Project Canterbury

















The "Committee of Inquiry," authorized by the last Convention of this Diocese, and appointed by the Bishop soon after its adjournment, to "ascertain the facts" in reference to "wide-spread rumors of practices and usages and modes of worship, inconsistent with the Constitution and Canons, the doctrines, discipline and worship of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and even utterly subversive of her Protestant character," being "allowed and sustained by the Vestry of St. Clement's Church, to the scandal of the community, the disturbance of the peace of this Church, and the great pain and grief of her people," and to "recommend such action, if any, as they may deem expedient in the premises," respectfully report, That, soon after their appointment, they met and organized, and have since held numerous meetings in prosecution of the object for which they were appointed.

At the first meeting alluded to, their chairman was requested to notify the authorities of St. Clement's Church of the fact, that they had met and organized, and of their readiness to receive any communication which they might see fit to make to them. Of the notification, sent soon after, they, in a few days, received a brief acknowledgment, and since then, they have not heard from the Rector, Wardens or Vestrymen of that Church at all.

At one of their earliest meetings the committee unanimously adopted a resolution, that, in their investigations, they would have exclusive reference to the Prayer-Book, Constitution, Canons and usages of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, and those of the Diocese of Pennsylvania, as the standards by which they would judge of what were [3/4] such practices, usages and modes of worship as were referred to in the preamble and resolution under which they were appointed. As the result of their investigations they have to report that there is truth in many of the rumors referred to.

To begin with those relating to the Holy Communion; they have ascertained that there is truth, first, in the alleged fact, that, in some of the numerous celebrations of the Holy Supper on the same day, which are common in that Church, and particularly at the mid-day or "high celebrations," as they are frequently called by members of that Church and others, it is not unusual for the officiating priest to partake of the sacred elements alone, there being apparently no wish that persons in the congregation should commune; no opportunity, at all events, being given for them to do so. It is, indeed, in evidence before the committee that it is by request of the clergy, that none of the congregation commune at these celebrations, and that on one occasion it was distinctly announced from the pulpit, that, at these celebrations no one but the priest could communicate, and that, if any others "presented themselves, they would be rejected." It is most probably in consequence of this regulation, and certainly in very natural conformity to it, that the practice is followed, as has been ascertained, of the frequent, if not habitual, omission at some of the celebrations, of the exhortation, beginning, "Dearly beloved in the Lord, ye who mind to come, &c.;" its omission, notwithstanding that the Rubric is express, that it "shall" be SAID "at the time of the celebration of the Communion."

It has been further ascertained, that, at these high celebrations, there are processions of boys and men, in surplices, not merely into the Church, but in and through it; processions, headed by a crucifer, or person carrying aloft a large cross, and attended by a boy at each side of him carrying large-sized decorated candles; and other boys or men in the processions, carrying banners, with representations on them of the Virgin and child, of the vessels used in the Eucharist, and of [4/5] the Dove; during the processions, as afterwards, in parts of the celebrations, hymns or sentences being sung, not authorized by this Church. Other facts ascertained are, that, at particular parts of the celebrations referred to, numerous candles standing on the super-altar, are lighted; other candles on it, and on the altar itself, having been previously lighted; that the priest celebrant on such occasions, officiates in vestments entirely unusual in this Church; that he is attended, during his ministrations, by boys, who perform a variety of offices, some of them mysterious, except to the initiated, and who, as well as the clergy, are careful to bow, or bend the knee, as often as they pass in front of the holy table, or even approach it. And, in addition to all, that, immediately after consecration, the elements are lifted up by the celebrant, and a priest assistant; whereupon, prostrations, more or less entire, take place, both within and without the chancel.

Such are some of the practices and usages in connection with the Holy Communion, ascertained to be observed in St. Clement's Church, which are of the kind referred to in the resolution of the Convention. They are all, with others that might be mentioned, such as the practice of mingling water with the wine during the celebration of the Communion, not only, as must be admitted, novelties in the ritual of our American Church, but manifestly at variance with its well-known and established usages. Further than this, the first and the last mentioned ones of them, viz: Solitary Communion, (if it be proper to apply the word "Communion" to the partaking of the sacrament by a single person,) and the lifting up of the consecrated elements, are both, virtually condemned and forbidden by the Church; the first, or solitary Communion, by the rubrics before and after the Office for the "Communion of the sick," which require, that except in "times of contagious sickness or disease," there "shall be two" persons "at the least," ready to communicate with the sick, and by the whole Communion Office itself, which evidently contemplates a partaking together by priest and people, of the consecrated elements, and which is entitled, "The Order for the [5/6] Administration of the Lord's Supper or Holy Communion;" the latter, or the elevating of the elements, by the concluding paragraph of the twenty-eighth Article, which reads, "The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was not, by Christ's ordinance, reserved, carried about, lifted up or worshipped."

Still further, these two practices seem to imply the holding of doctrines, in connexion with the Holy Communion, inconsistent with those of the Church. Against the idea of anything like "a change of the substance of the bread and wine "into the body and blood of our Lord, taking place in the Eucharist, the Church protests in the article just referred to, declaring it to be "repugnant to the plain words of Scripture," and as overthrowing the "nature of a sacrament, and giving occasion to many superstitions." And yet it would seem, that only an idea of this kind could account for such marks of extreme veneration and scrupulous care, as those which are exhibited toward the consecrated elements in St. Clement's Church, and which resemble in their character, those which are exhibited toward them in the Church of Rome, where the doctrine of Transubstantiation is a dogma of the faith. Some of the marks alluded to, are the exclusive use of wafer-bread, frequent rinsings of the cup, and numerous crossings, bowings, genuflections and prostrations, toward and before the altar.

Again, concerning the idea that, in the sacrament, Christ is offered by the Priest "for the quick and dead," for the "remission of pain or guilt," the Church declares her opinion in the thirty-first article, entitled "Of the one oblation of Christ finished on the cross," pronouncing this idea, or doctrine, a "blasphemous fable and dangerous deceit." And yet, the fact that there are not only from time to time celebrations of the Communion in St. Clement's Church on the same day, more in number than can be necessary for the number of persons likely to wish to commune; but that many of those celebrations are ones in which the Priest alone partakes: these facts, to say nothing of the striking similarity of the rites and ceremonies used in them to those used by [6/7] Priests in the Church of Rome when celebrating Mass, would seem to indicate that there is at least an approximation to the Romish idea, that our Lord is again offered up as a propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead in the Eucharist; in other words, an approximation to the doctrine of the Mass. And what gives countenance to the supposition that there is, is the following extract from a little book, (page 71) known to have been, if it is not now in circulation in St. Clement's Church, entitled "The Treasury of Devotion"--the extract being two of a number of reasons given in what is called "Direction of the Intention," why the person using it should wish to "offer up "to God "by the hands of" his "minister, the mystical and commemorative sacrifice of the body and blood of" his "Son, Jesus Christ, in common with the one true sacrifice, which He offered up on the cross." The extract is as follows: "I desire to offer it;" "fourthly, for obtaining pardon and remission of all my sins, and of those of all others for whom I ought to pray; and lastly, for obtaining all graces and blessings, both for myself, and for the whole Mystical Body of Thy Son; that such as are yet alive may finish their course with joy, and that such as arc dead in the Lord, may rest in peace and hope, and rise in glory, for the Lord's sake, whose death we are now about to commemorate."

In the book from which these words are quoted, there arc various passages which look very much like the doctrine of Transubstantiation. For example, these (page 70), "O most loving Father grant me, that whom I purpose to receive under a veil, I may behold with open face, even thy beloved Son, who with thee, &c." (Page 85), "I adore thee, O Lord my God, whom I now behold veiled beneath these earthly forms. Prostrate I adore thy majesty, &c." (Pages 110-113), "Jesu, our wonderful God, who vouchsafest to be present upon the altar, when the Priest pronounces the words of consecration, have mercy upon us." "Jesu, our gracious God, who, condescending to the weakness of our nature, coverest thy glory under the familiar forms of bread and wine, and so givest [7/8] thyself to miserable sinners, have mercy, &c." "Jesu, the Lamb without spot, who, once sacrificed, art continually offered, yet art alive forevermore; who art continually consumed, yet still remainest perfect, have mercy, &c." "Jesu, who, in this August and venerable mystery, art thyself both priest and victim, have mercy, &c." "Jesu, who in the sacred memorial of thy death, hast consummated all thy wonders into one stupendous Miracle, have mercy, &c." "Jesu, who, in this Adorable Mystery, hast contracted all thy blessings into one inestimable bounty, have mercy, &c." "By thy most sacred body broken for us, and really given to us in the Holy Communion, good Lord deliver us." "By thy most precious blood poured out for us on the cross, and really given unto us in the cup of blessing, good Lord deliver us." "That, as by faith we adore thee present, beneath the sacred veils, we may hereafter behold thee, face to face, and evermore be glad with the joy of thy countenance, we beseech thee to hear us, good Lord." Equally clear, if not clearer indications than those which these extracts (from a Litany, entitled "Litany of our Lord Present in the Holy Eucharist ") afford, of the doctrine of Transubstantiation, are the following from Hymns in the same book:

"Wondrous truth by Christians learnèd,
Bread into his flesh is turned
Into precious blood the wine.
Sight hath failed, nor thought conceiveth;
But a dauntless faith believeth,
Resting on a Power Divine.
When the Sacrament is broken,
Doubt not, but believe; 'tis spoken
That each severed outward token,
Doth the very whole contain:
Nought the precious gift divideth,
Breaking but the sign betideth,
Jesus still the same abideth,
Still unbroken doth remain."

In the same book from which these extracts are made, it may here be stated, there are very frequent supplications for [8/9] the departed; (pages 39, 65 and 87), and also such wishes expressed in connection with the Blessed Virgin and the Saints, as approach very near the character of Invocations of them; for example, the following, on page 10, "May the intercessions of the Holy Mother of God, of the Prophets, of the Holy Apostles, of the martyrs, help me! May all the Saints and the elect of God, pray for me, that I may be worthy, with them, to possess the kingdom of God. Amen." Further, in the same book, in a number of recommended forms of daily private devotion, are to be found those words of the Angel to the Virgin Mother, commencing, "Hail thou that are highly favored," which are of such frequent use in the devotions of members of the Church of Rome, and which, in the forms here referred to, are prescribed to be used just after the Lord's Prayer, and just before the Apostles' creed. Furthermore, in this same book, as also in another smaller book or tract, known to have been circulated in and from St. Clement's Church, not only is private confession to a priest, with a view to obtaining Absolution encouraged; but the Form set forth in which to make such confession, is, in good part, the same as that to be found in devotional books of the Church of Rome. The Form referred to is on page 134, and runs thus: "In the name + of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. I confess to God the Father Almighty, to his only begotten Son Jesus Christ, and to God the Holy Ghost, before the whole company of heaven, and to you, my Father, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word and deed, by my fault, by my own fault, by my most grievous fault. Especially I accuse myself that since my last confession, which was . . ago, I have sinned, &c." After his confession the person is to say, "For these and all my other sins, which I cannot now remember, I am heartily sorry, firmly purpose amendment, most humbly ask pardon of God, and of you, my spiritual Father, penance, counsel and absolution. Wherefore, I pray God the Father Almighty, his only begotten Son Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Ghost, to have mercy upon me, and you my Father to pray for me to the Lord our God. Amen."

