Project Canterbury












BOSTON, A.D. 1845 TO A.D. 1856.


Printed, not Published.







N.B.--as this document will be sent only to those who are officially interested in the subject-matter, the Parish particularly request that no public use, unless it should be an official use, be made of the Correspondence.

I. The Rt. Rev. Manton Eastburn, D.D., to the Clergy of Massachusetts. Dec. 2, A.D. 1845.

II. The Rev. William Croswell to Bishop Eastburn. Dec. 6, A.D. 1845.

[Preamble and Resolutions adopted by the Wardens and Vestry of the Church of the Advent. Dc. 5, A.D. 1845.

III. The Rev. William Croswell, D.D., to Bishop Eastburn. Nov. 23, A.D. 1846.

IV. Bishop Eastburn to the Rev. Dr. Croswell. Nov. 24, A.D. 1846.

V. The Rev. Dr. Croswell to Bishop Eastburn. Nov. 28, A.D. 1846.

VI. Bishop Eastburn to the Rev. Dr. Croswell. Nov. 30, A.D. 1846.

VII. The Rev. Dr. Croswell to Bishop Eastburn. Dec. 8, A.D. 1846.

VIII. Bishop Eastburn to the Rev. Dr. Croswell. Dec. 12, A.D. 1846.

IX. Bishop Eastburn to the Rev. Dr. Croswell. Nov. 24, A.D. 1847.

X. The Rev. Dr. Croswell to Bishop Eastburn. Nov. 27, A.D. 1847.

XI. The Rev. Dr. Croswell to Bishop Eastburn. Dec. 30, A.D. 1847.

XII. The Rev. Dr. Croswell to Bishop Eastburn. April 4, A.D. 1848.

XIII. Bishop Eastburn to the Rev. Dr. Croswell. April 5, A.D. 1848.

XIV. The Rev. Dr. Croswell to Bishop Eastburn. April 12, A.D. 1848.

XV. The Rev. Dr. Croswell to Bishop Eastburn. Jan. 6, A.D. 1849.

XVI. Bishop Eastburn to the Rev. Dr. Croswell. Jan. 9, A.D. 1849.

XVII. The Rev. Dr. Croswell to Bishop Eastburn. Jan. 13, A.D. 1849.

XVIII. The Rev. Dr. Croswell to Bishop Eastburn. Jan. 1, A.D. 1850.

XIX. Bishop Eastburn to the Rev. Dr. Croswell. Jan. 3, A.D. 1850.

XX. The Rev. Dr. Croswell to Bishop Eastburn. Feb. 23, A.D. 1850.

XXI. The Rev. Dr. Croswell to Bishop Eastburn. April 11, A.D. 1851.

XXII. Bishop Eastburn to the Rev. Dr. Croswell. Apr. 14, A.D. 1851.

XXIII. Bishop Eastburn to the Rev. Dr. Croswell. Apr. 14, A.D. 1851.

XXIV. The Rev. Dr. Croswell to Bishop Eastburn. Apr. 17, A.D. 1851.

XXV. Bishop Eastburn to the Rev. Dr. Croswell. Apr. 21, A.D. 1851.

XXVI. The Rev. Dr. Croswell to Bishop Eastburn. May 10, A.D. 1851.

XXVII. The Rev. Asa Eaton, D.D., to Bishop Eastburn. Dec. 23, A.D. 1851.

XXVIII. Bishop Eastburn to the Rev. Dr. Eaton. Dec. 24, A.D. 1851.

XXIX. The Rt. Rev. Horatio Southgate, D.D., to Bishop Eastburn. Oct. 4, A.D. 1852.

XXX. Bishop Eastburn to Bishop Southgate, Oct. 25, A.D. 1852.

XXXI. Bishop Southgate to Bishop Eastburn, Oct. 28, A.D. 1852.

XXXII. Bishop Eastburn to Bishop Southgate, Nov. 2, A.D. 1852.

XXXIII. Bishop Southgate to Bishop Eastburn, Nov. 5, A.D. 1825.

XXXIV. Bishop Eastburn to Bishop Southgate, Nov. 12, A.D. 1852.

XXXV. Bishop Southgate to Bishop Eastburn, Nov. 15, A.D. 1852.

XXXVI. Bishop Southgate to Bishop Eastburn, Feb. 9, A.D. 1856.

XXXVII. Bishop Eastburn to Bishop Southgate, Feb. 11, A.D. 1856.

XXXVIII. Bishop Southgate to Bishop Eastburn Feb. 12, A.D. 1856.

XXXIX. Bishop Eastburn to Bishop Southgate, Feb. 26, A.D. 1856.

XL. Bishop Southgate to Bishop Eastburn March 1, A.D. 1856.

XLI. Bishop Eastburn to Bishop Southgate, March 13, A.D. 1856.

XLII. Bishop Southgate to Bishop Eastburn March 15, A.D. 1856.

XLIII. Bishop Eastburn to Bishop Southgate, March 26, A.D. 1856.

XLIV. Bishop Southgate to Bishop Eastburn March 27, A.D. 1856.

XLV. Bishop Eastburn to Bishop Southgate, April 2, A.D. 1856.

XLVI. Bishop Southgate to Bishop Eastburn May 2, A.D. 1856.

XLVII. Bishop Eastburn to Bishop Southgate, May 2, A.D. 1856.

XLVIII. Bishop Southgate to Bishop Eastburn May 6, A.D. 1856.

XLIX. Bishop Eastburn to Bishop Southgate, May 7, A.D. 1856.



[Published in the "Christian Witness," Dec. 5, 1845.]



A deep sense of the responsibility attached to my office, as the chief Pastor of this portion of our common fold, has constrained me to address you on a subject, in regard to which I would fain, if duty would have permitted, have remained silent.

It is already known to you, that, towards the close of the last year, a parish was incorporated in the northwestern part of this city under the name of the Church of the Advent. Its commencement afforded me sincere pleasure; and having been begun with the avowed intention, on the part of the respectable persons engaged in it, of establishing a church with free sittings, I commended it to the liberal aid of the Episcopalians of Boston. On the evening of Sunday, the 23d of last month, according to previous appointment, I visited the [1/2] temporary place of worship of this parish, for the purpose of administering the apostolic rite of Confirmation; and there observed, to my inexpressible grief and pain, various offensive innovations upon the ancient usage of our Church. In the form of the Communion Table; in the decorations of golden candlesticks, and of a large wooden cross, by which it is surmounted; and in the postures used in front of it by the Assistant Minister, who, as I learned from the Rector, was only conforming to the constant practice of the latter on all occasions except the service of that evening,--I perceived with sorrow superstitious puerilities of the same description with those which already, in the case of another parish church of this Diocese, had called forth a public expression of disapprobation, first from my revered predecessor, now resting from his labors, and subsequently from myself, in the Address to the Convention of 1844.

I feel, my reverend brethren, that I should be guilty of a dereliction of plain duty, were I not to express, in this public manner, my utter and unqualified condemnation of these practices, carried on in the principal city of the Diocese, and under my own immediate eye. Were these novelties nothing more than childish, they would be on that account sufficiently objectionable to call forth my censure; for it certainly must be a fit subject of rebuke, that there should be found a disposition among any of the Clergy to abandon, in their mode of conducting divine service, that masculine simplicity and dignity, by which our beloved and venerable Church, both here and in England, has been so long and so justly [2/3] distinguished. But chiefly do I condemn these innovations upon established custom, because of their pointed and offensive resemblance to the usages of that idolatrous Papal communion, against which our Prayer Book so strongly protests; and because, where a Communion Table is fitted up like a Romish altar, and certain postures are used by the Clergy indicative of reverence towards that altar, the certain effect of such a spectacle is, to produce gradually among the congregation those very corruptions, in regard to the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, from which, by the good providence of God, we have been so graciously delivered. Those who are familiarized, by the officiating minister, with the forms of error, will fall, by an imperceptible but sure process, into error itself; and thus our people will be led, by the very services in which they engage while actually within the bosom of our own Protestant Church, into doctrinal departures of the most grievous and vital character. And, in addition to these considerations, I will not dissemble the pain which such practices give me on another account,--namely, the ridicule and contempt to which they expose the Church of our affections from all sensible and enlightened persons of other Christian bodies.

In view of the dangers above stated, and considering this subject as far from being a mere matter of taste and fancy, about which men may safely differ, I have already privately remonstrated against the novelties adopted in the Church of the Advent, and have expressed my views, as opportunity offered, to various individuals. But, knowing that this mode of signifying disapprobation [3/4] must, of necessity, be limited in the extent to which it reaches, and fearing lest my supposed silence should, in any part of this Diocese, be construed into acquiescence in things which I condemn, and which I regard as pregnant with evil, I embrace the present method of letting my sentiments be more widely known.

It is a pleasure to me to feel well assured, that with the usages referred to, and with the unsound and unchurch-like theology to which they belong, a great majority of the Clergy over whom God has given me the oversight have no sympathy. But others are constantly entering our ranks, and may need, especially the younger of them, to be warned against the imitation of such examples. Whether the course adopted in the parish referred to will be continued or not, it is beyond my ability to conjecture; but, however this may be, I shall have, the satisfaction of feeling that I am clear of the responsibility of being a silent spectator of irregularities degrading to the character of our Church, and perilous out to the souls of our people.

Your affectionate Diocesan,


BOSTON, Dec. 2, 1845.

[5] II.




I received through the post office, this afternoon, a copy of the "Christian Witness," of December 5, containing the following circular:--

[Here followed a copy of the above Circular Letter, page 1.]

I am fain to believe that many of my clerical brethren in that mystical Body whose members suffer one with another, will feel hardly less deeply hurt and aggrieved than myself, both by the manner and matter of the foregoing official communication. As one who truly loves the brotherhood with whom he has been so long and so intimately identified, and who has ever desired to carry himself dutifully towards his Bishop, according to the vows of his ordination, I cannot affect to conceal the distress which it has given me; nor will you wonder that I should be most anxious to rescue myself, before the Church, from the fearful charge of having introduced among the "flock of God, of which the Holy Ghost hath made me overseer," irregularities, degrading to the character of the Church, and perilous to the souls of our people." On such a charge, the Canons require that every Clergyman should be presented, tried, and convicted, before the Bishop is authorized to pronounce sentence.[5/6] As I have been condemned, in this case, without the formalities of a hearing, I see not what is left me, but to present, with a brief statement of the case, my earnest, but humble Protest, against a proceeding so severe, and, as I am inclined to believe, in our branch of the Church, so entirely unprecedented.

I send you, also, at the request of the Wardens and Vestry, a copy of a series of Resolutions, unanimously adopted by them, at a meeting held one the evening of the fifth instant, in which your Letter receives a careful and respectful consideration.

Having passed the first eleven years of my ministry in this city, as Rector of one of the oldest Churches, I need not speak for myself of my manner of life during that period. I left, in 1840, to take charge of a parish in the Diocese of Western New York, not only without censure or reproach, but with a voluntary testimonial of affection and confidence, signed by the Bishop and every one of our Clergy, resident at that time- in Boston, Newton, and Lowell. In transferring my canonical relations, your truly "revered predecessor, now resting from his labors," wrote to Bishop De Lancey the following dimissory letter, a copy of which I have happily preserved:--


"The object of this is to transfer, from the. State of Massachusetts to your Diocese, the Rev. William: Croswell. Merely to say, that, for three years last past, he has not been justly liable to evil report, for error in doctrine or viciousness of life, though eminently true, seems, in his case, very unnecessary. He will leave behind him no Clergyman more highly, more justly, or more generally esteemed for those qualities which constitute and adorn the gentleman, the scholar, and the faithful minister of Christ. While, with [6/7] many hundreds of others, I deeply regret his loss to this Diocese, I may well congratulate you on such an accession to yours. That in his new situation he may find friends as numerous and as cordial as those he leaves, is the prayer of

Your friend and brother,


The prayer of the aged and beloved Bishop was answered, in my new residence, beyond my expectations and deserts. Of this, however, it is foreign to my present purpose to say more. I would gladly have said less. But, though unconscious of the slightest change in the principles and views with which I entered the ministry, or of deserving, in any respect, to forfeit the confidence of those who are set over us in the Lord, yet a glance at the heinous imputations against me, in your Circular, painfully convinces me, that a testimonial, from such a quarter, of my "freedom from any just liability to evil report," however "eminently true," may not seem so "very unnecessary."

Suffice it to say, that I joyfully embraced an opportunity which offered, just a twelvemonth since, to return to this city of my affections; and, accepted, with your sanction and approbation, Reverend Father in God, the Rectorship of the newly organized Church of the Advent. I found a band of zealous and intelligent Laity, ready and willing to cooperate with me. We commenced, under every disadvantage, in an humble and obscure "upper room." It was my "heart's desire," in accordance with the closing aspiration in your Circular, "in my high and holy calling to set forth the unsearchable riches of Christ to a world lying in sin and death." Next to this, in [7/8] building up a new parish from the beginning, it was our unanimous wish to carry out, as strictly as possible, the intentions of the Church, as they are expressed in the Prayer Book. With these two objects steadily in view, I have been willing to labor in season and out of season, and from house to house. As in the primitive days of the Gospel, by the Divine blessing, the Word of God has grown mightily and prevailed. We removed to our present Chapel, which, though, very convenient, is not large enough for the accommodation of our people. The Lord is still pleased to add daily to the Church such as, we trust, shall be saved. The number of communicants has increased to more than a hundred; thirty persons have been baptized, of whom nine have been adults; and several others are preparing themselves for the same "washing of regeneration."

I. ascribe, Reverend Father in God, the blessing which has thus far crowned. our efforts, chiefly to the simple and constant exhibition of our Church, as a Church "instant in prayer," and by seeking to; stir up all that is within us to make the most of our privileges, and thus exhibit the service, not as a mere formality, but a free will offering of the heart and understanding. To inspire the feeling of earnestness and reverence in others, we have sought to be earnest and reverent ourselves. We have knelt devoutly before and with our people, "towards God's most holy place," as our new version of the Psalms expresses it, that they also might learn to kneel after our example. The effect has been all that we hoped for. The flame has spread from heart to heart. The cold [8/9] silence and wandering looks, the carelessness and apathy, which are subjects of complaint in so many places of worship, have disappeared before it. Many, who have come without religious sympathy, we have reason to know, have been joined together with us in a new bond of Christian union. I venture to say, that the expression of "ridicule and contempt," to which you allude, has not been known among us; though doubtless some who came to scoff, have remained to pray."

The establishment of the daily service has, according to our fond anticipations, eminently contributed to the same happy result. It was commenced on the first of September last, and has been since continued, without intermission. To meet the demands of this service, in addition to our many other duties, I secured the assistance of a brother beloved, a native of this city, not without your being apprised that it was in contemplation, whom I had known and esteemed from the first beginnings of his ministry at Lynn, for his self-sacrificing fidelity, and his patient endurance of hardness as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. While I heartily respond to the terms in which he is noticed in the Resolutions of the Vestry, it is proper for me to add, that whatever censures you have thought fit, thus publicly, to cast upon the arrangements or mode of worship in our Chapel, no part of them should fall upon him. The responsibility rests with myself and the Vestry. He has simply conformed to our usages and my wishes, and has neither suggested nor practised any variations therefrom.

I need not say, Reverend Father in God, that your [9/10] visitation to our Parish had been looked for with much interest. The crowd of worshippers, on that occasion; the simple but inspiring music; "the hearty and athletic responses; the sympathy of sacred sounds, the collective strength of prayer;" the devout and reverential demeanor of the congregation; the number and respectability of the candidates for confirmation, (all persons of mature years;) and your own unusually glowing and fervid address, made us feel that it was, indeed, good to be there; and we could not but regard these as grateful evidences that God was with us of a truth, and had signally blessed our efforts'to revive the tone of public worship from the cold aid lifeless state, the want of vitality and engagedness, into which it has so confessedly fallen among us. I need not say that I was greatly disappointed, to find that your feelings, at- that moment, were so entirely different from mine.

In the hasty and impulsive, not to say excited remarks, which fell from you, while my mind was yet filled with the impressive and solemn services in which we had just united,--and even before you left the chancel,--I did not recognize any thing like a formal or deliberate, much less authoritative judgment, in the matters to which you alluded. The style of rebuke addressed to my assistant was such as I never had the pain to hear from any Bishop before. It was administered, not on account of his kneeling in front of the Holy Table, as one might be led to suppose from your Letter, which he did not do, (although it is every where done without blame, whenever three clergymen are in the chancel,) but on account [10/11] of his not turning his back upon it, and facing his chair--a position which, as I had at the time no knowledge of your preferences, would have made him liable to reproof from me. You afforded the Wardens and Vestry, on that occasion, no opportunity to confer with you, although they waited long at the entrance of the Church to do so; nor has any communication, whether official or otherwise, since been made to us, collectively or individually. I could not but expect that, if, upon reflection, in that very brief interval which occurred between your visitation and the publication of your Letter, you should conclude these matters to be of sufficient gravity for Episcopal correction, you would, at least, by official communication of something like a private character with the Rector, Wardens, and Vestry, have designated the new mode of worship which you wished to have introduced into our Chapel. As you state that, during that time, you "expressed your views, as opportunity offered, to various individuals" other than ourselves, so might you have had opportunity of ascertaining, at least, whether the result of such a communication with us would or would not have prevented any supposed necessity of "utterly and unqualifiedly condemning" a Clergyman and his Vestry in this public manner. It might, at least, have left you without occasion for the somewhat remarkable admission, in regard to a parish under your own immediate eye," that "whether the course adopted there will be continued or not, it is beyond my ability to conjecture." If, however, in the exercise of your discretion, it seemed more proper, before thus [11/12] communicating with the parties most interested, as a Spiritual Father with his children in the faith, to call the attention of all my clerical brethren to my alleged delinquencies, I cannot but regret that you should have preferred to all other obvious modes of doing so, that of publication in the columns of a newspaper; thus seeming to expose our common mother, the Church, to the gainsaying of the world.

Since the publication of your Letter, I have carefully examined it, again and again, to ascertain precisely the grounds on which your charges and condemnation are founded, and can discover nothing but what relates to the arrangement of the chancel, and the posture of the officiating ministers in prayer. These topics,--the Chancel, Holy Table, Candlesticks, Cross, and Attitude, are so satisfactorily treated, in the accompanying resolutions, that further comment might seem to be unnecessary. It may be expected, however, that I should give my own opinions, without reserve, on all these subjects, in their order.

