Project Canterbury

A letter to a Parishioner relative to the Recent Ordination of Mr. Arthur Carey.
by Benjamin I. Haight, A.M.,
Rector of All Saint's Church, N.Y.

New York: James A. Sparks, 1843.

RUTGERS' PLACE, Tuesday Morning.


In reply to your kind letter, received yesterday, allow me to say, that I always have great pleasure in communicating freely with my parishioners on all points relative to the Church, in regard to which they may desire my opinions; and that I will, therefore, very cheerfully lay before you my views of the doctrines to which you refer, and my impressions as to the recent examination of Mr. Carey. As others of my congregation have expressed a similar desire for further information since the receipt of your letter, I beg to take the liberty of addressing you through the medium of the press.

Very truly,
Your friend and pastor,



NEW YORK, July 26, 1843.


I proceed according to my promise to answer your inquiries touching my views on certain points of doctrine, and my impressions of the opinions expressed by Mr. Carey at his examination prior to his ordination.

FIRST. As to my own views of the points in dispute between us and the Church of Rome, let me begin by saying that I now hold, as I have ever held, the doctrines set forth in the Liturgy and Articles of our Church, and that I do, ex animo, subscribe to all that is contained therein. To descend to particulars.

I hold, that Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man to be believed as an Article of Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation; and that in the name of Holy Scripture I understand those Canonical Books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church. As to the Apocryphal Books, we are not to apply to them to establish any doctrine. The Church reads them for example of life and instruction of manners.

I hold, that we are accounted righteous before God only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by Faith, and not for our own works or deservings--that we are justified by Faith only--and that works done before the grace of Christ, and inspiration of his Spirit, are not pleasant to God, forasmuch as they spring not of Faith in Jesus Christ, neither do they make men meet to receive grace, or (as the School-authors say) deserve grace of congruity: yea rather, for that they are not done as God hath willed and commanded them to be done I doubt not but they have the nature of sin.

I hold, that the Church of Rome hath erred, and now errs, not only in her living and manner of Ceremonies, but also in matters of Faith.

I hold, that the Romish doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, Worshipping and Adoration, as well of Images as of Reliques, and also Invocation of Saints, is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God.

I hold, that it is a thing plainly repugnant to the Word of God, and the custom of the primitive Church, to have public prayer in the Church, or to minister the Sacraments, in a tongue not understood of the people.

I hold, that there are but two Sacraments ordained of Christ our Lord in the Gospel, that is to say, Baptism and the Supper of the Lord; and that Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony, and Extreme Unction, are not to be counted for sacraments of the Gospel. And that in such only as worthily receive the same, have the Sacraments a wholesome effect or operation; but that they, that receive them unworthily, purchase to themselves damnation.

I hold, that Transubstantiation, or the change of the substance of bread and wine in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and has given occasion to many superstitions: that the body of Christ is given, taken and eaten in the Supper, only after a heavenly and spiritual manner; and that the mean whereby the same is received and eaten in the Supper is faith.

I hold, that the cup of the Lord is not to be denied to the lay-people: for both the parts of the Lord's Sacrament by Christ's ordinance and commandment ought to be ministered to all Christian men alike.

I hold, that the offering of Christ once made, is that perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual; and there is none other satisfaction for sin, but that alone. Wherefore the sacrifice of Masses, in which it is commonly said, that the Priest did offer Christ for the quick and dead, to have remission of pain and guilt, are blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits. [See the Articles of Religion, vi. xi. xiii. six. xiii, xxiv. xxv. xxviii. xxx. xxxi.]

I deny wholly the arrogant claim of the Church of Rome to be the Mother and Mistress of all Churches, and of her Bishop to be the Prince of the Apostles and Vicar of Jesus Christ.

I deny wholly the claim of the Council of Trent to be a General Council, and I regard the Decrees of said Council to have no authority whatsoever with us. I receive and hold neither them, nor the Creed of Pius IV.

I maintain that the Reformation of the Church of England is not only justifiable, but that that Church, in shaking off the Papal yoke, and the errors and corruptions which for ages had been clustering around her, and in returning to her primitive polity, doctrine, and worship, exercised a right inalienable in every distinct branch of the Catholic Church, and has won for herself a proud name among the Churches of Christendom. And I bless God that my lot has been cast in the bosom of her daughter in America, and that I am a member and minister of a reformed branch of the Church universal, THE PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN THE UNITED STATES.

