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Memoir of Bishop Seabury

By William Jones Seabury, D.D.

New York: Edwin S. Gorham, 1908.
London: Rivingtons, 1908.

Chapter XVIII. The Field of Work. 1785-1786.

FROM March 19 to June 20th 1785, there appears no evidence as to the experience of the Bishop of Connecticut. During this period his voyage to Halifax, his sojourn at that place, and the voyage from thence to New England, were accomplished; but as to any particulars of that period I have no information, unless I may consider as such, a vague tradition of a shipwreck, or at least very great stress of weather, some time while the Bishop was at sea; which I have heard referred to as accounting for the stains on the leaves of some of his books, and on his papers, said to have been injured by the sea water.

Instead of proceeding to New York, as it will have been observed that he had anticipated doing when he purposed to sail in the Triumph, he landed at Newport, Rhode Island. This event was recorded in the Diary of John Bours Esqr., of that place as follows:

"June 20, 1785. Arrived in town, via Halifax, from England, Doctor Samuel Seabury, lately consecrated in Scotland, Bishop of the State of Connecticut. The Sunday following, did the duties of the Church (Trinity Parish) and preached A. M. and P. M. to a crowded audience from Heb: xii, 1st and 2d verses, Monday proceeded to New London by water, where he is to reside." [Extract from contribution to "Gospel Messenger" of Utica, N. Y., December 21, 1849, enclosed in note of Bishop DeLancey, of Western New York, to Revd. Dr. Samuel Seabury, of New York, February 6th, 1850.]

It is thus not until toward the end of June 1785, that Bishop Seabury reports himself to the Revd. Mr. Jarvis as having arrived at New London, and as desirous that provision should be made for his meeting with the Clergy of his Diocese as soon as practicable.

That his first official act should be the meeting with the Clergy of Connecticut was obviously proper, and significant also of his conception of the work to which he had been particularly called, and thus of the field within which his jurisdiction was established. This body of Clergy, in the exercise of that jurisdiction which belonged to them as in charge of congregations constituting the Church of England in Connecticut, and now known as of the Episcopal Church in that State, had elected him to seek the Episcopate, and had pledged their acceptance of him as their Bishop when he should be consecrated. Returning in that capacity he advises them of the fulfilment of their commission, and affords them the opportunity of receiving him as their Bishop, and thus of formally ratifying their promise of canonical obedience previously made. The opportunity was embraced without unnecessary delay; and thus, by the joint act of Bishop and Clergy accepted with loyal concurrence by the people of their communion without any manner of gainsaying or objection, was completed the Diocese of the Church in Connecticut, which constituted that Bishop's proper field of work, or jurisdiction. That he had no purpose or desire to extend his Episcopal jurisdiction beyond that field, is manifest from the course which he pursued in the exercise of the Episcopal function, as well as from his declarations. [See, for example, his statement in his letter to Dr. Smith in reference to anticipated action of the Churches in the Middle and Southern States: "In this matter I am not interested. My ground is taken, and I wish not to extend my authority beyond its present limits."--Beardsley's Life of Bp. Seabury, p. 235.] At the same time, when it is considered that the needs of the members of the Episcopal Church in other States for the services of a Bishop were as great as those of the members of the Church in Connecticut; that there was at the time of his arrival no other Bishop in the Country, and that no other Bishop was in the Country for nearly two years afterwards; and that, upon principles fundamental in the doctrine of Episcopacy, he had as Bishop not only his local or Diocesan jurisdiction, but also that universal jurisdiction which was the proper attribute of his Office, and by virtue of which he had a general concern for the sheep of Christ's flock wheresoever they were unshepherded as being without Episcopal care or oversight, it will not be surprising to find that in fact Episcopal functions were performed by him for others than those who were within his local jurisdiction, and that such action was sometimes taken by him outside of that particular jurisdiction. These instances were, however, exceptional; and were always upon the request of those who needed his services, and whose request to him could involve no dereliction of duty to any other Bishop, since there was in fact no such other Bishop in the Country. And in none of these instances, except one which will be afterwards considered, was there any charge of intrusion made against him.

There was, nevertheless, a certain uneasiness in some quarters, as to the likelihood of his claiming jurisdiction over the Church in other States; and as the Church in some of the other States had by this time begun to carry into effect the plan of a common or general organization, with the purpose of procuring for the several States concerned Bishops of their own, it may easily be understood that it was desired that the jurisdiction of those Bishops should not be interfered with by one who was at that time not within that organization. And this feeling was also enhanced by the subservience to the English prejudice against the Scottish consecration which has been already considered, and to which it will be necessary again to refer.

