To record the true history and to preserve the evidences of a great event in our ecclesiastic progress I write this essay.
On Trinity Sunday, A. D. 1884, I was in Oxford, England; and on the afternoon of that day, called at Christ Church upon Canon LIDDON. I arrived the day before at Liverpool from New York; and, on my way to London, stopped at Oxford to confer with him on a subject which occupied my thought very much, and in which I desired to interest him, and through him Canon GREGORY, his senior associate Canon at St. Paul's Cathedral. I had known Dr. LIDDON since the early part of the summer of 1870, and since 1872 had often enjoyed his hospitality, and was frequently his correspondent. On coming to Christ Church I went directly, and unannounced, to his rooms; in response to my knock it chanced that he himself, being alone, came to the outer door. Kindly recognizing me, he, in that hearty manner which he indulged towards some friends when his natural shyness had worn away, took my hand warmly in both of his, and led me into the interior room, his study. I had evidently interrupted him at work. He afterwards mentioned, in excuse for not asking me to spend the evening with him, that he had been preparing the customary discourse which he delivered to a selection of students each Sunday evening in term-time. When we were seated, I, without delay, began by telling him that my visit at this time had more purpose than only a friendly call: for I wished to consult him about a special service which I was convinced should be held, and in St. Paul's Cathedral, upon the occasion, which would occur the coming autumn, of the centennial anniversary of the consecration of SAMUEL SEABURY by the Scotch Bishops. Canon LIDDON said he was acquainted with the "memorable" event itself and its importance, and was conscious of the misconceived policy, influenced by political prejudices, which justified SEABURY in seeking consecration of the Scotch Church; but declared that he needed more information, and feared that others he should have to consult were no better instructed than himself. What he said was to that effect. This was not unforeseen: because I had often before found how little certainty of knowledge even those who were most friendly in England to our Church had of its history or of our national affairs. Yet Canon LIDDON had more information of those subjects than many others of our Anglican well-wishers. Nevertheless, upon this apparent invitation I developed my motives at full and most earnestly; first alluding to the commemorative celebration then preparing by the Scotch Church to be held at Aberdeen on October 5-8. I tried to explain this could not meet the "opportunity," which it seemed to me the anniversary offered to The Church of England, and her alone. I then alluded to the consecrations at Lambeth of Bishops WHITE and PREVOST, and to the probability, if my suggestion was not acted upon, that those Anglican consecrations would be commemorated as the most important event, and become as if admittedly the primal and true initiative of the American episcopate. To allow this error to be asserted would be not simply unhistorical, but once more evince the weakness of 1784. A commemoration at St. Paul's, of the Aberdeen "fact," would be an acknowledgment and a sanction of the Scotch consecration,--would proclaim the independence of the Church from all affairs involving civil discord, and bring at once into a manifestation and declaration of unity the Churches of Scotland, England, and America. "Let me be entirely candid," I said; "our purpose should be to subordinate all to the object of bringing those churches together on November 14, under the dome of the Metropolitan Cathedral of St. Paul's, and thereby to declare their unity, and the heroic act of SEABURY and of the three Scotch Bishops. Strifes of the State need not be causes for schisms in the Church." I added, that the thought of such a celebration so far was entirely my own; and, indeed, was mainly the motive for my present visit to Europe; that it had not been suggested to me by any one; and that I meant it to be wholly individual, because then the matter could be considered without embarrassment. If nothing came of it, it need not become known to others, and no cause for offence arise. The significance of the demonstration would have a depth and certainty of purport and an influence beyond what we could now foresee or calculate; and, in conclusion, I ventured to say that the anniversary and its appropriate celebration could be fitly made "a Day of Atonement." This is the substance of my response to Canon LIDDON; and this relation contains many phrases which I uttered.