Now, my dear sir, in this statement, I wish to be understood as using words in their plain, literal sense, without any equivocation or reservation whatsoever. I mean just what I say. I have no sympathy with, nor leaning towards the Church of Rome, I consider her a corrupt and unsound member of the Catholic Body, I consider the teaching of her Bishops and ministers to be exceedingly erroneous--her worship idolatrous--and the system of policy which she pursues in maintaining her position, and in extending her borders, abominable.

I need not, I am sure, detain you longer on this head. I have endeavored to set before you my belief on these points with all the plainness consistent with my limited space. If I have omitted any topic on which you wish to learn my opinion, I shall be very glad to supply it. I pass on, then, to your second inquiry, again stating that I subscribe heartily, without reservation, to every doctrine and principle laid clown in the Book of Common Prayer, the Articles and Ordinal--the precious legacy of our forefathers.

SECOND. As to the opinions which I understood Mr. Carey to express on his examination.

Let me premise that I attended this examination not as a stranger to Mr. Carey, but as one who had known him for three years, during two of which he attended my instructions in Pastoral Theology. From his recitations, from the sermons which he read before me, from conversations which I had with him, and from his general standing in the Institution, I had formed a very high opinion of his talents, his learning, and his piety; and although I deemed some of his opinions to be questionable or erroneous, I had always esteemed him sound in the fundamental articles of the Christian faith. He professed his entire assent to the Thirty-nine Articles, and promised conformity to the doctrines and worship of our Church. I knew him to be intelligent, well read, honest and pious. Hence, I could not condemn him as a heretic, and aid in rejecting him from the Diaconate, without the plainest proof. Such proof I did not receive at the examination, and therefore I could not object to his ordination as Deacon. What I understood Mr. Carey to say on that occasion, in substance, is as follows:

As to any intention or inclination, in case of his being refused orders in our Church, to seek admission into the ministry of the Church of Rome;--he expressly disclaimed it, disavowing in strong terms any leaning towards that Church. He said, though he should think his rejection by us a very severe measure, that he certainly should not think of applying for orders in the Church of Rome, at least, until after several years of most serious deliberation and examination; and that even then, he thought he should remain a layman in our Church.

In other words, Mr. Carey was only unwilling now, positively and peremptorily to declare, that at no future period of his life, under any conceivable circumstances, he might not seek admission into the ministry of the Romish Church. Was I to condemn him for this? Condemn him for simply declining to make a broad assertion which should cover all future time; assured as I was at the same time by all that I had known of him, as well as by his whole tone and manner, that his ever entering the Roman communion was altogether as improbable as my own,--which I hold to be as improbable as my becoming a Turk?

In regard to the Council of Trent, I understood Mr. Carey simply to say, that the doctrinal decrees of that council, apart from the damnatory clauses,--which bind them as articles of faith upon the consciences of Romanists,--taken in their literal sense, and not as interpreted by the writings of Bishops and Doctors of the Romish communion, were not, in his opinion, absolutely irreconcilable with the Catholic Faith. At the same time, I understood him to hold that these decrees on many points, as for instance on Transubstantiation, Purgatory, &c., as generally received and explained by Romish writers, were wholly indefensible.

Now, my dear sir, this is a very different thing from saying that he adopted the decrees of the Council of Trent as his Confession of Faith, or that he would choose to express his own belief on any given point in their language. He simply gives it as his opinion--let it go for what it is worth--that the naked words of those decrees, with the above limitation, and without reference to the Romish system as generally displayed, and as gathered from the teaching of her Divines, are susceptible of an interpretation not inconsistent with the received doctrines of the Universal Church. It is an exceedingly charitable view of the subject,--some may call it a very loose and unsafe view; still it does not follow as a matter of course, that he who holds it is unsound in the faith. Mr. Carey denied that the Council of Trent was a General Council, or of any authority in the universal Church, and so by consequence in our Church. As to the Creed of Pope Pius, he spoke of it only in so far as its language was identical with the Decrees of Trent. Upon the points wherein it differs from those Decrees--and a portion of it, be remembered, was added by Pius himself--he was not questioned by his examiners. And as to his receiving those parts which are mere repetitions of the Tridentine Decrees, his language is to be understood precisely, and with the same limitations, as his opinion of those decrees, i. e. in the literal sense of the terms, and without any reference to the current teaching of the Romish Bishops and Clergy. AS A CREED, i. e. as a formula expressive of his belief, and binding on his or any man's conscience, HE DID NOT, AND DOES NOT PROFESS TO RECEIVE IT; and as usually explained and understood he considers it wholly indefensible.

