The true issue for the true churchman. A statement of facts in relation to the recent ordination in St. Stephen's Church, New York, by Drs. Smith and Anthon. Harper & Brothers. 8vo. pp. 46.
A Letter to a parishioner, relative to the recent ordination of Mr. Arthur Carey, by Benjamin I. Haight, A.M., Rector of All Saints' Church, New York. James A. Sparks. pp. 22.
A full and true statement of the examination and ordination of Mr. Arthur Carey. Taken from the Churchman of July 8, 15, 22, 29 and August 5, and 12: with an appendix. James A. Sparks. pp. 116.
MR. ARTHUR CAREY has suddenly, and at a very early age, become a historical personage. He is a graduate of Columbia College, New York, and he received there, four years ago, the highest honor among his classmates. Having devoted himself to the clerical profession in the Protestant Episcopal Church, he pursued his studies in the General Theological Seminary of that church in the city of New York; and in June, 1842, he received the testimonial usually given by the trustees at the completion of the course of study. Not being then of the canonical age for admission to the order of deacons, (which we understand to be twenty one years,) he remained at the seminary another year, devoting himself to the studies connected with his profession. He appears to have been not only diligent and successful in study, but eminently amiable and blameless in his deportment--the pride of his teachers and the joy of his friends. Even those who [586/587] have been constrained to protest against his admission to the ministry, and who knew him well while connected with the seminary, tell us how strong was their "conviction of the purity and excellence of his Christian character, and of his quiet and studious habits, and of his love for truth."
Mr. Carey, as connected with the parish of St. Peter's, was under the pastoral care of the Rev. Dr. Hugh Smith, in whose Sunday school he was also a teacher. In May last, as the time at which he expected to receive ordination drew near, he applied to his pastor for the necessary certificate, which must needs be signed by the rector and vestry, testifying, among other things, that "he had never written, taught, or held, any thing contrary to the doctrine or discipline of the Protestant Episcopal church." On that occasion Dr. Smith referred to the fact, well understood between them, that Mr. Carey had "embraced the doctrines of the Oxford school;" he informed the young man that those opinions of his would have given serious uneasiness to his pastor, but for the high estimate he had formed of the candidate's moral and spiritual character; and he promised to procure for him the required certificate. Before the paper was called for by Mr. Carey, Dr. Smith was informed of some expressions used by Mr. C., which seemed to make it questionable whether the testimonial could honestly be given to him. Accordingly, Dr. S., at the next interview, which was on the 21st of June, stated to Mr. C. the expressions which had been ascribed to him, and asked for an explanation. This was the commencement of a protracted conversation, in the progress of which Mr. Carey made a frank and full avowal of views which filled his pastor with "astonishment and grief." Dr. Smith declined giving him the certificate at that time, and requested him to call again the next day. In the mean time, Dr. Smith, for the sake of greater accuracy, wrote down some of the most important views which he had understood Mr. C. to express. The document thus prepared was read to Mr. C. the next day, that if any thing had been misunderstood it might be corrected, and that if, in the freedom and warmth of conversation, any thing had been said inadvertently, it might be withdrawn. The document was accordingly corrected, not by Mr. Carey's hand, but in his presence, and in conformity with his suggestions. As the story depends very much upon this document, we put it upon record, not in the double form in which Dr. Smith has published it, but only as corrected.
"St. Peter's Rectory, June 21, 1843.
In my conversation with Mr. Carey this afternoon, I understood him substantially to admit to me a conversation reputed to have been held, as leading to the general impression that, if union with the ministry of the Protestant Episcopal church of this country were not open to him, he might possibly have recourse to the ministry of Rome--not without pain or difficulty, but still that he did not see any thing to prevent or forbid such an alternative, although he thought it much more likely that he would remain in the communion of our church; and that he could receive all the decrees of Trent, the damnatory clauses only excepted.