Canon LIDDON still encouraging me, I continued to develop the subject more and more and into details for the commemorative service, till the afternoon was far gone; and till it appeared to us that the project was sufficiently considered for our own preliminary uses. He promised finally, that he would call, in London, upon Canon GREGORY, as Canon GREGORY was to be during November in residence; and he repeated that they would have to depend on me for the historical particulars. From this request, repeated, I hoped that he was thinking about preaching the sermon, and I engaged to write a memoir covering the affair, its circumstances, and some of its effects. I could only hope that he might be the preacher: I afterwards was convinced that he wished it.
It interests me to recall--it might interest many others to learn of--incidents which occurred at this remarkable interview. The current of our after conversation carried us to reminiscences of PUSEY, KEBLE, and NEWMAN. On the mantel-piece before us in the study was a miniature bust of NEWMAN. PUSEY died since I was last at Oxford. After a while I asked Canon LIDDON how he got on with the "Life of Pusey." He replied--and it appeared to me sadly--that he had given it up; but hoped to find another hand to which it might be committed. To bring into two volumes all that should be written--which would, he said, be necessary to ensure the work being read--he had found required efforts to which his strength was not equal. The subject and its relations, he remarked, grew on him, and the need for a "compendious expression" was absolute. I felt that a great disappointment was to fall upon the religious and the literary worlds; and promptly responded: "Then publish the manuscript in its present state, and let the work not be finished by any other writer. The subject of PUSEY and his times itself is interesting, but most so to a generation which is nearly passed away: the present takes little interest in it; and you yourself know and feel that the name of PUSEY is not always acceptable to a large number of our church-folk. The 'Apologia pro Vita Sua' was in NEWMAN'S case desirable as his defence. Now--pardon my earnest candor--your name as the author is required to win a successful circulation, certainly in America; and there you will have a multitude of readers in and outside our own communion. Your desire is that PUSEY, also, shall become truly known and justly esteemed? Then have no hand other than your own touch the authorship--you must finish the book or leave it as it is. Consult your American publisher and he will assure you of this." I spoke to that effect, and generally those phrases were used by me. I thought I might have given offence; but, after a few moments' silence, likely of reflection, he arose, opened one of the drawers in one of the library tables, and, taking in his hand three or four packages of manuscript, folded in oblong, told me they were chapters of the "Life of Pusey," and were as far as he had finished. It appeared to me that a great deal of work was accomplished. He then opened another drawer, and placed in my hand a package: this was of a large number of letters. They were the originals of correspondence between PUSEY and NEW-MAN. He said that he was indebted to the Cardinal himself for them. Whether he told me that these letters were received through Dean CHURCH, or I supposed that they were, I am not able to recollect. I was aware--as who is not who knew either of them?--of the life-long and affectionate friendship between CHURCH and NEWMAN. I read none, indeed I opened none, of the letters. Canon LIDDON became very animated as he mentioned that they would shed "a welcome light" upon the thoughts, motives, and actions of the men of the Tractarian Movement. As he replaced the packages in the drawers he said: "Will you come with me? I hope we can get into St. Friedswide's. We have enough time before I must meet the scholars." As we passed out into the quadrangle of Christ Church the twilight was already deepening. Canon LIDDON got the key at one of the offices; we continued on our way to the entrance of the Abbey Church, where he unlocked and opened the "wicket." Our conversation ceased. I followed. We soon stood at the foot of the slab which, in the middle aisle, covers the grave of PUSEY. With closed eyes he remained, perhaps a minute, in thought or silent prayer. I particularly noticed that he placed his thumb beneath his under-lip, and pressed its upper part with the first two fingers. I should not now recollect this; or, if I did, would still think of it as merely an effort to repress the show of his emotion: but I have since learned that NEWMAN, when standing by the grave of a dear "other self," did the like. Those men were truly of a brotherhood of love and devotion, and more than one incident had evinced that, with them, theological adversities could not supersede the sincerities of ancient friendship. Canon LIDDON and I went on to the stall in the chancel where PUSEY sat during services, and where he always used the Testament in the Greek tongue; and thence to the pulpit from which he delivered (May, 1843) the sermon for which he was, as for heresy, suspended from preaching for two years. During this part of our visit Canon LIDDON was even more animated and very communicative. I perceived that the theme of PUSEY had lost none of its influence over his mind and heart.