You can then judge, sir, of the fairness of printing that creed as his creed, and of holding him up to public odium as adopting its language as his own. In my view such a procedure is not only ungenerous and unfair, but absolutely libellous!

In reference to the differences between our Church and the Church of Rome, I understood Mr. Carey to say that they did embrace points of faith, in the usual sense of that term. Using the word faith, however, in a strict theological sense, as synonymous with fundamental articles of belief--i. e. articles, the denial of which is at the peril of our soul's salvation--he gave it as his opinion that the differences of the acknowledged standards of the two Communions were not of this nature. In other words, he thought that the members of the Church of Rome, were not "ipso facto" irretrievably doomed to perdition. That the Churches differ, and differ materially, and on very important points of doctrine, and that the Church of Rome has erred and now errs, I have all along understood Mr. Carey to assert. Here, again, you may say his charity was exceedingly broad. Be it so. All that I ask is, was this to be taken as a proof of his own radical heterodoxy?

As to transubstantiation, Mr. Carey said that he did not hold the doctrine of the Romish Church which teaches the change of the substance of bread and wine. He denied this doctrine--so monstrous in itself, so repugnant to scripture and reason, and so contradictory to our senses--as every one must do who holds to Article xxviii. of our Church. At the same time he confessed his ignorance of the mode of the presence of Christ in the sacrament. Was he to be censured for this? Censured for acknowledging his inability to explain one of the mysteries of our holy faith? Suppose the point under examination had been the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, and he had been asked to define the mode in which the three adorable persons exist in one Godhead--would he have been censured for confessing his inability to do so?

Now I suppose our Church to teach the doctrine of Christ's presence in the Holy Eucharist, as the Christian Church always has. Says the London Christian Observer,--a periodical not yet condemned for popery,--"That Christ is present in the due celebration of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, is acknowledged, I believe, by all Christians, and is expressly asserted by the Church of England,--'The body and blood of Christ, which are verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful in the Lord's Supper.' [1] The difference, therefore, on this important subject between the Anglican doctrine and that of Rome and others, seems to respect either the manner or the nature of that presence which all in some sense admit." [2] But the presence of Christ in the Eucharist is not a tenet peculiar to us. It is maintained to this day in very strong and explicit terms by the Presbyterian and Dutch Reformed communions. The authorized teaching of the first is that "Worthy receivers outwardly partaking of the visible elements in this sacrament (the Lord's Supper), do then also inwardly by faith really and indeed, yet not corporally and carnally, but spiritually, receive and feed upon Christ crucified, and all the benefits of his death. The body and blood of Christ being then not corporally and carnally in, with, or under the bread and wine, yet as really but spiritually present to the faithful believers in that ordinance, as the elements themselves are to our outward senses." [3] So also the authorized teaching of the latter is, that "We err not when we say that what is eaten and drank by us (in the Lord's Supper) is the proper and natural body and the proper blood of Christ." [4]

How the adorable Saviour is present, none but the Romanist attempts to say; and he pays dearly for his temerity, by landing in absurdity and idolatry. Let me here give you the words of Bishop Jeremy Taylor, whom all delight to honor, and who certainly was no Papist, as quoted by Mr. C. on his examination, as expressive of his own views and feelings, premising that the volume from which these extracts are made, is one of those recommended by our House of Bishops, in the days of Bishop White, to students in theology for perusal.