"2. That he did not deem the differences between us and Rome to be such
as embraced any points of faith.
"3. That he was not prepared to pronounce the doctrine of transubstantiation an absurd or impossible doctrine; and that he regarded it, as taught within the last hundred years, as possibly meaning no more than what we mean by the real presence, which we most assuredly hold.
"4. That he does not object to the Romish doctrine of purgatory as defined by the Council of Trent, and that he believed that the state into which the soul passed after death was one in which it grows in grace, and can be benefited by the prayers of the faithful and the sacrifice of the altar.
"5. That he was not prepared to consider the church of Rome as no longer an integral or pure branch of the church of Christ; and that he was not prepared to say whether she or the Anglican church [587/588] were the more pure: that in some respects she had the advantage, in others we.
"6. That he regarded the denial of the cup to the laity as a mere matter of discipline, which might occasion grief to him if within her communion, hut not as entirely invalidating the administration of the sacrament.
"7. That he admits to have said, or thinks it likely he has said, inasmuch as he so believes, that the Reformation from Rome was an unjustifiable act, and followed by many grievous and lamentable results; he, however, having no question but that a reformation was then necessary, and being far, also, from denying that many good results have followed from it, both to us and Rome.
"8. That while generally subscribing to the sixth article so that he would not rely for proofs to himself or others, upon passages from books other than canonical, yet he is not disposed to fault the church of Rome in annexing others to these, and in pronouncing them all, in a loose sense, sacred Scripture; nor was he prepared to say that the Holy Spirit did not speak by the books apocryphal. Mr. Carey alledged himself here to have added that this was the doctrine of the homily.
"9. Mr. Carey considered the promise of conformity to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Protestant Episcopal church as not embracing the thirty nine articles in any close and rigid construction of them, but regards them only as affording a sort of general basis of concord--as those which none subscribed except with certain mental reservations and private exceptions, and that this was what he regarded as Bishop White's view."--True Issue, pp. 9-11.
After the most deliberate consideration, Dr. Smith arrived at the conclusion, that he could not conscientiously sign the required testimonial. Having communicated this decision first to his friend, Dr. Anthon, by whose approbation it was confirmed, and then to Mr. Carey, his next step was to inform the Bishop. This was done four days afterwards, (June 26,) by presenting to that functionary a brief note, stating that Mr. C.'s testimonial had been refused "on the ground of his having 'held,' and now holding opinions which are in my [Dr. Smith's] judgment, 'contrary to the doctrine and discipline of the Protestant Episcopal church.'" But to Dr. Smith's surprise, the Bishop was already informed of the fact, and informed of the document which embodied the grounds of the refusal. Mr. C. or his advisers, had been beforehand with the Dr., and bad been in conference with the Bishop. It appeared too, that Mr. Carey was taking effectual measures to obtain from the rector and vestry of Trinity church, the testimonial which he could not obtain from the rector and vestry of his own parish.
On the same day, a few hours afterwards, the trustees of the seminary were in session--a board, of which Drs. Smith and Anthon are members. At that session these gentlemen offered a resolution, that the attention of the examining committee, in the examinations then about to commence, be directed especially "to the points at issue between us and the church of Rome." This was objected to on the ground, that the business of the committee was not to examine, but to attend upon the examination as conducted by the professors, and to report the result. The motion was, by a vote, laid upon the table. Another, to nearly the same effect, met with the same reception. The discussion of these resolutions appears to have been not without some excitement. Dr. Smith is reported (Full and True Statement, p. 102) to have expressed his conviction, that there was in the seminary "an under current of Romanism," and to have 'pledged himself to sustain his assertion, before the church, if necessary, by documentary proof.' Drs. Smith and Anthon were added to the committee, after their motions had been laid on the table, that they might have the opportunity of obtaining satisfaction and it was suggested to them, that a request to the professors to examine any particular student or [588/589] students, with special distinctness on any particular topics, would undoubtedly accomplish their object. This course we are informed was taken; but nothing appears to have been elicited either to prove or to disprove the suspicions which had been excited. Drs. S. and A. were not satisfied with the manner in which the resolutions moved by them had been disposed of. Still less were they satisfied the next day, when a third resolution, requesting that the sermons which the members of the senior class had handed to the professor for inspection, might be laid before the committee--shared the fate of its predecessors, and was laid to sleep with them, like anti-slavery memorials on the tables of Congress.
