Project Canterbury

The Late Wisconsin Council from the Unheard Side

[No attribution.]

No place: no publisher, 1874.

Contributed by the Reverend Dr. Charles Henery, 2005.

Those of us who are old enough to look back to the rise of the Oxford movement, well remember the furious and persistent outcry that was then raised about a "Conspiracy to carry our Protestant Church to the Church of Rome;" and how Dr. Samuel Seabury was held to be the American head of that conspiracy, Bishop Benjamin T. Onderdonk being his chief backer. The battle raged, long and loud, and the din and clamor were appalling. The Carey ordination frightened some sober people out of their seven senses: but we survived it notwithstanding.

Then we can remember how the Bishop of Maryland was looked upon for many years as the chief "Romanizing" Bishop of our Church for learning and theology; and the late Bishop Doane, of New Jersey, as the most formidable "Romanizing" Bishop for his daring, adroitness and practical ability. What lashings of rage have been poured but against those two for their "Conspiracy to Romanize the Church!" We have survived that, too, and so has the Bishop of Maryland. The other noble Bishop has gone home to his reward, "where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest."

We remember also when Nashotah was regarded as the visible proof of the existence of this "Conspiracy." It was a "monastic institution" intended to outflank Kenyon, and "Romanize the whole of the great northwest!" And next after Dr. Breck, Dr. Adams himself was the great bugbear of the Protestant mind. It was in vain that Dr. Adams protested his loyalty to the Anglican Church. Did he not believe in "the soul-destroying doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration?" Was not that the very "germ" of all "Romanism?"' Was it not certain that if one were honest and logical, he must certainly go on--if he held Baptismal Regeneration--until he came to the Pope himself? But Dr. Adams was not honest and logical--in that sense: and so he and Nashotah, and we all, have survived that too, and "nobody is hurt."

How dreadfully in earnest the good Protestant geese were in all those battles! How they did hiss and cackle, and flap their wings all in concert, as if their vigilance was all that could possibly save an [1/2] Empire from destruction! And when we now, with calm hearts and quiet minds, look away back and review the scene of war, how gentle is the pity with which we smile over the imaginary terrors that then made thousands tremble with rage, or roar with honest horror!

But since those days the whole position has changed. The New Dogma of 1854, and (last and worst) the Vatican Council with its Infallibility Decree of 1870, have utterly destroyed the latest lingering remnant of an idea of the possibility of a reunion with Rome. The chasm between us is thereby digged anew, infinitely wider and deeper than before. Large portions of the Romish Church itself are disgusted. Some have already taken their separate stand, thus giving reasonable hope for a more serious break in the power of Rome than she has known since the Reformation. The old Catholics, including Jansenists, have now three Bishops, and are daily spreading and strengthening their organization. There is among the "advanced" men of the Anglican Communion hardly a perceptible fraction that is not in full sympathy with this Old Catholic movement. The London Church Times, and even Dr. Littledale himself, stand by it through thick and thin. At last, then, we may breathe freely, and be satisfied that there is no room in the Anglican Communion for another Popish "Conspiracy."

But if such be our dream, it proves that we know little of the true temper of the Protestant mind. While Rome is perpetually changing, the Protestant mind is semper eadem. Our Protestant Bourbons never learn, and never forget anything they have once made their own. The battle of the Boyne must needs be fought afresh every 12th of July. The same contest must always be earned on exactly in the same place. Cheney and Mason Gallagher are still sure that all Popery is implicitly contained in Baptismal Regeneration. If the first great battle of the Civil War was fought at Bull Run, every other battle must be fought on the same historic ground. Every advance of the Union Armies towards Appomattox Court House is proof of a growing "tendency" on the part of Union Generals to turn "traitors to the flag," and that they are all in a "conspiracy" to go over in a body to the Southern Confederacy!

Titus Oates was a representative or typical Protestant. He started the cry of a "Popish Plot!" And no man in those days of panic terror was "a true Protestant" who did not believe in every tale of a "Popish Plot" that was started about anybody. Evidence was wholly needless, or could be manufactured to order. No evidence would be needed by a real Protestant. As for the guilty, they were--as some were in those other fearful days of the Reign of Terror--guilty of what? They were "guilty of seeming to be under a suspicion [2/3] of being suspected." To the guillotine with them at once! When their heads are once well off, what need will there be of further "evidence?"

Titus Oates is dead long ago. His body may be "mouldering in the ground," but his true Protestant "soul is marching on." Another "Conspiracy to Romanize the Church" is convulsing the nerves of the old women. And all the Protestant geese are once more hissing, cackling and flapping their wings as if now they were the owls of wisdom and the eagles of victory, if they never were before! The soul of Titus Oates has taken bodily possession of the Church Journal and the Churchman, so that there is a total exclusion of every communion in which a hearing is asked for on the other side. Nay, that uneasy old Protestant ghost has invaded and captured even Nashotah itself! and if it is impossible to help laughing at the ludicrous antics of those who have caught St. Vitus's dance in their frantic terror of the poor old Pope, it is at the same time melancholy to see men who were for so many years victims of the empty slanders of fanatical Protestants, now, in their old age, going into the same contemptible find disgraceful business, and "stopping their ears" while they rush for stones wherewith to pelt to the utmost the object of their transient persecution. To parody the cry of the drowning Frenchman, they "will have" a POPISH PLOT, and "nobody shall help them!"

But a truce to philosophizing! Let us avail ourselves of the It courtesy extended to us in these pages only, and present a sketch which will show a few features at least of the other side in that Wisconsin election, or rather failure to elect, which has been so loudly commented on in all the papers, religious and secular.

The issue to be tried at the Wisconsin Council was one which concerned the whole Church, and not merely this one Diocese. It was, Is that liberty of opinion, within which the Church guarantees protection to her children, a proper bar to one's elevation to the Episcopate. But, as if conscious that on this naked issue the opponents of Dr. DeKoven would be beaten as overwhelmingly as they deserved, any number of false issues and exaggerated charges were thrust in to confuse the public mind, and excite the apprehensions of the nervous and the timid, in the hope that a tempest might be raised which would prove ungovernable. To a very considerable degree, this "plot"--the Protestant Plot--succeeded. And the result of its success was, that the public mind has been disposed to regard the Council" as little better than a mob. The bad blood attributed to the whole Body, however, was really confined to but very few; and the central figure and object of attack was calm, mild, dignified and self-contained throughout. As in the early Councils of the Church, the people were moved by the greatness of the [3/4] issue; religious feeling was stirred to its lowest depths; and conflict and confusion were, to some degree, inevitable.

On the eve of the Council, was a Memorial Service for the late Bishop Armitage. The Cathedral was densely packed, and many were standing. The preacher was the Rev. Dr. DeKoven.

The sermon took in the whole horizon of the American Church's history, and showed how the late Bishop had understood the current of that history, and had been therein a wise, zealous, self-forgetting, successful worker. The whole sermon was the outgoing of a comprehensive mind, and of a noble heart in full sympathy with the plans, and the labors, and the trials, and the triumphs of our departed Bishop. In memory we once more gathered around him; once more listened to the ring of his stirring voice, cheering us on to our work; and for a while the troubled elements were hushed into hallowed silence. Surely the Blessed Spirit, breathing in the calm of that hour, nerved the heart of many a one bravely to do and to endure in the coming storm. So admirable was this sermon, that even the Church Journal, which, seems to have set itself no bounds in the attempt to hound down the Warden of Racine College, is compelled to say that it "is one of the most perfect productions of the sort it has ever been our lot to read; The preacher had a noble occasion, and he nobly used it, doing justice to a patient, toilsome, and silently suffering career, in a way which did the occasion justice also, and himself as one of the foremost preachers in the American Church. The sermon is an honor both to the head and heart of Dr. DeKoven." We wish we could truthfully say as much concerning the editorials of the Church Journal about the Wisconsin Council!