We walked together toward the gateway under the great tower, and as we neared it he directed my attention to a little doorway in that corner of the quadrangle to the left of the tower. That led to the apartments which PUSEY occupied during his latter years, and there he died in an "upper chamber." It was from the window of that chamber WOLSEY watched and directed the dilapidation of the lower part of the nave of St. Friedswide's, to make larger space for the construction of what was to be known as The Cardinal's College. I had met PUSEY, in 1870, at the inauguration of Keble College; and we had afterwards written communications with each other. Canon LIDDON came with me to the street in front of the tower; again, in that familiar way of which I have spoken, he took my right hand in both of his, and said: "I shall not abandon it; you have given me reasons; I shall try to finish my work." Those were his words. I did not speak. I could not. "Silence was the safest eloquence." There and then we parted. I walked quickly to the High Street. I did not look back; I felt as if he yet stood where we had parted. I remembered long afterwards and distinctly the impression which saddened me, that we were not in this life to meet again. There was about him a lassitude and look of exhaustion which I never before noticed in him. Though we met no more, he continued to send to me by recurring opportunities kind messages and some letters.
The next morning I proceeded by an early train up to London. On the way, further reflection determined me without delay to call upon the Very Reverend Dean CHURCH; and, through him, interest the Archbishop of Canterbury. To see the Dean was, of course, in my plan from the first; but the Archbishop was a new idea, and one which might effect a change in the programme for the commemoration. I called at the Deanery, near Doctors' Commons, the following day. The Dean was on the Continent. When I returned to London, in July, he was at home. I was known to him since August, 1872, when we first met at the house of a dear common friend; I had shared his hospitality; and many letters, chiefly on literary and social topics, had passed between us. I knew that I could, and I did with little preface, open the subject to him. Thoughts and sentiments habitual to him, and which were inspired by the dearest and elder associations of his life, must, I was sure, give a welcome reception to such a proposition as that which I was to offer. I found a ready and soon an eager auditor. It was clear from his animated manner, unusual to his calm repose, that the affair had his enthusiastic sympathy. He certainly infused me with his own enthusiasm to a greater degree; and I now remember, though it did not awake my full attention at the time, that we each together walked the room during the greater part of our conference. As I proceeded in enforcing the "opportunity" for the Church of England and its duty he several times ejaculated, "noblesse oblige." Dean CHURCH'S imaginative faculty was strong, fine, and delicate; he was by nature a poet; he was a clear and comprehensive thinker; and no person who learned how he stood by NEWMAN, rather in honest justice than mere friendship, in the days of tribulation at Oxford, especially in February, 1845, his proctor's year, could have doubted that he had "the courage of his convictions." Conciliatory, but uncompromising; gentle but firm; sincerity, simplicity of feeling and of life, a sense of the awfulness of things unseen, were the characteristics of RICHARD WILLIAM CHURCH.
I told him of my visit to Canon LIDDON; and repeated to him that the thought of such a commemoration was my own, and had occurred to no one but myself as far as I was aware; and that I had mentioned it to none but Canon LIDDON and himself; that this reticence on my part was not that it may be kept to ourselves; but, chiefly, that it might appear, and should in truth be, a spontaneous offering on the part of the authorities of St. Paul's, and proceeding from their own good and free will; and it appeared to me that in any case--as the offering must be unquestionably voluntary--no notice should be given officially, indeed none at all, to any of the American ecclesiastic authorities; for every appearance of previous understanding should be most carefully guarded against.
Dean CHURCH finally answered that he saw the importance of the opportunity, and agreed with me that the commemoration should be an event to be originated by the official authorities of the Cathedral, to go forth as "a free-will offering," and, he added good-humoredly, "as you have said, in expiation." Dean CHURCH recurs, perhaps, to this expression of mine, when in his letter of November 15 (the day after the commemorative service) he wrote to me: "The Archbishop preached a striking sermon, bolder and more frank in its tone than we have heard recently from Archbishops,--a reparation for the weakness and stagnancy of 1784."
