accounted the First Bishop, briefly vindicated."
1. EXTRACT FROM BISHOP SELWYN's LETTER 7
2. IS THE CHURCH OF NEW ZEALAND IN ANY WAY COMPROMISED BY THE ACT OF THE LATE PRIMATE?. 13
3. BISHOP ABRAHAM'S LETTER TO THE "GUARDIAN" 15
4. THE IMPORTANCE OF THE QUESTION AT ISSUE. 28
5. BISHOP PATTESON. 29
6. CONCLUSION. 30
A sense of duty, amounting to a necessity, which I have endeavoured from time to time to put aside, but which has returned again and again impels me to address to you the following letter. On several occasions during the last five or six years I have felt a desire to write to the editor of the Guardian, in whose pages the controversy with respect to your Lordship's claim to be Bishop of Dunedin has been chiefly carried on; but two considerations have withheld me from doing so. In the first place, I have felt a great unwillingness to throw blame, directly or by implication, upon one whom I have so many reasons to revere and love, as the late Primate of New Zealand; and, secondly, I have on each occasion indulged the hope that, before my letter could reach England, this very painful and unedifying controversy would have altogether ceased. The impulse, which was scarcely more than a passing inclination on former occasions, has become, as I have said, a sense of duty, pressing more and more urgently, since I first read, less than six months ago, your Lordship's published pamphlet, entitled, "The See of Dunedin, N.Z.: the Title of the Right Rev. H. L. Jenner, D.D., to be accounted the First Bishop, briefly vindicated." This pamphlet was placed in my hands by a clergyman, who had not very long returned to this diocese from England, who informed me at the same time that the statements therein contained, being generally accepted by Churchmen in [5/6] England, had produced in many quarters, to his certain knowledge, an impression exceedingly unfavourable to the Church in New Zealand. When I had read a few pages of the pamphlet, I could not wonder at this; and, before I had come to the end, I could not but acknowledge that, if its statements were only based on fact, the Church in New Zealand would not only have no ground to stand upon at all, but would richly deserve the very strong terms of condemnation in which your Lordship speaks of her conduct.
I must confess to have been perfectly astounded--a sensation from which I have not yet recovered--at the statements made by your Lordship in that pamphlet, not on your own authority, but on the authority of the Lord Bishop of Lichfield. I feel the strongest possible reluctance to impugn statements made on such authority, but I feel yet more strongly that to pass them over unnoticed and unanswered would be a positive sin. It is most deeply to be deplored that his Lordship should have fallen into such extraordinary and unaccountable mistakes, which have misled not only yourself, but the Archbishops and Bishops of England, and have been most prejudicial to that Church, which, on other grounds, owes to Bishop Selwyn so deep a debt of gratitude.
Before proceeding further, allow me to state distinctly that I am wholly and solely responsible both for the design of writing the present letter, and for its contents. I write unsolicited and unassisted. I have no claim to represent the Church of New Zealand, beyond the fact that I have been a member of the General Synods of 1865, 1868, 1871, and 1874, have been present at every sitting of those Synods, have voted, I believe, on every division, and, in particular, must own to a full share of responsibility for every act of the General Synod in the matter of the Bishopric of Dunedin.
In the following remarks, I shall, deal, first and chiefly, with the extract from Bishop Selwyn's letter to your Lordship, of April, 1860, which is to be found on page 21 of your pamphlet, and upon which you chiefly, and, I must say, reasonably rely. [6/7] Afterwards, I propose to notice briefly some other points in your pamphlet, and some of the statements also contained in Bishop Abraham's letter to the Guardian of June 7, 1871, of which your Lordship says that it "remains unanswered and unanswerable." I have only further to premise, that it forms no part of my purpose to defend the conduct or language of individuals; whether defensible or not, I am not concerned with it; I express no opinion about it; the Church of New Zealand is responsible only for her own acts, and I have only to do with the questions at issue between your Lordship and that Church in her corporate capacity.
1. EXTRACT FROM BISHOP SELWYN'S LETTER.
In order to bring this matter fairly before the Readers of this letter, and that they may see the full importance of its bearing on the controversy, it will be necessary for me to quote somewhat largely from your Lordship's pamphlet. On page 20, you write thus:--"Bishop Hadfield includes among those positions which he says are 'absolutely without any foundation whatever'--a formula which he employs more than once--my statement that 'the Primate of New Zealand, acting in the name and by the authority of the General Synod, empowered Archbishop Longley to select and consecrate a Bishop for Dunedin.' Well, I can only repeat for the twentieth time, and with the full conviction that it may be necessary to repeat it twenty times more, that the assertion is made on the distinct authority of the late Primate of New Zealand. It is not my statement, but his; and, in affirming that 'it is absolutely without any foundation whatever,' Bishop Hadfield contradicts not me, but Bishop Selwyn whose words, in answer to a doubt expressed by me, whether I need have accepted the Constitution at so early a period, are as follows--the date is April, 1866, four months before my consecration: 'You seem to have been told that your subscription to the New Zealand Church Constitution was premature, if not unnecessary. On the contrary, the General Synod expressly requested the Archbishop of Canterbury to place our Constitution in the hands of any clergyman whom he might select, and obtain [7/8] his written assent to it, before he recognised him as Bishop Designate.'"
The italics in the above extract are your Lordship's, or Bishop Selwyn's, I cannot say which; but, if your own, you have very justly emphasised the words; for, if the statements contained in them were only correct, the Church of New Zealand would have absolutely no case at all, and in continuing to reject your claim to have been first Bishop of Dunedin, would more than justify the charges you bring against her, of "recklessness," "perverseness," "falsehood," and "wrong." But, painful as it is to say it, the words must be spoken; the statements contained in that extract from Bishop Selwyn's letter are, to use the words of Bishop Hadfield, "absolutely without any foundation whatever." I write under a full sense of responsibility, and I say again most distinctly, that the statement that "the General Synod expressly requested the Archbishop of Canterbury to place our Constitution in the hands of any clergyman whom he might select"--i.e., for the See of Dunedin--"and obtain his written assent to it, before he recognised him as Bishop Designate" of Dunedin--is "absolutely without any foundation whatever." Am I then imputing conscious untruthfulness, downright deliberate falsehood, to the late Primate of New Zealand? By no means; but I am bound to affirm that, in writing the words of that extract, his Lordship fell into a most extraordinary and inconceivable mistake. There is just enough, as I shall presently show, in the proceedings of the General Synod of 1865, to account for such a mistake having been made, through confusion of memory; but what, I confess, is most unaccountable, is the fact that such a mistake, having been made so long ago as 1866, should not since have been corrected, but should have been allowed to remain and fester, and be the cause of deep-seated and spreading mischief. I can only suppose that the words which his Lordship had written escaped his memory afterwards, in the multiplicity of his engagements, and that they have never fairly come under his consideration since. If the case were not a very clear one, it may well be conceived that I should not presume, nay, that I should not [8/9] dare, to bring such a charge against such a man; if I cannot show it to be a clear one, then I am content to bear all the odium and all the disgrace that such a charge against such a man, if proved to be unfounded, would entail. That the course I am taking, and the risk I am encountering, is disagreeable to myself, needs hardly to be said; nothing short of the strongest possible sense of obligation would induce me to pursue the one, and to brave the other.
Before I proceed to the proof, that the statements contained in the extract from Bishop Selwyn's letter are "absolutely without any foundation whatever," suffer me to point out the extreme importance which attaches to this extract--not for your Lordship's sake, but for the sake of those who may read this letter without having previously read your pamphlet. It may be truly said that the whole case between the Church of New Zealand and yourself hinges on the correctness or incorrectness of this extract.
After quoting it, you proceed to comment upon it as follows, on page 21:--"If language has any meaning at all, the above extract proves that the Archbishop was authorised by the General Synod to do three things:--1. To select a clergyman; 2. To obtain his written assent to the Constitution; 3. To recognise him as Bishop Designate. And all these several steps did Archbishop Longley take in regard to myself." Again, on page 23, you say, with, if possible, still greater clearness and emphasis:--"What I have said, and what I now repeat, is this: that Archbishop Longley, being 'expressly requested by the General Synod to place the Constitution in the hands of any clergyman whom he might select, and obtain his written assent to it, before he recognised him as Bishop Designate,' did select me, did place the Constitution in my hands, did obtain my written assent to it, and did recognise me as Bishop Designate." If then your Lordship has rightly understood the extract (and this can hardly be doubted--your interpretation of it, so far as I am aware, has not been corrected), it follows that it is, so to say, the articulus stantis aut cadentis ecclesiæ Novæ Zelandiæ. If the General Synod did make [9/10] this request to the Archbishop of Canterbury with reference to the Bishopric of Dunedin, there is not another word to be said on its behalf; I, for one, throw up my brief at once.