The next morning, at 9 A.M., was the full service with the Holy Communion. The preacher was the Rev. R. N. Park. The sermon had for its purpose to show that the true mission of the Church is to follow the example of her Blessed Lord, in works of mercy to all who are in sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity; and that the final test by which the Church and her children will be tried is, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

At the conclusion of the service, the Council was called to order by the Rev. Dr. Ashley, President of the Standing Committee. He was also chosen temporary chairman, and finally President of the Council, and discharged the duties of his difficult position in such a manner as to draw forth the hearty approval of all.

The organization of the Council, begun before dinner, was not completed till the hour for supper. This organization cost a great deal of conflict and confusion; but the result, though not at every point in [4/5] accordance with the Canons, gave general satisfaction. The Council adjourned to 8 P.M.

After Evening Prayer, the Council was called to order at 8:30; and after suitable Collects and silent prayer, the business proceeded.

The Rev. Wm. Dafter and the Hon. D. Worthington were appointed tellers.

The Rev. J. H. Magoffin, with a happy allusion to the late Bishop Kemper, nominated his son, the Rev. Lewis A. Kemper, D.D., to the vacant See.

Dr. Kemper declined to allow his name to be so used. He believed that the unity and peace of the Diocese demanded that we should go outside for one to be our Bishop, who is not in any way entangled with any of our complications of the past or present. He therefore nominated the Rev. Eugene A. Hoffman, D.D., of St. Mark's Church, Philadelphia. The Rev. W. P. Tenbroeck seconded this nomination.

Here the Rev. Dr. Everhart and others made three points; first, that in presenting Candidates from outside the Diocese, we need proper testimonials from well known persons; secondly, that it is not wise to pass over well-tried men within the Diocese, and to bring in a stranger, as was done in Kentucky, to the great injury of the Church; and thirdly, that there is good reason for believing that Dr. Hoffman is afflicted with a chronic affection of the throat, which at times disables him from public speaking.

These three points occasioned much debate. On the first, excellent. hearsay testimony was produced, but no responsible name was given. The second was strengthened by the consideration that it would be like parties unacquainted with each other "marrying in haste and repenting at leisure." On the third, the Rev. Mr. Wilkinson, the next morning, read a telegram from Philadelphia, that "Dr. Hoffman has officiated in his Church without intermission throughout this winter. The report you mention is false." But this was not to the point.

During the above debate, which was very disorderly, it was insinuated that persons who had letters to read, might falsify their contents.

Mr. Vermilye [layman] had always supposed that gentlemen in this assembly were incapable of telling an untruth; but they had seen a statement, to which the names of six doctors of divinity were attached, which they believed to be "false." [Tumult and loud cries of order.]

Dr. Adams, amid great disorder, said: "Mr. Vermilye might think the statements signed by six clergymen were false, but we propose to prove them true. [Noise.]

This brought before the Council the document referred to, viz., "Principles--not Men." It had been widely circulated through the Church, and was the only real firebrand, which had kindled the [5/6] apprehensions of one party, and the resentment of the other. It brought the Council to the eve of the long expected battle. Preliminary skirmishes were now at an end. The challenge "We propose to prove them true" was the bugle blast that sounded the inevitable horn.

Late at night, and "amid confusion," an adjournment was effected to 9 a. m., the next day. We may consider the issue, as it was, made up in the document referred to above. That paper is as follows:


The Chicago Times of Saturday last, gives large space to an account of the interview held by its reporter, with certain of the clergy and laity of the Diocese of Wisconsin, relative to the approaching election of a Bishop. Presuming that the report is accurate, I desire to make some remarks upon it.

The Rev. Dr. DeKoven evidently had the skill to put his case in the best light. Had the reporter been previously instructed to avoid all embarrassing questions, and to give him the fullest opportunity to extricate himself from an untenable position, he could not have put his -interrogatories in a more favorable manner. The one point brought up was the Eucharistic speech of Dr. DeKoven in the last General Convention, and he immediately explained that it had been misunderstood and misrepresented, etc. But questions concerning the confessional, prayers for the dead, purgatory, the invocation of saints, the propitiatory sacrifice of the Eucharist, and other well-known tenets of the Ritualistic party, were carefully avoided.

There was also throughout the whole report, the assumption that there are but two parties in the Episcopal Church, the High Church and Low Church. Dr. DeKoven claimed to be a High Churchman, of the "advanced" type; and the contest was represented as one only of men, and not of principles.

But with all due respect to Dr. DeKoven, this classification cannot be permitted to pass. If the question about the succession to the Episcopate of Wisconsin were only between two High Churchmen, it would not create a tithe of the interest that is felt in it all over the church. The non-existence of a Low Church party in Wisconsin makes the election of a High Churchman--if there be no other party--a foregone conclusion, and Dr. DeKoven is not so remarkable a man, personally, that his candidacy, apart from other considerations, would attract the attention that is being given to one of the poorest dioceses in the Church.

The classification used to be High Church and Low Church; but within a few years a third party has sprung up, distinct from either, which arrogates to itself the name of the Catholic party; but which is [6/7] known by others, as the Ritualistic party. Now the great interest felt in the Wisconsin election, is due entirely to the fact, that it is known to be a question between the High Church and the Ritualistic parties. We cannot therefore permit the differences between these parties to be ignored. They are fundamental, and make, as we say, two distinct parties, and not two wings of the same party..

Outside of the Apostles' and Nicene creeds which are common to all parties, the distinctive principles of the High Church party are the following:

1. That the Church is a divine organization.

2. That the ministry is traced back in the line of Apostolic Succession, in a threefold order of bishops, priests and deacons.

3. Baptismal regeneration and sacramental grace.

The distinctive principles of the Ritualistic party are:

1. The presence of "Christ in the elements, on the altar," after consecration of' the bread and wine.

2. The use of vestments, lights, incense, etc., as accessories of Eucharistic adoration.

3. Auricular confession, as having a sacramental character; and therefore useful for all Christians as an ordinary means of the forgiveness of sins.

4. Prayers for the dead, with a direct reference to purgatory, in the case of the most "advanced" men.

5. The invocation of saints and angels. The High Churchman charges the Ritualists with "Romanizing," because of the above tenets. The Ritualist, on the contrary, sneers at the High Churchman as "high-and-dry," because he will not "advance" with him in the direction of Rome. The parties are distinct in their principles, and their aims.

The text books of the High Churchmen are the divines of the 16th and 17th centuries: Pearson, Bull, Hooker, Andrew's, etc., and the Fathers of the Primitive Church.

The text books of the Ritualist are the writings of Pusey, Newman, Keble, R. I. Wilberforce, the volume of Gerard Cobb, entitled the "Kiss of Peace, or England and Rome at One," etc. Möhler's "Symbolik," and the scholastic divines and Ritualists of the Middle Ages, translations and synopses of which issue, every now and then, from the press of this party.

As the two parties are distinct in principle, so are they in practice.

The practical results of High Church teaching are:

1. That baptized persons, being members of the Church, are led to realize their calling and responsibilities as "a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people."

[8] 2. That the threefold ministry of Apostolic Succession is exclusive of Popes on the one side, and of unauthorized teachers on the other.

3. That the sacramental union of the faithful with their risen Lord is at once the means and the call to holiness of heart and life.

The practical results of Ritualistic teaching are:

1. That the Eucharistic service is to be assimilated in its outward semblance, as much as possible, to the Mass celebrated in Roman Catholic Churches, by means of the accessories of lights, music, vestments, incense, postures, genuflexions and adorations."

2. That non-recipients are to be present at the Eucharistic service, for the purpose of being benefited by the sacrifice, and of directing acts of adoration to the Presence in the elements on the altar.

3. That members of the Church are to be persuaded, as an ordinary and frequent thing, to come to auricular confession, and to put their consciences in "holy obedience," under the priest's "direction."

4. That the Eucharist is to be offered, as a propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead.

5. That prayers for the dead, and the invocation of saints and angels, are to be practised.

These being the differences between the High Church and Ritualistic parties, it is evident what must be the interest felt in the Wisconsin election, when the candidate, who was claimed by the Ritualistic party in the Massachusetts election, the Rev. Dr. DeKoven, is put forward . in the diocese in which he resides. The Wisconsin election is a test of the relative strength of the High Church and Ritualistic parties, in a diocese in which there is no Low Church party to help it against the Ritualists.