It was thus decided that the Commemorative Service should be undertaken.
The Dean asked me if I had thought about a programme. I had: and this led us to consider particulars, wherein I did not withhold what had occurred to me. I mentioned some things that found place in the programme as after settled; which makes it clearer why the Reverend WILLIAM JONES SEABURY, D. D., who was the gospeller (a remarkable feature in the service), says to me, in his letter from London, written the day after the commemoration: "Only a line in the few minutes before the mail closes to tell you that your programme, at St. Paul's, was completely carried out and most successfully."
I now perceived I might go farther, and--following up this advantageous opening--said that the fundamental merit of the recognition of the occasion by the Cathedral authorities would be more ample, adequate, and, as if it were "re-enforced," if the Archbishop of Canterbury took part personally, and officially on behalf of the Church of England itself. I then told him that Canon LIDDON had requested me to write a full memoir of the subject: a request from which we might conclude that the Canon would be willing to preach the sermon. But I suggested that it was demanded by the purpose and meaning and reach of the commemoration that the Archbishop should do it; that "that capstone would perfect the celebration as a monumental event, and confirm it by the highest ecclesiastical authority of Great Britain." The Dean promised to think over this; which he called "a most valuable hint." He said that if he should judge it prudent and feasible to attempt, he would call on me at the hotel where I was staying the day but one following. He called; I was away; and he left his card. I was, therefore, by this intimation, at liberty to assume that the Dean engaged to see the Archbishop.
This would, if the Archbishop complied, involve a change: denying us the great happiness of Canon LIDDON being the preacher. It gave me for some days an uncomfortable feeling; and I have never been completely reconciled to the sacrifice which we made to what seemed the requirements for a historical reparation by the Church of England, and for the highest ecclesiastical authoritative sanction of the commemoration. I am willing to remain of the opinion that it is better and more consummate that the preacher was the Archbishop. It was essential, perhaps, to the completeness of the idea to be expressed. And yet we all must remain conscious that the world has been deprived of a great discourse, on a great theme, by the greatest pulpit orator of our times: for LIDDON'S heart was touched and pierced by the occasion, and was full of the spirit of the theme; and this I soon after could see more fully, and understand, from a letter he wrote me from Highclerc Castle, on November 28, 1884. Is it not evident from its words and tone that he thought earnestly, and deeply, and sympathetically, what kind of discourse the day called for? " The general impression here was that the occasion was one for serious thankfulness to God. The pervading spirit was excellent, and the Archbishop's sermon in harmony with it, generally speaking; although I wish he had been able to state briefly, but firmly, the nature and necessity of the truth which was the inspiring nature of Bishop SEABURY'S courageous act. He took it for granted; but, in view of the great ignorance of the mass of the people on religious subjects, something more explicit would have been welcome. I almost fear that it may seem ungrateful to His Grace to write in this way; but I wish to be perfectly honest when writing to you."
Having accomplished my "heart's desire" I turned my way homeward. At Shrewsbury, where I rested for a few days before leaving for New York, I received a letter, dated at St. Andrew's, Scotland, July 29, 1884, from the venerable CHARLES WORDSWORTH, the Bishop of St. Andrew's, an acquaintance and correspondent of mine. It related to the commemoration festival to be held in October at Aberdeen. He wrote: "I only regret that your engagements require you to return home without paying us a visit in this country. When I first recognized your handwriting, and saw that it was dated from Shrewsbury, I was in hopes that you had come over for the centenary, where your presence would be so very appropriate and so highly welcome." But I could not remain. I had work at home for the St. Paul's Commemoration.