The point to be noted is that Bishop Seabury considered the Church in the State of Connecticut as constituting his proper and peculiar jurisdiction; and that at the same time, in the want of Bishops in any other part of the country, he conceived it to be within the right of his Office, and to be a duty of simple Christian charity, to exercise the Episcopal function for the benefit of those whose necessities led them to seek such exercise from him.

The Clergy of Connecticut met in Convention at Christ Church in Middletown, August 2, 1785, under the presidency of Mr. Learning, Mr. Jarvis being Secretary. Eleven were in attendance as members of the Convention. The Rev. Benjamin Moore of New York, and the Revd. Samuel Parker of Massachusetts, had honorary scats in the Convention. On the following day the Bishop was formally received, greeted and accepted by the Clergy as their Bishop. The first ordination was held, at which four were made Deacons; and the first Episcopal Charge was delivered. At the conclusion of the Ordination service, the Bishop dissolved the Convention, and directed the Clergy to meet him in Convocation, in the afternoon. The Convention, of course, was a voluntary body: the Convocation was so named as being a body convoked by authority. The Convocation which thus succeeded into the place of the Convention, continued to meet from time to time until the organization of the Convention of Clergy and Lay delegates in 1792, after which time its function seems to have been advisory to the Bishop.

On consultation with the Convocation in various sessions two most important steps were taken by the Bishop of Connecticut in the line of the then pressing need of revision of the Book of Common Prayer; partly in order to the adaptation of the prayers for Civil Rulers to the change which the Revolution had made necessary; and partly in order to the revision of the Communion service.

In 1786, Bishop Seabury submitted to the Convocation his draft of a service for Holy Communion, which, with their concurrence he afterwards put forth as "recommended to the Episcopal Congregations in Connecticut." The changes in the State prayers he had before, on consultation with the Convocation, put forth as enjoined upon the Clergy in a Pastoral Letter, dated August 12th, 1785. [This account of the Convention and Convocation is taken from the very valuable compilation of the Revd. Joseph Hooper, prefixed to "the Records of Convocation" printed by the Convention of Connecticut, New Haven, 1904. A fuller account is given by Beardsley, with copies of the Address of the Clergy, and the Bishop's Answer, and of his two valuable Charges.--Beardsley's life of Bp. Seabury, pp. 208-225; 263-282.]

The issuing of the injunction contained in this Pastoral Letter was a distinct act of Episcopal authority: concluded upon, indeed, after advice with the Clergy, as in the best ages of the Church acts of Episcopal authority usually were, but set forth as the act of the Bishop as such, and containing a claim upon the obedience of the Clergy: and although it is not necessary here to reproduce the details of alteration in the services, yet it is worth while to record the preamble of the letter, both for its dignified and temperate tone, and also as bearing upon the point of the field of work, or local jurisdiction of its author. It is as follows:

"Samuel, by divine permission, Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the State of Connecticut, to the Clergy of the said Church Greeting.

It having pleased Almighty God, that the late British Colony of Connecticut should become a free, sovereign and independent State, as it now is, some alterations in the Liturgy and offices of our Church are necessary to be made, to accommodate them to the civil Constitution of the Country in which we live; for the peace, security and prosperity of which, both as good subjects and faithful Christians, it is our duty constantly to pray--We, the Bishop aforesaid, have thought fit, by and with the advice and assistance of such of our Clergy as we have had opportunity of consulting, to issue this Injunction, hereby authorizing and requiring You, and every one of You, the Presbyters and Deacons of the Church above mentioned, in the celebration of Divine Service, to make the following alterations in the Liturgy and offices of our Church--"[Dr. Hart's Reprint of Bishop Seabury's Communion Office, p. 29.]