To come then to the point. The letter from which the extract is taken, was written in April 1866, and refers therefore to the General Synod of 1865, the only one indeed, to which it could possibly refer. Now I have a very clear recollection of all matters of importance dealt with by that Synod, having been a member of it, and absent from none of its sittings. Moreover, I have now before me the printed Report of its proceedings, and have just carefully gone through it once more, having done so several times previously, in order to be quite sure that I am not mistaken in what I am about to assert. The result is, that I feel bound to state once more, most distinctly, in the words of Bishop Hadfield, that there is "absolutely no foundation whatever" for the statements contained in the extract. Two resolutions were adopted by that Synod, which may have left some traces of themselves on the memory of the writer, who presided over that Synod, and which may possibly have given rise to his mistake; but it will be seen, when I quote them, that neither of them supplies the least shadow of foundation for the statements in question. The first, which was adopted on the Eleventh Sitting Day, 11th May, 1865, (see page 55 of the Report) runs as follows:--Moved by Mr. Dutton, seconded by Dr. Donald,--"That the Nelson Diocesan Synod having deputed to the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of London the nomination of a successor to the present Bishop of Nelson; and the Bishop of London having notified that he is prepared to exercise such right of nomination, this Synod do forward to His Grace the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury a copy of Clause 23 of the Constitution Deed, and request his grace will be pleased to act on behalf of the general Synod in sanctioning, at his discretion, the nomination of a clergyman by the Bishop of London, and to take the necessary steps for giving effect to the nomination." Carried. It is obvious that this Resolution has no more to do with the Bishopric of Dunedin than it has with the Bishopric of [10/11] Capetown, or any other Bishopric. Neither is there any general principle involved in it, such as might in the remotest degree lend any countenance to the statements of the extract. It is the delegation of a particular power to a particular person in a particular case. And it has nothing whatever to do with the selection of a clergyman, but only with the sanctioning of a selection made by another person. It may be as well, perhaps, for the sake of perfect clearness, that I should recite Clause 23 of the Constitution Deed, referred to in the above resolution. It runs thus:--"The nomination of a Bishop shall proceed from the Diocesan Synod, and if such nomination be sanctioned by the General Synod, or, if the General Synod be not in session, by the majority of the Standing Committees of the several Dioceses, the senior Bishop shall take the necessary steps for giving effect to the nomination. Provided that every such nomination shall be made upon condition that the person so nominated shall, before accepting the nomination, declare in writing his assent to this Constitution." The General Synod, accordingly, by the above Resolution, delegated to the Archbishop of Canterbury its right of sanctioning the nomination which should be made to the Bishopric of Nelson, just as the Diocesan Synod of Nelson had previously delegated the right of nomination itself to the Bishop of London. Before the Synod broke up, news was received from England of the exercise of the delegated right of nomination by the Bishop of London, and, accordingly, we read on page 63 of the Report, that on Monday, 15th May, "the President announced that the Rev. Andrew Burn Suter, Incumbent of All Saints Stepney, had been nominated as successor to the Bishop of Nelson." 2. If the Resolution just referred to affords no countenance to the statements of the extract, still less, if possible, does the other, to which I have alluded. So wide is it indeed of the mark, that I should not cite it at all, but for the fact that when, at the recent meeting of the Sixth General Synod at Wellington, I was comparing in a speech the statements in question with the Report of the Proceedings of the Third General Synod, as I have just been doing in the above paragraphs, it was doubtfully [11/12] suggested by a leading lay member of the Synod, that it was just possible the Bishop of Lichfield might have been referring to the Resolution on page 59, adopted two days after the former one, and which I now quote:--Moved by the Bishop of Christchurch, seconded by the Rev. Dr. Maunsell,--"That this Synod instruct the Bishops of this Ecclesiastical Province to memorialise the authorities of the State in England for the purpose of obtaining their consent to the regulation of the General Synod as expressed in Clause 23 of the Deed of Constitution, viz: 'That the nomination of a Bishop shall proceed from the Diocesan Synod and be sanctioned by the General Synod,' or, pending their decision on this matter, that they appoint no Bishop to any vacant See in this Ecclesiastical Province, unless he shall be willing to declare his assent to this Constitution." Carried. It will be seen that this Resolution, though it refers to the requirement of assent to the Constitution, makes no mention of the Archbishop of Canterbury at all, much less to the selection by him of a clergyman for the See of Dunedin; the memorial was to be addressed to "the authorities of the State in England." In point of fact, no memorial of the sort was ever sent, as the Bishop of Lichfield is aware; for, immediately after the breaking up of the Session of the General Synod in 1865, news arrived of the delivery of the Judgment of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council upon the petition of Bishop Colenso, known as the Westbury Judgment, delivered on the 20th March, 1865, the effect of which was to declare, that the Crown had no power to create Dioceses, or appoint Bishops as corporations sole, by letters patent, in Colonies possessing an independent legislature. By this Judgment the whole aspect of the relations between the Church in the Colonies, and the authorities of the State in England, was completely changed. So much was this felt to be the case by the Primate of New Zealand and his Comprovincials, that they took the decided step of offering to surrender their letters patent, and felt that they would be indemnified by the succeeding Synod for not sending home any such Memorial as that which was contemplated by the Resolution above cited.
 The two resolutions then, which I have thus referred to at length, are manifestly wide of the mark; they do not touch the question; and there is absolutely nothing besides in the Report of the Proceedings of the Synod of 1865, which could by any possibility be construed into an authority given by the Synod to the Archbishop of Canterbury to select a clergyman for the See of Dunedin. It is true that the Synod adopted, on the 13th May, the resolution referred to by Bishop Abraham in his letter to the Guardian, with respect to the next place of meeting; but let us see what that amounts to. It certainly could not have been in the mind of the Bishop of Lichfield, when he penned the words of the extract which is under consideration. It is as follows (page 58):--Moved by Mr. Quick, seconded by the Bishop of Christchurch--"That the next Session of the General Synod be held in Dunedin, if by the time of meeting there be a Bishopric of Dunedin constituted, and the Bishop shall have entered upon the duties of his office. If there be no Bishop, the next Session shall be hold at Auckland." Carried. "If language has any meaning at all," to use your Lordship's words, neither this resolution, nor either of the two foregoing, can by any possibility be said to bear out the positive assertion that "the General Synod expressly requested the Archbishop of Canterbury to place our constitution in the hands of any clergyman whom he might select, and obtain his written assent to it, before he recognised him as Bishop Designate." I must therefore sadly, but emphatically, conclude this part of my letter with the re-iterated declaration, that the positive assertion just quoted is "absolutely without any foundation whatever."
2. IS THE CHURCH OF NEW ZEALAND IN ANY WAY COMPROMISED BY THE ACT OF THE LATE PRIMATE?
Your Lordship, in the "Statement" presented by you to the Fourth General Synod, which met in Auckland in 1868, wrote as follows--and you invite special attention to the passage on page 12 of the pamphlet to which I am replying:--"An engagement [13/14] of more than ordinary solemnity has been entered into; the two contracting parties being the Church in New Zealand, speaking and acting by her Metropolitan, and Bishop Jenner. The question to be decided by the Synod is simply this: Do the interests of the New Zealand Church demand, and will justice and honesty admit of the repudiation of that engagement by either of the parties, without the concurrence of the other? Such a question may safely be left to the judgment of any assembly of fair-dealing Englishmen; and the Bishop leaves it with perfect confidence in the hands of the General Synod of the New Zealand Church." Your Lordship must forgive me for saying that it is a perfectly groundless assumption that any engagement, either expressed or implied, has ever been entered into between the Church in New Zealand and yourself. Herein lies the fous et origo mali. Your words are, "the Church in New Zealand speaking and acting by her Metropolitan." Now if it can be proved that the New Zealand Church did really speak and act by her Metropolitan or, in other words, authorise her Metropolitan to speak and act for her, in the matter of the appointment of a Bishop of Dunedin, I have not a word more to say, except to express the deepest contrition for having had any share in the repudiation of a solemn engagement. But I must boldly and unflinchingly say that no such proof can be given. It is just this point, as I need not remind your Lordship, which Bishop Abraham essays to prove in his letter, in the Supplement of the Guardian of June 7th, 1871, and of which you say that it "remains unanswered and unanswerable." As the Bishop has said in that letter all, and more than all, that can be said on the side of the question which he has espoused, it will be convenient perhaps if I put what I have to say on the other side, in the shape of a reply to that letter. I hope it is unnecessary for me to say that, in applying myself to this task, I do so with feelings of the deepest respect, and most sincere regard, for one from whom I have received many kindnesses, and with whom, when he was in New Zealand, I enjoyed the privilege of frequent and friendly correspondence.
