcopate; there hangs the Concordate which speaks to you of our
Communion-office. Across the water they have received the holy
Sacrament of the Body and the Blood from the Chalice and Paten
which you sent, and standing here you see this Pastoral Staff--
gifts the interchange of which attests that the pledges and the
gifts of that elder day are not forgotten, but live and will live
while time shall last. The dear old Church of Scotland! How it has
lived through trials deep and wearing and in the face of "dungeon,
fire, and sword!"

They have kept this day which we are keeping now and here, in
Aberdeen; they have kept it in London, in St. Paul's Cathedral,
where the Primate of all England was the preacher. So has the
triple, bond been--I will not say knit again, but--recognized
anew. So be it forever! I will only add what I said in Aberdeen to
the blessed Church of Scotland, having now in mind all the
national Churches of the English succession, as they are all one
in Christ: "Peace be within thy walls, and plenteousness within
thy palaces. For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will wish
thee prosperity. Yea, because of the house of the Lord our God, I
will seek to do thee good."

The Bishop then proceeded with the Communion-service, announcing
that the offerings would be for the benefit of St. Thomas's
Church, Hartford, a memorial to Bishop Brownell, of whom he said
that the longer he lived the more he was impressed with the value
to the diocese of the long and faithful episcopate of his revered
predecessor. Bishop Williams was assisted in the service by the
Bishop of Massachusetts. In consecrating the elements a paten and
chalice were used which once belonged to Bishop Seabury and are
now the property of the Berkeley Divinity School; and for the
administration of the elements two patens were used which were
left by Bishop Seabury to St. James's Church, New London. The Rev.
Dr. Giesy of Norwich, and the Rev. Messrs. McCook, Buckingham, and
Nichols assisted in the administration, a large number of clergy
and laity receiving the Holy Sacrament. Bishop Williams gave the
benediction, holding his pastoral staff. At the close of the
service the clergy left the church, singing the old version of the
first part of the ninetieth psalm, beginning "O God, our help in
ages past."

After the service the clergy were entertained by the Churchwomen
of Hartford in the parish-rooms of Christ Church.

The following is a nearly complete list of the clergymen who were

From Connecticut: The Rt. Rev. the Bishop; The Rev. Messrs. C. G.
Adams, Southport; H. A. Adams, Wethersfield; W. G. Andrews,
Guilford; E. W. Babcock, New Haven; J. H. Barbour, Hartford; E. E.
Beardsley, D.D., LL.D., New Haven; A. E. Beeman, Unionville; J. H.
Betts, South Glastonbury; Prof. John Binney, Middletown; L. P.
Bissell, Litchfield; C. W. Boylston, Greeneville; J. W. Bradin,
Hartford; F. W. Brathwaite, Stamford; George Buck, North Haven; W.
B. Buckingham, New London; W. H. Bulkley, Tashua; C. C. Camp, New
Haven; H. S. Clapp, Norwalk; C. W. Colton, Pine Meadow; Prof. H.
Ferguson, Hartford; J. H. Fitzgerald, Milford; T. B. Fogg,
Brooklyn; Louis French, Darien; E. C. Gardiner, Naugatuck; Prof.
F. Gardiner, D.D., Middletown; J. F. George, Thompsonville; J. H.
George, Salisbury; Samuel Giesy, D.D., Norwich; Alfred Goldsborough,
Yantic; J. B. Goodrich, Windsor; Francis Goodwin, Hartford;
Prof. Samuel Hart, Hartford; J. E. Heald, Tariffville; S. J.
Horton, D.D., Cheshire; J. T. Huntington, Hartford; J. W.
Hyde, West Hartford; Prof. W. A. Johnson, Middletown; W. E.
Johnson, Bristol; J. R. Lambert, Glastonbury; W. H. Larom,
Stafford Springs; E. S. Lines, New Haven; T. D. Martin, Meriden;
J. J. McCook, Hartford; W. H. Moreland, Hartford; W. F. Nichols,
Hartford; J. L. Parks, Middletown; W. L. Peck, Windsor Locks; C.
I. Potter, Stratford; A. T. Randall, Meriden; J. B. Robinson,
Hazardville; J. H. Rogers, New Britain; J. L. Scott, Wallingford;
S. O. Seymour, Hartford; Prest. G. W. Smith, D.D., Hartford; James
Stoddard, Watertown; Jacob Streibert, West Haven; Henry Tarrant,
Huntington; William Tatlock, D.D., Stamford; J. A. Ticknor,
Collinsville; T. O. Tongue, Bloomfield; John Townsend, Middletown;
R. H. Tuttle, Windsor; W. E. Vibbert, D.D., Fair Haven; Millidge
Walker, East Bridgeport; J. H. Watson, Hartford; P. H. Whaley,
Hartford; Elisha Whittlesey, Hartford; J. E. Wildman, Wallingford;
C. E. Woodcock, New Haven.

From other dioceses: The Rt. Rev. Bishop Niles, New Hampshire; the
Rt. Rev. Bishop Paddock, Massachusetts; the Rev. Messrs. G. F.
Flichtner, Thomas Gallaudet, D.D., Joshua Kimber, G. S. Mallory,
D.D., New York City; W. M. Chapin, Barrington, R. I.; F. B.
Chetwood, Elizabeth, N. J.; G. B. Cooke, Petersburg, Va.; E. M.
Gushee, Cambridge, Mass.; W. A, Holbrooke, L. I.; R. M. Kirby,
Potsdam, N. Y.


In one of the parish rooms of Christ Church was a large exhibit of
articles of interest in connection with the centenary commemoration
of the consecration of Bishop Seabury. They were contributed
partly from the archives of the diocese and the library of
Trinity College, and partly from the private collections
of Bishop Williams, the Rev. Dr. Beardsley, the Rev. Professor
Hart, C. J. Hoadly, Esq., Jared Starr, Esq., Mrs. Dr. Starr,
and others. Among those of especial interest were Bishop
Seabury's mitre, of black satin with purple strings, having the
Cross in a glory on the front, and the crown of thorns on the
back, embroidered in gold; the original of the letter on vellum
from the Scotch bishops who consecrated Bishop Seabury to the
clergy of Connecticut, testifying to the fact of the consecration
and commending him to them; fac-similes of his Letters of Orders
and of Consecration and of the Concordate between him and his
consecrators; portraits of Bishop John Skinner, of Bishop Jolly
who held the book, of Bishop Seabury himself, and of one of his
electors, Dr. Mansfield; the manuscript records of ordinations by
Bishops Seabury and Jarvis; the manuscript records of the
convocation of the clergy of Connecticut, open at the vote
accepting the Prayer-Book of 1789; a manuscript fac-simile of a
volume of Bishop Seabury's journal; the sermon preached by Bishop
Skinner at the consecration; a large collection of Bishop
Seabury's works, including one of his loyalist pamphlets which he
wrote at the breaking out of the Revolution under the name of "A.
W. Farmer," his charges, occasional sermons, volumes of
discourses, etc.; one of his manuscript sermons and two or three
letters, copies of his Communion-office, and a copy (in his own
writing) of his Service for the Burial of Infants; a copy of his
edition of the Psalter, etc.; his surplice and two patens left by
him to St. James's Church, New London; his official seal, still
used by his successor; volumes of _The Courant_ and of _The
Gentleman's Magazine_ with notices of Bishop Seabury; sermons
relating to later bishops of Connecticut; the Scotch Prayer-Book
of 1637 (known as Laud's) and its reprint of 1712; Scotch
Communion-offices of 1717, 1774, and later dates; the proposed
American Prayer-Book of 1785 (both American and English editions),
and the first edition of the adopted Prayer-Book of 1789; a Hebrew
Psalter used by the Rev. Dr. Samuel Johnson in conferring degrees
at King's College, New York; a bit of the robe in which Bishop
White was consecrated; a manuscript letter of Bishop Jolly's; two
programmes of Yale College Commencements, in one of which (before
1784) the ministers of the Congregational churches are called
_pastores_, while in the other (of 1785) they are called
_episcopi_; photographs of the clergy present at the late
commemoration in Aberdeen, and programmes, etc., relating to it;
pictures of old churches in Edinburgh and Aberdeen; and other
matters of interest. Bishop Williams's pastoral staff was also
exhibited. The exhibit was under the care of the Registrar of the
Diocese, who was kindly assisted by the Rev. J. H. Barbour,
Librarian of Trinity College.







AUGUST 3, 1785.

On the ninth day of June, 1885, the Diocesan Convention met in
Hartford. Morning Prayer was read in Christ Church at 9 o'clock by
the Rev. W. E. Vibbert, D.D., Rector of St. James's Church, Fair
Haven, and the Rev. J. E. Heald, Rector of Trinity Church,
Tariffville. The Holy Communion was celebrated in St. John's
Church, the service beginning at 10-1/2 o'clock after the singing
of the 138th Hymn. The Bishop was assisted in the service by the
Rev. Dr. Beardsley of New Haven, the Rev. Dr. Seabury of New York,
the Rev. Dr. Vibbert of Fair Haven, and the Rev. J. W. Bradin,
Rector of the Parish. The sermon was preached by Bishop Williams,
as follows:


PSALM lxxviii. 72.

"So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and
guided them by the skilfulness of his hands."

The seventy-eighth psalm contains a rapid review of the history of
the chosen people from the day when God led them out of Egypt
"with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm," down to the time of
David. The record of provocation and transgression on the side of
Israel, and of mingled mercy and judgment on the side of Jehovah,
ends with the reign of the shepherd-king. He who watched his flock
as, centuries after, other shepherds watched theirs, on the hill-
sides of Bethlehem; he who had risked his own life that he might
deliver his charge "out of the paw of the lion and out of the paw
of the bear," was now called "from among the sheep-folds" to the
throne of Israel and Judah. He who had been "faithful over a few
things" was made "ruler over many things" in a kingdom which was
itself but a type of a mightier Kingdom wherein One who was not
only the Son of David but the Son of God should reign forever and

In describing the character of David as a ruler, which is done in
the text of this discourse, it will be observed that the same
qualities are emphasized that marked his shepherd-life. What he
was in the narrower field, that he was also in the wider. What he
had been in Bethlehem, that he continued to be in Jerusalem. What
he had done for his flock, that he did for his people. "He fed
them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by
the skilfulness of his hands." Integrity in purpose and discretion
in action are the two qualities here emphasized. The former
without the latter makes the impracticable blunderer; the latter
without the former makes the time-serving schemer; the two
together make the wise ruler of men. Unless I greatly err, we
shall see these two qualities strikingly illustrated in the story
of that Episcopate of which I am now to speak to you.

We must still linger for a while with the newly consecrated bishop
in that city on the German ocean where we last beheld him. For his
consecration is not the only thing which occurred there that was
to have an abiding influence on the future of our national Church.
On the day following the consecration (Nov. 15th, 1784), the
Scottish bishops present and their American brother united in
signing the important document known as the "Concordate." While
this is not the place to speak of it at length, some of its
positions and agreements ought not, in view of opinions then
prevalent in Great Britain and of events soon to occur in this
country, to pass unnoticed.

First of all, the document opens with a full and clear statement
of the necessity, "before all things," of holding the "One Faith."
As the Lord declared that on Himself, as confessed by His apostle,
He would build His Church; as St. Paul, when he has spoken of "one
Lord," speaks next of "one faith," so the framers of the
"Concordate"--invoking "the blessing of the great and glorious
Head of the Church"--declare their "earnest and united desire to
maintain the analogy of the faith once delivered to the saints,
and happily preserved in the Church of Christ."

This all-important and fundamental truth having been asserted, the
document proceeds to declare that the Church of Christ is "a
spiritual society," the powers and authority of which come from
God and not from man; and which, as they are not given and cannot
be given by any civil government, so neither can any civil
government take away.

Does this statement seem a truism to us? Then let us remember that
it was no truism in the days when it was made. "The Church as by
law established" was then a phrase on everybody's lips in Great
Britain; and, strangely enough, it meant, and still means, one
thing in England and a very different thing in Scotland. Nor was
that all;--we may well fear that to many minds the weightiest and
most important part of the phrase, lay in the words "by law
established" rather than in the preceding words "the Church"; so
that, in many instances, a mere accident in the Church's history
displaced the remembrance of its divine constitution, and led on
to the folly of supposing that the act of the State, human law,
could create and constitute a Church! To assert the truth against
so patent a delusion was timely, and indeed needful, a century
ago. Would that it were needful nowhere now!

Following this declaration was the agreement that no "communion in
sacred offices" should be held with clergy, of whatever
ordination, who were officiating in Scotland without recognizing,
or being recognized by, the national Episcopate.

Finally, passing from doctrine and organization to worship, the
Scottish bishops, after speaking of the desirableness of "as near
a conformity in worship and discipline between the two Churches as
is consistent with the different circumstances and customs of
nations," go on to say that, inasmuch as "the celebration of the
Holy Eucharist, or the administration of the sacrament of the Body
and Blood of Christ, is the principal bond of union among
Christians, as well as the most solemn act of worship in the
Christian Church,... though they are far from prescribing to their
brethren in this matter, they cannot help ardently wishing that
Bishop Seabury would endeavor all he can, consistently with peace
and prudence, to make the celebration of this venerable Mystery
conformable to the most primitive doctrine and practice." So far
the Scottish bishops. On his part, the newly consecrated bishop
agreed "to take a serious view of the Communion-office recommended
by his brethren, and, if found agreeable to the genuine standards
of antiquity, to give his sanction to it, and by gentle methods of
argument and persuasion to endeavor, as they have done, to
introduce it by degrees into practice, without the compulsion of
authority on the one side or the prejudice of former custom on the

These are all weighty, wise, and noble words. I have quoted them
at some length for two reasons. In the first place, they embody
just those things which come to the front in St. Luke's
description of the Apostolic Church in the full glow of its
Pentecostal life: "They continued steadfastly in the apostles'
doctrine and fellowship, and in the breaking of the bread and in
the prayers." The more carefully the document and the inspired
statement are compared, the more clearly is this remarkable
agreement seen. If this is the result of a conscious reference to
the words of St. Luke, it shows how faithfully the venerable
framers of the Concordate went back to the very sources of the
Church's organic life. If the reference is unconscious, it shows,
even more strikingly, how thoroughly they were imbued with the
spirit of the apostolic age.

In the second place, unless I have greatly misread history, our
first bishop, both in his work in this diocese and also in the
part he took in bringing about for our whole Church the happy
settlement of 1789, followed on the line of action indicated in
the Concordate, patiently and unswervingly; and in following it,
he was guided by that integrity in purpose and discretion in
action which characterize the wise and efficient ruler.

Had Bishop Seabury carried out his original purpose, he would have
sailed for his native land "in the ship _Triumph_, commanded
by Captain Stout." He was, however, detained in London, and from
that city he addressed what has been called "his first pastoral
letter" to the representatives of the clergy of Connecticut. His
detention was largely, probably not wholly, due to the necessity
which came upon him of making, if possible, some provision for the
future maintenance of the clergy. What little property he had
acquired had all been expended in his two years' absence from his
family and his residence in England; and the question whether or
not the Venerable Society for the Propagation of the Gospel would
or could continue the stipends hitherto appropriated to the clergy
in Connecticut was a very pressing one. His admirable letter to
the secretary of the society--a letter which thoroughly reveals
the man--is too long to be given here, while it cannot be
adequately represented by any quotations. He does not attempt to
conceal the fact that the continuance of his own stipend would be
a great relief to his anxieties, but he frankly adds that if it is
"not continued" he "can have no right to complain." And then
putting himself, as he always did, entirely to one side, and
saying, what seems to have been ever in his mind, that "the fate
of individuals is of inferior moment when compared with that of
the whole Church," he draws attention to the calamity it will be
"if proper steps be not taken to secure to the Church various
property of lands, etc., in the different States (now indeed of
small value, but gradually increasing), to which the society alone
has a legal claim."

Under the terms of their charter, the society could employ
missionaries only in "the plantations, colonies, and factories
belonging to the kingdom of Great Britain"; while they seem not to
have been ready to consider the question touching the lands. The
timidity or the lack of appreciation of the purely spiritual and
ecclesiastical character of the Episcopate as such, which then
prevailed, is painfully noticeable in the fact that, in the letter
which communicated the decision of the society, the secretary
addressed the bishop as he would have done before his consecration--
"the Rev. Dr. Seabury."

On other trials and difficulties which he met in London I do not
care to dwell. They all grew out of political jealousies, confused
notions concerning connections of Church and State, or fears,
which proved to be groundless, that the consecration sermon, to
say nothing of the consecration itself, might somehow be
disadvantageous to the Scottish Episcopate. One charge alleged is
to us in this day simply amusing; namely, that the bishop had been
"precipitate" in his application to Scotland. A precipitancy which
patiently waits and labors for more than thirteen months to obtain
the Episcopate in England, and only when all hope of so obtaining
it is at an end applies for it in Scotland, is, to say the least,
a very deliberate sort of precipitancy. And now we may pass from
the old world to the new.

"Bishop Seabury landed at Newport, R. I."--where Berkeley had
landed more than half a century before--"after a voyage of three
months,[Footnote: This period, however, includes some stay in Nova
Scotia.] on Monday, June 20th, 1785, and the next Sunday he
preached in Trinity Church the first sermon of an American bishop
in this country." [Footnote: The text was Heb. xii. 1, 2. The
sermon was afterwards published in the Bishop's _Discourses on
Several Subjects_, vol. ii., serm. xvi., "The Christian Race."
] On the 29th he reached New London, which from that time was to
be his home. While he was still at sea a Boston newspaper, which
had received the intelligence of his consecration, exclaimed: "Two
wonders of the world, a Stamp Act in Boston and a Bishop in
Connecticut!" [Footnote: _Boston Gazette_, May 30, 1785. ]

Two things instantly demanded the most careful attention and most
earnest efforts of the one American bishop: the condition and
needs of his own diocese, and the all-important question as to the
future of the scattered congregations of what had been the Church
of England in the thirteen colonies. The stoutest heart might well
quail before the difficulties that rose up before him on every
side. But Seabury's principle of action was ever found in the
twofold rule always to "do the next thing," and when all cannot be
done that one fain would do, then to do the best one can. And that
twofold rule will enable any man who acts under it, in the fear
and strength of God, to overcome difficulties by patient
perseverance or to accept disappointments in unrepining
submission. Faith and patience may not make their voice heard much
in the streets, but they accomplish results at last.

Did he look at his own diocese? There he saw many obstacles and
few, very few, encouragements. Five, at least, of the small number
of the clergy and considerable numbers of the laity had
"emigrated, or were soon to emigrate, to Nova Scotia and the
adjoining territory." Aside, then, from those whom he might
ordain, not more than eleven clergymen, and with them not more
than two hundred and eighty families, composed the diocese. It is
due to this ancient State, and it should ever be remembered to her
praise, that the loyalists within her borders suffered no
political oppression after the war of the Revolution had ended.
Nor can we forget that she sent as a delegate to the Continental
Congress in 1784, and afterwards, in 1787, to the convention which
framed our federal constitution, one who in 1779 had been, however
unreasonably, arrested for treason to the United Colonies, William
Samuel Johnson. Still it is none the less true, and it can
occasion little wonder, that loyalists, and therefore Churchmen,
"were not in good repute with the public authorities, and scorn
was likely to attend many of them for years to come."