The American mind which, (in its natural condition and unaffected by Anglophilic or other hyper-social aspirations) is no "respecter of persons," has sometimes amused itself at the baronial or royal sort of style of this and other pronouncements of Bishop Seabury. His "Samuel by Divine permission Bishop &c," and his use of the "We" instead of I, which used to be characteristic of Sovereigns, have been often commented upon; sometimes humorously, and sometimes with disparagement. So far as it may furnish amusement to those whose humor is fain to be tickled with such straws, no exception need be taken to the comment: but the inference that the usage was the mark of a vain affectation of exaltation is unjust. The character of the man was wholly averse from anything of the kind. He knew his own worth, and was fully conscious of his own capacity for inspiring in others the respect which he had for himself; and thus possessed a natural personal dignity which had no need of any adventitious props. At the same time he was permeated with the faith that whatsoever good will or power he possessed, he had it not by any merit of his own, but because he had received it from the Giver of all good; so that he was without temptation to glory in it as if he had not received it. And it should be remembered, that, in the usage commented on, he simply followed the fashion which had been customary not only in the English Church, but also almost throughout the Christian world; and further that he believed in the Office which he held; and that it was part of the duty which his faith taught him, to magnify his Office, and in all his public acts to present it to men so that it should inspire in them the reverence which he himself felt for it. [It is, perhaps, not unworthy of consideration, that the official use of the plural "We" to which exception is sometimes taken, is a usage much more democratic in its suggestions than that of the singular "I." The Ruler speaks as the exponent of the Community over which he presides. The Sovereign is the embodiment of the people of his realm: the Bishop, of the body of the Church in his Diocese. So that the plural of the personal pronoun has a much better political and ethical sanction--beside that of venerable precedent--than could be pleaded for the recent usage of Edward VII, in addressing Parliament in the first person, in regard to My Army, My Soldiers, etc.]

At all events, both the introduction to Bishop Seabury's pastoral, and his customary signatures accord with other testimonies as to the extent of his jurisdictional claims. In a collection of fac-similes of Church Documents issued by the "Historical Club of the American Church," 1874-79, appear the following specimens; "Samuel Connect.," "S. Bp. Connect.," "Samuel Bp. Connect," "Samuel Bp. Epl Chch Connect.," and "S. Bp. Connect. & Rho. Isl." The last cited signature being after he had been declared Bishop of Rhode Island by a Convention of Churches in that State in 1790. [Beardsley's life of Bp. Seabury, 391.]

In the same direction tends the letter written by Bishop Seabury to the Governor of Connecticut, the copy of which in the Letter Book is signed with, presumably, an abbreviated form. This letter has other significances also which make it worth printing, since it shows not only the writer's recognition of duty to the Civil authority, but also very particularly his acknowledged allegiance to the State, notwithstanding the United States of America in Congress assembled, were not to be precluded from the benefit of the prayers of the Church.

"His excellency Samuel Huntington Esquire Governor of the State of Connecticut. New London Oct. 14, 1786. Sir,

The Convocation of the Episcopal Clergy of this State having in their late meeting at Derby, directed the inclosed forms of Prayer for the United States of America in Congress assembled, to be inserted in the Liturgy, and used in the celebration of Divine Service, I have taken the liberty to make this communication to your Excellency, thinking it my duty to lay all our transactions, in which the State is in any wise concerned, before the Supreme Magistrates. We feel it to be our duty, and, I assure your Excellency, it is our willing disposition, to pray for, and seek to promote, the peace and happiness of the Country in which we live, and the stability and efficacy of the Civil Government under which God's providence has placed us: and we persuade ourselves, that in the discharge of this duty, we have not derogated from the freedom, sovereignty, or independence of this State. Should your Excellency's sentiments be different, I shall presume to hope for a communication of them, that due regard and attention may be paid to them.

Begging the best blessings of Heaven for your Excellency, both in your private and public capacity, I remain, with great regard and esteem, your Excellency's most obedient and very humble servant, S--Bp. Connect."

The Bishop was favoured with the following answer to this communication from Governor Huntington:

"New Haven Novem. 4th 1786 Sir

I have been honoured with your letter of the 11th ultĀ°. with the forms of prayer for the United States in Congress assembled, as composed by your late Convocation at Derby, and communicated them in the Council Chamber this session of Assembly, we found nothing exceptionable in the forms, I esteem them well adapted to the occasion.