 3. BISHOP ABRAHAM'S LETTER TO THE "GUARDIAN."
In the first place, let me say generally, that all the arguments, which Bishop Abraham and others bring forward in support of the assertion that the late Primate of New Zealand was either authorised or encouraged by the General Synod to take steps for the selection of a clergyman for the See of Dunedin, are afterthoughts. When the fact became known in New Zealand that the appointment had been offered to your Lordship by Archbishop Longley, and that the Archbishop had been led to take this step by a communication from Bishop Selwyn, there was, I venture to say, but one feeling among Churchmen throughout the length and breadth of the Colony, a feeling of silent, regretful astonishment. If it had been any other man but Bishop Selwyn, the feeling would have been one of undisguised indignation. No one was more taken aback, if I may use the expression, than Bishop Selwyn himself, as I know from what he said to myself, when he called at Christchurch on his way to Dunedin in March, 1866. As Bishop Abraham says, when he "wrote to the Archbishop of Canterbury, requesting to him be on the look-out for a suitable man, he did not expect so immediate an answer as he received, that Dr. Jenner had accepted the bishopric." In writing that letter to the Archbishop, Bishop Selwyn probably intended and expected nothing more than that the Archbishop should select a clergyman, whom he (Bishop Selwyn) might recommend to the Churchmen of Otago for their Bishop, as he had before recommended the present Primate of New Zealand (Bishop Harper) to the Churchmen of Canterbury.
But, be this as it may, the great question is this--Was the Church of New Zealand, through her General Synod, in any way a party to the step taken by Bishop Selwyn in writing to the Archbishop? In no way at all, I answer, and am prepared to prove. At the risk of being tedious, I will, for the sake of the completeness of the proof, take Bishop Abraham's letter, clause by clause.
 "When the Bishop of Christchurch was appointed to that See," he writes, "there was no Church Constitution at all in New Zealand. The Bishop of Now Zealand, after conference with the clergy and laity of the Canterbury Colony, offered the See to Dr. Harper, and on his acceptance of it presented his name to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Secretary of State for the Colonies, and he was duly consecrated to the See." This is substantially correct; but let it be clearly perceived what the precedent amounted to; the Bishop of New Zealand acted as a trusted mediator, but the nomination proceeded, according to ancient Catholic principle, from the clergy and laity over whom the new Bishop was to preside.
"In the year 1857," Bishop Abraham proceeds to say, "those two Bishops, a body of representative clergy and of representative laity, met at Auckland, and drew up and signed the Church Constitution, in which provision was made for the election of a Bishop to a vacant See, but none for the formation of a new diocese, or the appointment of a Bishop for a non-existent diocese." It is quite true that no literal provision was made for the appointment of a Bishop to a new diocese; but clause 25 of the original Constitution, and clause 23 of the amended Constitution, agree in laying down the broad principles, that the nomination of a Bishop shall proceed from the clergy and representatives of the laity over whom he is to preside, but that the nomination shall not take effect, unless it shall have been sanctioned by the Bishops, and the representatives of the clergy and laity of the Ecclesiastical Province. The original clause (No. 25) stood as follows:--"Saving any rights of the Church and of the Crown, the nomination of a Bishop shall proceed from the Diocesan Synod, and, if sanctioned by the General Synod, shall be submitted by the General Synod to the authorities in Church and State in England for their favourable consideration." And the amended clause does not materially differ from this with reference to the principles of nomination and confirmation, but only in the omission of all reference to the rights of the Crown, and to the authorities in Church and State. Now I may say [16/17] that, to my certain knowledge, it was always understood by many others besides myself--I think I might truly say, by the majority of Churchmen in New Zealand--that the spirit of these provisions would be adhered to in the appointment of Bishops to new dioceses, as we have seen that it actually was in the case of the appointment of Bishop Harper,--that is to say, that the nomination would proceed from the clergy and the representatives of the laity of the new diocese, and be confirmed by the General Synod, as representing the Church of the Province.
But, apart from this, there is the express provision of the 13th Clause of the Constitution, to which Bishop Hadfield has called attention, and which, as he justly says, is "absolutely decisive of the whole question." Clause 13 lays down expressly that "the General Synod shall have power to determine how and by whom all patronage shall be exercised." Your Lordship's answer to this is:--"Very well: then the General Synod was acting strictly within its defined limits, when it authorised Archbishop Longley to 'select a clergyman' for the See of Dunedin." But I have clearly proved, I think, that the General Synod never did authorise the Archbishop to take this step.
I proceed to quote the next paragraphs of the Bishop's letter:--"Accordingly, in 1858, the Bishop of New Zealand proceeded, as before, to confer with the clergy and laity of several (political) Provinces of Now Zealand, and having learnt from them that there were funds available for the purpose, and having mentioned the names of the clergymen he intended to propose to the Archbishop, he laid those names before the Archbishop and the Secretary of the State for the Colonies, and Bishop Hobhouse and myself were duly accepted by those authorities, and consecrated in 1858 by Archbishop Sumner. And the Bishop of New Zealand, having further conferred with the Church Missionary Society, presented the name of Bishop Williams to the same authorities, and he was duly consecrated at Wellington." Now the conclusion, which his Lordship draws from the facts here stated, is given by him further on, in the summing up of his letter, thus:--"I hold that Bishop Jenner [17/18] was as duly elected and nominated for the See of Dunedin as Bishops Hobhouse, Williams, and myself were for our several Sees." It is strange that the Bishop should overlook the fact, that the circumstances of the Church of New Zealand were completely changed at the time when the appointment was made to the See of Dunedin, from what they were at the time of his own nomination, and those of Bishops Hobhouse and Williams. When these Bishops were nominated, there were no Diocesan Synods, nor Rural Deanery Boards, in existence; in other words, there was no regular organisation of the clergy and laity of any (political) Province or District; and, as the General Synod was not yet constituted, when these appointments were made, there was no authority to determine, "how and by whom Patronage should be exercised." Under these circumstances, Bishop Selwyn could do no otherwise than he did; he conferred, in the best manner he could, with the clergy and laity of the Provinces of Wellington and Nelson, and they gladly concurred in his recommendation; in the case of Bishop Williams, who was to preside over a Missionary Diocese, he conferred with the Church Missionary Society. But when, in 1865, seven years later Bishop Selwyn requested Archbishop Longley to be on the look-out for a clergyman for the See of Dunedin, circumstances were completely altered; the Synodical System had been in full operation for several years; three sessions of the General Synod had been held; the several Diocesan Synods had met annually; so had, in particular, the Rural Deanery Board of Otago and Southland. Clergy and laity had been roused to a sense of their responsibilities; distinct rights and privileges had been assigned to them; and they had learnt to take an active, intelligent, and regular part in Church legislation, and in the general management of the affairs of the Church.
But, over and above these general changes, there was another essential point of difference between the course which Bishop Selwyn pursued in the appointment of the three Bishops in 1858, and the unfortunate step which he took in writing to Archbishop Longley in 1865. It is a point which I do not remember to [18/19] have seen noticed before in the course of this controversy, and to which I beg to invite special attention. When Bishop Selwyn, with his accustomed energy, pushed forward the formation of the new dioceses of Nelson, Wellington, and Waiapu, in 1858, and procured the appointment of Bishops Hobhouse, Abraham, and Williams to preside over them, he was carving out new dioceses out of his own diocese; he was selecting men to preside over portions of the wide-extended territory, which up to that time had owned allegiance to himself. But when he wrote to Archbishop Longley in 1865 to select a clergyman for the Diocese of Dunedin, the Provinces of Otago and Southland, which together constitute that diocese, had for nearly nine years formed part of the Diocese of Christchurch, had been annually visited by Bishop Harper, and all their Church affairs administered by him; he had appointed all their clergy, and had presided in person over their Rural Deanery Board. Here, then, is a marked difference between this case and those preceding ones, with which Bishop Abraham classes it as exactly parallel. Surely, if any individual was entitled to exercise a special influence in the appointment of the First Bishop of Dunedin, it was the Bishop of Christchurch But, in truth, no such right belonged to any individual whatever, however exalted his position, from the time that the Synods of the Church, Diocesan and General, were in full operation.