To these diminished numbers of clergy and people must be added the
loss of the stipends hitherto allowed by the Society in England,
and the poverty which made it next to impossible to replace them.
Add, moreover, to these things the doubts and uncertainties, the
break-up of old associations and habitudes, the manifold
perplexities of which we now know nothing, and which we could not
enumerate if we did know them, and what a troubled scene was that
on which our first bishop, who stood alone in his order in these
United States, cast an anxious eye! "The children were come to the
birth," but would there be "strength to bring them forth"?

One discouragement--and that would have been greater than all the
others--Seabury was not called to meet. He did not come to a
disunited and divided body. His diocese stood together as a unit.
They stood where they did because of convictions, than which none
could be stronger or more abiding. When they said: "I believe in
the Holy Catholic Church," they uttered no unreal words, no words
that habits of careless utterance had made unmeaning. They meant
just what they said. And that strong and united conviction gave
hope and comfort for the future. Clouds and darkness were about
them. But on those clouds there was seen the bow of promise, while
beyond them stood--what they might obscure but could not remove--
the "city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God."

On Wednesday, the third day of August, the bishop met his clergy
at Middletown, received their address of congratulation and
recognition, and made his reply to it. On this day was also held
the first ordination administered by a bishop within the limits of
the United States. On the day following, the Rev. Samuel Parker,
who came as the appointed representative of the clergy in
Massachusetts, [Footnote: The Rev. Dr. Moore of New York was also
present, but not, apparently, in any representative capacity.]
made a communication which, we are told, "was received with the
warmest expressions of welcome," setting forth his instructions
"to collect the sentiments of the Connecticut clergy in respect of
Dr. Seabury's episcopal consecration and the regulation of his
episcopal jurisdiction," and intimating the intention of those who
sent him to connect themselves with their brethren here by coming
under the charge of their bishop.

On this day, also, Bishop Seabury delivered his first charge. In
it, after rehearsing with earnest expressions of gratitude to the
bishops of Scotland the steps which he had taken to secure the
Episcopate, and modestly referring to his own new position,
declaring that next to the grace of God he relies, in carrying on
the work committed to him, on the "advice and assistance" of his
brethren, he dwells on three important topics. First, he urges on
himself and them the duty of taking "heed unto the doctrine" as
well as to themselves, saying, in words which are not unneeded
how: "The first instance of fidelity is, that the pure doctrines
of the Gospel be fairly, earnestly, and affectionately proposed,
explained, and inculcated, and that we suffer nothing else to
usurp their place and become the subject of our preaching." Next,
he presses carefulness in recommending persons for ordination,
enlarging not so much on "literary accomplishments, though these
are not to be neglected, as aptitude for the work of the
ministry." And, lastly, for obvious reasons, he treats, at length,
"of the old and sacred rite, handed down to us from the apostolic
age by the primitive Church--the laying-on of hands." The document
shows, so far as a document can, that its writer possessed in
himself the qualifications which he regarded as necessary "to make
a useful clergyman--good temper, prudence, diligence, capacity,
and aptitude to teach."

On the third day of its session, the convocation appointed a
"committee to consider of and make with the bishop some
alterations in the Liturgy needful for the present use of the
Church." [Footnote: Mr. Parker of Massachusetts was appointed on
this committee.] The matter was entered on with caution, and the
only changes then and there ordered were those which changed
political relations made necessary in the State prayers and
services. These were immediately set forth by the bishop in an
"injunction," by which he "authorized and required" the clergy to
follow them. Some other changes were proposed and reserved for
future consideration; but as nothing seems to have been done about
them in this diocese, they need no special mention.

The bishop, however, was not unmindful of his promise given in the
Concordate, and in the year following (1786) published his
adaptation of the Scottish Communion-office. This he did not, as
in the case of the alterations agreed to in convocation, "enjoin"
or "require." He simply "_recommended_ it to the Episcopal
congregations in Connecticut."

I am quite conscious that this is a very brief summary, a very
meagre outline, of acts and events each one of which is most
important and suggestive. It is all, however, that time and space
allow, and it brings into strong relief some things which ought
not to be forgotten.

The reverent care and caution with which the offices of sacred
worship are approached are apparent. These are no signs of a
hesitancy which is doubtful of its position. They indicate rather
the strength of assurance which hesitates to touch the gift
entrusted to it lest touching may end in tampering. In the same
year in which these careful steps were taken, another convention,
in six days, revised the entire Book of Common Prayer, with all
its Offices and with the "Articles of Religion"; the result being
a book which underwent amendments in four States, had its
ratification postponed in another, was rejected in still another,
and was not considered at all in five. The contrast in results is
quite as striking as that in spirit and methods of action.

We also see, unless I greatly err, in his action in regard to the
changes in the State prayers and his own office for the Holy
Communion, Bishop Seabury's ideal of the position of a bishop in
the Church of God. And this view is confirmed by the entire course
of his Episcopate. What was established by competent authority, he
"required." What was not so established, however much his own
heart might be set upon it, he "recommended." When the first great
Bishop of New Zealand met his first synod, he uttered these noble
words: "I believe the monarchical idea of the Episcopate to be as
foreign to the true mind of the Church as it is adverse to the
Gospel doctrine of humility. I would rather resign my office than
be reduced to act as a single isolated being. It remains, then, to
define by some general principle the terms of our co-operation.
They are simply these: that neither will I act without you, nor
can you act without me." Of course, a bishop who takes this line
must lay his account with the charge that he seeks to avoid
responsibility. But he may comfort himself with the recollection
that had he taken the other line, the same persons who lament his
timidity would be sure to charge him with arrogant assumption. If
Seabury did not utter Selwyn's very words, he acted them. Nor is
it more or less than the very truth to say that in all his
Episcopate he exemplified the counsel of the Son of Sirach: "If
thou be made the master, lift not thyself up, but be among them as
one of the rest" [Footnote: Ecclus. xxii. I.]

The story of that Episcopate cannot be told here. It has been
written in a faithful record accessible to all, and with which
most of us must be familiar. For almost twelve years the parish
priest in New London did his pastor's work, the humble-minded
bishop went, in homely ways, [Footnote: In a book published some
years ago, it was said that all clergymen in Connecticut
travelled, at the period spoken of, on horseback, "except,
perhaps, Bishop Seabury, who rode in a coach," He may have
"ridden" in a stage-coach, or in a coach belonging to some wealthy
layman; but the only vehicle which he ever possessed was a "one-
horse chaise."] in and out among his people, feeding the flock
"according to the integrity of his heart, and guiding them by the
skilfulness of his hands." And when God took him to his rest, the
mourning of his diocese was like the "mourning in the floor of
Atad," and the poor and the suffering, the widow and the
fatherless followed him to his grave, and wrote his epitaph in
their tears.

The power and value of an Episcopate like his cannot be measured
by immediate results--though such results were not lacking--which
are visible along its progress and at its close. Not only was it
not his peacefully to build on undisturbed foundations; it was not
even his to lay in peace original foundations. His was the harder,
the more hopeless task, to re-lay foundations which had been torn
up and scattered, and then begin to build upon them. And under
what discouragements was the task to be undertaken and prosecuted:
with diminished and diminishing numbers of fellow-workers; with
narrow resources and restricted means; amid manifold and
unexpected difficulties; amid jealousies that not infrequently
deepened into scornful enmity! How often must he have cried from
the depths of his heart: "Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is
offended, and I burn not?" Only a brave and genuine man, a man of
prayer and faith and love, could have borne up under such wearying
burdens. But he was all that, and even more than that. And,
therefore, to us who look back upon our history as a diocese from
the close of one century, to those who shall look back upon it
from the close of another, nay, in all time, its central figure
must be that massive one with which the limner's skill has made us
all familiar, as it stands facing wind and storm, supported by the
Word of God, which, in its turn, rests on the everlasting rock;
the figure of him by whom the God of our fathers said to our
"Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation
shall be laid." [Footnote: Isaiah xliv]

But it is time to turn to the second of the two things of which
mention was just now made; the future, namely, of the scattered
fragments of what had been the Church of England in the thirteen
colonies. To unite and consolidate these into one national Church
was the difficult problem to be solved; a problem, we may say with
reverent thankfulness, that never could have been solved had there
not come to the solution a stronger than any human strength, and a
wiser than any human wisdom. To bring about this blessed
consummation, the first two bishops consecrated for America
labored, if not always with accordant views, yet ever with united
hearts. The time has long gone by. and it ought never to have
been, when to give his due meed of praise to Bishop Seabury, and
to recognize his share in the great work accomplished, could be
thought in any way to carry with it disparagement to the eminent
services of Bishop White. Nothing can ever change or obscure his
prominence in the history of this Church. Surviving as he did the
darkest days of her trial and depression, living to see her enter
on wider lines and vaster fields of action, and enter on them with
a deepened spiritual life, he went to his rest in an old age that
was brightened with the reverent love of "all the churches," and
from which there was shed upon those churches the gracious light
of a gentleness, a meekness, and a charity, the memories of which
will never pass away. He is, he always must be, our St. John.

The two great obstacles in the minds of Bishop Seabury and his
clergy--and I think I may add the clergy of New England generally--
to the union and consolidation so earnestly desired, were found
in certain omissions in what was known as "The Proposed Book,"
adopted at a convention composed of deputies from seven States in
1785, [Footnote: The seven States represented were: New York, New
Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and South
Carolina. No deputies were present from New England.] and
published in 1786; and in certain provisions of an "Ecclesiastical
Constitution" first agreed to in the same convention of 1785, and
afterwards altered in some particulars in 1786.

The insurmountable difficulties which arose out of the Proposed
Book were the entire omission of the Creed commonly known as the
Nicene Creed, and the equally entire omission of the article, "He
descended into hell," in the Apostles' Creed. I do not at all mean
to say that these omissions constituted the only objections in the
minds of Bishop Seabury and those who acted with him. But these
were fatal. As long as these omissions remained, it was useless to
consider any other matters. Our fathers could never have united
with any body which deliberately rejected the Catholic Faith. For,
as has been well said, "a Church is not Catholic merely from
having an Apostolic ministry; the Catholic Faith is as essential
as Catholic Institutions." Nay, I think we may say even more than
that; namely, that to put the ministry first and the faith next is
to reverse the order established by the Lord. For surely, of those
to whom was given the commission to "make disciples of all
nations, baptizing them into the Name of the Father, and of the
Son, and of the Holy Ghost," it can never be said that the Name,
which is the original and the summary of every Catholic Creed, was
given for and because of them, but rather it must be said that
they were instituted for and because of it. To reverse this order
is to make the messenger of more importance than the message; is
to make the vase that holds the perfume of more importance than
the perfume held.

Happily the difficulty was not long in its continuance. In the
course of the negotiations for the Episcopate, which began in
October, 1785, it became very evident that the bishops of England
were not inclined to accede to the application for it so long as
the omission and mutilation just mentioned were adhered to.
Accordingly, on the 11th of October, 1786, in a convention held at
Wilmington, Delaware, the omitted clause was restored in the
Apostles' Creed, and the Nicene Creed was reinstated in its proper

The other obstacle, however, remained untouched; and, in fact, it
was twofold. In the Constitution agreed upon by the representatives
from seven States in 1785, there was not only no provision
for a House of Bishops, but it was not even provided that
the one House should be presided over by a bishop, if one of
that order were present. The Episcopate was utterly ignored.
Besides this extraordinary omission, every clergyman, of whatever
order, was made amenable to the convention of the diocese to which
he belonged in regard to "suspension or removal from office,"
while, for all that appeared, the sentence of suspension or
deposition must have been pronounced by the convention itself. In
a Church regulated by rules and ordinances like these, there might
be a nominal Episcopate, but it would be only nominal. The Ordinal
might be retained, but it would cease to have any meaning. The
Primitive Church might be spoken of, but every trace of primitive
order and administration would have disappeared.

It has often been said that Bishop Seabury objected to any
admission of the laity to the councils of the Church. But this is
one of the cases in which, unless we distinguish things that
differ, we shall certainly go far astray. Legislation is one
thing; the judicial exercise of discipline in the Church is quite
another thing. Now, I do not find that Bishop Seabury was set
against recognizing the right of the laity to a share in the
legislation of the Church, on the principle laid down by Hooker,
that laws which are to bind all orders should have the consent of
all orders. On the contrary, he admitted the principle when he set
his name to the Constitution of 1789 which provided for this very
thing; a provision the value of which has been fully demonstrated
by the first century of our history as a national Church.

Touching his views concerning the judicial exercise of discipline,
I need only cite his own words: "I cannot conceive that the laity
can with any propriety be admitted to sit in judgment on bishops
and presbyters, especially when deposition may be the event;
because they cannot take away a character which they cannot
confer. It is incongruous with every idea of episcopal government.
That authority which confers power can, for proper reasons, take
it away. But where there is no authority to confer power, there
can be none to disannul it. Wherever, therefore, the power of
ordination is lodged, the power of deprivation is lodged also."
Concerning the absolute irrecognition of the Episcopate, as
entitled to any share in either legislation or discipline, by the
Constitution of 1785, I need only cite, again, the bishop's words:
"In so essential a matter as Church government is, no alterations
should be made that affect its foundation. If a man be called a
bishop who has not the episcopal powers of government, he is
called by a wrong name, even though he should have the power of
ordination and confirmation."

The position assumed by our first bishop in regard to both these
matters was justified and sustained by the action of this Church
in 1789, when the Constitution, as amended, was made to provide
for a House of Bishops, "with power to originate and propose
acts," and also for the administration of discipline by the
Episcopate alone. This was the Constitution to which--"on a dingy
half sheet of paper"--Bishop Seabury and Drs. Jarvis and Hubbard,
as representatives from Connecticut, and Dr. Parker, as deputy
from Massachusetts and New Hampshire, set their hands in October,
1789, and by their act effected the consolidation of our Church.

I will not say that a victory was thus gained, for it was not
victory that was sought. But we may say that something far better
than a victory was attained, in that a great principle was
accepted. Nor has the lapse of time raised any doubt as to the
rightfulness and wisdom of the acceptance. [Footnote: It is worth
while to state the steps by which final action was reached:

1. The Constitution adopted in 1785 took no account of the
Episcopate as a possible component part of the General Convention.
In 1786 provision was made that "a bishop should always preside in
General Convention, if any of the episcopal order were present."
In August, 1789, it was agreed, with certain limitations and
restrictions, that "the bishops of this Church, when there shall
be three or more, shall, whenever a General Convention shall be
held, form a _House of Revision;_ and when any proposed act
shall have passed in the _General Convention_, the same shall
be transmitted to the _House of Revision_ for their concurrence."
Obviously the House of Revision is not here regarded as
a component part of the General Convention. Finally, in
October, 1789, it was ordered that "the bishops of this Church,
when there shall be three or more, shall, whenever General
Conventions are held, form a separate house, _with a right to
originate and propose acts_ for the concurrence of _the House
of Deputies_, composed of clergy and laity." Certain restrictions,
which have since been modified, were added. But clearly
the great principle contended for by Bishop Seabury and
those who acted with him is here admitted.

2. As to the other point insisted on: In 1785, article viii. of
the Constitution read: "Every clergyman, whether bishop or
presbyter or deacon, shall be amenable to the authority of the
convention in the State to which he belongs, so far as relates to
suspension or removal from office; and the convention in each
State shall institute rules for their conduct, and an equitable
mode of trial." Here there is not even an allusion to the
Episcopate, and each convention is recognized as absolutely
supreme. In June, 1786, the following sentence was added to
article viii. of 1785: "And at every trial of a bishop there shall
be one or more of the episcopal order present, and none but a
bishop shall pronounce sentence of deposition or degradation from
the ministry on any clergyman, whether bishop, presbyter, or
deacon." Here is an advance in the right direction. In August,
1789, the first sentence of the foregoing article disappears, and
in its place we read: "In every State the mode of trying clergymen
shall be instituted by the convention of the Church therein." The
last sentence of the article remains unchanged, and the second
principle contended for is accepted.]

While the years between 1785 and 1789, with their discussions,
doubts, and difficulties, were wearing away, the general
acceptance of the great principles on which I have been dwelling
seemed always uncertain, and sometimes hopeless. Steps were
accordingly taken to provide for a possible emergency of
rejection--an emergency which cannot be contemplated without a
shudder. It was decided in the convocation which met at
Wallingford in February, 1787, to send, should it become
necessary, a "presbyter to Scotland for consecration, as coadjutor
to Dr. Seabury." The purpose no doubt was, should such necessity
arise, to secure the number of bishops canonically requisite to
continue the succession. It was wise to provide for all
contingencies; but it was equally wise, and as much a matter of
duty, to take no actual steps till contingencies arose, and,
meantime, to make all possible endeavors to avert them. The
prudent counsels of the Scottish bishops, and the conciliatory and
patient action of Bishop White on the one side and Bishop Seabury
on the other, did avert the contingency; and by the year 1789 all
danger of the separation, so much feared and deprecated, had
passed away. It was of God's good providence that, in the General
Convention of that most memorable year, 1789, there was found in
the House of Bishops no root of bitterness, no disturbing element
growing out of political prejudice or personal animosity. When, on
the fifth day of October, the House was, for the first time,
constituted, Bishops Seabury and White composed its membership.

The great subject which occupied the attention of the bishops, as
well as that of the House of Deputies, was the Book of Common
Prayer. This is neither the time nor the place to speak at length
of what was then accomplished. But I must not omit to state, even
at the risk of saying what is familiar to us all, that in that
book, as we then received and still have it, the Order of the Holy
Communion stands--and, please God, will ever stand--the great
memorial of Seabury's share in framing our sacred offices, the
memorial, also, of the faithfulness with which, if not in the very
letter, yet substantially and in spirit, he redeemed the pledge
which he had given in the Concordate. Let me also add Bishop
White's own words touching the intercourse--for in a house
consisting of two members, one can hardly speak of debates--of
himself and his brother of Connecticut. He says: "To this day are
there 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." For the results of that memorable Convention, in which so
much was gained--may we not say so little lost?--we are mainly
indebted, under the overruling wisdom of the Holy Spirit, to the
stedfast gentleness of Bishop White and the gentle stedfastness of
Bishop Seabury.

And here, since mention has been already made of Seabury's work in
his own diocese, and of his departure, when "he was not found"
because God had taken him, this historical review may end. Does it
not tell what he was? Does it not clearly reveal his character? If
it does not, then no words of mine can do it. Strong in faith,
patient in hope, humble and self-sacrificing in charity, he stands
out as a man "that had understanding of the times to know what
Israel ought to do"; as a builder able to "revive the stones out
of the heaps of the rubbish which were burned"; as a wise ruler
who "fed" those over whom the Holy Ghost had made him an overseer,
"according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them by the
skilfulness of his hands." Therefore for him and for his work, we
praise and magnify God's holy Name!

I cannot close without some mention of two scenes, in both of
which it was my privilege to share, More than fifty years had
passed since our first bishop was borne to his grave. In the town
in which, during his entire Episcopate, he had fulfilled the
lowlier duties of a parish priest, a stately church had replaced
the humble temple in which he ministered, and it was felt in all
our borders that under its altar his honored remains should find
their final resting-place. Reverently gathered, they were carried
by the clergy through crowded streets, and laid down where we
trust they may abide till the judgment of the great day.[Footnote:
"Ut in loco quietis ultimo usque ad magni diei judicium," are the
words of the epitaph on the altar-tomb in St. James's Church, New
London.] As we stood around his sepulchre there rose from every
lip the words of the symbol of Nicaea, for which he had striven so
faithfully, and which he had urged his clergy as faithfully to
teach, saying, in words which now seem prophetic, that he foresaw
the day when in New England there would come a widespread lapse
from the ancient faith. That was a scene which none who shared in
it can forget.