In the arrangements of our Chancel, with reference to the size of our Chapel, the utmost simplicity, consistent with the decency and dignity of public worship, was intended; and I am not aware that it contains a superfluous article. A Communion Table of the plainest description, and which has nothing to recommend it but its fair proportions, and its decent covering, the gift of an individual; four Candlesticks, on a shelf immediately above the Holy Table, to light the chancel, at evening; two narrow and high-backed chairs, imported at an early day, as I am informed, by our Pilgrim Fathers, for the use of a Puritan [12/13] parsonage; and a Lectern,--as entirely simple and unadorned as a common music stand,--from which the Word of God is read, and also preached to the people. Above the Table, in the window, is the Cross, the symbol of all others which we delight to make most conspicuous. These constitute all the furniture of the chancel, and I doubt whether there is another in the city which contains less of what can be dispensed with, or that is reasonably or unreasonably offensive.

For the evidence, in detail, that our Communion Table is not fitted up like a Roman Catholic Altar, I refer to the Resolution of the Vestry, on that point. Their views on this subject correspond with my own, so far as I can judge by description, not having seen the interior of a Roman Catholic place of worship for many years, and having very indistinct impressions with regard to it. But though the Holy Table in our churches bears no resemblance to a Roman Catholic Altar, Reverend Father in God, is there no sense, I appeal to you, in which the members of our Church may say, with the blessed Apostle, "we have an Altar," as well as Priest and Sacrifice? On this subject, the views of the Rt. Rev. Dr. Henshaw, Bishop of Rhode Island, are essentially, I presume, your own, as well as mine, and those of most of the Clergy; or, if not, they will not, I am sure, be denounced as a part of that "unsound and unchurch-like theology" with which the faithful are to have no sympathy. "What," says he, in his Lecture on "the True Construction of the Terms, Altar, Priest, and Sacrifice," which has been published in many forms, and with which you are doubtless [13/14] familiar, "What is an Altar? In its simple idea, it is something upon which, or at which, an offering is sacredly made to God. It is a common mistake, to suppose that an altar necessarily implies that the offerings presented upon it must be bloody or animal sacrifices. There is nothing, however, in the term itself, or in its use among all nations, to justify this exclusive interpretation. From a very early period of the Christian Church, the HOLY TABLE, where the common praises and prayers were offered up, and where the Lord's Supper--the highest act of Christian devotion--was celebrated, was called an Altar. This appellation has been common, in every succeeding age; and we are very familiar with this application of it in our own. Other denominations of Christians, no less than the Church, speak of their Altar, where they celebrate the most affecting services of their religion, and invite persons to approach and surround it, in the expectation that God will meet with and bless them there. This word occurs but once in our Prayer Book,--in the Institution Office; but, as there applied, we know that it indicates what called the Lord's Table,' and 'the Holy Table,' in other parts of the Book. No one mistakes our meaning, when the word is so used: all know that we mean the place where the sacred mysteries of our religion are celebrated, and our most solemn offerings of devotion presented to God." "We have no wish to mystify what is plain; but, on the contrary, to relieve the minds of humble Christians from perplexity, by explaining language which the Church has seen fit to employ, and teaching them not to be alarmed, when things are called by [14/15] their right names." If, then, Reverend Father in God, we of this Church have, in this sense, or any sense, an Altar, why should it be a subject of "utter and unqualified condemnation" that it looks so very like an Altar?

In the matter of the Golden Candlesticks," I will only add, to what has been said in the Resolutions of the Vestry, that, so far from being an offensive innovation upon the ancient usage of our Church, these ornaments are in strict accordance with the existing English Rubric. Dr. Wheatly,--whose "Rational Illustration of the Book of Common Prayer" is commended as a text book by the House of Bishops, to the "careful study" of every candidate for Holy Orders,--states expressly that "two lights were, by the injunctions of King Edward VI., and by the Act of Uniformity, passed after the Reformation, to be set upon the. Altar." "And these lights, used time out of mind in the Church, are still continued in most, if not all, Cathedral and Collegiate Churches and Chapels, so often as Divine service is performed by candle light, and ought also to be, by this Rubric, used in all Parish, Churches and Chapels at the same time." This usage, therefore, is directly inherited by us from our Martyr Reformers. With regard to contemporaneous practice in the Mother Country, it is sufficient to say, that the Bishop of London observes, in a late charge, "I see no objection to candles on the Communion Table, provided that they are not burning, except when the church is lighted for evening service." If it were worth while, in a matter of so little importance, to look for authority in our own Diocese and city, it might be stated, that in Christ Church,--the only one of our [15/16] older churches that was ever opened for worship at night, previous to the alterations in the year 1830, lights were burning upon the Holy Table, as often as they were needed at the evening service.

With regard to "the CROSS" I cannot bring myself to say one word in answer to your objection. I am happy to confess that I am "childish and puerile" enough to love and rejoice to have that precious symbol presented to the eye in all holy places--"of all symbols the most speaking, and most touching; proclaiming Christ crucified, the Alpha and Omega of the Church's existence." Neither the size, nor the fact that it is "wooden" as well as "large," can in any way affect the feeling or the principle, though they may help to give it character and significancy. I hand it over to "the sensible and enlightened persons of other Christian bodies," who are referred to in the note, and who do not forget, in the sign, the thing signified. [The late Dr. Adam Clarke, a burning and shining light of the Methodist connection, who will not be suspected of any leaning towards Romanism, tells us, that in passing through a graveyard, he was struck with the appearance of graves ornamented with crosses and garlands as tokens of affectionate regard. "A frozen-hearted formalist," says he, "may condemn this, and call it superstition; true religion and pure affection would give it a far different name. I felt and could have wept with the disconsolate parents and survivors, and kissed the crosses by which the meritorious death of our Blessed Saviour was thus held out to public view as the only foundation of the survivor's hope, that death, the last enemy, should be finally destroyed, and that those hearts knit together here in pure and honest love should be reunited in eternity, where bonds can no more be broken, and death can never enter."--Life, 2d ed.1841, p. 289. Dr. Grant, a Missionary of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, tells us, in his travels among the Nestorian Christians, that he was guided by one of the Bishops to a plain stone Cross, which lay upon the Altar, supposing that he would manifest his devotional feelings, after their own custom, by pressing it to his lips. "There is something," says he, "very affecting in this simple outward expression as practised by the Nestorians, who mingle with it none of the image worship, or the other corrupt observances of the Roman Catholic Church. May it not be that the abuse of such symbols by the votaries of the Roman See has carried us Protestants to the other extreme, when we utterly condemn the simple memento of the Cross?"] This objection is the more remarkable, [16/17] because there is not one of our Churches in the city which is not as open to censure on similar grounds. To begin with Trinity Church or Cathedral, the chancel of which has been arranged and highly decorated since your incumbency, if not under your supervision. We miss the Cross, indeed, but the Mitre is not excluded. There is the Descent of the Mystic Dove, the Tables of the Law which came by Moses, radiant with glory; the Prayer of our Lord, and the Creed of the Holy Catholic Church; to say nothing of the monumental emblems, and the likeness of "the Living Dead graved on the tablet erected, under the sanction of the Convention, to the memory of your meek and saintlike predecessor. For the same reason that I rejoice to see these, I should more rejoice to see the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ Church has always abounded in imagery, painted and carved, of every description, and in every direction and there are few among us who have not interesting and affecting associations connected with its beautifully; curtained Altarpiece of the Last Supper, with its golden chalice; the Descent of the Holy Spirit, and the rays over the chancel, in the midst of which is disclosed the Ineffable Name. Over the Holy Table, in St. Paul's, is a painting of the Transfiguration, direct from Rome. At Grace Church, a Cross, in bold relief, on the shaft of the baptismal font, intercepts the eye between the porch and the Altar. In [17/18] the chapel of the Church of the Messiah there is a Cross over the Holy Table. Trinity Hall is arranged much like ours, in what you regard its objectionable features; and at St. James' Church, in Roxbury, a Gross is conspicuous among the decorations of the chancel window. In this respect, Reverend Father in God, are not all the members of our communion, yourself included, yea, and all our Fathers before us, and even the original Continental Protestant Reformers, included in the selfsame condemnation? The Lutherans have retained the Cross in their Churches; and if we, who follow their example in this respect, are justly stigmatized as Popish, then, as the learned author of "No Union with Rome" remarks, were Luther and Melancthon themselves eminently Papistical.

The only other subject of censure to which you have alluded relates to the position of the clergymen in the devotional parts of the service; by which I understand you to refer to our kneeling with our faces towards the Holy Table. To nothing else can the equivocal expression the "postures used," which I regret to see in your Letter, be applicable. We use no other "posture" in prayer than that of kneeling towards the Altar; and this is no other posture than that which every reverential worshipper is taught to assume in his devotions in the House of. God, and which every member of our communion adopts when he is invited to draw near in faith to the Holy Table, and to make his humble confession to Almighty God devoutly kneeling. Indeed, it is impossible to conceive how any one is to pray at the Holy Table [18/19] without turning his face towards it; or why that posture should be stigmatized as "superstitious" when used within the chancel, which, is adopted, as a matter of course, by every one without it. I have had experience of its happy effects on my own mind in aiding reverential feeling, collectedness, and abstraction of thought, and freedom in prayer, as the countenance was relieved from the constraint of a gazing congregation. Indeed, I must confess that I can see no distinction, in principle, between facing the Altar at its corner, as was done by my Assistant on the evening to which you refer, and facing it at its side, as was done by yourself on that occasion.

True it is that we have endeavored to observe the distinction which was made by the compilers of our Liturgy between the Daily Morning Prayer and the Ante-Communion Office. This has been done in accordance with the directions of our best Ritualists with regard to the "Place of Reading Prayers, and the Position of the Minister." "From what has been brought together," says Robertson, in his masterly and dispassionate work, entitled, "How shall we conform to the Liturgy?" "we may conclude that the Rubric was originally understood to fix the chancel as ordinarily the place in which the service should be read. In some cases, perhaps, it was said at the Holy Table; but it seems to have been more generally said in a lower part of the chancel, where the Priest's stall was constructed. The stricter Churchmen turned eastward, [i. e., towards the Altar,] which position, as well as the, place of service, the Puritans vehemently objected to." Would it were the Puritans only who seem to object to it now, [19/20] when those who desire to be accounted among "the stricter Churchmen" turn in the same direction. On this subject great diversity of opinion and practice has prevailed, and been tolerated in different portions of the Church. One of our Bishops, some years since, complained that the Holy Table was frequently "placed so low as hardly to be seen, unless it is looked for," and recommended the abolition of the reading desk, on the ground of its manifest uselessness, and the gain effected in additional room. Another has expressed a wish to abolish both desk and pulpit, confining the devotional part of the service to the proper place--the Altar; and using the movable Bible Stand, from which the Lessons are read, for the Sermon, Homily, or Exhortation. This was our preference in arranging our present., place of worship; and the service is thus exhibited, in open view, in all its simplicity, beauty, and integrity, as designed, we think, by the framers of our Ritual, and as the early Christians, without doubt, beheld it antecedent to the days of Popery.

In adopting these authorized and edifying practices, and those arrangements which insure the least display, and without which suitable room for our Chancel could not be obtained, we cannot perceive that we have given any ground for the charge of introducing "irregularities degrading to the character of our Church, and perilous to the souls of our people." We do but stand fast in that liberty wherewith Christ and the Church have made us free. Uniting upon the broad platform of the ancient creeds, and cleaving steadfastly to the established [20/21] formularies of the Church, and abiding by its prescribed practices, we claim the same latitude, in mere matters of opinion, which we freely accord to others. The peace of the Church is only to be preserved by such mutual concessions as are required by an observance of the three great rules for maintaining Catholic concord "In essentials, Unity; in non-essentials, Liberty; in all things, Charity." If the practices which form the subject of your Letter fall under the second head, as we have supposed, then the liberty" has little to recommend it which can only be exercised under the penalty of official denunciation. If, however, it is not in these, but in "essentials," that, in your judgment, our usages are irregular, degrading, and perilous, then the Canons prescribe the proper and obvious remedy for the offence. While the wise and prudent provisions of the Church, in this respect, are intended to serve as a guide to her Bishops in "so ministering discipline that they forget not mercy," they are intended no less as a protection to the inferior Clergy against condemnation without trial and without conviction. Waiving entirely the indignity offered to me as a man, therefore, I feel that I have just cause to complain, as one of the Presbytery, that the protection, which the Church has thus provided for that body, has been by this precedent rendered of none effect. It is hard indeed to conceive how any "irregularity" can possibly be more "degrading to the character of our Church," or more to be deprecated in these days of disquietude, rebuke, and blasphemy, than the virtual "degradation" of the Clergy in the eyes of their people by methods alike unknown to [21/22] the system of the Church, and to the laws of any well-ordered government.

Reverend Father in God, you will perceive the regret expressed in the Resolutions of the Wardens and Vestry of our Parish, that they find themselves forced into a position of defence towards one with whom they had endeavored to hold different relations. [See the Resolutions at the end of this Letter, p. 26.] If these are the sentiments of the Laity of my charge, how much more sensibly must I be affected by them! Those who know me will bear me witness--and if I know myself their witness is true--that I would have endured much evil speaking rather than be compelled, as I have been, by a public condemnation, to a public defence. But all the relations that I sustain in this life--and I do not deem it too solemn to add, towards the life to come--seemed to call upon me not to be silent under your accusations. You have taken occasion, through the public press, to hold me up as a Presbyter who has been unfaithful to his vows, who has not hesitated to sacrifice, to an inclination towards idolatrous usages and to superstitious puerilities, the character of the Church and the souls of our people. If charges of this description were true, there would be little question whether I were worthy to be a Christian Minister, since I should hardly be a Christian man. This were, indeed, to "be, toward the flock of Christ," not "a Shepherd," but "a wolf."

"This is not a vain thing for me," therefore, Reverend Father in. God, "because it is my life." Nurtured, from [22/23] childhood, in the strictest principles of the Church, by a venerable parent, whose long and consistent ministry has made his "hoary head a crown of glory" in the sight of the whole Church; rooted and grounded in the distinctive principles of the faith, not by "Union Questions" of all denominations, but by such little books as his own "Rudiments of the Church," and "the Young Churchman's Guide;" honored in being a catechumen of Bishop De Lancey during a portion of his academic life at New Haven; instructed in Theology at the feet of Bishop Brownell, at Trinity College, Hartford; receiving authority, at his hands, to minister in holy things as a Deacon; and admitted, by Bishop Griswold, to the Priesthood, as one of those who had "used the office of a Deacon well, and had purchased to himself a good degree;"--I claim, that my training, as a "Hebrew of the Hebrews," ought to be above the shadow of suspicion. Having thus been "taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers," I continue to this day, in the things that I then learned, and have been assured of, knowing of whom. I have learned them. I have let my eyelids look right on, and mine eyes look straight before me; turning neither to the right hand nor to the left, and desiring no other or more excellent way than those good "Old Paths" in which they had hitherto led me, and in which they had found, with myriads of the redeemed before them, true rest unto their souls. From the time that I was appointed "to stand in the House of God and to minister at His holy Altar,"--and I am now no novice,--each succeeding year has brought the [23/24] increasing conviction that "in proportion as we imbibe the spirit of our noble army of Martyrs and Reformers, as exhibited in the Liturgy and Ordinal, the more effectually we shall preach the true Gospel of Christ, and insure the Divine blessing on our labors." It has been my heart's desire ever to do thus. I have honestly endeavored, according to the grace given unto me, and in the plain unsophisticated sense of my ordination vow, "to give my faithful diligence so to minister the doctrine, and sacraments, and the discipline of Christ, as the Lord hath commanded, and this Church hath received the same."

When it pleased the great Head of the Church; Reverend Father in God, to cast my lot in this new field, where the laborers are not sufficient for the harvest, it pleased Him also to inspire the hearts of the respectable and intelligent Laity of our Parish with more than common zeal in this holy work. Their names and standing in this community are a guarantee that it was not "a zeal not according to knowledge." They know, and there is One who knows better than any, of us, that I have determined, from the first, the Lord being my Helper, to know nothing among them save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified, and that I have longed to be a means, in His hands, of bringing many of them to glory. They know that I have labored earnestly for the peace and purity of the Church; that I have not only "studied to be quiet" myself, but to set forth quietness, peace, and love among all Christian people." They know that I have thrown myself, to use the words of a dear Christian brother, [24/25] "fearlessly, trustfully, and dutifully on the system of the Prayer Book, in its whole form and spirit, keeping back from the people no portion of the heritage to which they are entitled, and giving them the full benefit of all the means which are provided to enable them to 'grow in grace,' and to make their 'calling and election sure.'" They know, as those only who have tried it can know, that "the more faithfully 'they discharge the duties which the Church enjoins, and the more minutely they comply with her various requirements, the more rapidly they grow in admiration of her practical system, and perceive her wonderful capacity to satisfy all the yearnings of the human heart. They know, also, that these well-meant efforts have been appreciated far beyond our most sanguine expectations; and that "high and low, rich aid poor, one with another," have resorted to our humble services as to "the shadow of a great rock in a weary land." In the midst of this state of things, and with these prospects, "it is not an open enemy that has done us this dishonor, but it is Thou, my Guide!" However unhappy the consequences may be elsewhere, I am sure, among those who know me, of their continued confidence, and their lively sympathy and prayers. But, with all these supports, and the testimony of a good conscience besides, still it is the sorest of all trials to our sinful nature "to do well and to suffer for it, and to take it patiently." That grace is only to be acquired by the discipline of the Cross. Looking to that Cross, as our only Hope, I bow my knees to Him, who loved the Church and gave Himself for it, that this severe affliction may be [25/26] overruled for good; that we may take up our Cross, daily, and bear and endure it, rather than talk about it; and exercise the lessons of forgiveness which it teaches, towards those by whom we are wounded in the house of our friends. In this spirit, I would also entreat your forgiveness, Reverend Father in God, as well as that of our Great Head in Heaven, if I have unawares exceeded the bounds of a due earnestness; if it is I, indeed, who have been unconsciously the "troubler of Israel," or if it is I who, by any form of error, in word or deed, have caused to offend one of the little ones that believe in Christ!

I remain, Reverend Father in God,

Yours, in "the holy office of Priesthood,"


BOSTON, Dec. 6, 1845.