[10] In relation to the matter of Confession, the Committee have ascertained that Confession, of the kind just alluded to; viz: private auricular confession to a Priest, with a view to obtaining Absolution, is both encouraged and practised in St. Clement's Church.

The importance and value of Confession and Absolution, were among the topics frequently and prominently dwelt upon, during the recent Mission services in that Church. The power of absolving from sin being assumed as possessed by the Priest, the practice of Confession was pleaded for as necessary to enable the Priest to exercise that momentous power, as he should do. "How," it was asked by one of the preachers, "how can we exercise our ministry of reconciliation without knowing all about those whom we are to be the means of reconciling to God." The preacher concluded his discourse "by saying, with all the force and earnestness at his disposal, Don't you dare, as you love your God and your neighbour; don't you dare, for God's sake to hinder any one from coming to Confession." The same preacher, on the same occasion, in an Instruction on "How to make a confession," referred to many of the objections made to the practice of Confession, touching very lightly however, if at all, on the most serious and unanswerable one of them all, (its tendency to encourage the commission of crime), and endeavored to reply to them; following all up with a series of Rules for making a proper Confession. One of these was, "Examine yourselves minutely by the Commandments, and by the seven Capital sins, which is a more scientific way." Either on the same occasion, or another, the persons present were informed, that, in personal Confession to their Priest, they must not imitate the phraseology of the General Confession, "We have erred and strayed, &c," We have left undone, &c," but they must "detail every particular and concomitant of each sin committed; origin, process, appertaining thoughts and occurrences." Again, the sermon of one of the ministers was followed by an "urgent request to those present, to apply before leaving the Church, to the priests for [10/11] Baptism, Confession, &c." Whether any persons complied with this urgent appeal to them to resort at once to the Confessional is not stated by the clergyman who is the Committee's authority for most of the statements just given as to the recent teachings at St. Clement's on the subject of Confession; but that gentleman is quite confident, from what he saw, that private Confession to the Priest was being extensively practised during the Mission. The Committee have also the acknowledgment of at least one person that he had on previous occasions, confessed; that he had repeatedly done so; that he had done so, kneeling before a crucifix. They have also his testimony that another (a sick) person had confessed. They have also testimony as to a case in which, there was, under the teachings of the Rector of St. Clement's, a strong desire to go to Confession. While thus referring to some of the recent utterances at St. Clement's on the subject of Confession the Committee think it well to report a statement made by one of the Ministers on the subject of the Eucharist. In an Instruction on the Introduction to St. John's Gospel, he said, "The Incarnation is perpetuated in the Sacrament. The Word is made flesh at every celebration of the Holy Communion."

In relation to the Form of Absolution used in the Confessional at St. Clement's Church, the Committee have no evidence beyond that furnished in the pages of a little tract or book already referred to, and additional to the one from which extracts have already been made. The title of this tract is "A Help to Repentance," and is known to have been, and most probably is now, in circulation in the Parish of St. Clement's. The copy of it in possession of the Committee bears the imprint of Chicago. On the twenty-fourth page of this tract it is said, (in a description of what is done at such a confession as is being described), "The Priest will also perhaps tell you to say some prayer, or to perform some act of self-denial, to show your sorrow for sin, and your readiness to bear the punishment it has deserved, and your submission to the authority of the Church. He will then pronounce over [11/12] you the Form of Absolution which you will find in the Office for the Visitation of the Sick; the Form, namely, found in the Office for the Visitation of the Sick as it stands in the Prayer-book of the Church of England, but not in ours--this comparatively modern Form of Absolution having been excluded from the Prayer-book for use in this Church, in the General Convention of 1789--and which reads, "Our Lord Jesus Christ, who has left power to his Church to absolve all sinners who truly repent and believe in Him, of his great mercy forgive thee thine offences; and by his authority committed to me, I absolve thee from all thy sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen." This authoritative declaration is, of course, to be received with the utmost reverence. The instructions continue, "Bow your head meekly to receive it; remember that he, (the Priest) speaks it, not in his own name, but in the name of God, whose ambassador he is." "You are clean now. Those sins which troubled you so before, and which made you dread to think of meeting God, are gone. Forget not, therefore, to return thanks for the great blessing you have received."

On a subsequent page of this little tract the person is told that he will in all probability luive to use confession again." "Some people," it is said, "find it useful to make a regular practice of confession for the purpose of deepening repentance and of acting as a check upon sin. No doubt the Priest, to whom you make your first confession, will give you advice about this. It is certainly good, if you fall again into any of your old sins, to seek for repentance and absolution, as you sought for them before. The best rule about confession is, that you should use it, whenever you are preparing to come to the Holy Communion, if you feel that you have fallen away from what you ought to have been."

As to the question, whether the practices and usages and modes of worship above referred to, as ascertained to be used in St. Clement's Church are "allowed and sustained by the Vestry of that Church," the Committee report, that, in addition to a plain statement to that effect made [12/13] in the last Convention by one of the lay deputies from that Parish, and which will be remembered by all, there is in possession of the Committee, an official document from the Vestry itself, which leaves no room for doubt on the subject.

Of the steps which led to the adoption of the resolutions in the document referred to by the Vestry of St. Clement's Church, it is necessary to give some account; though it is the intention of the Committee to place the letters of the Bishop and of the Rector of St. Clement's, referred to in this report, in full before the Convention.

On the 27th of January, 1877, the Bishop addressed a communication to the Rev. O. S. Prescott, (having already previously written and spoken to him in reference to them), "affectionately and earnestly" requesting him to discontinue certain usages and practices in his "mode of celebrating Divine worship," and most of them, the same as have been alluded to in this report. The reply to this communication not being satisfactory, the Bishop on the 10th of February, addressed a second letter to Mr. Prescott, informing him, that in compliance with a request made by him, he would, on the 17th day of that month, in company with three gentlemen, whom he would invite to accompany him, go to St. Clement's, for the purpose of meeting him (Mr. P.) and the three gentlemen specified in his (Mr. P.'s) letter, viz: his Warden and two Vestrymen; that he would go with a view to "examining the state of the Church and inspecting the behavior of the clergy" connected with it; and concluding with the expression of a trust, that, by this "mutual confidence, in the presence of personal and judicious friends, and having an eye single to the best interests of the Church" of their "love," "some of the obstacles" might be removed to "full confidence in the working of St. Clement's Church."

Ten days after the proposed interview had taken place, the Bishop, "after careful reflection upon all "that he had "seen and heard in the interview," found himself "obliged to repeat "in another communication, the "request contained in "his "letter of January 27; with the exception of two points, [13/14] which, Mr. Prescott had said, he did not practice, viz: "The elevation of the elements of the Lord's Supper, and the dropping of the voice at a certain part of the Communion service so as not to be heard by the congregation." In the conclusion of this letter he affectionately urged a speedy compliance with these "official requisitions" of his "recognized Diocesan." This third communication from the Bishop, (which was promptly answered the next day by a written refusal on the part of Mr. Prescott to comply with the Bishop's requisitions), was that which led to the proceedings of the Vestry of St. Clement's referred to, as fully allowing and sustaining the practices and usages, considered by the Bishop, and also by the Committee, as inconsistent with the established and well known usages of the Protestant Episcopal Church. A copy of the proceedings was sent to the Bishop on the eighth day of March, with the following note:

"Philadelphia, March 8, A. D. 1877.

"Right Reverend Father:

"At a special meeting of the Vestry of Saint Clement's Church, convened on the evening of the 7th inst., for the purpose of receiving a communication from the Rector, the following Preambles and Resolutions were adopted, all the members being present, and all voting in the affirmative.

"I am instructed to cornrmmicat; to you the action of the Vestry.


"No. 2108 Mount Vernon Street.

"Right Reverend William Bacon Stevens,
"Bishop of Pennsylvania."

The Preamble and Resolutions adopted by the Vestry were in these words:

"At a meeting of the Wardens and Vestry of Saint Clement's Parish, held March 7th, A. D. 1877, the following Preamble and Resolutions were unanimously adopted:

"WHEREAS, the Rector of this Parish has laid before the Vestry the letters addressed to him by the Right Reverend William Bacon Stevens, the Bishop of the Diocese, dated January 27th, February 10th and February 27th, 1877;

[15] "AND WHEREAS, The rights, usages and ceremonies observed in this Parish, in the worship of Almighty God, are dear to the congregation, and in the judgment of the Vestry, in no wise contravene the laws, canons or spirit of the Church;

"AND WHEREAS, in said letters the Rector is required to give up many of those rites, usages and ceremonies;

"BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, That with entire respect to the Bishop, and with an earnest desire that this Parish should be and remain in harmony with his Episcopal authority, we nevertheless declare and announce as our solemn conviction that the Rector should not accede to the demands made upon him in said letters.

"RESOLVED, That in the opinion of this Vestry, a Council of Conciliation is desirable and important, as a ready means of settling the pending difficulties between the Bishop and the Parish, and he is, therefore, hereby respectfully requested to summon such Council, and submit for its decision all such matters wherein this Parish is alleged to have offended or erred.

"RESOLVED, That white we deprecate a resort to the civil tribunals for a settlement of ecclesiastical difficulties, yet as such a course, in the progress of events, maybe necessary for the vindication of the rights of this Parish, a Committee of three be appointed, to be named by the Chair, whose duty it shall be to take such steps, by injunction or otherwise, as shall seem most fit to preserve and maintain the interests confided to our care."

It need only be added, that after the receipt of the copy of these proceedings sent to him, the Bishop, on the seventeenth of April, (in the meantime having consulted his council of advice, the Standing Committee, and been advised by them to do so), issued to the Rev. Mr. Prescott an "official admonition and judgment, requiring" him to discontinue the practices referred to in his letter of January 27; again specifying those practices, and concluding all as follows: "The above specified things being in my judgment, unauthorized, irregular and injurious to the peace and welfare of the Church, I hereby admonish you to discontinue the same in the Parish of St. Clement's Church. Deeply regretting the necessity for this renewed prohibition, and hoping that you will reverently obey your Bishop as you solemnly promised and vowed to do at your Ordination, and thus follow with a glad mind [15/16] and will his godly admonition, and submit yourself to his godly judgment, I remain yours, very truly, WM. BACON STEVENS, Bishop, &c."

As to the amount of regard paid to this admonition, it is only known, that on the third of the next month (May), the Rev. Mr. Prescott addressed to the Bishop a letter, in which ("out of consideration for" the Bishop, as he stated, and "because of the present distress,") he promised to "put in abeyance" some of the practices objected to by the Bishop. As, however, he gave no intimation of any intention, even to put in abeyance the other practices which he had been admonished to give up, and as his promise in reference to some of those which he professed himself willing to discontinue, was not as explicit and full as it might have been, it is not surprising, that the Bishop informed him, in a note of May 19, that he saw "no necessity for further correspondence on the subject, until" he was "willing to comply with the admonition and judgment of" his "Bishop, against whom he now definitely and distinctly arrayed himself."

The Committee, after long and patient consideration of the case submitted to them, have agreed to recommend, for adoption by the Convention, the following Resolutions--the first and third of which had the assent of all the members of the Committee, the second, that of five of them, Mr. Drayton dissenting as to it.

1. Resolved, That, in the opinion of this Convention, the practices and usages referred to in this report, and ascertained to be followed in St. Clement's Church, and especially those in connexion with the Holy Communion, are in entire contrariety to those of the Protestant Episcopal Church in this Diocese, and in the United States; and by their similarity to those of the Church of Rome, arc calculated to do a serious injury to this Church, creating in many minds, whether justly or not, unfavorable impressions as to the continued adherence of the Church to the principles of the Reformation.