A hundred years had gone. In that city where he sought his
consecration to the Episcopate the little upper room had
disappeared, and six churches had arisen. In one of these, the
successor of the humble "oratory in the house of Bishop Skinner,"
there are gathered seventeen bishops and near two hundred clergy,
together with a vast congregation of the faithful. What do they
represent? Not what those who came together a century before had
represented; not one Church brought almost to the verge of
extinction, and another threatened with even deeper ruin. No! but
they represent a Church that has emerged from the darkness that
shrouded it in Scotland; a Church that has risen from what seemed
but shattered fragments in the United States; the great Mother
Church of England; the national Church of Ireland; and the
Churches in communion with them on the Continent of Europe, in the
dependencies and colonies of the empire of Great Britain, on this
Western Continent, in India, Australia, Southern Africa, and the
islands of the sea. "A little one has become a thousand, and a
small one a strong nation."

What has brought them together? Not merely to do honor to the
memory of one man or of several men, though their memories are
inseparably blended with the thoughts and associations of the
occasion. "In many centenaries the dominant interest is the
personal. The birthday of the 'monk that shook the world' is a
handy peg on which to hang the whole of his marvellous career, and
the massive personality of the man is never absent from view. But
in the consecration of Bishop Seabury the Churchman beholds, not
the preponderance of an individual, but the birthday of a Church.
The difference is suggestive, and illustrates the radical
divergence between the Catholic and the sectarian frame of mind.
When the ideal of the one Body of Christ is strongly realized, the
Church will overshadow the individual; when it is little
cherished, the individual will eclipse the Church. We may be
content to be of those who think that, as the State is greater
than its worthiest citizen, so the Church should take precedence
of its greatest member."[Footnote: These admirable words are
quoted from the Scottish Church Review for November, 1884, p.
749.] Who would have more gladly owned all this, who would have
been more thankful for it, than he who gave its name to that
centenary? For, indeed, it was this which swelled the tide of
emotion to its height. It was because of this that men felt in
their hearts, and said with their lips, "Glorious things are
spoken of thee, thou City of God."

One closing word, dear brethren, and the duty that from time to
time you have laid upon me will be accomplished; not as it should
have been, but as I have been able to accomplish it. The great
principles on which they of whom I have been speaking placed
themselves, are as lasting and as unchangeable as the everlasting
hills. The lines on which they wrought have borne the trial and
stood the test of all the Christian ages. Are we tempted, in a
spirit of self-sufficiency or of doubt or of impatience, to
forsake them? Then let us put the temptation firmly to one side.
Only by so doing shall we maintain for ourselves, and hand on to
others, who shall then in coming years rise up and call us
blessed, the precious deposit that has come down to us, and for
which we bless those who have gone before us. Christianity is not
_one of the religions of_ the world, but it is _the one_
_religion for_ the world. Jesus Christ, our Prophet, Priest,
and King, our sufficing Sacrifice and our living Lord, is not the
ideal man, the product of the growth, circumstances, and
conditions of one nation or of the whole human race, but He is the
"Son of God with power," miraculously conceived by the Holy Ghost,
miraculously born of the Virgin Mary, dying for our sins and
rising again for our justification. "A Christianity," I use the
words of Coleridge, "without a Church exercising spiritual
authority, is vanity and dissolution."[Footnote: _Aids to
Reflection_, p. 224, note (fourth edition).] The Church is not
an aggregation of persons agreeing in certain doctrines or
practices, but it is the "Body of Christ," perpetuated in
accordance with the laws of its organism. "The fellowship of
kindred minds" is not the Communion of saints. A certain
"continuity of Christian thought" is not the same thing as the
Faith once and forever given to the saints.

If we fling away these truths to which our predecessors clung so
firmly, if they who shall come after us fling them away, then on
us and on them will come the shame and the woe of making the well-
ordered "city of the living God," the walls of which are salvation
and its gates praise, to be "like a city that is broken down and
without walls." On the other hand, if we, and they who shall come
after us, hold them, teach them, act on them, then, and only then,
shall we and they, in very deed, "grow 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."

A SPECIAL service was held in the Church of the Holy Trinity,
Middletown, on the one-hundredth anniversary of the first
Ordination held by Bishop Seabury, August 3, 1885, at 11 o'clock
A. M. The processional hymn being ended, Bishop Williams began the
Communion-service, the Collect being that for St. Simon and St.
Jude's Day. The Epistle (that for St. Mark's Day) was read by the
Rev. Prof. Samuel Hart of Trinity College, and the Gospel (that
for St. Matthias's Day), by the Rev. Sylvester Clarke, Rector of
Trinity Church, Bridgeport. After the Creed, the Bishop delivered
this address:

The third of August, 1785, was a memorable day for this diocese
and for our whole Church. For the first time an American Bishop
was to hold an ordination in the United States. The event carries
us back, in thought, to Apostolic days. The first act of
ordination by the Apostles at Jerusalem, after the miracle of
Pentecost, was the laying on of hands upon the seven deacons. The
first ordination ministered by him who first bore the Apostolic
commission to this nation, was an ordination--not of seven indeed,
but of four--to the diaconate. The authority, the ministration,
and the order imparted were in both cases the same, separated
though the acts were by the great chasm of seventeen centuries. It
is good to commemorate such an event. It is right to commemorate
it in the place in which it occurred. Such a commemoration fitly
ends the series of centenary observances which we began in
Woodbury in the spring-tide of 1883. For the act of this day
certified our fathers that what they had sought and cried out for
through long and weary years was gained at last; that no longer
did three thousand miles of ocean separate them from the
possibility of admission to the "ministry of Christ, and the
stewardship of the mysteries of God."

Let me, first, say something of the place in which the service of
ordination, and all the services and acts connected with it, were
held. There stood, at that time, on what used to be called the
South Green in this city, a small wooden church known as Christ
Church. There are not many persons, probably, now living who
remember it, but a rough sketch of it, which has been preserved,
has given many who never saw it an idea at least of what it was.
It was not an altogether ungraceful building with its arched
windows--regarded by many in those days as indicating Romeward
tendencies--and its pointed spire. And it had nothing in common
with those hideous combinations of packing-box and Grecian
portico, which prevailed many years later on; but which decay and
fire and other merciful interferences and visitations have made
things of the past.

It had a story of its own, too--that old church--to tell; a story
of trial, perseverance, and success; a story exactly parallel to
that of the clergy, and especially the bishop, who came together
within its walls. About the middle of the last century, a number
of persons who, in the exercise of that "freedom to worship God,"
which has been claimed as the peculiar glory of New England, had
declared themselves to be attached to the Church of England,
petitioned the town authorities to grant them a piece of ground on
which they might erect a church. Their application was refused.
After a time it was renewed, and refused again. At last, a
building-place was granted them, the situation of which has just
been mentioned. It was a marshy spot, on which few persons
believed that any building could ever be erected. It is strangely
noticeable, however, that a great many things which never can be
done, are nevertheless somehow brought about, especially in the
progress of the Church. So it was here. Careful drainage overcame
the natural lack of adaptation, and, though the work met with
delays and drawbacks, the church was completed in 1755. It is a
tradition of the time that when the frame of the building was
raised, the shout that burst from the lips of those engaged in or
watching the work was so loud and joyous that it might have been
heard for the distance of a mile. Verily, good people of this
parish, if your predecessors could not say that they had been
brought "through fire," they could at least say that they had been
"brought through water to a wealthy place"; wealthy, not in this
world's goods, but in those spiritual gifts which are the eternal
dowry of the Bride of Christ.

So much for the place. Next let us look at those who came
together. If the place of meeting had been hardly won, those men
had "endured hardness as good soldiers of Christ." Foremost, in
the full maturity of his manhood, stands the newly consecrated
bishop. He is in his fifty-sixth year. And inasmuch as the picture
with which we are all familiar was painted while he was in London,
we no doubt see him there as he was here in Middletown, a century
ago. And a goodly sight it is; the sight of one who looked, and
was, every inch a bishop.

Jeremiah Learning comes next to view. But for his advanced age,
and the fact that imprisonment in a damp and noisome cell had made
him a cripple for life, he would have stood in Seabury's place as
our first bishop. He is now in his sixty-eighth year, having been
born in Durham in 1717. He lived to the age of nearly eighty-
eight, and one who remembered him In his latest years says: "He
rises to my mind the very ideal of age and decrepitude--a small,
emaciated old man, very lame, his ashen and withered features
surmounted sometimes by a cap, and sometimes by a small wig--
always quiet and gentle in his manner." Such a condition as is
here described is still, however, in the future for him. He is
still vigorous enough to preside in the convention of the clergy,
until the new bishop takes that place, and to preach what was
called, in the quaint phraseology of the day, "a well adapted"
ordination sermon.

We turn to the secretary of the convention, Abraham Jarvis, who
will in time become the second bishop of this diocese. He has just
entered on the twenty-first year of his rectorship of this parish,
a position which he will hold for fourteen more years. He is
described, by one who knew him, as having "an uncommon tact at
public business, and in a talent at drafting petitions, memorials,
etc., having few, if any, superiors."

Most, if not all, of the excellent papers connected with the
negotiations for the Episcopate were drawn up by him, and on him
devolved nearly all the correspondence to which the negotiations
gave rise. Nine others of the clergy of the diocese were present,
and with them two from other places--the Rev. Benjamin Moore of
New York, who came in no official capacity, and the Rev. Samuel
Parker of Boston, who appeared as representing the clergy of
Massachusetts. Dr. Moore was afterwards the second Bishop of New
York, and Dr. Parker the second Bishop of Massachusetts. The
clergy had assembled on the day previous, August 2nd, and Bishop
Seabury had presented his letters of consecration. On the day we
are commemorating, the services began with the reception and
recognition of the bishop. Four of the clergy repaired to the
parsonage, which stood nearly where the house of the Hon. Benjamin
Douglas now stands, bearing with them the declaration of the
clergy then convened, that "they confirmed their former election,
and acknowledged and received Dr. Seabury as their Episcopal head.
Two of the four immediately carried back to the convention the
answer of acceptance by the bishop, while the other two followed
in attendance upon him, and conducted him to the church." Here,
sitting near the Holy Table, with the clergy gathered before him,
he listened to their address, which was read by the Rev. Dr.
Hubbard of New Haven. I quote from it three striking passages.
Their recognition of their new bishop was made in these words:
"We, in the presence of Almighty God, declare to the world, that
we do unanimously and voluntarily accept and receive you to be
_our Bishop_, supreme in the government of the Church, and in
the administration of all ecclesiastical offices. And we do
solemnly engage to render you all that respect, duty, and
submission, which we believe do belong and are due to your high
office, and which, we understand, were given by the presbyters to
their bishop in the Primitive Church while, in her native purity,
she was unconnected with, and uncontrolled by, any secular power."

After describing the earnest attempts to obtain the Episcopate
from England, and the final failure of the attempts, they add: "We
hope that the successors of the Apostles in the Church of England
have sufficient reasons to justify themselves to the world and to
God. We, however, know of none such, nor can our imagination frame

At the close of the address, after blessing God for the way opened
in Scotland, whose bishops had freely given what they had freely
received, they add, out of their full hearts, burning words of
gratitude, and say: "Wherever the American Episcopal Church shall
be mentioned in the world, may this good deed which they have done
for us, be spoken of for a memorial of them."

To this address the bishop made a brief, but sufficient and
dignified reply, expressing, among other things, his reliance on
the "ready advice and assistance" of the clergy in the discharge
of his office; so foreshadowing the character of his Episcopate.

The ordination was then proceeded with, and the four deacons were
ordained. Dr. Leaming preached the sermon, as I have already said,
and Mr. Jarvis "officiated as archdeacon" and presented the
candidates. The order of service differed somewhat in arrangement,
but in nothing else, from our order as it stands today. But the
changes are not material enough to require any mention.

The ordination ended, the bishop dissolved the convention and
directed the clergy to meet him in convocation at a later hour.
This was the first convocation of the clergy of this diocese. They
had before _come_ together by their own agreement; now they
were _called_ together by their chief pastor. These meetings
of the clergy continued till within my own memory, though they had
ceased before I was consecrated, nor do I remember ever to have
attended one as either deacon or presbyter. They were usually
held. I believe, in connection with the sessions of the Diocesan

Of those who were admitted on that third of August to the
diaconate, another will speak to you as I could not, so that
little remains for me to add.

We can scarcely now imagine to ourselves the mingled joy and
doubt, hopes and fears, thankfulness and uncertainty, that filled
the minds and agitated the hearts of those who came together here
a hundred years ago. The great point, no doubt, was gained; but
what was to follow? Would the consecration of Seabury be
everywhere accepted? or would there be those who would reject it
because an Act of Parliament had established Presbyterianism in
Scotland, and other Acts of Parliament had proscribed the Scotch
Episcopate? Would all churchmen in all the thirteen States of the
Confederation be united in one body? Or were there such discordant
elements, that they who held to the Apostolic Faith and Order
would be thrust out? Was there vitality enough in the Church in
Connecticut to live and grow? Or, when they who composed it then
were gone, would it dwindle and die out? No man could have
answered those questions then; God has answered them since. And as
we run back along the story of the years that have written out the
answer which we read _this_ day, we come at last to _that_ day,
so truly memorable, and to the bishop, the clergy, the candidates,
who then assembled to take their several parts in the first
Episcopal Ordination in America.

In the library of Trinity College is preserved--many of us must
have seen it--Bishop Seabury's Mitre. I am sure I cannot better
express what may be called our culminating thought today, than by
quoting some lines written by the Bishop of Western New York on
that venerable relic:

     "The rod that from Jerusalem
         Went forth so strong of yore,
      That rod of David's royal stem,
         Whose hand the farthest bore?
      St. Paul to seek the setting sun,
         They say, to Britain prest;
      St. Andrew to old Calidon,
         But who still farther West?

     "Go ask! a thousand tongues shall tell
         His name and dear renown,
      Where altar, font, and holy bell
         Are gifts he handed down;
      A thousand hearts keep warm the name,
         Which share those gifts so blest;
      Yet even this may tell the same,
         First mitre of the West!

     "Aye! keep it for this mighty West
         Till truth shall glorious be,
      And good old Samuel's is confest
         Columbia's primal see.
      'Tis better than a diadem,
         The crown that Bishop wore,
      Whose hand the rod of Jesse's stem
         The farthest westward bore!"

The Rev. Dr. Beardsley then read the following biographical
account of the four candidates admitted to the diaconate by Bishop
Seabury at his first ordination:

Of the candidates ordained in Middletown on the third of August,
1785, COLIN FERGUSON was the only one not of Connecticut. He came
from Maryland, and the testimonials recommending him were signed
by the Rev. Dr. William Smith, afterwards president of the House
of Deputies, and others of that State. He was born in Kent County,
and was the son of a Scotsman who emigrated to this country and
maintained a respectable character but never rose to affluent
circumstances. An opportunity occurred for the youth to accompany
a Scottish schoolmaster about to return to Edinburgh, and he
gladly availed himself of it and thus obtained a classical
education without expense to his father. After several years spent
at the University of Edinburgh, he came back to America with a
good reputation for scholarship, but it does not appear that he
had the ministry in mind so early as this. He found employment as
an instructor, and upon the establishment of Washington College,
Chestertown, Md., in 1782, he was chosen a professor in it, and
held the place until Dr. Smith, the president or principal,
returned to Philadelphia, when he was promoted to the headship of
the institution. It was under the direction of Dr. Smith that he
studied theology, and his ministerial labors were chiefly limited
to St. Paul's Parish, Kent County, of which for sometime he had
the charge in addition to his college duties. The degree of Doctor
of Divinity was conferred upon him shortly after his ordination by
the institution with which he was connected, and was a deserved
honor on the score of learning. He was a member of the August
General Convention of 1789, and signed as one of the delegation
from Maryland the "Resolves" of that body which led to the final
union and settlement of the Church in all the States.

About the year 1804, the Legislature of Maryland passed enactments
which deprived the college of the means of a liberal support, and
Dr. Ferguson thereupon resigned his office and "retired to his
farm in the vicinity of Georgetown Cross Roads, where he spent the
remainder of his life." He died of paralysis on the 10th of March,
1806, in the 55th year of his age.

"As a preacher," says one [Footnote: P. Worth, in Sprague's
_Annals of the American Episcopal Pulpit_, p. 344.] who was
his pupil for seven years and had constant opportunities to make
observations upon his character, "I cannot say he possessed any
remarkable power. His sermons, as specimens of composition, were
of a high order, creditable to him as a scholar and a writer, but
they were not strongly marked by an evangelical tone. Perhaps
I should not do him injustice, if I was to say that his sermons,
in this respect, were not very unlike those of the celebrated Dr.
Hugh Blair."

I take the names of the candidates in the order in which they lie
in the Registry Book of Bishop Seabury--not that this order
determines the actual order of ordination, for I am confident it
does not.

HENRY VAN DYCK was born in the city of New York in 1744, and was
the only son of his parents. He graduated from King's (now
Columbia) College in 1761, when the institution was in charge of
its first president, the Rev. Dr. Samuel Johnson. After
graduating, he studied law and located himself in Stratford,
Conn., whither the family had removed and become settled. He
married Huldah Lewis of that place, August 9, 1767, and on the
sixth day of the ensuing month, he and his wife were admitted as
communicants in Christ Church, which was then under the rectorship
of Dr. Johnson for the second time, he having resigned the college
and returned to Stratford.

It does not appear that he had much success in the legal
profession, and he wrote his discouragements to William Samuel
Johnson, special colonial agent from Connecticut, then in London,
who confided in his integrity and had entrusted him with the
collection of some debts that were his due. In his reply, Johnson
said: "It gives me concern to find that you have not met with that
obliging behaviour from the profession which you expected; those
men at the bar have, I believe, most of them experienced the
friendly assistance of those who have gone before them, and should
not therefore in point of gratitude refuse it to help those who
are coming forward and to succeed them, not to mention that it is
exceedingly ungenerous and illiberal to endeavour to cramp rising
genius, or use any attempts to monopolize a profession which
should be ever open to men of merit, and especially those who
enter into it in the regular methods of education. You will find,
however, that nothing will so effectually overcome any difficulties,
prejudices, or inconveniences of this nature as the course
you say you are in, and in which therefore you will by all
means persevere, of an assiduous, careful attention to your
business and an upright, diligent conduct in every branch of your
profession. This will secure you in the possession of the business
you have, and increase it, enable you to transact it with ease and
honor, and by degrees enforce the complaisance at least, if not
the esteem, of those who by some slights and little negligences
wished to have depressed you, and by that means perhaps secured to
themselves a greater proportion of business.

"I sincerely give you and Mrs. Van Dyck joy upon your marriage,
and hope you will long, very long, enjoy all the blessings of the
connubial state, which I have ever esteemed essential to human
happiness. It would have given me an additional pleasure to have
known that your father had consented to it, and though it seems he
would not, I still hope he may yet see such happy effects of the
measure as to approve it and be convinced by its consequences that
he ought not to have been so inflexibly averse to it." [Footnote:
Ms. Letter, November 23, 1767.]