But, in flat opposition to the assertion just made, the next paragraph in Bishop Abraham's letter contains the strange assumption--strange indeed to the great majority of churchmen in New Zealand--that the General Synod never dreamt of interfering with the first nominations to new Sees, until the claim to do so was devised, as an unauthorised novelty, by those who wished to defeat your Lordship's appointment. Strange indeed, if this assumption were correct, that, when the motion was made in the Synod that met in Auckland in 1868, "that the appointment of Bishop Jenner to the See of Dunedin be not confirmed by the Synod,"* [Footnote: *See Appendix.] neither Bishop Selwyn who presided, nor Bishop [19/20] Abraham who was present, nor anybody else, thought of disputing the Synod's right to pass such a resolution. But let me proceed to examine what the Bishop actually says:--"The first General Synod was sitting at Wellington in March, 1859, when Bishop Hobhouse and I arrived, and had passed the first three statutes organising the General and Diocesan Synods and Rural Deanery Boards, before Bishop Williams was consecrated, but no one ever proposed any reference to the General Synod to confirm our appointments, it being so clearly felt that the Church Constitution had made no provision for the first appointments, and that therefore the General Synod had nothing to do with them, until it should pass a statute remedying the defect, (which has only just been done in 1871)." I have emphasised by italics the latter portion of this extract, because it is extremely important in its bearing on the main question; for, if the reason here given for the non-interference of the Synod in the appointments of Bishops Hobhouse, Abraham, and Williams were the true one, then I say again, the controversy would be at an end; the General Synod would have no case. But I must repeat, that this distinction, of which so much has been made in England, is altogether an afterthought, and has scarcely been heard of in New Zealand. I was not a member of the Synod of 1859, and cannot therefore bear personal testimony to what took place there; in the Synod of 1862, of which also I was not a member, no occasion arose, so far as I am aware, for any mention of the subject. But in the Synod of 1865, in which I took part, there was a very full and earnest discussion, as Bishop Abraham will doubtless remember, on the subject of the nomination and confirmation of Bishops, and the clause of the Constitution relating to the matter was materially amended; and I confidently state that during that whole discussion no distinction was drawn by any speaker between first and subsequent appointments. Had the question arisen, I doubt not that it would have been held that the principle, on which the clause was grounded, was wide enough to cover both, and that the clause was intended to govern both. This, however, may be regarded as a petitio [20/21] principii: I therefore beg to confine myself to the assertion, of which I challenge contradiction, that, in all the discussions of the subject in the Synod of 1865, the distinction was never drawn. And, as I have stated above, when the very question itself was brought up in the most naked form, in the Synod of 1868, by the motion before-mentioned, "that the appointment of Bishop Jenner to the See of Dunedin be not confirmed by the Synod," neither Bishop Selwyn who presided, nor Bishop Abraham who was present, nor anybody else, took exception to the right of the Synod to give or withhold confirmation in the case of a first appointment. This fact is an indisputable proof that the distinction between first and subsequent appointments, of which so much has been made, is an afterthought, which had its origin, not in New Zealand, but in England.
What reason, then, it may be asked, can be given why the First Synod of 1859 did not claim the exercise of the same right with regard to the appointments of Bishops Hobhouse, Abraham, and Williams? A very good and sufficient reason indeed, I must take leave to say. The original clause of the Constitution relating to the appointment of Bishops, which was then in force, ran thus:--"25. Saving any rights of the Church and of the Crown, the nomination of a Bishop shall proceed from the Diocesan Synod, and, if sanctioned by the General Synod, shall be submitted by the General Synod to the authorities in Church and State in England for their favourable consideration." But the names of those three Bishops had been already "submitted to the authorities in Church and State in England," and had been accepted by them, and two out of the three had been actually consecrated, not only before the First General Synod had met, but before the Synodical system had been brought into operation at all. How could the First General Synod have any voice whatever in what it found to have been an accomplished fact before it came into existence at all?
At the close of the paragraph last quoted, the Bishop states that the Synod passed a Statute in 1871, "remedying the" (supposed) "defect." But how, let me ask, could a Statute remedy a defect [21/22] in the Constitution? As well might we speak of one of the XXXIX Articles remedying a defect in the Scriptures. If there be a defect in the Constitution, it must be supplied in the Constitution; no Statute can supply it. In point of fact, the Statute of 1871--the draft of which, I may remind Bishop Abraham, was before a Select Committee (of which he was himself a member) of the Synod of 1868--is only a development in detail of the principle of the clause of the Constitution, which relates to the appointment of Bishops.
It is an exceedingly unpleasant duty to be compelled, for the truth's sake, to contradict a person for whom one feels a sincere and deep respect, more especially if that person be a Bishop. Such, however, is the obligation, under which I find myself placed with regard to the first half of the next paragraph of the Bishop's letter, which runs thus:--"When the General Synod met at Nelson in 1862, they pressed upon the Metropolitan (the Bishop of New Zealand) the desirableness of his taking steps to find a Bishop for Dunedin. In 1865, when the General Synod met at Christchurch, the matter was taken up again, and a resolution passed to the effect that the Synod should meet at Dunedin in 1868, if there was a Bishop there by that time; and I made the remark that if no more interest was shown in the mater during the next three years than in the three preceding, we had better name another place where the General Synod should meet, in case there was no Bishop, and Auckland was named accordingly. (General Synod Report, 1865, p. 104). I mention this to show that pressure was brought to bear upon the Metropolitan by the General Synod, to make him try and move the churchmen of Dunedin to endow a Bishopric."
Now I have searched the Report of the Proceedings of the Second General Synod, which met at Nelson in 1862, through and through with the greatest care, and fail to find the slightest vestige of proof of the Bishop's statement, that that Synod "pressed upon the Metropolitan the desirableness of his taking steps to find a Bishop for Dunedin." It is a pity that his Lordship does not give any reference here, as he does in the next [22/23] sentence with regard to the Third General Synod. He must have been thinking of something which passed in private, or of something, at any rate, which is not recorded. However that may be, there is absolutely no ground whatever for saying that the General Synod pressed the matter, or took it up even; for the General Synod does nothing, except by formal, official, and published act. The only reported mention of the subject at all, at that Synod, occurs in the President's Address. After speaking of the organisation of the several Diocesan Synods, he adds, "To complete the system, a Rural Deanery Board has been organised at Otago, which, under the present circumstances of that Province, we hope will soon expand itself into the Synod of a new Diocese."* [Footnote: *See Appendix, p. iii.]
With regard to what transpired in the General Synod which met at Christchurch in 1865, I must refer to what I have said at length in the former part of this letter. I have a recollection that reference was often made by individual members of that Synod to that which was the desire of all, namely, that steps should be taken to provide an endowment for the proposed Bishopric of Dunedin as soon as possible. But that is one thing; the selection of a clergyman to fill the office is quite another.