Now, accepting the Rev. Dr. DeKoven's explanation of his position, as given in the Times report, it still remains true that Dr. DeKoven is identified with the Ritualistic party, by his adoption of the words of Mr. Bennett, in the celebrated English trial, and his entrenchment of himself behind them in "adjudicated words."

Dr. DeKoven avows a presence to be adored in the elements on the altar. He claims that this is within the limits of opinion allowed by the Church. But Dr. DeKoven knows as well as any one that no article, rubric, line or word, authorizes him to set forth that opinion as a doctrine of the Church. All that the adjudication amounts to, is that a man who holds this as his private opinion, is not therefore suspended or excommunicated, but for the present tolerated.

Dr. DeKoven holds his right to enter any pulpit of the Episcopal Church, only by the commission given him to teach "as our Lord hath commanded, and as this Church hath received the same." But this Church has given no sign in any of her authorized formularies, that [8/9] she has "received" a revelation of a presence to be adored in the elements on the altar. Still it may be argued on behalf of Dr. DeKoven and the Ritualists, that this is a merely speculative opinion, especially as the Doctor explicitly disavows a belief in transubstantiation. But unfortunately the practical results of this belief, are identical with the practical results of transubstantiation, and the difference is merely speculative and nugatory as between his belief and that of the Church of Rome. For the acts of adoration addressed to the presence in the elements on the altar, are precisely those addressed by the members of the Church of Rome to the host, and none other. This localization of the presence, implies a arrangement of the service, with lights, vestments, prostrations, non-communicant adorations, a reserved sacrament, processions of Corpus Christi, and all other incidents with which the attendants upon Roman Catholic worship are familiar, and which are foreign to our own "use." It implies an offering of Christ by the priest for the living and the dead--it implies in every respect, what the Ritualists call it, the mass, and not the holy communion.

Dr. DeKoven, again, is known to recommend and practise auricular confession. In this also, he and his party make a distinction to ward off the charge of Romanizing, which is void of any practical result in distinguishing his theology from that of Rome. The distinction he makes is, that confession with him is voluntary, while with the Romanist it is enforced. But if confession be of that advantage which Dr. DeKoven and the Ritualistic party, with the Church of Rome, believe, they cannot consistently and conscientiously rest until they have made it enforced, and not voluntary. For to leave their flocks without so great a benefit, for the want of its enforcement, must be, according to their view, a dereliction of duty. Their position with respect to the confessional is only provisional, and not final, and the "advanced" man in this direction, must necessarily be an "advancing" man, until he stands fairly and squarely with the Church of Rome.

With respect to the invocation of saints, and prayers for the dead, the position of the party and of Dr. DeKoven, is not uncertain, though less is said about these things, until they have made sure of their position upon the mass and the confessional.

If Dr. DeKoven is made Bishop of Wisconsin, the necessary tendency of his principles and associations will be to require an arrangement of the Episcopal Cathedral, identical with that of Bishop Henni's Cathedral; the altar must be decorated with lights; the priest must be dressed in vestments, the people must prostrate themselves at the f elevation of the host, the confessional boxes must line the walls, the people will not know whether they are in the one or the other. And if [9/10] Dr. DeKoven be held back from this, by the necessity of conceding to the public opinion of his clergy and laity, he must feel trammelled and uncomfortable in the position he will hold, and the restraint will be the more irksome, the more honest and earnest he is.

I have written this, Mr. Editor, not out of any unfriendly feeling for Dr. DeKoven, of whose honesty and sincerity I have the highest appreciation; but because I believe Dr. DeKoven to be advancing in a wrong direction, and being so, to be in greater danger, the more honest and sincere he is. A dishonest man can be inconsistent, an honest man cannot. And I want the High Churchmen of this Diocese, if they are led by Dr. DeKoven's great personal popularity to give him their vote, to see just what they are doing. The High Church party and the Ritualistic party are toto coelo apart, and if Dr. DeKoven permits himself to be identified with the latter, we, who are of the former, must let no personal affection or admiration for him blind us to the possible consequences.

A systematic attempt has been made to give the impression that in the approaching election of a Bishop for this Diocese, the question to be settled is simply one of men, not of doctrines and principles. The undersigned do not so regard it. They have seen an article in the Milwaukee papers, of January 31st, which they think sets forth correctly the points to be decided in the coming election. They have reprinted it in its present form for general circulation in the Diocese, as a document well calculated to give a right view of the issues involved in the present contest.

February 2d, 1874. Signed,

Professor of Hebrew and Biblical Literature at Nashotah, and Rector of St. Paul's Church, Ashippun.

Professor of Systematic Divinity at Nashotah.

Professor of Ecclesiastical History, Nashotah.

Rector of Trinity Church, Oshkosh.

Rector of Grace Church, Madison.

Rector of St. James Church, Milwaukee.

[11] The next day, after Morning Prayer, on calling the Council to order, j)r. Ashley spoke the following timely words:

"I cannot commence or allow the business of this day to be begun, unless you forbid me to do so, without asking you to remember four things.

"In the first place, I wish to remember myself, and to have you all remember, my dear brethren of the clergy and my dear brethren of the laity, that we have corporate relations, common relations and privileges, and that we have individual responsibilities. That is one thing desire to remember, and to have you remember. The second thing is, that we are representatives to-day, throughout this land, of the Protestant Episcopal Church; representatives of it to its honor or to its disgrace, as we shall choose. That is the second thing I desire you to remember, and to remember myself. The third thing is, that we have amongst us and before us the pens of many ready writers, recording all our utterances, and that tongues of the tamed lightnings are waiting to herald those words throughout this land of ours, and that hose words will be to the disgrace or to the honor of this Church of ours according as our words shall be. That is the third thing I wish to remember myself, and to have you remember.

"The fourth is, that the readier pen of the recording angel will take down all our words to-day, and that those words will be proclaimed before an assembled universe to our infinite shame and everlasting contempt, or to our honor and glory, according as those words be. If, by thy words, thou shalt be justified, or by thy words thou shalt be condemned, join with me beloved in prayers that God would not permit those ministering spirits who wait to minister unto those who are the heirs of salvation--if any unkind or uncharitable word shall be spoken here to-day--join with me in a prayer to our blessed Lord that he will not permit those ministering spirits to tell dear Bishop Kemper and dear Bishop Armitage in their rest in Paradise, that unkind, unbrotherly words were spoken here to-day."

The Rev. Dr. Everhart then nominated the Rev. James DeKoven, D.D., Warden of Racine College, and gave his reasons for so doing: That he is well known; has grown up among us from his youth; is identified with all the great interests of the Diocese; is conspicuous for "soundness in the faith and holiness of life;" is unsurpassed in organizing and administrative ability; and by virtue of his magnanimity and moral heroism is ever ready, without a breath of unkindness, to contend for the unity of the faith, for liberty in opinion, and for the charity and spiritual well-being of the Church's children.

The Rev. Dr. Falk seconded the nomination, and testified from personal knowledge, extending through seven years, that there is not in [11/12] Dr. DeKoven any Romanizing tendency. Dr. Falk is an aged man, a Prussian by birth, an uncle of the present Cultus Minister of the German Empire, and foremost among scholars. He has been many years in this country, and had witnessed, as he said, the clamor raised at one time against Bishop Whittingham; at one time against Bishop Kerfoot when President of St. James' College; at one time against the Professors at Nashotah--all as "dangerous Romanizers." But these men have not changed--the excited feeling has changed. The present is a similar case. Dr. DeKoven, in theology, in ritual and in the matter of confession, neither teaches nor practices anything that is Romanizing.

At this point the Rev. Mr. Parke arose and confessed himself sick of this campaigning, and as one of the signers of the offending document in question, he wished there and then publicly to withdraw his name, and to apologise to Dr. DeKoven for the injury done him. But he concluded by unjustly accusing the friends of Dr. DeKoven of taking the initiative in the campaign, and insinuated that the "Times Report," a few weeks ago, was gotten up at the instigation of those friends.

