FROM COLONIAL DEPENDENCE TO THE
FREEDOM OF THE REPUBLIC.
DEAN OF THE CONVOCATION OF BURLINGTON.
WILLIAM S. SHARP, STEAM-POWER BOOK AND JOB PRINTER.
THE KINGDOM OF GOD SHALL BE TAKEN FROM YOU, AND GIVEN TO A NATION BRINGING FORTH THE FRUITS THEREOF.
IT would be ungrateful for Churchmen of New Jersey to meet in council on such a year, and in such a place as this, without a glance of retrospection. Trenton has heroic fame in the annals of our nation; and in this venerable parish of St. Michael's, on this very spot, occurred the first American consecration of a Bishop for New York. [The Rt. Rev. Benjamin Moore, D. D., second Bishop of New York--the first Bishop of that Diocese having been consecrated in England--was consecrated by the Rt. Rev. William White, D. D., Bishop of Pennsylvania, the Rt. Rev. Thomas John Claggett, D. D., Bishop of Maryland, and the Rt. Rev. Abraham Jarvis, D. D., Bishop of Connecticut, in St. Michael's Church, Trenton, N. J., on the 11th of September, 1801,--the General Convention being then in session there.] But, back of this, in colonial days, a hundred years before, the centre of the Church's first aggressive work was the territory within the limits of this present Diocese.
The story of those times reads like a romance. The stocks and the whipping-post were the penalties for crime. Sloops and flats were the means of transportation. Barges and chariots were used for state excursions, while the knight-errants for Christ were riders on horses. The red cross of St. George [3/4] floated from Fort Anne in the "little town of New York," and Perth Amboy was the metropolis of America!
The ship Centurion sailed from the Isle of Wight in April, 1702, bringing the first missionaries from the newly incorporated Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts; George Keith, for general exploration; Patrick Gordon, to be stationed on Long Island.
This ship had a chaplain, John Talbot by name, then a young man, but designed of God to leave a shining mark in American Ecclesiastical History. During their six weeks' voyage a warm friendship sprung up between Keith and Talbot. So like-minded were they that, before the ship reached her moorings, Keith proposed and Talbot consented--if the Society approved--that they should be associated.
"Friend Keith and I,"--writes Talbot from New York--"have been above 500 miles together, visiting the churches in these parts of America, viz.: New England, New Hampshire, N. Bristol, N. London, N. York, and the Jerseys as far as Philadelphia. We preached in all churches where we came, and in several Dissenter's meetings such as owned the Church of England to be their mother church, and were willing to communicate with her and to submit to her Bishops, if they had opportunity." * * " In all places where we come," he continues, "we find a great ripeness and inclination amongst all sorts of people to embrace the Gospel. * * The Clergy here have had a sort of Convocation at the instance and charge of his Excellency Col. Nicholson, Governor of Virginia; we were but seven in all; and a week together, we sat considering of ways and means to propagate the Gospel." * * "We have great need of a Bishop here to visit all the churches, to ordain some, to confirm others, and bless all. We pray for [4/5] my good Lord of London, we cannot have better than he whilst he lives, therefore in the meantime we shall be very well content with a suffragan."
Here note, that at the very beginning of this associated mission-work--even at the first Convocation in America--when the clergy of the northern colonies all told were but seven--the question was agitated and the want felt of a Bishop.
The many letters of Mr. Talbot to private persons, as well as for the public eye, present him to us a well-furnished priest of apostolic simplicity, resolute, fearless, transparently honest, intent only on the Kingdom of God and the righteousness thereof. "God bless Queen Anne," he exclaims, in one of his letters to a personal friend, "and defend her that she may defend the Faith; and her faithful councellours, if they have any piety or policy I'm sure will take some course with these heathens and hereticks, for if they be let alone to take the sword (which they certainly will when they think they are strong enough) we shall perish with it, for not opposing them in due time."
When we reflect that this utterence was made seventy years before the armed hostilities of Revolution, we must regard it as a prophecy remarkably fulfilled.
There was not only timid temporizing in managing the government of the colonies, but culpable neglect in manning the Church. And yet what openings there were!
"It grieves me much," writes Mr. Talbot, "to see so many people here without the benefit of serving God in the wilderness. I believe I have been solicited to tarry in twenty places where they want much, and are able to maintain a minister, so that he should want nothing."