I may pass over the next few lines of the Bishop's letter, inasmuch as they have reference to facts which no one disputes, and which have no bearing on the merits of the controversy. The next passage I have to notice is this:--"I should add, that at the General Synod in 1865, a resolution was passed requiring any clergyman before his consecration to a See in New Zealand under the Church Constitution to sign a Declaration of Submission to the General Synod. This Declaration was duly accepted and signed by Bishop Jenner, and laid before the Standing Commission of the said General Synod." I refer to this passage chiefly, my Lord, because in your own pamphlet you lay stress upon the fact of your declaration of adhesion to the Constitution having been laid before the Standing Commission, and accepted by that body, as though it were presumptive evidence of [23/24] the legitimacy of your appointment. Your Lordship writes as follows (p. 23):--"And I have argued also, that the fact of my assent having been required and given 'in consideration of being appointed Bishop of Dunedin,' and the statutable declaration to that effect having been accepted by the Standing Commission (the authorised representative of the General Synod when not in Session), and recorded on their minutes without demur or hesitation, is presumptive evidence that no violence had been done to the Constitution, and that my recognition as Bishop Designate was regarded as a matter of course." I wlll put as briefly as possible what I have to say on this branch of the subject. 1. The Standing Commission is, truly enough, "the authorised representative of the General Synod when not in Session," but only within certain prescribed and clearly defined limits, laid down by statute. This is a point, about which the General Synod has always been very jealous. Therefore, if the Standing Commission should at any time exceed its powers, it would be alone responsible; it could not bind the General Synod. 2. But, in point of fact, the act of the Standing Commission, in the case referred to, was simply an act of registration; nay, it was not even that; it amounted to no more than the listening to the reading of a document. It so happens that I am in a position to give the best possible proof of the correctness of this statement; for I am writing with the original minute-book of the Standing Commission before me. I will transcribe the minutes referring to the subject, premising that the meeting was held at the Cathedral Library, Auckland, on Wednesday, January 10th 1866, and that there were present, the Bishop of New Zealand in the chair, and only two besides, namely, Sir William Martin, and the Hon. William Swainson:--
"Read letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury reporting the recommendation of the Reverend Henry Lascelles Jenner as Bishop of the new See of Dunedin.
"Read declaration of adhesion of the Reverend Henry Lascelles Jenner to the Constitution of the Church in New Zealand."
This is absolutely all that appears on the minute-book of the [24/25] Standing Commission on the subject of the Bishopric of Dunedin until the 22nd May, 1871, when I find this minute:--"The Chairman informed the Commission that the Reverend Samuel Tarratt Nevill, Rector of Shelton, in the County of Stafford, England, had been nominated to the Bishopric of Dunedin by the Synod of the Diocese of Dunedin, and that the nomination had been confirmed by the majority of the Standing Committees of the Ecclesiastical Province. The Chairman further informed the Commission that it is proposed by the Primate to consecrate the Reverend Samuel Tarratt Nevill at Dunedin on Whit-Tuesday next." Then follows the minute of a resolution adopted by the Commission, the preamble of which recites at length the provisions of Statute No. 12 of the Fourth General Synod, 1868, (Statute to provide for the division of the Diocese of Christchurch into two separate Dioceses--certified, by the way, by Bishop Selwyn)--one of which provisions was that "until a day to be fixed in that behalf by the Standing Commission, the said Bishop of Christchurch shall continue to have charge of the said Diocese Dunedin, and, for the purpose of the Statute for the organisation of Diocesan Synods, shall be deemed and taken to be the Bishop of such Diocese." The Resolution, accordingly, of the Standing Commission, omitting the Preamble, is as follows:--"It is Resolved and Declared by the Standing Commission that, on the day on which the said Samuel Tarratt Nevill shall be consecrated to the office of Bishop, the said Bishop of Christchurch shall cease to have charge of the said Diocese of Dunedin, and shall cease to be deemed to be the Bishop of such Diocese for the purposes of the Statute for the Organisation of Diocesan Synods."* [Footnote: *See Appendix, p. x.] So that, if the testimony of the Standing Commission goes for anything, it is manifestly to this effect, namely, that the Bishop of Christchurch did not cease to have charge of the Diocese of Dunedin, though constituted a separate Diocese, until the consecration of Bishop Nevill, and that therefore Bishop Nevilll is to be regarded as the First Bishop of Dunedin. I have only to add, with regard to this point, that the members present at [25/26] this meeting of the Standing Commission were the following, the Right Rev. the Bishop of Auckland in the chair, his Honor Sir George A. Arney, Chief Justice, Sir William Martin, D.C.L., William Swainson Esquire, Frederick Whitaker Esquire.
This letter is extending to a far greater length than I had foreseen, but I am under the necessity of referring to yet another paragraph in the letter of Bishop Abraham. He proceeds to say:--"This point "--i.e., your Lordship's acceptance of the Church Constitution--"has had great stress laid on it by the opponents of Bishop Jenner, and they charge him with having promised to submit to the General Synod, and then, on their expressing a desire that he should resign, refusing to do so. But it should be remembered that one leading principle of the legislation of the General Synod from the beginning was, that it should not exercise its authority over any of its members in the way of removal or suspension from any office except through the intervention of a judicial tribunal, or voluntary court of arbitrators. And to no such tribunal or arbitrator was Bishop Jenner's case ever submitted.* [Footnote: see next paragraph.] This point," his Lordship adds, "I strove to impress upon the General Synod of 1868, but to no purpose."
[Footnote above: * I cannot help thinking that the Bishop is confounding two documents entirely different. There are two distinct Declarations referred to in the Constitution, namely, one in Clause 23, which is a declaration of assent to the Constitution, and has to do only with the nomination of Bishops; and the other in Clause 28, which is a declaration of submission to the authority of the General Synod, and is to be signed by persons on their admission to any office under the General Synod. I may add that, if it was the first of these that your Lordship signed, it is an acknowledgement that your nomination was made under the said Clause 23, which makes Confirmation by the General Synod indispensable to the validity of an appointment: but, if it was the second, then the act was altogether a premature and irregular one, and therefore null and void.]
And no wonder, since the argument is based on an entirely false assumption. It is based on the assumption that you, my Lord, were ever a member of the General Synod, or an acknowledged officer of the Church of New Zealand, which is the very point that the General Synod has, from first to last, in the Sessions of 1868, 1871, and 1874, felt itself bound most firmly [26/27] and constantly to deny. The opponents of your Lordship's appointment, on this side of the world, have laid no stress, so far as I am aware, on the point referred to by the Bishop. The General Synod, at any rate--and I am not concerned to defend anything but the acts of that body--has never been guilty of such inconsistency. And I must here take the liberty of saying that the Bishop is wholly mistaken when he speaks of the General Synod "expressing a desire" that you, my Lord, "should resign." It cannot be too distinctly stated and affirmed that the Synod never did anything of the sort. On the contrary, it carefully guarded itself against doing so. Upon the motion being made, which I have referred to before, in the Synod of 1868, "That the appointment of Bishop Jenner to the See of Dunedin be not confirmed by the Synod," an amendment was moved to the effect that the Synod "is unable to find any sufficient ground for withholding its recognition of the appointment of Bishop Jenner; but, while acknowledging the appointment, and declaring that it shall be competent for Dr. Jenner to enter upon the duties of his office, the Synod would urge upon Bishop Jenner the expediency of his resigning the Bishopric, on the ground of the difficulties experienced in obtaining an adequate endowment." This amendment was negatived without a division; and, after another amendment had been lost on division, and an adjournment of half-an-hour had taken place to allow of free conference among the members, the following amendment, moved by Archdeacon Harper, and seconded by myself, was ultimately ADOPTED WITHOUT A DIVISION:--"That, whereas the General Synod is of opinion that it is better for the peace of the Church that Bishop Jenner should not take charge of the Bishopric of Dunedin, this Synod hereby requests him to withdraw his claim to that position."* [Footnote: See Appendix, p.vi.] It is obviously unnecessary to dwell on the importance of the distinction thus emphasised by the Synod, between resigning a position to which one has an acknowledged right, and withdrawing a claim which has never been acknowledged at all.