The Rev. E. B. Spalding, head master of Racine College, expressed his gratification at the recantation of Mr. Parke, and commended his Christian candor in confessing his fault; but at the same time protested against the charges and insinuations which followed. He affirmed that Dr. DeKoven's friends had never, by any publication, urged his claims, until the press was teeming with accusations and misrepresentations; and even then that efforts had only been made to do away with false impressions. And when the reporter of the Chicago Times came to the College, his visit took them all by surprise. They entreated him to let the Doctor alone, and not to bring his name in that way before the public; but without avail.

Since coming to the Council he had learned that the pamphlet, ''Principles--Not Men," had been written for "political effect;" and in proof of this fact, he produced four documents, which, the next morning, were put into the form of. affidavits, and duly sworn to before a Notary Public.

Two of them were as follows:

Plankinton House, Milwaukee, February 12.

I here declare, on my word of honor, that on the morning of Thursday, February 5, I heard Dr. Egar make the following statement concerning the article entitled "Principles--Not Men," of which he is the author, viz., that it was an exaggeration intended to influence the laity [12/13 against Dr. DeKoven--an article of political intrigue, and that no such results would follow from the election of Dr. DeKoven as he had therein stated. Dr. Egar excused himself by saying that in newspapers such articles were lawful. I think it simple justice to make these facts known, and give you my word of honor they are true.

G. B. Morgan,
Student of Nashotah Seminary, and candidate for orders from the Diocese of Connecticut.

Plankinton House, Milwaukee, February 11.

I, the undersigned, do testify, on my honor as a Christian gentleman, the following: That Rev. Dr. J. H. Egar said in my healing that the article entitled "Principles--Not Men," was written by him for political effect, and was intended to influence the laity against Dr. DeKoven, and that the whole article was exaggerated, and that he did not believe that Dr. DeKoven, if elected Bishop of Wisconsin, would make such changes in the service or internal arrangements of the Cathedral as that article declares to be required by Dr. DeKoven's principles and associations.

Frank B. Gilbert,
Member of the Senior Class at Nashotah, and candidate for Holy Orders from the Diocese of Wisconsin.

The reading of these papers produced a profound impression.

Dr. Egar said in effect: I deny the statements as a whole, and entirely the purport that is intended to attach to them. They are based upon a dinner-table talk, in which all these things were bandied about in a facetious manner. During this talk it came out that I was the writer of the document in question. From this he went on to represent himself as now the victim of false accusations.

Rev. Mr. E. B. Spalding replied: If Dr. Egar considers himself a victim in the presence of such positive testimony; what is to be said of Dr. DeKoven, who for weeks has suffered in silence under the false impressions created by anonymous articles, of the worst of which Dr. Egar confesses himself to be the writer?

Here an effort was made to abridge the debate, but the Rev. E. B. Spalding and Drs. Adams and Egar insisted that the matters charged in "Principles--Not Men," should be fairly discussed on both sides. It was proposed to end the debate at 9 P.M.

Here Dr. DeKoven asked to be formally heard. He said he should be compelled to refuse to open his lips to clear his character before the Church, unless ho could make a clear, connected statement and not a [13/14] mere debate. He had a right to demand it from the commonest justice and decency. [Loud applause.]

Although such applause may be without a precedent, yet the occasion was unprecedented. [It is not unprecedented in extraordinary circumstances.] Never a candidate for the office of a Bishop was so held up in the house of his friends, and before the whole Church, for unsoundness; and to have sat in silence would not only have been recreant to the truth, but it would have been untrue to his friends, to the institution over which he presides, and to the Diocese which has so often intrusted to him her highest interests.

Soon after, the Council adjourned to 2:30 P.M.

In the afternoon, promptly at the hour, the President called the House to order, and after suitable devotions business was resumed. Much of the afternoon was wasted in a stormy effort to fix the hour for closing the debate and the length of speeches. At last it was agreed to end the debate at 8 p.m., and to allow fifteen minute speeches, with the understanding that any member for proper cause should have more than that time.

The Rev. Mr. Wilkinson then took the stand, with portfolio and documents, apparently prepared for a damaging speech. He wished to take up the matters charged in the pamphlet, "Principles--Not Men."

First, he asked Dr. DeKoven's permission to read from a letter recently received from him.

The Doctor said it was too late for him to ask that, as he had already, without permission, published a portion of that letter in a Milwaukee paper. The Doctor recited the circumstances under which the letter was written, as elicited by Mr. Wilkinson under cover of a private correspondence. He asked to read the entire letter instead of Mr. Wilkinson's reading extracts. With, seemingly, great reluctance Mr. Wilkinson allowed the reading of the entire letter, which was done by Dr. DeKoven; and in conclusion he said: "How the Rev. Brother could sign that document ('Principles--Not Men'), with this letter in his hand, I hope he will be able to explain to this Council." The following is the letter copied verbatim:

"Racine College, Jan. 14th, 1874.

"My dear Mr. Wilkinson--I have just received your noble letter, and sit down at once to answer while the impression of its frankness and brotherly spirit is fresh upon me.

"I thank you for it, and entirely appreciate the spirit in which it was written.

[15] "When I met you in Chicago on the occasion you mentioned, I welcomed you back to the Diocese in a spirit of sincere admiration for your earnest labors for the Church, and because I knew that however much we might differ in view, we were both working for the same end, and at least in general agreement on all great principles. I knew, too, that we were at one in an honestly loyal endeavor to assist Bishop Armitage in the good work he was planning. Bishop Armitage's death has only deepened the opinion I had formed, that in spite of certain points in which we were not quite at one, the main purpose of his life was one which demanded my prayer and my efforts and my full cooperation.

''That God should have called him away as He did, seems something inscrutable.

"Will you allow me to say, however, that I am sure that doctrinally, you and I do not differ so materially as you suppose.

"You and I, so far as I recall, have never discussed any one of the doctrinal questions of the day. You only knew my views from the popular interpretation of my second speech in General Convention.

"I find that I am generally misunderstood, sometimes misrepresented, and without any opportunity of defending myself.

"I am accused in newspapers, and even by Bishops, of holding doctrines I detest, and practising things I do not approve of. I had intended publishing shortly an explanation of my Eucharistic views; and when a distinguished lawyer in Boston spoke to me about the publication of a sermon I had preached in the Church of the Advent upon the subject, I told him of this intention as a reason for not desiring such a thing.

"Then came the death of Bishop Armitage, and the talk about the election, and I felt that to do so now, would only expose me to a reproach I do not deserve.

"Amid many kindnesses, I am sure more than I deserve, and a better opinion of me by some, than I can at all feel is properly my due, I have had to bear of late many reproaches. ["N.B.--Of the sort of reproach I have had to bear, all this talk about the C. B. S. is a portion: I am not, and never have been, a member of the C. B. S., nor in any way connected with it.]

"With regard to the Eucharist I only hold what Bishop Andrewes held, and Overall, who wrote the Church Catechism; and in our day the saintly Bishop Hamilton of Salisbury, who died a few years since; and Bishop Forbes, still Bishop of Brechin, and John Keble, the author of the "Christian Year."

[16] "It seems to me that the views of such men ought to be tolerated in the Church.

"I utterly deny Transubstantiation. I do not hold to any corporal or material Presence of the Lord's Body and Blood in the Holy Elements. I worship Him, not them. I do not worship even His Holy Body and Blood as apart from Him--only the Divine Person of the Lord Christ, in the Holy Elements, because His Body and Blood are spiritually there: yet not (because His Person is Divine) confined to the Holy Elements.

"Again, and while you may think these views erroneous, in this I am sure you will agree with me; I do not hold this view as though it were the only view the Church permits, and as condemning others who may differ from me.

"In this mysterious subject I believe the Church most wisely tolerates a wide difference of opinion. She allows every view between Transubstantiation on the one hand, and Zuinglianism on the other.

"All I claim for my view is, that I have as good a right to hold and to teach it, as my Brethren theirs, and also that because of holding it, it is not right to hold me unfit for any place, office or duty for which I am otherwise qualified.