2. Resolved, That the Committee on Canons be requested to prepare and submit to this Convention for adoption, a Canon, under which, any Parish, which, in the judgment of the Bishop, the Standing Committee and a two-thirds majority of each Order of the Convention, shall [16/17] maintain or permit, usages or practices not in conformity with the doctrines, discipline and worship of the Protestant Episcopal Church, may be deprived of its representation in the Convention, if not of all connexion with the Convention.

3. Resolved, That the report now submitted be referred to the Bishop and Standing Committee, to take such action thereon, under existing legislation, as they may think requisite and proper, in view of the facts set forth therein.



Submitted with the Report of "Committee of Inquiry" as to Services at St. Clement's.

(No. 1.)

(From "The Times," Philada., June 8, 1878.)




Celebration of the Holy Communion,7 and 8 A.M.
Morning Prayer, 10 A. M.
Choral Celebration of the Holy Communion, 10.45 A. M. Evening Player, 4 P. M.
Night Song, 7.30 P. M.
At the Choral Celebration at 10.45 A. M. Gounod's Mass, "St. Cecelia," will be sung, and the anthem, "How Beautiful are the Messengers."

Seeing as announced in an advertisement in the (Phila.) Times on Saturday, June 8th, that on Whitsunday there would be, among other services at St. Clement's Church, "a choral celebration of the Holy Communion, 10.45 A. M." I went there on Whitsunday morning, at that time, and was shown to a seat in the second pew on the middle aisle, right hand side--two from the choir.

[18] A few minutes after taking my seat, a procession, moving slowly to the music of the organ, passed up the middle aisle from the west door, headed by three boys, one of whom carried a metallic cross on a long pole, (the procession closed by the Rev. Messrs. Mortimer and Prescott), several of them in procession carried musical instruments, and all in the procession wearing short surplices, the Rev. Mr. Mortimer being choir leader. They took their scats, when a processional hymn, appropriate to Whitsunday, (No. 16 in a small book handed to me by a lady near me), was begun, and the same persons filed out from the choir, and in the same order, singing, down the middle aisle and around the side aisle back to the choir, the Rev. Mr. Prescott going within the chancel, he and the Rev. Mr. Mortimer bowing each time they passed in front of the altar. As they were taking their seats, the Rev. Mr. Longridge, clothed in a long scarlet cape, with gold stripes down the back, and preceded by the same cross-bearer and four boys in surplices, came from the vestry room, ascended the steps before the altar, and took his place there with his back turned to the people, which position he maintained, except where the rubrics direct that he shall turn to the people, and when he received from two boys the elements taken by them from the credence table.

The service throughout was choral, or intoned by the officiating clergyman, being in accordance with that in our prayer-book to the end of the prayer for the Church militant. During the time of gathering the alms, the officiating priest received from two boys what appeared to be bread, from which he broke a small piece, and two small flagons, carried to him while standing at the middle of the altar, with his back to the people; from each of these flagons he appeared to pour something into a cup, and then returned them to the boys, who carried them back to the credence table.

Before this, and after the sermon, two boys with lighted tapers lighted five sets of candles, in groups of three, four and five, in the middle, placed upon the super-altar, on which lights had been burning, three on each side, during the whole service; there were two lighted candles on the altar itself, one on each side.

The longer Exhortation was omitted, and the invitation, "ye who truly repent," was intoned by the priest, the Rev. Mr. Longridge, with his back to the people. The confession was followed by the absolution, pronounced with his face to the people. The prayer following, and the consecration of the elements were intoned, with what manipulation of the vessels or elements could not be seen, or with what words could not be heard, except that the paten was raised above the priest's head, and the cup also. During this part of the service, the five attendant boys kneeled upon the chancel step, and the choir in their places, the former prostrating themselves when the elements were raised up, [18/19] and the latter as much as they could in pews; many members of the congregation, as far as I could see near me, doing the same.

Whether or not the officiating priest partook of the elements, I cannot say, (though there was time enough for him to do so), his back being turned. After a sufficient time had elapsed, the Rev. Mr. Prescott, who had been sitting or kneeling in the chancel, went up to the altar, and standing by the priest, received into his hands two cups. I did not see him partake of the elements, but he and the Rev. Mr. Longridge turned to the congregation and presented before them, the latter, what seemed to be a small square of bread and the former two cups, while the organ was playing, and during which time the congregation remained bowed down. They then turned to the altar, Rev. Mr. Prescott handing back the cups, and going to his scat, without communing, for he stood while at the altar altogether not a minute. None of the congregation communed or offered to commune, nor could they have done so if they had wished to, as the officiating priest, on Rev. Mr. Prescott's leaving him, turned his back to the congregation, and placed the elements on the table, and proceeded with the service. The Rev. Mr. Prescott made a low bow and genuflexion, as he went up to the altar, as he did every time he passed in front of it, and as did also the attendant boys every time they went to assist the priest, or passed in front of it.

When the service was over, the officiating priest apparently consumed the elements, certainly emptied the cups and then washed them, (standing with his back to the congregation), with something poured out from two flagons, brought by two boys from the credence table, and drank what was in them, and then wiped them out carefully. The cups were then given to the boys, as was also a small cushion, as it appeared, covered with a red cloth, and carried by them to the credence table; probably it was the paten. The service was then ended, and the choir filed out in the same order in which they entered, singing a recessional hymn, and the congregation retired. Rev. Mr. Mortimer was the choir leader. The sermon, appropriate to Whitsunday, was preached by the Rev. Mr. Prescott.

June 9, 1878.

I have omitted to state that among the banners carried in the procession were two, one with the paten and chalice, from which, my remembrance is, that rays proceeded, the other with a painting of the Virgin and child.

The plates for the collection of the alms were distributed to the wardens, &c. by a boy, and after the alms were collected, they were received into a large basin, which was brought to the opening of the chancel by a boy, and by him carried to the priest, standing with his back to the congregation, who placed them on the altar.

[20] (No. 2.)

At St. Clement's Church. Sunday Morning, (10.45) June 16th, 18j8.


Altar profusely covered with candles: Seven brass lamps suspended from ceiling; lamps and five large candles on super-altar lighted: congregation entering, many stop in aisle and genuflect before entering pew; acolytes passing before Altar stop and bend the knee - pews profusely provided with a "Manual of Devotion" published by Dutton, of New York, in 1873. Commendatory note by "Sarum"; in private devotions many cross themselves.


Enter at main aisle 48 men and boys in surplices, Cross-bearers, two candle holders, three clergy and three or four spare hands, including two boys in lace sacks, who, during celebration stood at either side of the "Credence."

The procession at chancel re-formed with two boys bearing immense decorated candles walking beside the crucifer. Three banners taken from chancel and borne in procession down main aisle, up north aisle, across in front of chancel, down south aisle, up main aisle to chancel. First banner with gilded picture of the Virgin Mary. Second, with representations of Holy Eucharist, (paten and cross). Third, with a strange device. During the procession, the Athanasian Creed or Hymn was sung.


The "celebrant" with a stupendous cross of light red on his back, attended by two others, who I judge were clergy, and who were attired in white with ropes around the waist, kept, of course, the eastward position through the service, whenever it was possible. The book was carried around from left to right with great ceremony, the crucifer accompanying it and holding the Cross over the Gospel, during the reading of which the book was held by a small boy, and the priest read facing the congregation. Rest of candles now lighted. As the service proceeded the three priests changed places many times; now in file, now in line. At the words in the Prayer of Consecration, profound genuflexion, the great candles, having been first pulled down, were slowly raised up by the boys bearing them, and one of the attending priests lifted up the outer garment of the celebrant from behind. Immediately after the Prayer of Consecration the celebrant faced the congregation and held up at the height of his forehead, the paten in left hand and immediately over it what looked like a ball: one attendant stood at his side holding up the cup, the other attendant came in front and prostrated himself before those holding paten and cup.

[21] From the Prayer of Consecration to the close, everything was sung. I did not distinguish the words until the Gloria in Excelsis was reached. Soon after the Consecration I asked a devout gentleman in pew, where they were singing, and showed my Manual of Devotion, but he shook his head and said it was from "The Messiah." No one partook but the clergy. The vessels were washed a great many times (I counted four or five), and the procession withdrew. Passing out I asked a gentleman who seemed to belong there about the Communion, and he said none but the clergy ever partook at the "High Celebration."

It only remains to speak of


Preacher not recognized, dressed in white, white silk stole, rope, etc. Text: "Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." The Romanists who put us to shame in many things, believe in a dead Christ. So do the sects. The atonement not finished on the Cross. If it was, then Christ better never have come at all. We can not follow his example, impossible to imitate him. The Catholic doctrine is, that Christ is still pleading and atoning for us, and is taking us into his body, the Church, through the pleading with God and by means of the Holy Eucharist. This was the "truth by Jesus Christ." The Church taught not opinions but truth, accept it or reject it at your peril. The sectarian minister said what he thought, they said what they knew, etc., etc., etc. The preacher gave notice of the Anniversary of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament on Thursday. The sermon was entirely extemporaneous.

The rector was in the chancel during the service, but did not "celebrate "and took little or no part in the exercises.

The services were imposing; much finer than any I ever saw in Romish Churches abroad, and there was nothing by which I could have known that I was in a Protestant Church, except a word of English now and then.

(No. 3.)

Services at St. Clement's Church,
November 23, 1878.

At about 10.45 two acolytes clad in white embroidered garments, lighted the forty candles upon and about the altar. This done there came marching up the middle aisle, preceded by a crucifer, a procession of between fifty and sixty, consisting of choir boys, musicians (with brass instruments), acolytes, deacons and priests, singing. These having reached the chancel, a new procession was formed, as follows: Crucifer, flanked by candle-bearers; banner of the Virgin and Child; brass band, now playing; banner with the Romish device of the Sacrament or Host; choir boys; banner of the Dove; deacons and priests, [21/22] to the number of seven; acolytes; the preacher; more acolytes; the Celebrant. This procession marched down the middle aisle, up the north aisle, down the south aisle, and finally up the middle aisle to the chancel. Having waved the banners before the altar, and deposited the huge candles on each side of it, there was music and singing for some minutes. The celebrant and two assistant priests next came upon the scene; he was clad in the sacrificial vestment, ornamented with a reddish cross reaching from shoulder to shoulder, and from the neck to the heels; the assistants in yellow-white garments, bound about the waist and surmounted by a cape. After a prolonged prostration before the altar, the Service begun. The whole of it, with the exception of what was sung, even to the Epistle and Gospel, was intoned in the conventional Romish whine: a person not very familiar with the service or devoid of a keen sense of hearing could not have known what was going on. The Service began at the Ante-communion; when the Epistle was read, crucifer and candle-bearers came and stood by the Epistoler; they then shifted over to the Gospeller; after the reading of the Epistle the Celebrant kissed the book and handed it with his blessing (which was received kneeling) to the Gospeller; after the Gospel the Celebrant again kissed the book. The Collect, &c, were those appointed for All Saints' day. The Te Deum and other hymns were then sung; after which, and much worshipping of the altar, crucifer and acolytes escorted the preacher to the pulpit; the preacher, after facing the altar for a few seconds, produced a white embroidered stole, kissed it, and put it on. Having invoked the Trinity and crossed himself, he gave out his text from Rev. 3: 7.--"These things saith He that is holy, &c." He then said: "If God be for us, who can be against us." The sum and substance of the fifteen minute sermon was this: All power having been given unto the Son, He has delegated it to the Church, and, of course, it is in the hands of the priests; "Come to the priest, and he will open the kingdom of heaven to you." He then told the people of St. Clement's that they stood in the front rank of the battle of persecution, and exhorted them not to be dismayed, but to stand by their priests, confident of victory. He then took off his stole, kissed it, and laid it aside; after which, crucifer and acolytes escorted him back to the chancel.