Mr. Van Dyck continued the practice of law until about the time of
the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. He was brought forward as a
lay-reader under the auspices of the Rev. Ebenezer Kneeland,
successor in the Church at Stratford to the Rev. Dr. Johnson whose
granddaughter, Charity, he had married. From the records of the
Episcopal Church in the adjoining town of Milford, it appears that
at a vestry meeting, held April 17, 1776, after electing wardens
and vestrymen, Mr. Kneeland being present, it was "voted that Mr.
Henry Van Dyke be desired to read prayers on such Sundays as Dr.
Kneeland shall be absent, and that we will see him rewarded for
his trouble." This was done with entire unanimity by the advice
and consent of Mr. Kneeland. An item in a publication of the time,
under date of August, 1779, though incorrect in reporting him as a
clergyman, gives evidence that he had ceased to pursue the legal
profession: "The _Rev._ Henry Van Dyke is at Norwalk, and
wants to go to Long Island with his family."

After the independence of the colonies had been declared, the full
use of the liturgy of the Church of England was no longer
tolerated, and for ten years there was seldom any assembling for
prayers or preaching or any new choice of officers in the Church
at Milford. But in January, 1786, Mr. Van Dyck, being then in Holy
Orders, proposed to take the care of the churches in Milford and
West Haven, and his proposition was acceded to at a salary of 90
pounds per annum; Milford agreeing to pay two-thirds of it and
West Haven the remainder. He removed with his family to Milford in
the May following, and the church thought itself happily provided
with a "pasture" for life.

In this, however, there was disappointment, for in February, 1787,
"the appearance of a committee from Poughkeepsie" to secure him as
rector in that place and Fishkill, made the people of Milford and
West Haven somewhat indignant. They claimed that his engagement
with them was for a longer period, while he affirmed that it
terminated at the end of the year. He had been in treaty with the
Church at Poughkeepsie for some time, and visited and officiated
in it before he was in Holy Orders. The records show that he
conducted divine service in Christ Church as early as June, 1784,
and that the congregation desired the vestry to adopt such
measures in conjunction with their brethren of Trinity Church,
Fishkill, as might be proper for the settlement of Mr. Van Dyck.
The arrangement was completed by offering him as compensation the
use of the glebe, containing more than two hundred and fifty
acres, and, 80 pounds New York currency from the parish in
Poughkeepsie and 40 pounds from Fishkill. They wished him to come
whether in orders or not, but nothing more was heard of him till
he addressed a letter dated Stratford, May 22, 1785, to the vestry
of Christ Church, requesting certificates and testimonials which
would entitle him to ordination by Bishop Seabury who was already
in Nova Scotia and "momentarily expected" in Connecticut.

"Our ordination," he said, "will take place immediately on his
arrival, for which we are making all possible preparation, after
which we shall repair to our several congregations as soon as we
can." The preparation was probably under the direction and
oversight of the Rev. Mr. Learning, the first choice of the clergy
of Connecticut for bishop.

On the second Sunday after his ordination, in fulfilment of a
promise which he had made, the Rev. Mr. Van Dyck visited the
church in Fishkill, but he was only a bird of passage in doing
this. His private affairs were in the way. He had become indebted
to a gentleman in New York to the amount of L125, and under the
trespass law of the State, if he entered it and remained, he was
liable to arrest and imprisonment. The Legislature, by vote,
permitted him to return, and finally an amicable adjustment was
effected with the creditor through the agency of the vestry in
Poughkeepsie, and he was established as rector of Christ Church,
Whitsunday, May 27, 1787, and continued in charge till 1791. He
then removed to New Jersey and became rector of St. Peter's
Church, Amboy, and Christ Church, New Brunswick; but in July,
1793, he accepted the rectorship of St. Mary's, Burlington, which
he held for three years. His residence in this place was saddened
by painful domestic afflictions. The death of his widowed mother,
who had been an inmate of his family for many years, followed by
that of two of his daughters under peculiarly sorrowful
circumstances, must have made him quite willing to leave
Burlington, and assume, in 1797, the charge of St. James's Church,
Newtown, L. I. Here he continued to officiate for five years, and
he is said to have been the first clergyman who devoted his entire
services to that parish. This was his last and longest rectorship,
for he left Newtown in 1802, and on the 12th of September in that
year he conducted the services in Grace Church, Jamaica, then
vacant, "and offered to officiate further."

Davis [Footnote: John Davis, _Travels of four Years and a half
in the United States_ (1798-1802), p. 155.], in his travels in
the United States, speaks thus vividly of a visit he made to
Newtown, and of his entertainment in the place: "I was fortunate
enough to procure lodgings at Newtown under the roof of the
Episcopal minister, Mr. Vandyke. The parsonage-house was not
unpleasantly situated. The porch was shaded by a couple of huge
locust trees, and accommodated with a long bench. Here I often sat
with my host, who like Parson Adams always wore the cassock; but
he did not read AEschylus. Mr. Vandyke was at least sixty; yet if
a colt, a pig, or any other quadruped entered his paddock, he
sprang from his seat with more than youthful agility, and
vociferously chased the intruder from his domain. I could not but
smile to behold the parson running after a pig and mingling his
cries with those of the animal."

The New York Evening _Post_ of September 17, 1804, contained
this obituary: "Died early this morning, the Rev. Henry Van Dyck,
aged sixty, one of the clergy of the Protestant Episcopal Church,
and formerly rector of St. James's Church, Newtown. He was
possessed of an affectionate heart and excellent understanding. He
discharged with zeal, fidelity, and ability, the duties of his
calling. In private life he was esteemed by all to whom he was
known. Funeral this afternoon at five o'clock from his house, No.
4 Cedar street, New York, where his friends and acquaintances are
invited to attend."

It is stated in the Rev. Dr. Hills's _History of the Church in
Burlington_, p. 339, that two children survived him--"a son and
a daughter; Richard Vandyke married, had a large family, and lived
to a good old age. He died in 1856." The death of the daughter,
who never married, occurred thirty years earlier.

ASHBEL BALDWIN was born in a farm-house on the hills of
Litchfield, Connecticut, March 7, 1757. His father, Isaac Baldwin,
was a graduate of Yale College in the class of 1735, and an older
brother, who bore the paternal name, was graduated in 1774. Ashbel
was later, graduating in 1776, the year of the Declaration of
American Independence. Isaac Baldwin the senior, on leaving
college, began the study of theology and was licensed as a
Congregational minister, and preached for a time in what is now
the town of Washington, Conn. [Footnote: Dexter's _Yale
Biographies and Annals_, 1701-1745; p. 523.] But he soon
relinquished the study, and turned his attention to agricultural
pursuits, settling upon a farm in Litchfield, and becoming an
eminently useful official in the public affairs of the town and

His son Ashbel contracted a lameness in boyhood by going into the
water and imprudently exposing himself to a cold, which stiffened
and shortened one of his limbs and made his gait ever afterward
unequal and limping. He had not relinquished his attachment to the
Congregational order when he graduated and subsequently took a
temporary tutorship in a Church family in New York. Stanch
churchmen in those days, if for any cause the parish church was
closed on Sunday, turned their parlors into chapels, and had in
private the full morning service. Mr. Baldwin, being the educated
member of the household, was required to act as lay-reader, and
not knowing how to use the Prayer-Book, and yet ashamed to confess
his ignorance to the head of the family, he sought the assistance
and friendship of the gardener, who gave him the necessary
instructions, and very soon love and admiration of the Liturgy and
conversion to the Church followed. How long he continued in his
private tutorship is unknown.

For two or three years during the Revolutionary War he held the
appointment of a quartermaster in the Continental army, and was
stationed for a time at Litchfield, where there was a large
depository of military stores, "principally taken at the surrender
of General Burgoyne," and guarded by a considerable detachment of
soldiers. For his services in this capacity he received a pension
from government, which became his principal means of support in
the last year of his life.

Upon the cessation of hostilities and the acknowledgment of
Independence, he applied himself to theological studies, and
though but a candidate for Holy Orders, he was an interested
spectator at the meeting of the clergy in Woodbury on the Feast of
the Annunciation, 1783, when choice was made of the first bishop
of Connecticut.

On Monday, June 20, 1785, Bishop Seabury arrived at Newport, R.I.,
after a voyage from London of three months, including his stay in
Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and reaching his future home in
Connecticut a week later, preparations were immediately begun to
meet his clergy and hold his first ordination. Of the four
candidates admitted by him to the diaconate in this city a century
ago to-day, Van Dyck, Baldwin, and Shelton belonged to Connecticut,
and were recommended by its clergy, of whom in convention
assembled the Rev. Jeremiah Leaming was president. Mr. Baldwin
was sent at once to his native place, and continued in charge
of St. Michael's Church, Litchfield, till 1793, when he resigned
and accepted the rectorship of the venerable parish at Stratford.
He was instrumental in awakening the zeal of the Episcopalians
of Litchfield county, and leading them to re-open their
churches after the desolations of the war as well as to
project new ones. His recognized position in the diocese was early
one of influence and responsibility, and his energy and facility
in the dispatch of business made him especially useful in the
deliberative and legislative assemblies of the Church. He was
chosen Secretary of the Convention of the Diocese of Connecticut
in 1796, and continued to discharge the duties of that office for
a period of nearly thirty years. He was a deputy to the General
Convention for an equally long period, and held the office of
Secretary in the House of Deputies, from which he retired in 1823
with the thanks of that body "for his long and faithful services."

As the General Convention of 1799 was the first which Mr. Baldwin
attended in the capacity of a deputy, so that of 1823 was the
last. He was conspicuous in that council for remarkable self-
possession, and promptness and facility in giving expression to
his opinions. The type of his theology led him to take the "old
paths," and reverence for the memory of the bishop who ordained
him held him up to a high standard of legislation for the Church.
He would have her doctrines and discipline well defined and
guarded, and his first action in the House of Deputies was to move
a resolution to take into consideration the propriety of framing
Articles of Religion. He lived at a period when Puritanism was
rife in New England, especially in Connecticut, and while it was
his policy to avoid being drawn into controversy, his devotion to
the interests of the Episcopal Church never faltered or became
doubtful under any pressure of circumstances. He was a parson
without the smallest trace of bigotry, and attracted and retained
the affections of all who was privileged to know him well in his
private and official capacity. He was a good reader of the
Liturgy, an instructive, if not a learned preacher, and had a
clear, sonorous voice, and a persuasive manner which rendered his
discourses acceptable to all classes of people. His best and
happiest days were passed in Stratford, where for over thirty
years he held the rectorship of the parish which had been served
by those two eminent divines, Johnson and Leaming.

For a portion of the time he had this parish in connection with
the neighboring one at Tashua, ministering to the latter every
third Sunday, and holding frequent services in school-houses and
private dwellings. His mode of travelling was in a chaise, and on
one occasion he drove up rather hurriedly to meet an appointment
at a house where the people had already assembled, and stepping
nimbly down from his seat he was accosted by the host who was not
a churchman: "I suppose, Mr. Baldwin, as it is the season of Lent,
you will not take any refreshments before beginning the service."
"No, nothing for me," was the reply; "but my horse is a
Presbyterian; he must be fed."

Mr. Baldwin was a man of keen discernment, quick apprehensions,
and ready retort. In social intercourse he had wonderful powers of
adapting himself to circumstances, and was alike an acceptable
visitor in the families of the wealthy and refined, the humble and
the uneducated, and a welcome guest at their tables. It was his
practice, as it was the practice of many of the clergy in that
day, to administer baptism in private houses, using the occasion
of a lecture to make the office a public one. Very often whole
households were baptized in this way, and sometimes their
connection with the Church was afterwards unfortunately lost
through neglect to exercise a proper degree of vigilance and care.

Mr. Baldwin married Miss Clarissa Johnson of Guilford, a grand-
niece of his predecessor in Stratford, the Rev. Dr. Samuel
Johnson. She died childless many years before him, and he never
married again. He was in the full possession of his mental
faculties and blessed with a fair degree of health when he
resigned, in 1824, the Rectorship of Christ Church. For a time he
lingered in the neighborhood of Stratford, but could not be idle,
and was soon in charge of the parish in Meriden, and afterwards
officiated in several places, as Tashua, Wallingford, North Haven,
Oxford, and Quakers' Farms. Ten years were thus passed, doing what
he could for the Church which he had served so faithfully and
loved so much; but in 1834 failure of eyesight and other
infirmities obliged him to cease from all public service and go
into retirement. It was natural for him to dwell for the rest of
his days among or near his old parishioners, and for many years,
as it suited his convenience, he resided at New Haven, Bridgeport,
and Stratford. He was at the latter place in 1837, when he
addressed a letter to Bishop Brownell, taking an affectionate
leave of the Diocesan Convention then sitting in New Haven, and
resigning the only office of trust in its gift which he had
continued to hold.

The letter was characteristic of the man, chaste and beautiful in
its style, and pathetic in its allusions. The concluding paragraph

"My dear Sir, when I first entered the Church her condition was
not very flattering. Surrounded by enemies on every side, and
opposed with much virulence, her safety and even her very
existence were at times somewhat questionable; but by the united
and zealous exertions of the clergy, attended by the blessings of
her great Founder, she has been preserved in safety through every
storm, and now presents herself with astonishment to every
beholder, not as a grain of mustard seed, but as a beautiful tree,
spreading its salubrious branches over our whole country. The
Church, by a strict adherence to its ancient landmarks, its
priesthood, its liturgy, and its government, has been preserved
from those schisms which seem to threaten the peace of a very
respectable body of Christians in our country. May the same
unanimity and zeal which animated our fathers, still be preserved
in the Church. My days of pilgrimage, I know, are almost closed,
and I can do no more than to be in readiness, by the grace of God,
to leave the Church militant in peace. May I be permitted, Sir, to
ask the prayers of my bishop and his clergy, that my last days may
be happy."

Mr. Baldwin went to Rochester, N.Y., a few years later, and became
an inmate in the family of one who had removed thither from
Connecticut, and who was under special obligations to him for
kindness and care bestowed in previous years. He died in that city
on Sunday, February 8, 1846, lacking twenty-seven days to complete
his eighty-ninth year. There is a memorial window erected to him
in the chancel of Grace Church, Long Hill, Conn., which occupies
ground included in the scene of his early ministration.

PHILO SHELTON was a grandson of Daniel Shelton, the founder of the
New England branch of the Shelton family in America. He was one of
a family of fourteen children, and was born in Ripton (now
Huntington) on the 7th of May, 1754. He received a classical
education, and was the first alumnus of Yale College who bore the
name of Shelton. He graduated in 1775, just after the outbreak of
the Revolutionary war, and soon, as a candidate for Holy Orders,
he acted in the capacity of a lay-reader in several places until
his ordination. When a British expedition under the command of
Gen. Tryon was fitted out at New York in 1779, to subdue the
shore-towns of Connecticut, Fairfield was one of the places
invaded, the torch was applied to the dwellings of the rich and
the poor, and the Episcopal church there, the parsonage, and other
property belonging to the parish were consumed in the general
conflagration. This destruction impoverished and depressed the
people as a whole, and many of them fled; but the few churchmen
who remained rallied from all discouragement, rebuilt their
houses, and met in them on Sundays to worship God according to the
forms of the old liturgy, Philo Shelton having been secured for a
lay-reader. He read at the same time for the Episcopalians at
Stratfield, where a wooden church was built as early as 1748, and
also for those in Weston, where the flock had not been broken up
by the disasters of the Revolution.

While waiting for ordination, he settled in life and married,
April 20, 1781, Lucy, daughter of Philip Nichols, Esq., of
Stratfield (now Bridgeport), [Footnote: The marriage was
undoubtedly solemnized by the Rev. Christopher Newton of Ripton,
the only Church clergyman in the vicinity, and still Mr. Shelton's
rector. He baptized the first child, _Lucy_, born June 27,
1782.] strong churchman and first lay-delegate chosen to represent
the Diocese of Connecticut in the General Convention. In February,
1785, a formal arrangement was made that his services in each of
the three places should be proportioned to the number of churchmen
residing in them respectively, and until he should be in Orders it
was stipulated to pay him twenty shillings lawful money for each
day that he officiated. Ashbel Baldwin, his nearest neighbor in
parochial work, and most intimate friend and associate in efforts
to build up the Church in Connecticut, used to say that the hands
of Bishop Seabury were first laid upon the head of Mr. Shelton on
the 3d of August, 1785, so that his name really begins the long
list of clergy who have had ordination in this country by bishops
of the Protestant Episcopal Church. In the Diocesan Convention,
under an established rule of that body, he invariably outranked
Mr. Baldwin, and so was frequently the presiding officer in the
absence of the Bishop, which is another proof that he was his
senior by ordination as well as in years. At the first convocation
of the clergy after the death of Bishop Jarvis, held in Stratford,
June 1, 1813, Mr. Baldwin, as Secretary, entered the names of
twenty-nine who were present, and then recorded: "The Rev. Doctor
Mansfield desired to be excused from serving as President on
account of his age and infirmities; which excuse was accepted by
the brethren. The Rev. Philo Shelton, being the next oldest
presbyter, took the chair." Should it be said that this does not
refer to the diaconate, it may be answered that the obituary
notice of his widow, who died in 1838, speaks of him as "the
_first_ clergyman ordained by the first American Bishop."

After his admission to Holy Orders, according to his own
statement, Mr. Shelton took full "pastoral charge of the cure of
Fairfield, including Stratfield and Weston, dividing his time
equally between the three churches, with a salary of one hundred
pounds per annum from the congregations and the use of what lands
belonged to the cure." It was a small living for a clergyman who
already had a wife and two children, but the Revolutionary War had
so reduced the people and their resources, that it could not well
be made larger. Five years passed away before the enterprise of
building a new church in Fairfield was really begun, and then it
was erected about a mile west of the site where the old one stood,
and was only inclosed and made fit for occupancy at the time, and
not finished and consecrated till 1798.

The population was drifting from Stratfield toward the borough of
Bridgeport, and in 1801 it was deemed advisable to demolish the
old church and build a new one in a more central situation. Mr.
Shelton saw the wisdom of this movement and encouraged it, though
it was attended very naturally with some painful considerations,
and took away a pleasing picture from the landscape which filled
the vision of Dr. Dwight when he wrote his poem entitled
"Greenfield Hill":

"Here, sky-encircled, Stratford's churches beam, And Stratfield's
turrets greet the roving eye."

The new church in the borough was so far completed as to be used
for public worship in the beginning of Advent, 1801, and two years
later "the ground floor was sold at public vendue for the purpose
of building the pews and seats thereon, and finishing the church;
and the money raised in the sale amounted to between six and seven
hundred dollars." The cost of the building--about thirty-five
hundred dollars--was over and above this, and was met by the
voluntary contributions of the people. Mr. Shelton, in speaking of
the completion of the whole work, said: "It has been conducted in
harmony, with good prudence, strict economy, and a degree of
elegance and taste which does honor to the committee, and adds
respectability to the place."

For nearly forty years the scene of his ministerial labors was
undisturbed, and he dwelt among his people in quietness and
confidence, and had the satisfaction of seeing them attain to a
high degree of worldly prosperity, and St. John's Church in
Bridgeport, especially, to be one of the strongest and most
flourishing in the diocese. The silent influence of a good life
carried him along smoothly, and left its gentle impress wherever
he was known. "A faithful pastor, a guileless and godly man," is a
part of the inscription upon the marble monument erected over his
ashes in the Mountain Grove Cemetery at Bridgeport, a few years
since, by his son William, and these words sum up very appropriately
his ministerial and Christian character.