"When the holy man stands at the table of blessing, and ministers the right of consecration, then do as the angels do, who behold, and love, and wonder, that the Son of God should become food to the souls of his servants; that he who cannot suffer any change or lessening should be broken into pieces, and enter into the body to support and nourish the spirit, and yet at the same time remain in heaven while he descends to thee upon earth, that he who hath essential felicity should become miserable and die for thee, and then give himself to thee for ever to redeem thee from sin and misery; that by his wounds he should procure health to thee, by his affronts should entitle thee to glory, by his death he should bring thee to life, and by becoming a man he should make thee partaker of the divine nature. These are such glories, that although they are made so obvious that each eye may behold them, yet they are also so deep that no thought can fathom them: but so it hath pleased him to make these mysteries to be sensible, because the excellency and depth of the mercy is not intelligible, that while we are ravished and comprehended within the infiniteness of so vast and mysterious a mercy, yet we may be as sure of it as of that thing we see, and feel, and smell, and taste, but yet it is so great that we cannot understand it." [5]

"Dispute not concerning the secret of the mystery, and the nicety of the manner of Christ's presence: it is sufficient to thee that Christ shall be present to thy soul, as an instrument of grace, as a pledge of the resurrection, as the earnest of glory and immortality, and the means of many intermedial blessings, even all such as are necessary for thee, and are in order to thy salvation. And to make all this good to thee, there is nothing necessary on thy part but a holy life, and a true belief of all the sayings of Christ; amongst which, indefinitely assent to the words of institution, and believe that Christ in the holy sacrament gives thee his body and his blood. He that believes not this is not a Christian. He that believes so much needs not to inquire further, nor to entangle his faith by disbelieving his sense." [6]

As to the Romish practice of denying the cup to the laity, Mr. Carey did not pretend to justify it in any manner.

As to the Reformation, Mr. Carey distinctly stated that in his opinion a reformation was needed very much in the sixteenth century; and that great benefits had resulted from that which was effected in England. When he used the phrase unjustifiable, I understood it to apply not to the act of Reformation itself, but to the acts of certain of those by whom the Reformation was promoted, and to some of the means which they used in carrying it forward. The Reformation itself I deemed him to consider justifiable. In other words, he would not undertake to defend each and every step taken by Henry VIII. and his court, in shaking off the Papal supremacy. And was he called on to do this? Or was he called on to express his entire acquiescence in each and every step which was taken in that wondrous transaction?

Papists are ever ready to taunt us with the vices and enormities of Henry, the self-constituted Head of the Church of England. And what is our constant reply? "With him and his acts we have nothing to do. It pleased God, in his providence, to permit him to occupy the throne at that time, and to overrule his very lusts to the disenthralment of his Church from the usurped dominion of an Italian Bishop, and his corrupt and corrupting principles. In this we rejoice, and will rejoice."

Again, I repeat it, that Mr. C. when he spoke of the Reformation as unjustifiable, referred to some of its accessories, and not to the reforming act, in itself considered. How could he be otherwise understood when he expressly stated that A REFORMATION WAS NEEDED, AND THAT GREAT BLESSINGS HAD RESULTED THEREFROM?

In reference to the schism in the Church at the time of the English Reformation, I understood Mr. Carey to take the ground that the sin of it rested entirely upon neither Church; that both were involved in it, though not to the extent of losing thereby their communion with the whole body of the faithful.

Upon this point I differ from Mr. Carey, as you and my people generally very well know; regarding the sin of schism as lying at the door of the Church of Rome. [7] That Church I regard as schismatical, in England, in America, and in every place where there exists a pure and reformed branch of the Christian Church.

As to the Romish doctrine of Purgatory, Mr. Carey considered it as condemned by our standards. He disavowed it himself. In speaking of prayers for the departed, he alluded only to the departed faithful--to those who died, penitent and believing, in the communion of the Church, and who are now in joy and felicity. As to those of the opposite character--the wicked and the ungodly--upon whom God's wrath rests, he did not speak. For such, as all Churchmen believe, there is no hope--no mitigation of their just punishment--no release from their eternal doom.

As to the Apocryphal books, Mr. Carey did not consider them as Scripture except in the loose sense in which they are called so by our Homilies. He did, however, expressly state that they were not to be appealed to in proof of any doctrine, and moreover that he considered the Church of Rome to err in thus citing them.