I may say with much pleasure and satisfaction, I am happy to see the day when the spirit of bigotry seems almost extinguished, and religion is no longer prostituted as an engine in State policy to serve political parties and purposes. I have the honour to be with sentiments of esteem and respect

Your obedient humble servt

Samel. Huntington
Revd. Bishop Samuel &c "

To adduce evidences that the jurisdiction of the subject of these memoirs was Connecticut, may seem somewhat like an attempt to prove the obvious. But in fact, at the time, there were some who had a different view of the matter. The habit of the Church mind for a century or more had been to desire a Bishop for the Church in the Colonies, a Bishop to reside in America, and to be for the Church in this Country what the Bishop of London had theretofore been; and when at last a Bishop actually was in the Country, it was not unnatural that many should feel that the desire of the Church here had been realized, and that those who needed to be confirmed, or ordained, or otherwise to have the benefit of Episcopal care, might now enjoy what they had so long desired. It was felt too, that in this way the perpetuity of the Church throughout the Country was secured. For although intelligent and well informed Churchmen knew that the ordinary canonical practice was that a Bishop should be ordained by three, or, as the "Apostolical Canon" phrased it, "by two or three Bishops," yet they also understood that the power of the individual Bishop essentially involved the capacity of perpetuating his own order; and that under the circumstances in which they then were, that course might be pursued if it should prove to be necessary to adopt it. And so some of those who were in sympathy with the Connecticut movement, feeling that the situation was saved, expanded a little in their joy, and hailed the new Bishop as the good Bishop of America, the Bishop of All America, and with such like phrases. And, on the other hand, those who did not sympathize with the Connecticut movement, but were, from their position, or judgment, or both, inclined to favour the movement in the Middle and Southern States for the completion of an organization first, and the acquirement of Bishops afterwards, were extremely apprehensive of possible claims of a jurisdiction over them, which might in some way interfere with the development of their plans. Dr. Chandler after his return to this country, writing to Bishop Seabury from Elizabethtown July 28, 1785, referring to "A grand Convention" soon to be held at Philadelphia "the proceedings of which will decide the character and the fate of the Church in the middle States," says, "I find that some people have a jealousy, that you are aiming at the rule of the whole Continent in ecclesiastical matters; and they blame you for hastening to settle the Constitution of the Church in Connecticut, before the meeting of the Continental Convention:" and the evidences of this feeling were not altogether wanting in some of the proceedings afterwards instituted in that Convention, which will later come under our consideration. It seems thus to be of some importance to show clearly the ground taken by Bishop Seabury, as to his own proper and exclusive jurisdiction, that we may be the better able to estimate at their true worth such incidents in his Episcopal life as have been, or are perhaps liable to be, misconstrued as having resulted from an overweening desire on his part to extend and intrude his own influence beyond the sphere for which he was justly responsible.

His visits to other neighborhoods, wherein he had many friends both Clerical and Lay, led of course to frequent, though occasional, exercise of his Episcopal functions, since it was as Bishop that he was invited to officiate. At Boston, at Portsmouth, at Newport, and at Hempstead, there were services held; which were apparently regarded as matter of course, and as no more worthy of criticism than would ordinarily be the act of one Clergyman in preaching upon invitation in the parish of another. Some of these we may have later occasion to notice. But to none of them was exception taken, so far as I am aware, except to that of a service in St. George's Church, Hempstead, in which Bishop Seabury, in 1785, ordained Mr. John Lowe of Virginia, both Deacon and Priest.

Of this occurrence, the Revd. Dr. Dix, in his History of Trinity Church, New York, speaks as follows:

"It was not strange that in the uncertain state of affairs at that time, things should have been done which naturally led to irritation of feeling and breaches of the peace between the brethren. A case in point was that of Bishop Seabury's crossing over into the State of New York in 1785, and ordaining, in a place where he had no canonical right to officiate, a Candidate for Holy Orders from the State of Virginia. The Ordination took place in St. George's Church, Hempstead, L. I." And, after quoting an account of the service given in "The New York Packet," November 10, 1785, Dr. Dix continues, "This ordination caused no little annoyance in New York. Later we find the Bishop of Connecticut vigorously resenting a lesser act of intrusion on the part of his brother of New York. When, in 1795, at the request of the Clergy of Massachusetts, and after consultation with those of New York, Bishop Provoost after much hesitation ordained a Minister for a Congregation at Narragansett, which had placed itself under the care of the Church in Massachusetts, Bishop Seabury promptly protested against the act, claiming that the whole of the territory of Rhode Island was under his jurisdiction. On receiving Bishop Seabury's remonstrance, Bishop Provoost himself proposed the adoption of Canon VIII of 1795 (to prevent a Congregation in any Diocese or State to unite with a Church in any other Diocese or State)." [A History of the Parish of Trinity Church in the City of New York, compiled by order of the Corporation and edited by Morgan Dix, S. T. D., D. C. L., 1901, vol. I, pp. 106-7. See also Appendix XV, pp. 325-333, of the same volume, in which a fuller, and very satisfactory account of the matters referred to in the text, is given by the Rev. Joseph Hooper.]