At a meeting of the Wardens and Vestry of the Church of the Advent, held December 5, 1845, the following Preamble and Resolutions were unanimously adopted:

WHEREAS there appeared in the "Christian Witness" of December 5, a Letter, from the Right Reverend, the Bishop of this Diocese, in which the arrangements made by us for Divine service in our Chapel, and the mode of conducting it, are. severely censured and denounced to the public as "offensive," "superstitious," and "degrading to the character of our Church, and perilous to the souls of our people," we have thought it our duty to give the subject matter of the Letter a respectful consideration, although it is addressed neither to us nor to our Rector, and our attention has never been officially called to it. And although no request or representation has been made to us by our Bishop, on this [26/27] subject, and we are not called upon to take any action, or express any determination thereupon, yet it may be expedient to record our reasons for what we have done, and our feelings as to the same. Therefore, by the Wardens and Vestry of the Parish of the Advent, it is unanimously

Resolved, That it is with surprise and regret, we learn that our Bishop has thought proper to denounce, in this public manner, the arrangements of our Chapel, and the conduct of worship there, and especially that he has done so without having addressed to us any communication upon the subject, or having called our attention to it, either as a body or as individuals.

Resolved, That we have carefully considered so much of this Letter as touches upon our province and duties, to wit: the furniture and arrangements of the Chapel, and do not find any thing there alluded to by our Bishop, except the Communion Table, the Cross, and the Candlesticks, by which the Chancel is lighted in the evening; and that, as to these, we can see no just cause of complaint.

Resolved, That in placing a single Cross in the window of the Chancel, behind the Altar, we believe we have introduced no "offensive innovations upon the ancient usage of our Church," but have the example of a multitude of Churches in England, and an increasing number in our own country. That it is hardly for us to enter upon the defence of a usage so ancient, sacred, and continuous.

Resolved, That in the matter of the Communion Table, or Altar, we can see no cause for censure, or even for scrupulous doubt. It is a simple movable table, 'of pine wood, standing upon four legs, occupying the usual place, covered with a plain crimson cloth, having no resemblance to the Altars used in Roman Catholic Churches, and differing in no respect from those in general use among us, unless it be in having a small shelf on the side next the wall, which we suppose is immaterial, as it is believed that the same may be seen in some other Churches, where it has remained without objection. In fact, so far is this, in our opinion, from tending to superstitious practices, that we have thought it might rather be liable to the objection of being too much like the table of common household furniture, to meet the requirements of the Holy Table and Altar, which the Prayer Book teaches us to consider it,

Resolved, That as candles have never been burned in our Chapel, except during service at night, for the purpose of lighting the Chancel, (as on the occasion of the Confirmation referred to in the Letter,) we presume the Bishop's objection can only be to the use of [27/28] the Candlesticks upon the Altar instead of some other mode of lighting the Chancel. That when the Chapel was furnished, we deliberately considered the different modes of lighting the Chancel, and were unanimously of opinion that Candlesticks were more appropriate than the modern fashions of gas fixtures or globe lamps, as being more Scriptural and Ecclesiastical, more significant, more consonant with the feelings of a worshipper, and less liable to mixed and secular associations. That we are informed that, on this point, we have the support of an existing Rubric, and a not unfrequent practice of the Church of England, and the example of Churches in this country, and this Diocese, where Candlesticks have been used in this way for years, without objection or remark. That we have reconsidered this subject since the Letter has appeared, and cannot but believe that the substitution of either of the other modes of lighting the Chancel for. the four Candlesticks now in use, would be repulsive to the feelings of the congregation, and aiding in the deplorable introduction of novel, secular, and uncanonical decorations into sacred places.

Resolved, That although the position our Minister may be led to take, when engaged in an act of worship, is not within our superintendence, yet we cannot but record our regret at the manner in which the Letter speaks on that subject. That the custom has been uniform, from the first opening of our Chapel, for the Minister, in the devotional parts of the service, to turn his face toward the Holy Table, whether kneeling at its side or more in front, and that we have never known any other "postures used." in these services than that of simple kneeling, as required by the Rubric. That this mode is congenial with our own feelings and sense of the proprieties of public worship. That we know it to be grateful to the worshippers at the Chapel. That so far from giving offence, we have found that not only the stated worshippers, but strangers, whether of the Church or of other religious bodies, have frequently expressed their sense of its fitness and solemnity. That it is of material aid, as we believe, in abstracting the mind, and centring it upon the Divine worship. That although it is not for us to decide upon Rubrics intended for the direction of the Clergy, yet we may say, that we understand them to be constructed upon the supposition that the Minister will face in the sable way with the people, when engaged with them in the same acts of devotion; turning towards the people when he addresses himself to them, as in reading Holy Scripture, the Sermon, and the like. That as our [28/29] congregation has become habituated and attached to this mode of worship, (some of them having thus first learned the Church,) we should feel regret at having it abandoned, independently of its general propriety.

Resolved, That taking a general view of this subject, we believe, and have frequently heard it said, that the arrangements of the Chapel are simple and consistent, and we know that the mode of conducting the worship has called forth an interest and engagedness in the service on the part of the congregation which is most encouraging to both Priest and people.

Resolved, That inasmuch as our Bishop, in his Letter, has publicly spoken of the practices of our Rector as "superstitious" and "puerile," and has charged him with "exposing the Church to ridicule and contempt," and "degrading its character and perilling the souls of the people," we cannot but record, with deference, but decidedly, our convictions to the contrary, and our solemn protest against the manner of this condemnation. We cannot express our sense of his many excellences, of the untiring and self-sacrificing efforts he daily makes for the good of his people and the poor of the neighborhood; of his dignity and simplicity in conducting Divine service, and our obligations to him for his solemn and affecting instructions. That his labors have met with great success in building up the Parish, and, we believe, in the spiritual growth and comfort of many that are under his charge. That we cordially sympathize with him in the efforts he is making, by the Daily Service, the observance of Holy Days, a regular Offertory, the use of free sittings, the introduction of simple and ancient music, visitations of the poor and sick, and frequent celebration of the Sacraments, Ordinances, and Offices, to do his part towards presenting the Church in its entireness before this community.

Resolved, That the Assistant Minister, of whom the Letter speaks, has, as we believe, conformed to the usages of the Parish, and to the wishes of the Rector, and has won the respect and affection of all by hiss patient endurance, his self-denial, his constant labors, especially among the poor, sick, and afflicted, and his single-minded devotion to the duties of his holy office.

Resolved, That when we consider the character, age, and services of our Rector, and that most of the officers of the Parish are personally known to the Bishop, we are the more surprised at the appearing of this Letter, as well as at its tone. That we regret it the more, as it places us, unexpectedly and unwillingly, in the attitude of a public defence against our Ecclesiastical Head in the Diocese.

[30] Resolved, That the Clerk procure a copy of the "Christian Witness" referred to, and place it on the files of the Parish; that these Resolutions be entered in full upon the Records; that a copy of the same be transmitted to the Bishop, and that they be sent to the "Christian Witness" for publication.

C. P. GORDON, Wardens.

R. H. DANA, JR.,
C. R. BOND, Vestrymen.




I beg leave respectfully to represent that there are several persons in my parish who have been for some time ready and desirous. to be confirmed. By making an ap= pointment at your own convenience (the canonical notice being given) to visit our Chapel, and administer that apostolic rite, you will greatly oblige

Yours, faithfully in all duty,

Rector of the Church of the Advent.

BOSTON, Nov. 23, 1846.

[31] IV.

TREMONT STREET, Nov. 24, 1846.


I received, yesterday, yours of that date, requesting me to visit the place of worship of your parish, for the purpose of administering the rite of confirmation.

I can assure you of the great pleasure it gives me to learn from you that there are those in your congregation who are desirous of ratifying their vows to GOD in that solemn ordinance, and of my entire readiness to gratify your wishes in reference to them, if the way can be prepared for my doing so consistently with what I feel to be my own duty. But, before making any appointment, I feel it right to learn from you whether such an alteration will be previously made of the arrangements of the Chapel, and of the mode of conducting Divine service there, as shall be conformable to the prevalent usage of our Church during past years. I indulge the persuasion that you and your Vestry will see the propriety of according to my wishes in this respect; and will add, that if you should think a friendly conference between us on the subject to be desirable, the wish will be cordially responded to by myself.

In the event of no such alteration being made, I must decline, though with great pain, visiting your Chapel for the performance of the interesting service which you request. As I feel it to be right, however, that those members of your parish to whom you refer should not, on [31/32] this account, be deprived of a privilege to which they are entitled, I shall be ready to notify you of the time and place (the latter to be, of course, one of the Churches in Boston) at which I will administer to them the laying on of hands, as soon as you shall have informed me that the candidates will be ready thus to meet me for the purpose.

I am very truly yours,


The Rev. Dr. CROSWELL.


BOSTON, Nov. 28, 1846.


I have to acknowledge the promptness and courtesy of your reply to my request respecting your visit to our place of worship for the purpose of administering confirmation, and to express my regret that there should be any obstacle in your own mind in the way of your making an appointment for that purpose.

I am under necessity, in advance, of troubling you for a word of explanation. On showing your letter to one of our Vestrymen, he expressed his decided conviction that the alterations which you desire to have previously made were with reference merely to the occasion of your visit; while to another it is equally clear that a pledge to adhere permanently to certain prescribed changes is the condition on which the appointment is to be made. This difference of opinion has created a doubt in my own mind which might not otherwise have existed, and [32/33] of which I respectfully ask of you the solution, in order that we may proceed in this matter understandingly. Very truly, your servant and presbyter,


Right Rev. Dr. EASTBUEN.


TREMONT STREET, Nov. 30, 1846.


Yours of the 28th instant has been received; in reply to which I would say, that my meaning in the communication sent to you was that of a permanent alteration.

I am, very truly, yours,




BOSTON, Dec. 8, 1846.


I was truly concerned to find, by your note of explanation of the 30th ultimo, that a compliance with your own preferences, as to modes of worship on the occasion of administering confirmation at our Chapel, would fall far short of satisfying your demands. It. had been the unanimous understanding between the Vestry and myself, that the arrangements of the Chancel, and the method of celebrating Divine service, should on that occasion be entirely at your own disposition, and we [33/34] were prepared to take your own directions with regard to them. Thus much we were willing to concede, for the sake of peace, and from an anxiety to avoid the appearance of compelling you to any thing like a compromise of your opinions, or that might seem to betray a disregard of your feelings. At the same time, it is due to ourselves to say that we feel even such a requirement, under the circumstances, to be a dangerous precedent, and not therefore to be yielded as a matter of right, but simply with a view to prepare the way for the administration of that solemn ordinance "consistently with what you feel to be your own duty."

After maturely weighing your Letter with this explanation, I now understand you distinctly to require nothing less than this as a condition absolute and precedent to the discharge of episcopal offices in our Church, viz., an assurance or pledge that certain changes shall be made in our arrangements and mode of conducting Divine service; and that these alterations shall be permanent and continuous,

Now, I fully admit that there maybe departures, not from the written law of the Church only, but from a recognized and legitimate usage, of such a character as to warrant a Bishop in refusing to perform episcopal offices in a Church where they exist. Yet I do, with all solemnity, protest against this ground being taken with reference to things not required by the Church, about which there is admitted doubt, and a recognized diversity of practice and opinion in the Church. To use a sort of interdict in order to compel conformity to [34/35] each Bishop's private tastes, preferences and opinions, I cannot but feel to be a violation of the rights of Presbyters and Parishes. It is not possible that such a claim should be submitted to and carried out,--and even if it were, though I do not mention it as a reason, yet it deserves to be considered,--however it might seem to create greater uniformity within each diocese for a time, it would certainly result in a more marked difference between different dioceses, and in the same diocese, under different Bishops.

I have had much opportunity, during the last year, carefully, and I may say daily, to consider our arrangements and mode of worship, and have been confirmed in all my previous impressions with regard to their consistency with the Rubric, as expounded by the best ritualists, and as to their salutary tendency in preserving in my own mind, and that of my fellow-worshippers, the reverence which is due in Divine ministrations. It is freely conceded that there are points in which they differ from those that obtain in the Church of which you are Rector, and from those which generally prevail at present in this neighborhood. At the same time, it cannot be denied that these very usages have not only been followed without objection in other portions of the Church, but have received the sanction of the highest authorities. And even in this neighborhood, as the oldest Rector in this city, I have lived to see various diversities of practice, and many considerable changes in the arrangements of Chancels; and it would be easy to enumerate particulars in which they differ on points [35/36] where the Church has given no discretion. In none of these things, I am satisfied, has the Parish of the Advent gone beyond the latitude which the Church allows, or offended against either the letter or the spirit of its rules, or violated its decent or seemly order, or afforded a Bishop any warrant for depriving us of the episcopal visitation and offices which are secured to us by the canons.

Another obvious difficulty is suggested by your requirement of a personal promise or pledge to pursue a certain course, and this, too, not for a special occasion, but unlimited in its terms. When I was admitted to the holy order of deacons, first, and then of the priesthood, in addition to the solemn vows of ordination, I signed a declaration, in which I engaged "to conform to the doctrine and worship of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States." These obligations rest upon me with all their weight at this moment; and for any offences in violation of them, I am liable to canonical proceedings. I have reason to object to giving any pledges beyond these; and over and above the duties put upon me by the Church, I regard the exacting of such pledges as a dangerous precedent--especially when required, as it is here, under the penalty of cutting off from important privileges. If I remember Bishop White's commentary aright, the standard by which the Bishop's godly admonitions "are to be directed, are the various established institutions of the Church, and not his private opinion. "The Church," says he, "is under a government of law, and not of will." If the assurance which you require relates to the established institutions of the Church, then [36/37] it is superfluous; if, as in this case, it is for something beyond those, and for the purpose of securing conformity to private opinion, or local practice, on points upon which there are diversities of opinion and practice in the Church, then the requirement, under the penalty which you have affixed to it, is one in which I am unwilling to involve myself; and the claim of a right thus to demand it, I feel bound, on general principles, to withstand. As a personal matter, it may not be improper for me to allude to the peculiarity of my position, in being called upon privately to abandon observances for which I have been, in the most public manner, censured by yourself, and which you have held up to the world as perilous and degrading; since the relinquishment of them, under such circumstances, could hardly fail to be regarded as an admission of the character imputed to them, if not also of the legality of that act of censure.

It has occurred to me that you may possibly be under mistake as to what is actually done at our Chapel. We know that there have been false representations, and are still, to some extent, false impressions abroad on the subject; and it has always seemed to me that your circular indicated a wrong conception of our usages. Yet our worship is public and daily, and nothing is concealed. I would call your attention to my letter of December 6, 1845, and to the resolves of the wardens and vestry which accompany it, as containing a full and fair statement of our arrangements and mode of conducting divine service. If you have supposed that any thing else is done by us than is stated in those documents, we shall be happy to [37/38] correct your impressions, or to communicate any more particular information which you may desire. But while I acknowledge your offer of a personal conference, yet after what has taken place, and in consideration of the importance of the subject, I think you will agree with me, that whatever may pass between us should not be left to depend upon the recollection of conversations; a state of things which is always embarrassing to the parties, and especially so after any considerable lapse of time.

If, on a full consideration of the case, you adhere to your determination to refuse a visitation, I have no other alternative, consistent with a due regard to those of my flock who would otherwise be deprived of privileges to which they are entitled, but to submit. Though I am well persuaded of their readiness to meet their Bishop wherever he may appoint, it will occur to you that there may be strong preferences as to place. If they are not to receive confirmation in the place where they have received their deepest religious impressions and been knit together in one, and at the foot of the Holy Altar where some of them have already made, and all hope to make, their first communion, I trust it will seem but reasonable to request that they will not be required to attend at the Church of any of my junior presbyters. In a word, if the Bishop refuses to come to us, we hope, at least, to be permitted to come to the Bishop in his own Cathedral Church. Considering also the age and circumstances of some of the candidates; I would further ask, that it may take place on the Lord's day, and at the usual hour of morning or evening service. On any Sunday after the [38/39] Epiphany which you may appoint, I will endeavor, the Lord being my helper, to be prepared to present myself with such as he shall have given me.

I remain, right reverend and dear sir,

Yours, in the holy office of priesthood,


Right Rev. MANTON EASTBURN, D. D., Bishop, &c.


BOSTON, Dec. 12, 1846.


I write this to inform you that I shall hold a Confirmation in Trinity Church, in this city, on the morning of the second Sunday after Epiphany, January 17, 1847, at which time it will give me pleasure to administer the rite to such as you shall present to me. The service will commence at the usual hour of quarter past ten.

In the mean time, I am very sincerely yours,


The Rev. W. CROSWELL, D. D.


TREMONT STREET, Nov. 24, 1847.


I have learned with great satisfaction, that several of the parochial Clergy of the city, with a view of promoting brotherly unity and friendly clerical interchange between yourself and them, have represented to you their [39/40] wish that you would so far conform to prevailing usage, in your mode of conducting divine service in your Church, that so desirable an end might be accomplished.

I now beg to express to you once more my own strong desire on the same subject; and, as you are on the eve of taking possession of a new place of worship, I have thought the present a favorable opportunity for thus afresh declaring to you my wishes.

There are several particulars in which a return by you to the usages of your brethren is desired by me--such as the wearing of the gown, instead of the surplice, in preaching; the reading of the Morning and Evening Prayer from a reading desk; and the use of a pulpit for preaching, and the regular use of the Metrical Psalms and Hymns. On these, however, I will not insist; and the utmost that I now ask you to do in this matter is, either that, if the prayers should be read from a reading desk, you will kneel at it, according to the prevailing custom, with your face towards the people; or that, if the prayers be read at the Communion Table, you will see that it be so placed that both you and the other clergymen officiating can stand or kneel without inconvenience at the end of it, and close by it, in the usual way, instead of being at a distance from it, either at the end or in front.

I take this opportunity of saying, though I can scarcely think it necessary, that, in all my past measures connected with this unpleasant subject, I have been influenced by no considerations of personal unkindness to you. The friendly intercourse which had previously [40/41] subsisted between you and your family and myself, after your removal from Western New York to this city, forbids this supposition.

My motives, in what I have done, have been those of official duty exclusively; and, under the influence of the same motives, I now most earnestly call upon you, as your diocesan, at least to make the change above referred to, and no longer to persevere in a course so at variance with the customs which, from the first establishment of our Church, have prevailed in our places of worship, both in this and other Dioceses.