Soon after my arrival at home I wrote (August 20, 1884) to Dean CHURCH, and gave him an additional "hint" for the programme by pointing out the felicitous propriety of the Reverend Dr. SEABURY, of New York, being invited to read the Gospel; and I enclosed the promised "Memoir," in duplicate, one for himself, the other, if required, for the Archbishop. Dr. SEABURY was not aware of this "hint."  I posted to Canon LIDDON two copies of the memoir: he to give one to Canon GREGORY. It was a lengthy paper of sixteen closely written pages; and while it furnished all biographical facts and incidents of SEABURY, was even more abundant in observations and reflections; many of which appear to have been worked into the Archbishop's sermon. Some remarks connected with Unitarianism in New England and of a curious incident attending its meeting-house at Hartford, related by me in that "Memoir," have, I am informed, not agreed with the understanding of certain persons,--one an eminent American prelate. I know nothing of my own knowledge of what I related; but hearsay was never sustained by better testimony, for all that I made use of came from the Honorable JAMES DIXON, of Hartford, a Senator of the United States, and who was a most active member of Trinity while it was yet of the Unitarian association. After he became a Churchman Mr. DIXON supervised the dilapidation of the old edifice. The ancient materials were at once moved to another part of the town; and there, each stone replaced in its former relation, the reconstructed edifice was consecrated by Bishop HUNTINGTON, who, when a preacher in Unitarianism, had himself often preached to gatherings within its walls. While on a visit to Mr. DIXON, in August, 1865, we viewed the "old materials," reerected and consecrated in the new site; and there he told me the story which I relate in the "Memoir." Till I am better assured I should not recall any part of that which is written. The next stage, in order of time, was that, in the latter part of September, from Dean CHURCH, a letter came, dated the 17th, telling me: "We hope to have a Commemoration Service at St. Paul's on November 14; and further, that the Archbishop of Canterbury has gladly consented to preach on the occasion. I enclose his note. Thank you for the paper which you were so good as to send me, and of which I have sent one copy to the Archbishop."
The time was now ripe when I might disclose what was done, and doing, to the Right Reverend HORATIO POTTER, Bishop of New York, and to the Assistant Bishop, the Right Reverend HENRY CODMAN POTTER. The Assistant Bishop, answering from Newport a note of mine, appointed Friday, October 30, to meet me in New York. We met, and I told him all without reserve; and showed him Dean CHURCH'S letter of September 17. The Assistant Bishop desired to acquaint the public with the intelligence, and he requested me to write to the Bishop. In compliance I sent the following letter:--
NEW YORK, October 4, 1884.
RIGHT REV. AND DEAR SIR,--It is a happy satisfaction for me to communicate to you, that I have received a letter, dated Sept. 17, 1884, from the Very Rev. R. W. CHURCH, the Dean of St. Paul's, London, enclosing a note to him from His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, which inform me that, on November 14 next, the centennial anniversary of the consecration of the Rev. SAMUEL SEABURY, it is purposed to celebrate by an appropriate special service in St. Paul's Cathedral that commanding event in the history of the Church. I enclose copies of those letters. You will notice--though from Dean CHURCH'S letter all the proceedings are not yet arranged--that the Archbishop himself will preach the anniversary sermon.
The purposed celebration is in recognition of the epoch in the Church which had its beginning in the fact of the consecration of Bishop SEABURY as the first American Bishop. It springs from an unforced and fraternal accord, and from those highest in veneration and authority in the Church of England. Perhaps no official communication of this intention may be expected by our side, and from what now seem to me obvious reasons. Indeed, I apprehend that the information of which I have spoken is sent to me entirely in a personal and informal spirit, and because I have had, through friendly conversations with Dean CHURCH and with Canon LIDDON, some relation to those impulses which have secured proper notice in England to the approaching anniversary.
Therefore--as no formal communication can be surely expected, owing to what may be thought proprieties peculiar to such voluntary homage, and as it must be assumed that a thing so important and valuable to an American Churchman cannot be meant for me only--I infer it is my duty, even at the risk of being open to the charge of intruding my own name on so great an occasion, to call, in this manner, the attention of the Bishop of New York to that which has been written to me.
With much esteem and respect I am, my dear Bishop,
Yours most faithfully, GEO. SHEA.
To the Right Rev. HORATIO POTTER, D. D., Bishop of New York.
The letter was published by the Bishop, and with my consent, in the newspapers, and so the affair became public. It will be seen that I was careful to have it made clear that the St. Paul's Commemoration Service was a voluntary act, and that no official notice to our Church was to be expected.