"I hold this view, too, in the interests of the broadest toleration of allowed differences, believing that within certain limits, our unity is to be found, not in necessarily exact agreement on doubtful points, but in joint work for souls and for our common Lord.

"So about Confession. I think the Church permits and encourages it under certain specified circumstances. Considering the steady practice of it by the most noble men of the Church of England, from the Reformation down, I cannot draw the deduction, which seems to me most illogical, which many draw, that because she allows it in certain cases she therefore forbids it in all others.

"But here is where I am misrepresented. I do not regard it as either necessary to the forgiveness of sins, or a necessary preliminary to Communion, or to be enforced upon any one. Indeed I think its voluntariness to be an essential element in its benefit to any sin-burdened soul.

"So, too, about ritual. I think every one should obey the law of the Church, and above all I believe in no ritual which symbolizes false doctrine. I think a simple ritual and a lofty ceremonial ought both to be tolerated, according to the needs of people, the place, and their varying circumstances. But charity for souls is beyond all ritual; and what will do most good, that ought to be aimed at.

"Excuse my writing so fully, your own kind frankness encourages me.

[17] "With respect to the coming election, I pray to God that He may guide it for the good of His Church and do this, I believe, with an honest and true heart.

"Of what you write about the Diocese, I cannot tell--you may be right; of one thing only I am sure, and in this I think I am especially misunderstood,--I could not be the Bishop of a party. I love my brethren too well, and sympathize too keenly with all the necessary differences of view, and those differences seem to me too so petty in comparison with the work that lies before the Church, and which must be done if this land is to be saved, to make that possible.

"And now, my dear Mr. Wilkinson, I thank you again for your letter. You will vote and act as your conscience dictates, and I would wish you to do no other way. However that may be, your letter cannot fail to make me honor and respect you in the days to come.

"Should you think proper, I should be glad if you would show this letter to Mr. Worthington, whose good opinion I greatly value,

And beg you to believe me,

Truly your friend,

James DeKoven."

"The Rev. John Wilkinson."

Mr. Wilkinson next tried the matter of "lighted candles," but with no better success; then the matter of Dr. DeKoven's "Confessional at Nashotah," when he had in his possession at that very time, Dr. Cole's letter exonerating Dr. DeKoven in toto. On reaching this point of the indictment, Dr. Cole rose in his place, and answered: "The pastoral care of certain students, for special reasons, was given to Dr. DeKoven, who had done nothing wrong in any shape, form, or manner in the whole matter."

Next, Mr. Wilkinson took up the case of a young man, who, under Dr. DeKoven's pastoral care, as was represented, had gone over to Rome. '

But Dr. DeKoven had conversed with the young man only once, and that for about twenty minutes, and then at Dr. Cole's request. Moreover, that young man never went over to Rome; and he is now said to be a Lay Reader in Central Illinois.

Here Mr. Wilkinson ingloriously retired, much to the relief of all his friends.

Dr. Adams then took the stand, and began a written address on the charges against Dr. DeKoven. He said one student at Nashotah, had refused to recite, because his spiritual director (Dr. DeKoven) had ordered him not to do so.

[18] The Rev. Mr. Ward, a classmate of the student referred to, declared this to be a false statement. He had his information direct.

Dr. Cole confirmed Mr. Ward's statement, and said the facts in the case were not as they had been alleged.

Dr. Adams proceeded to read letters and to comment at lengthy upon the subject of confessions heard by Dr. DeKoven at Nashotah, and upon things thereto pertaining.

When he had concluded, Dr. DeKoven advanced to the front "to answer for himself." At the sight of him, the confusion of the crowded, Cathedral subsided into eager silence. His calm, clear eye, and the mellow tones of his loving words, were to us as sunshine and the song of birds after a tearing tempest. He spoke for an hour and a half. He fearlessly affirmed what he holds; and denied the wicked errors, which he himself abhors as much as his accusers, who have charged them against him.

As a doctrinal discussion, abstruse, and involving quotations from ancient authors, and even translations, at the moment, by the speaker, from the Latin tongue, it was, yet, listened to with rapt attention. Without note of any kind, the clearness of statement and readiness and , certainty of utterance, were simply extraordinary, considering the difficulties of the subject.

The occasion had called together the best learning of all orders of men in Milwaukee; and the highest encomiums were those paid the speaker by men of the highest culture. Protestants of every name sat side by side, and each vied with the other in words of admiration. At the conclusion, public opinion, at least, was all on one side; and today, the speaker stands in the esteem of all good men in Milwaukee higher even than ever before.

Dr. DeKoven's defence is too long to be here reproduced; and as it is already published, it is, of course, unnecessary.

At the conclusion, he sat down, receiving an ovation on the part of the dense multitude, which, for loving enthusiasm, we have never seen equalled.

The Council then adjourned to 7:30 P.M., and the Doctor's friends crowded around him with full hearts, for they were more than satisfied.

The Council came to order at 7:30 P.M., and the Cathedral, notwithstanding the disagreeable weather, was crowded to its utmost capacity.

Dr. Adams took the stand, and completed his written speech against Dr. DeKoven, occupying an additional hour. At a few points the Doctor answered him as he proceeded. At the conclusion, ten or fifteen minutes were asked, for the Doctor to reply to the repeated and [18/19] personal charges against him: but this was denied him by his opponents; and his friends thought it unnecessary to urge the justice of the request. The vote was ordered, which resulted, on the fourth ballot, in the election by the clergy of Dr. DeKoven over his competitor, Dr. Hoffman. The election being very decidedly negatived by the vote of the laity, on motion, the Council adjourned sine die.

Thus ended the Council. We propose now to recapitulate, and to comment as briefly as possible on a few salient features of the struggle,--those at least that have attracted the attention of persons outside the Diocese. We will take them in their natural order.


previous to the Council was a great scandal. A part of it could plot have been avoided. The secular press, at a very early day, by editorials and "reports," began to stir the public mind. Different papers suggested their favorite clergyman for the vacant See, and discussed, in a measure, the relative merits of each. And the "Chicago Times" sent out one of the most accomplished reporters on its staff, who "did" in turn Nashotah, Milwaukee and Racine. There was no dodging him. He came unannounced; carrying neither pencil nor paper. He plied his questions in so unexceptionable a manner, and with such rare professional skill, that the answers he reported, were extracted in spite of the attempted reticence of the parties concerned. It may be said, with unquestioned truth, that no churchman in Wisconsin--certainly no clergyman,--was responsible in any way, for, at least, this part of the newspaper controversy. We wish it could be so said with regard to the other portions. But the fact is, under the manipulation of outside influences, with far more bitterness and recklessness of expression than the editors and reporters of the secular press, certain Churchmen began and prosecuted this newspaper war on Dr. DeKoven, with an acrimoniousness not often witnessed in modern religious controversy. Up to almost the 1st of February, only eleven days before the Council, their attacks had not been repelled, and hardly, noticed, until they culminated in an article over the signature of a "High Churchman of the Wisconsin style," which appeared simultaneously in both the "Sentinel" and the "News" of Milwaukee. This article contained charges against Dr. De Koven of false doctrine and disloyalty of such a grave character that his friends, in one or two articles, entered their protest, and denied the allegations. But these protests were couched in courteous language, and were in no sense personally offensive to Dr. DeKoven's accusers.

[20] This is the article that was adopted by the six clergymen, headed "Principles--Not men," and sent broadcast over the land;--of which more in its proper place.

Among the newspaper articles, there was one from Syracuse, N. Y., dated Feb. 1st, of such a peculiar character, that we must quote a portion of it for comment:

To the Editor of the Daily News:

"Syracuse, N. Y., Feb. 1.

"Under ordinary circumstances it would be out of place in a stranger to volunteer an opinion on the course proper for a Diocese in the selection of a Bishop. But it is well understood abroad that the circumstances in which Wisconsin is called to elect are not ordinary, and that this is felt by all is evidenced by the unusual fact that the leading clergy of Wisconsin, including some who are published far and wide as 'candidates,' have allowed themselves to be 'interviewed' by newspaper reporters, and have given those gentlemen their views on the situation, and that one 'candidate' even thought it worth his while to furnish to Chicago and New York an elaborate defense of his theological position."