I am, reverend and dear sir,

Your faithful brother,


The Rev. W. CROSWELL, D. D.


CRESCENT PLACE, Nov. 27, 1847.


I write this brief note to say that your favor of the twenty-fourth was put into my hands the next day; but that, owing to the very pressing nature of my engagements in preparing for the opening of our new place of worship on Advent Sunday, I am not able, this week, as I could have desired, to do more than to acknowledge the receipt.

In great haste, very truly,

Your friend and servant,


Right Rev. Dr. EASTBURN.

[42] XI.

BOSTON, Dec. 30, 1847.


I have thought it due to your office and character that a letter of so much importance as yours of the twenty-fourth ultimo should receive the most mature deliberation. Hence the delay in returning an answer; though I cannot say that I have, from the first, felt much hesitation as to the course which I ought to pursue.

My impressions differ considerably from your own with regard to the design and intention of the call of several of the parochial Clergy of the city, to whom you allude as interested in promoting brotherly unity. These respected brethren, with a view to the restoration of happier relations between yourself and the Church of the Advent, had kindly volunteered, as I understand it, to act in the capacity of mediators. To this end, according to my recollections, they had first called upon you, to ascertain precisely what terms of promised conformity they were to be allowed to propose as a condition of the performance of Episcopal acts in our Church, and, of course, were to acquaint you with the result of their interview with me. I gratefully appreciated such ser. vices as these at their hands, as neither unworthy of them nor myself; and, at their request, I carefully reviewed the whole subject. Several days before the receipt of your letter, I informed them that I had done so, more than once, and that I had also uniformly returned to the same conclusion which I had already communicated to [42/43] you in a correspondence with regard to confirmation, about a year since, and for the same reasons. As they did not appear to have been made acquainted with that correspondence and its bearing on our present unfortunate relations, I submitted a copy to their candid perusal. And I would now beg leave to call your own attention to it again, as bringing to view some momentous principles which are involved in this matter, as it has been regarded by file, and a recollection of which is necessary to a proper understanding of our relative rights and duties. If these were as clearly expressed as I suppose, in my letter of December 8, 1846, they were perhaps unconsciously overlooked by you at the time, or have been forgotten, or lost sight of, since. Certain it is, at least, that you have not, to my knowledge, taken any notice of them. I further apprised the brethren that waited on me, that, however well satisfied of the correctness and suitableness of our usages, I had never assumed to require conformity to them as a condition of clerical exchange; and that a kneeling stool, moreover, would be provided for those who, for any cause, should prefer to kneel at the lectern. In this connection, I cannot but regard it as remarkable, that many other of the brethren of the city and neighborhood, as well as of the Church at large, and who had been much more familiar with our mode of worship than some of the brethren who waited upon me, have repeatedly officiated at our Chapel, and have had no difficulty in accommodating themselves to our usages. I think it right to state, that the three senior presbyters of the Diocese, veterans in the service of the Church, are among [43/44] the number who have expressed great satisfaction in our services, and have regarded our arrangements as unexceptionable; and I must be allowed to add, with undisguised gratification, that one of these, the eldest and most venerable of all your presbyters, whose irreprovable ministry covers more years than I. have lived, has been in the habit of assisting at our daily and weekly service, and authorizes me to say, that he is ready to bear his testimony in favor of the tendency of our mode of ministration to high religious enjoyment and edification.

If I am correct, as I believe, in the positions taken in the letter alluded to, of December 8, 1846, then I cannot perceive how they are affected, either by any thing that fell from my brethren (who had not seen that correspondence) at the time of our interview, or by your own letter of the twenty-fourth ultimo; unless it be that certain things are now yielded as admissible which have heretofore been publicly set forth in terms tending, where I was not known, to bring my ministrations into contempt, as, "degrading," or, what is worse, into abhorrence, as "perilous to the souls of men." The remaining particular, in which conformity is yet insisted on, as the condition of the performance of Episcopal acts, stands, as it seems to me, upon the same footing with the rest. Nor do I perceive upon what notions, either of Church law, of general propriety, or the furtherance of uniformity, it is more obligatory than the claim to enforce by authority the use of the Collect and Lord's Prayer before sermon, the reverent bowing at the holy name of Jesus in the creed, or the exclusion of desks and pulpits from [44/45] Chancels. Yet in none of these points is there any such penalty imposed upon your Clergy for a non-compliance with your wishes and preferences, however earnestly expressed while among the Clergy themselves, as is best known to those who have been longest among them, there is a conceded diversity of opinion and practice, and a mutual toleration of differences.

Putting all previous acts out of the question, and supposing the case to stand solely upon your last letter of the twenty-fourth ultimo, I should certainly have been disposed, for the sake of peace, to yield all deference to your requests, whether official or otherwise, and without, perhaps, very carefully considering, whether the compliance proceeded from a spirit of submission to ecclesiastical authority, or from mere good nature, or indifference, or sentiments of personal consideration. Even in this case, however, it could not with consistency be admitted, for a moment, that the Bishop's conscience and private opinion were to be regarded as the standard of clerical conformity, or that compliance with his preferences was the condition on which his Clergy and parishes were to be allowed the enjoyment of their chartered privileges. Canonical obedience to the diocesan, in our branch of the Church at least, has its limits, which, however they may seem to vary, as viewed by different minds, are intended, as the expression shows, to be distinctlydefined by our standards. And one cannot help being struck with the strong and explicit terms in which those limits are jealously guarded in the pages of the only exposition of the Canon law of our Church which has yet been published, [45/46] and which in many quarters, at the present time, would be regarded as authoritative. Speaking of the supposition that the Bishop is not to be restrained in the conscientious exercise of his official functions, this able writer observes, "Now, on this subject, a very dangerous error seems to be gaining ground. The practice of early Bishops is often referred to, under the imposing names of antiquity and primitive usage, to sanction the acts of modern Episcopacy. But it seems to be forgotten, that the usage of regulating the exercise of the Bishop's functions by certain fixed rules is as ancient as the office of a Bishop. There is as much of venerable antiquity in the custom of making laws for Bishops, as there is in making Bishops themselves. It may be safely affirmed, that, since the days of the Apostles, they never were left with no guide but their own discretion. A law, indeed, cannot be made wholly to prevent a Bishop from doing a Bishop's appropriate duty; but the history of the Church is full of legislation to regulate the mode in which he shall perform that duty."--The Rev. Dr. F. L. HAWKS, on the Constitution and Canons. Canon xxvi. pp. 257-8.

In accordance with what is here stated, surely the most dutiful presbyter would be justified in declining compliance with any requirement of his diocesan, which, according to his conscientious belief, was wrong and of dangerous precedent, and also of consequence enough to warrant him in bringing on himself and his Church the results; or if there was a conviction that the manner of the requirement was illegal, and that the illegality was of the same consequence as in the preceding instance.

[47] The present case, however, it is unhappily not to be forgotten, does not stand upon your last letter of the twenty-fourth ultimo, nor is it to be regarded independently of previous Episcopal acts. Even the apostle Paul, (Acts xvi. 37,) after he had been "beaten openly, uncondemned," at Philippi, was not willing to be "thrust out privily." In view of his ignominious treatment, without a trial, without an opportunity to plead his privilege, or make his defence, he did not choose to go away, or abandon his ground, as Thomas Scott remarks, "in an underhand manner, and with the imputation of having deserved such punishment, but he required to be honorably discharged." There may be cases, says the same homely but honest commentator, when it will be proper for the servants of Christ to claim the protection of the laws against oppression, not from vindictive feeling, but as being most conducive to public justice, the peace of the Church, and the credit of their profession. It is deeply to be regretted that you have connected my reputation with terms of the deepest reproach for the matters in question without any previous presentation or canonical proceedings against me for any offence whatever, without a trial, and uncondemned by any tribunal known to our system. Under these circumstances, it will be perceived why I cannot, with any show of reason or justice, at this late day, and as a mere matter of form, be expected "privily" to abandon my ground. I cannot thus voluntarily subject myself to the imputation of having deserved that severe and open censure, never yet openly revoked, or expose myself to the construction of admitting a Bishop's [47/48] power virtually to inflict sentence of condemnation on his Clergy without a trial. Of such a course as this, at once "violating the established rights of the parochial Clergy, and overturning a fixed principle of our ecclesiastical polity," the opinion of the distinguished canonist, whom I have already quoted, is strikingly full and forcible. "Now we say, that, under our system of government, a Bishop has no right, directly or indirectly, to try a clergyman. . . . It will be a sad day for the Church when the Clergy, without the intervention of triers of their own order, may be tried and condemned by the Bishop alone. The smallest approach to such an encroachment should be promptly resisted. It is of vast importance for the well being of the Church to preserve their just rights to that large body of real operatives, the parochial Clergy. Power always passes, slowly and silently, and without much notice, from, the hands of the many to the few, and all history shows that ecclesiastical domination grows up by little and little. Give to Bishops a right, without a formal trial by their peers, virtually to condemn presbyters in one case, and it will surely come to pass that the day will be seen when precedent will be cited for it in all cases. . . . The overwhelming tyranny from which the reformation freed the Protestant Church, grew up by this paulatim process."--The Rev. Dr. F. L. HAWKS on the Constitution and the Canons. (Canon xlii. pp. 364--5.) If there be aught of authority in this voice of eloquent warning, I cannot but think that it puts the question at issue between us at rest. It will no longer seem strange that, as I did on a former occasion, so I do [48/49] now, once more, respectfully decline involving myself in any pledges beyond those of my ordination, and over and above the duties put upon me by the Church. It will also be perceived, that on the general principles for the sake of which I have suffered these last two years, and which I have more largely dwelt upon in our previous correspondence, I am solemnly bound to withstand the right to demand them.

I ought not to conclude without observing, that it was our endeavor so to order our new place of worship that it might not be open to your former objections. That part of the Chancel within the rails of the altar is, of course, reserved for its appropriate sacramental solemnities. On the space without, it has been our purpose to offer, daily, the other portions of that true and laudable service which our branch of the Church seems to contemplate and direct, however neglected by modern usage. In these respects our ministrations are mainly conformed to those which at present obtain in the Church of the Holy Communion, in the city of New York; and I venture to enclose with this so much of the Rev. Dr. MUHLENBERG'S excellent pastoral tract on postures in. prayer, as may serve, in some measure, to explain and vindicate our own.

Very faithfully,

Yours, "in the holy office of priesthood,"


Rev. MANTON EASTBURN, D. D., Bishop of Massachusetts.

[50] XII.

BOSTON, April 4, 1848.


I trust to be prepared to present several candidates for confirmation, whenever you shall think proper to make an appointment for that purpose. If consistent with your other engagements to name any time towards the close of the month, it will be most agreeable to me.

It is hardly necessary for me to repeat, that, on occasion of Episcopal visitation, the arrangements for worship at the Church of the Advent are submitted entirely to your own direction.

Very sincerely, your faithful presbyter,


Right Rev. Dr. EASTBURN, Bishop of Massachusetts.


TREMONT STREET, April 5, 1848.


As I do not feel myself at liberty, for reasons well known to you, to visit your Church for the purpose of administering confirmation, according to the request contained in your note of yesterday, I beg to say, that I shall hold confirmations, during the present month, in the following Churches:--

Sixth Sunday in Lent, in the morning, at Grace [50/51] Church, Boston; and at the place of worship of the Church of the Messiah in the afternoon.

Easter day, at St. Paul's, Boston, in the afternoon; and at Christ Church in the evening.

After Easter day, I shall be absent from the city, as you are probably aware, on every Sunday until the fifth after Easter.

It will give me great pleasure to administer the "laying on of hands" to such candidates as you may present to me on any one of the four occasions above named. I leave the selection entirely to yourself.

Meanwhile, I am, very sincerely, yours,


The Rev. Dr. CROSWELL, Rector of the Church of the Advent, Boston.


BOSTON, April 12, 1848.


In declining to administer confirmation at the Church of the Advent, I cannot but think that you are continuing to do us a great wrong. I feel bound, therefore, to continue my solemn remonstrance against it, and also against the inference that, in submitting to it thus far, I intend to waive any canonical ground of objection. Under this protest, I beg to apprise you that, from my long and interesting connection with the ancient. parish of Christ Church, I am inclined to regard your appointment for that place as least open to exception, and propose to [51/52] present my candidates accordingly, should the Rector permit, on Easter Sunday evening. Faithfully, your presbyter,


To the Right. Rev. MANTON EASTBURN, D. D., Bishop of Massachusetts.




In making your appointments for administering confirmation in the city parishes this winter, it is my earnest request that this privilege may be extended to the Church of which I am Rector, and which is hereby put at your disposal for the occasion; or, if this may not be, that some other opportunity may be afforded me for presenting our candidates. I shall endeavor to be prepared, any day, four weeks from date.

With the best wishes of the season,

Very sincerely yours,


The Right Rev. MANTON EASTBURN, D. D., Bishop of Massachusetts.


TREMONT STREET, Jan. 9, 1849.


I have received your note of Saturday last, and. in reply would say, that I will, with Divine permission, administer confirmation to such candidates as you may present [52/53] to me, in Christ Church, on the evening of Sexagesima Sunday, February 11. The present evening hour of service is seven, and will, I suppose, continue for some time to come.

Reciprocating the kind wishes of this joyful season, I am very truly yours,


The Rev. W. CROSWELL, D. D.


BOSTON, January 13, 1849.


I have to acknowledge the receipt of your reply of the 9th to my note of the 6th instant, in which you propose to administer Confirmation, in Christ Church, to such candidates as I may present to you on the evening of Sexagesima Sunday,. February 11. I had cherished the hope that you would at length recognize the propriety of making that periodical visitation to our parish which the rules of the Church contemplate; and I alluded to the other alternative solely with a view to avoid the renewal of an unpleasant controversy. In submitting, however, once more to the painful necessity which you have imposed upon me for three successive years, and by which the administration of a solemn and interesting Rite has been deprived of some of its most endearing personal attractions, I feel it to be my duty to enter my solemn protest against your refusal to visit the Church of the Advent, as involving a violation of the first section of [53/54] the twenty-fifth canon of 1832. A part of this section declares, "It is deemed proper that such visitations be made once in three years, at least, by every Bishop, to every Church within his diocese."

Without entering, at present, upon the question, whether such an intimation of propriety be not binding upon the Bishops, and whether it has not "always had in their eyes the force of the most positive enactments," I content myself with this simple renewal of my protest; and acting under it, will endeavor, by divine permission, to meet your appointment.

Very sincerely, yours, in all duty,


Right Rev. MANTON EASTBURN, Bishop of Massachusetts.




Will it be convenient for you to give me notice of an appointment for administering Confirmation to such candidates as I may present, in season to be announced to our congregation on the Feast of the Epiphany? With regard to the time, the morning of either of the two Sundays preceding Lent would be preferred. As to the place where the service ought to be held, I may be allowed to say that I entertain the same convictions as I have already repeatedly expressed to you. But, without waiving any claim of privilege, I would avoid, at present, reviving controversy; and if you still decline visiting our [54/55] parish for this purpose, I trust the Office will be permitted to take place in your own.

With my best wishes for a happy new year,

Very sincerely yours in the office of priesthood,


Right Rev. Bishop EASTBUBN.


TREMONT STREET, January 3, 1850.


I have received your note of the 1st instant, and in reply beg to say that I shall be happy to administer Confirmation to such persons as you may present, in Trinity Church. You mention either of the two Sundays preceding Lent as the time you would prefer. As I have purposed, however, holding my annual Confirmation in Trinity some time during Lent, I have fixed upon the second Sunday in Lent, in the morning, as the day for confirming both your candidates and those who shall be found ready among the parishioners of Trinity Church. This time, being not remote from that mentioned by yourself, will, I trust, not be objectionable to you.

Reciprocating your kind salutation on the commencement of another year, I am faithfully yours,



[56] XX.


It is proper to apprise you that, in compliance with your directions, I shall attend at Trinity Church with many of our congregation to-morrow morning. The service at our Church will be omitted. I cannot yet inform you of the precise number of candidates for Confirmation; but I am sorry to say that I find it, year by year, seriously diminished, in consequence of the course which you have felt at liberty to pursue, in, depriving our parish of the benefits of the Episcopal visitation, contemplated by the canon; and I should be wanting in a sense of what is due to my own rights as a presbyter under your jurisdiction, "not justly liable to evil report, either for error in doctrine or viciousness of life," as well as what is due to those of the laity of our parish, constituted an integral part of the diocese, entitled to representation in the convention, and to the enjoyment of the same canonical provision and privileges as any other parish in it, if I did not once more enter my solemn protest against these proceedings, as I have done against similar proceedings in former years.

As ever, your faithful presbyter,


The Right Rev. MANTON EASTBVRN, Bishop of Massachusetts.

[57] XXI.

31 GREEN STREET, Friday, April 11, 1851.


Will you do me the favor to make an appointment for administering Confirmation to the candidates at the Church of the Advent before the next meeting of the diocesan convention? I renew the offer made in former years, to place the Church and all its arrangements at your entire disposal for the service.

Very respectfully,

Your servant in the ministry,


To the Right Rev. MANTON EASTBURN, D. D., Bishop of Massachusetts.


TREMONT STREET, April 14, 1851.


Since the receipt of your note of Friday last, I have been examining my list of appointments, in order to ascertain the practicability of appointing some day for confirming your candidates just before the time of the meeting of the convention, supposing it probable you are not yet ready for the administration of the Rite. I find, however, that from the afternoon of Tuesday in Easter week to the meeting of the convention my time will be continually occupied. I regret the fact, and have therefore to [57/58] propose, that, if agreeable to you, the Confirmation take place on the morning of Tuesday in Easter week.

I regret that a sense of duty compels me again to decline coming to your Church, and to appoint Trinity Church as the place. Divine service to commence at eleven o'clock in the forenoon.

Very truly and sincerely yours,


The Rev. W. CROSWELL, D. D.



A note addressed to you by myself was by mistake dropped into the post office this morning, instead of another letter. I mention this as an apology for any delay which may occur in your receiving it, and also by way of explanation of my communication coming through that conveyance.

Very truly, yours,


Rev. Dr. CROSWELL. Tremont Street, April 14.