After the elements were placed upon the altar, the service became one continuous act of adoration of them by the Celebrant and his assistants; during a considerable period their heads could not be seen by the congregation. "At the words, this is my-body, &c," and also, "This is my blood, &c," the candles before the altar were raised by the kneeling bearers, and the Celebrant both bowed down to the elements and raised them above his head. There were no words of administration pronounced. No one, cither in the congregation or the [22/23] chancel, partook of the elements, except the Celebrant. The services lasted about two hours and twenty minutes.

Again, in the evening, I attended at St. Clement's. The service was as remarkable for its brevity and simplicity as the morning's for its gorgeousness and lengthiness. A surpliced priest, unattended, entered the Church, and prefaced his sermon by a hymn and three collects.

No lights were visible in the chancel except those of the perpetually burning seven lamps suspended from its arch.

The text, Rev. 3: 7, the preacher said was remarkably appropriate to the time and place. 1. The words were originally addressed to the Church in Philadelphia. 2. That was a persecuted Church, so is this. 3. That was persecuted by those who said they were Jews and were not. This is persecuted by those who call themselves Churchmen and Catholics and are not. The Church may be persecuted even unto death; but it will be only a three-day burial, from which there will be a glorious resurrection which no power can prevent. The service closed with collect, hymn and blessing.

(No. 4.)

Christmas, 1878, 10.40 o'clock, A. M.


1. Ornaments on altar. Several candelabras with numerous branches and candles. Chalice in centre of altar covered with small cloth. Shapes as in Romish Church.

2. On super-altar. Several candelabras with candles and two high candlesticks with candles.

3. On screen back of super-altar. Six high candlesticks and candles, as in Romish Church. Two figures of kneeling angels, with faces towards the centre. Perpetual light and six other hanging vessels with burning tapers.

4. Profusion of flowers.

5. Several large Silk Banners in chancel. One representing the chalice, with host above it. Surrounded by Gloria. One with Virgin holding Infant Christ.


1. Most of prominent people before entering their pews genuflected in aisle, and on kneeling, crossed themselves.

2. Father Mortimer flitting through the church before service, commenced in cassock and wearing a Romish biretta.

[24] 1. Acolytes lighted candles on the screen and super-altar, and removed the covered chalice to a side table.

2. Acolytes were dressed in full white dresses with collars trimmed with red, and dresses girdled at the waist.

3. One of them placed on side of the pulpit the stole the preacher was to wear. Mortimer kissed the stole when he entered pulpit to preach.


1. Procession. Fifty choristers. Cornet and trumpet players. Drummer and bass viol, and three priests, marched silently down the middle aisle and entered the sanctuary, preceded by cross-bearer with gilt cross.

2. After silent prayer they commenced the Adestes Fideles, and the whole company then walked down the middle aisle, up the north aisle, down the south aisle, and again up the middle aisle to chancel. The cornetist and trumpeter playing, and banners of Host and the Virgin carried in the procession. As the Virgin's banner approached many of the worshippers genuflected before it. 3. On returning to the chancel there was an Anthem, usual introductory to Mass, during which Father Maturin retired to side vestry-room and robed himself in alb and chasuble and returned to chancel preceded by two acolytes bearing lighted candles. 4. Father Maturin and acolytes stood in front of altar at bottom of steps with heads bowed, the former then ascended the steps, kissed the altar and went to the Epistle side. Lord's Prayer and Commandments were intoned. Epistle intoned by Father Maturin with back turned to the people, remained in same position when he said, "Here endeth the Epistle." He then went to the gospel side and the choir sang an anthem (quite long), probably the Kyrie of Mass. All that could be detected was Hallelujah, Amen. Father Maturin then announced and read the gospel, with back to the people. Gloria Tibi was sung before gospel. At singing of gospel the candles on altar were lighted. After the gospel the crede in Mass was sung. At (he mention of Incarnation, Priests and people genuflected.

5. Sermon by Father Mortimer, was preceded to pulpit by two acolytes and cross-bearer with cross.

6. Before announcing his text, gave notice of celebrations for week. That no one but the Priest could communicate on High Festival days. If any presented themselves they would be rejected. If any wanted to communicate at any of the early celebrations, they were first to hand their names to one of the Priests.

[25] 7. Sermon comparing Sampson to Christ. Paraphrased collect for Fourth Sunday in Advent. "Raise up thy power and come among us." Meaning Christ in his Incarnation on the altar. "Succor us "in the reception of him in a Christmas Communion, called "a good Communion."

8. Father Mortimer returned to chancel, preceded by acolytes and cross-bearer.


9. Offertory taken by Vestrymen. One sentence read. Anthem sung by choir. Several collection plates received in large gilt plate, taken by an acolyte to Father Maturin, who was standing at altar, he made a cross over it, and it was then placed on credence table.

10. Prayer for Christ's Church Militant.

11. Omission of Exhortation that follows in Prayer-Book.

12. Before Prayer of Consecration a long Anthem by choir, while Father Maturin had his head bowed over the chalice, making crosses a number of times.

13. Acolytes took cruets of water and wine to Father Maturin, who placed some in chalice.

14. Acolytes then took him water and a napkin and he washed tips of his fingers.

15. At "Words of Christ," wafer lifted above the head, and chalice also. After Prayer of Consecration, Father Maturin turned towards the people with broken wafer in his hand and mad; sign of cross with it.

16. During adoration of elements by Father Maturin, at which he genuflected, the choir sang the "Agnus Dei."

17. Did not see Father Maturin take the wine until after the Benediction.

18. Lord's Prayer and collect.

19. Gloria in Excelsis, taking ten or fifteen minutes to sing.

20. Benediction.

21. Here Father Maturin drank from the cup, apparently for first time.

22. Acolytes then brought wine and water again. Father Maturin then poured it in chalice and drank again, cleansed chalice and covered it as at opening of service.

23. "Nunc Dimittus," as procession moved out.

24. Father Maturin went alone to side vestry room.

[26] (No. 5.)

Statement of Mr.-------- a former Member of the Vestry of St. Clement's Church.

Was connected with St. Clement's Church for eight years. Large part of time in Sunday School--was at one time a member of the Vestry, but was one of several not re-elected when Mr. Lambert left.

Goes to St. Clement's occasionally to hear the music. At such times pays little attention to the ceremonies.

Attended the Church on May 5th, at the 9 1/2 o'clock service, on which occasion one of Gounod's masses was performed. The service lasted about one hour. None of the congregation was afforded an opportunity of partaking of the Lord's Supper. Could not say whether the Celebrant or his assistants "received." Their backs were turned upon (towards) the congregation. Some of these knelt during "Celebration."

Could not follow with Prayer-Book, excepting that he recognized some parts of Creed. Spoke to one of the vestrymen of St. Clement's, and asked the reason why the congregation did not partake at the Communion. Was told that it was done by request of the Clergy, the celebration being a long one and opportunity being given at the earlier services.

Stated that the Times newspaper, of 13th May, reported that, on the previous Sunday, first Sunday after adjournment of the Convention, a few persons communed at the service.

On the previous Sunday, when he attended the church, none of the Congregation communed, as already stated.

(No. 6.)

Rectory of St. Mary's Church,
3914 Locust Street, West Philadelphia,
November 25th, 1878.

My Dear Dr. Buchanan:--The Rev. Wilberforce Wells, a Presbyter of this Diocese, and now assistant minister at St. James the Less, called upon me last Saturday evening. He had been present on the morning of that day (as I had learned before) in the Chancel of St. Clement's Church, along with six (6) other clergymen. There were, besides, several clergymen in the congregation, which was a very large one--estimated to have numbered one thousand persons.

I asked him how many of the clergy in the chancel communed? His reply was, no one but the celebrant. He also stated to me that none from the body of the congregation came forward to receive, although, [26/27] he said that there was plenty of time given them to have done so; adding, however, that it would have been considered an act of rudeness or great impropriety, (or some such strong impression) had they come forward, and that it was an understood thing among the congregation of St. Clement's Church, that for them to receive at the mid-day celebration was neither expected nor desired.

As Mr. Wells' testimony relates to what took place at a public service, I am not violating any confidence in stating what he told me, although, if it is thought best, I will send a copy of this note to him. I did not tell him that I would make any use of what passed in our conversation.

Please let this note be read at the next meeting of the committee.

Faithfully yours,


Other testimony can be produced, if required, as to the solitary priestly communion on the occasion above referred to.

(No. 7.)

Mr. ------ received in January, 1878, from Fathers Mortimer, Benedict and Ford, a number of copies of the Tract, entitled "Help to Repentance." He acknowledges to have confessed repeatedly at St. Clement's--first, to Father Riley in Chapel, and later to Father Mortimer in private room, No. 1. He confessed kneeling before bronze crucifix, and elbows placed on rest. He stated, that, although it is declared that you are not forced to confess, you are told, that, unless you do confess to a priest, you cannot obtain pardon of your Heavenly Father. He further states, that if you confess once, it is understood that you must confess for all the future. He also testifies as to another (a sick) person having confessed. He stated that at a time when he was in difficulty and trouble, Father Mortimer told him there was a beautiful prayer in the Treasury of Devotion which he should use, and that he afterwards used the prayer regularly in Church.

(No. 8.)

Rev. Mr.-------- states that he showed a little book, named "Helps to Repentance," which he had obtained from another person, to Mrs. ---------, whose family has attended--------Church for four or five years, and that Mrs. --------said the book was the same as her daughter had [27/28] procured from St. Clement's Church. This daughter was induced to leave -------- Church, for St. Clement's, at the urgent request of Mr. Prescott, and was thrown into great discomfort of mind, by reason of her family not being willing to give their consent to her attendance at the Confessional.

Rev. Mr.----- states that, at the request of her mother, he called upon her, while she was still a nominal member of ------ Church, in order to have some conversation with her upon religious matters, and to urge her to attend the services of the Church of which she was still a communicant. He found her in great discomfort of mind, owing to the fact of her having been informed by Rev. Mr. Prescott, that while he would not deny that she could be saved without priestly absolution after Confession, yet he could not assure her of salvation, without it. Yet while her family would not consent to her going to the Confessional, she (being under age) was forced into the dilemma of choosing between filial obedience and the certainty of salvation.

At her mother's request, he prepared a paper upon "Auricular Confession "and the doctrine of the "Real Presence," and went to read it to her; but she stopped her ears, saying that Mr. Prescott had forbid her listening to anything that St. ------'s clergy might endeavor to teach her.

He had made an engagement to administer the Holy Communion to a sick person, befriended by her mother, and when he called to accompany her mother to the place, she was too sick to go with him, and requested her daughter to take her place, that there might be the requisite number present for the administration of the sacrament. But she could not be persuaded to receive the sacrament from St.------'s clergy.

Phila. March 13th, 1879.

(No. 9.)