While he confined himself closely to the duties of his cure, he
shrank not from work put upon him by the diocese, and was for
twenty-four years a member of the standing committee, and a firm
supporter of ecclesiastical authority in seasons of trial and
trouble. He was also several times chosen a deputy to the General
Convention, and never failed to attend its sessions.

There were things that gave him great pain towards the end of his
days, and "put his confidence in the providence of God to a severe
test." He and Mr. Baldwin, so long earnest and friendly workers in
adjoining fields of labor, appear to have reached the same
determination at the same time, and probably they conferred
together before resigning their respective rectorships, which they
both did in 1824. Bishop Brownell, referring to this action in his
address to the annual convention of that year said: "These
clergymen were admitted to their ministry at the first Episcopal
ordination ever held in America, and have served their respective
parishes for more than thirty years. They have labored faithfully
in the Church in this diocese during its darkest periods of
depression, and through the progressive stages of its advancement
they have taken an important part in its councils. They have
'borne the burden and heat of the day,' and are entitled to the
gratitude of all those who enjoy the fruits of their counsels and

Mr. Shelton confined his services after this wholly to the Church
in Fairfield, but he did not long survive the change. He died on
the 27th of February, 1825, and was buried under the chancel of
the old church in Mill Plain, Fairfield, where he had ministered
so many years, including his time as lay-reader, and a marble
tablet was provided by the congregation to mark his resting-place,
on which among other things were inscribed the date of his birth,
graduation, admission to Holy Orders, and the words: "being the
first clergyman episcopally ordained in the United States."

In 1842 the parishioners of Trinity Church, Fairfield, voted to
remove all the public services to the chapel, which had been built
seven years before in the borough of Southport, about a mile and a
half distant from Mill Plain, and to transfer the site, title, and
rights of the parish to that edifice. The old church was
afterwards taken down and parts of it used to build the rectory in
Southport. The memorial tablet was also transferred, but on the
afternoon of March 11, 1854, the Southport Church was accidentally
burnt, and the tablet destroyed. The remains of Mr. Shelton now
have a final resting-place with his sainted wife and two of his
daughters in the cemetery before mentioned. A monumental tablet in
the wall of St. John's Church, Bridgeport, "bears an affectionate
testimony to his Christian worth and ministerial fidelity." Bishop
Brownell, in his address to the Annual Convention of the Diocese,
said of him very truly: "He has faithfully and successfully
labored for almost forty years in the parish from which his Divine
Master has now called him to his rest. He has taken an important
part in the ecclesiastical concerns of the diocese, from the
period of its first organization, and the moderation and prudence
of his counsels have contributed, in no small degree, to the
welfare of the Church. For simplicity of character, amiable
manners, unaffected piety, and a faithful devotion to the duties
of the ministerial office, he has left an example by which all his
surviving brethren may profit, and which few of them can hope to

His widow survived him thirteen years--an intelligent and devout
churchwoman who, as it has been said, "left a name only to be
loved and honored by her friends." Two of his sons entered the
ministry. The younger of them, George Augustus Shelton, a graduate
of Yale College, died in 1863, Rector of St. James's Church,
Newtown, L. I. The other, the late William Shelton, D. D.,
succeeded his father for a time in Fairfield, and then went to
Buffalo, where for more than half a century he was the distinguished
Rector of St. Paul's Church, the oldest parish in that city.
Both died childless, and the name of Shelton has disappeared
from the list of our clergy.

The Bishop then proceeded with the service, being assisted in the
administration by the Rev. Dr. Beardsley and the Rev. Messrs.
Francis Goodwin and S. O. Seymour of Hartford. After the service,
the churchwomen of Middletown entertained the clergy and visitors
at the Berkeley Divinity School.

The following is a list of the clergymen who were present:

The Right Rev. the Bishop; the Rev. Dr. Beardsley of New Haven;
the Rev. Messrs. E. W. Babcock, New Haven; Prof. John Binney,
Middletown; J. W. Bradin, Hartford; Sylvester Clarke, Bridgeport;
Francis Goodwin, Hartford; F. D. Harriman, Middle Haddam; Prof.
Samuel Hart, Hartford; J. W. Hyde, West Hartford; Prof. W. A.
Johnson, Middletown; W. F. Nichols, Hartford; J. L. Parks,
Middletown; Prof. F. T. Russell, Waterbury; B. S. Sanderson,
Wethersfield; S. O. Seymour, Hartford; John Townsend, Middletown;
S. H. Watkins. Bristol; W. W. Webb, Middletown; Charles
Westermann, Middle Haddam; Henry Edwards, Hagerstown, Md.: W. B.
Walker, Augusta, Ga.



OCTOBER 7-8, 1884.

In his address to the Diocesan Convention of 1884, Bishop Williams

"I have received an invitation to be present at Aberdeen,
Scotland, during the first week in October next, and to take part
in the celebration of the centenary of the consecration of our
first Bishop. This invitation I have, after much hesitation,
decided, with your consent, my brethren, to accept. And inasmuch
as the month of August and early September are not very available
for visitations of the parishes, as it is more than forty years
since I was in Great Britain, and as it is very unlikely that I
shall ever visit it again, I have also determined, again with your
consent, to sail for England, if so God wills, on the nineteenth
of July, hoping to be permitted to return hither as soon as the
services of the Commemoration are ended.

"I am to be the bearer of an address to the Episcopate of Scotland
from the House of Bishops in this country; and it would be
peculiarly gratifying to my feelings, as well as most seemly in
itself considered, could I also carry out an Address from our own
Convention. If our whole Church owes a debt of gratitude to the
venerable prelates who laid hands on Seabury, surely this Diocese
has especial cause to acknowledge to their successors the
obligations under which the loving kindness of those prelates has
placed those who have gone before us, ourselves, and those who
shall come after us to the latest generations."

This part of the Bishop's address was referred to a special
committee, on whose recommendation--their report being presented
by their chairman, the Rev. Dr. Harwood--the following resolutions
were unanimously adopted:

_Resolved_, That this Convention has heard with great
satisfaction that the Bishop has received and accepted an
invitation to be present at Aberdeen in October next, to take part
in the centenary commemoration of the Consecration of Bishop
Seabury; and that, in giving its assent to the Bishop's request
for leave of absence, the Convention assures him that the best
wishes and prayers of the Diocese will go with him.

_Resolved_, That the Rev. Dr. E. E. Beardsley, the Rev.
Samuel F. Jarvis, the Rev. Samuel Hart, and the Rev. William F.
Nichols, be and they are hereby commissioned to present to the
Scottish Bishops an Address in the name of this Convention; and
that the Secretary be instructed to furnish them with a
certificate of their appointment.

_Resolved_, That this Committee have permission to sit after
the adjournment of this Convention, to prepare the Address.

At a meeting held after the adjournment of the Convention, the
Rev. Dr. Beardsley being called to the chair, it was resolved, on
motion of the Rev. J. J. McCook, to take measures for procuring a
suitable memorial of the gratitude of the Diocese of Connecticut
to be presented to the Church in Scotland at the approaching
centenary commemoration; and to that end the chairman appointed as
a Committee, with power, the Rev. Messrs. John Townsend, John J.
McCook, and William F. Nichols. The Committee determined that the
memorial should take the form of a Paten and Chalice, and
subscriptions for the same in small amounts were solicited and
received from clergymen and lay persons throughout the Diocese.

THE Bishop of Connecticut and the four Presbyters appointed by the
Convention attended the commemorative service at St. Andrew's
Church, Aberdeen, on the seventh day of October. [Footnote: The
Rev. Howard S. Clapp and the Rev. Gouverneur M. Wilkins were also
present from Connecticut.

Duplicate copies of the special minutes of the Episcopal Synod
recording the proceedings at the Centenary in Aberdeen and of the
official record of the meeting of the Synod on the eighth of
October, have been forwarded to the Bishop of Connecticut for
preservation in the Archives of the Diocese. They are authenticated
by the signatures of five of the Scottish Bishops and attested
by Hugh James Rollo, Esq., W. S., Registrar to the Primus
 and Assistant Lay-Clerk to the College of Bishops.] The
Holy Communion was celebrated according to the Scottish rite; and,
in the presence of a large congregation, including Bishops of the
Scottish, English, Irish, American, and Colonial Churches, about
two hundred clergymen, and a large body of the faithful laity,
Bishop Williams preached the following sermon:

ISAIAH 1x. 5.--"Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine
heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the
sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall
come unto thee."

The stirring prophecy which contains these words presents to us,
as does many another prophecy, the Divine ideal of the Church of
God. It shows us what that Church would be, even here in "the
progress of time, while, living by faith, she sojourns" in a world
lying in wickedness, had not man's folly and sin marred that
Divine ideal. It points us forward to the day when "in the
stability of that eternal seat which--now she patiently awaits,
she shall attain the final victory and the perfect peace."
[Footnote: St. Augustine, _De Civitate Dei._, Lib. i., Preface.]

The entire prophecy, as it runs through the several chapters from
the first of which the text is taken, finds its two horizons, so
to speak, in the First and Second Advents of our Lord. Its theme
is the period that lies between them. That period it describes as
one long year of Jubilee, the period of the new creation
redressing the confusions and desolations of the older one, in the
power and abiding presence of the same Holy Spirit That once moved
"upon the face of the waters," and is now, "by the washing of
regeneration" and in His own renewing life, "shed on us abundantly
through Jesus Christ our Saviour." As the story of that older
creation began with the fiat "Let there be light," so the prophecy
of this new one begins with the words, "Arise, shine, for thy
light is come." As that creation found its consummation in the
Paradise wherein grew "every tree pleasant to the sight and good
for food," and in which unfallen man was placed, so this finds its
consummation in the new Paradise "in the midst" of which stands
the tree of life whose "leaves are for the healing of the
nations"; the dwellers in which are "trees of righteousness, the
planting of the Lord"; while itself is called "sought out, a city
not forsaken."

So much for the whole prophecy; and time forbids me to say more,
if indeed more were needed. Let us turn to that integral portion
which the text contains; and I venture, for the moment, to reverse
the order of its wording and to speak of its last clause first.

"The abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces
of the Gentiles shall come unto thee." Growth is the normal law of
the Church's life. It may not always and at any given time be
growth in numbers, though, if other growth be not lacking, that is
sure to come. But growth there must be; growth "in grace and in
the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ"; growth "into
Him in all things Which is the Head, even Christ"; growth upon and
in "the chief Corner-stone, in Whom all the building fitly framed
together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord." And such growth
does--it must--lead on directly to the gathering in of souls into
the Lord's kingdom; it must arouse that which we call the
missionary spirit in the Church, which was illustrated, as never
before nor since, in the life and example of Him Who came "to seek
and to save that which was lost"; which was inculcated by Him when
He bade the Twelve to "disciple all nations"; which was the burden
of the last words, "unto the uttermost part of the earth," that
fell on the ears of the adoring Apostles as He entered into the
bright cloud of the Ascension; and to which the miracle of
Pentecost had such direct and solemn reference. [Footnote: Baton's
Bampton Lectures, 1872, p. 363.]

When this normal law becomes a living conviction in the minds and
hearts of the Church's members, and, therefore, in the mind and
heart of the Church herself, then those two things follow which
the first part of my text (though, indeed, it is the illation from
the latter portion) brings before us, when it says that because of
the conversion of "the abundance of the sea," and because of the
incoming of "the Gentiles," "thou shalt see, and flow together,
and thine heart shall fear and be enlarged."

First, "thou shalt see, and flow together"; or, as it might better
read, "thou shalt see and be enlightened." As the mind takes in
those latest words of the Lord, "unto the uttermost part of the
earth," as the eye beholds the Church spreading outward from its
one centre in Jerusalem, "the vision and the faculty divine," if
not created, are at least sharpened and strengthened. We learn how
God "hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in
heavenly places in Christ Jesus; that in the ages to come He might
show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us
through Christ Jesus." We understand, as never before, "what is
the fellowship of the mystery which from the beginning of

[Footnote: Eaton's _Bampton Lectures_ 1872, p. 363] the world
hath been hid in God, Who created all things by Jesus Christ."

So it fared with St. Peter, after that vision of the great sheet
coming down from heaven had fully opened to him the universality
of the Church of God. Then his "delusive dream of temporal
deliverance became a real assurance of eternal redemption." Then
his "narrow estimate of the Divine Covenant with his own nation
expanded, under the guidance of the Holy Ghost, into the sublime
conception of the 'Israel of God.'" [Footnote: Lee _On Inspiration_,
p. 249 (American edition).]

"Thine heart shall fear and be enlarged." The fear surely is not
that of shivering dread or slavish terror. But it is that subduing
awe which always accompanies great joyfulness, and enters into it
in such a mysterious and perplexing way; even as God says, by
Jeremiah, that when all the nations of the earth shall hear of the
good which He will do unto Israel, "they shall fear and tremble
for all the goodness and all the prosperity that I procure unto
it." So when Jacob, awaking from the sleep in which he learned of
the new Covenant with God through the Incarnation of Christ,
exclaimed: "How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the
House of God, and this is the gate of Heaven!" And then, as the
unbounded love and mercy of the Father of all spirits comes to be
understood, the heart is in very deed "enlarged," as St. Paul's
heart was toward his Corinthian children; and it goes along, in
loving, active sympathy with the great purpose of God, "that in
the dispensation of the fulness of times, He might gather together
in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which
are on earth, even in Him."

Thus as the "Vision of peace, the blessed city Jerusalem" has
dawned upon our sight; as we have watched, its ever-spreading
walls and rising towers; as we have seen it builded up with living
stones, which are human souls redeemed and sanctified; we have
entered with a keener insight into, we have come to comprehend
more truly and more fully, "the length and breadth and depth and
height" of that "manifold wisdom of God" which is made "known by
the Church" even to "the principalities and powers in heavenly
places"; and our hearts have kindled into that constraining love
of Christ, in which we rejoice, with joy unspeakable, to work
together with Him in bringing men to the knowledge of the one way
of salvation, while, in the same deep love, we also endeavor to
"keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

Fathers and brethren, honored and beloved in the Lord! as I stand
here, this day, with a full heart but with trembling lips, the
unworthy successor of him who, in this city of old renown,
received a century ago the sacred deposit which he bore to the
Western world; as I look on this truly august gathering which
tells, as no words can tell, how God has blessed the vine planted
in early, possibly in Apostolic, days in "Britain divided from the
world," enabling her "to stretch out her branches unto the sea,
and her boughs unto the river"; as I think of all that has come
and gone in those hundred years in the marvellous growth and the
awakened inner life, acting and reacting on each other, of the
mother and the daughter Churches--for we all spring from one and
the same noble stock--I can find no better words in which to sum
up memories, thoughts, forecastings, than those which I have
endeavored somewhat to unfold: "Then thou shalt see, and be
enlightened, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because
the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces
of the Gentiles shall come unto thee."

And yet, one cannot but remember how far beyond all possible
anticipations of those brave hearts that once made such a venture
for Christ and His Church, are the things which our eyes look
upon, and which are a part of our everyday life and experience.

When those ten presbyters, whose priesthood had not been gained
without trials and perils which only the deepest convictions could
have nerved them to bear, met in that secluded unknown New England
town, on the Festival of the Annunciation, in 1783, and laid the
burden of seeking for the Episcopate on Seabury, what could they
have seen about them but the disorganized elements of an
apparently decaying life? When, on the 14th of November, 1784, in
that upper room in this good city, those venerable prelates (whose
names are to-day household words through all the length and
breadth of what has been called "The Greater Britain of the
Western World") handed on the high commission they had received in
trust, what could their eyes have looked upon but scattered flocks
under their few shepherds, which must meet, if they met at all, in
uncertainty and peril, to worship God as their fathers had
worshipped before them? Still, if they saw little around them to
encourage and support, theirs (we may well believe) was the eye of
faith that is strengthened to pierce the future. If they heard few
words of cheer from men, there came upon their ears, from a
Greater than man, words of strong hope and glorious promise. In
that Transatlantic gathering, small and unnoticed as it was, the
ten who came together heard, in the Gospel of the Annunciation,
that "with God nothing is impossible," and in the song of the
Blessed Virgin they were bidden to bethink themselves how "God
remembered His mercy and truth toward the House of Israel,"
exalting "the humble and meek," filling "the hungry with good
things," and helping "His servant Israel." Here in Aberdeen, on
that memorable day of November, they said in the morning Psalter:
"O what great troubles and adversities hast Thou showed me! and
yet didst Thou turn and refresh me; yea, and broughtest me from
the deep of the earth again"; and then, as the strain of praise
swelled higher, higher still, while the vision of the City of God
in all its grandeur broke on the eye of faith, there came the
inspiring words--how their hearts must have thrilled as they
uttered them!--"He shall deliver the poor when he crieth, the
needy also, and him that hath no helper... He shall be favourable
to the simple and needy, and shall preserve the souls of the
poor.... There shall be an heap of corn in the earth, high upon
the hills; his fruit shall shake like Libanus, and shall be green
in the city like grass upon the earth."

Words like these carry with them unwonted power on occasions like
those of which I have been speaking. To us they come like special
prophecies of what we look on as a century now closing. To those
others they came freighted with hope for an indefinite and unknown
future. And what an inspiration they must have given to the
venture they were making; a venture so entirely one of faith, that
it is not too much to say of those who made it that they take
their places in that long line of faithful ones, mentioned with
such distinguished honor in the Epistle to the Hebrews, who,
though they only saw "the promises afar off," still "were
persuaded of them and embraced them," and therefore "obtained a
good report." Can we imagine, dear brethren, a more striking
illustration of the different aspect which things wear to the eye
of sense on the one hand, and the eye of faith on the other, than
that which the election and consecration of the first bishop for
America present to us? All honor, then, to those brave hearts that
accomplished them! Men may have counted "their lives madness and
their end to be without honor." We know, blessed be the God of all
grace and power! that they are "numbered among the children of
God, and their lot is among the saints."

The temptation is strong to linger on the simple but impressive
scene of the consecration: to try to picture that secluded oratory
in the house of the Coadjutor-Bishop of this faithful diocese; to
endeavor to bring back the congregation gathered in it, and the
ministering prelates; to recall the form of the youthful priest
who held the book from which the awful words of ordination were
recited, Alexander Jolly, afterwards the sainted Bishop of Moray;
to speak of this ancient city of Aberdeen, associated for all time
in the memories of Churchmen with the names of John Forbes of
Corse and Henry Scougal and the remembrance of its orthodox and
learned doctors; but time forbids more than this briefest mention.