By this time, all parties, and particularly Drs. S. and A., seem to have felt that matters were verging towards a crisis. "The two Doctors," as the Churchman calls them, were plainly in a minority; the ruling influences were against them. Mr. Carey, having passed through all the canonical formalities, had presented his regular testimonials to the bishop, notwithstanding the refusal which lie had met from his own immediate pastor. The Bishop, either because he desired a farther investigation for the satisfaction of his own conscience, or because he felt that some deference was due to the gentlemen in opposition, determined to hold a special examination of Mr. Carey, with the aid of a council of his presbyters. Friday evening, June 30th, the council was assembled. There were in attendance on the Bishop, as his counselors, Drs. Smith, Anthon, Berrian, M'Vickar, and Seabury, and the Rev. Messrs. Haight, Higbee, and Price. Into the details of that examination, we do not propose to enter. "The two Doctors" began with stating, in words which they had written down beforehand, that they had resolved to propose to the examined, certain written questions, and to request that the answers to the same might also be in writing. Instantly, the suspicion seems to have filled the minds of the council, that written questions and written answers were designed to be the materials of an appeal to the public; and this mode of examination was strenuously opposed. The decision of the Bishop was, that the written questions might be proposed; and that though the candidate should not be required to answer in writing, the questioners might write down his answers, and read their record to the candidate in order to ensure its correctness. Thus conducted, the examination seems to have been attended with considerable excitement among the presbyters, on both sides, with frequent interruptions, especially by Dr. Seabury, and with some confusion. It seems to have been the object of Drs. Smith and Anthon, to draw from the candidate either an explicit avowal, or a recantation, of the opinions which he had expressed in conversation, and which had been recorded in the "document" which we have transferred to our columns. In this they were not unsuccessful. The difference between the record of the young man's answers as written down by Drs. Smith and Anthon, and the representation of his answers and explanations as given by Drs. Seabury and M'Vickar, and Messrs. Haight and Higbee, does not seem to us to be very material.
The examination having been completed in such fashion as was practicable under the conditions which have been described, the presbyters of the council were severally called on for their opinions as to the fitness of the candidate. Drs. Smith and Anthon objected to his ordination, and intimated the probability of their making written communications on the subject to the Bishop; the others unanimously, [589/590] and some of them strenuously, advised that the candidate be ordained.
The Bishop declined pronouncing a decision at that time; and after some words of mutual explanation and concession among the presbyters, and some unsuccessful efforts to obtain from the two who were dissatisfied, a pledge not to publish their notes of the examination, the company separated; the "two Doctors" having agreed with the Bishop, that if they had any communication to make, it should be made in writing by one o'clock the next day.
Accordingly, on the next day, Saturday, July 1st, each of those gentlemen addressed a communication to the Bishop, protesting against the ordination of Mr. Carey, and desiring to be informed of the Bishop's decision as early as might be, or at all events, early enough to enable them, "if needful"--in Dr. Smith's language--"to take the last and most painful step pointed out by the church."