I was present at St. Clement's Church, Philadelphia, on the evening of a Sunday of February, 1879. The Church was filled. The majority of the congregation were young people; young men, especially. The greatest attention was paid to the instructions. The Church being dark, the preaching constituted the principal part of the service. Two Sermons were delivered. The first, I think, by Rev. Mr. Mortimer, declaring that every sin, committed during one's whole life, must be recollected, and repented of, else the repentance would not be acceptable in God's sight.

[29] This sermon (an hour long) being finished, the hymn, "There is a Fountain filled with Blood," with chorus, "I do believe, I now believe," was sung.

Then another priest or clergyman entered the pulpit, clad, neither in gown nor surplice, but vested in a tightly girded cassock.

The burden of his testimony was i. c, that, in Personal Confession to your priest, you must not imitate the phraseology of our General Confession: "We have erred and strayed; done; left undone, &c," but must detail every particular and concomitant of each sin committed. Origin, process, appertaining thoughts and occurrences. It was that imitation of Romanism, which, in its endeavor to rival its object aimed at, shot ahead of the mark.

The apparency of devotion was extreme, and made, evidently, much impression upon the large, youthful congregation of working people present.

Correspondence between Bishop Stevens and the Rector of St. Clement's.

(Copy of a letter to Rev. O. S. Prescott.)

Philadelphia, January 27, 1S77.

Rev. and Dear Sir:--It is with real grief and pain that I find myself constrained by a sense of duty to my Diocese, and to the great Head of the Church, to call your attention to many irregularities in the manner of conducting Divine Service in the Parish of which you are Rector. Having already written to you and spoken to you about some of these things I would be silent, but I cannot conscientiously remain so, when so many and so great innovations have been made in the order of worship, as presented in the Book of Common Prayer.

Moving all in one ecclesiastical direction, and showing all the same theological drift, they can only be regarded as exponents of a system at variance in its usages and teachings with the rubrics and articles of our Church.

In taking charge of St. Clement's Church you took charge of it as a corporation, which by its charter acknowledged itself to be a member of and to belong to the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Pennsylvania, and the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, and as such it acceded to, recognized, adopted and acknowledged the authority of the Constitution, Canons, Doctrine, Discipline and Worship of the said Church in this Diocese, and in the United States.

[30] You furthermore solemnly signed a pledge before your ordination, to conform to the doctrines and worship of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States; while at your ordination to the priesthood you covenanted and vowed to "give your faithful diligence always, so to minister the doctrine and sacraments and the discipline of Christ as the Lord hath commanded, and as this Church hath received the same according to the commandments of God, and to teach the people committed to your charge with all diligence, and to keep and observe the same."

Believing that the points I am about to specify do not conform to the doctrine and worship of the Protestant Episcopal Church, I hereby respectfully, but officially, request you to discontinue the following things:

1. All genuflections, prostrations, bowings, to or before the Lord's Table, by the clergy or choristers.

2. The use of all candles or light in the chancel, except when needed to read the service.

3. The carrying of the cross in processions, and of all processions, except what may be necessary for the orderly passing of the clergy and choristers from the vestry room to the Church.

4. The wearing by any of the officiating clergy of any vestment or ecclesiastical ornament, other than the cassock, surplice, stole and black gown and bands, the recognized vestment which may be worn by the clergy.

5. All elevation of the bread and wine during or after Consecration, so as to expose them to the view of the people as objects towards which adoration is to be made.

6. The mingling of water with the wine during the celebration of the Holy Communion.

7. The employment of acolytes in the ministration of Divine Service.

8. The dropping of the voice of the officiating clergyman in what by some is termed the "secret" part of the Communion Service, so as to be inaudible to the congregation, so that the people cannot know what is said or what is omitted in that part of the service.

9. All prayers, sentences, hymns, rites, &c, in the celebration of the Holy Communion, which are not authorized by our Book of Common Prayer.

10. Also, I request in like manner, your discontinuance of any omissions of what is prescribed in the order for Divine Service, as for example of the Exhortations to those "who mind to come," or to those who come to the Holy Communion.

[31] These, my dear brother, are some of the many objectionable features in the manner of conducting the services in St. Clement's, which in my judgment contravene the spirit and letter of our Book of Common Prayer, and the general usage of our Church in this Diocese under that Prayer-Book, since its adoption as the ritual Directory of the Worship of the Protestant Episcopal Church.

I, therefore, as the Ordinary of this Diocese, affectionately and earnestly request you to discontinue each and all the items specified, and thus bring your mode of celebrating Divine Worship more into conformity with that known, received and established in the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America.

Deeply regretting that I am obliged by a sense of duty to write thus, and pleading with you with all the earnestness and affection of one set over you in the Lord to accede to these requests,

I remain very truly, &c,

Bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania.

Evangelist House, St. Clement's,
Philadelphia, January 26th, 1877.

Right Reverend Sir:--May I, with all due deference, request the favor of an early appointment to visit this Parish in accordance with the Canons (§ xi. Can. 15. Title I) "for the purpose of examining the state of your Church, inspecting the behavior of your clergy, administering the Apostolic Rite of Confirmation, ministering the Word, and if you think fit, administering the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper to the people committed to your charge."

You will pardon me, if I do wrong in adding, that it seems to me most desirable, that you should know something of the ways and work of this important Parish, from personal observation.

Yours, very faithfully,

Priest and Rector.

Monday Morning, January 29th, 1877.

Reverend and Dear Sir:--I received yours of the 26th on Saturday afternoon, after the letter which accompanies this had been written.

After you shall have notified me of your compliance with its requests, I shall be able to give an answer to it, as to when I will make an Episcopal Visitation to your Parish.

[32] Waiting therefore to hear from you, and I hope, by a reply favorable to my request,

I remain, very truly yours,


Rev. O. S. Prescott.

Evangelist House, St. Clement's,
Philadelphia, February 5th, 1877.

Right Reverend Sir:--Your letters of the 27th and 29th ult. are received.

I accept them as from one set over me in the Lord, and I will endeavor to make answer as to the Lord.

There are many and grave reasons, clerical and parochial, why I must, with all deference, decline to comply with your requests. Permit me to specify two--compliance will not advance the settlement of the seven years'-old difficulty with this Parish a single step, but the reverse; and non-compliance will end the difficulty in a twelve-month.

If I were to do as you wish, I should feel bound to resign my Rectorship, for I am sure that the members of the congregation will not sit tamely by and see their right to worship God according to the dictates of conscience taken from them, except in due course of law.

If I decline to comply, and at the end of a twelve-month you refuse again to visit this Church, the whole matter will necessarily and at once pass into the hands of a "Council of Conciliation," consisting of Bishops Whittingham, Odenheimer, Lee, Scarborough, and Howe, who will have full jurisdiction in the case, and whose decision will bind you and me so long as I am Rector of the Parish.

With a result so desirable coming from my non-compliance, and a result so doubtful arising from my compliance with your requests, I feel sure that the Church at large will agree with me that my reasons for my course are sound and sufficient.

I still wish that you knew something of us from personal observation. There are the most mistaken and wild and absurd reports afloat in regard to us. No one, however well-intentioned he may be who listens to what is said and printed about St. Clement's can get at the truth. One proof of this is furnished by the fact that our services are not open to some of the practices to which you object.

As you decline to come to us, I shall be glad to wait upon you in company with my Warden and two Vestrymen, and we will give you direct and trustworthy information on any points you may sec fit to bring before us.

I am, Right Reverend Sir,

Yours, very faithfully,

Priest and Rector.

[33] Diocese of Pennsylvania: Episcopal Rooms,
708 Walnut Street,
Philadelphia, February 10th, 1877.

Reverend and Dear Sir:--I was sorry to get such a reply to my letter of the 27th January, as I received from you on the 5th instant. Especially was I pained to know that you give as one of the reasons why you will not comply with my requests, the presumption that by any possible disobedience of Canon 15, Title I § xi, over thirteen months hence, I may make myself liable to canonical investigation by a court, the members of which you kindly name and the decision of which you recognize as binding to both.

Thus you make an assumed disregard of that Canon by your Bishop over a year hence, and which, perhaps, may not occur, the pretext for a whole year's disregard on your part of your Bishop's written and formal request for present and immediate compliance with those requests. In view of such a strange and unheard of proposition, I could not help asking myself the question: Is not such an evasion of present duty and such a subterfuge for present disobedience as unworthy the character of a Christian priest, as it is discourteous to the Bishop who has been set over him in the Lord? It is not my purpose, however, to discuss this question, and I principally write to say, that in compliance with your request I will, with three gentlemen whom I shall invite to accompany me, meet you and the three gentlemen you specify in your letter, at the Vestry of St. Clement's Church, on Saturday, the 17th of February, at 3 o'clock, P. M., for the purpose of "examining the state" of St. Clement's Church, and ''inspecting the behavior of the clergy" connected with it.

I take this occasion to thank you for saying that in such an interview you will give me direct and trustworthy information on any point I may see fit to bring before you.

I trust that by this mutual conference in the presence of personal and judicious friends, and having an eye single to the best welfare of the church of our love, we may remove some of the obstacles now in the way of the full confidence in the workings of St. Clement's, which I, at present, honestly feel and draw together, Bishop and Presbyter, in that accord of heart and hand which I ever seek to feel towards the clergy under my charge, and which I sincerely hope may by God's grace exist between us in the several relations which we hold to each other. I remain, very truly your friend and Bishop,


Rev. O. S. Prescott,
Rector of St. Clement's.

[34] Evangelist House, St. Clement's,
Philadelphia, February 13th, 1877.

Right Reverend Sir:--I thank you very much for your compliance with my request. I can conceive of, and I hope that I appreciate the very great and trying difficulties of your office as a Bishop, and I am conscious of a very real desire to remove and not to add to them. If our conference results in a settlement of the trouble, now existing for more than six, years, between you and St. Clement's, no one will be more glad than I.

I will ask Messrs. Henry Flanders, Warden, and William P. Pepper and Thomas J. Diehl, Vestrymen, to meet you.

I will send a carriage to your door at 2.45 P. M., on the day appointed. I am

Yours, very respectfully,


Wednesday, February 14th, 1877.

Reverend and Dear Sir:--I beg leave to inform you that I requested the Rev. Dr. Hare and Mr. George C. Morris, to accompany me to St. Clement's on Saturday, and I asked those gentlemen to name a third person, which they did, viz: Mr. James S. Biddle, who will, therefore, be of the party. Please do not trouble yourself to send a carriage for me, as I may be kept late at my office and go directly from that place to the church. I thank you, however, for the courtesy, even though it will not be necessary for me to avail myself of your kindness.

I remain, very truly yours,


Rev. O. S. Prescott.

Diocese of Pennsylvania: Episcopal Rooms,
708 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, February 27th, 1877.

Rev. Dear Sir:--After careful reflection upon all that I saw and heard in my interview with you at St. Clement's Vestry on the 17th instant, I find myself obliged to repeat the request contained in my letter to you dated the 27th of January; with the exception of the two points which you say you do not practice or do, viz: the elevation of the elements of the Lord's Supper, and the dropping of your voice at a certain part of the Communion Service so as not to be heard by the congregation.

[35] I also remember that you distinctly disclaimed performing any act of genuflection yourself; but as you admitted that it was generally done by the Clergy, Chorister and Acolitcs, or Servers, and done with your knowledge, and implied, if not expressed, sanction, I deem it best to leave the request in the original form, as it covers more than your personal act in the premises.