 4. THE IMPORTANCE OF THE QUESTION AT ISSUE.
I have now done with Bishop Abraham's letter, the remainder of which consists of a summary of its foregone mistakes. And now, my Lord, I would fain believe that, on the fuller information which I have endeavoured to lay before you, and which will be found, on examination, to be unquestionable as to accuracy, your Lordship will be induced to withdraw your claim to "the historical position of first Bishop of Dunedin." This, if I may presume to say so, your Lordship may do with honour, whereas it is obvious that the General Synod could not allow that claim without the deepest dishonour. It is natural for those who have not considered the question, and are ignorant of the facts, to say, what actually was said by one member of the General Synod which recently sat at Wellington, "Why stand upon the point at all? If Bishop Jenner is willing to acknowledge Bishop Nevill as Bishop de facto, why should not the General Synod acknowledge Bishop Jenner as First Bishop?' The simple answer to this is, that the General Synod cannot do so without telling a lie. The General Synod cannot declare that to be the case which it knows not to be the case. To many, no doubt, the whole controversy in its present stage appears effete and futile. But any one who has read your Lordship's pamphlet, and especially any one who is aware of the impression produced by it in many quarters in England, will recognise the necessity which exists for clearing away, if possible, the grave misapprehensions which have arisen. For the character of the Church in New Zealand is at stake, her character, not only for adherence to ecclesiastical right and order, but for very truth and honesty itself. The motto from St. Augustine, which your Lordship has prefixed to your pamphlet, accuses us by implication of Ccitas, Furor, Dolus, Tumultus; but the pamphlet itself accuses us,--no longer by implication, but in very plain and direct terms, of "grievous injustice" and "inconceivable perversity." You say that our conduct "has already fatally discredited a much vaunted Synodical system in the estimation of all who prefer Truth and [28/29] Justice to Falsehood and Wrong." You call Bishop Nevill "the schismatical intruder into my as yet unvacated See," and you say that, while "the Diocese of Dunedin remains in charge of an intruder, the whole Ecclesiastical Province of New Zealand is implicated in the scandal of a permitted and encouraged violation of ecclesiastical right and order." This language and these charges must be my apology to you, my Lord, for thus addressing you, and to the Church for the publication of my Letter. And these charges assume a grave importance indeed, when we find it asserted by your Lordship that you "are supported" in your claim " by the deliberate opinion of the whole Episcopate of England and Wales at least, and by a larger majority of Churchmen, clerical and lay, including the best authorities on questions relating to episcopal mission and jurisdiction." If anything can add to their importance, it is the anticipation, which appears to be growing more and more into a certainty, of the assembling, within a very few years, of another Lambeth Conference, before which august tribunal the Church of New Zealand will be arraigned by your Lordship on these charges, if you still insist on maintaining them. It is manifestly therefore the duty of any one who believes that these charges are wholly founded on a series of misapprehensions, and who thinks that he is able to clear these away, to endeavour to do so.
5. BISHOP PATTESON.
A few words, before I conclude, with regard to the part taken in this unhappy business by him, whom you speak of as "the holy martyr of Melanesia." You say (page 19), "It is an unspeakable satisfaction to know that he vigorously strove against the counsel and deed of those who sought to ignore my status, as Bishop of Dunedin." It is no pleasure to me, my Lord, to rob you of this satisfaction, but truth compels me to affirm that whoever gave you the information upon which you base this statement was grievously mistaken. Bishop Patteson was a member of the Select Committee, elected by ballot by the General Synod of 1868 to consider the question of the [29/30] Bishopric of Dunedin. I was also a member, and acted as secretary to that Select Committee. I am able therefore to affirm, on personal knowledge, what I do affirm, which is this:--1. The Report of the Select Committee, consisting of several Resolutions, terminating in this decisive and practical one, which was recommended for adoption by the Synod, "That the appointment of Bishop Jenner to the See of Dunedin be not confirmed by the Synod "--was adopted by the Select Committee without a dissentient voice, Bishop Patteson being present. 2. One, if not more, of the Resolutions, adopted by the Select Committee, and leading up to this final one, was drafted by Bishop Patteson himself. I have somewhere among my papers, though, owing to a removal from one house to another, I cannot at present lay my hand upon them, the original memoranda of that Select Committee, and amongst them, as I distinctly remember, the draft of one or more of those Resolutions in pencil, in the handwriting of the martyred Bishop. 3. The Resolution which the Synod finally adopted, after prolonged discussion--"That whereas the General Synod is of opinion that it is better for the peace of the Church that Bishop Jenner should not take charge of the Bishopric of Dunedin, this Synod hereby requests him to withdraw his claim to that position--though moved by Archdeacon Harper, and seconded by myself, was in reality suggested and recommended to the Synod by a speech from the lips of Bishop Patteson, who urged, in very loving and gentle language, that, if the wish of the Synod were expressed in such terms as these, it could hardly fail to have effect. I may add that Sir William Martin, who was also a member of that Select Committee, is now in England, and will be willing, I have no doubt, to bear testimony to the correctness of my statements, as to these and other particulars.
It is, however, with the conduct of the General Synod, and the position taken up by that body, that I have mainly to do. And, upon a consideration of the whole matter, I conceive that the [30/31] following points are clearly established:--1. That the Constitution of the Church in New Zealand contains a provision for the appointment of Bishops, which has always been held in this country to apply to appointments as well to new, as to old, Sees. 2. That this provision makes the sanction, or confirmation, of the General Synod, or of the majority of the Standing Committees of the several Dioceses of the Province, essential to the validity of every such appointment. 3. That the General Synod never requested, or authorised the Bishop of New Zealand, or any one else, to take any step towards the selection of a clergyman to fill the See of Dunedin. 4. That the General Synod has consistently held, in three successive triennial Sessions, that the fact of your Lordship having by some means attained per saltum, though without fault of your own, to the final act of consecration, cannot possibly deprive the General Synod of its constitutional right of confirmation. 5. That the General Synod having, in the exercise of its judgment and discretion, determined to withhold this confirmation in your Lordship's case, and having deliberately placed the administration of the Diocese of Dunedin in charge of the Bishop of Christchurch until a day to be named by the Standing Commission on that behalf, and the Standing Commission having, accordingly, named the day on which Bishop Nevill was consecrated to that See, it follows that your Lordship was never rightfully Bishop of Dunedin.
If, my Lord, it were possible for you to see your way to an acknowledgement of the truth of these conclusions, a sad and mischievous controversy would be closed for ever; the peace of the Church, which "the holy martyr of Melanesia " had so much at heart, would be restored; and we in New Zealand would gladly forget the hard words that have been spoken of us, and the hard thoughts that have been entertained of us, owing to the mistakes of some of our best friends. If on the contrary, I have failed to make these points clear to you, I can only say, I have done my best; I have spoken as a sense of necessity compelled me to speak; I have perhaps made some points clear to others which were obscure before; it may be, I shall have succeeded in [31/32] convincing others, if not yourself; at any rate, at the very least, I shall have the satisfaction of feeling, Liberavisse me animam meam.
I am, my Lord, with sincere respect,
Your Lordship's faithful servant in Christ,
The Deanery, Christchurch,
New Zealand, Sept. 7th, 1874.
Since placing the foregoing Letter in the printer's hands, I have received the printed Report of the Proceedings of the Sixth General Synod, which recently sat in Wellington. It contains the text of a Resolution adopted by the Synod with reference to your Lordship's claims, and the Report of the Select Committee appointed to draw up a statement of the grounds upon which the General Synod acted in reference to the Bishopric of Dunedin. These documents, which may be regarded as the ultimatum of the Church of New Zealand in reference to this painful controversy, will be found to be in exact accordance with the statements made, and the position taken up, in the foregoing Letter. I take the opportunity of printing them as an Appendix.
Christchurch, New Zealand,
September 15th, 1874.
I. The following Resolution was adopted by the General Synod, without division, on the 1st of June, 1874:--
"That, it having been brought to the notice of this Synod that the Archbishop of Canterbury, and certain Bishops of England, have formally recognised Dr. Jenner as the first Bishop of the See of Dunedin, apparently in disregard of the judgment of this Synod formally pronounced on Dr. Jenner's claims--This Synod, in exercise of its undoubted authority, having carefully examined the circumstances under which Dr. Jenner claims to be regarded as having been the first Bishop of the See of Dunedin, declares that Dr. Jenner, not having been appointed to the See of Dunedin in accordance with the laws of the Church in New Zealand, ought not to be recognised as having been such first Bishop; and this Synod doth recognise the Right Rev. Samuel Tarratt Nevill, D.D., as the present and first Bishop of the See of Dunedin: '--(Report of Proceedings, pp. 49, 50.)
II. The above resolution was grounded on the following Report, which, carefully abstaining from comment, gives a full and detailed narrative of the steps taken by the General Synod from first to last in the matter of the Bishopric of Dunedin.
[ii] REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE
Appointed by the General Synod (May 19th, 1874) to draw up a Statement of the Grounds upon which the General Synod has acted in reference to the Bishopric of Dunedin.
YOUR Committee have to Report--
That the Constitution was framed in the year 1857, and came into operation at the first session of the General Synod, which was held at Wellington in the year 1859. Before that date the Bishops in New Zealand had been appointed by the Queen's Letters Patent.