Another letter came from Dean CHURCH, dated "London, The Deanery, St. Paul's, Nov. 4, 1884," telling me: "All is settled for November 14. I hoped to have sent you with my letter a copy of the Special Psalms, Lessons, and Collects,--all of. Dr. LIDDON'S selection. As I told you, the Archbishop will preach. ... I have asked Dr. SEABURY to read the Gospel. ... I hope you will accept it as an evidence of our sympathy, and of the great and happy changes which a hundred years have wrought in the ideas and feelings of Churchmen on both sides of the water; and not of Churchmen only, but of the two peoples who speak the English tongue. You will remember us on the 14th."
Canon LIDDON'S original memoranda of the "Special Psalms, Lessons, and Collects " were enclosed in that letter, and are among the "inset" papers, as, also, the note of the Archbishop, enclosed in the Dean's former letter.
There ended my part.
Afterwards I received from Canon LIDDON the letter written at Highclerc, from which I have quoted, and a letter from Dean CHURCH, written at the Deanery the day next after the Commemoration. The great event was consummated in the Cathedral, and at the time appointed. It is to the latter letter that attention is required. After fully describing, in glowing phrases and in minuteness, the entire ceremony and its incidents, the Dean says: "I tell you this because you are the one person to whom the idea of this Commemoration, which many of us look upon as a historical event, is entirely due." While this statement is probably wholly correct, it seemed strange at the time that the Dean should mention to me a fact known to each of us; yet I felt quite sure that he could not mean to offer a certificate of the part which I had borne to the event. My heart was satisfied that the event was brought forth and the purpose accomplished. I had no wish further to be gratified. The circumstance passed from my mind, until it was revived by an incident, in the summer of 1888, when I visited again Dean CHURCH at the Deanery.
Since the Commemoration I have met and received kind attentions from those in England--except the gentle LIDDON--who were concerned in it. Two of the three who then privately acted together in its initiation have passed "through nature to eternity." The occasion and the time are now come when "I, the survivor of those three, am in duty bound to tell the tale. Wherefore I have caused to be "inset" the "original correspondence and other proof of that historical event" in a unique book, durably and appropriately bound: where they may hereafter be seen by those interested; and to which book I have, in my own penmanship, prefixed an introduction, of which this memoir is the substance. The volume contains the original records of the whole course of proceeding. I shall finally lodge that book in a public place for safe care, and there accessible as material for history.
During our talk in 1888, Dean CHURCH called my attention to the printed "Form of Service" used at the ceremonies, and which was distributed to the congregation at the Commemoration. It had on its cover the words that the celebration was "at the request of the American Bishops representing the Sixty-five Dioceses of the Church in the United States which have sprung of Seabury's line." It appeared that, as a copy of the Form of Service had been sent to me at New York the day of the Commemoration, the Dean had assumed I must notice the statement, and felt it should be, to my understanding, offensive, as a misconception and an untruth. Hence the letter written by the Dean the very day next after the celebration, and stating to me:--
"I tell you this because you are the one person to whom the idea of this Commemoration, which many of us look upon as an historical event, is entirely due. When you proposed it to me in the summer, I had not thought of it; and all that I did was to approach the Archbishop, who received the proposal with the most cordial sympathy, and put off other engagements to take his part in it. I hope you will let me thank you as a benefactor to both our churches. Gratefully and faithfully yours,
R. W. CHURCH."
The Dean had been disturbed by what he thought an injustice done to me; and I perceived that he, supposing I would observe it, had so promptly written that letter to set himself aright. I told him I had not noticed it; but that the proper question was not about me,--it was about the misstatement itself, which gave a false front to the object which Canon LIDDON, he, and myself had in our purpose. The "Form of Service" had been prepared by the Dean and Canon LIDDON themselves, and in their own handwriting; that part done by the latter was sent at the time to me, without my asking, as were the other original drafts, for souvenirs; and it is preserved by me, with those others, in the book of which I have spoken. Nothing, I was assured, was uttered by either of them as to any "request of American Bishops." Canon LIDDON himself, as I am informed, was equally annoyed. I felt certain that the Dean suspected, if he did not know, the personage who, super-serviceably, caused those words to be inserted. I did not wish to learn,--I did not inquire. The swing of eloquence by which the announcement ends, that the request is made by the Bishops "which have sprung of SEABURY'S line," almost sufficiently indicates the restless author of this maladroit act.