I therefore recall your attention to the aforesaid letter, reiterate its requests (except in the two points above named), and affectionately urge you to comply, as promptly as possible, with these official requisitions of your recognized Diocesan.

I remain, very truly, your servant in Christ,

Bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania.

Rev. Oliver S. Prescott,
Rector of St. Clement's Church, Philadelphia.

Evangelist House, St. Clement's,
Philadelphia, February 28th, 1877.

Right Reverend Sir:--Your letter of yesterday is just now received. I would respectfully submit that the reasons for non-compliance with requests given in my letter of the 5th instant, do not seem to me to have lost any of their force. If they should, I will at once advise you of the fact.

I am, yours, very faithfully,

Priest and Rector of St. Clement's Church.

P. S.--Why will you not ask for a Council of Conciliation at once and as a privilege, instead of letting it become a necessity? I can promise you that there shall be no needless delay on my part to a settlement of the long difficulty between you and my Parish.

O. S. P.

At a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Pennsylvania, acting as a Council of Advice to the Bishop, held this afternoon, the following action was taken:

In the matter of St. Clement's Church, upon which the Bishop has asked the advice of his Council, the Standing Committee acting as the Council of Advice to the Bishop, do advise that he proceed by formally giving to the Rector of St. Clement's Church, his "godly admonition" and "godly judgment," to require the discontinuance of the practices [35/36] referred to in his last letter to said Rector: and it is further advised that said admonition and judgment shall enumerate particularly the practices prohibited.

JNO. CLAYTON, Secretary.

Philada., March 15th, 1877.

Philadelphia, April 17th, 1877.

Reverend and Dear Sir:--Having submitted the correspondence between us to the Standing Committee of the Diocese, I have received from that body the following opinion:

"The Standing Committee, acting as the Council of Advice to the Bishop, do advise that he proceed by formally giving to the Rector of St. Clement's Church his "godly admonition" and "godly judgment," to require the discontinuance of the practices referred to in his last letter to said Rector, and it is further advised that said admonition and judgment shall enumerate particularly the practices prohibited."

Acting upon this advice of my Canonical council, I hereby issue this, my official admonition and judgment, requiring you to discontinue the practices referred to in my letter to you dated January 27, 1877.

To wit: All genuflections, prostrations, bowings, to or before the Lord's Table, by the clergy and choristers.

All candles or lights in the chancel, except when needed for reading the service.

The carrying the processional cross and of all processions, except what may be necessary for the orderly passing of the clergy and choristers from the robing-room to the chancel.

The wearing of any vestment or ecclesiastical ornament by any of the clergy, other than the usual and recognized vestments which have been worn by the clergy of this Diocese from the beginning.

All elevation of the bread and wine during or after the consecration of the same, so as to expose them to the view of the people as objects towards which adoration is to be made.

The mingling of water with the wine during the celebration of the Holy Communion.

The employment of acolytes or "servers" in the ministration of Divine service.

The dropping of the voice of the officiating clergyman in what is sometimes termed the "secret "part of the communion service, so as to be almost, if not quite, inaudible to the congregation, whereby the people cannot know what is said or what is omitted in that part of the office.

[37] All prayers, sentences, hymns, rites, &c, in the celebration of the Holy Communion, which are not authorized by our Book of Common Prayer, and also all omissions of what is prescribed, as for example, the exhortation to those "who mind to come, &c," or to those who come to the Holy Communion.

The above specified things being in my judgment unauthorized, irregular and injurious to the peace and welfare of the Church, I hereby admonish you to discontinue the same in the Parish of St. Clement's.

Deeply regretting the necessity for this renewed prohibition, and hoping that you will "reverently obey your Bishop," as you solemnly vowed to do at your ordination, and thus follow with a glad mind and will his godly admonition, and submit yourself to his godly judgment,

I remain yours, very truly,

Bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia, May 3d, 1877.

Right Reverend Sir:--A fortnight's absence from town, during which no letters were sent after me, hindered, till the end of last week, the receipt of your communication of the 17th ult.

I quite sympathize with the embarrassment arising from the difficulties of your high position and office, and I am ready to do what I can to relieve it. I sincerely wish to work for God in subordination to you, and I am sorry that circumstances should appear to warrant any one in thinking otherwise. I do not care to stand for every iota of my legal rights, and I would much prefer to be well within the limits of canonical liberty.

I, therefore, out of consideration for you, and because of the present distress, promise to put in abeyance the following practices mentioned in your communication:

The omission of the Exhortation, "Ye who mind, &c," and "Ye who truly, &c." They shall be said every day. The former at one and the latter at every celebration.

Any kneeling on the part of officiating Priest from the end of the Prayer of humble access till after the Benediction.

Any dropping of the voice during the Prayer of Consecration, so as to render the words inaudible.

Any elevation of the Sacred Gifts with reference to the devotion of the people.

The use of any prayers and sentences not taken from the Holy Scriptures or the Book of Common Prayer.

[38] All processions and the carrying of the processional cross, except upon the great Festivals.

Trusting that you will receive this in the spirit in which it is written, and that you will see your way to make an early appointment for a visit to St. Clement's for confirmation,

I am yours, very truly,


Episcopal Rooms, Philadelphia, May 19th, 1877.

Reverend and Dear Sir:--In reply to your note just received, I beg to say that as Mr. Maturin is now, as you tell me, a clergyman canonically connected with the Diocese of New York in good standing, there exists at present no reason why he should not officiate for you as you desire; his whole status having in several respects been changed since my inhibition.

In reference to your last letter before this, I regret to learn by it your determination to adhere to certain things which I had officially admonished you to omit. Having announced to me your intention, and being unable to relax my requisitions, I can see no necessity for further correspondence on this subject, until you are willing to comply with the admonition and judgment of your Bishop, against whom you now defiantly and distinctly array yourself.

Most deeply do I regret this decision on your part, so thoroughly disloyal and unchurchly, and continuing, as it does, a great grievance in this Diocese. Earnestly hoping that you may be led by the Spirit of God to comply with the requisitions made, and thus remove so serious a difficulty in the way of my working with St. Clement's Church, I remain, very truly yours,




Of some of the Services during the Mission at St. Clement's: February 2-14, 1879.

St. Clement's Church, Philadelphia.

Sunday, February 2, 1879, 7.30 p. m. A large congregation was found sitting, singing "Rock of Ages." A clergyman, in surplice and stole, in the pulpit, said a collect and the Lord's Prayer; after another hymn he read the 55th ch. of Isaiah, and preached extemporaneously for about an hour, his text being the "First Commandment." Another hymn having been sung, the congregation, which by this time filled the church, was resolved into a prayer-meeting. The preacher (still in the pulpit) led off with an extemporaneous prayer: the people were kept silently on their knees for about fifteen minutes, the minister suggesting from time to time objects to be prayed for. Another hymn, collect and blessing, closed the meeting, which lasted nearly one hour and three-quarters. Quite conspicuous beside the pulpit was a Crucifix. Preacher, Father Grafton.

Monday, 3, p. m. Bible Class in the Chapel. About 75 persons present. A hymn was followed by collect for second Sunday in Advent and the Lord's Prayer. We were then requested to open our Bibles. Father Grafton was, on this and all subsequent days, the teacher. Habited in cassock, he sat on a chair in front of the altar. No questions were asked: we were only required to make references as indicated by the teacher. The lesson was the introduction to St. John's Gospel. Among other things the teacher said that, the Priest, at his ordination, by the imposition of hands, receives the Holy Ghost, the power to remit and retain sins, and the commission to dispense the Word and Sacraments. "Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." The Church, [39/40] which is His body, brings to you this grace and truth in two caskets: Truth--the Word; Grace--the Sacraments. . . The Incarnation is perpetuated in the Sacrament; the Word is made flesh at every celebration of the Holy Communion. 7.30 p. m. The service was similar to that of Sunday evening. A very attentive audience almost filled the church. On last evening the preacher had warned us against four of the false gods which draw men away from God. He now spoke of a fifth, which is Satan. The excellent address was followed by the silent prayer-meeting. Then came an "Instruction on Sin," in the course of which the classification of sins as deadly and venial was recommended for our acceptance. During a part of the service individuals clad in monastic habit were parading the aisles. Preacher, Father Grafton.

Tuesday, 4, 12 M. Bible Class, "Life and work of John the Baptist, and the difference between his and Christian baptism." Baptism is regeneration--in the Lord's Supper is the actual presence.

7.30 p. m. Subject, "The progress of sin." A very powerful discourse, by which the congregation was greatly affected. But the effect was very much counteracted (in my case at least) by the "Instruction," which was based on the Romish doctrine of seven capital sins. Preacher, Father Grafton.

Wednesday, 5, 12 m. Bible Class, "The witness of John," in John I. from v. 15. The treatment of this was prefaced by reiteration, amplification, and enforcement of the previous day's teaching. The teacher said: Whatever happened at the Saviour's Baptism, takes place in every baptism now. The heavens are opened, the Spirit descends, the Father says of the baptized: "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased." . . . Baptism is so essential, that when a Priest cannot be had, any baptized person may administer it, and it becomes valid when ratified by the Priest. . . . John's baptism depended on what the recipient did: Christian baptism on what the person receives; the [40/41] recipient is passive. The child is a better subject for baptism than the adult, because it can place no obstacle in the way of the grace of God. . . . The Protestant in every ordinance thinks of what man does; the Catholic, of what God does. Speaking of John's handing over his disciples to the Saviour, the Rev. Father remarked: How willingly they went. How differently most persons act now-a-days. How unwilling to go from the inferior to the higher teacher; they say, "We used to commune only once a month; why should we go once a week? We did not go to confession; why should we go to confession now?" ... In the Sacraments it is Christ that baptizes and administers the Holy Communion: in the Prayer of Consecration the first person is used and not the third--"This is My Body," "This is My Blood." Again the teacher said: After the espousals the bride and bridegroom did not even see one another until the wedding; they communicated with one another only through "the friend of the bridegroom:" the Christian Priest is now the friend of the bridegroom between Christ and His Church.

February 5th, 7.30 p. m. Sermon.--"What is the death of the soul; and how may a dead soul be restored to life?" The preacher bid us look at some items in the register of soul deaths kept by the Recording Angel. "Died of starvation"--This soul lived in a famine-stricken neighborhood in which (pointing to the altar) the bread of life was not dispensed. "Never had any life." This had not been baptized: a stillborn soul, it was just put out of sight. The preacher went on then to illustrate the process of soul restoration by what took place when the Saviour raised the dead. In every instance there was something to be done after the Lord had restored life. In the case of Jairus' daughter, something was to be given her to eat. The son of the widow of Nain was restored to his mother--the awakened soul is handed over to Mother Church. In the case of Lazarus, it was to the Apostles, the preacher said, that the command was addressed: "Loose him and let him go." This means that the priest is to loose the souls which Jesus restores, by Baptism, the Eucharist, [41/42] Absolution, Confession. The sermon was followed by an "Instruction on Baptism "in which it was asserted that Baptism is absolutely necessary to salvation: the instructor used the expression of the Catechism, "generally necessary to salvation," in the sense of universally necessary. Man, he said, being composed of body and soul, is a sacrament: Christ, having a two-fold nature, is a sacrament. The only way of communication between man and his Saviour is the Sacramental. The Sacraments are the only means which God has provided for the communicating of His grace.--Preacher and instructor, F. Grafton.