Sunday morning came, the morning of the day on which the candidates from the Theological Seminary were to be ordained at St. Stephen's church; but no reply had come from the Bishop to tell the protesters whether Mr. Carey was to be ordained with the rest. At an early hour, therefore, notes were addressed to the Bishop, asking once more for information on that point. The reply was in the same words to each:--"It pains me to be obliged to say that the attitude of threatening which you thought proper to assume at the close of your letter of yesterday, precludes the propriety of my replying to it. Yours very truly." A written disclaimer of the construction which the Bishop had put upon their suggestion of a reason for asking information, was hastily dispatched from each of the protesters; and then, as the hour of public worship was already drawing near, they proceeded together to St. Stephen's, for the purpose of obtaining an interview with the Bishop and renewing the disavowal in person. Thus, at the last moment, they obtained the information that Mr. Carey was to be ordained. In the Sunday school room, where the information so earnestly and humbly sought had been at last vouchsafed to them, they took leave of the Bishop. Thence they went into the church, habited in their official robes, and seated themselves among the people. Morning prayer was read in the usual form, the protesting Doctors uttering the responses duly with the responding people, as set down in the book. The sermon was pronounced; and to that they gave a becoming attention. Next came, according to the arrangements of the day, the ordination service. That we may see precisely what was said and done, let us open the Prayer-book at "the form and manner of making deacons." The Bishop is "sitting in his chair near to the holy table." The candidates, "each of them being decently habited," are presented to him by a priest, "saying these words," from the book,
"Reverend Father in God, I present unto you these persons present, to be admitted deacons."
The Bishop "sitting in his chair," as aforesaid, reads from his Prayer-book, in reply,
"Take heed that the persons whom ye present unto us, he apt and meet for their learning and godly conversation, to exercise their ministry duly to the honor of God, and the edifying of his church."
The priest from his book responds.
"I have so enquired concerning them, and also examined them, and think them so to be."
Then the Bishop, still reading from the book, said "unto the people," who till this precise moment had not been consulted in the premises at all,
 "Brethren, if there be any of you who knoweth any impediment, or notable crime, in any of these persons presented to be ordered deacons, for the which he ought not to he admitted to that office, let him come forth in the name of God, and show what the crime or impediment is."
Up to this point in the proceedings, every thing was regular and rubrical. But immediately after these last words had been uttered by the Bishop, there was a response, of which nothing appears in the Prayer-book. Drs. Smith and Anthon arose "in one of the pews in the middle aisle," and read each a separate "protest" from a written paper. Dr. Smith's protest was in these words, (True Issue, p. 35.)
"Upon this solemn call of the church, made by you, reverend father in God, as one of its chief pastors, I, Hugh Smith, Doctor in Divinity, a presbyter of the Protestant Episcopal church in the diocese of New York, and rector of St. Peter's church, come forth, in the name of God, to declare, before Him and this congregation, my solemn conviction and belief, that there is a most serious and weighty impediment to the ordination of Mr. Arthur Carey, who has now been presented to you to be admitted a deacon, founded upon his holding sentiments not conformable to the doctrines of the Protestant Episcopal church in these United States of America, and in too close conformity with those of the church of Rome, as more fully set forth in a protest from me, placed in your hands yesterday. Now, therefore, under a sacred sense of duty to the church, and to its Divine head, who purchased it with his blood, I do again, before God and this congregation, thus solemnly and publicly protest against his ordination to the diaconate.
Dated this 2d day of July, 1843.
Dr. Anthon's paper, though not in precisely the same form, was to the same effect, beginning, "Reverend Father in God, I, Henry Anthon, Doctor in Divinity, a presbyter," &c.
The ordinary course of proceedings on such occasions having been thus interrupted--not unexpectedly, we may presume--the Bishop rose in his place and replied as follows,
"The accusation now brought against one of the persons presented to be ordered deacons, has recently been fully investigated by me, with the knowledge and in the presence of his accusers, and with the advantage of the valuable aid and counsel of six of the worthiest, wisest, and most learned of the presbyters of this diocese, including the three who are assisting in the present solemnities. The result was, that there was no just ground for rejecting the candidate's application for holy orders. There is consequently no reason for any change in the solemn service of the day, and therefore all these persons, being found meet to be ordered, are commended to the prayers of the congregation."--Full and True Statement, pp. 5, 6.