With regard to the first of the things thus referred to, the ordination of Bishop Seabury "in a place where he had no canonical right to officiate," it is to be observed that there were no canons then existing in this Country regulating the right of Bishop Seabury to officiate in any particular place. His admitted and recognized jurisdiction was the Church in Connecticut. And the general canonical obligation of a Bishop not to exercise his office outside of his own jurisdiction was manifestly applicable only in cases where such act would be an interference with the right of some other Bishop. There was, however, no other Bishop claiming jurisdiction over the place in which Bishop Seabury then officiated, and he certainly disregarded no canonical obligation by officiating as a Bishop in any place where there was no Bishop having or claiming to have jurisdiction over the Church in that place.

It is true that the Church in the State of New York, in which Hempstead was, had, prior to the act of Bishop Seabury, formally organized itself into what was practically and intentionally a Diocesan jurisdiction; and proposed to have itself completed, when possible, by a Bishop to be consecrated for it. So that it might be claimed that no such act as that of a foreign Bishop officiating within its limits, ought to have taken place without permission of its constituted authorities. Generally speaking, that position would no doubt be correct: but when it is considered that such organization had taken place only a few months before; that it was the act of a Convention which had dispersed, and had during its session constituted no Standing Committee or other body to exercise its authority in the interim between its sessions; and that probably information in regard to such organization was not as yet become general, it hardly seems fair to consider the act of officiating without express permission, as an act of intrusion. And as to the application of the provision of the draft constitution of the General Convention of 1785, that "every Bishop shall confine the exercise of his office to his proper jurisdiction; unless requested to ordain or confirm by any Church destitute of a Bishop," it had not at the time of the act referred to been ratified by the Convention of New York, and was of no obligation in that State, and certainly of none in Connecticut which was as yet unrepresented in General Convention. The act of the Bishop of Connecticut in this case seems to have been fairly within his Episcopal discretion, and cannot be condemned without judging it in comparison with standards and circumstances which did not exist at the time, nor for a good while afterwards. And it is worthy of note too that Dr. Provoost, who objected very strenuously to Bishop Seabury's being in New York, because he imagined he was set on mischief and was trying to thwart the plan of having Bishops consecrated in England, nevertheless does not appear to have had any particular objection to allege against the act of Bishop Seabury from a Church point of view. [See his letter to Dr. White, cited by Beardsley, pp. 248-9.]

With regard to the vigorous resentment said to have actuated Bishop Seabury when some ten years later Bishop Provoost ordained a clergyman for a congregation in Narragansett, Rhode Island, without consultation with Bishop Seabury, under whose jurisdiction the Church in the State of Rhode Island had previously been placed, the facts appear to be, that a minority of the parish at Narragansett refused to concur in the act of the Convention of the Church in Rhode Island placing that Church under the jurisdiction of Bishop Seabury, and desired to associate itself with the Church in Massachusetts; and that Mr. Walter Gardiner, at the instance of that minority, had applied to the Standing Committee of Massachusetts for admission as a Candidate for Holy Orders; and that, upon the request of that Committee, Bishop Provoost, visiting the Parish of St. Paul, Narragansett (now Wickford) on June 24, 1792, made Mr. Gardiner a Deacon.

It being well known that the Church in Rhode Island had by its convention November 18, 1790, placed itself under Bishop Seabury's jurisdiction, the only plea that could be made in defense of the act of Bishop Provoost in ordaining a Narragansett Church member for a congregation in Narragansett, on the request of Massachusetts Clergymen, would be that this member and Congregation had the right to connect themselves with another Diocese than that of Rhode Island. No canon having prohibited such connection the intended implication seems to be that there was no objection to it. It is to be noted, however, that the principle that the unit of representation in the Ecclesiastical Union was the Church in the State (then conterminous with the Diocese) was settled so early as 1786, when the General Convention on a question put, decided that it had no authority to admit as members, persons deriving their appointment not from a State Convention but from a particular parish or parishes only.0 That principle being settled, jurisdiction over the Church in a State would seem necessarily to include jurisdiction over congregations of the Church within that State. The Canon subsequently enacted, prohibiting union of a congregation in one State, with the Convention in another State, no doubt applied this principle and made it plainer; but the principle and the duty ought to have been obvious enough to prevent the action of Bishop Provoost. Bishop Seabury appears not to have taken any action publicly until the Convention of 1793 in Rhode Island. Afterwards, and before the General Convention of 1795 he addressed a letter to Bishop White, "respectfully and affectionately complaining of the matter," which letter was read to Bishop Provoost, who "perceived objections to such conduct in individual Congregations, and would much approve of a Canon to prevent it." [Bishop White's Memoirs, Ed. 1880, p. 201, cited on p. 332 of Dr. Dix's History of Trinity Church, volume I.] I do not find any evidence of Bishop Seabury's "vigorously resenting" the action of Bishop Provoost other than this.