In reply to your favor of the 14th, proposing to administer Confirmation to our candidates on Easter Tuesday at Trinity Church, instead of the Church of the [58/59] Advent, I feel obliged to say, that apart from the objection which I have to any other place of worship being substituted for our own, and to any other time than Sunday, I should not be prepared to present the candidates upon so short notice, and. at so early a day. As I deem it, however, of the utmost importance that the rite should be administered before the conventional year expires, especially as there will be a considerable number of candidates, permit me to inquire if any of the neighboring Bishops who would be willing to administer Confirmation at our Church, with your permission, might not be allowed to do so.

Very respectfully,

Your servant in the ministry,




TREMONT STREET, April 21, 1861.


In my last note to you, I mentioned that engagements extending from the afternoon of Tuesday in Easter week to the meeting of the convention, precluded the possibility of my confirming your candidates within that period. Since the receipt of yours of Thursday last, I have been enabled to dispense with an engagement to which I had appropriated the evening of Sunday, the 18th of May; and I now write to say, that I shall be ready on that evening to administer Confirmation to those whom you [59/60] may present at St. Stephen's Chapel. The service will commence at half past seven.

That God may accompany the occasion: with the blessing of his Holy Spirit, is the fervent prayer of

Yours, very truly and sincerely,


The Rev. Dr. CROSWELL.


BOSTON, May 10, 1851.


My absence from town has prevented an earlier reply to your favor of the 21st ultimo.

While my convictions are still the same as those which I have, year by year, been constrained to express to you, in the way of protest, hereby renewed, against your continued neglect of the recognized rights of my parish, and your own official obligations in refusing to visit the Church of the Advent, according to the provisions of the canon regulating Episcopal visitations, I do, notwithstanding, instruct the unconfirmed members of my flock to embrace any opportunity which you may think proper to afford them, of obtaining access to that apostolic ordinance, under whatever circumstances of personal inconvenience to ourselves, or of undeserved reproach; and, according to your appointment, I shall present, with divine permission, such candidates for Confirmation as can be induced to accompany me to St. Stephen's Chapel, the Rector consenting, on the evening of the fourth Sunday after Easter, May 18th.

[61] Heartily responding to your fervent prayer, that God may accompany the occasion with the blessing of his Holy Spirit,

I am, very sincerely,

Your friend and presbyter,


Right Rev. MANTON EASTBURN, D. D., Bishop of Massachusetts.

[The Rev. WILLIAM CROSWELL, D. D., the first Rector of the Parish of the Advent, died Nov. 9th, A. D. 1851.

The Rt. Rev. Horatio Southgate, D. D., was soon after elected Rector of the parish, and entered upon the discharge of the duties of the office in March, A. D. 1852.

During the interval, the Rev. Asa Eaton, D. D., was the acting Rector of the parish. On the twenty-third day of December, 1851, Dr. Eaton addressed a letter to the Bishop of Massachusetts, of the body of which the following is a copy:--]




At a meeting of the Wardens and Vestry of the Parish of the Advent, the result of my interview with yourself respecting the annual Confirmation for that parish was duly communicated to them.

They have desired me to add to my own verbal request a more formal one from themselves, that you would perform the sacred office in their own Church, that the candidates may not be obliged, at that touching and sacred moment, to stand among strangers, and that the right of [61/62] the parish, which they firmly believe is secured to them by the canons of the Church, may be duly observed: and this they not only ask as a privilege, but respectfully demand as a right.

They are aware of the objections which have been made by you in previous years, and while they protest that these objections are not valid for the deprivation of this right, yet, in order to avoid them, they repeat the offer made to you by their late revered Rector, that the mode of conducting the services on that occasion shall be entirely under your control.

If this request is refused, they respectfully ask your consent that the Bishop of one of the adjoining dioceses may be authorized to perform the apostolic rite in the Church of the Parish.

If both these propositions are declined by you, the appointment for Grace Church on Sunday evening will be adhered to by us; yet we cannot but indulge the hope of a more favorable reply.

As some preparation may be necessary in case of a change of plan, you will much oblige me by as early a communication of your decision as your convenience will permit.


TREMONT STREET, Dec. 24, 1851.


I have received your communication of yesterday; and in reply thereto feel it my duty to say that I am still of the same mind which I expressed to you at our last interview.

[63] I shall therefore expect the candidates for confirmation from the Church of the Advent, at Grace Church, on Sunday evening next.

I am faithfully your brother in Christ,


The Rev. Dr. EATON.


4 BOWDOIN STREET, Oct. 4, 1852.


I have occasion to hold a Confirmation during the present fall in the Church of the Advent, and it would gratify me if you can name a time for that purpose within a month or six weeks from this date. Probably a considerable number will present themselves for the reception of that holy ordinance.

I am, right reverend and dear sir,

Very faithfully, your brother in the Church,

Rector of the Church of the Advent.

Right Rev. Bishop EASTBURN.


TREMONT STREET, Oct. 25, 1852.


On returning to town last Wednesday evening, after an absence of more than a fortnight, I found your note [63/64] of the 4th inst. I feel myself constrained by a sense of duty, to say, that until the mode of performing divine service in the Church of the Advent shall be more conformed than it now is, to prevailing usage, I cannot visit it for the administration of Confirmation. I will, however, name some Church in the city, in which your candidates may be presented, as soon as you have signified to me your readiness to comply with such an arrangement.

I am, very truly, your brother in Christ,


The Right Rev. H. SOUTHGATE, D. D.


4 BOWDOIN STREET, Oct. 28, 1862.


In reply to your note of the 25th, (received, on account of my absence from town, on the night of the 26th,) will you allow me to ask what you regard as objectionable in the present mode of conducting divine Service in the Church of the Advent, and what change you require before you can visit it for the purpose of Confirmation.

I am very faithfully,

Your brother in Christ,


Right Rev. Bishop EASTBURN.

[65] XXXII.

TREMONT STREET, Nov. 2, 1852.


In reply to yours of the 28th ult., I beg to refer you to a letter of mine to the late Rev. Dr. Croswell, dated November 24, 1847. If it so happens that you are not in possession of a copy of it, I will furnish you with one. That communication furnishes a full explanation of my wishes, and renders any further statement unnecessary.

I am, faithfully,

Your brother in Christ,


The Right Rev. H. SOUTHGATE, D. D.


4 BOWDOIN STREET, Nov. 5, 1852.


Your note of the 2d inst. was duly received. I have not in my possession a copy of the letter to Dr. Croswell to which you refer, but I have been able to obtain the loan of one, which I believe to be an authentic transcript of the original, to which last I cannot, at this moment, gain access. I regret, however, that you did not allow this correspondence to proceed without any reference to the past, which involves a matter that I would not bring into discussion between yourself and me. I am now, in the providence of God, Rector of the Church of the [65/66] Advent. I had cherished, to some degree, the hope that you might consider your former relations as ceasing with the death of the late incumbent, and might be ready to establish new relations with me, as occupying a position in which I, at least, have had no controversy with you. But it seems that this hope is not to be realized to the degree that I wished, and I therefore avail myself of the letter referred to, for the purpose of gaining a correct view of your present position, to which accordingly I will direct my answer.

The only portion of the letter which bears upon the present correspondence reads as follows: "There are several particulars in which a return by you to the usages of your brethren is desired by me; such as the wearing of the gown instead of the surplice in preaching; the reading of the morning and evening prayer from a reading desk, and the use of a pulpit for preaching, and the regular use of the Metrical Psalms and Hymns. On these, however, I will not insist, and the utmost that I now ask you to do in this matter is, either, that if the prayers should be said from a reading desk, you will kneel at it, according to the prevailing custom, with your face towards the people; or that, if the prayers be read at the Communion Table, you will see that it be so placed that both you and other clergymen officiating can stand or kneel without inconvenience at the end of it, and close by it, in the usual way, instead of being at a distance from it; either at the end or in front."

Laying aside the allusion to the reading of Prayers at the Holy Table, which would be an arrangement [66/67] extremely inconvenient, and well nigh impracticable, in our present Church, and confining myself to the alternative offered, I understand you to say that the only change which you require is one which will avoid the practice of turning to the Altar in the public Prayer. This is the custom, if I rightly comprehend it, to which you object. This altered, your end is gained. Now, it so happens, that, by a change which I have myself made in the arrangement of our Chancel, this object is secured. I have introduced a kneeling place and book board at the stalls, which run longitudinally, parallel with the aisles of the Church. This has been done from considerations of ecclesiastical propriety; but it effectually answers your object, as much so as if it had been done at your request. We say all our Prayers now at the stalls, after the fashion which you have doubtless yourself witnessed in the English Cathedrals, and which has the sanction of many Parishes in this country. I have myself seen the present Bishop of Pennsylvania performing Confirmation in two Churches arranged in this way,--the Church of St. Mark, Philadelphia, and the Church of St. James the Less, near that city; and I am sure that you will agree with me that that Right Reverend brother is not likely to go beyond the bounds of moderation in such matters. I think, therefore, that you may safely consider that your object is gained in the Church of the Advent, and I hope that you will yourself so regard it. In worshipping, our faces are directed across the Church, and not towards the Altar, so that the end desired is as really secured as it would be in a reading desk, towards the people. May I not regard this as an effectual compliance with your [67/68] wishes, by an arrangement already made from other motives, yet as exactly meeting your view as if it had been made in consequence of your last letter? And may I not, therefore, hope that this unpleasant difference will at length end, and that you will extend to us those visits which no people, as a body, more ardently desire, and which I would gladly do all in my power consistently to promote? I am, very faithfully,

Your brother in the Church,


The Right Rev. Bishop EASTBURN.


BOSTON, Nov. 12, 1852.


I have received yours of the 5th inst., and have to say in reply, that the same sense of duty to our Protestant Church which has led me to decline, for many years, visiting the Church of the Advent, constrains me to abide by the course indicated in my last communication to you.

Very truly yours,


The Right Rev. H. SOUTHGATE, D. D.


4 BOWDOIN STREET, Nov. 15, 1852.


With the deepest sorrow I have received and read your communication of the 12th. A way has been opened to [68/69] you by which you could consistently and fairly visit the Church of the Advent. This you have declined; and without deigning to answer my argument upon the subject, (removing, as it does, your last objection,) you peremptorily refuse to come. The responsibility and consequences of this act are your own. For my part, I cannot so compromise the clear rights of my parishioners as to subject them to the indignity of a resort to other Churches for Confirmation. Until you are ready to confirm in the Church of the Advent, I shall ask no administration of the rite at your hands; but I demand it there, as my right and the right of my parishioners, and I do protest against this course of injustice and arbitrary rule, as being in violation both of the letter and of the spirit of the Canon on Episcopal Visitations, as being contrary to all correct precedent, as being an injury to the Parish of the Advent, and as being inconsistent with the essentially paternal character of your office. With this protest I rest satisfied for the present, waiting for God's good time of deliverance, and, in the mean while, being content to suffer the hardships of our lot in the meekness of silence, and the steadiness of quiet endurance.

I am, Right Reverend and dear Sir, as heretofore,

Your faithful brother in the Church,


The Right Rev. Bishop EASTBURN.

[No further application was made, on behalf of the Parish of the Advent, for Confirmation, until the year 1856, when the following correspondence took place:--]

[70] XXXVI.

14 GREEN STREET, Feb. 9, 1856.


I wish to present to you, during the Spring, a class of candidates for Confirmation. If you will have the goodness to name a time, it will aid me in making the necessary preparation. I should be glad to have the Service on Easter Even, March 22d, in the evening; but if another time will better suit your convenience, I will make my arrangements accordingly.

Believe me,

Right Rev. and dear Sir,

Very faithfully, your friend and brother,


The Right Rev. Bishop EASTBURN.


TREMONT STREET, Feb. 11, 1866.


In reply to your note of Saturday, I beg to refer to my correspondence with you in October and November, 1852, and to say that my views remain the same as then stated, in regard to the objectionable character of the arrangements for divine service in the Church of the Advent. Until such an alteration shall be made as is there indicated, the way will not be clear for my visitation of the parish.

I am, faithfully and truly,

Your brother in Christ,


The Right Rev. Bishop SOUTHGATE.


14 GREEN STREET, Feb. 12, 1856.


I have received your note of yesterday. In it you refer me to our correspondence in 1852, for your views in regard to the objectionable character of the arrangements for divine Service in the Church of the Advent; and you say that until such alteration shall be made as is indicated in that correspondence, the way will not be clear for you to visit the Parish.

The correspondence to which you allude does not contain any specific statement of your objections, or of the alterations which you require; but you refer, for such statement, to a former letter addressed to my predecessor in office, the Rev. Dr. Croswell. To that letter, therefore, I now recur, to learn your views on the character of our arrangements for service, and the alteration which you desire before you can visit the Parish.

In the letter referred to, dated November 24, 1847, you say, "There are several particulars in which a return by you to the usages of your brethren is desired by me--such as the wearing of the gown instead of the surplice, in preaching; the reading of the morning and evening prayer from a reading desk, and the use of a pulpit for preaching, and the regular use of the Metrical Psalms and Hymns. On these, however, I will not insist; and the utmost that I now ask you to do in this matter, is, either that, if the prayers should be read from a reading desk, you will kneel at it, according to the prevailing custom, [71/72] with your face towards the people, or that, if the prayers be read at the Communion Table, you will see that it be so placed that both you and the other clergymen officiating can stand or kneel without inconvenience at the end of it, and close by it, in the usual way, instead of being at a distance from it, either at the end or in front."

Before proceeding farther, will you allow me to ask whether I am right in taking the passage which I have underlined, as containing the statement to which you refer, of the alteration required to be made before you will feel at liberty to visit the Parish.

I beg to add, that I have reopened our correspondence on this subject, at the express and unanimous desire of the Corporation of the Parish, and with the earnest wish, both on their part and on mine, that it may lead to a happy termination of the painful difference which, for many years, has alienated from them their Chief Pastor in Christ. Nothing that I can rightly do shall be wanting to secure so desirable a result.

I beg you to believe me, Right Rev. and dear Sir,

Your faithful brother in Christ,


The Right Rev. Bishop EASTBURN.


TREMONT STREET, Feb. 26, 1856.


Yours of the 12th was received on the same day. In this communication you call my attention to a certain passage which you have underlined, contained in a letter [72/73] to the late Rev. Dr. Croswell, dated November 24, 1847, and ask me if you are right in considering the said passage as containing the statement to which I refer of the alteration required to be made before I shall feel at liberty to visit the Church of the Advent.

You are correct in so considering that passage; and to the declaration there made I still adhere. At the same time I feel it my duty to say, after a careful consideration of the whole subject, that I should regard any "termination of the painful difference" between the parish of the Advent and myself, not founded upon a substantial conformity to Protestant usage on their part, as a peace only hollow, false, and injurious. There are various customs in the administration of divine service well known both in England and this country as usages of the Tractarian School; and since the time when I received your last communication, I have understood on inquiry that several of these usages either existed in the Church of the Advent, without my knowledge, previously to your coming, or have been introduced there during the time that has elapsed since my correspondence with you in 1852. I must, therefore, ask you, and, through you, the Corporation of the Parish, to state to me, fully and frankly, if there be any usages in the performance of divine service in the Church of the Advent, in which you and they are conscious of differing from the practice of the other parochial churches of this city. In the mean time I am,

Faithfully, your brother in Christ,


The Right Rev. H. SOUTHGATE, D. D.

[74] XL.

14 GREEN STREET, March 1, 1856.


I believe that I cannot better fulfil the object of your last letter, dated February 26th, than by giving you a full and exact description of the mode of conducting divine Service in the Church of the Advent. In this way I shall state to you with the greatest certainty any differences that may exist between that mode and the "practice of the other parochial Churches of this city." I am not sufficiently acquainted with the usages prevailing in those Churches to make a more direct comparison; and, upon inquiry of the Wardens of the Parish and several members of the Vestry, I find that they are no more competent than I to state the differences between them and ourselves, if any exist. Besides, it is supposed that there is not a perfect uniformity in the practices of the other Parish Churches of Boston. I am told, for example, that in your own Church, it is the custom to say a Collect and the Lord's Prayer in the pulpit before Sermon, and that this custom is not, followed in any other Church. I am also informed, that in the Church of St. Paul, it is not the practice of the Rector to bow in the Creed, and that this is an exception to the otherwise universal usage in this city. Doubtless there are other points of difference, more or less important, in the modes of conducting Service in the several Churches; so that a comparison between us and them would be extremely difficult, even if we were perfectly acquainted with their various modes.

[75] I may, however, before proceeding to particulars, state, in general, that I know of no difference between our own practice and that of the other parochial Churches which would indicate a difference of principle; and I do solemnly and earnestly declare to you that I believe our whole mode of conducting divine Service to be in "substantial conformity to Protestant usage," as recognized by our branch of the Reformed Church; that I know of no usage prevailing in the Church of the Advent which is a distinctive mark of the "Tractarian School;" and that my own rule of practice is to conform as closely as possible to the Rubrics of the Prayer Book.

I may also add, in this place, that the Rector is alone responsible for the mode of conducting Service, and feels at liberty to change it, in the limits allowed by the Church, without consulting the Corporation. In any matter involving a change of the interior construction of the Church, as, for example, in any new Chancel arrangements, the sanction of the Vestry, or at least of the Wardens, would be necessary.

I will first describe our Chancel arrangements. You know that our building was not erected for Church worship. It was built by a Congregational Society, for their own use. This makes it an inconvenient place for our Services; and the arrangements in and around the Chancel are consequently by no means all that I could desire. But I hardly know how we could improve them under present circumstances. In a proper Church, they would be considerably different.

The Chancel is built out from the dead wall of the [75/76] Church, in the manner usual where there is no recess, and is raised two steps above the platform without, which is two steps higher than the floor of the Church. The Chancel contains nothing but the Altar, which is of Caen stone, wrought in England, being a gift from Miss Elizabeth Perkins, in her will. It is lighted by two small chandeliers, suspended from the ceiling, each holding seven candles. Above the Altar, against the wall, is a gilded Cross, about the same, in size and position, with that in St. Stephen's Chapel, and that in the Chapel of the Navy Yard in Charlestown. Over the Cross is the inscription, "Lo, I come," alluding to the name of the Church. On four tablets, two on each side of the Cross, are inscriptions, taken wholly from Scripture. Without the Chancel, at each end, is a row of seats, arranged stall-wise, for the Clergy, having five seats each. These are removed about three feet from the Chancel rails; and in front of each row is a book board. Morning and Evening Prayer are said here, the Clergy kneeling in front of the stalls, at the book board, their faces being directed across the Church. If you have ever worshipped in Trinity Church, New York, you will have an exact idea of our practice in this particular. The same custom prevails in many other Churches; of which I will instance that of St. Paul, in Burlington, Vermont, where the Rector, who is the Bishop of the Diocese, has himself introduced it, being, as he once mentioned to me, in his opinion, the most authoritative usage in our Communion. Behind the stalls, on one side, are, a place for a Choir and the organ, and, on the other, a place for a Choir and a robing room. We have at present two Choirs.