When questioned as to the comparative purity of the two Churches, Mr. Carey instanced as an advantage which the Church of Rome possessed, that she exercised a more effective discipline than the Church of England, or our own. On the other hand, he instanced several points in which we had greatly the advantage, as for example, lay communion in both kinds, and prayers understood by the people, and which were free from all invocations of saints, which invocations, he stated, were neither scriptural nor primitive, and "which practically led to idolatry. Upon doctrinal points, he thought that the Church of England had suffered by the introduction of puritanical views.

This again, my dear sir, is evidently a matter of opinion not affecting the integrity of faith. Are we to claim for ourselves, and our practical system, perfection? Are we bound to assert, not only that our standards are pure and primitive,--but that our Church has never received any injury,--and that in no one respect any other body of Christians has the least advantage over us? Shall we say that we are infallible? No one surely will take this ground. Embracing most cordially all the doctrines of our beloved Church, loving her institutions with all the ardor of youth, we may yet, I trust, be permitted to acknowledge that we have some deficiencies, and pray and strive to remedy them. I know, my dear sir, that you unite with many of our Bishops and Clergy in deploring the apathy of our Church in reference to the Missionary cause, and in earnestly wishing that the zeal of Christians around us--yea, even of the Papists themselves--might be emulated by Churchmen. Are you to be branded for this as an undutiful and disloyal son of the Church? Certainly not by your Pastor.

I have mentioned above that Mr. Carey considered it one of the peculiar advantages of our Church over the Church of Rome that the Book of Common Prayer was free from all invocation of saints, which were neither scriptural nor primitive, and which practically led to idolatry. You will hardly need from me an additional statement that he does not hold to the Invocation of Saints. In his opinion, the use of the intercessory phrase ora pro nobis, or, "pray for us," by itself, as addressed to the saints, is not sinful. That it is dangerous, as in most cases leading imperceptibly to other acts which would be idolatrous, and is not to be sanctioned, I know that he maintains. And I am assured, also, that he has never used this form himself, or sanctioned its use, in any way, directly or indirectly, by others.

When questioned on his construction of the promise of conformity to the doctrines and worship of our Church, Mr. Carey referred to the opinions of Bishop White on that point as detailed in his account of the proceedings of the General Convention of 1801, in which he mentions,"That in regard to subscription to the articles, there is a considerable difference between the form required in the Church of England as laid down in her thirty-sixth canon, and that prescribed in the constitution of the American Church." [8] But, at the same time, Mr. C. did not claim for himself the least indulgence on this head, professing to assent to the articles ex ammo.

Such, my dear sir, are my honest impressions of Mr. Carey's views as brought out at his examination. Under these impression,--clear and distinct--I acted, when as the youngest and humblest of the Bishop's presbyters present as his private council, I stated that I did not object to Mr. Carey's reception of the Diaconate. Had my impressions been different--had they been similar to those which were received by two gentlemen of that council, and which have been so widely spread before the public--I should have objected. Had it appeared to me that Mr. Carey embraced the Decrees of the Council of Trent either as his standard of faith, or as a co-ordinate standard with our Liturgy and Articles--that he took the Creed of Pope Pius as his Creed, or that, repeating it, he would say, this I believe--that he believed in Transubstantiation, Purgatory, Invocation of Saints, or the Sacrifice of Masses for the Dead--that he regarded the Reformation as unjustifiable--I say, that had Mr. Carey held and avowed these or the like sentiments, or had I supposed that he was justly chargeable with them, I would have cut off my right hand sooner than have had any connection with his ordination.

That Mr. Carey should have been misunderstood on some points is not surprising to me, as the light in which he has been accustomed to regard this whole class of subjects is not the usual one. A retired scholar,--conversant mainly with books,--regarding these points of controversy in their most abstract form,--framing his opinions and modes of expression solely with reference to the ground which would be taken by the most learned and adroit controversialists on the other side, losing sight for the time of the view which the subject presents to those who see day by day the practical working of the Romish System, and listen to the lessons and principles actually inculcated by Popish Priests from the pulpit and the rostrum,--his language would almost inevitably be very different from ours, and at first blush would seem to be wholly irreconcileable with it. Hence, I do not wonder that he should have been somewhat misunderstood; still less that his naked words, without the explanatory remarks by which they were accompanied, when thrown before the people, should startle them, and produce very great excitement, and bring down odium both on himself, and on all who did not instantly condemn him. That he should have been so thoroughly misunderstood, and that such an account of his examination as that to which you refer, should have been published, is to me a matter, to say the least, of extremest surprise.