After describing the sort of man the clergy of Wisconsin ought to nominate as their Bishop, he closes with these words, and signs himself "H":--

"Such men as I have roughly described are to be found, I think, in Wisconsin itself. It is not for me to name them, and I have written this much as one who loves the Church, and who has great faith in Wisconsin churchmanship, and in Western good sense." "H."

Now, nothing could be more absurd, to one who knows the quiet dignity of Bishop Huntington, than to suspect him of writing this sort of electioneering letter for effect in a distant diocese in the midst of an exciting preparation for the election of a Bishop. But if he did not, other Bishops did. It is credibly reported that no less than twenty Bishops wrote letters to parties in Wisconsin, electioneering against Dr. DeKoven: a statement which ought to make the other members of that august Order blush. And in the midst of such general and notorious Episcopal intermeddling, an excited people, who had no personal knowledge of the admirable Bishop of Central New York, are not to be too severely blamed for their mistake. The dating of the article from Syracuse, and signing it "H," seemed to furnish sufficient "evidence": and there are hundreds who attribute the words of monition to the distinguished prelate, the initial of whose name, and his place of residence, united to create the presumption that it was the work of Bishop Huntington.

[21] We come now to consider the document


On the 2d February, the article referred to, over the signature of a "High Churchman of the Wisconsin style," was adopted by the six Divines whose names have already been given, as their own, in a way that left the reader to suppose it was accidentally seen by these six innocents. Hear them: "They have seen an article in the Milwaukee papers of January 31st, which they think sets forth correctly the points to be decided in the coming election." The insincerity of this language is exposed by the very date and place of residence of the six signers. The Communication originally appeared in the two Milwaukee papers of Saturday, January 31st, simultaneously: and on Monday, February 2nd, when the six clergymen appended their names, it was sent abroad in pamphlet form, over the diocese. The six signers live, one in Oshkosh, one in Madison, one in Milwaukee, and three in Nashotah. Pretty rapid business, this! The Milwaukee papers must have gone to Oshkosh, Madison, and Nashotah, by telegraph, and these six delighted Divines must have been brought together in Council by means of the same electric current, in order to compare impressions; to retain or leave out the contemptible anecdote in the concluding paragraph; to agree upon the subjoined note of apology for reprinting and distribution; to contract with the printer, correct proof, and arrange for mailing:--and all this was done within twenty-four working hours! But the exposure of insincerity was made complete, when the authorship was fastened upon Professor Egar, one of the signers, and subsequently acknowledged by him in the Council. It is also commonly reported that the article had been subjected by Dr. Egar to the criticism of Drs. Kemper and Adams, and the scheme of first publishing it as an anonymous article, and then accidentally (as it were) seeing in the newspapers and adopting it, was concocted by these parties. But added to these accusations, the "six" open their apology for the publication of the article in pamphlet form, by making a statement absolutely without foundation in fact. They say "a systematic attempt has been made to give the impression that the question to be settled is simply one of men, not of doctrines, etc." Doctor DeKoven gave such an answer to an interrogatory of the Reporter as his opinion. But where the "systematic attempt" comes in, they cannot, nor can any one, point it out: It was never made by word or pen. But the following synopsis, possibly intended as a satire, aptly exhibits the animus of the article "Principles--Not men."

"To an unprejudiced Protestant public, the election of Dr. DeKoven seems a calamity to be deprecated. Judging from the correspondence with which the papers have been enlivened of late, there seems to be but one result contemplated--that one-half of the Episcopal Church will go over to Rome, and the other half go over to Cheney. Dr. DeKoven will therefore be the author of the most astonishing schism the world has ever beheld."





----OF THE--


If Dr. DeKoven is made Bishop of Wisconsin, the necessary tendency of his principles and associations will, be to require an arrangement of the Episcopal Cathedral, identical with that of Bishop Henni's Cathedral:

The Altar must be decorated with LIGHTS.

The Priest must be dressed in VESTMENTS.


The CONFESSIONAL BOXES must line the walls.

The People will not know whether they are in the ONE or in the OTHER.

This statement is endorsed February 2d, in the year of Our Lord, 1874, by

Prof. of Hebrew and Biblical Literature at Nashotah, and Rector of St. Paul's Church, Ashippun.

Professor of Systematic Divinity at Nashotah.

Professor of Ecclesiastical History, Nashotah.

Rector of Trinity Church, Oshkosh.

Rector of Grace Church, Madison.

Rector of St. James Church, Milwaukee.


[23] We would call the reader's attention to the tremendousness of these signatures. All the Doctorates, and Professorships, and Pastorates and Reverends that could be paraded are attached to the several names, in order, I presume, a la Dr. Egar, the better to sway the minds of the laity.

Just here we must digress for a moment to notice the straightforward fairness of the Church Journal. In its issue of March 5, it professes to reprint the document "Principles--Not Men," and apparently gives it entire, from title to signatures and date, without the or hint of any erasure, omission or abbreviation. After high compliments to the six signers, especially the three Nashotah Professors, the Church Journal adds: "These names lift the document from its personal associations and temporary purpose into the region of theological and historic importance. We print it for preservation and as a land-mark." And on the 19th of March the editor alludes to it again, in reply to a letter in the Church and State: "The attempt to present the clear, calm and dignified setting forth of the issues at intake in the pamphlet Principles--not Men (which we lately re-published), ... as a personal attack, stamps the correspondent of the Church and State with a label which all men recognize." Will it be believed then, that the Church Journal deliberately mutilated the document, omitting the most offensive and personal part of it, without dropping a syllable to put its readers on their guard? The whole paragraph containing the above placarded extract about the Roman Catholic Bishop Henni's Cathedral is dropped! And in another paragraph, where Dr. Egar wrote concerning "invocation of saints," etc., that the position of the party and of Dr. DeKoven is not uncertain, though less is said about these things until they have made sure of their position upon the mass and the confessional, our honest friend of the Church Journal (also, not long ago a Professor at Nashotah) strikes out the words "and of Dr. DeKoven," and then scouts the idea that the document as originally set forth contained any personal attack! And he is the one who, in the same breath, has the face to charge another person with "a piece of shrewd and dishonest trickery" that "deserves the rebuke of every honest man." But we all know who is likely to be the first to cry "Stop thief!"

[Since the above was written, the Church Journal has been trying to cover its unfairness by profuse compliments and eloquent disclaimers. But, on the other hand, it admits that Dr. Hugh Miller Thompson was the Professor at Nashotah in whose class room the difficulty with a student arose, in connection with alleged "direction" on the part of Dr. DeKoven. And in attempting to correct the garbling of the Pamphlet "Principles--Not Men" it is done by admitting a simple statement, from a correspondent, of the omission of that worst paragraph, and reprinting that paragraph itself, but concealing the sly alteration of striking out the words, "and of Dr. DeKoven," from another paragraph. Moreover, the Editor ventures neither apology or explanation. The absence of explanation proves that the garbling was intentional. The absence of apology, even when detected, proves something else, which we would rather not specify.]

But to return to the subject of Eucharistic teaching. There; are only two possible doctrines concerning that Holy Sacrament. One is the doctrine of the Real Presence; the other is "the doctrine of the Real Absence. All High Churchmen hold and teach the Real Presence. What has been so much talked about as Eucharistic Adoration is not a different doctrine from that of the Real Presence, but only one particular inference drawn therefrom. Dr. Egar was far from taking his present views in 1871; for he was a deputy from the Diocese of Pittsburgh at that General Convention, and made a speech on Dr. DeKoven's side of the great debate on Ritualism, in which he said: "I object to the doctrinal basis on which this argument has been conducted. I say the gentlemen who have given this definition of a Ritualist which it is designed to put down, are going in the face of the Catechism, and are going in the face of the whole of the doctrine of this Church. That is to say, so far as they have given us a definition of the thing as a tangible thing, they tell you that if you admit that doctrine which the great majority of us here do admit, all these other things follow logically from it." It is no wonder that this extract (the italics are ours) when read by Dr. DeKoven in his defence before the Council produced a peculiar impression all round. It would have been still stronger if he had added that in the division after the debate on the proposed Canon of Eucharistical Adoration, during which Dr. DeKoven electrified the House with the great speech which has stirred up all this wrath against him, Dr. Egar again supported Dr. DeKoven's side with his vote, though all the other clerical deputies from Pittsburgh voted the other way.