[77] On the platform, in front of the Chancel rails, is a. bronze eagle Lecture, for the reading of the Lessons, and the Pulpit. The latter is a plain wooden Lecturn, the Preacher standing upon the platform. The Font also is upon this platform.

To come to our Services. We have daily Morning and Evening Prayer; and the Holy Communion is celebrated on the first Sunday in every month, and on every Festival. Sermons are preached, as is usual, on Sundays, and also on every Festival, at Evening Prayer, and frequently on other occasions, always preceded by Morning or Evening Prayer. The Clergyman, in officiating, is at the stalls. Those parts of the Service which are ad

dressed to the people, such as the Exhortation and Absolution, are said with his face turned towards the Congregation. The other parts, as the Psalms, the Canticles, the Creed, and the Prayers, are said as he stands or kneels in front of the stalls, his face being directed across the Church. The practice, in these respects, is precisely the same as in Trinity Church, New York, and other Churches where Prayer is said at the stalls. We repeat the Gloria Patri, as the Rubric allows in our Church, and as it requires in the Church of England, after every Psalm. The Lessons are read at the eagle. Lecturn, which is a few steps from the stalls. We bow at the name of Jesus, in the Creed. I know of nothing in which our Morning and Evening Prayer differs from prevailing usage, unless it be found in what I have now said.

Within the Chancel, nothing is said besides the Ante-Communion and Communion Offices. My practice is, to [77/78] kneel or stand, as the case requires, at the end of the Altar, and close to it, in all parts of the Ante-Communion and Communion Services, excepting only in the act of Consecration, when I stand in front. In this respect, I believe, our practice accords with general usage. We have, near the Altar, against the wall, a small shelf, on which the bread and wine are placed; and they are transferred to the Holy Table at the time appointed by the Rubric, immediately after the Alms are placed there, and before the reading of the Prayer for the Church Militant. It is my practice, in eating the consecrated Bread and drinking the consecrated Wine that remain after the Communion, to do it kneeling; and if any of the Communicants assist in this act, I distribute to them kneeling at the Chancel rail.

I know of nothing, unless it be found in what I have just described, that is peculiar in our usage in the administration of Holy Communion. There are no gestures, postures, or practices of any sort, that do not obtain commonly in well-regulated Churches. I do not approve of any extravagances or puerilities in holy worship. I am satisfied with the sober, sedate, and guarded methods of our Church. I say this the more especially, because I have often heard of customs attributed to us without the slightest foundation in truth.

In preaching, as the Minister cannot kneel at the Lecturn, which is too high for the purpose, he kneels, to say his private prayer, at the Chancel rail, which is close behind. He goes from the stalls, for this purpose, while the psalm or hymn is being sung; and when the singing [78/79] is ended, turns to the Lecturn, preaches his sermon, and concludes with the Ascription, in the usual manner. He then, if it be morning Service, enters the Chancel, and says the Offertory Sentences, while the persons appointed are receiving the Alms. The Alms are received in silk velvet bags, and these are brought to the Chancel rail, where the minister receives them in the Alms Basin, which he places upon the Table, and then offers the Prayer for the Church Militant, and concludes, if there be no Communion, with the Benediction. As our Church is a Free Church, dependent upon the weekly Offerings of the people, the Sentences and Prayer for the Church Militant are said every Sunday morning.

After sermon in the afternoon, the Minister returns to the stalls, which are close at hand, and concludes the Service in the usual manner, with a hymn, Collect, and the Benediction.

I should have said, that before the Ante-Communion Service in the morning, and before the sermon in the afternoon, instead of a metrical Psalm, our practice is to sing a Psalm, or a portion of a Psalm, from the Psalter. And I may add that I preach in the surplice or in my robes. Both these customs, however, are already known to you.

I have now given you a full and frank account of our Services. If I have omitted any thing that required notice, I have done it unintentionally. I trust you will be able to judge from my statement, whether there is any thing contrary to "Protestant usage," or worthy of condemnation as belonging to the "Tractarian School." I [79/80] fully believe there is nothing. You will also see in what respects, if in any, we differ from the "practice of other parochial Churches of this city."

I shall be happy to give fuller explanations on any particular points, if you desire them, or to answer any additional questions. I would beg to suggest, that in case my description of our Chancel arrangements does not convey to you so clear an impression as you desire, it might be well for you to visit the Church, and examine for yourself. If you should deem this advisable, I shall be happy to wait upon you at any time for the purpose. And I may add, for the better understanding of our Services, that I should be pleased if any persons appointed by you should, without previous intimation to me, visit the Church, and witness the worship on any occasion.

Trusting that my statements and explanations may prove satisfactory to you, I remain,

Very faithfully, your brother in Christ,


The Right Rev. Bishop EASTBURN.


TREMONT STREET, March 13, 1856.


I received on the 1st inst. your communication of that date; and, as you have therein courteously expressed your willingness to answer any additional inquiries, I beg to ask the following questions:

Is it customary, in the Church of the Advent, for the minister to turn round to the Communion Table when [80/81] he makes the ascription in the pulpit at the close of his sermon?

Is it one of the usages of the same Church to cover the Communion Table with cloths of different colors, supposed to correspond with certain seasons of the ecclesiastical year?

Is it one of the practices in that Church to place at any time upon the Communion Table, or in any part of the Chancel, flowers, or any other offerings than the alms received at the offertory?

I am, faithfully your brother in Christ,


Right Rev. H. SOUTHGATE, D. D.


14 GREEN STREET, March 15, 1856.


I have received your note of the 13th, and beg to reply to your inquiries as follows:

1. It is not customary, in the Church of the Advent, for the Minister to turn round to the Communion Table, when he makes the Ascription at the pulpit, at the close of his sermon. Such a practice formerly existed; but, upon mature consideration, I thought it best to abandon it, which I did six months ago. The Ascription is now made in the usual manner.

2. It is not one of the usages of this Church, to cover the Communion Table with cloths of different colors, supposed to correspond with certain seasons of the [81/82] ecclesiastical year. We have only two Communion cloths, one of which, presented by the ladies some three years ago, is used only on Christmas Day, Easter Day, and Whitsunday. This is of white, considerably embroidered and decorated. The other, a plain white cloth, is used on all occasions excepting those just mentioned. There is a practice, however, which existed. in the parish before I came, of covering the Altar with a black cloth on Good Friday. This is the only occasion when the Holy Table is covered, excepting, as above described, at the administration of the Sacrament.

3. It is the practice, on Easter Day and Whitsunday, to place flowers on the ledge in the wall back of the Communion Table; and this has sometimes been done, though without any regularity, on other Festivals. When persons have desired to place flowers there on such occasions, I have never objected, thinking it an innocent custom, which is followed in many of our Churches. Such flowers have been placed on the ledge in the morning, when the Church was being prepared for Service. They have never been received as Offerings, or with the Offerings. No Offerings are received, other than the Alms, in the Offertory.

I remain, Right Reverend and dear Sir,

Very faithfully, your brother in Christ,


Right Rev. Bishop EASTBURN.

[83] XLIII.

TREMONT STREET, March 26, 1856.


I beg to acknowledge the receipt of yours of the 15th inst., and also to say, that I shall avail myself of your invitation to examine the interior of the Church of the Advent, by coming there on the afternoon of Friday next, at 4 1/4 o'clock, if that time be agreeable to you. The Rev. Mr. Clinch will accompany me.

I am faithfully yours,


The Right Rev. Bishop SOUTHGATE.


14 GREEN STREET, March 27, 1866.


I have received your note of yesterday. I shall be happy to meet you at the time you mention, (1/4 past 4, Friday, P. M.,) and will be in the Church at that hour, accompanied by my Assistant, the Rev. Mr. Stickney. The Sexton will meet you at the steps of the Church.

The daily Service of Evening Prayer commences at five o'clock, but I suppose there will be sufficient time for your visit during the three quarters of an hour preceding. If you think otherwise, will you have the goodness to let me know before nine o'clock to-morrow morning, and by a notice at the Morning Service I can postpone the [83/84] Evening Prayer to such hour as you think best. If I do not hear from you to. this effect, I will understand that the three quarters of an hour will suffice.

I am, Right Reverend and dear Sir,

Very truly yours,


The Right Rev. Bishop EASTBURN.

[Bishop Eastburn visited the Church of the Advent, as arranged in the last two notes, on the 28th of March.]


TREMONT STREET April 2, 1856.


Since your communication of Feb. 9, requesting me to visit the Church of the Advent for the purpose of administering Confirmation, I have had from you a statement of the mode of conducting divine service there; and you have also replied to certain questions proposed by me. I have also, in compliance with your invitation, examined the interior of the building.

As the result of all this, I beg to say, that there are several particulars in which I desire to see a conformity in your church to the usage of this Diocese; viz., the wearing of the gown, instead of the surplice in preaching; the regular use of the Metrical Psalms and Hymns; and the removal of the large gilt cross which is now placed over the Communion Table. The Church of the Advent has made innovations in these respects, which I cannot but deem very objectionable; but, being not of [84/85] vital importance as touching the principle of my dissatisfaction with the method of service there pursued, I am willing to let them pass. I feel myself compelled, however, to require the following changes, before I can visit your church.

1. That if, as I should wish to be the usage in every church, and as our church manifestly contemplates, the Morning and Evening Prayer be read elsewhere than at the Communion Table, the reading desk shall be so placed that the officiating clergyman, on first entering it and making his private prayer, and in reading the service, will face the congregation.

2. That the clergyman shall make his private prayer, before preaching, at the place where he delivers his sermon, and fronting the people, instead of kneeling for that purpose at the chancel rails.

3. That the custom of placing flowers within the chancel oil festival or other occasions, shall be discontinued.

4. That, on every. occasion of the celebration of the Lord's Supper, the Communion Table shall be covered with a plain white linen cloth; that on no such occasion an embroidered and decorated cloth shall be used; and that the custom of placing a black cloth upon the Communion Table on Good Friday shall be abolished.

5. That, the use of the Prayer for the Church Militant on Sunday Morning, except when the Lord's Supper is administered, shall be given up. I am aware that usage, for many years, has given a sort of sanction to the reading of the Offertory Sentences in many of our Churches, [85/86] on occasion of missionary and other collections; although I cannot help thinking this, though done with the laudable motive of exciting the charity of the congregation, to be a departure from the Rubric, which directs these Sentences to be read only when the Communion is administered. But the addition to these sentences of the Prayer for the Church Militant, which in our Prayer Book follows an express direction in reference to the bread and wine, is so great a departure from the order of our Church, that I am constrained to require its discontinuance.

In regard to all the usages thus noticed, with the exception of the last, the ground of my objection is one and the same and that is, that their tendency is to give a character to the spot where the Lord's Supper is administered, which is contrary to the teaching of our Protestant Church; and thus to foster superstition in the congregations of the Churches where they prevail.

Should the above customs to which I have objected be discontinued, and the prescribed changes made, I shall be- happy to resume my visitations to the Church of the Advent. And it is hardly necessary to say, that, should I ascertain the fact of a return to any one of the usages objected to, at any future time, or the introduction of other kindred usages, I shall be under the necessity of resuming my original position of declining to visit the parish.

I am, faithfully, your brother in Christ,


The Right Rev. H. SOUTHGATE, D. D.

[87] XLVI.

14 GREEN STREET, May 2, 1856.


I have received your letter of the 2d ult., and have given to it the consideration which its character and purport demand.

I entered upon our present correspondence, not only with the wish, but with the determination, to do all in my power consistent with truth and rectitude, to bring to a peaceful conclusion the long standing difference between yourself and the Parish of the Advent. Day by day, my prayers have accompanied my efforts for an issue so eminently to be desired, and the prayers of many others have ascended constantly in the same. behalf.

I commenced the correspondence by simply requesting you to hold a Confirmation in the Church of the Advent. I hoped that my silence respecting the past might, after the lapse of more than three, years since we had exchanged notes upon the subject, seem to you to afford the opportunity of showing on your part the same forbearance, and I trusted that the breach might be healed without a renewal of the former difficulty. But you judged otherwise of the occasion, and, in your reply, referred me to our correspondence in. 1852, and, through that, to a communication addressed to the Rev. Dr. Croswell in 1847, for a statement of your objections to complying with my request. On my pointing out to you the language of that, communication, and asking whether [87/88] it still expressed the length and breadth of the conditions on which you would visit the Advent, you replied in the affirmative; but you added, that on other points you desired information concerning practices attributed to this Church.

This sudden and large extension of the ground of your demands might have been fairly resisted, if I had wished merely to make out a case. But, in truth, since the subject must be re-opened, I was pleased, rather than dissatisfied, with the new position which you had assumed; for I saw in it a chance to reach the point around which I thought the discussion ought to revolve. That point was the present and actual arrangement of the Chancel and the Services. I had no desire but that, upon this subject, your information might be the fullest possible, being thoroughly persuaded in my own mind that nothing could be found which would be the occasion of a just exception. I therefore gave you a detailed account of the appointments of the Chancel, and the order of our Services, and invited you to ask any additional questions, and also to visit and inspect the Church in person. You availed yourself of both invitations. I answered the other questions which you asked, and attended you in your visit to the Church. The courtesy exhibited in that visit strengthened my hope of a favorable result. The visit was limited to the giving and receiving of information, and discussion was tacitly left, as it seemed to me most properly, to our written correspondence.

I will not conceal from you the surprise, the disappointment, and the sorrow which your next letter, (that [88/89] to which I am now replying,) gave me. I recur to that communication with the involuntary feeling of incredulity that such terms could have been stated as the conditions of performing your Episcopal functions amidst any portion of "the Flock over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseer." I beg you to bear with me if I speak with earnestness and strength of feeling, while I lay before you my views upon the several points which you have presented for my consideration. I can hardly speak with too great plainness; but I trust that I shall not be found wanting in the respect which your relation to this Parish demands of him who is its Rector.

You specify the wearing of the gown in preaching, the use of the Metrical Psalms, (the Hymns are used as you desire,) and the removal of the Cross above the Altar, as things which you wish, but do not insist upon.,

But why not insist upon them, equally with the other five, which you "require"? You say that they do not touch the "principle of your dissatisfaction." That principle you state, in the conclusion of your letter, to be, that the tendency of four out of the five practices in which you desire a change, (the fifth being disapproved on rubrical grounds only,) is, "to give a character to the spot where the Lord's Supper is administered, which is contrary to the teaching of our Protestant Church; and thus to foster superstition in the congregations of the Churches where they prevail. Is this any less the tendency, (supposing there is such tendency in any of them) of placing a "large gilt Cross" over the Altar, than of kneeling at the Chancel rails and the stalls, or of using [89/90] flowers, or of covering the Holy Table with an embroidered or a black cloth? Yet these are taken, and the other left. Is it not evident from this that the "tendency" is wholly a matter of your private interpretation, definable by no fixed law or principle? and that, therefore, if your ground be a tenable one, the only rule of Church Service and Chancel arrangement, beyond what the Canons or Rubrics expressly prescribe, is the uncertain will, or taste, or fancy of each individual Bishop? A Bishop myself; and disposed, I trust, duly to guard all the prerogatives and privileges of my Order, I yet cannot but regard such a rule as destructive of the peace of the Church, dangerous to its unity, and certain to introduce, if generally executed, universal confusion and disorder throughout our Communion especially when it is added, as your present position requires to be added, that this rule is to be enforced as absolute law, so that the Parish which will not submit to it in any. particular is to, be deprived of one of the ordinances of Christianity, to lose the watch and ward of its Chief Pastor, and to be, so far as in him lies, placed in a state of excommunication. I do not hesitate to say, that if this be the law of our Church, our Presbyters and our Parishes are subject to a despotism which is unsurpassed by any government of extreme monarchy upon earth; our Bishops are "Lords over God's heritage," with a power of tyranny which has absolutely no limit excepting in the will of the governor. To this issue does the position which you have assumed, necessarily lead.

The uncertain and varying character of the rule, even [90/91] as applied to the same subject, at different periods of time, is broadly illustrated by the fact that, whereas you are now "willing to let pass" the "large gilt cross" as not "touching the principle of your dissatisfaction," you did, in your original alienation from the Parish, designate its use as one of several "superstitious puerilities," one of certain "irregularities degrading to the character of our church, and perilous to the souls of our people." It was then a leading point in your act of condemnation, one of those specified offences for which you refused to visit the Church of the Advent. Having thus helped to work out that long course of heavy affliction which the privation of Episcopal service has imposed upon this Parish, it is now suddenly dropped into the rank of an unessential point, which no longer deters you from executing the functions of your office. Could any thing more conclusively show the arbitrary nature of the rule which you have adopted? In a similar manner, though by a reversed process, the innocent practice of to-day may, another ten years hence, be converted into a "superstitious puerility," of such dangerous tendency as to bring upon a Parish your Episcopal interdict. How our stone Altar, with its rich and elaborate carving, and its numerous emblems of the Crucifixion, escaped your censure, while flowers in the Chancel, decorated Communion linen, and a black cloth are placed under the ban, I am at a loss to say, excepting that, by the force of the rule itself, all such apparent incongruities are to be resolved into the dictate of your own pleasure. We are dependent, then, not only upon your private taste, but upon all its varying [91/92] "changes and chances." The question whether we are to have the benefits of your Episcopal. ministrations, nay, whether we are to enjoy the spiritual and divine gift of the "laying on of hands, which; God has bestowed upon His Church for its edification, and which a Holy Apostle ranks among those "principles of the doctrine of Christ" which belong to the "foundation," depends for its solution upon the private opinion of the Bishop as to matters which are confessedly not of the "foundation," and concerning which great variety of opinion, prevails and is tolerated; and our very right to this portion of our goodly heritage fluctuates with the uncertain and changeful fancy, of the Diocesan.