One word as to Mr. Carey's saying that he did not know how to answer certain questions. The difficulty, as I understood it, lay not in his want of fixed or definite views, or in any unwillingness to put them forward, but simply in his not knowing the precise sense in which certain terms were used by his examiners,--these terms being susceptible of, and frequently used in more senses than one.

Let me here remind you, my dear sir, that Mr. Carey has been admitted only to the Diaconate. From his youth, he must necessarily serve in this lower ministry three years, during which time he can become only the minister, not the Rector of a Parish, is wholly at the disposal of the Bishop, and exercises the functions of his office only at his pleasure. If then, sir, we have been wholly mistaken in his case, as some suppose;--if he is a Papist, a Jesuit, a thorough believer in the tenets of Rome, it must appear. And should it ever appear that he does hold any doctrine contrary to our Articles--should he on any occasion, publicly or privately, teach the errors of Popery--(and be assured, sir, he will not want for observers)--that moment he ceases to teach in the Church, his licence to preach is withdrawn, and he is forbidden to officiate. At least, sir, such is yet my unshaken confidence in the integrity and firmness and orthodoxy of our Bishop.

One further remark. That the Clergy who consent to the ordination of a candidate, and the Bishop who ordains him, are to be held responsible for all his opinions, no churchman, I presume, will venture to assert. If his doctrines are in conformity with the doctrines of our standards--his honesty, intelligence, piety, and general fitness being granted--nothing more can be demanded of him. Our platform is confessedly a very broad one--on which the highest-toned Calvinist, believing in the certain and inevitable damnation of a portion of his fellow-men, including even infants, and the lowest Churchman, holding Episcopacy as a mere matter of expediency, do now, as a matter of fact, as they ever have since the age subsequent to the Reformation, stand side by side with those holding the directly opposite opinions. But when have a Bishop and his Presbyters ever been rudely dragged before the public, and threatened with a loss of caste if they would not pronounce a candidate holding these opinions a heretic, and unfit to minister in holy things? And are we now, in these enlightened and liberal days, for the first time, to have the opinions of private clergymen--however learned, amiable, and pious--set up as the standard, fixed and immutable, from which he who differs shall not enter the ministry, or if he has entered it, shall be cast out?

Having thus disposed of your second leading inquiry, I should hasten at once to a conclusion, were it not that, as my friend, you have called my attention to a part of the recent pamphlet of Drs. Smith and Anthon, in which public attention is particularly turned to myself. You say, in your letter, "I confess, Rev. and dear sir, it has given me sincere regret to hear comments such as I have been compelled to hear, upon the part which you are said to have borne in the examining scene. I allude to the alleged proposition to burn the minutes of examination, and to your interruption of your fellow-examiners. I cannot but think these matters require explanation--however, I do not pretend to dictate to you a course of duty."

Now, my dear sir, I cannot express the indignant astonishment with which I read the paragraph to which you more especially refer; and I was only restrained from noticing it promptly, in the manner it deserved, by my clear conviction, at first, that these matters should not, for the Church's sake, be spread before the public without the most urgent necessity. So dearly do I love peace and quietness, that I had rather suffer many a deep wound than enter the arena of controversy, and most of all personal controversy.