We behold--and it is a sight to stir the heart with "thoughts too
deep for words"--we behold a suffering and a witnessing Church, in
the depth of a long and wasting depression, reaching out the hand
of love to a Church suffering and witnessing also, and trembling,
to human seeming, on the verge of utter extinction. Perhaps--is it
too much to say it?--it was because of this patient suffering and
faithful witness that God gave to this Church the distinguished
privilege of sending its first Apostle to the new world beyond the
ocean. I cannot refrain from quoting here the admirable words of
one of your own Scottish bishops. Speaking of the act which we
commemorate, he says: "Mark, my brethren, how for the accomplishment
of this work--according to the full measure of the gifts
of the Spirit and of Apostolic order--it pleased God, as at
the first, to choose the weak things of the world, and things that
were despised, yea, and things which in the eye of man had ceased
to be. To our Scottish Church with its hierarchy, which had
formerly consisted of two Archbishops and twelve Bishops, then
reduced to four; with its pastoral charge, which had once
comprehended the care of every parish in the land, then shrunk to
little mere than a score or two of scattered congregations--yea,
and at the very time when an act of the civil legislature had
declared all ecclesiastical orders conferred by her to be null and
void; at such a time, to the poor persecuted remnant of the Church
in Scotland was this grace given, that she should impart to the
United States, now no longer dependent upon England, the first
seed of the Episcopate which England had withheld. Yes, the first
bishop who set foot on the continent of North America, the first
bishop who went forth to a foreign land bearing the full blessings
of our reformed Church, was consecrated to his Apostolic office,
not amid the solemn pomp and august ceremonial of an English
minister, no, nor in the privacy of an episcopal palace, but in
the obscurity of an upper chamber in a common dwelling-house in
Aberdeen." [Footnote: Bishop of St. Andrews; _Mending of the
Nets,_ p.17 (ed. 1884).] If, as has sometimes been generously
said, this noble act of faith and charity has afforded a new and
signal illustration of our Lord's own words, "It is more blessed
to give than to receive," that does not make the act a whit less
noble, nor diminish by one jot the obligation of undying gratitude
on the part of those who received the gift it gave.

If we look at its immediate results, besides what has just been
named, it assuredly gave an impulse to that action of the State in
England, in consequence of which, within five years, three bishops
of the English line were given to as many dioceses in the United
States. It was the means, also, of joining in the American
Episcopate the Scottish and the English lines of succession in a
union that will endure while the world shall last. For though the
prelate consecrated here ministered in only one consecration of a
bishop after his return--that of the first Bishop of Maryland--
yet, since that day, there has not been (and there can never be in
time to come) a bishop in our American Episcopate, who, as he
traces back his lineage through the network--for I surely need not
say, here and now, that the succession is a network and not a
chain of single links--will not find in it the name of that Bishop
of Maryland, by whom he is connected with Seabury, and then, by
him, with "the Catholic remainder of the Church of Scotland." Nor
need one ask, nor could he have, if he did ask it, a nobler
spiritual lineage than he has received in that double succession,
which indeed becomes single again if we go back for a little more
than another century.

Then, again, this deed of Christian charity did, no doubt, bring
out from its obscurity into the light of day, the witnessing
remnant of the ancient Church of Scotland, and was, perhaps, the
first step towards the removal of those civil disabilities which
had pressed her into the dust. How must the iron of suffering have
entered into the soul of many a faithful priest in those dark days
of trial, when, we are told, the clergy had given up the hope that
any successors would come after them, and on the monument of one
of them were written the despairing words, "Ultime Scotorum!"
[Footnote: Epitaph by the Rev. J. Skinner on the tombstone
of the Rev. Mr. Keith, Presbyter at Cruden: "Ultime Scotorum
in Crudenanis, Keithe, Sacerdos."]

How strangely similar were the conditions of those who sought the
Episcopate and those who courageously gave it in those days of
doubt and darkness! How fitting it seems that, in the ordering of
God's providence, one suffering Church, stripped of its worldly
honors and its earthly wealth, should give to another, "scattered
and peeled" and apparently on the verge of extinction, that
deposit which it had maintained in the face of dangers that might
well seem worse than death itself! They who have lived together
under the shadows and in the sharing of life's tragedies and woes,
know full well that there is no bond of union half so strong as
the bond of common suffering; know full well that they whose
hearts have touched each other only in hours of joy and gladness,
can never be so bound together as those who have wept beside beds
of death, or clasped each other's hands over open graves. Why
should it not so be with bodies of men as with individuals? Above
all, why should it not so be with sister Churches, bound together
in the highest of all bonds? Was it not so here a century ago?
When the kindly hand was outstretched here to help, when the
loving word, carrying the very life of love, went across the ocean
to those who were indeed "minished and brought low," was not the
channel of Christian sympathy deepened, was not its flow made
fuller and more strong by the conditions of which I have just
spoken? And if it has pleased God, in His great mercy, to send
brighter days, greater peace, better hopes to each of us, shall
not the bond, once welded by suffering, still keep its strength?
God grant it may! God grant that, till the Lord shall come to give
His universal Church its final triumph, these Churches, so
marvellously united, "may stand fast in one spirit, with one mind
striving together for the Faith of the Gospel, and in nothing
terrified by adversaries."

It would be more than ungrateful, it would be inexcusable, to omit
here the recognition of the agency by which, under God, it came to
pass that there were in what had been the colonies of Great
Britain, and were now independent States, those who sought the
Episcopate as essential to the full organization of an autonomous
Church. That agency is found in the Venerable Society for the
Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts--a society to which
American Churchmen must always look with undying gratitude, for to
its noble labors they largely owe all that they were when Seabury
was sent upon his mission of faith, and much of what they enjoy

It was no fault of that Society that there was not, in America, an
Episcopate before the war of the Revolution. Had the godly
counsels and the strong appeals of the bishops, clergy, and
faithful laity who shared in its plans and operations, been
listened to, American Churchmen would have had no need to seek the
Apostolic office outside the limits of their own country. This is
not the time nor is this the place to consider, in detail, the
reasons--if reasons in any proper sense of the word there were--
why the Episcopate, so strongly desired, had not been given. But
it is worthy of notice that where the labors of the Society had
been the most abundant and its missionaries most numerous, there
the need of the Episcopate was most deeply felt and the call for
it was loudest. Indeed, the only two colonies from which any
opposition to sending bishops to America before the Revolution
came, were Maryland and Virginia; and to those colonies, because
in them the maintenance of the clergy was otherwise provided for,
the Society sent few, if any, missionaries.

No part of all the Western world received more of the Society's
fostering aid than the New England colonies; and to none of them
was more help extended than to the colony of Connecticut. From the
day when the foundations of the Church were laid in that colony on
to the outbreak of the Revolution, the benefactions that came from
England were abundant and unceasing. With possibly a single
exception, all the clergy in the colony were missionaries of the
Society. They were also sons of the soil, who, because of
convictions too strong to be resisted, went back to the Church
from which their fathers had gone out, and in doing so incurred
odium and reproach, scorn and contempt, the loss of much that
gives earthly comfort and rejoicing, and sometimes the sundering
of ties that seemed to be a part of life itself. They were taught,
too, by the bitter experience of half a century, the difficulties
and dangers attendant on a voyage to England to obtain Holy
Orders; difficulties and dangers then so great that one in every
five of all sent out for ordination perished by sickness or by
shipwreck, and saw his native land no more. Theirs may be
inglorious confessorships, unknown to or forgotten by men, but
confessorships they are, and we cannot doubt that they find their
place in the Book of God's remembrance.

It can cause no wonder that men thus trained and tried should,
when the severance of the mother country and its colonies was
complete, have turned their first thoughts to the means of
perpetuating that stewardship "of the mysteries of God," which
they had so hardly won; that they should have held that to be the
first step, and refused to take another till they had taken that.
For, indeed, if the Church is to be rightly perpetuated under the
conditions of a normal growth, it can only be perpetuated
according to the original and organic law of its existence. When
He to Whom in His resurrection "all power was given in heaven and
in earth," committed to the Apostolic Ministry the tradition of
the Apostolic Doctrine, in that great baptismal formula which is
alike the source and summary of the Catholic Faith, He joined two
things together that man may never put asunder. He may try the
separation if he will--he has tried it, alas! more than once--but
the end, the inevitable end, has always been the loss of the
Apostolic Doctrine.

Then, on the other hand, the gift of the Apostolic Ministry
without the most wisely guarded guarantees that there shall be a
steadfast continuance in the "doctrine of the Apostles, and in the
breaking of bread, and the prayers," is a gift of more than
doubtful value. Men seem to think to-day, that they can leave out
what parts they please from the original and divine organism of
the Church, and still work the rest at will. The attempt, believe
me, is just as futile as it would be to undertake to deal in like
fashion with one of those huge machines that work, all about us,
with such life-like power, and attempt to make it do its work,
when some portion of its complex mechanism had been removed. We
cannot be too thankful for the merciful guiding that kept our
fathers, a hundred years ago, from so fatal a mistake as that. For
here, as well as in England, guarantees were demanded and given,
so far as it was possible to give them, before the succession was

I turn to that venerable document known to us as the Concordate,
one copy of which is preserved in the Episcopal archives here in
Scotland, and its duplicate in America, and I read words which it
is well to remember to-day: words which speak of the due
maintenance "of the analogy of the common Faith once given to the
Saints, and happily preserved in the Church of Christ"; which
declare, in terms of unmistakable clearness, "that the spiritual
authority and jurisdiction" of Christ's ministers "cannot be
affected by any lay deprivation"; which provide, so far as
provision could be made, for the full communion with the Church in
Scotland of the newly consecrated bishop, his successors, and his
diocese, a communion which, as this day's service so solemnly
attests, has come to embrace not that single diocese alone, but
the entire Church in the United States; words, finally, which
pledge the bishop then sent forth, to endeavor, "by gentle methods
of argument and persuasion," to bring about a substantial
agreement between the two Churches, in "the Celebration of the
Holy Eucharist--the principal bond of union among Christians, as
well as the most solemn act of worship in the Christian Church."
How that pledge was, under the manifest and wonderful leadings of
God's providence, fulfilled, not for one diocese, but for a
national Church, our American Book of Common Prayer declares and
will declare in all coming time.

I have spoken, fathers and brethren, of the past, for to it our
thoughts naturally and chiefly direct themselves to-day. Its grand
venture of faith, the brave hearts that made it, the generous
givers of the precious gift, the undaunted receiver of the gift
who bore it across the ocean--for all he knew, to stormier seas
than the Atlantic's billows--these fill up the foreground of the
picture on which our eyes are resting. As I turn from it, and from
the figures of those venerable prelates who stand foremost in it,
I remember (and I repeat, speaking for generations that have
passed away and for generations that are to come) the words that
were sent to them from hearts that burned with grateful love:
"Wherever the American Episcopal Church shall be mentioned in the
world, may this good deed which they have done for us be spoken of
for a memorial of them!"

If, however, there is a past for which the deepest thankfulness is
due, there is also a present which we may not forget, for in it
our thankfulness, if it is real, must culminate. What a change has
a century wrought for us! How unlike is 1884 to 1784! I do not
much believe, my brethren, in numbering the people. I am sure that
any boastful or vain-glorious numbering is but an evil thing. But
surely when "a little one" has "become a thousand, and a small one
a strong nation," we may gratefully recognize the merciful
guidance and blessing of the Lord, Who has "hastened it in his
time." In 1784, we see one single bishop of our communion, and one
only, outside the realm of Great Britain and Ireland; and him with
an unformed diocese and a future on which rested more clouds than
sunshine. In 1884 time would fail him who should undertake to read
the roll of regions occupied and churches organized. An American
statesman once said, in words that have been often quoted, that
England's drum-beat never ceased as it passed around the world. We
can say that our English Te Deum, with its "Day by day we magnify
Thee," rolls round the world as well, in unceasing and ever-
increasing volume.

Of the vast regions to which that solitary bishop went in 1785,
there is no part or portion which is not now an organized diocese
or a missionary jurisdiction, and the increase has been thirty,
sixty, yea, an hundred-fold. Here the things that seemed ready to
die have been so strengthened by Him "without Whom nothing is
strong," that a bright and blessed present points to an even
brighter and more blessed future; while, if we look to that great
Church from which our successions ultimately come, we find her
outgoings and advances limited only by the limits of the world
itself. In the name of her Lord and King she has indeed taken "the
heathen for His inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for
His possession."

Shall we dare from such a past and such a present to look forward
through the years of a coming century? Those years are in the hand
of God, and what they may bring to us it is not for us to know,
nor need we ask. But we do know this, and it is enough for us to
know, that if these Churches, holding fast "the form of sound
words," and "holding forth the word of life," shall rise to the
full measure of their opportunities and duty, in sole reliance on
the power of Him Who died and yet liveth for evermore; in services
of holy worship; in the proclamation of the remission of sins in
Jesus Christ; in the tradition of His holy sacraments; in
faithful, loving ministries to the bodies and the souls of men; if
they shall so strive, then they shall have a work given them to do
in the latter days, before the view of which the heart dies down
in awe, and the voice is hushed in unutterable thankfulness.

     "Visions of glory, spare my aching sight;
      Ye unborn ages, crowd not on my soul!"

One word remains to be uttered here--the word of love and
gratitude to this venerated Scottish Church, from the far-off
Western world:

"O pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper that love
thee. Peace be within thy walls, and plenteousness within thy
palaces! For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will wish thee
prosperity! Yea, because of the house of the Lord our God, I will
seek to do thee good!"

     *       *       *       *       *

A reception banquet was held on the afternoon of the same day, at
which Bishop Williams replied to the toast of "The Church in

On the eighth day of October, a large congregation being assembled
in St. Andrew's Church for the opening service of the Synod of the
Bishops of the Scottish Church, at the close of the processional
hymn, the Rev. William F. Nichols presented to the Bishop of
Aberdeen the memorial Paten and Chalice, the latter bearing this
inscription: [Footnote: The Chalice stands eleven inches high, and
is of massive silver. The base is broad and heavily moulded. From
above the base mouldings spring eight arched panels. The front one
contains a crucifix, the cross and the figure of our Lord being in
full relief. In the panel to the left are the arms of the See of
Connecticut, resting on branches of oak. In the one to the right
are the arms of the Bishop of Aberdeen, encircled by branches of
the thistle. In the panel opposite that containing the crucifix
are the emblems of St. Peter and St. Paul. The remaining four
panels are filled with the emblems of the four Evangelists. From
this part of the base rises a richly moulded plinth, supporting
the lower shaft, which is worked in diaper tracery. The knop of
the shaft is encircled with eight elaborately wrought bosses,
ornamented with garnets and sapphires in gold settings. Above the
knop the shaft has simpler treatment, being worked with
quatrefoils in square panels, all in relief. From this rises the
bowl of the chalice, which shows solid gilt, enriched with an
outer cup of delicately chased silver work, divided into eight
sections, to correspond with those of the stem and of the foot.
The section above the crucifix shows the Alpha and Omega, entwined
by passion-flowers. The next one to the left contains the IHS,
entwined with the grape-vine. The next one to the right contains
the X P, with sheaves of wheat. Beginning with the panel next to
the right of this, the several ones are filled as follows:--the
Greek cross with the thistle; next, the pelican with the rose of
Sharon; next, the emblem of the Holy Trinity with the clover-leaf;
next, the emblem of the Holy Ghost with olive branches; next, the
crown of glory with palm branches. The Paten is enriched with a
golden medallion on the rim, in the form of a vesica, which shows
the _Agnus Dei_, executed in colored enamel.]

            A.D. 1784--A.D.1884
           _Think upon them, our God, for good,
        according to all that they have done for this people._

In making the presentation, Mr. Nichols spoke as follows:

My Lord Bishop: It has been delegated to me by some of the clergy
and laity of the Diocese of Connecticut--not only those with whom
it has been my privilege to share in the events of these ever-to-
be-remembered days, but by many whose hearts are following us in
all these services--to place in your hands this Chalice and Paten,
and to read the explanatory address. By the happy foresight which
has characterized the preparations for the centenary celebration,
there is placed on the wall of this holy place a copy of that
Concordate in which the three Bishops of your Scottish Church and
the first Bishop of our American Church plighted their troth. It
was indeed a "great mystery"; it spoke concerning Christ and His
Church. As I sat in this chancel on Sunday last, by one of those
coincidences which I believe may occur for the eye of thankful
faith as well as for the eye of sentiment, the sunlight which
bathed your beautiful city with its warmth, so shone its colors
through that south chancel window that at the beginning of the
service they fell athwart the Concordate hanging on the opposite
wall. Then, beginning at that, as the service went on, and as the
sun circled its daily course, when the time came for the
Consecration-prayer, the light fell upon the sacred vessels of the
altar. So the sunlight took its way from the Concordate which the
exigencies and circumstances of that far-off time demanded, to the
symbols of that perpetual concordate which exists in the one body
of Christ--between the Head and the members, between the living
members of that Body, between the living members and the members
of that Body in Paradise. I could not but think that the brief
course of the sunlight here might stand for the dial of the
century gone. Exigencies and circumstances that are special,
require special concordates. Both Churches then had them, and they
framed that agreement. The century has led us around from those
exigencies and circumstances to a condition of prosperity, in
which the only thought need be of the supreme concordate in the
Communion of the most precious Body and Blood of our Lord and
Saviour Jesus Christ. May this Chalice and Paten, the symbols of
the renewed troth of the Churches, be the symbols of all
prosperity for both, as in the Master's work they enjoy "the unity
of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

Mr. Nichols then read the formal letter of presentation, as


_To the Bishop of Aberdeen, representing the Church of

The Diocese of Connecticut has formally expressed, through its
official representatives, its appreciation of the courageous and
intelligent action of your predecessors one hundred years ago. But
it has seemed to a few of the clergy and laity, who are confident
that they represent herein the general feeling of our people, that
a further memorial may be fittingly presented; and we beg you to
accept, to keep, and to transmit to your successors, this Chalice
and Paten, as a token of our gratitude to you and to God for the
two great benefits which through you, in His providence, have come
to us. Those benefits are the Episcopate and the Eucharistic
Office--the former, to use the very words of your own Bishop
Kilgour, "free, valid, and purely ecclesiastical;" the latter
embodying features which are at once an expression and an earnest
of those "catholic and primitive principles," both doctrinal and
liturgical, for which the Church of Scotland has long been
distinguished, and to which she has pledged the Church in

The gift which we offer, right reverend Sir, is great only in what
it thus symbolizes and the uses to which it is consecrated. In
these vessels the memorial before God will be presented, and from
them the sacrament of life and unity will be dispensed. May that
memorial be graciously received whensoever, by whomsoever, and for
whatsoever offered. May that sacrament of unity bind together in
one, us the children, with them the fathers who kept that which
was entrusted to them, committing it only to faithful men, and
who, having departed this life with the seal of faith, do now rest
in peace.

And may the Lord accept the sacrifices and intercessions of His
people everywhere, and speedily accomplish the number of His
elect, that we, the living, together with them, the departed, may
be made perfect in His glorious and everlasting kingdom.

Faithfully and affectionately yours, in our Lord Jesus Christ, and
in the unity of His Church,

      JOHN J. McCOOK,
      WM. F. NICHOLS, _Committee._

     E. E. BEARDSLEY, _Chairman of the Meeting._

The Bishop of Aberdeen, in reply, said:

Right reverend father in God, my reverend brethren, and the whole
Church in the Diocese of Connecticut, elect of God and precious,
we receive these sacred vessels at your hands with such feelings
of gratitude and thankfulness, both toward God who hath put this
into your hearts, and toward yourselves, beloved in the Lord, as
no utterance of our lips can ever express. In this beautiful
Chalice and Paten, so graciously bestowed on us, we recognize,
venerable father and dear brethren of the Church in Connecticut,
the expression both of your faith toward God and of your love
toward us. In this gift we behold the visible evidence of your
faith in the promise of God that endureth from generation to
generation: "When I see the blood I will pass over you," and your
trust in the assurance of His Holy Word: "The cup of blessing
which we bless, is it not the communion of the Blood of Christ?"
And here, too, is the evidence of your love toward us, in that ye
long that we should be "partakers with you in the One Bread and
One Body; for we are all partakers of that One Bread." As we use
these sacred gifts in our highest act of worship and nearest
approach to God, we shall ever rejoice in the consciousness of
your love toward us in the communion of saints, and that you share
with us in the precious heritage of the great liturgy bequeathed
to us by our fathers in the faith. Venerable father and dear
brethren, these days of praise and thanksgiving to God and
communion one with another, will assuredly leave their impression
on the Church in America and Scotland for all eternity. Our
Eucharistic worship to-day is surely blended with the same worship
offered a hundred years ago by our fathers in God and your saintly
predecessor in that humble upper chamber. May we who have knelt
to-day in the unseen presence of our Divine Lord and Master, unite
with them and with one another in the adoration of the unclouded
glory of His visible presence for all eternity.