Dr. Adams, also, allowing for a confusion of ideas altogether his own, is known to teach systematically the doctrine of the Real and Objective Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. On a recent occasion, when upbraided for his inconsistency in opposing Dr. DeKoven for holding his (Dr. Adams') own views, he resented the impeachment by declaring that in holding and teaching the Objective Presence of Christ, he did not mean that He was present in the elements; but that He was simply "somewhere present." And when pressed to define the "somewhere," he said "in the chancel." Extraordinary teaching for a Professor of Systematic Divinity! But if [24/25] this be the only difference between the true doctrine and the false and Romish error, is it really worth all the outcry that is made over it?

Again, the use of candles at the celebration of the Eucharist after daylight, is a fact familiar to many students of Nashotah at different periods of its history; and the liturgical ceremonial of the Chapel service differs but slightly from the Chapel service at Racine, And when we consider that the former is a parish Church and thus more responsible for any novelty of ceremonial, while the latter is only a private Chapel, unconsecrated and without vestry or representation in Council, or amenability to Diocesan authority beyond that of a family oratory, we cannot but stand amazed at the inconsistency of such men, whose opposition to Dr. DeKoven is claimed to rest entirely on his advanced churchmanship! What can be said to account for this apparently unaccountable inconsistency! Were there any old grudges to be avenged? and was not the opportunity to do so under cover of pious protection to the faith, too good to be lost? Let conscience answer that question. Those professors, though ever claiming that they "live on and by faith," do not seem to agree with the Apostle, "And now abideth faith, hope and charity; but the greatest of these is charity."

The question may be asked, Why does Dr. DeKoven allow his name to be used when there is such violent opposition to him? The using his name is a right that belongs to his friends. It is they who have brought him forward, and not his own act. It might as well be charged upon Dr. DeKoven as a proof of his personal ambition that his name was used in Boston, and that he received forty votes for the Bishopric of Massachusetts. His friends in Wisconsin know the splendid services he has rendered to that Diocese, first at Nashotah and since then at Racine; nor to that Diocese only, but to the whole Church, for Racine is the most influential Church institution throughout the whole northwest, and its brilliant success is mainly due to Dr. DeKoven. Let Churchmen look at the amount that has been done for Kenyon during half a century, and the miserable failure which is the result of it all, and then compare with it the unequaled position achieved by Racine within little more than ten years of Dr. DeKoven's leadership, and they will not wonder at our gratitude, or at the spontaneous enthusiasm with which it was taken for granted (for there was no formal action by anybody) that Dr. DeKoven would be voted for. It was the manifest probability of that election, by a triumphant majority, that necessitated the extraordinary sort of electioneering employed to defeat him. Nothing else would do. Unless falsehoods and exaggerations enough could be told and believed to create an intense excitement and anti-popery panic, his election would have been certain at the first ballot. When the charges against him were doctrinal, it [25/26] would have been fatal to his own real principles for him to withdraw. It would have been a confession on his part that he knew his opinions to be so different from the Standards of "this Church" as to be a sufficient disqualification for holding office under her authority. He could not do that; and those who thought to drive him to it went the wrong way to work.

But how could he be so indelicate as to be present during the discussion? and above all how could he venture to make a speech in defence of himself without first, of all withdrawing his name as a candidate? We are all very much obliged to our new arbiters of delicacy and good taste in such matters; and the newspaper legislators who have invented new "laws" by which to forestall the resistance of those whom they wish to knock on the head as quietly as possible. But who ever heard of such rules or laws before?

As to being present while one is voted for at an Episcopal election, when the candidate thus voted for is a member of the body electing nothing is more common. In some cases, when the successive ballots indicate a concentration on one name which is almost certain to lead to an immediate choice, the person may withdraw, as it were at the last moment, and receive the actual announcement by means of a committee appointed for the purpose: but there is no "law" even requiring that. Bishop White was no conspicuous example of the want of delicacy and gentlemanly feeling: yet he was present at his election as Bishop, and voted for himself. Bishop Philander Chase did the same. Bishop Smith--our present Presiding Bishop--was present at two elections, when he himself was the choice of the Convention of Kentucky. Bishop Hopkins was present during the whole of the excited election in 1826, at which he was voted for by nearly the whole Low Church party, while it was his own vote that made the majority of one, which elected the High-Church nominee. Bishop Bowman was present at the Convention which elected him, and made a most striking speech in the discussion, which was a powerful element in moving the minds of many to unite on him. Dr. Mahan was present at the New Jersey Convention in 1859, when his case in some respects was very parallel to that of Dr. DeKoven. He was elected by the Clergy, not once only, but repeatedly; the laity, in a very excited and prejudiced state of mind, being determined to defeat him. He continued present during the whole of the balloting, and when satisfied that the desire of his friends was unattainable, it was he himself who rose, withdrew his name in a handsome speech, and nominated the Rev. Dr. Odenheimer, who was thereupon at once elected. Bishop Stevens was not only present during the balloting for him in 1858, but presided in the Convention at the time: and in 1862, when he was elected, he was present again, during [26/27] the protracted ballotings, when his friends, and those of Dr. Howe, Mound it so hard to make up their minds to desert either of them, that the two distinguished candidates, each with a friend, retired into the sacristy, and, after engaging in prayer, drew cuts as to who should withdraw. Dr. Howe, drawing the short cut, at once went back to his place, withdrew his name, and the concentration upon Dr. Stevens elected him accordingly. And this kindness was gratefully remembered land repaid, when the influence of Bishop Stevens was freely and successfully exerted to make Dr. Howe Bishop of Central Pennsylvania, the election of Bishops Clarkson and Randall by the Lower House o1 General Convention, they did not think it necessary to be absent. Dr. Andrews and Dr. Gibson did not absent themselves when they were voted for in Virginia, in 1867. And at the election of Bishop Doane of Albany, he continued present till next to the last of the nine or ten ballots, the clergy electing him over and over again, and the laity voting for some one else until the tenth ballot. During all this time Dr. Doane did not suppose his election possible, and was prepared, if his vote began to fall, to rise and withdraw his name; in which case it was his expressed intention to nominate Dr. Mahan or Dr. Eugene A. Hoffman. This rule of absenteeism during an Episcopal election is therefore a sheer imagination, or rather invention, gotten up for the express purpose of trying to get rid of Ritualistic Candidates a little more easily. The first thing to be tried in defeating such a man, is, to charge him loudly with holding any variety of papistical doctrines. Then, if he is absent at the election, urge that absence as a proof of conscious guilt; refuse to accept the declaration of "friends," on the plausible ground that in matters of opinion no one can speak for a man but himself. (To speak through "a friend" would only be evading the responsibility of a direct meeting of the accusation.) But if the man is present to speak for himself, then "Oh! what indelicacy! Who ever heard of such a thing before as a man defending himself when other people are so anxious to slaughter him? Why don't he withdraw first?" According to this beautiful plan, the defeat of a Ritualistic candidate is always sure. Uncontradicted slanders will do it easily: and before he can contradict them he must "withdraw": and "the withdrawal is all we want! it is the easiest kind of defeat!" The Church Journal seems to have an idea that to charge a man with holding all sorts of false doctrines, being in a conspiracy to Romanize the Church, and the rest of it, is not a personal attack at all: because it only impugns a man's doctrinal position. According to this, it would be no personal attack on Dr. Hugh Miller Thompson to charge him with being an Arian or an Infidel. And it is really melancholy to see anywhere a disposition to deny to any man the inalienable right of self-defence. The notion [27/28] that, while all should be free to assail Dr. DeKoven, he alone should have his tongue tied, is worse than unchristian: it is inhuman. Even when a bear is baited, they do not muzzle him, and at least leave his paws free to defend his life from the dogs: and it is pitiable to see that there are some who would show less of fair play to a brother priest in a Church Council than is freely granted by a rabble of roughs to a wild beast.