How my reverend brethren could feel themselves justified in reporting the remarks of a brother, met with them in private council, without any conference with him,--and remarks, too, which had not the least connection with the merits of the question at issue,--is to me perfectly inexplicable, upon what I have always been taught to believe the received principles and rules of intercourse among gentlemen and Christians. If such a course is to be justified and approved, and our private clerical meetings are to be made the matter of pamphlet and newspaper report, then, for one, I shall beg leave to stay at home. But it is not only of this violation of courtesy and confidence that I have to speak. I am grossly misrepresented--I do not say intentionally--in the passage referred to. A part only of my language is given, and this isolated phrase, on grounds best known to the writers, they have had the audacity to print in CAPITALS, thus fixing the attention of their readers especially upon it, and leading them to suppose that I was either afraid or ashamed that the world should know what we were doing. This imputation of a desire of cloaking and concealing our proceedings, as if we were acting a mean, base, and dishonorable part, I indignantly repudiate. I had no such desire, no such intention. What I, in common with others of my brethren, felt, was this;--that should the private notes of any of the examiners (for there are never any minutes of examinations taken with us) be made public, imperfect as they must of necessity be, from the impossibility of taking down one tenth of what was said, the greatest injustice might be done to the other examiners and to the candidate, and they be drawn into a most unpleasant controversy. In other words, we foresaw precisely what has come to pass! Now I wished to direct the attention of my brethren to this point specifically; and finding it difficult to obtain from them a full and frank answer to the question, "Whether they intended to make any public use of their notes of Mr. Carey's answers?"--(for I never dreamt of their reporting our private conversation across the room)--to bring the matter at once to a point, I said, "After you have satisfied your own minds, and given your opinions, will you burn them?" As to a concealment of the sentiments and opinions of the candidate, or my own, from those who had a right to know them, it was the farthest thing from my thoughts. And if I am suffering under the suspicion of such conduct, I am suffering most causelessly; and he who hereafter shall venture to charge me with it, I pronounce a BASE SLANDERER!

In reference to the charge of interrupting the examination, with a view to hindering it, for myself I deny it wholly. I threw not a straw in the way of the most full inquiry into Mr. Carey's views. On certain points I stated my own opinions as to the course proper to be pursued, briefly and respectfully, as every examiner has a right to do, and as almost every clergyman would do under similar circumstances. There was indeed more of conversation among us than is common on such an occasion, inasmuch as Drs. Anthon and Smith proposed to pursue a wholly new and unprecedented course in their examination, and as the number of examiners was larger than usual. There certainly was no more delay than might reasonably have been expected under the circumstances.

Before closing, permit me, my dear sir, to say a word or two as to the cry of Popery, which of late has been so clamorously raised. It is no new cry to the ears of Churchmen. All our lives long we have heard it. By turns every one of our distinctive principles and practices has been branded with the epithet Popish. Episcopacy, Confirmation, Forms of Prayer, Decent Ministerial Vestments--to continue the catalogue no further--have each been held up to scorn and contempt by those around us, as Popery. Our scriptural, primitive, and time-honored Liturgy, sprinkled with the blood of Martyrs, they have again and again derided and contemned. In the pages of the best known English Dissenting Journal, [9] one to which in former days such men as Robert Hall and Foster were regular contributors, this blessed volume has been thus characterized; "Oh! for the pen of Milton or Isaiah, to expose and denounce in words of fire that awful book by which myriads of deluded victims are blinded to their character and danger. By all the love which they feel for their neighbours, their country, their kind, by their appreciation of the soul's worth, and their jealousy for God's honor, we implore our readers to do what in them lies towards counteracting the influence and destroying the reputation of the most dangerous and injurious book which the English language contains." On which passage the Editor of the London Christian Observer remarks, "Our Prayer Book the Editor of the Eclectic affirms is, 'the most dangerous,' and 'awful' book in the English language; worse, therefore, than the works of Tom Paine and the tracts of the Socialists. Assuredly this is keen hatred and round abuse, to increase pure attachment to dissent." [10]

Yes, sir, this book, so dear to every Churchman, has very recently been denounced as fit only to be trampled on, and was then thrown upon the floor, and trodden in the dust by the reverend speaker; and the Church Catechism has been declared by no less a person than Dr. Pye Smith, "to contain some of the most awful falsehoods that ever the tongue of man uttered, or the pen of man wrote." That they who sympathize with such persons in their antipathy to the Church, should avail themselves of the present occasion to renew the cry, and to reiterate their watchword, " Episcopacy must be destroyed"--is no more than we had reason to expect.

Who remembers not the unmeasured scorn and contempt and opprobrium which was poured out in this very city, upon the head of HOBART,--the great and the good,--and that too by some of the very men, and the very presses, who would now, for the same reasons, crush--if they could--his successor in the Episcopate, and consign him to infamy and ruin, affecting, meanwhile, to cherish and revere Hobart's memory. Bishop Hobart was stigmatized in the public journals of his day, as the very impersonation of Popery and Jesuitism, and his principles branded as diabolical. And shall his children and followers--they who were brought up at his feet, and act upon his principles--expect to meet with a different fate? If I have ever indulged the pleasing thought that in my humble sphere I might escape such abuse, it has been entirely dissipated during the past week, loaded as I have been, in common with my brethren, with calumny, and pointed out to public reproach as a recreant to the Church, and unworthy to be allowed a place within her fold. [See Note A].