Thursday, 6, 12 M. Bible Class. "The Atonement as illustrated by the brazen serpent." In his introductory remarks the preacher told us that the difference between John and the Christian priest is this: John pointed away from himself to Christ--the priest brings Christ to the soul and communicates His grace through the Sacraments.

7.30 p. m. Text. II Cor. 5: 17-20, dwelling particularly on "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself. . . and hath committed unto us the ministry of reconciliation." The first half of the sermon was a beautiful exposition of our Lord's yearning over sinners, and His dealing with them individually rather than collectively. The remainder of the discourse was devoted to confession and absolution, remission and retention of sins. These privileges and powers were committed to the Church, and there can be no Church without them. St. Paul, I Cor. 5, retained the sin of the man there mentioned, and afterwards, in II Cor. 2, remitted it. In Gal. 6: 1, confession and absolution are implied. I Tim. 5: 22, "lay hands suddenly on no man," means that absolution must not be hastily bestowed. St. James says, "Confess your sins one to another;" this means confession to a priest: the laity do not confess their sins one to another. We must receive the whole Bible, and it teaches confession....... In the early Church, confession and absolution were both public: but as sin became more and penitence less, it was decided to make confession private. Confession is no longer [42/43] obligatory; the Church does not say "you must," but "you may." We should not say "must I go to confession," but "may I?" "Must I go to the Holy Eucharist fasting," but "may I"?.... The preacher then mentioned four classes of persons to whom confession would be particularly valuable. 1. Those who, through some great sin, have forfeited baptismal grace. 2. The humble and contrite soul in need of assurance. 3. The young, under the pressure of overwhelming temptation--especially boys and girls at school. 4. Those needing some one to whom they can make themselves thoroughly known. But these classes do not embrace all for whom Confession is designed; it is of great advantage to all. Confession must necessarily be connected with the priestly office: how can we exercise our "ministry of reconciliation" without knowing all about those whom we are to be the means of reconciling to God? The preacher concluded by saying, with all the force and earnestness at his disposal: "Don't you DARE, as you love your God and your neighbor, don't you DARE for God's sake TO HINDER ANY ONE FROM COMING TO CONFESSION."

After the singing of a hymn, the preacher standing in front of the chancel, proceeded to give an "Instruction on How to make a Confession." He said that many persons are kept away from confession by shame: there is nothing in it to be ashamed of. He then named and answered objections made against confession, as follows: It is objected to, 1. Because it is auricular. There is nothing in that: as a Bishop of the American Church has said, "It means only confessing to one ear instead of one hundred."

2. It is priestcraft. That is no objection; the word may be used in a good sense to mean that the priest is acquainted with his profession, and is able and willing to exercise its functions.

3. Confession may be abused. Everything is liable to abuse: undue influence is sometimes exerted from the pulpit. Confession cannot be abused to the divulging of the sins of others: (a) It is a positive rule of the confessional that the [43/44] penitent must mention no sins but his own. (b) By a canon of the Church of England, enacted since the Reformation, the Priest is restricted, by severe penalties, to secrecy as to what takes place at the confessional.

4. It is a Roman practice. If this objection is valid we ought to give up praying, going to church, &c.

5. It leads to Rome. It does no such thing. If our people had what belongs to them in the Church, they would not go to Rome for it.

6. It brings priestly interference into families. These interferences have done and will continue to do much good.

7. It tends to the spread of evil, (a) The fact that the Priest gives up every worldly prospect to assume "the ministry of reconciliation "ought to be a sufficient answer to this objection, (b) Mothers, having once gone to Confession themselves, generally bring their daughters afterwards, (c) Many cases of restitution and reparation have resulted from Confession.

Rules for Confession.--1. Examine yourselves minutely by the Commandments, and by the seven capital sins, which is a more scientific way. 2. Excite sorrow for sin. 3. Make notes of your sins. 4. Go to your pastor, or some other Priest, and make an appointment. 5. At the appointed time kneel down and say: "I confess to Almighty God, before all the company of Heaven, and you, His Priest, &c." 6. Confess not deeds only, but thoughts also. 7. Conclude with an act of contrition somewhat like this: "I beg pardon from God, and from you, His Priest, Penance and Absolution." The Priest will give you some Penance to do. Finally, he will give you Absolution and his blessing, which will comfort you and set you free. Preacher, F. Grafton.

Friday, February 7, 12 m. Bible Class--"The Saviour's Conversation with Nicodemus." In his introductory remarks the teacher said that the relation between the Atonement and the Sacraments is this: On the Cross, the blood was shed--in the Sacrament, the blood is applied. On the Cross, redemption was accomplished--in the Sacrament, forgiveness is bestowed.

[45] Taking up the lesson proper, he said: Baptism is the instrument of the New Birth. The Saviour's words, "Of water and of the Spirit," cannot mean anything else. They had been generally so understood in the Church for sixteen centuries. No ancient writer explains the passage otherwise. In the above quotation the second of should be omitted, not being found in the original: it does not mean water at one time and the Spirit at another; they are not to be separated. This may also be proven by I Peter, 3: 21, "Baptism saves nozv." Water, a type of the Spirit, is not an empty type or symbol; the Spirit is in the Sacrament. He also told us that (Heb. 10: 22), "Let us draw near, &c," means: Let us go to the Communion after we have been baptized, &c, &c. Specimen of "Mission Hymns "copied from pamphlet, which is not to be taken away; the words are incorporated in the hymn, "There is a fountain filled with blood:"

"The precious blood, oh! how it wrought,
That penitential day,
When sinners first in baptism
Washed all their sins away.

"Converted Saul received his sight,
And heard the prophet say:
'Brother, arise and be baptized,
And wash thy sins away,'

"The precious Blood, oh! how it comes,
To set the sinner free,
When Christ, by priestly lips, transmits
His word, 'I pardon thee.'

The unknown sinner, steeped in crime,
Repenting, heard Paul say:
'In Christ's own person I forgive,'
And washed his sins away:

"'Twas death to him who drank of old,
The blood of victim shed:
'Tis life to taste the Blood of Christ,
For so Himself has said."

Friday, 7. 7.30 P. M. Sermon on the text, "All souls are mine." Showing the necessity and blessedness of dependence on God. A very earnest and impressive discourse. The Instruction on "contrition," by the same clergyman, was equally excellent. Preacher, Rev. W. J. K. Little.

Saturday, 8, 12 M. Bible Class--"The True Bread from Heaven." Here follows some of the utterances: By his walking on the sea, which intervened between the feeding of the multitude and the discourse on the Bread of Life, the Saviour was preparing the disciples for the recognition of the [45/46] fact that he had a supernatural body, which could not be restricted or tied down by natural laws......The mysteriousness of the manna in the wilderness also prepares us for the mysteriousness of the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ. When we can explain anything clearly we take the divinity away from it. We cannot understand how grace is communicated with, by and through the Sacrament. .....We cannot, as at present constituted, feed directly on God. But God would communicate Himself to us; and so he condescends to make the humanity of Christ the means of communication--as a sacrifice, and by our feeding upon the sacrifice...... "Christ in you the hope of glory." This divine life is nourished and strengthened by continuing to partake of the Holy Communion. Unless we continue to feed upon the Holy Communion, the divine life will wear away, and ebb out, and die. Baptism is necessary to implant the divine life, and the Holy Communion to increase and nourish it...... If the eating of the flesh and drinking of the blood had been only the sign of something, the Saviour would not have allowed those who were offended at His words to go away without an explanation; but he did not take back His words......Christ can communicate His body in any way he chooses, because He is "at the right hand of power," as the instrument for the accomplishment of all God's purposes. Because we cannot communicate our body and blood in a particular way, we must not say that, therefore, He cannot. He can communicate His human nature in any way He pleases. It is the divine nature connected with it, that gives the Body of Christ as means of nourishment and quickening: it is the body of the Son of God. In consecrating the Holy Communion, the Holy Spirit is invoked: the Spirit accomplishes the consecration: on this account the bread and wine become the means of communicating the Body of Christ. We are really and truly fed with the Body and Blood of Christ in the Holy Communion. The relation between Baptism and the Holy Communion is this: the Christ implanted in Baptism feeds upon the Christ in Holy Communion.

[47] Saturday, 8, 7.30 P. M. An excellent and very impressive sermon on Heb. 9: 27. "It is appointed unto men once to die." Incidentally the preacher, Rev. W. J. K. Little, mentioned the fact that he was in the habit of hearing confessions.

Sunday, 9. The writer, having to officiate elsewhere, was unable to attend the Mission.

Monday, 10, 12 M. Bible Class, "The Ministry of the Spirit." The sum and substance of the lecture was the reiteration of what had been previously said: Although we cannot restrict God in His operations to the use of any means, yet, we are tied down to the use of certain instrumentalities for the reception of His grace. He deals with our bodies as well as with our souls; He communicates spiritual gifts through visible means. The spirit works through visible means: Baptism, Confirmation, Absolution, the Holy Communion.

One excellent thing the teacher said: That the source of nearly all the error in the Church of Rome is the misunderstanding of the relation between Christ and the Spirit--regarding the Spirit as apart from Christ, as if He came to bring new doctrines, or to reveal new truths; instead of coming only to manifest Christ to us, and to bring to our remembrance what He said and did to and for us--hence the Roman development of doctrines.

Monday, 10, 7.30 p. m. The Rev. W. J. K. Little preached on Col. 3:11. The text was, "Christ is all," and yet we seemed to be taught: Baptism, Confirmation, Confession, Holy Communion--is all. The preacher said: Come to Baptism, there can be no spiritual life without it. If you still feel your sins heavy upon you, follow Christ's teaching. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful, &c.; "come to confession and receive absolution, "Christ is all." The preacher spoke of his own bitter experience until he summoned sufficient courage to go to confession; then his struggles ceased and he obtained great peace. But there is something more, even besides absolution. He then spoke of Confirmation and [47/48] the Holy Communion as the absolute imparting of Christ. Speaking of the necessity of Baptism, he gave us the experience of two persons in England: A lad was trying to lead a Christian life; but could not, and struggled on and wondered why, until some one told him that he had not been baptized. That was it. He came to Baptism and his difficulties came to an end. A woman, a regular attendant at Holy Communion, whose life abounded in prayers and alms-deeds, could find no peace. She had been going under the impression that she had been baptized in infancy; but finally she came to the conclusion that perhaps she had not been. She came to Baptism, and there was given her the peace to which she had been a stranger hitherto.

Instruction on Confirmation--Rev. Father Grafton.

I. Negatively, 1. It is not joining the Church. We did that in Baptism. Confirmation is a gift of the Holy Ghost by a bishop who is the successor of the Apostles. 2. It is not making a profession of religion; that is the view of the Protestant sects. The Protestant religion regards what man does. The Holy Catholic Church says: "Christ is all." 3. It is not taking upon us our vows; because those vows are already upon us. We acknowledge that we are bound by those vows, in order that we may receive the further gift. We come to BE confirmed; the verb is passive; we come to receive something.

II. Positively. What is Confirmation? Here follows the definition in ipsis verbis. "It is a sacramental rite, in which the Holy Ghost is given, in fuller measure, by the laying on of the Bishop's hands." It is a Sacrament, having an outward and visible sign, and an inward spiritual grace; although it is not, as Baptism and the Holy Communion, absolutely necessary to salvation: without Baptism and Holy Communion we can have no spiritual life. Confirmation is a further and fuller gift of the Spirit; and yet so strong is the general prejudice on the subject, that were it to be reported that the Bishop had laid hands on some persons and they received the Holy Ghost, the newspapers would cry out: "Priestcraft! Sacerdotalism!"