The provisions of the Constitution for the appointment of Bishops aforesaid were set forth in the 25th clause thereof, and were as follows, that is to say: "Saving any rights of the Church and of the Crown, the nomination of a Bishop shall proceed from the Diocesan Synod, and, if sanctioned by the General Synod, shall be submitted by the General Synod to the authorities in Church and State in England for their favourable consideration." In the year 1865 the Constitution was revised, and the provisions relating to the appointment of Bishops were set forth in the 23rd clause thereof, which is as follows:--
"The nomination of a Bishop shall proceed from the Diocesan Synod, and if such nomination be sanctioned by the General Synod, or if the General Synod be not in session, by the majority of the Standing Committees of the several Dioceses, the senior Bishop shall take the necessary steps for giving effect to the nomination. Provided that every such nomination shall be made upon condition that the person so nominated shall, before accepting the nomination, declare in writing his assent to this Constitution."
These provisions have been acted upon, and the first Bishop appointed thereunder was the present Bishop of Nelson, a motion having been made and carried at the session of the General Synod at Christchurch in the year 1865 as follows, that is to say:--"That the Nelson Diocesan Synod having [ii/iii] deputed to the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of London the nomination of a successor to the present Bishop of Nelson, and the Bishop of London having notified that he is prepared to exercise such right of nomination, this Synod do forward to His Grace the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury a copy of clause 23 of the Constitution Deed, and request his Grace will be pleased to act on behalf of the General Synod in sanctioning, at his discretion, the nomination of a Clergyman by the Bishop of London, and to take the necessary steps for giving effect to the nomination.
The present Bishop of Auckland has also been appointed in conformity with the provisions before-mentioned.
That the first reference on the records of the General Synod to the Bishopric of Dunedin is to be found in the opening address of the Metropolitan (the present Bishop of Lichfield) to the second General Synod held at Nelson in the year 1862, when he spoke as follows:--"To complete the system a Rural Deanery Board has been organised at Otago, which under the present circumstances of that Province we hope will soon expand itself into the Synod of a new Diocese."
That at the session of the third General Synod held at Christchurch in the year 1865, a resolution was passed in the words following:--"That the next session of the General Synod be held in Dunedin, if by the time of meeting there be a Bishopric of Dunedin constituted, and the Bishop shall have entered upon the duties of his office. If there be no Bishop the next session shall be held at Auckland." No other reference was made to the Diocese or Bishopric of Dunedin during that session.
The before-named Metropolitan in his opening address to the fourth General Synod at its session held at Auckland in the year 1868, said:--"The first question which will require your attention is an Act to validate the election of members chosen to represent the two portions of the present Diocese of Christchurch. This necessity has arisen from the unforeseen delay in the Constitution of the Diocese of Dunedin. It seemed to me to be expedient that a full representation of the Clergy and Laity in the Rural Deanery of Otago and Southland should assist in deciding the important questions affecting the new Diocese, which will be brought before us. On this subject I have only further to recommend that any matters involving personal considerations be referred, as in former instances, to a Select Committee to be chosen by ballot."
[iv] At that session a statement from Bishop Jenner was read to the Synod, the conclusion of which statement was as follows:--
"In conclusion the Bishop respectfully submits that it is as a matter of good faith and common justice that the New Zealand Church is bound to recognise his claim to the See of Dunedin, to confirm his election, and to assign him spiritual jurisdiction over the territory to be separated from the Diocese of Christchurch. An engagement of more than ordinary solemnity has been entered into, the two contracting parties being the Church in New Zealand, speaking and acting by her Metropolitan, and Bishop Jenner. The question to be decided by the Synod is simply this: Do the interests of the New Zealand Church demand, and will justice and honesty admit of the repudiation of that engagement by either of the parties without the concurrence of the other? Such a question may safely be left to the judgment of any assembly of fair dealing Englishmen, and the Bishop leaves it with perfect confidence in the hands of the General Synod of the New Zealand Church, only praying that, in this and all its deliberations, God the Holy Ghost will guide it into all truth, and that wherever the influence of its counsels may extend, God's name may be glorified and the Church of His dear Son edified."
On the fifth day of the session the following resolution was moved and carried:
"That a Committee be appointed to consider and report upon the expediency of bringing to a completion the Ecclesiastical arrangements proposed for that part of the Diocese of Christchurch which is included within the Rural Deanery of Otago and Southland."
The resolution was carried, and a Committee was balloted for, which consisted of--The Bishop of Christchurch, the Bishop of Waiapu, Bishop Patteson (of Melanesia), the Dean of Christchurch, Venerable Archdeacon Govett, Venerable Archdeacon Hadfield, Venerable Archdeacon Williams, the Rev. Dr. Maunsell, the Hon. J. B. A. Acland, C. Hunter Brown, Esq., F. D. Fenton, Esq., Sir Wm. Martin, and William Swainson, Esq."* [Footnote: see following paragraphs.]
[Footnote: * Note added by the Printing Committee.
NOTE.--See General Synod Report.
"On October 9th, 1868, the Bishop of Wellington (Abraham), and not Bishop Patteson, was elected.
"On October 12th, 1868, 'At the request of the Bishop of Wellington Standing Order No. 14 was suspended, to enable him to move--1. For leave to retire from the Committee appointed to consider and report upon the expediency of completing the Ecclesiastical arrangements proposed for the Rural Deanery of Otago and Southland, and 2. That another Bishop be balloted for in his place. Leave granted, and the ballot took place accordingly, when the President declared that Bishop Patteson had been elected to the place of the Bishop of Wellington.'"] [end of footnote]
[v] On the 9th day of the session the Committee brought up their report in the words following, that is to say--
"Report of Committee appointed to consider the expediency of completing the Ecclesiastical arrangements proposed for that part of the Diocese of Christchurch which is included in the Provinces of Otago and Southland.
"Your Committee, having carefully considered the subject submitted to them, and having taken such evidence and examined such documents bearing thereupon as were within their reach, including a statement by Dr. Jenner, beg to report as follows:--
"They have ascertained that the endowment fund for the proposed Diocese is, in its present state, insufficient for the support of a Bishop.
"They have further ascertained that the objection entertained in the contemplated Diocese to the alleged opinions and practices of Bishop Jenner preclude the probability of the speedy completion of this fund.
"At the same time they are led to believe that the pecuniary circumstances of Bishop Jenner, so far as they are able to form an opinion upon them, are such as would cause him to be wholly dependent upon that fund.
"In coming to a decision they have not thought themselves called upon to take into consideration the alleged ritualistic practices of Bishop Jenner, but they consider that the state and prospect of the Endowment Fund and the circumstances above referred to, constitute sufficient reasons for the following decision, namely:--
That they are not prepared to recommend the Synod to confirm the appointment of Bishop Jenner.
"They recommend that, so soon as the necessary endowment be completed, the proper steps be taken for the nomination, confirmation, and consecration of a Bishop for the proposed See.
"And in accordance with Standing Order No. 22, the Committee beg to submit the following resolutions for adoption by the Synod:
"1. That the appointment of Bishop Jenner to the See of Dunedin be not confirmed by the Synod.
"2. That the foregoing resolution be communicated to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishop of Christchurch, and Bishop Jenner, and the Rural Deanery Board of Otago and Southland.
[vi] "3. That it is expedient that, so soon as the necessary endowment shall be completed, the proper steps be taken for the nomination, confirmation, and consecration of a Bishop for the proposed See.
"(Signed) H. J. C. CHRISTCHURCH.
"October 15th, 1868."
And on the same day of the session the Synod proceeded to consider the resolutions founded on the report.
On the following day the resolutions were further considered, and a resolution was moved "'That the appointment of Bishop Jenner be not confirmed by the Synod."
An amendment thereto was proposed, "That, inasmuch as the sum raised towards the Endowment Fund of the proposed Diocese of Dunedin is totally inadequate to the support of a Bishop,
"Resolved--1. That the Synod does not see the way open at present to the completion of the Ecclesiastical arrangements in connection with the proposed Diocese of Dunedin.
"2. That the Rural Deanery of Otago and Southland be formed into a Diocese to be administered provisionally by the Bishop of Christchurch."
After a prolonged discussion the following amendment on the original motion was moved:--
"That this Synod having carefully taken into consideration all the circumstances in connexion with the See of Dunedin is unable, in the present state of the question, to find any sufficient ground for withholding its recognition of the appointment of Bishop Jenner, but while acknowledging the appointment, and declaring that it shall be competent for Dr. Jenner to enter upon the duties of his office, the Synod would urge upon Bishop Jenner the expediency of his resigning the Bishopric on the ground of the difficulties experienced in obtaining an adequate endowment."
After some discussion, the amendment was put and negatived, as was also subsequently the previous amendment.