 The earnest determination of Mr. Talbot finds vent when he says, "I believe I have done the Church more service since I came hither than I would in seven years in England. Perhaps when I have been here six or seven years, I may make a trip home to see some friends, (for they won't come to me) but then it will be Animo Revertendi, for I have given myself up to the service of God and His Church apud Americanos; and I had rather dye in the service than desert it." * * "I use to take a wallet full of Books and carry them 100 miles about, and disperse them abroad, and give them to all that desired them; which in due time will be of good service to the Church." "It seems the strangest thing in the world, and 'tis thought History cannot parallel it, that any place has received the Word of God so many years, so many hundred Churches built, so many thousand proselytes made, and still remain altogether in the wilderness as sheep without a shepherd. The poor Church of America is worse off in this respect than any of her adversaries." * * "No body to ordain severall that were willing to serve, were they authorized for the work of the ministry. Therefore they fall back again into the Herd of Dissenters, rather than they will be at the hazard and charge to go as far as England for orders; so that we have seen severall counties, islands and provinces, which have hardly an Orthodox minister amongst them, which might have been supplied, had we been so happy as to see a Bishop or Suffragan apud Americanos. We count ourselves happy, and indeed so we are, under the protection and fatherly care of the Right Rev. Father in God, Henry Lord Bishop of London, and we are all satisfied that we can't have a greater friend and patron than himself. But alas! there is such a great Gulph fixt between us that we can't pass to him nor he to us; but may he [6/7] not send a Suffragan? I believe I am sure there are a great many learned and good men in England; and I believe also that did our Gracious Queen Anne but know the necessities of her many good subjects in these parts of the world, she would allow £1000 per annum, rather than so many souls should suffer; and then it would be a hard case if there should not be found one amongst so many pastors and Doctors, (de tot minibus, onus qui transiens, adjuvet nos;) meanwhile I don't doubt but some learned and good man would go further, and do the Church more service with £100 per annum than with a coach and six, 100 years hence." * * "They have been long upon the search for truth in these parts, they see through the vanity and pretences of all Dissenters, and generally tend directly to the Church. Now is the time of harvest, we want a hundred hands for the work, meanwhile two or three, that are well chosen, will do more good there than all the rest." * * "Next unto God, our eyes are upon the Corporation for help in this heavy case. I dare say nothing has obtained more reputation to the Church and nation of England abroad than the honorable society for Reformation of manners and the Reverend and honorable corporation for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts."
In November, 1705, the clergy of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, met at Burlington, and drew up an address to the Society, the whole burden of which was that a Suffragan Bishop might lie sent to them. "We have been deprived," says this address, "of the advantages that might have been received of some Presbyterian & Independent ministers that formerly were, and of others that are still willing to conform and receive the holy character, for want of a Bishop to give. The baptized want to be confirmed. Their presence is [7/8] necessary in the Councils of these Provinces to prevent the inconveniences which the Church labors under by the influences which Seditious Men's Counsels have upon the public administration."
This address was signed by fourteen clergy, some of whom belonged to the Church of Sweden--(a beautiful instance of the catholic inter-communion of those days;) and with it was their united letter to the Bishop of London, commending Mr. Talbot, who was deputed to carry it across the ocean.
In this letter they emphasize their address, saying, "Our inexpressible wants of [a Suffragan Bishop] to represent your Lordship here, make us use all the means we can think of towards obtaining that blessing. Indeed our case upon that account is very lamentable and no words are sufficient to express it."
The following March, Mr. Talbot was in London, "soliciting for a Suffragan, Books, and Ministers;" and two years afterwards we hear from him in New Jersey once more. August 24, 1708, he writes: "I am forced to turn Itinerant again, for the care of all the Churches from East to West Jersey is upon me; what is the worst is that I can't confirm any nor have not a Deacon to help me."