Bishop Seabury made the following entry as to the matter in his Journal under date of July 31, 1793, recording the action of the Rhode Island Convention at Newport:

"The case of Mr. Walter Gardiner, of Narragansett, who that he might have some pretence for endeavouring to seize the legacy left by John Case Esqr. for a support of a Bishop who should have the superintendency of the Narraganset country, whenever his widow who had her life in his farm should die, and who had therefore refused to join with the other Churches in the State, and with the majority of the congregation at Narragansett, in acknowledging the Bishop of Connecticut for the Bp. of Rhode Island, came to be considered. And as it appeared that Mr. Gardiner had privately obtained a recommendation to the Standing Committee of Massachusetts, and that they had, without any personal knowledge of Mr. Gardiner, recommended him to Bp. Provoost of New York, without any concurrence of the Congregation; and that Bp. Provoost had on this recommendation conferred Deacons orders on Mr. Gardiner (who it seems had joined himself to the Massachusetts Convention) the Convention declined to acknowledge Mr. Gardiner as one of their body, unless he did subscribe the constitution of Rhode Island, and acknowledge the superintendency of the Bp. of Connecticut. This Mr. Gardiner would have then done, had he not been prevented by Mr. Thomas Wickham of New-Port. The Convention therefore allowed him till the middle of November to consider of this matter: and determined if he did not by that time accede to the Constitution of Connecticut &c: they would hold no connection with him.

It appeared also to the Convention that Mr. Gardiner had not attended at the Church for divine service for a month past, as no congregation would attend with him."

Apart from this episode, which it has seemed desirable to consider in this connection, the course of our story appears to have brought us to the recognition of the fact that the return of Bishop Seabury to this Country, and the subsequent action of himself and his Clergy, with the loyal concurrence of the laity of their congregations, resulted in the establishment of an integral part of the Catholic Church of Christ--perfectly organized and complete in itself--having, by valid and canonical transmission of the Episcopate, the threefold order of the Ministry united with the laity in communion with Christ through the faith and sacraments of His institution. To speak of this organization as a Diocese of the Church in Connecticut, is to speak correctly, but not adequately. To those who are accustomed to think of a Diocese as merely one of several parts of a larger division of the Church to which it bears a subordinate relation, the phrase would not convey the whole truth in its application to the Church in Connecticut. It is necessary to observe further that this organization in Connecticut constituted in itself an entire and complete Church--bound indeed by the analogy of the faith and order of Christ's Church as a whole; but, so far as other individual parts of the Church were concerned, absolutely independent, and free from all manner of subordination to the rule or dictation of any one of them or of any combination or association of them.

The abandonment on the part of the English Bishops of all claim to the jurisdiction which had been the common bond of union of the Churches existing in the several Colonies, left the Church in each State after the Revolution free to pursue one of two courses open to it. It might seek to complete and perfect itself by procuring the consecration of a Bishop, and by settling its own faith and worship and discipline in accordance with the general constitution of the Church of Christ; or it might associate itself with the Church in other States in a common organization, and seek the procurement of its completion by Bishops afterward. In Connecticut the first of these courses was pursued. In Pennsylvania and other States the second course was preferred. Each part of the Church was wholly within its right in the course adopted. But it is manifest that neither part had any right or claim to jurisdiction over the other; and that the basis of whatever joint or common association there might be, was simply the consent of the integral parts associating themselves.

The relation which the completely organized Church in Connecticut might come to hold to the Churches in other States then in process of organization, was necessarily to be based upon the common consent of all; and the several steps toward the establishment of such consent, and the difficulties attendant upon its completion, come now to be considered.

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