Immediately upon the utterance of the last word, Bishop Ives of North Carolina, who was assisting the diocesan of New York in the solemnities of that day, commenced the reading of the litany; and at the same moment the protesting presbyters "took their hats," as we are informed by a writer "whose opinion," the Churchman says, "is entitled to the highest consideration"--and then, as we are told by Dr. Seabury himself, "turned their backs on the altar, [O tempora!] and the bishops, [O mores!] and walked out of the church." Yet it was done "respectfully," according to their account of the matter, and under the conviction, that the just effect and force of their protest would be impaired by their remaining in the house, and that their "withdrawing would be a protest in acts not less than in words."
It happened most unpropitiously for the loved repose and reserve of the Episcopal church, that just at the time of these occurrences, the editors of the newspapers in the city of New York, were looking about them with more than ordinary solicitude for some new thing. No election, national, state or municipal, was near enough to be a subject of daily and engrossing interest.
No debates in Congress, with occasional interludes of fisticuffs and challenges among members from [591/592] the more chivalrous regions, filled the public capacity of excitement. No new paroxysm of commercial distress, no murder uncommonly mysterious or horrible, no astounding series of forgeries, no great criminal trial with endless disquisitions on insanity, was aiding the daily sale of newspapers. The Bunker Hill celebration had just had its day; and Mr. Dickens' new work had proved so flat a thing that no body was inquiring what would be in the next number. Consequently, such an occurrence as the ordination of Mr. Carey with the protest of two eminent clergymen against him, on the ground of his being in effect a Roman Catholic, became the town's talk, and filled the newspapers, not only in the city of New York, but every where else. Nor did the arrivals from Europe just about those days help to divert the public attention from these matters. The astounding progress of O'Connell's movement for giving to Popery its natural ascendency in Ireland--the admired secession of one half of the established church in Scotland--the universal agitation in England about Tractarianism, together with the University censure of Dr. Pusey, himself, at Oxford--gave to an ecclesiastico-religious question of this kind a new and surprising power of interesting the whole people.
Thus the Bishop and his advising and consenting presbyters were suddenly put upon their defense. A matter adjudicated and disposed of by the authorities of the diocese, had somehow got itself appealed as it were to a general council; and unless the Bishop and his counselors should appear and plead, their cause would go by default. Disapprobation of what they had done was beginning to be uttered semper, ubique, ab omnibus; and unless they could do something to turn the tide of opinion, they were likely to be overwhelmed. We give them credit for the boldness, skill, and manfulness with which they have conducted their defense. The Churchman of the week following the ordination contained a communication signed N. E. O., (Novi-Eboracensis Onderdonk?) which as it speaks with authority, and is certified by the editor to have proceeded "from a source entitled to the highest respect," may be properly regarded as the Bishop's own statement. In the same sheet, the editor, Dr. Seabury, gave his account of the protest at St. Stephen's, which he entitled, a "Disturbance of public worship." In both these articles the protesters are severely handled; though the editor having as yet much less personal feeling than N. E. O., tries to treat them respectfully. Nothing was said respecting the merits of the charge against Mr. Carey; but the attention of readers was adroitly directed towards another question, namely, whether Drs. Smith and Anthon had a right to interrupt the ordination service, at the call of the Bishop, with their protests.
It was now time for the protesters to be heard. They immediately published a note in the daily papers, saying that though they had intended to be silent, "the attacks made on them in the Churchman, left them no alternative between a silence which might be misinterpreted and a full disclosure,"--and that, therefore, "they would lay before the public in a few days a full statement of the case." Their "full statement" was accordingly published, entitled, "The True Issue for the True Churchman." As for the publications which followed in the Churchman, both editorial and from correspondents far and near, we have no room to trace their succession. Suffice it to say here, that as collected in the "Full and True Statement," they make a bulky, but by no means stupid pamphlet. Out of these two pamphlets, together with Mr. Haight's "Letter to a Parishioner," [592/593] we have collected with some labor the foregoing narrative, which we are sure is impartial, and which we think is fair.