The next year he says: "I am very glad to find that the members of the Honourable Society are convinced, that a head is necessary to the body, but if he don't make haste he will come too late. * * Is it not strange, that so many islands should be inhabited by Protestants, so many provinces planted by them, so many hundred thousand souls born and bred up here in America; but of all the Kings, Princes and Governours, all the Bishops and Archbishops which have been since the Reformation, they never sent out anybody here to [8/9] propagate the Gospel? I say to propagate it by imparting some spiritual gift by ordination or confirmation. I thought the Society had set up to supply these wants, and to take off this horrible scandal limn the Protestant Churches. What! is there a law against the Gospel? Let it be taken out of the way." * *
"The churches in East Jersey are falling to the ground for lack of looking after, I can't go there above once or twice a year to administer the Holy Sacrament that they be not quite starved. It had been better not to have put these poor people to the charge of building churches, than have nobody to supply them, I can't get so much as a Reader here for any of them, and it were to save their souls. You that live at home in ease and plenty, little do you know what they and we do bear and suffer here, and how many thousand souls are legally lost whilst they at home are legally supplying them. Who will answer it to Jesus Christ who will require an account of us all, and that very speedily too, meanwhile He has charged all to take care of His flock not by constraint but willingly, not for filthy lucre but of a ready mind." * * "I have got possession of the best house in America for a Bishop's seat; the Archbishop told me he would contribute towards it and so I hope will others; pray let me know your mind in this matter, as soon as may be, for if they slip this opportunity, there is not such another to be had." Three months later he writes: " My advice is, with humble submission to my superiors, to keep their money and give us leave to come home, and send no more, till they think fit to send a propagator of the Gospel; for otherwise their planting the Gospel is like the Indians planting gunpowder, which can never take root, but is blown away by every wind."
 Three years more elapsed, and in October, 1712, the famous property of John Tatham, at Burlington, a "great and stately palace, pleasantly situated on the north side of the town, having a very fine and delightful garden and orchard," and embracing in its domain "fifteen acres," was bought by the Society for £600, sterling money of England, or £900 current money of New York, for a BISHOP'S SEAT.
A bill was ordered to be drafted to be offered in parliament for establishing bishoprics in America. Everything presaged success; but, before the bill was introduced, its great patroness, Queen Anne, died.
The first George was absorbed by what politicians regarded as more important than religion in the Colonies. He alienated many by the course he pursued both in Church and State; and Dlr. Talbot, it was rumored, omitted from the litany the suffrage that the King might have "victory over all his enemies." Whether this was only rumor, we are unable to say. We know that he and three of the most distinguished laymen in New Jersey, Ex-Gov. Bass, Hon. Col. Coxe, and Alexander Griffiths, Attorney General, were charged by Gov. Hunter, in a very scurrilous letter, with "incorporating the Jacobites in the Jerseys." Mr. Talbot's vestry, who had known his doctrine, manner of life, and purpose, with whom he had been at all seasons for twelve years, united in a formal disavowal of the charge, pronouncing it "a calumnious and groundless scandal," and endorsing their Rector as "a truly pious and Apostolic person."
In his own reply to the allegation Mr. Talbot says: "The Lord rebuke that evil spirit of lying and slander that is gone out against the Church. Here and there they spare none. I suffer like my Lord and Master between two at Philadelphia [10/11] and New York, but God has been my succour and I doubt not but he will still deliver me from the snare of the Hunter."
In his answer to the Secretary he says: "I call God to witness, I know no soul, in the Church of Burlington, nor in any other Church I have planted, but is well affected to the Protestant Church of England and present Government in the house of Hanover; therefore he that accused us all for Jacobites, has the greater sin. I can compare it to nothing more or less, than Doeg, the Edomite, who stabbed the Priests' characters, and then cut all their throats; or Hainan, the Agagite, who slandered all the Jews as Jacobites who did not observe the King's laws." * * "I wish the Society would take some better care of Burlington House; as for Gov. Hunter, he does not come here once in three years," * * "so that we have only the burden, not the benefit, of Government; therefore we have the greater need of a Chorepiscopus, a Rural Bishop or Suffragan, to impart some spiritual gift, without which, there never was, or can be, any being, or well-being of a Church. This is the burden of all our lamentations, and so it will be, till it is answered; the sooner the better, Cum bono Deo."
During the next twelve months one of Mr. Talbot's bills was ordered to lie by for a half a year; and a missionary was sent over to take his place in case of his removal. Of this he writes in 1716, "I suffer all things for the elect's sake, the poor Church of God here, in the wilderness. There is none to guide her, among all the sons that she has brought forth, nor is there any that takes her by the hand of all the sons that she has brought up. When the Apostles heard that Samaria had received the word of God, immediately they sent out two of the chief, Peter and John, to lay their hands on them, and pray that they [11/12] might receive the Holy Ghost; they did not stay for a secular design of salary; and when the Apostles heard that the word of God was preached at Antioch, presently they sent out Paul and Barnabas, that they should go as far as Antioch, to confirm the Disciples, and so the Churches were established in the faith, and increasing in number daily; and when Paul did but dream that a man of Macedonia called him, he set sail all so fast, and went over himself to help them; but we have been here these twenty years, calling till our hearts ache, and ye own 'tis the call and the cause of God, and yet ye have not heard, or have not answered, and it is all one. I must say this, that if the Society don't do more in a short time, than they have in a long, they will, I fear, lose their honour and character too. I don't pretend to prophesy, but you know how they said the kingdom of God shall be taken from them, and given to a nation that will bring forth the fruits of it." These and such like appeals, petitions, remonstrances, and warnings, were made persistently, not only by Mr. Talbot, but by all whom he could associate with him, for a period of eighteen years.