If your rule is a sound one, it is equally applicable to other Dioceses as to this. But your next neighbor in the Episcopate may use it in a different style. The practices which you deem "superstitious," he may regard as tending to reverence and those which you prefer, he may, with equal justice, forbid as degrading to the worship of the Church. We have, indeed, a case in point. You pronounce preaching in the surplice "very objectionable." The Bishop of Vermont has recommended to all his Clergy, to preach in the surplice. Only let my venerable fiend turn his "recommendations" into "requisitions," and add the penalty which you are ready to inflict, and let every other Bishop in the Church follow your example, each one applying the rule as he pleases, and we shall have in full display the beauty and excellency of this newly invented system of governing the Church.

[93] I cannot set forth at length all the thoughts which press upon my mind, as I contemplate the five points which you have established as conditions of your granting to this Parish, not a favor, but a required ministration, which it is the undoubted right of every member of the Church, who is duly qualified for Confirmation, to receive, and which you were consecrated a Bishop not to withhold, but to bestow. I will briefly touch a few topics connected with each item, premising only the general remark that the penalty for non-compliance on a single point is the same as for the rejection of all; for you say, that in case of the acceptance of your conditions, if there should thereafter be a "return to any one of the usages objected to," you will "be under the necessity of resuming my (your) original position of declining to visit the Parish." Of course, then, the retaining of "any one," though the other four be given up, will prevent your Visitation. I shall, therefore, be correct in treating each point as involving by itself the whole penalty; and your position is to be judged of by this view of the case.

1. The reading desk you require to be so placed that Prayers shall be said towards the Congregation. By our present usage, the Minister's face is directed across the Church. Between these two lines of direction; then, lies the momentous difference of having, or not having, the seal of the Holy Ghost in the Apostolic Rite of Confirmation. I have a large class of candidates, who have been anxiously awaiting your decision. Among them are old men tottering upon the border of the grave. They look for the laying on of your hands before they [93/94] go to their rest. Whether they shall enter Eternity "sealed unto the day of redemption," or shall pass into the presence of their Judge, not having fulfilled all the righteousness of the Christian law, depends upon the question whether their Pastor shall turn to the side of the Church, or to the front of the Church, in saying his Prayers.

In your original condemnation of the Parish, you said that you could "not dissemble the pain" which the practices alluded to gave you, on account of "the ridicule and contempt to which they expose the Church of our affections from all sensible and enlightened persons of other Christian bodies." Has it never occurred to you that "ridicule and contempt" may possibly find an object equally attractive in the shield which you interpose to ward them off? I verily believe that the general interests of the Church in this city have been more injured by the display of an unauthorized power, utterly repugnant to the principles and feelings of every American citizen; as it has been developed in your treatment of the Parish of the Advent for the last ten years, than by any other circumstance or series of circumstances in its history. Said an eminent minister of Boston, after reading the correspondence between yourself and Dr. Croswell, published in his Memoir, "I never thanked God so heartily as now, that I am not under a Bishop." Thousands, unhappily, will vindicate this act of gratitude.

The ground of your objection to our present usage in Morning and Evening Prayer is, that its "tendency is to give a character to the spot where the Lord's Supper is [94/95] administered, which is contrary to the teaching of our Protestant Church, and thus to foster superstition." What is our usage? We have, as I have described to you, and as you have yourself witnessed, two rows of stalls, outside of the Chancel, arranged as stalls usually are; excepting only, that, from the accident of our worshipping in a building which was erected for a different Service, we have no recess for the Chancel, and, therefore, of necessity, the stalls are not advanced beyond the ends of the Chancel. Consequently, in kneeling at the book board, the face directed across the Church, brings the Altar nearly into line before the eyes. Out of this circumstance, I suppose, you would create the fact that the Prayers are said towards the Altar. For it is only by this explanation that our arrangement can be made to have any "tendency" with regard to "the spot where the Lord's Supper is administered." Otherwise, it is wholly aloof from it. Not that I think that if the Prayers were said towards the Altar, purposely and avowedly, the practice would need any apology, or deserve any censure. But the stall arrangement does not happen to have that characteristic. And it is only from the misfortune of our occupying a place of worship built for another use, that our Altar projects into a line between the opposite rows of stalls, and thus the construction of praying towards it is forced upon us. Without such construction, the ground of your objection has no applicableness nor any intelligible meaning whatever. In a proper Church, the Altar would be deep within the recess, and the stalls nearer the nave. We, therefore, lose the rite of [95/96] Confirmation because we worship in a building where we cannot perfect this arrangement. Our misfortune is our fault; and our fault is of so heinous a character, as to cause us to forfeit one of the fundamental institutions of Christianity.

I am to suppose, that if our stalls were not off against the side rails of the Chancel,--if they were, as they would be in a Church erected for our worship, farther removed towards the nave,--your first requisition would be dismissed. Otherwise, I must suppose that you object to the principle of the stall arrangement. If this last supposition be the correct one, in what a position do you place yourself! You say that the order of the English Cathedrals and of numerous Parish Churches, both in England and America, is of so odious a character that a Church so arranged ought not to be entered by a Protestant Bishop. You have doubtless worshipped; probably you have assisted in some act of Service, in Trinity Church, New York, where the arrangement is precisely, in order and principle, the same with that of the Church of the Advent. And yet you take the ground that a Church in your own Diocese so ordered shall lack your ministrations as its Chief Pastor, shall be deprived of an invaluable portion of the heritage of good things which it has from God. Nay, more, and worse than this, you say that the arrangement which a neighboring Bishop introduces into the Church of which he is Rector, as the most approved ordering of a Chancel, shall, when found in one of the Churches of your Diocese, subject the Parish to the fearful penalty of privation of the chief [96/97] blessing of Episcopal oversight. Such are the inconsistencies, the incongruities, and the perplexing difficulties, into which your first point of requisition brings you. A little reflection will show you that I have barely touched upon them. I am confident you will find them increase and multiply as you advance in the execution of your purpose. They will spring up like armed men in your path, from the seeds of discord which your decision will scatter broadcast over the Church, and their name will be Legion.

2. I acknowledge the mental effort which is necessary in order to treat the second point with seriousness and gravity. What would those "sensible and enlightened persons of other "Christian bodies," whose "ridicule and contempt" are regarded as potential influences in the government of the Diocese of Massachusetts, what would they think if they were told that in a certain Church in Boston, the pulpit being a simple Lecturn, very much like a music stand, placed a few feet in front of the Chancel rail, and it being the custom for Episcopal Clergymen to kneel for a moment in private prayer before commencing the sermon, it is the practice in that Church, there being no convenient place for kneeling at the Lecturn, to kneel at the rail close behind; and that, for said practice, the Bishop of the Diocese refuses to administer in that Church the Holy Rite of Confirmation, the whole measurement of the offence being the difference between kneeling at the Lecturn and kneeling at the Chancel rail? Either the ordinance of Confirmation is the merest insignificance, they would say, or the Bishop displays an attachment to [97/98] trivial forms and ceremonies which is not usually imputed to him.

Right Reverend and dear Sir, I do solemnly assure you, that I would not turn my hand over for the preference of kneeling at the one place rather than the other; that I would as lief kneel one way as the other, excepting only the inconvenience of having a tall hassock at the Lecturn. Why, then, is not the point settled by my acceding cheerfully to your requisition? I will tell you, briefly now, more fully hereafter; and may I ask your particular attention to the statement which I am about to make, for upon the principle which it involves, hinges the whole difference between yourself and the Church of the Advent. My lamented predecessor, the gentle yet faithful Croswell, suffered for years in defence of this principle. He died maintaining it. God forbid that his successor, cherishing the same conviction, should be untrue to its maintenance! If you were in lawful and required relation to this Parish, performing, as in other Parishes, your Episcopal work, your "Godly admonition" on every point, however unimportant, should receive the most respectful consideration; and, exercising myself that freedom of judgment which I claim to be the right and privilege of Rectors of Parishes in such matters, your wish would always be complied with, unless there were overruling reasons to the contrary; in which case such reasons would be distinctly and respectfully stated to you. You have never, from the first, given any advice to the Rector upon these subjects. Your earliest official act was a public denunciation of him in the columns of [98/99] a newspaper. Had you kindly and paternally advised him, I have the testimony of those who were then members of the Corporation, that, in deference to your wishes, the changes which you desired would doubtless have been made. But when a Bishop, leaving the legitimate exercise of his office, denounces a Rector for practices which are, at the most, only matters for advice,--when he institutes against such practices penalties unknown to the law of the Church,--when he ceases from the performance of his Episcopal functions for reasons which the Church has never sanctioned, by establishing conditions of such performance before unheard of,--I hold that, in such case, the Rector is fully justified in withholding acquiescence, in refusing obedience; and this position I am ready, as a Bishop, to maintain. The time will surely come when the whole Church will see that the Parish of the Advent has all along been contending for rights which belong to every Rector and every Parish in the land. My only apprehension is, lest the final settlement of the question should tend to diminish the lawful authority of Bishops, by the opposition which it will involve to the exercise of irregular acts of power. But the responsibility for such a tendency will not fall upon the Church of the Advent.

In a word, if you will, visit the Church of the Advent,--if you will restore the relations which it was unlawful for you as its Bishop to suspend,--if you will heal the breach which your own hands have made,--your paternal recommendations and suggestions will always thereafter receive due attention. I cannot promise that, in [99/100] such case, your present requisitions, coming in the shape of advice, will be complied with. I can only promise, in the general, that nothing which a Parish owes to its Bishop shall be wanting in the deference and respect which the Church of the Advent will accord to you. But while you remain where you now are, and make requisitions of changes in matters beyond the law, and attach to them the fearful penalty of the deprivation of Episcopal services, though the things in question be lighter than air, the attainment of your wish is an impossibility.

3. What I have said on the last mentioned point is, in some degree, applicable to the practice of placing flowers in the Chancel on certain Festivals. The custom is unimportant; and I should be very unwilling to make it a subject of controversy. It was a usage in the Church of the Advent before I became the Rector; and I have never seen sufficient reason for discontinuing it. I consider the use of flowers, however, though unimportant, as highly appropriate, especially on the great festivals of Easter, Ascension, and Whitsunday. So long as my people keep themselves to such innocent usages as this, their Rector, at least, will not apprehend for them any serious departure from the "teaching of our Protestant Church," or any "tendency" to superstition." You must be aware, I think, that they are not the only Parish in your Diocese who practise this pleasing custom, and elsewhere, you must know, it is quite common.

It is difficult to see why the same objection which you urge against flowers may not be turned against the evergreens of Christmas; for it is not the novelty of the [100/101] practice which you censure, but its tendency, as you allege, to give an anti-protestant character to the Chancel. Why have not the festoons, and green crosses, and stars, with which Chancels are decorated at Christmas, the same tendency? and why does not your prohibition extend to them? Alas for the consistency which undertakes to govern the Church by private fancies! Alas for the Church when she shall consent to be so governed!

4. On the fourth point, I have little to add to the thoughts which I have expressed on the second and third. The Communion linen referred to is not a special favorite of mine; but it having been presented by members of the Church, I have judged it best to use it, and it serves to distinguish more particularly the great Festivals to which its use is confined. I am sincerely sorry that your mode of denouncing it puts it out of my power to consider any kindly suggestions concerning it. Had you proceeded differently, it need not have appeared again in Church. As it is, I cannot promise, even if you resume your duties in the Parish, to listen to any future recommendation respecting it. Nor do I intend the contrary. I simply reserve the right to judge in each case of advice, on these or any other subjects, according to the reasons that may be urgent at the time, giving always due respect to your suggestions.

The black cloth for Good Friday has, to my mind, a singular appropriateness. It helps to deepen the sentiment belonging to the occasion, as the evergreens do at Christmas. It has always seemed to me that it would be well to distinguish, by some outward tokens and symbols, [101/102] each of the great days of the Saviour's life on earth, as we are in the habit of distinguishing the Nativity. The black cloth on Good Friday, and the flowers at Easter serve to this end. You might object to their comparative novelty, and such objection, if made in a different state of things, would receive due attention. But that they have any special relation to the Sacrament of Holy Communion, or tend to superstition, seems to me as bold a vagary as would be the same assertion respecting the decorations at Christmas.

5. Your last point will create unmingled astonishment wherever it is heard or read of. You know, unquestionably, that it is a practice common in all parts of the land to use the Prayer for the Church Militant on occasions when the Holy Communion is not celebrated. To one who has been a Presbyter in the Diocese of New York, what is sometimes called the "New York Service" must be quite familiar. In that Service, of a Sunday evening, the Prayer for the Church Militant forms a prominent part, and is, I believe, universally used without offence. You, doubtless, have yourself so used it many times. Your objection applies just as forcibly to this use as to that which you condemn in the Church of the Advent. The ground of objection is a rubrical one, viz.: that the Prayer "follows an express direction in reference to the bread and wine." Therefore, your conclusion is, it is to be used only when that direction is complied with--that is, when the Holy Communion is to be celebrated. It is just as unlawful, then, to use it Sunday evening as Sunday morning, without the Lord's Supper.

[103] Again. Every Clergyman uses some Collect, selected at his pleasure from the Prayer Book, after his sermon on Sunday morning. Why has he not the same liberty to adopt the Prayer for the Church Militant for this purpose as any other?

Once more. The Rubric to which you allude, does not forbid the use of this Prayer when Bread and Wine are not placed upon the Table, but only provides for that act to be done at that point when the Holy Communion is to follow. Your interpretation would make the want of that act prohibitory of the use of the Prayer. This seems to me an extraordinary mode of criticism, which would prevent the use of any prayer in the Prayer Book, excepting on the occasion for which it is specially provided. For example, why may you not, on the same principle, forbid the use of any one of the Sunday Collects after a sermon, unless the Epistle and Gospel connected with it are read? Probably you have often used, after preaching, the Collect at the close of the Communion Office, "Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that the words which we have heard," &c. But the Rubric preceding, allows it to be said only "after the Collects of Morning or Evening Prayer, or Communion." Another Rubric provides that the sermon on Sunday morning shall follow upon a declaration by the Minister "what Holy days, or Fasting days, are in the week following to be observed." This last not being done by you, your sermon every Sunday morning is an irregular and unlawful proceeding. The subject might be largely illustrated by other cases in point.

[104] Do you, at the time indicated by the Rubric, place Bread and Wine on the Table, even when the Holy Communion is to be celebrated? This, I am told, is not your practice. They are placed there by another person, before the Service commences. You have, then, according to your own interpretation of the force of the Rubric, no right to use the Prayer for the Church Militant at all, since, by that interpretation, it is to be used only when that act has just been performed. It is a notable fact that you propose to disinherit a Parish of one of the richest gifts which the Church has received from God, for non-compliance with a Rubric which you habitually violate yourself.

Let me say a word of this remarkable requisition in another point of view. You refuse to hold a Confirmation in the Church of the Advent because a certain Rubric, or rather the sense (in my judgment a wrong one) which you attach to it, is not complied with. Is this the only Rubric in the Prayer Book? Or do you propose to connect the same penalty with every violation of a Rubric? If not, upon what ground is this so preeminently distinguished? What a salutary shaking among the dry bones of most of the Parishes would ensue, if you were to undertake to infuse into them the life of a thorough conformity to the Rubrics! Your fifth requisition is based upon the fact that the Rubric in question implies that Bread and Wine are placed upon the Table before the Prayer for the Church Militant is said; not upon the direct prohibition of that Prayer without such previous act. Now, the various provisions of the Prayer Book [104/105] imply a Daily Service of Morning and Evening Prayer, the celebration of numerous Festivals in commemoration of Saints, and other things, to which your mind will readily recur without the labor of specification on my part. Will you carry out your new theory entirely? If you will, I could almost accept your judgment on the fifth point, and celebrate the Holy Communion every Sunday, (for this would be my way of meeting the difficulty,) for the sake of witnessing the revolution which would follow. Nay, nay, if the positive requisitions of Rubrics are only enforced, though it be simply by Episcopal advice, I shall be able, at least, to appreciate this extraordinary zeal for one of those useful directions,--a zeal which, I must confess, I cannot at present understand.

The practice which you condemn, I have reason to believe, is a common one, even in this Diocese; viz., that when Offerings are received of a Sunday Morning for any religious object, the Offertory Sentences are said, and the Prayer for the Church Militant follows. It is certainly common elsewhere. I believe it to be the uniform practice in Free Churches throughout the country,--such, I mean, as are dependent upon a weekly Offertory for support. It has the best authorities in its favor. The present is the first instance in which I have ever heard of its being objected to. I am confident that your decision on this point will strike every Bishop and Presbyter in the Church with surprise. That it is made a ground for refusing to a Parish the Holy Rite of Confirmation, will, if I mistake not, awaken universally a stronger feeling than surprise.

[106] I have thus gone over the several particulars in which you require a conformity, not to the law of the Church, but to your private wishes, before you can consent to visit the Church of the Advent for the purpose of Confirmation. I have thought it proper to state my views on the reasonableness of these requisitions, in order that my whole position concerning them may be understood. But I had no need to pass them in review, so far as the exigency of my present answer is concerned.

The ultimate and conclusive grounds upon which I decline compliance with your wishes, have no reference to the specific character of your requisitions. Were every one of them perfectly agreeable to me, my answer would be the same that it now is.

I decline compliance,

First, because you have no authority to establish conditions unrecognized by the Church, for the performance of your Episcopal duties.

1. The nature of your office forbids it. You are the Bishop of Massachusetts, appointed and consecrated to do "the work and ministry of a Bishop" for the Church of Christ in this Diocese. The Parish of the Advent is a portion of your Flock. Its people are members of the Church which you are to serve. It is an integral part of the charge committed to you. You have, therefore, no lawful power to alienate yourself from it. You have no lawful power to withhold the "Children's bread." You have no lawful power to reverse the Apostolic commission, "Feed my lambs, Feed my Sheep." You are bound, by the vows of your consecration, to be to them a [106/107] "Shepherd, not a wolf, to feed them and devour them not, to hold up the weak, heal the sick, bind up the broken, bring again the outcast, seek the lost." You have no authority to abandon the ministry of a Pastor towards them. You have no right so to use one portion of your office,--the strange one of discipline, as to destroy another and more constant portion,--that of feeding. It is doing the very contrary of that for which the office of a Bishop was committed to you. If the Parish of the Advent were to lapse into heresy, and, consequently, to be cut off judicially from the Body of the Faithful, your Pastoral duty towards it would cease. Until then you can have no sufficient justification in withholding from it the Apostolic Rite of Confirmation.