We now propose to express in the briefest manner possible, some inquiries and impressions of our own, touching the subject matter of this history. This we do in the hope of subserving in our humble way the great interests of "evangelical truth and apostolic order."
The first impression which this controversy makes upon our minds, is, that it is a sudden manifestation of divisions which have heretofore been studiously veiled from the public eye. Such controversies as this--so serious, so impassioned, so involved in great principles--however suddenly they may break out, do not break out among those who up to that moment are entirely agreed. Undoubtedly, Drs. Smith and Anthon are both Churchmen--high Churchmen, if they please to be called by that name. Undoubtedly they both believe in baptismal regeneration, and in the exclusive validity of Episcopal ordination, and of ordinances administered by Episcopalian clergymen. We dare say they have had little sympathy with the thoroughly evangelical party--small enough this side of Philadelphia--of which the late Dr. Bedell, may be taken as a representative. At the same time, nothing can be plainer to the reader of these pamphlets, than that for some time past Drs. Smith and Anthon have been anticipating the arrival of a crisis in the affairs of the communion with which they are connected. They talk about "the Church as she was," and "a growing indifference to those great principles, for which, at the era of the Reformation, martyrs died." They ask, "shall a stand at last be made, and will Churchmen finally rally in defense of their own principles and standards?" They say, "a great issue has been joined through circumstances apparently at once casual and trivial." This is not the language of men who have been surprised into a controversy with those whom they have all along regarded as of the same opinion in all things with themselves. So, on the other hand, the manner of the writers in the Churchman towards these gentlemen, is very much like the venting of an ancient and long festering dislike. Dr. Seabury, in his first editorial was evidently restraining himself and laboring to be courteous. But as the controversy proceeds, he gradually forgets his reserve. He almost calls Dr. Smith a fool. He pronounces him "incompetent to apprehend, and much more to express the operations of a mind so vastly superior to his own as Mr. Carey's." He tells of "the weakness and vanity, and fidgetiness, and gossiping propensities of Dr. Hugh Smith." To Dr. Anthon he imputes some personal prejudice, pronouncing him "the very last man whom Mr. C. would have chosen for his judge." The key to this enigma we find in the very last sentence of the pamphlet, where a correspondent of the Churchman tells us that Mr. C. "entered Columbia College in the Sophomore class, in which at the time, a young man of great talent and worth, the son of the Rev. Dr. Anthon, held the highest rank, and Mr. Carey carried off the palm at the conclusion of the course." We quote this, not to pronounce upon the meanness that uses such weapons in such a controversy, but only to say that the dislike which vents itself in this way is of no sudden or accidental growth.
Much has been said within a few years past, to set forth the harmony and "repose" of the Episcopal church. Other great Christian communions have been agitated with questions and strifes. But "our church," it has been said, enjoys peace in all her borders; such is the efficacy of an episcopal government and a venerable liturgy. Here and [593/594] there a verdant youth has been wrought upon by these representations, and has actually gone over to the Episcopal church as a haven of rest where no din of controversy was ever to disturb him. Few, however, have been thus imposed upon. The speculative have known that there must be--and the observing have seen that there were--diversities of opinion among Episcopalians, on questions of doctrine and questions of policy, diversities not unattended with various degrees of alienation and mutual dislike, and which in due time, must needs take wind and blaze forth into controversy. The present controversy may be got under; and the thin veil may again be spread over the elements of division, but those elements will be there still, ready to blaze out again when some free wind shall blow upon them.