Finally, in 1720, Mr. Talbot went to England, and received the interest on Archbishop Tenison's legacy as a retired missionary. He was absent nearly two years and a half, and during this time made the acquaintance of the nonjuring bishops who had perpetuated their succession from the days of Sancroft and Ken. In 1722, he received consecration from this source, and returned to America. On his arrival he did more as a missionary than ever before. He instituted the daily service in Burlington, with frequent communions, preaching on Sunday mornings, and catechising or homilizing, in the afternoon. He urged the establishment of a College, and suggested that the Society's House in Burlington be devoted to [12/13] that purpose. He travelled from the capes of Delaware to the mountains in East Jersey. He visited Trenton and Hopewell and Amwell, preaching and baptizing nineteen persons in one day. He visited persons that were sick, in one instance going all the way from East Jersey to Burlington and back, to get the Elements, that he might administer the Holy Communion to some converts 80 years of age who had never received it. He set up a schoolmaster to read prayers, and controlled the churches of Pennsylvania and New Jersey with the magnetism of his warm and honest heart. Two years he was thus engaged, "no man forbidding him," when another nonjuring bishop, one of his consecrators, Robert Welton, arrived and took charge of the Church in Philadelphia. Contrasted with the Establishment in Great Britain the nonjurors were a "feeble folk," yet in the transatlantic world, they could "make their houses in the rocks." The Government became alarmed. His Majesty's "Writ of Privy Seal" was served on Felton commanding him upon his allegiance to return to England. Talbot was "discharged" the Society, and ordered to "surcease officiating."
Welton went to Lisbon, where he shortly died. Talbot remained in Burlington, universally respected and beloved. More than one memorial was sent to the authorities in his behalf. The church people of Philadelphia, Bristol, and Burlington united in praying for the removal of his inhibition, declaring with solemn deliberation, "that by his exemplary life and ministry, he had been the greatest advocate for the Church of England, by law established, that ever appeared on this shore."
The next information comes from a newspaper, dated "Philadelphia, Nov. 30th, 1727.--Yesterday, died at Burlington, [13/14] the Rev. Mr. John Talbot, formerly minister of that place, who was a pious, good man, and much lamented."
On his widow's will, I discovered, within a few months past, his Episcopal seal,--a mitre, with a plain cross upon it; and beneath, the monogram. "J. Talbot." Such, in outline, is the career of one, who did what he could, to act the Good Samaritan to the "half dead" Church in the wilderness, which the Priest and the Levite of the court passed by. Because he acknowledged that he had the oil of the apostolate, as well as the wine of the priesthood, he was buried--a confessor for the Truth.
His character, his acts, his motives, examined through every available medium, fail to furnish him with a harsher epitaph than "the zeal of Thine house hath eaten me up." In spirit, he resembled Ridley; in fidelity, Juxon; in suffering, Sancroft; in devotion, Ken. He sought no emolument, he claimed no jurisdiction, he assumed no title, but a hundred and fifty years after his entombment, we, members of a Free Church in a Free State, custodians of his sepulchre and trustees of his memory, arise up and give him the title emeritus, "First Bishop of the Continent of America."
Pass over forty years, and hear the action which was taken in convention at Perth Amboy. I will read you the document itself:
"CLERGY OF NEW JERSEY, IN CONVENTION, TO THE SECRETARY OF THE SOCIETY FOR THE PROPAGATION OF THE GOSPEL. (EXTRACTS.)
"PERTH AMBOY, Oct. 3rd, 1765.
"It was very soon after the Incorporation of that Venble Body, that earnest addresses were made from divers parts of America requesting a Bishop. Applications to the same [14/15] purpose from Governors of Provinces, from the Clergy & from Vestries, were frequently repeated for a course of years, setting forth the great disadvantages the Church was under, since neither Ordination Confirmation nor a regular discipline could be had while it labored under so essential a defect, as to be without one. The Society fully convinced of the reasonableness of the request, and judging an American Episcopate, even so, early, to be highly expedient, thought fit to engage very heartily in the cause; AT, Representations in favour of it were made to the Queen. A Standing Committee was appointed to find out ways and means for the support of it--And a place was purchased in this Province at a great Expence for the Bishop's Residence: but when the matter was in a fair way of being speedly accomplish'd the death of that excellent Princess alone prevented it.
