Project Canterbury



1787--February 4--1887

Centennial Commemorations

of the



Bishop White and Bishop Provoost

Christ Church, Philadelphia
Lambeth Palace Chapel, London

Commemorative Discourse
Delivered in Christ Church
by the
Right Rev. William Bacon Stevens, D. D., LL.D.
Bishop of Pennsylvania


Delivered in Lambeth Chapel
by the
Right Rev. Henry C. Potter, D. D., LL.D.
Bishop of New York

Press of
Review Publishing and Printing Company,
N. W. Cor. Walnut and Fourth Sts.,


Transcribed by Wayne Kempton
Archivist and Historiographer of the Episcopal Diocese of New York, 2008

Prefatory Note.

IN his annual address to the Convention of his Diocese, held May 4, 1886, Bishop Stevens called especial attention to the anniversary of the consecration of Bishop White, for Pennsylvania, and of Bishop Provoost, for New York. He remarked as follows:--

"Before we meet again one hundred years will be completed since the consecration of Bishop William White:--on the 4th of February, 1787, in the chapel of Lambeth Palace, London, acting under the authority of an act of Parliament, sanctioned by the King of England, William White, Bishop-elect of Pennsylvania, and Samuel Provoost, Bishop-elect of New York, were consecrated Bishops by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and the Bishops of Bath, and Wells and Peterboro.

"Bishop White was the first on whom their hands were laid, and hence he was the first Bishop of the Anglican line consecrated for the Church in America.

"It seems to me that so notable an event ought to be fitly commemorated by appropriate services, in which the Dioceses of Pennsylvania and New York might unite. What the character of that commemoration shall be, whether by ourselves alone in this country, or whether by special services, in which we ask the presence of some of the English Bishops as representatives of the Church of England, is a matter that requires careful thought and consultation with other dioceses here and with the Archbishops and other Prelates of the Church of England. I lay the matter before you, and leave it in your hands to decide as to whether any, and if any, what would be the most appropriate action to be taken in the premises."

Thus far the Bishop's address--subsequently, on motion of the Rev. E. A. Foggo, D. D., Rector of Christ Church, Philadelphia, the following resolution was adopted:--

Resolved, That a committee be appointed with reference to that part of the bishop's address, relating to the centennial of the conveyance of the Episcopate of the Church of England to the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America in 1787.

The Bishop named as said committee:--
The Reverend Dr. Foggo, The Reverend Dr. Morton, The Reverend Dr. Davies, The Reverend Dr. Clemson, The Reverend Dr. Hare, The Reverend Dr. Buchanan, The Reverend W. W. Bronson, Mr. Thos. H. Montgomery, Dr. Charles Willing, Hon. M. Russell Thayer, Dr. Chas. R. King, Mr. Andrew Wheeler, Mr. Wm. P. Cresson.

[3/4] The Committee thus named, in conference with the Bishop, adopted the following order of service, to be held at Christ Church, February 4, 1887:--

Friday, February 4, 1887,
It being the one hundredth anniversary of the consecration of Bishops
White and Provoost, as Bishops respectively of Pennsylvania and New York,
at Lambeth Chapel, London, February 4, 1787.
The Rev. E. A. Foggo, D. D., Rector Christ Church, in general
charge of the Service.
Processional.--Hymn 202.
The Litany (by the Rev. Dr. T. F. Davies, Rector of St. Peter's).
Hymn 29.
The Lord's Prayer and Collect for Purity (The Rev. Dr. H. J. Morton).
The Decalogue (The Rev. Dr. E. Y. Buchanan).
The Collects for the Day (The Rev. Dr. J. B. Clemson).
The Epistle (The Rev. William White Montgomery).
The Gospel (The Rev. William White Bronson).
The Nicene Creed (The Rev. Dr. G. Emlen Hare).
Hymn 293.
Commemorative Discourse (By Bishop Stevens).*
The Address of the Standing Committee of the Diocese of New York
(by Dr. Richey).
The Prayer for Christ's Church Militant (by Bishop Whitehead).
The Short Exhortation, Confession and Absolution (by Bishop Howe).
The Comfortable Words and Prayer of Humble Access (by Bishop Rulison).
The Prayer of Consecration (by Bishop Whitaker).
The Post-Communion (by the Rev. Dr. Thos. Richey).
The Benediction (by Bishop Morris).
Recessional--Hymn 309.


[*At the close of the Discourse the Bishop announced that he had sent a cable despatch to the Archbishop of Canterbury, at Lambeth, in these words: "The Diocese of Pennsylvania sends cordial thanks for the Canterbury Memorial Service at Lambeth."]

In addition to those above-named as taking part in the service, there were present, in the chancel, the Right Rev. Bishop Boone, of China, and the Rev. W. J. Seabury, D. D., of the Diocese of New York; also, as delegates from the Diocese of Pittsburgh, the Rev. Richard S. Smith, the Rev. William White Wilson, the Hon. Felix H. Brunot, and Mr. John W. Reynolds; and from the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania, the Rev. Edmund Leaf and the Rev. Marcus A. Tolman.

The Right Rev. Dr. Lee, Presiding Bishop, was detained by sickness, and the Right Rev. the Bishop of Connecticut, who had been invited, regretted his inability to attend.

[5] NOTE.--The Bishop of the Diocese, in apportioning the service, had regard to those who were in any way associated with Bishop White. Bishops Howe, Whitehead, Rulison and Whitaker represent the Dioceses originally embraced in the one Diocese of Pennsylvania.

The Rev. Drs. Foggo, Davies and Morton are his successors in the three parishes (Christ Church, St. Peter's, and St. James') which constituted his pastoral cure. Dr. Morton was ordained priest by Bishop White in 1831, was his assistant for six years at St. James', and, at the bishop's death, succeeded to the rectorship, lasting fifty years.