Our next observation is, that Drs. Smith and Anthon, considered as ministers of the gospel, were clearly right, in opposing the introduction of Mr. Carey to the office and work of a religions teacher. We do not charge Mr. C. or his friends with Romanism. So far as we recollect, every doctrine which they hold, offensive to the protesters, is as much a doctrine of the Greek church as of the Latin. We doubt not that they sincerely reject what they recognize as the errors and abuses of Rome,--and first and chiefly, the claims of the Pope to be recognized as Christ's vicar, the center of unity to the universal church, and the infallible arbiter of controversies. Mr. C.'s saying that if he were refused admission to the ministry of the Protestant Episcopal church, he "might possibly" become a Papist, is far from making him a Papist now. It is little more than saying that he could not tell what course his mind would take, in circumstances of unexpected and peculiar trial. But we are clear in the opinion that the man who has been so ill taught as to say that he could receive the decrees of the Council of Trent, the damnatory clauses excepted--the man who has studied to so little purpose that he is not prepared either to deny or positively to affirm the "grave doctrines" in which the standards of the church of England differ from the solemn decisions and established formularies of the church of Rome--the man whose four years of theological study have left him in doubt whether the story of Bel and the Dragon, or that of Tobit and the fish, may not be a veritable piece of inspired Scripture--the man who, after all his studies believes that the souls of the faithful departed are to be prayed for by the faithful on earth, and may be benefited by the "sacrifice of the altar," and who at the same time would not deny, that de- parted saints may also be prayed to, as intercessors before God, with the petition, "pray for us,"--that man, though he were more learned than Baronius, more profound than Thomas Aquinas, more eloquent than Peter the hermit, and more saintly than Simeon Stylites, is not fit to be entrusted with the function of preaching the gospel of the grace of God.
Another point equally clear, if we rightly understand the constitution, history and position of the church of England, and of the Anglican church in the United States, is, that as ministers of that church, Drs. Smith and Anthon have been greatly in the wrong.
(1.) The theory of that church is, that the entire power of ordaining men to the work of the ministry, is with the bishops. In practice, the exercise of that power is limited by constitutions and canons, each diocesan church having a constitution and canons of its own, additional to those of the national church or consociation of dioceses. It appears that, by the canons, Bishop Onderdonk was forbidden to ordain Mr. [594/595] Carey, without a certificate, in a certain form, subscribed by the rector and vestry of his own or of some other parish. When Dr. Smith had arrived at the conclusion that Mr. Carey was holding opinions contrary to the doctrine of the Protestant Episcopal church, it was right for him to refuse the certificate, which no canon required him to subscribe contrary to his own conviction in regard to the facts. When he had refused the certificate, it seems to have been proper to communicate the fact of his refusal and the reasons of it to the Bishop. But there his responsibility appears to have ended. When Dr. Smith applied to his friend Dr. Anthon for advice, it was right for Dr. A. to give advice according to his best judgment, and there his responsibility ended. When the Bishop determined to hold a special examination in the case of Mr. Carey, and invited those two presbyters to be of the council that was to advise him on that occasion, then a new responsibility was imposed on them by the act of the Bishop. In that examination, it was right for them to do their utmost towards bringing out palpably before the Bishop those opinions of Mr. Carey's which they deemed contrary to the doctrine of the church; and then it was right for them, as members of the council, to give their opinion and advice when called for. But when this had been done, and the council (which was created only to give its advice to the Bishop) had ceased to exist, their responsibility ceased. What more had they to do in the matter? Was it their duty to oversee the Bishop, and make him do right? Should he do wrong, would they be answerable for that wrong, either to the church or to God? They seem to have supposed that they were members of a presbytery, or at least to have supposed that some portion of the ordaining power was directly or indirectly in their hands.