[49] The importance of Confirmation may be learned, said the instructor, from its being placed by St. Paul, in Heb. 6: 1, 2, among the principles of religion--the very A B C's of the Christian life. How can we neglect it? Some say they are too old to be confirmed. Do these consider themselves too old to receive an increase of the Spirit? Others say they already have spiritual experience. The more you have, the more you ought to desire.

Tuesday, 11, 12 m. Bible Class, "The regenerate life as distinct from the regenerating act." Conversion is our turning to God. Regeneration is the reconstruction of the moral nature. A great Oxford divine has said that people misunderstand sacramental grace, because they do not understand the meaning of the little word in--in Christ.

Baptism is the instrument of regeneration. . . . Think not only of Baptism, Confirmation, Absolution, and Holy Communion, but exercise, and put forth the regenerate life. Regeneration takes place in Baptism. When our own Communion came to realize the grace given in Baptism, there followed the preaching of Absolution, by which we obtain restoration when we fall from grace. . . . By "after ye were illuminated," St. Paul means after ye were baptized--it being customary in the early Church to hold a candle in the hand at baptism. ..." Our old man was crucified with Christ" means baptism. . . . Those who object to sacramental grace say, that were there such, there would not be so much corruption and scandal in the Church. Ans. i; The grace received is to be worked out. 2. Grace comes gradually to cleanse us from evil, and it stirs up the evil in us and makes it apparent. The teacher illustrated this by a clear pool in which there is muddy sediment. . . . Eph. 5: 26, 27, speaks of sacramental grace: "water and the word," which is to lead us to future works. This passage has reference to the Jewish ceremony of marriage. Between the espousals and the marriage the soul has grace communicated to it through the Sacraments.

[50] Tuesday, 11, 7.30 p. m. Preacher, the Rev. W. J. K. Little. Text, Lamentations, 1: 12. An exceedingly affecting discourse on the sufferings of our Blessed Lord in Gethsemane, the Judgment Hall, and on the Cross. This was followed by a most urgent request to those present to apply, before leaving the Church, to the priests, for Baptism, Confession, &c.

Wednesday, 12, 12 M. Bible Class--"The Pure Offering." The Eucharistic Sacrifice in its twofold aspect--a sacrifice, and a feast upon the sacrifice. The Eucharist is clearly predicted in the first chapter of Malachi. The last of the prophets, as the Jewish dispensation is passing away, and the light of the Temple grows dim, foretells the better sacrifice which God was to establish in the Holy Communion. The prophet says to the Jews that God will no longer accept an offering at their hands. What then; will He have no more sacrifice? By no means; the change which is to take place is not the abolishing of sacrifice, but the establishing of a better, and one not confined to the Jewish nation, but for mankind in general. For, as it is declared in the eleventh verse, "From the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same, My name shall be great among the Gentiles, and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering." This prophecy is repeated by the Saviour to the woman of Samaria, in John 4:21,23. "The hour cometh when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet in Jerusalem worship the Father .... the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth." A sacrifice like that of the Jewish Church shall be continued; but one excelling theirs in dignity and worth. The first chapter of Malachi has always been understood as having reference to the Eucharistic Sacrifice. Justin Martyr so interpreted it. So did also Irenaeus. It was so set forth in the early Christian liturgies; in that of St. Mark, which can be traced to apostolic times, this prophecy is woven into the Eucharistic prayer . . . Notice: the pure offering--the words used for a particular kind of offering--the meat offering of bread and wine mentioned in Leviticus, 2 chapter.

[51] Notice: that the bread and wine placed upon the head of the lamb offered morning and evening, typified the Eucharist.

Notice: That there is to be a real sacrifice from among the Gentiles; this means when the Messiah comes. The Jewish dispensation was passing away: Malachi was the last of the Prophets. There are to be sacrificing priests in the New Dispensation: for the Lord says: "I will also take of the Gentiles for Priests and for Levites." The Christian Church does not differ from the Jewish by its having no Sacrifice; but by its giving "grace and truth" in addition to the Law, besides having a more excellent Sacrifice, and one of greater efficacy. . . . Sacrifice is not peculiar to the Jewish dispensation: God has always been worshipped by Sacrifice. We offer Sacrifice of time in the Sabbath, of substance in tithes, &c. Adam and Eve offered Sacrifice even in their innocence--they were to abstain. While in a state of grace, Sacrifice is joyful: after a fall it becomes painful--we have to wrench ourselves from the world. After the Fall, Sacrifice could be made only by the shedding of blood. Sacrifice was then traced through the Patriarchal period. Job, outside of the Jewish nation, offered Sacrifice. Melchizedek brought bread and wine, both as a meat offering to God and to feed Abraham therewith: this beautifully typifies what Melchizedek's anti-type was afterwards to do in the Eucharist. Sacrifice existed before the Law, and apart from it. . The Saviour's Sacrifice was not ended when He died on the Cross; His work for us was not completed by the Crucifixion: He is now carrying on the work of intercession. We are saved not only by His death, but by His continual pleading. St. John saw the worship of Heaven--"A Lamb, as it had been slain," still bearing the five precious wounds: still the Victim pleading His Sacrifice. In the Jewish dispensation the Sacrifice was not completed when the victim was slain; the blood must be sprinkled. Christ offered Himself on the Cross, and then entered the Sanctuary to plead the Sacrifice. As He pleads the Sacrifice above, so does the Eucharist plead and apply the Sacrifice offered on the Cross: we do not add [51/52] anything to His Sacrifice; but we continue to apply it. He instituted the Sacrament as the means by which His Sacrifice could be continually pleaded. . . . Can we say that "Do this in remembrance of Me" means only that we are to receive the Sacrament? No! This do means the doing of a solemn act--performing a Sacrifice--it means "Offer this:" the Apostles, as Priests, were to do it in remembrance--as a memorial. See Heb. 10:3; Lev. 24:7; Numbers 10: 10. The Saviour means: "In this way continually plead my death. Remind God of it:" although he does not need to be reminded. . . . How much superior the Eucharist is to the Jewish Sacrifice. Theirs was another lamb to represent--ours the True Victim mystically present. He presents Himself in Heaven: He presents Himself on earth mystically pleading. If our offering was only bread and wine, it would be a going back to the Jewish empty types. Ours is a Sacrifice by presentation of His Body and Blood mystically: in the Eucharist we can say: "Behold the face of Thine own Christ." As a mere reminder of the sufferings of Christ, a picture or a sermon would be more effectual than bread and wine. The Eucharist is more than a reminder. It is: 1. The pleading of the Sacrifice to God. 2. The feeding upon the Sacrifice: we do not have our full share of it, unless we feed upon it. In some of the Sacrifices of old, a part was given to God, a part to the Priest, and a part to those that brought the Sacrifice. So it is in the Eucharist: this is why we call the Altar the Lord's Table: this name is as much a sacrificial expression as altar--see Malachi 1:7. It is the table where food is offered to Almighty God, and we gather around it that we may feed with Him.

Wednesday, 12, 7.30 v. m. An excellent sermon by the Rev. W. J. K. Little, on the trial and martyrdom of Stephen.

Thursday, 13, 12 m. Bible Class--"The Saviour's High-priestly Prayer."

Among other things the teacher said: This prayer was uttered just after the institution of the Eucharist. The first Eucharist was the Saviour's real priestly offering of Himself; [52/53] the prayer came along with the oblation. As the Eucharist was that by which His Sacrifice should be continually pleaded; so this prayer is that by which He continues to plead for His people. Afterwards, commenting on the words, "That they nr.iy be one in us," the teacher said: This is the true principle of unity--the participation of a common life. Compliance with the ordinances of the Church is not simply outward conformity. Apostolical succession, as a mere outward organization, would have no power; but it is appointed as a channel of grace through which spiritual life flows.

Thursday, 13, 7.30 r. m. Closing of the Mission, called "Thanksgiving Service." A hymn--two collects--Sermon by the Rev. W. J. K. Little. In the course of the very impressive address, the preacher spoke of Confession among the religious duties, attention to which is of very great importance. Enumerating the requirements of the Christian life, and mentioning mortification as one of these, the preacher said he did not mean ascetism; that high privilege was only for those who were called to it. We, whose vocation lies in the midst of a busy world, cannot aspire to the exalted holiness of those who are called to the ascetic life.

During the hymn which followed the sermon, two acolytes lighted the forty-four candles upon and about the altar. Then there came, marching up the centre aisle singing, crucifer, acolytes, surpliced choir and priests. After prayers, those in the congregation desiring to renew their baptismal vows, were requested to stand up and repeat the answers to the questions in the Confirmation and Baptismal Services. Then the priests, kneeling before the altar, renewed their ordination vows. After the Te Deum, some collects and the benediction, a procession was formed in the following order: Crucifer, flanked by candle-bearers. Banner of the Virgin and Child. Surpliced choir. Banner of the Sacrament. More choir. Banner of the Dove. Priests. The procession marched down the south aisle, up the north and out, by the middle aisle.

[54] NOTES.

What this report of twenty-four pages contains is not hearsay, but what the writer witnessed with his own eyes and ears--what was said and done publicly before the congregation. The greater part is transcribed from notes taken on the spot.

The writer thankfully acknowledges having been benefited by attendance on the services; but he was constantly on his guard against the mediaeval leaven which pervaded the teaching.

Enough was seen to indicate that private confession to the priest was being extensively practised during the Mission.

The object sought for by the Mission appears to the writer to have been the carrying of the Church back of the Reformation, and not quite to the Apostolic Age.

Philadelphia, Pa., February 14th, 1879.

The foregoing Report and Resolutions, with the accompanying documents, was submitted to the Convention of the Diocese of Pennsylvania, at its Session beginning May 6, 1879, as directed by the previous Convention, which constituted the "Committee of Inquiry," and the Resolutions were passed by the following vote, by Orders:

First Resolution, namely:

Resolved, That, in the opinion of this Convention, the practices and usages referred to in this report, and ascertained to be followed in St. Clement's Church, and especially those in connexion with the Holy Communion, are in entire contrariety to those of the Protestant Episcopal Church in this Diocese, and in the United States; and by their similarity to those of the Church of Rome, are calculated to do a serious injury to this Church, creating in many minds, whether justly or not, unfavorable impressions as to the continued adherence of the Church to the principles of the Reformation.

Vote: Clergy--Ayes, 89; Noes, 20.
Lay--Ayes, 51; Noes, 12; Divided, 5.

[55] Second Resolution, namely:

Resolved, That the Committee on Canons be requested to prepare and submit to this Convention for adoption, a Canon, under which, any Parish, which, in the judgment of the Bishop, the Standing Committee and a two-thirds majority of each Order of the Convention, shall maintain or permit, usages or practices not in conformity with the doctrines, discipline and worship of the Protestant Episcopal Church, may be deprived of its representation in the Convention, if not of all connexion with the Convention.

Vote: Clergy--Ayes, 86; Noes, 51.
Lay--Ayes, 51; Noes, 35; Divided, 4.

Third Resolution, namely:

Resolved, That the report now submitted be referred to the Bishop and Standing Committee, to take such action thereon, under existing legislation, as they may think requisite and proper, in view of the facts set forth therein.

Vote: Clergy--Ayes, 95; Noes, 24.
Lay--Ayes, 68; Noes, 11; Divided, 2.

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