The Synod adjourned for half an hour, and on its resuming the following amendment on the original motion, that is to say--
"That whereas the General Synod is of opinion that it is better for the peace of the Church that Bishop Jenner should not take charge of the Bishopric of Dunedin:
[vii] "'This Synod hereby requests him to withdraw his claim to that position,'" was moved and carried without a division.
At the same session of the General Synod the following Statute was made and passed, that is to say--
STATUTE to Provide for the Division of the Diocese of Christchurch into two separate Dioceses.
"WHEREAS it is desirable that the Diocese of Christchurch should be divided into two separate Dioceses, and to that end the Bishop of Christchurch is desirous of resigning so much of the said Diocese as is comprised within the Provinces of Otago and Southland: Be it resolved by the Bishops, Clergy, and Laity of the Branch of the United Church of England and Ireland in New Zealand in General Synod assembled As follows:
"1. From and after the first day of January 1869 the said Provinces of Otago and Southland shall cease to form a part of the Diocese of Christchurch, and shall thenceforward form a separate and independent Diocese to be called the Diocese of Dunedin.
"2. Until a day to be fixed in that behalf by the Standing Commission the said Bishop of Christchurch shall continue to have charge of the said Diocese of Dunedin and for the purposes of the Statute for the organisation of Diocesan Synods shall be deemed and taken to be the Bishop of such Diocese."
The Primate (the present Bishop of Christchurch) in his opening address to the fifth General Synod at its session in Dunedin in the year 1871, said:--
"I have received by the last mail from Bishop Jenner the judgment or opinion of his Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury respecting Bishop Jenner's claims to the See of Dunedin.
"There is a letter also from the Bishop addressed to myself which I consider it expedient to lay before you, because it questions my right, as Bishop of Christchurch, to administer the See of Dunedin. My right to do so, or as I would rather say my duty, may be regarded as resting on two grounds, either on the fact of my consecration under Royal Letters Patent to the See of Christchurch, which at that time included the Provinces of Canterbury, Otago, and of Southland, and which as yet I have never formally resigned, or on the authority of the General Synod, which in its Statute No. 12 has declared that 'Until a day, to be fixed in that behalf by the Standing Commission, the Bishop of Christchurch shall [vii/viii] continue to have charge of the Diocese of Dunedin, and for the purpose of the Statute for the organisation of Diocesan Synods shall be deemed and taken to be the Bishop of that Diocese.' Whichever of these grounds are taken, my spiritual oversight of the Diocese of Dunedin is founded, I conceive, on very sufficient authority. But I am quite content to leave the whole matter in the hands of the Synod, in the full assurance that due deference will be paid to the opinions expressed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the claims of Bishop Jenner be impartially considered, and with much sympathy with him for the position in which he has been placed. I will only add that I am persuaded that it is for the interests of the Church that this Diocese of Dunedin should be speedily entrusted to the charge of a Bishop who may be able to reside in it, and I shall be very thankful if arrangements can be made for that purpose, though quite ready to continue in the charge of it if such arrangements at this time be thought impracticable."
The letter to the Primate from Bishop Jenner and a printed copy of the judgment of His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, were laid on the table and read.
In order that the General Synod might be in possession of all information on the subject, a motion was made and carried--
"That the following papers be laid on the table:--Bishop Jenner's reply to the resolution of the General Synod asking him to withdraw his claims, and the reply of the Standing Commission, and any other correspondence that may have passed between Bishop Jenner and the Standing Commission or the Primate of New Zealand."
On the sixth day of the Session a motion was made and carried without division--
"That whereas the last General Synod of the Branch of the United Church of England and Ireland in New Zealand took into consideration all the circumstances of the nomination and consecration of Bishop Jenner, and did thereupon formally request that he should withdraw his claim to the position of Bishop of Dunedin for the sake of the peace of the Church, to which request Bishop Jenner has declined to accede; and whereas the law of the Church requires the sanction of the General Synod to the nomination of a Bishop to any See in New Zealand--Resolved that this Synod does hereby refuse to sanction the nomination of Bishop Jenner to the See of Dunedin, whether that nomination were in due form or [viii/ix] otherwise. But at the same time this Synod begs to express its sympathy with Bishop Jenner in the painful position in which he has been placed."
On the seventh day of the Session the following question was put to the Primate (as President)--
"1. By whom and in what form a specific request has been made to this present Synod to give the formal sanction of the Synod to the nomination of Bishop Jenner to the See of Dunedin?" And
"2. If no such request has been laid before this Synod, whether any motion can be considered in order or entertained which proposes that this Synod shall refuse to give the said sanction?"
The President gave a written reply as follows:--
"In answer to the first question I have to state that I am not aware that any request has been made to the present Synod to give the formal sanction of the Synod to the nomination of Bishop Jenner to the See of Dunedin." To the second question--If no such request has been laid before this Synod, whether any motion can be considered in order or entertained which proposes that this Synod shall refuse to give the said sanction?" My answer is--"That, looking at the terms of the Constitution, I do not think that this Synod now sitting at Dunedin is a different body from that which met at Auckland in 1868, although it does not consist of precisely the same body of men. It was and is the representative governing body of the Branch of the Church of England and Ireland in New Zealand. To this body the matter in question was referred at its last meeting for settlement, and a certain resolution was passed which has not been accepted, but which is known to have been formally if not officially declined by one of the parties most interested. This being the case, it appears to me in order that the matter should be again brought before the Synod for a further expression of its opinions."
On the ninth day of the Session a resolution was moved and carried--
"That the President be requested to forward to Bishop Jenner the resolution of the Synod having reference to the Bishopric of Dunedin."
By "The Bishoprics Statute, 1871," passed at the same Session of the General Synod, it was resolved that--
[x] "Except as hereinafter provided the nomination of the first Bishop of a new Diocese shall proceed from a convention of the licensed Clergy resident within the boundaries of such new Diocese, and representatives of the Laity of the same, the said representatives to be elected for such districts in such number and such manner as shall be determined by the Primate or by a Commissary specially appointed by him for that purpose. And the Primate, or his Commissary aforesaid, shall convene and preside over such convention. Provided that the President of the convention aforesaid shall have no vote in the election of the Bishop, unless being a Commissary he shall be a Clergyman of the new Diocese, in which case he shall vote as one of his own Order. Provided further, that the nomination of the first Bishop of Dunedin shall be made by the Diocesan Synod."
At a meeting of the Standing Commission held on the 22nd day of May, 1871, the following resolution was passed:--
"Whereas by the Statute of the General Synod to provide for the division of the Diocese of Christchurch into two separate Dioceses, it was resolved that the Provinces of Otago and Southland should cease to form a part of the Diocese of Christchurch, and should thenceforward form a separate and independent Diocese to be called the Diocese of Dunedin, but that until a day to be fixed in that behalf by the Standing Commission the Bishop of Christchurch should continue to have charge of the Diocese of Dunedin, and for the purpose of the 'Statute for the Organization of Diocesan Synods,' should be deemed and taken to be the Bishop of such Diocese.
"And whereas the Reverend Samuel Tarratt Nevill, Rector of Shelton, in the county of Stafford, has been nominated by the Diocesan Synod of Dunedin to the Bishopric of the said Diocese of Dunedin, and the said nomination has been confirmed by a majority of the Standing Committees of this Ecclesiastical Province, it is resolved and declared by the Standing Commission that, on the day on which the said Samuel Tarratt Nevill shall be consecrated to the office of Bishop, the said Bishop of Christchurch shall cease to have charge of the Diocese of Dunedin, and shall cease to be deemed to be the Bishop of such Diocese for the purposes of the 'Statute for the Organization of Diocesan Synods.'"
Bishop Nevill aforesaid was duly consecrated on the 4th day of June, 1871, at St. Paul's Church in Dunedin, and on the same day the Primate formally resigned the administration of the Diocese of Dunedin.
[xi] In his opening address to this General Synod, the Primate said--
"The interval which has passed since the last meeting of the General Synod in 1871 has not been without events of interest to the Church of New Zealand. On the 4th of June in that year a Bishop, who had been duly nominated by the Synod of the Diocese, and whose nomination in accordance with our regulations had been confirmed by a majority of the Standing Committees, was consecrated at St. Paul's Church, in the city of Dunedin, by myself and three other Bishops of this Ecclesiastical Province, and on the same day I formally resigned the administration of that Diocese."