It is proper and commendable, therefore, to correct a statement--so published as if officially authorized--which asserted publicly that the Commemoration was, on the part of the Church of England, a compliance with "the request of the Bishops" of the "Church in the United States." And the fact is that, by the time the Commemoration became feasible, and while details for the Service were under consideration, the American Bishops had left for their several dioceses, and only three of them then in England were at St. Paul's. "You shall hear more when details are arranged," the Dean wrote to me. "But everybody is still out of town." By another letter (November 4) he says: "We hope to have all your Bishops who are now in England, Albany, Minnesota, and Fond du Lac;" and again (November 15) he adds: "We had our Service yesterday. . . . There were three American Bishops. I wish we had more, but they were gone." There is nothing in those letters about any request, nor about Bishops representing sixty-five Dioceses! But, in truth and candor, such a statement, if ever credited, would be not only contradictory of the originating spirit, and of the scope and object of the St. Paul's "reparation," but would blur the aspect and deny the magnanimity of its coming to the Church in America a "free-will offering,"--as, indeed, it did--unasked, unannounced, unexpected. It was of this initiative purpose I had written to Bishop HORATIO POTTER, after receiving the Dean's first letter. Dean CHURCH and Canon LIDDON felt this perversion of the thought and object which impelled us to produce the event; and they were anxious that the unhappy incident, if it should ever obtain currency, might not impair the efficacy of what Dean CHURCH calls "a reparation for the weakness and stagnancy of 1784." That reparation was to be unsolicited. That was alone the excuse why a layman should have made the suggestion. No one in ecclesiastical authority in the United States could make such a request, without incurring the censure of being a suppliant for a recognition which we know the SEABURY succession does not need, and which our dioceses would not permit to be questioned. Yet that is just what a well-meaning marplot, afflicted by an unappeasable desire to do good, has made appear. It was a blunder. Where was the Church of Scotland in this Commemoration? She was surely interested, and, by the same invitation as that offered to the American Bishops, her Bishops were associated in it. They were present, united in the great consummation, and received on behalf of "the Catholic remainder of the ancient Church of Scotland "the testimony of a redress due to more than a century and a half of unjust negation.
It has ever since then been my intention that when the occasion and the time came a full record should be made. This I now perform:--the occasion, when I have gathered together, in a form appropriate and well-chosen for preservation, the original manuscripts, which of themselves tell the story; the time, when RICHARD WILLIAM CHURCH and HENRY PARRY LIDDON, my consociates in the affair, are taken from this life.
As I pen its last lines, I feel as is expressed in the closing words of the Second Book of the Maccabees: "And if I have done well, and as is fitting the story, it is that which I desired; but if slenderly and meanly, it is that which I could attain unto." I have no pride of place myself, nor feeling of elation. Whatever sentiment I have ever been conscious of has always been that of humility and thankfulness. In the hands of Providence the weakest are fully efficient.
NEW YORK, 205 WEST 46TH STREET,
April 23, 1892.
 Here I think it in place to quote from that letter: "I hesitate to make any suggestion as to details of the ceremonies; but it might be a pleasing and notable feature that the Rev. William Jones Seabury, D. D., the Bishop's great-grandson, should read the Gospel for the day--in the very place from whence his noble ancestor was sent forth to preach the Gospel in America. . . . Dr. Seabury will be in London within a few days after the celebration at Aberdeen, and I avail myself of your (general) permission, and give him a letter to you. I have not, of course, mentioned anything of my suggestion as to his reading the Gospel. You will be pleased with him; he is a learned, able, and unaffected man."