2. Your canonical obligations forbid it. The Canon on Episcopal Visitations, (4th of 1850,) requires you to 'visit the Churches within your Diocese.' This must mean all the Churches, one as faithfully as another. You are violating this Canon, as far as the Church of the Advent is concerned; and on the same ground, you can extend your violation indefinitely. If you are doing no wrong in this instance, you may make some requisition, at your pleasure, on all the Churches, and if they refuse compliance, you may inflict upon them all the same penalty, and thus your Visitations may cease altogether. This legitimate consequence of your present position shows infallibly its error. That error arises, may I say, from the fallacious idea which lies at the bottom of all your past treatment of the Church of the Advent, viz., that a Bishop's gifts of office are like private property, which he can dispense, or withhold, at his pleasure.

[108] It is not an adequate answer to say, that the frequency of the Visitation of each Church is left to the discretion of the Bishop,--"once in three years, at least," being only "deemed proper," not required. Your last visit to the Church of the Advent for Confirmation occurred Nov. 23d, 1845. Since then, your position has not been that of a Bishop merely postponing a Visitation. You have had no intention of ever visiting it again. At this moment, your purpose is never to visit it. You may say, that you intend to visit it as soon as certain conditions are complied with. I claim that this intention is a violation of the Canon, which is absolute, not conditional, in its terms. The Canon which you propose to obey, is no Canon of the Church. If your interpretation be correct, if it convey the true sense of the Canon, according to the mind of the Church, then the Church would be willing to frame the Canon on this wise: "Every Bishop in this Church shall visit the Churches within his Diocese, if they do whatever he is pleased to require of them," &c.; for this would exactly convey, in such case, the Church's meaning. But if such a proposition would not meet with favor in the General Convention, if it would be instantly scouted in both Houses, (and of this there can be no reasonable doubt,) then the Canon as it is, will not bear your interpretation of it, and by inevitable consequence, your course of action for the ten years last past, has been a constant violation of it.

In this violation you still persist; and. you purpose to maintain it through all time to come. Here, at least, we reach a clear ground. One thing is certain. Whatever [108/109] may be the inherent and self-contained power of a Bishop's office, it does not extend to the authority to nullify laws which he has solemnly promised to obey. I should not fear to rest the whole case upon this single point.

I decline compliance with your requisitions,

Secondly, because it is not within the compass of your authority as Bishop of the Diocese, to make such requisitions, supposing you to be in normal relation with the Parish. I must deny that they are lawful as "requisitions." Your power in the premises is only advisory. I have already shown the consequences that must ensue if a Bishop's wishes in these matters are to be expressed in the form of absolute law. I need not go over that ground again. I resist your demand because it is an exercise of illegal power, not because the objects of your demand are in themselves important, nor because I have any special attachment to the practices which you condemn. Who has given you the right to say that these changes must be made? Who has created the particular jurisdiction which you claim in this matter? Not the Church, by her Canons. You will not pretend that she vests you with any such power. Whence, then, do you derive the authority? Does it belong to the intrinsic nature, the inalienable prerogative, the traditional privilege, of your office? As a Bishop, I must deny it. I allow that the prerogatives of our Order demand a jealous guarding of the purity of the Church, in her doctrine and her worship. So far I shall readily agree with you. I admit, also, that when any thing tolerated or practised is contrary to the written law of the Church, [109/110] the Bishop is bound to take cognizance of it, and to subject the Rector to regular and canonical discipline, as having violated the vows of his Ordination. I will also admit, that cases may occur which are not specifically contemplated and defined by any Canon or rule of the Church, wherein there is so plain a departure, from her doctrines and discipline, that the Bishop may interpose to remedy the evil. But I affirm, that such cases are clearly within the scope of canonical trial and censure. Otherwise, they are not plain departures from doctrine and discipline. Beyond this, the Bishop has no power farther than that of godly counsel and admonition. The right of requisition implies the right of enforcing it, if not complied with. Such enforcement can be lawfully made only in some canonical mode. You acknowledge, by the very nature of the penalty which you have devised, that there is no canonical method which meets the present case. Your requisitions are therefore unlawful, not having the condition which a requisition demands.

I decline compliance with your requisitions,

Thirdly, because, granting, for the moment, that they are lawful in themselves, they can rightfully and justly be used only 'when milder measures have failed of success. Will it be believed that your first intimation to me of dissatisfaction on these five points is contained in your last letter, in which, without any previous word of advice or admonition, you require certain changes, and at once announce the fearful penalty for non-compliance? This is not the act of a Father in God, of a Chief Pastor in Christ, or even of a just Judge. If we had been guilty [110/111] of the most flagrant infractions of positive Canons, one would think that the office of him who is bound, by the vows of his Consecration, "to use the authority given him, not to destruction, but to salvation, not to hurt, but to help," would oblige him, first of all, affectionately to admonish the Parish for its delinquency, before proceeding to severer discipline. From first to last, this has not been done by you towards the Church of the Advent. Not only did never one kindly syllable of paternal exhortation or counsel reach the ears of my predecessor, but no such grateful sound has ever come to mine. All has been harsh, cold, and distant. The case is strengthened when we remember, that there has been no violation of written law. The matter in hand is one in which no Canon is violated? a matter of form merely, about which a variety of usage is generally allowed and followed. This cold, formal, and peremptory requisition, as the earliest act in your process of discipline, is, at least, out of order. I claim that it is more,--that it is unjust, violent, and arbitrary, contrary to the true spirit and the paternal character of your office. And when it is considered, that it comes with the sentence attached which is to follow upon disobedience, and that that sentence involves the severest penalty, which you could inflict upon the Parish if it had avowed some damnable heresy, I claim that the whole proceeding is uncanonical, in that you have adjudged the case, and pronounced sentence, without a warning to trial, or a hearing in defence. With requisitions thus promulgated, I decline compliance, because they are contrary to law, to justice, and to the established order of the Church.

[112] I decline compliance with your requisitions,

Fourthly and finally, because the punishment affixed to them is irregular and uncanonical.

1. It is so because it falls immediately upon an unoffending party. It punishes the innocent. The candidates for Confirmation have no responsibility in this matter. They did not establish the practices which you condemn. They have no authority to abolish them if they would. The Rector and Corporation--the latter an elective body of twenty men, who fill their own vacancies are alone responsible for the internal arrangement of the Church, the Rector alone for the mode of conducting the Services. Yet here is a large number of men, women, and young persons, desiring Confirmation, not one of whom is a member of the Corporation, who are the immediate sufferers of the penalty which you inflict. It is as if a father should punish his children, for the faults of their teachers or their temporary guardians. You may say that you are ready to confirm these persons in any other Church of your Diocese. Right Reverend and dear sir, they are in a Church belonging, equally with any other, to your Diocese, a Church in union with the Diocesan Convention, and every way regular in its position as a Parish. I claim, for them, your services in the place where the Church has appointed that they shall be given. They are no more bound to go out of their Church for Confirmation, than are the people of any other Parish in Massachusetts. Whatever censure you have to bestow upon the Parish, it cannot, with any semblance of justice, be visited upon them. Were your requisitions entirely [112/113] lawful, and the mode of declaring them regular, the penalty attached would still, be unlawful, since it falls upon the innocent: and as the requisitions cannot be taken without the penalty, the requisitions themselves are, so far as the present case is concerned, vitiated by the illegal penalty.

2. I deny that, in any case, a Parish, a collection of people, is a fit and lawful subject for discipline, excepting only of excision from Convention and from union with the Diocese. Remaining in connection with both, it cannot be subjected to discipline. Discipline, punishment, is for the guilty individuals. But they, if there are such in this case, are not those who suffer the penalty--the loss of Confirmation.

3. The penalty is a violation of the duties of your office, because it involves the cessation of your ministrations to those who are in the Communion of the Church. Therefore, it is unlawful from its consequence. No punishment can be legal which, in its effect, voids the office of the Bishop. The contrary proposition is absurd and monstrous. But I have dwelt upon this point under my first head, and need not therefore enlarge upon it here.

To conclude, I have a word to add upon the closing paragraph of your letter. Even were we to yield to your present requisitions, there is no reasonable probability that your restored relations to the Parish would be permanent. You say, that the introduction of "kindred usages," at any time, would carry you back to your state of alienation. This dubious prospect leaves us, as now, at the mercy of your private judgment, of your taste, of [113/114] your fancy, and, if you should ever fall into such infirmities, your whims and your caprices. Whatever you may see fit to regard as a "kindred usage," will at once renew our condemnation. This is to make our parochial life, like the existence of Damocles, with the sword suspended over him, one of incessant doubt, insecurity, and alarm. It would effectually prevent that cordial and loving intercourse which belongs to the relation of a Bishop and his Flock, even as to that of a father and his children. Were the difficulties of present compliance less than they are, we do not covet a future condition which is beforehand darkened by a threat of vengeance, a condition in which we should find no security in law, no law but the unmitigated despotism of an irresponsible will.

I am, faithfully, your brother in Christ,


The Right Rev. Bishop EASTBlIRN.

May 3d. I received last evening, after finishing my letter, your note of yesterday. I will reply to it on Monday, or Tuesday. At present, there does not seem to me any occasion to modify my argument on the point to which your note refers. H. S.


TREMONT STREET, May 2, 1856.


I have received a communication from the Standing Committee of this Diocese; from some observations in which [114/115] I perceive, that, owing, perhaps, to my not having expressed myself with sufficient fulness in my letter to you, in regard to the Prayer for the whole state of Christ's Church Militant, I have been misunderstood. Although, in that letter, I object to the use of it on every Sunday morning as a "great departure from the order of our Church," yet I did not mean to be understood as implying thereby, that I deemed it only a rubrical departure. And, in afterwards making the constant use of this Prayer an exception to usages objected to as fostering superstition, I spoke only of the Prayer in itself considered; not as taken in connection with other practices, and, in virtue of that connection, 'forming, part of that altar, or sacramental system, or whatever else it may be called, which is one of the prominent features of Tractarianism. Had my objection been merely rubrical in character, or had the practice stood by itself in your Church, I should not have placed its discontinuance among the positive and essential requirements. to be met; but should have classed the matter among those things in regard to which I desired to see a change. I write this brief explanation, to prevent the possibility of any misapprehension by yourself; and am

Very truly yours,


The Right Rev. Bishop SOUTHGATE.

[116] XLVIII.

14 GREEN STREET, May 6, 1856.


The impression which I received on reading your note of the 2d inst. is confirmed by fuller consideration. The interpretation which I had already given to the 5th point in my reply to your letter of the 2d of April, still seems to me the only one of which the language is capable.

In that letter, your objection to the use of the Prayer for the Church Militant without the Holy Communion, is declared, in distinct and formal terms, to be a rubrical one; no other ground of objection to it is mentioned, or even remotely alluded to; and such use is expressly excepted from a superstitious tendency. Having stated your objection to the Offertory Sentences, when so used, as being that they are "a departure from the Rubric," you say, "But the addition to these sentences, of the Prayer for the Church Militant, which in our Prayer Book follows an express direction in reference to the bread and wine, is so great a departure from the order of our Church, that I am constrained to require its discontinuance." Human language cannot be clearer than this. The use of the Prayer without the Communion is here objected to solely on the ground that it is a departure from the order of our Church, in that the Rubric preceding gives a direction in reference to the Bread and Wine which implies that the Holy Communion is to follow; and on this ground alone, the discontinuance of [116/117] this use is required; on this ground alone the point is placed among the positive and essential requirements to be met."

No other source of objection is stated, or referred to, throughout the letter.

You afterwards except this particular usage from those things whose "tendency is to give a character to the spot where the Lord's Supper is administered, which is contrary to the teaching of our Protestant Church and thus to foster superstition in the congregations of the churches where they prevail." The exception is absolute and entire. No allusion is made to such a tendency as belonging, nevertheless, to this use "in connection with other practices." The exception declares simply and totally that the use in question has not that tendency; and there your statement ends.

You now ask me to adopt for your language a meaning which is not, by any possible interpretation, contained or implied in your words, nay, which is inconsistent with, and directly contrary to, their evident sense. To this I reply, that I cannot suppose any meaning as belonging to your language beyond what the language is capable of. If you had an additional idea in your mind, I had, and still have, nothing to do, with it, in interpreting your letter of April 2d, because that idea is not contained in, or inferable from, that letter.

You now, however, say, that you have a further objection to the use of the Prayer for the Church Militant without the Holy Communion, and that this additional objection is the real reason why you make the [117/118] discontinuance of that Prayer a condition of your visiting the Church of the Advent. The objection is, that the Prayer "taken in connection with other practices" in my Church, "forms part of that altar, or sacramental system, or whatever else it may be called, which is one of the prominent features of Tractarianism." Here we have indeed a new idea, of which there is not the slightest intimation in your letter of April 2d. It is, at least, a curious circumstance that all which was essential to making your objection to the Prayer the basis of a requisition," should not even have been alluded to in stating the objection. But I will take it as now set forth for the first time, and as your conclusive reason for interdicting the Prayer. It seems to me that the new idea only plunges you into a deeper difficulty than before.

1. If we have a Tractarian system in the Church of the Advent, and if that vitiates the use of the Prayer for the Church Militant, I do not see why it does not vitiate equally every other part of the Service said at the Altar. You might as justly have forbidden the reading of the Ten Commandments, on the same ground. The Offertory Sentences certainly have as close connection with this supposed system as the Prayer for the Church Militant. Yet they are not prohibited. The gilt Cross too above the Altar, and the Altar itself,--by what rule are they unproscribed in this connection, while the Prayer for the Church Militant is forbidden? The truth is, that whatever you choose to regard as connected with the hypothetical Tractarianism, is deemed unlawful. The rule of your condemnation still comes back to your private judgment, taste, and fancy.

[119] 2. You have already said that non-compliance with "any one" of your requisitions will prevent you from visiting the Church. Suppose that I accede to the first our. All that you have specified as tending to superstition will then be removed. Yet this Prayer alone will keep you aloof, although you now say that, standing by itself, it would not. Here is a plain contradiction in terms.

3. But I will not pursue this mode of argument further. A more serious matter lies beyond. You now make the ground of your fifth requisition to be a Tractarian system lying back of this usage. You assume the existence of such a system. Let me say, in the plainest manner possible, you assume what is not true. If you mean, as I suppose you do mean, to affirm, that there is in the Church of the Advent any other system than that of honest and downright adherence to the standards of our Reformed Church, in doctrine or worship, you affirm what must be, not assumed, but proved; and that proof I shall certainly demand. The question here passes into a matter dearer to me than my life. I alone am responsible for what is taught, and for the mode of conducting divine worship, in the Church of the Advent. In assuming, therefore, the existence of a system so much at variance with our Church that, on account of it, you cannot come hither to confirm, you charge me personally with great and dangerous error. I cannot suffer such an imputation to pass, unnoticed, to the common sewer into which I ordinarily allow party abuse to run; because it is made the ground of a fearful practical wrong to me and to my Parish.

[120] The five points are all that you have discovered after making inquiry for "usages of the Tractarian school" in this Church, and after receiving the most minute information respecting us. The fifth you except as not in itself of that character. Do the first four, then, indicate all our Tractarianism? If not, why are not the other points advanced? for to bring forward one that is objectionable only when it is connected with a Tractarian system, and not to bring forward all the points of that system itself, is incongruous and absurd. And yet, according to your present position, that system does exist independently of those four points; for you have said, that if they were given up, your course would remain the same on account of the fifth alone; and the reason now is the connection of this point with a Tractarian system. That system, then, exists aside from the first four points. Where is it? I demand to see it. As a Bishop in the Church, one of your peers in the order of my ministry, I require that you prove the charge which you bring against me. Otherwise, I must hold you self convicted as a false accuser and defamer of your brother.

Very faithfully, your brother in Christ,


The Right Rev. Bishop EASTBURN.


TREMONT STREET, May 9, 1856.


Your two letters of the 2d and 6th inst. have been received. I have but a word to say in reply; and beyond [120/121] this shall trouble you with no further communication.

When, in 1852, I referred you to my letter of November 24, 1847, to the late Rev. Dr. Croswell, I did so because it was one written in a most conciliatory spirit, and with an earnest desire to cooperate with my reverend brethren, Messrs. Vinton, Woart, Clark, Mason, and Randall, in their efforts to restore friendly relations. From the concessions then made by me, I was led to hope for a prompt settlement of our differences; but those hopes, as is well known, were disappointed, by Dr. Croswell's reply of December 30 of the same year.

When I inquired of you, in my letters of February 26, and March 13, 1856, concerning your present mode of conducting public worship, and, afterwards examined the interior of the church, it was in order to ascertain with accuracy the facts in the case. The position of the reading-place I found to be such as had not essentially removed my objection; and I was made aware of: other peculiarities, of which, if they formerly existed, I had never been informed. I took up the subject precisely where it was left in my letter, just mentioned, to Dr. Croswell; revoking no concessions then made by me, but stating my requirement on the points newly presented. I have only to add here what I have said in a recent communication to the Standing Committee: When I made the declaration contained in my communication to Bishop Southgate, that should I ascertain the fact of a return to any one of the usages objected to, at any future time, or the introduction of other kindred usages, I shall [121/122] be under the necessity of resuming my original position of declining to visit the Parish, I felt myself constrained to use great plainness of speech, with reference to the future no less than the present. Had my terms been accepted, and a return afterwards taken place to any one of the objectionable usages, or the introduction of fresh and kindred ones, I should have deemed this not only a breach of faith, but as manifesting a disposition to renew the old causes of difference."

This brief review will place my whole course in a light which, I trust, will satisfy every candid mind, even among those widely differing from me, that I have been consistent with myself, and likewise disposed to concede every thing which could conscientiously be conceded. From the tenor of a remark in one part of your communication of the 2d inst., it is very clear to me that my "paternal recommendations and suggestions" would have been as unsuccessful with you, in bringing our difference to a favorable issue, as has been the course I have considered it my duty to pursue.

Since that visit to the Church of the Advent which occasioned my Pastoral Letter of 1845, there has continued to be a marked preponderance of usages, forming part of a system which, for convenience, I have called, and now call, Tractarianism, but which may be designated by any other name that may be preferred. Some of these have seemed to me more obtrusive and objectionable than others; but the whole united have formed a combination, which I can interpret only in one way. The system, I need not say, is one to which I have a marked [122/123] repugnance; and my opposition to it is well known, and distinctly understood. This opposition has been attended with no little trial of feeling to myself: but I have acted under an irresistible conviction of duty, and with the testimony of a good conscience in the sight of God.

I am very truly yours,


Right Rev. Bishop SOUTHGATE.

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