"Altho' the most favorable opportunity was now lost, yet the Affair was not dropt with her death. For in the beginning of the next Reign we still find it to have been a principle object of the Society's attention--in conformity to a Resolution solemnly deliberated & agreed upon. * *
"But what steps were afterwards taken and for what reasons so useful a plan, recommended and patronized by so respectable and venerable a Body with the most disinterested and charitable intentions was rejected we know not; nor have we at present the means of informing ourselves. All that we know with any certainty is that notwithstanding the discouragements they met with, they continued still to have the cause at heart; and when nothing else could be done, a considerable Fund was raised by several of its most illustrious Members for the support of a Bishop--whenever so great a Blessing should be obtained for the Church in America.
"We fully believe the present worthy Members of the Society have the same sentiments on this subject, with their predecessors; and indeed they have not been backward, on all proper occasions, to declare them to the World. * * And as by the increase of the Church through the natural growth of the [15/16] Country * * the reasons which at the beginning of this Century rendered American Bishops expedient, amount now in our opinion to an absolute necessity; we therefore whose Names are under written, having long waited in hopes of seeing the Church put on a more respectable footing never expecting a more favorable time for an application of this nature, have, upon careful consideration, thought it our duty, after the example of some of our Brethren, to Address the Throne--humbly imploring His Majesty's Gracious protection of the Church in these remote parts of his Dominions, and that one or more Bishops may be speedly sent us. * *
"We beg leave also with all deference and submission to apply to our never failing & avowed Patrons, the worthy Members of the Society in general humbly imploring their influence, either jointly or separately, in such a manner as they shall think proper, that our Petition may be granted--without which we have reason to fear, that the great things they have done for the Church in America, at so prodigious an Expence will be in the end ineffectual. We could enlarge both upon the necessities for, & the advantages of an American Episcopate; but as we are addressing those who have thoroughly considered the subject, it is sufficient to say, in the words of the Society to her late Majesty Queen Anne, that it would greatly 'tend to the Glory of God by the advancement of sound Religion, the Honor of His Majesty, the prosperity of his Subjects and the flourishing state of the Church in these parts.'
"But in our present situation our case in this respect is peculiarly unhappy. Altho' the Professors & Friends of the Church in these Colonies amount to near a Million, [think of that--ten years before the outbreak of the Revolutionary war!] and are defused over a Country far more extensive than any Kingdom in Europe, yet we still continue to be an Episcopal Church without Bishops, and to have Canons without Discipline. The Apostolical & most useful institution of Confirmation, we have no possible ways of obtaining. And yet such is the indulgence of the Government to every other Religious denomination, [16/17] that there is not a Sect within any part of His Majesty's Dominions, but has the full enjoyment of all its Institutions and Rights. * * And yet that our conduct has been such as to deserve the frowns of the Government we are not conscious. On the other hand we firmly believe that its best security in the Colonies does and must always arise from the principles of Submission and Loyalty taught by the Church. The Clergy in general are constantly instilling these great principles into the people, and yet their most reasonable request, so frequently repeated has been unsuccessful; while those who are equally zealous in propagating the principles of Independency both in Church S.; State, have every possible indulgence! When these things come to be considered by His Majesty and his Ministers, we flatter ourselves, that the trifling or malicious objections of our Adversaries will not be regarded. * *
"If any were to be injured, they would have reason to complain; but since none can be harmed, and so many thousands will be greatly benefitted, and probably the Salvation of many Souls is dependant upon it, in what light must the objections appear
"Indeed it has been given out with great assurance that sending Bishops to America would disoblige by far the greatest part of the Inhabitants (no less than 19 in 20 is the proportion that has been mentioned) and consequently would be ill policy in the Government--But we who are upon the spot can see with our Eyes and hear with our Ears, and think ourselves capable of judging of the Fact; and we beg leave to assure the Society that the assertion is utterly false and groundless. None would be disobliged at all but the Presbyterians and Independents, to whom we may join the Enemies of Revelation in general; and in our Opinion they all united do not exceed a third part of the whole * * so that it appears to us here that the badness of the Policy of granting our request, can be supported only on this principle; that it is more prudent to gratify one Enemy of the Church in a perverse & unreasonable humour, than two Friends of it in ye most equitable proposals.