The Bishop of Aberdeen then proceeded with the Communion-service
according to the English rite, being assisted by the Bishop of
Edinburgh and the Bishop of Glasgow. The Paten and Chalice just
presented were used in the consecration and administration of the
sacred elements.

Divine Service being ended and the Synod having been duly
constituted, after the Bishop of Connecticut had presented to the
Synod an address from the Bishops of the American Church and a
reply had been made by the Bishop of St. Andrews, presiding in the
Synod, the Connecticut delegation presented the address from the
Convention of their diocese, engrossed upon parchment, which was
read by the Rev. Dr. Beardsley, as follows:


_Right Reverend Fathers:_

The Bishop, Clergy, and Laity of the Diocese of Connecticut, in
Convention assembled, send to you, by the hands of faithful
brethren, these presents, in glad remembrance that your
predecessors in office were moved, a hundred years ago, to raise
and consecrate to the Order of Bishops the Reverend Samuel
Seabury, Doctor in Divinity. We do honor to their fidelity to the
Church of Christ and to the purity of their motives when they
declared that they had "no other object in view but the interest
of the Mediator's Kingdom, no higher ambition than to do their
duty as messengers of the Prince of Peace." By their act we
received "the blessings of a free, valid, and purely ecclesiastical
Episcopacy," and our hitherto "inorganized Church" became
duly equipped for the work it has since done and the witness
it has borne.

The language of the clergy of Connecticut, when they acknowledged
on the sixteenth day of September, Anno Domini 1785, with "the
warmest sentiments of gratitude and esteem," the pastoral letter
addressed to them as a sequel to the consecration of their Bishop
and the Concordate, may well be called to mind once more: "Greatly
are we indebted to the venerable fathers for their kind and
Christian interposition, and we heartily thank God that He did, of
His mercy, put it into their hearts to consider and relieve our
necessity. Our utmost exertions shall be joined with those of our
Bishop to preserve the unity of faith, doctrine, discipline, and
uniformity of worship with the Church from which we derived our
Episcopacy, and with which it will be our praise and happiness to
keep up the most intimate intercourse and communion."

At that time the Catholic remainder of the ancient Church of
Scotland and the Church in this new world were in the dust. The
one was suffering from public disabilities, and the other lay
prostrate from the effects of war; its churches were dismantled,
its congregations scattered, and but a remnant of its clergy and
people could be found to build up again the broken walls. To-day
all things wear a new look. You are working with better and
brighter hopes than your predecessors could possibly have; and we
can assure you that the expectations of our honored forefathers in
the faith have been wonderfully fulfilled, so that the Church in
Connecticut has become "a fair and fruitful branch of the Church
universal." Our clergy have increased tenfold, and our parishes
have acquired both strength and public influence, and we stand to-
day upon the old foundations and perpetuate the love of our early
clergy and people for primitive truth and Apostolic order. The
generations after us will never forget the debt of gratitude due
to the Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church for their helping
hands in the day of our weakness and need; the bond of Christian
fellowship sealed in the Concordate by your predecessors and our
first Bishop will continue to be recognized and cherished, as it
has been by our fathers.

Invoking the Divine blessing upon the Scottish Episcopal Church,
and asking your prayers and benediction, we are, right reverend
fathers, your dutiful servants in Christ Jesus.

In behalf of the Bishop, Clergy, and Laity of the Diocese of

EDWIN HARWOOD, D. D., Rector of Trinity Church, New Haven;

SAMUEL FERMOR JARVIS, M. A., Rector of Trinity Church, Brooklyn;

SAMUEL HART, M. A., Presbyter and Professor in Trinity College,

WILLIAM T. MINOR, LL.D., Lay Delegate, St. John's Parish,

JOHN C. HOLLISTER, M. A., Lay Delegate, St. Paul's Parish, New

Dated at New London, June 10th, A. D. 1884.

The Bishop of St. Andrews read the following reply of the Synod to
the address from the Diocese of Connecticut:

_To the Right Reverend John Williams, D.D., LL.D., Bishop of
Connecticut, the Reverend the Clergy, and the faithful Laity of
the Diocese, from the Bishops of the Episcopal Church in Scotland
in Synod assembled: Love and greeting in the Lord Jesus

To receive any representatives of the American Church to-day and
to accord them a hearty welcome must be a cause of sincere
satisfaction to us; but in greeting you, dear brother, whom God
has set over Seabury's own diocese of Connecticut, and those who
accompany you as representing your flock, we experience a peculiar
pleasure. For giving us the happiness of seeing you here to-day we
thank you sincerely, and we thank the faithful of your diocese for
providing that their Bishop, in now visiting the scene of his
heroic predecessor's consecration, should not be unattended by
some of their own number, whose presence should be expressive of
the interest which they themselves feel in the event which we are
commemorating, and also (as we are glad to believe) of their love
towards the Church which gave them their first bishop.

"Connecticut," said the saintly Bishop Alexander Jolly in his
letter to the Bishop of Maryland in 1816, "has been a word of
peculiar endearment to me since the happy day when I had the
honour and joy of being introduced to the first ever-memorable
bishop of that highly favored see, whose name ever excites in my
heart the warmest veneration."

The Scottish Church, dear brother, finds in these words a true
expression of her own feelings--feelings which the visit which we
have "the honour and joy" of receiving to-day from so worthy a
successor of Connecticut's first bishop, will serve to intensify
for the future. You will the more readily therefore believe,
brother, that the words of gratitude towards our Church, which, in
your own name and in the name of your diocese, have just been
spoken, must be in the highest degree gratifying to us.

We cordially unite with you in your expressions of thankfulness to
Almighty God for the work which he has vouchsafed to carry out
through the agency of those branches of His Church which you and
we respectively represent.

We rejoice to hear of the vigorous life which the Church in your
diocese has manifested in the remarkable growth which the past
century has seen it make. We pray that it may continue to receive
God's blessing in rich abundance, and bring forth much fruit to
His glory.

We have a lively sense at the same time of our Lord's great mercy
to ourselves in lifting us up from our poor and despised estate,
in bringing us to comparative honour, and comforting us on every

We trust that through His grace the work, still future, for which
He has been training and strengthening us through so many
generations, may be thoroughly and faithfully done by us and by
those who will come after us.

You allude approvingly to the Concordate drawn up and signed by
Bishop Seabury on the one part and his consecrators on the other,
which was, in the language of its framers, to serve as a "bond of
union between the Catholic remainder of the ancient Church of
Scotland and the now rising Church in the State of Connecticut,"
and you assure us that it "shall continue to be maintained and
cherished by you, as it has been by your fathers."

We have heard with gratification that the desire to be closely
allied in the matter of similarity of offices with our own Church,
which has prevailed in your diocese ever since the American
liturgy was, under your first Bishop's influence, enriched by some
of the most valuable of its present features, is still strongly
felt by you.

That for all time to come we may be all of one heart and of one
soul, united in one holy bond of truth and peace, of faith and
charity, and may with one mind and one mouth glorify the one and
only God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is our hearty prayer
and our confident hope.

To His love and blessing we commend you.

CHARLES WORDSWORTH, Bishop of St. Andrews, Dunkeld, and Dunblane;

HENRY COTTERILL, Bishop of Edinburgh;

WM. S. WILSON, Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway;

HUGH W. JERMYN, Bishop of Brechin;

ARTHUR G. DOUGLAS, Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney;

J. R. A. CHINNERY-HALDANE, Bishop of Argyll and the Isles;

For the Bishop of Moray, Ross, and Caithness, _Primus_,
ROBERT A. EDEN, M. A., _Commissary_."

[Seal of the Primus attached.]

Before the synod proceeded to business, the Bishop of Aberdeen
presented to the Bishop of Connecticut a Pastoral Staff, the gift
of Scotch Churchmen to him and his successors in office, with
these words: [Footnote: The Staff is of ebony, the upper part
being of silver parcel gilt. The crook proper has for its central
subject our Lord's charge to St Peter, who kneels at the Saviour's
feet. The pierced side of our Lord is significantly seen, as the
drapery falls open. A vine is growing up behind Him bearing grapes
(expressed by precious stones), and gathered at His feet are sheep
and lambs. The ornamental work of the crook takes the form of
thistle-leaves--in allusion to the Scotch origin of the gift--and
the bossy flowers are expressed by cut amethysts. The crook is
hexagonal in plan; the tower which surmounts the canopied niches
immediately below the crook also takes the same shape, and
accommodates the six figures introduced. This hexagonal tower has
Gothic tracery, with pinnacles, pillars, and canopies, enriched
with cairngorms. The figures (St. John, St. Andrew, St. Ninian,
St. Augustine of Canterbury, Primus Kilgour, and Bishop Seabury)
represented in the niches, are intended to illustrate the main
points in the Episcopal succession and the characteristics of the
Scottish Church. The tower is supported upon a carved capital with
six amethysts between _repousse_ oak-leaves, and is jointed
to a circular boss surrounded with four vertical bands enriched
with cairngorms, while between the bands are carbuncles set off by
filigree work. There are also silver bosses at the joints of the
ebony portions of the staff.]

No words of mine can convey to you the feelings of gratitude which
animated the hearts of all Scottish Churchmen when they heard of
your remarkable kindness in coming to our shores at this time to
celebrate with us our service of praise and thanksgiving to
Almighty God for the blessing He has bestowed upon the work of our
fathers. As a small testimony to their venerable father and to the
Church of his diocese, they ask Bishop Williams to accept this
pastoral staff. May I point out that there are portrayed on this
staff figures which represent the history of the Church in this
land, and therefore a great chapter in the history of the American
Church. You will find on the staff the figure of St. Andrew, the
patron saint of Scotland; you will find also the figure of St.
John, reminding you that Christianity reached Scotland from
Eastern sources; you will find the figure of St. Ninian, uniting
the Scottish succession and ministry with the Celtic Church; and
you will find the figure of St. Augustine, signifying that act of
brotherly love and communion which we received from the English
Church, restoring to us the Episcopacy which in troublous times
had been lost; you will also find the figure of that Primus of the
Church who was the chief consecrating bishop of your venerable
Seabury, and you will find also the figure of Seabury himself. In
the head of this staff you will recognize the figure of the great
Head of the Church giving His divine commission to St. Peter and
to all others ordained and consecrated to the same sacred office:
'Feed my sheep; feed my lambs.' I will rejoice to think that this
staff, which you and your successors will carry on your
confirmations and visitations and other episcopal acts, by
reminding you of the sanctuary where we have just now held our
great service to God, and of the figure of the Good Shepherd which
stands over its altar, will not only recall to you the pastoral
work in which it is your high office and privilege ever to
minister, but will encourage you to seek also the blessing and the
favour of the chief Bishop and Pastor of souls. In now presenting
you with this emblem of your sacred office, as I have the
privilege of doing on behalf of the Scottish Church, I may mention
that many of the offerings that have been given towards it have
been the pence of the very poorest in the land.

Bishop Williams, in acknowledging the presentation, said:

There are times and things concerning which words utterly fail and
must fail to give utterance to the feelings of the heart, and
this, let me say, is one of those times--a day that I can never
forget, a day for which--though most unworthy of what has been
given me--I must always feel the devoutest thankfulness to
Almighty God. A hundred years ago you gave my great predecessor
here in Scotland the office of Bishop in the Church of God, and
now this day, a hundred years after, in the fulness of your loving
hearts and kindly remembrances of that great act, you give Bishop
Seabury's successor the sacred symbol of the same high office in
the Church. I only wish it were given to worthier hands; but I can
pledge myself to this, that to my successors as they follow me
year after year, and, if God so wills, century after century, the
staff will be handed down as a most sacred deposit and memorial.
It will drop from many a hand before another hundred years go by
and another gathering takes place here in this place of sacred
memories, but the office of which the staff is the symbol--that
office, I thank God, never dies. Men pass away, the office lives
on; and though many hands that shall have held this staff may by
that time be folded in the sleep of death, I trust that when the
hundred years come round again, my successor may come here, as I,
Bishop Seabury's successor, have come, to offer to the Bishops of
the Scottish Church, to its clergy, and its faithful laity, the
assurance of his deep love and undying gratitude that they were
bound together in one common bond of one holy faith, and in a
common love of one living Lord and of each other. I trust that
that day will show the whole world, as this day has done, "how
good and joyful a thing it is for brethren to dwell together in

On the afternoon of the same day a conference was held in the
Albert Hall, at which the Rev. Dr. Beardsley read the following


A great deal has been said within the last week--never too much,
I trust--of that grand man who left the shores of America a
century ago, and came to the mother country in quest of a
spiritual gift which, for reasons of state, was refused him by the
Bishops of the Church of England.

In the providence of God, and under instructions from the clergy
of Connecticut, who selected and sent him over, he found his way
to Aberdeen, and was here duly raised to the Apostolic office, and
so became the head of an anxious and long-waiting body, as well as
the first Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United
States of America.

The many blessings which have flowed from this act of consecration
by the Scottish Bishops have been recognized and recounted again
and again, and it is not my purpose to dwell on them now; but
rather to speak of that part of the life of Seabury which covers
the exercise of his Episcopal office.

But before I proceed to do this, let me step back for a few
moments under the arches of history, and make two or three
references to show that our Church in America is indebted to
Scotland, and especially to Aberdeen, for other favors besides the
gift of Episcopacy. You gave us men who were great historic
pioneers in our ecclesiastical existence. The Venerable Society
for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts was chartered
in 1701, and for three-quarters of a century its chief field of
labor was in New England. This fact may be ignored, but it forms
an important and salient feature in its early history; and what is
remarkable, the very first missionary sent out by the Society to
the American colonies was a native of Aberdeen, George Keith, a
school companion of the celebrated Gilbert Burnet, Bishop of
Salisbury, whom he mentions in his "History of his own Time." And
then that wonderfully numerous tribe or family, which always has
its representatives in every Christian country of the wide world,
furnished us William Smith, born on the banks of the river Dee,
not far from this city, a man with glaring imperfections of
character, but a scholar and a divine, who knelt side by side with
Seabury in the chapel of Fulham Palace when they were admitted to
Holy Orders, and who subsequently became a conspicuous actor in
the organization and establishment of our American Church, having
been the first President of the House of Deputies, and having
guided that body to concurrence with the House of Bishops in
revising the Book of Common Prayer and accepting the Scotch
Communion-office. We might not have had this office in its present
shape had he not risen to favor its adoption when signs of
dissatisfaction and a disposition to reject it appeared.

Still again we are indebted to another native of Aberdeenshire,
known in our history as William Smith the younger, who went to
America soon after the acknowledgment of American Independence,
being in Holy Orders which he received in Scotland, and, having
served the Church for a time in other States of our Republic,
appeared in Connecticut, and held important educational and
parochial positions in that diocese. The office for the
Institution or Induction of Ministers into parishes or churches,
set forth in our Book of Common Prayer, was compiled by him. He
was a man of much learning, ardent temperament, and quick
impulses. He possessed singular versatility of talents, was a
composer of church music, and a constructor of church organs. He
was a pioneer in our country in chanting, and did us good service
in overcoming or diminishing the popular love for a Puritan style
of metrical psalm-singing.

Men of this stamp went to America when our Church was in, or
passing through, a broken and disordered condition, and we have
reason to be thankful to them for the aid they rendered us when we
were sorely in need. I believe we _are_ thankful. I believe
there is a growing interest among our people in the Scottish
Church, an increasing desire that Churches of the one faith--
English, Scotch, Irish, and American--should have a closer bond of
fellowship, and rejoice more heartily in each other's prosperity.
It is a good thing that we have come together on this centennial
occasion and mingled our congratulations. As we have met here face
to face, we have learned to respect ourselves more, and, I hope,
to love and respect each other more.

But let me leave these references, and draw your thoughts around
Seabury in his Episcopal character. On the morning of a bleak
November Sunday in 1784 we enter an "upper room" in Longacre,
built and fitted for Divine worship, and find there three of the
four bishops then administering the dioceses of the Scottish
Church; and after prayers and a suitable sermon, they proceed to
consecrate this self-sacrificing servant of God to the Apostolic
office. Though the penal laws enacted against the clergy of the
Scottish Church had not yet been repealed, their edge had worn
away, or they had ceased altogether to be enforced, so that the
service was in no manner secret. It was witnessed by a number of
respectable clergymen, and a large body of laity, "on which
occasion all testified great satisfaction." As the letter of
Consecration reads: _Presentibus tam e Clero quam e Populo
Testibus idoneis_. The occasion was a memorable and particularly
solemn one. Seabury himself said of it: "It was the most solemn
day of all my life--God grant I may never forget it."

He preached in the afternoon of the day of his consecration, and
his earnestness and manner of address, accompanied with
gesticulations, which appear not to have been common in Scotland
at that period, made a favorable impression. On his return to
London, he stopped at Edinburgh, where his friend and fellow-
sufferer in the trials of the American Revolution, Dr. Myles
Cooper, with others, welcomed him, and gave him hearty congratulations
on the accomplishment of his mission. From this city, he
wrote to the Rev. Jonathan Boucher, vicar of Epsom in Surrey,
who had interested himself in his application, to acquaint
him, as he had promised to do, with the success of his visit to
Scotland. "The Church in Connecticut," said he, "has only done her
duty in endeavoring to obtain the Episcopacy for herself, and I
have only done my duty in carrying her endeavors into execution.
Political reasons prevented her application from being complied
with in England. It was natural in the next instance to apply to
Scotland, whose Episcopacy, though now under a cloud, is the very
same in every ecclesiastical sense with the English."

He had grown up and lived hitherto under the influence of the
highest veneration for the Church of England, and his attachment
to her was still strong, notwithstanding he considered it bad
policy that his application for consecration had been rejected by
the English Bishops. He began to fear, however, that the Society
for the Propagation of the Gospel might cease to aid him, which
would be a result to be deplored for other than pecuniary reasons.
"Should the Society itself," said he, "be obliged to take such a
step, though I shall be sorry for it and hurt by it, I shall not
be dejected. If my father and mother forsake me, if the governors
of the Church and the Society discard me, I shall still be that
humble pensioner of Divine Providence which I have been through my
whole life. God, I trust, will take me up, continue His goodness
to me, and bless my endeavors to serve the cause of His infant
Church in Connecticut. I trust that it is not the loss of 50 pounds per
annum that I dread--though that is an object of some importance to
a man who has nothing--but the consequences that must ensue, the
total alienation of regard and affection."