But the marvel is that CHURCHMEN should commence, or under any circumstances should allow themselves, to join in the cry, rather giving heed to popular clamor than trusting, even measurably, the honesty and integrity and orthodoxy of their Bishop, and such clergymen as were at least five of those who acted with him in this matter. Of the final issue I have no fears. Misunderstanding and misrepresentation and clamor may for a while lead New York Churchmen astray, but they have, as a body, too much fairness and good sense and honesty, not to disabuse themselves of error and mistakes when a fair opportunity is afforded them. Meanwhile, my dear sir, for one I shall be content to bear the reproach which has been so freely cast on us, trusting I shall be able to do so as becomes a Christian Minister, and humbly praying that God, in his own good time, will restore the peace and quietness of our diocese--which has been so wantonly disturbed--overruling for good all our manifold errors and sins.

I remain, my dear sir,
Very truly and respectfully,
Your friend and pastor,



[1] In our Catechism--"spiritually."
[2] Christian Observer, vol. 40, p. 205.
[3] Presbyterian Confession of Faith, Chap, xxix., Sec. 7.
[4] Reformed Dutch Confession of Faith, Art. xxxv.
[5] Holy Living, chap, iv., sec. 10, ¶ 8.
[6] Holy Living, chap, iv., sec. 10, ¶ 10.
[7] Reference is made to a Sermon on the Unity of the Church, preached by me in 1841, and published by request of the Vestry.

[8] White's Memoirs, p. 32. The following are the forms of subscription in the two churches respectively.

Form in our Church--"I do believe the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the word of God, and to contain all things necessary to salvation. And I do solemnly engage to conform to the doctrines and worship of the Protestant Episcopal Church in these United States."

Form in the Church of England--The thirty-sixth canon requires the candidate, after reference, first, to the royal supremacy; second, to the Book of Common Prayer, with the Ordinal; and third, to the thirty-nine Articles, to signify his assent as follows:--"I, N. N., do willingly and ex animo subscribe to those three articles above-mentioned, and to all things that are contained in them."

[9] Eclectic Review.
[10] Vol. 40, p. 62.



The Corruptions of the Church of Rome contrasted with certain Protestant Errors.

"But, if in all points truth be found in the opposite extreme to the Papacy, and if every doctrine and institution hath received an indelible stain in passing through a Papal channel, how does it happen that those who appear to act upon this principle retain any doctrine or institution which is taught or practised by this anti-Christian Church? Is the divinity of the Saviour to be rejected, because, in the midst of her darkest corruptions, this truth shone conspicuously as an article of the faith of the Church of Rome? Is his atonement diminished in its redeeming efficacy, because Papal superstition connects with it the intercession and merits of created beings? Does the institution of public worship lose its obligation, because in the Church of Rome its spirituality is obscured by the pageantry of superstitious ceremonies? Do the elements of the Holy Eucharist, consecrated as the symbols of the sacrifice of Christ, cease to convey spiritual health and nourishment to the souls of the faithful, because the Church of Rome impiously claims for her priesthood the power of entirely changing the substance and qualities of these elements, while the outward appearances remain the same; and of offering in the sacrifice of the mass, the same adorable personage, body, soul, and divinity, who suffered on the cross? Is preaching to be renounced as a scriptural ordinance, because, in the ages of Papal darkness, it was degraded to the office of celebrating the imaginary virtues of the saints whom superstition had canonized, and the efficacy of relics which received unlimited reverence from the ignorance of the multitude? Does the Bible cease to be the charter of salvation, because its sacred books must be traced through the Roman Church to the age of inspiration? And does Episcopacy lose its claims to a divine origin, because on its simple and apostolic foundation has been feared the gorgeous and unhallowed structure of the Papal hierarchy? If one extreme approvers its opposite, if the abuse of an institution renders necessary the rejection of it, if usurped prerogative justifies resistance to legitimate power--what is there in religion--what is there in civil polity--what is there in the departments of science--what is there in social life, that would remain sacred?"--pp. 16-18.

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