 "If the Dissenters and their Adherents at home must not be offended by assisting and supporting the Church in America; our case is, and we fear that of the Church of England soon will be truely deplorable. If the Enemies of our Ecclesiastical Constitution have already become so formidable by the Indulgences & Concessions that have been granted them & if those Indulgences & Concessions must still be continued: we can form some judgment of their future power, from their past improvement. And we are sadly apprehensive that the time is not far distant when they will be able, not only to prevent our having Bishops in America, but once more to exterminate Episcopacy throughout the Kingdom & subvert the Church; in which case the State must again shift for itself as well as it can.
"We are Reverend Sir &c.,
"President of ye Convention.
"RICHARD CHARLTON, SAMUEL SEABURY,
"ISAAC BROWNE, ROB'T MCKEAN,
"COLIN CAMPBELL, AND'W MORTON,
"SAMUEL AUCHMUTY, LEO CUTTING,
"SAM'L COOKE, JOHN OGILVIE,
"THOS. B. CHANDLER."
Was this plea effectual? Whatever impression it produced upon the Society you know that with the King and his Councillors there was no voice nor any that regarded. A little decade passed, and the scourge of a neglected God was uplifted in the horrors of an eight years' war. The clergy in America, with exceptional unanimity, were true to their oath in ordination. They warned, they entreated, they did all in every way they could discreetly, to maintain the powers that were. But the resistance grew and gained, till a splendid continent, with untold resources, was rent from the crown of Great Britain, and set up an Independency compelling recognition.
 The instigators of revolt, through a long series of years, had divers and complex motives for their action. Some sought a Puritan commonwealth, others the abolition of all religion, many only civil freedom, with indifference to everything else; but none of these were permitted to triumph. The most high God ruleth in the kingdom of men and giveth it to whomsoever He will, and after what manner soccer He will. He not only casteth out the counsels of princes, but maketh the devices of the people to be of none effect. As though to preclude forever the notion that the Church and State of England were necessarily inseparable--the man brought out of God and placed foremost in the foreground of the scene, our peerless Washington, was a churchman, who forbade a lawless soldier from so much as putting a bullet through the steeple of a Church, and declined to consider a memorial from the Congregationalists that theirs might be the established religion. Toleration became universal; and the Church was emancipated from the supremacy of sovereigns and the patronage of parliaments.
Thus the kingdom of God, the historic Church of all time, with its doctrines, discipline, ministry, sacraments, rites and usages, by a way past man's understanding, was committed to the protection of a nation with whose civil constitutions it is precisely analogous, and in which it has advanced with a ratio unprecedented since the first centuries of the Faith. ["In both, the forms of government are representative. The parish meetings. and the town or district elections, are analogous. The parish vestries, and the select men, or common councils of the towns or cities, are analogous. The union of parishes into dioceses, and the union of towns or counties into states are analogous. The union of the several dioceses into one General Convention, and the union of the several states into one General Government, are analogous. The Diocesan Conventions, and the State Legislatures, are analogous. The representation in the Diocesan Conventions, and the representation in the State Legislatures from the people, DIRECTLY, are analogous. The General Convention of the United Dioceses, and the General Congress of the United States, are analogous; the House of Bishops, in the former, corresponding to the Senate in the latter, and the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies, in the former, corresponding to the House of Representatives, in the latter."]
And now, observe the hand of Him who has "a just weight and a just balance." What the parliament of Great Britain neglected to do for the Colonies--grant a completed Church, [19/20] whose seed is in itself--they were not permitted to do. To "the Catholic remainder of the Church of Scotland" belongs the honor of giving to the United States of America, her first Bishop, in the person of Seabury.
Contrast the plea from the New Jersey clergy in 1765--of which Seabury was one of the signers--with the scenes of the "Pan Anglican" a hundred years afterwards. At the altar of Lambeth, where White and Provoost and Madison were consecrated, knelt their successors in scores! Whose eyes among them all did not swim? It was a time and an occasion for great thoughts of heart. The first re-union of the Anglican Churches--the mother and her group of children--children whom she had invited, to whom she gave no doubtful welcome, but clasped them to her heart, saying to the Church of the Republic, "Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all."
My Brethren: The Transfer of the Church in America from Colonial dependence to the freedom of a Republic, to occupy a new and before unheard of position--neither patronized nor persecuted by the Government--this transfer, made not by man, nor by the wit, nor skill of man, but by Him "who maketh the wrath of man to praise Him," shall be unceasingly a theme of wonder until the kingdoms of this world shall become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ.