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From The Works of the Rt. Rev. Charles C. Grafton (Volume 7),
edited by B. Talbot Rogers, New York: Longmans, Green, 1914, pp.
184-186


LETTER TO A BISHOP
BISHOP'S HOUSE,

FOND DU LAC, WISCONSIN, July 23, 1904

MY DEAR BISHOP:

In addition to the two enclosed cases Bishop —— deposed the Rev. ——, educated at Sewanee, a College graduate, in middle life, married, and who verted to Rome. He married a woman of large means, and the consequent worldliness and luxury, together with disappointed ambition, led to the loss of his priestly vocation. This is one of the many cases I have known where marriage, for various causes, has led to a priest leaving our church for the Roman communion. The wife sometimes wants her husband to give up a life which involves such self-restraint and denial.

And now let me, my dear and younger brother, fraternally say that college education has nothing to do with a man's loyalty to God and the Episcopal Church. Some of the most pious, loyal, useful, and God-fearing priests in my diocese have never been to College. Marriage is found to be no security against sensual sins, and in a diocese like mine in many cases it just halves the priest's usefulness and doubles his cares.

The true reasons why so many men leave the ministry are: first, that they have never understood or felt the enormity of sin, or realized their own fatally lost condition, and have been most superficially converted. This I am forced to believe is the condition of many of the clergy, and that the sayings of some of the Fathers is true, that a number, it may be a large one, of the Bishops and priests will be eternally lost. Again, in our seminaries, the students are not taught what vocation signifies, how it is to be discerned and preserved. Their conversion is assumed. The sanctity of the priestly life is not aimed at; they are not properly trained in the art of meditation and prayer. Especially they are not taught that in Holy Orders the indelible stamp of priesthood is put on their souls, which shall shine forth forever in heaven, or burn on in intolerable torture in hell.

With my sincere and fraternal regards,
Yours in Christ,
C. C. FOND DU LAC.


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