But gentlemen have made a mistake in supposing that those whom they nickname "Ritualists" are to be so easily gotten rid of. When attacked on the ground that they teach false doctrine, they will defend themselves. And they have a general habit of defending themselves successfully. All the cry about a "Conspiracy to Romanize the Church"; is mere empty balderdash. The only Conspiracy of which there is any evidence, is the conspiracy of (what was alleged to be) a majority of the Bishops, at the close of the last General Convention, to proscribe a whole school of clergymen within the Church, pledging themselves to each other to refuse consent to the consecration of any priest who agreed in theological opinion with Bishop Doane of Albany. The name of Dr. DeKoven was expressly mentioned as being on the list of the proscribed. The name of the Bishop who gave the information was promised, at the time, by the clergyman who made the statement in the Church Journal over his own name, if any denial of his statement should call for it. No such denial has ever been made. If it ever is made, the names of two Bishops are ready for publication, as vouchers for the facts: and two are better than one. Another pregnant proof of the existence of such a conspiracy is the statement that no less than twenty Bishops have written electioneering letters to Wisconsin to try to defeat the election of the proscribed Dr. DeKoven. It is about time that this meddling in dioceses that don't belong to them should stop. What about "indelicacy" in this business?

If there be any other conspiracy, it is the Protestant conspiracy hatched at Nashotah, and so vigorously sustained by the late Nashotah Professor, now editing in New York. The getting up of that deliberately slanderous document, "Principles--not Men;" the evident consultation and agreement about it in advance; the securing its publication at first anonymously, in two Milwaukee papers on Saturday, and the mailing it in pamphlet form on the Monday following, with signatures of "the Six" complete, and the appended note implying that it had been accidentally seen in the secular papers, thus attempting (like all. conspirators) to clothe their authorship with a veil of secresy; the confession by its author of that was an intentional exaggeration for "political effect" upon the minds of the laity; the fact that some of the chief conspirators came to the Council with long written [28/29] speeches against Dr. DeKoven, elaborately prepared, and portfolios full of papers, all ready to be discharged against him at a moment's notice as soon as they got a chance; the unblushing attempt to read a part of a private letter, while so reluctant to permit the reading of the rest of it; and then the subsequent reprinting of that precious pamphlet, in a garbled form, in the Church Journal, with the worst part omitted, without a hint to the reader that any such omission was made, capped the innocent indignation of the editor that anybody should call that a "personal" attack: all these things make a lovely tout ensemble, worthy of the Jesuits themselves. To master fully their manifold charms, they must be seen together, in the loving support which they give to one another, and with the twenty electioneering Bishops busily keeping themselves in the back-ground. If such a combination of evidences do not prove the existence of a Protestant conspiracy, how will it be possible to prove the existence of a Ritualistic conspiracy, with no evidence at all, except that Dr. DeKoven agrees with Bishop Andrews in regard to the Holy Eucharist?

But the depth and strength of the Nashotah animus cannot be fully measured without a word touching the fate of the rash youths, who, from noble and dutiful loyalty to their earlier instructor, Dr. DeKoven, let the Nashotah cat out of the bag, to the discomfiture of their subsequent teacher, Dr. Egar.

The facts are these: The authorities at Nashotah had granted permission to certain of their students to attend the Council. Among these were four members of the Senior Class. The affidavits given above were first read to the Council, in debate, as simple written statements, and caused a decided sensation, not a little damaging to the author of the pamphlet. He tried to explain it away, as being only the facetious talk of the Nashotah dinner-table; though even so, he was compelled to avow his authorship. But the fact was, the confessions embodied in those statements had been also imprudently made elsewhere, and to other parties, so that to a certain extent they had become public property. The statements were sworn to, and were produced the next day in debate as affidavits.

Now for the history of this affair since the Council: When the young men and their Professors had returned to their routine of duty, the four culprits, who were guilty of swearing to the truth, were summarily arraigned before the Faculty, and forbidden (as the first step of discipline) to eat at the common table; but were assigned to one by themselves. Then, as step number two, they were required by Professor Egar, first, to apologize; then, to return their affidavits and recant; and after this, to submit to expulsion as a charitable disposition of their cases! This was an assault upon every principle of manly [29/30] honor. The Professor wrote out his requirements as an answer to their request for a personal interview. Fortunately this ultimatum of Dr. Egar's is in their possession, and will be forthcoming at the proper time. They could not comply with the demands in any particular without dishonor, and of course respectfully declined.

The next step was an action of the Faculty, by which the four young candidates for the ministry were excluded from the Institution--excluded within a few weeks of their final examination.

Let us notice carefully this action of the Faculty. In the first place, the offence of these young men was the testifying against one of their Professors. The truth or falsehood of the testimony, we believe, was in no wise the question on which the Faculty, as a body, finally acted, but simply the fact that these young men had testified at all.

Let it be remembered that they had been permitted to discuss the question of the election, not only with each other, but with their professors. And as they were approaching their ordination, and felt thereby a deeper interest, they had been allowed to attend the Council; and as the questions of the Council were not questions of their Seminary, but extraneous to it, they gave their evidence, as they believed it their duty to do, to counteract as far as might be, the effect of the wrong they knew had been inflicted on an innocent and injured man--one to whom they were bound by strong affection and obligation. And they made these certified statements, un-influenced by anyone, and utterly unknown to Dr. DeKoven until they were read in open Council. They felt that they could do no less than give this voluntary testimony against the accusers of one to whom they owed so much. For this testimony, they were excluded from Nashotah, on the eve of their graduation. And since their exclusion, Professor Egar has pursued them with elaborate charges and specifications (in no case serving on the young men a copy of the same) to the Standing Committees and Bishops of their respective dioceses, to effect if possible his own exculpation, by their humiliation. Exclusion from graduation is not enough; but young men who are so ready and willing to tell the truth, are to be punished therefor by defeating their ultimate ordination to the ministry. This is a worse mistake than the other. American feeling naturally sympathizes with young men: and the attempt of a detected Professor to rehabilitate himself by ruining the prospects of four young men who told the truth about him, will prove worse than a double failure. And the members of the Faculty who abet this unrighteousness, will hurt themselves more than they will help their colleague.

The history of the Wisconsin election will not soon be forgotten. The men who did most to inaugurate the strife and commotion from [30/31] without--who were pulling the wires and directing every movement of their puppets,--are now the loudest in their wails, and they are praying that the "very remembrance of the Wisconsin Council may be blotted out forever." But their pious wailings will not quiet their accusing consciences, nor prevent a reaction which will enable them to measure somewhat more accurately the range of their many mistakes.

Wholesale proscription of any one party within the Church, whose members in no respect hold or teach anything contrary to her standards of doctrine and discipline, is a fatal mistake to be ventured upon in is country. It is never safe to try it at all except upon very obscure or insignificant individuals, or those whose follies have left them no ends. Dr. DeKoven is no such man. With energy, self-devotion good-temper, high courage, and brilliant success in his work, every part of which is for the highest interests of the Church, he has made himself a national reputation already, and hardly a Diocese can be found in which he has not hosts of friends. The idea that one whose singular merits have already won him forty votes in Massachusetts, and in Wisconsin, in spite of twenty electioneering Bishops, and all the storm and tempest growing out of the Nashotah conspiracy, carried the vote of the clergy: the idea that such a man is to be ostracized in advance by a combination among the Bishops, and thus permanently kept down, is simply preposterous. As to the present vacancy in Wisconsin, Dr. DeKoven will do as he pleases. He may withdraw his name, when the Council meets again in June, or he may not. His friends, we rather think, will claim the right to vindicate him, by their votes, against his enemies. But his "candidateship," as it is called, is now a matter of comparative indifference touching the grand result. The plot of wholesale proscription will be substantially defeated with this first attempt to put it in practice on a man like Dr. DeKoven: for such a policy, in this free land, cannot survive exposure: and the exposure of the whole beautiful process is now complete.

Project Canterbury