As to that call in the form of ordination, to which these two gentlemen responded with their protests, we have only to say, that most palpably it is a call for information. Certainly it is not a call for protests founded on alledged facts which the Bishop has already investigated to his own satisfaction, and on which he has formed a definitive judgment. The bishop is the ordaining power, and from his decision in a case of ordination there is no appeal. A protest, therefore, against his proceeding to carry into effect his own decision in a case which he had deliberately and formally investigated, was a mere impertinence. The minister of the Gospel who consents to exercise his ministry under the regulations of the Episcopal church, does so with his eyes open. He goes into that connection for the very reason that there the Bishop of the diocese is the sole ordainer of inferior ministers. He goes thither for the very reason that there he, as an inferior minister, is to have no potential voice and no responsibility in determining who shall take part with him in that ministry. His protest then, in a case which happens to be determined contrary to his judgment, is only a blotting of paper which a more considerate man would have saved for some better use.
If the Bishop, in the exercise of his ordaining power, violates the constitution and canons of the church, he is of course responsible for that violation. He may be regularly prosecuted; he may be brought to trial before a council of neighboring Bishops; he may be judicially censured, or even deposed, according to the extent of his delinquency. Such is the course which these gentlemen ought to have taken with their Bishop, if they considered him guilty of a violation of the compact between him and his diocese. Their protest, their publication, their statement of "the true issue for the true churchman,"--we can make nothing of all [595/596] that, but an appeal against their Bishop to the people. As if the people had any thing to do or to say in a question of ordination.
(2.) There is another view which is to our minds equally conclusive. The reformation of the Anglican church, as completed and established under Queen Elizabeth, was distinctly designed not to expel or exclude from the ministry of the church such men as Mr. Carey. A strong infusion of sound evangelical or Protestant doctrine was put into the articles and the homilies, and evangelical preaching was tolerated, provided the preacher would closely conform to the canons and the rubrics. On the other hand, the liturgy, and to some extent the homilies, and even the articles, were--we do not say Popish or Romish, but--"Catholic;" and no pains were spared to conciliate and retain in the church every man who was willing to renounce the Pope's supremacy, to subscribe the articles, to obey the canons, and to perform the worship of the liturgy as purified and translated. Thus the reformation of the English church was essentially a compromise, or an attempted compromise, between opposite opinions. It was designed to include on the one hand the most extreme Protestantism short of that which rejected the hierarchy, the vestments and the ceremonies, and on the other hand the most extreme Catholicity short of Romanism. And from the age of the Reformation to the present day, nothing in the history of the Anglican church is more striking than its great toleration, to say the least, towards such opinions as Mr. Carey's. Queen Elizabeth herself was so much of a Catholic, that she had a crucifix to aid her devotions, and would never consent to legalize the marriage of the clergy. In the following age, the Calvinistic Archbishop Abbott was succeeded by the Catholic Archbishop Laud; and the moderate and evangelical Archbishop Usher was contemporary with both. After the restoration, Archbishop Leighton was contemporary with ever so many Bishops and Archbishops of the Laudean school. How is it with the church of England now? Does the avowal of such opinions as Mr. Carey's operate either to deprive a clergyman of his preferments, or to prevent the ordination of a candidate? To come nearer home, how is it--how has it always been with the Anglican American church? Was not Bishop Seabury its first bishop? And was not the church constituted and organized as one church by a compromise between opinions as variant as those of Bishop Seabury and those of Bishop White? Is not the most catholic Bishop Doane contemporary with the evangelical Bishop McIlvaine; and in the house of Bishops, has not one of these prelates as many rights as the other? Nay, what opinion has Mr. Carey been proved to hold, which can not be found plainly asserted in that standard work, edited by Bishop Whittingham, Palmer on the Church?
We say then, in conclusion, that Drs. Smith and Anthon, in protesting against the ordination of Mr. Carey, and in appealing to the public against the action of their Bishop, have forgotten their position, and have acted more like free ministers of the gospel of Christ, than like Episcopalian presbyters. The result will therefore be, that they will find the Bishop and the church too strong for them. The protests and appeal will react against their authors. Mr. Carey, instead of being put down, as a Papist obtruding himself among Protestants, will be honored and esteemed as almost a confessor, and, if he lives long enough, will be a Bishop.