His path was not yet cleared of trials and perplexities, for on
reaching London he found those high in authority so dissatisfied
with the step he had taken that they pronounced it _precipitate_.
"Since my return from Scotland," said he in his first pastoral
letter to the clergy of Connecticut, "I have seen none of
the bishops, but I have been informed that the step I have
taken has displeased the two Archbishops, and it is now a
matter of doubt whether I shall be continued on the Society's
list. The day before I set out on my northern journey I had an
interview with each of the Archbishops, when my design was avowed,
so that the measure was known, though it has made no noise. My own
poverty is one of the greatest discouragements I have. Two years'
absence from my family, and expensive residence here, have more
than expended all I had. But in so good a cause, and of such
magnitude, something must be risked by somebody. To my lot it has
fallen; I have done it cheerfully, and despair not of a happy

All his apprehensions in regard to aid were realized, though he
wrote a most admirable letter to the Venerable Society giving a
concise history of his mission to England, and making a pathetic
appeal for future remembrance and consideration. After a delay of
two months, it was acknowledged by the Secretary without
recognizing his official character, being addressed "To the Rev.
Dr. Seabury, New London, Connecticut." He was told that his case
was comprehended under the general rule, that the charter would
not allow the Society to "employ any missionaries except in the
plantations, colonies, and factories belonging to the Kingdom of
Great Britain."

Bishop Seabury received from the British Government 50 pounds per
annum half-pay as a chaplain in the King's American regiment during
the War of the Revolution; and a few of his fast friends in England--
among them Dr. Horne, then Dean of Canterbury, Rev. Jonathan
Boucher, and William Stevens, Esq.--associated themselves together
and engaged to send him annually 50 pounds from the date of his arrival
in Connecticut. This engagement was faithfully kept to the day of
his death, and was an equivalent for the stipend which had been
withdrawn by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.

His preparations for returning to America were now completed, and
early in March, 1785, he embarked in a ship commanded by Captain
Dawson, which sailed from London for Halifax. His main object in
going by the way of Nova Scotia was to see the situation of that
part of his family then resident in that neighborhood. He is
recorded as officiating at Annapolis Royal, April, 1785, and was,
therefore, the first bishop of our Church who preached in the
Dominion of Canada. Mention is also made of his preaching several
Sundays in St. John, New Brunswick, where a daughter with her
husband was living at the time.

He landed at Newport, Rhode Island, after a voyage of three
months, including his stay in Canada, Monday, June 2Oth; and the
next Sunday he preached in Trinity Church in that place, the first
sermon of an American bishop in the United States, from the text
(Hebrews xii. I, 2): "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about
with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight
and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with
patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the
Author and Finisher of our faith."

More than half a century prior to this, a great dignitary of the
Church of England, Dean Berkeley, after a voyage of nearly five
months from Gravesend, arrived at the same port, and preached many
times in the same church, which is still standing. The missions of
these men had many points of resemblance; but while one, after a
trial of more than two years and a half, failed to accomplish his
heroic object, and returned to the land of his birth to be honored
with a mitre in the see of Cloyne, the other was blessed in his
work, and lived to behold the Church in America united in the
adoption of a revised liturgy, and settled upon the old
"foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself
being the chief corner-stone."

The next step of Bishop Seabury was to arrange for a meeting with
his clergy, and he wrote immediately to the Rev. Mr. Jarvis, who
had acted as their secretary, and invited him to New London to
consult with him on the time and place. It was held in Middletown
on the 2d of August, 1785--a meeting full of joy to both parties--
and the clergy, in their address of congratulation and formal
recognition, said among other things: "We, in the presence of
Almighty God, declare to the world, that we do unanimously accept,
receive, and recognize you to be _our Bishop_, supreme in the
government of the Church, and in the administration of all
ecclesiastical offices. And we do solemnly engage to render you
all that respect, duty, and submission, which we believe do belong
and are due to your high office, and which, we understand, were
given by the presbyters to their bishop in the primitive Church,
while in her native purity she was unconnected with and
uncontrolled by any secular power."

The Bishop opened his reply to this address with hearty thanks to
the clergy for their kind congratulations on his safe return, and
cordially united with them in their joy for the accomplishment of
the important business which he had been excited to undertake. His
first ordination was held on this occasion, and steps were taken
to make such changes in the liturgy as might be necessary to adapt
it to the use of the Church in the new civil relations. But what
added to the interest and significance of the occasion was the
charge which he delivered to the clergy, so valuable both in its
teachings and its connection with American Episcopacy. The three
points which he enlarged upon in it were the obligations they were
under to be very careful of "the doctrines which they preached
from the pulpit or inculcated in conversation"; to be cautious
about giving recommendations to candidates for Holy Orders, whose
moral character, learning, and abilities were not only to be
exactly inquired into, but their good temper, prudence, diligence,
and everything by which their usefulness in the ministry might be
affected. "A clergyman," said he, "who does no _good_ always
does _hurt_; there is no medium." The third point of the
charge was upon the necessity of immediate attention to that old
and sacred rite handed down by the primitive Church, the laying-on
of hands in Confirmation--a rite which, for want of the proper
officer to administer it, had hitherto been unused in the American

Seabury had the double work of a bishop and a parish minister,
being rector of the church in New London, and meeting its demands
with the aid of one of his newly-ordained deacons. His entrance
upon the public duties of his Episcopal office in Connecticut had
been looked forward to with much curiosity and some prejudice by
those outside of the Church. The old Puritan dread of a hierarchy,
instilled into the popular mind before the independence of the
Colonies, still lingered, and helped to foster the expectation
that he would assume great dignity, and appear in a degree of
external splendor. There was disappointment in this respect when
he began the visitation of his diocese in the simplest and most
primitive manner, riding on horseback or in a sulky over rough and
circuitous roads, and through regions sparsely inhabited. A plain
yeoman, who had never seen a bishop in his robes, and knew not how
he would appear in officiating, took an early opportunity to
gratify his curiosity and attend a service where he was to preach.
The next morning a neighbor, who had not the boldness to follow
his example, met him, and asked him what he thought of Bishop
Seabury. "Was he proud?" he inquired. "Proud! Bless you, no!" was
the reply. "Why, he preached in his shirt-sleeves!"

Beyond the labor of regulating and settling the Church in
Connecticut upon right principles, Bishop Seabury was especially
anxious that the whole Church in the United States should be so
guided as to prevent any division in government, doctrine, and
discipline. A Convention was about to be held in Philadelphia to
adopt an ecclesiastical constitution and make application for
bishops in the English line of succession; and he asked, through
Dr. Smith, and renewed the expression of his sentiments in a
letter to Dr. (afterwards Bishop) White a few days later, that
that body would reconsider certain measures which it had hastily
adopted, and which seemed to indicate a forgetfulness that "the
government, sacraments, faith, and doctrines of the Church are
fixed and settled." Among his words of wisdom and kindness to Dr.
Smith were these: "My ground is taken, and I wish not to extend my
authority beyond its present limits. But I do most earnestly wish
to have our Church in all the States so settled that it may be one
Church, united in government, doctrine, and discipline--that there
may be no divisions among us--no opposition of interests--no
clashing of opinions. And permit me to hope that you will at your
approaching Convention so far recede in the points I have
mentioned as to make this practicable. Your Convention will be
large and very much to be respected. Its determinations will
influence many of the American States, and posterity will be
materially affected by them. These considerations are so many
arguments for calm and cool deliberation. Human passions and
prejudices, and, if possible, infirmities, should be laid aside. A
wrong step will be attended with dreadful consequences. Patience
and prudence must be exercised; and should there be some
circumstances that press hard for a remedy, hasty decisions will
not mend them. In doubtful cases they will probably have a bad

The action of the Convention in setting forth what is known in
American ecclesiastical history as "The Proposed Book" only made
him adhere more resolutely to the convictions of his intelligent
mind; and his clergy stood by him, and supported him in the sound
principles which he maintained. "Depend not on rumors," said one
of them, writing to a friend; "the clergy in Connecticut are well
pleased with their bishop, and will run the risk of a disunion
with the Southern gentry rather than forsake him, if he will stay
with us. We hope, however, better things than that." And better
things did come to pass. Attempts to cast discredit upon the
validity of his consecration, initiated and persisted in mainly by
those opposed to him on political grounds, were met in a manly and
Christian spirit, and he took the necessary steps to frustrate
them without using harsh words or doing more than state simple
facts. His second and last formal Charge to his clergy, delivered
September, 1786, whether considered in reference to the unbelief
of the times, or to the movement of the clergy and laity in the
Southern States to revise and alter the liturgy and government of
the Church, is a production of remarkable forecast and wisdom. At
this time he set forth a Communion-office, agreeably to the terms
of the Concordate made with the Scottish bishops, which gradually
went into use in the diocese, and traces of this particular office
lingered in Connecticut for half a century. When the union of the
Church in all the States was consummated in 1789, and the first
real General Convention held in that year, consisting of a House
of Bishops and a House of Clerical and Lay Deputies, entered upon
a review of the Book of Common Prayer, the proposition to insert
the Scottish form of consecration was accepted and approved, the
words only "That they may become the Body and Blood of Thy most
dearly beloved Son," being omitted, and those in the English
office substituted.

There were now three bishops in the American Church, and efforts
were made to bring them together in the consecration of a fourth,
but without avail. Bishops White and Provoost considered
themselves under an implied obligation not to join in any
consecration until there should be the actual number of three in
the English line of succession. Provoost was absent from the
Convention of 1789, when the Prayer-Book was revised, and Seabury,
being the senior, was made the President of the Upper House. He
and Bishop White spent no time in speeches, but looked carefully
at each point as it came into view. With minds and characters
differently constituted and moulded, they were just the men to be
brought together in such an emergency. One was frank and fearless
in adhering to his settled convictions, and resolute in upholding
the faith and preserving the ancient landmarks of the Church, but
not so self-willed and tenacious of his opinions that he could not
gracefully relinquish them where no essential principle was
involved. The other had a less rigid temperament, and from natural
kindness of heart, and perhaps personal inclination, he might have
been led without this check to yield to the pressure of
circumstances at the expense of a true conservatism. Bishop White,
however, was not more gentle and generous than capable of
appreciating the character of his Episcopal brother; and the
testimony which he bore long years after was that he "had ever
retained a pleasing recollection of the interviews of that period,
and of the good sense and Christian temper of the person with whom
he was associated."

In 1792 another General Convention was held, and Bishop Seabury
preached the sermon, which was printed by the request of both
Houses, and glowed with the true spirit of Christian love, with
that perfect and comprehensive charity which tends to preserve the
peace and unity of the Church under all possible circumstances.

By this time James Madison had been sent over and consecrated, in
the Chapel of Lambeth Palace, Bishop of Virginia; and thus the
question of having three bishops in America of the English
succession before proceeding to consecrate, was put to rest.

The Church in Maryland elected the Rev. Dr. Thomas John Claggett
its bishop, and deputies from that State appeared with him at this
General Convention, and, with the necessary documents in hand,
presented him to the House of Bishops, "requesting that his
consecration might be expedited." It was a movement intended to
unite Episcopalians more closely together by blending the two
lines of succession and for ever preventing the possibility of a
question arising in the American Church as to the relative
validity of the English and Scotch Episcopacy. For the application
to consecrate Dr. Claggett was not made to those only who received
their authority in the Chapel at Lambeth, but the whole four were
requested to join in the act, which was solemnized in Trinity
Church, New York, Monday, September 17, 1792; and from that day
not a bishop has been consecrated in this Church who cannot claim
the succession, in part at least, through the Scottish Episcopate.

An incident connected with the consecration ought not to be
withheld here, for it shows the man and his Christian spirit. It
had been agreed at the last General Convention that the eldest
bishop present--to be reckoned from his consecration--should be
President of the House, and this rule, if unchanged, would have
left Seabury to preside at the consecration. But the agreement
seemed to be displeasing to Bishops Provoost and Madison, and it
was proposed by them that the presidency should go by rotation,
beginning from the north, which would take it away from him and
give it to Provoost. "I had no inclination," says Seabury, "to
contend who should be greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven, and
therefore readily consented to relinquish the presidency into the
hands of Bishop Provoost. I thank God for His grace on this
occasion, and beseech Him that no self-exaltation or envy of
others may ever lead me into debate and contention, but that I may
ever be willing to be the least when the peace of His Church
requires it."

Great duties were now resting upon him, for besides Connecticut he
virtually had the oversight of all the Episcopal parishes in New
England; and in 1790 those in Rhode Island met in Convention and
formally declared him to be the bishop of the Church in that
State. This necessitated long journeys and long absences from his
home, and the only compensation for lack of speed and comfort in
the modes of conveyance at that period was the cheerful
hospitality which everywhere awaited him. In moving about from
place to place he was the Christian bishop and the agreeable
companion as well. His familiarity with subjects outside of
theology, and his ready retort upon those who attempted now and
then to draw the Church or his office into ridicule, were pleasant
features of his life, treasured and handed down to us by the
generation to which he belonged.

On the occasion of his first visit to Boston he called on Dr.
Mather Byles, then living in retirement, who, though a Congregational
divine, was yet a sturdy loyalist during the Revolution,
and had a son who entered the ministry of the Church of
England and was proscribed and banished for entertaining the
political views of his father. Dr. Byles was a noted wit, and so
ready with his puns and sarcasms that seldom did anyone try to
match him in this line without coming off the worse for the
conflict. When Seabury paid him the compliment of a visit, he
received him very cordially, and said, with a mixture of irony: "I
am happy to see in my old age a bishop on this side the Atlantic,
and I hope you will not refuse to give me the right hand of
fellowship." To which the Bishop replied: "As you are a
_left_-handed brother, I think fit to give you my _left_
hand," which he accordingly did. The conversation soon turned upon
the general subject of the Church, and it being St. Mark's day,
and public service as usual, the doctor inquired: "Why is it that
you churchmen still keep up the old Romish practice of worshipping
saints?" "We do not worship saints," was the quick reply; "we only
thank God that the Church has had such worthy advocates, and pray
Him to give us hearts and strength to follow their example."
"Aye," exclaimed the other, "I know you are fond of traditions;
but I trust we have now many good saints here in our Church, and,
for my part, I would rather have one living saint than half-a-
dozen dead ones." "Maybe so," rejoined the Bishop, "for I suppose
you are of the same mind with Solomon, who said that 'a living dog
is better than a dead lion.'"

Enough has been said in this paper to show the admirable spirit of
Seabury all through his Episcopate. "Forgetting those things which
were behind, he reached forth to those before"; and if assailed
for the part he took in the war of the Revolution, he let his
conscientious pursuit of what he believed to be right at the time
pass into history without apology or vindication. He aimed to
promote peace among his brethren, and was lenient in dealing with
their prejudices. One venerable presbyter of his diocese,
supported by his people, was reluctant to adopt the revised
Prayer-Book, and he wrote him a kind letter, and said in it: "The
question is not which book is the best in itself, but which will
best promote the peace and unity of the Church. Such was the
temper of the people to the southward, that unity could not be had
with the old book. Is not, then, the unity of the whole Church
through the States a price sufficient to justify the alterations
which have been made, supposing (and in this I believe you will
join with me) that there is no alteration made but what is
consistent with the analogy of the Christian faith? Let me,
therefore, _entreat you as a father_ to review this matter,
and I have no doubt but that you will join with your brethren, and
_walk by the same rule_ in your public ministrations. This
will rejoice their hearts, and mine also. May God be your director
in all things, and grant that we may meet together in His own
heavenly kingdom."

Signs of failing health began to appear, and symptoms of a
paralytic nature came upon him, without seriously interrupting his
duties. His sound and vigorous constitution, and his unimpaired
mental faculties, afforded encouragement to believe that his life
might be prolonged for years. This was in 1795. Late in the month
of February of the next year, "Mr. Jarvis of Middletown was
sitting before the fire," so says an eye-witness, "his wife near
him, engaged in some domestic employment, and his little son
playing about the room. A messenger entered with a letter, sealed
with black wax, and handed it to Mr. Jarvis in silence. He opened
it, and his hand shook like an aspen-leaf. His wife, in great
alarm, hastened to him, and his son crept between his knees and
looked up inquiringly into his face. He could not speak for some
moments. At last he said, slowly and convulsively: 'Bishop Seabury
is dead.'"

In the evening of Thursday, the 25th of February, he walked with
his daughter to the house of one of his wardens. He complained,
when there, of an extreme pain in his breast, and at the moment of
rising and retiring from the tea-table, fell in an apoplectic fit,
and expired in forty minutes after entering the house.

He was buried from the church on Sunday; and this circumstance,
and the impediments of travelling at that season of the year,
joined with the few facilities for conveying intelligence,
prevented the clergy of the diocese from gathering in mourning and
sorrow around his grave. A single clergyman attended his funeral
and preached a sermon.

Thus one who was a little more than eleven years a bishop, and who
has filled the American Church and your Scottish Church with the
memory of his worth, rises and stands before us in history to-day.
What would he have thought and said, if he could have cast his
vision forward a century, and comprehended the contrast between
the gathering in the upper room in Longacre and the vastly greater
gathering here now, to express devout thankfulness for an act
which has been blessed of God to the good of so many souls! From
the then poor see of Connecticut, to which he was going in faith
and hope, have come his third successor in that see and a company
of clerical brethren, to represent its present strength and zeal,
and at the same time to show that we keep ever fresh in our
remembrance the gift that we received, and are glad to join with
others in congratulating you most heartily on the prospect of yet
brighter days for your own Scottish Church.

Professor George Grub, LL.D., then read a paper on The Relations
of the American and Scottish Churches; after which Bishop Williams
and others spoke.

The exercises of the commemoration were concluded with a large and
enthusiastic meeting in the evening at the Music Hall.

After his return to Connecticut, the Bishop received from the
Clergy and Trustees of St. Andrew's Church, Aberdeen, a letter,
beautifully engrossed upon parchment and illuminated, in the
following words:

_The Clergy and Trustees of St. Andrew's Church, Aberdeen, to
the Right Reverend John Williams, D.D., Bishop of Connecticut.
Right Reverend Father in God:_

It would have given us unfeigned pleasure, as the representatives
of the congregation in which your great predecessor was
consecrated and in which the centenary commemoration of that happy
event was celebrated, to have expressed to you and your
accompanying delegates, on the occasion of your memorable visit in
October, the pride with which we cherish the links that bind us to
the Church of America. Sensible, however, of the incessant demands
made upon your time on every day of the festival, we postponed the
expression of our feelings until the approach of Christmas, when
we might add to the salutations of the season our congratulations
upon your safe arrival in your own diocese, a prosperous
termination of your visit to Scotland for which we both publicly
prayed and gave thanks to Almighty God.

Right Reverend Father, we beg you now to accept the assurance of
veneration and respect with which your presence inspired us, and
of gratitude for your fatherly counsel and encouragement to us and
our fellow-churchmen; and we further pray you to receive the
accompanying photographs of St. Andrew's, to remind you of a
church so closely associated with the history of your own See.

We beg to subscribe ourselves, Right Reverend Father,

Your faithful servants in Christ,

J. M. DANSON, M. A., Incumbent of St. Andrew's;


JAMES CHIVAS, Church-warden and Canonical Lay Representative;

JAMES THOMSON, Church-warden and Trustee;

R. B. HORNE, Trustee and Lay Representative;

H. T. PATERSON, Trustee;


JAS. TURREFF, Trustee;

JAMES TAYLOR, Secretary.

_Advent_, 1884.


*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Report of Commemorative Services with the Sermons and Addresses at the Seabury Centenary, 1883-1885." ***

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