Dr. Clemson was ordained deacon by Bishop White, September 25, 1825.

Dr. Hare was ordained deacon by Bishop White, December 20, 1829.

Dr. Buchanan was ordained deacon by Bishop White, July 8, 1832.

The Rev. William White Bronson is a grandson of Bishop White.

The Rev. William White Montgomery is a great-grandson of Bishop White.

The Rev. Dr. Goodwin is president of the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Pennsylvania.

The Rev. Dr. Richey is a member of the Standing Committee of the Diocese of New York, and, in the absence of its president the Rev. Dr. Dix, read the letter of the Standing Committee.


appointed by Bishop Stevens is as follows: From Christ Church, Mr. William White Wiltbank, chairman, and great-grandson of Bishop White; also Messrs. Edward Coles and Edward H. Coates. From St. Peter's, Messrs. G. Harrison Fisher, J. Waln Vaux, and S. Davis Page. From St. James', Messrs. R. M. Cadwalader, Jos. D. Wilson, and John C. Brown.

At the close of the service a meeting of the bishops, clergy and laity in attendance was held in the Tower Room, Bishop Whitaker, Assistant Bishop of Pennsylvania, presiding. On motion it was

Resolved, That the Committee appointed at the Diocesan Convention be requested to take charge of the publication of the proceedings of this day, together with those of the celebration at Lambeth Palace, of which notice had been received.

The Committee, in soliciting a copy of the Bishop's deeply-interesting and eloquent Discourse, desire to place on record, on their own behalf, and on the behalf of all present, their sincere gratification that, notwithstanding his serious illness, the Bishop was enabled to prepare, and to deliver, what involved an amount of mental and physical strain which but few can appreciate.

On behalf of the Committee,


[6] Commemorative Discourse
By William Bacon Stevens, D. D., LL.D., Bishop of Pennsylvania.


AMONG the many centennial celebrations which have recently occupied, or will soon occupy the public mind, no one is of greater importance to us as members of the Protestant Episcopal Church than that which we celebrate to-day--the one hundredth Anniversary of the Consecration of the Rev. Doctors White and Provoost as the first Bishops respectively of the Diocese of Pennsylvania and the Diocese of New York.

Such an event appeals to our hearts and minds, and deserves that we should pause awhile in the midst of the whirl of this nineteenth century, to consider a transaction which has left its impress so markedly on our time and been the precursor of such untold blessings to all our land.

The story of the first planting of the Church of England in North America has been told with much exactness and interest by English and American writers, and need not be repeated here. Suffice it to say, that the clergy of the Church of England were the first to preach the gospel here; the sacraments according to the use of that Church were the first celebrated here; the liturgy of that Church was the first form of Divine service uttered here, and the first English church built on this continent was one in connection with the Church of England.

For many years the church people here were left without any episcopal supervision, for, though by an Order in Council in the time of Charles I. all British subjects in foreign parts were declared to be under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of London as their diocesan, yet at that day and at that distance, his oversight was nominal, and his knowledge of this part of his flock small. Subsequently the lack of episcopal supervision was partially supplied by the appointment of Commissaries, i. e. persons appointed to the special end of supplying the office and jurisdiction of the Bishop [6/7] in the far-distant places of his diocese; without, however, the right of ordaining or confirming.

These Commissaries were sent to several of the Colonies and exercised a quasi-episcopal authority therein. It was evident, however, that they could not supply the place of Bishops, and that pressing necessity arose in nearly every quarter, demanding their appointment for America. Abortive attempts to meet this demand were made at various times, but there were always political or ecclesiastical obstacles, which no effort could remove; and so the church languished without a recognized head and leader.

The troubles preceding the war of the Revolution, and the long and wasting war itself, were sad blows to the Church of England in this country; because each clergyman of that church had taken at his ordination an oath of loyalty and supremacy to the English sovereign; and the daily prayers of the Prayer Book incorporated the names of the Royal family and Parliament in their collects and litany; and hence the very act of worship was regarded as disloyal to the American cause, and each clergyman was looked upon as a rank Tory, to be insulted and trodden down by the friends of liberty.

It is impossible for us to understand the really sad condition of the Church and the clergy during that exciting period. Suspected, traduced, banished, despoiled of glebes, parsonages and livings, church buildings destroyed or polluted, revenues confiscated. No wonder that the Church lay in the dust! No wonder that at one time during that war William White said that he was the only Episcopal clergyman in Pennsylvania! No wonder that it seemed to the eye of sense that she was deserted by man and smitten of God! But it was only a seeming collapse. Life was in that prostrate form. She was not dead--it was the numbness caused by stunning blows, not the rigidness of death; and so, as the dear Lord passed by and saw this bleeding Church lying helpless and wounded by the roadside He spoke to her words of cheer, He breathed upon her the spirit of .hope and life, and then taking her hand in His hand, He lifted her up, and following Him step by step she has steadily moved onward and upward, to her new and glorious destiny.

As far back as 1718 a petition was signed by order of the vestry of Christ Church, Philadelphia, and others, setting forth in urgent words their need of the episcopate. "For want of episcopacy being established among us, and that there has never been any Bishop sent to visit us, our churches remain unconsecrated, our children are grown up and cannot be confirmed, and our clergy sometimes under doubt [7/8] and cannot be resolved. But more especially for the want of that sacred power, which is inherent to the apostolic office, the vacancies which daily happen in our ministry cannot be supplied for a considerable time from England, whereby many congregations are not only become desolate, and the light of the gospel therein extinguished, but just encouragement is thereby given to sectaries of all sorts which abound and increase amongst us."

It has been stated that shortly after this, there were two persons in the Colonies who had been secretly consecrated bishops by one or more of the non-juring bishops in England. These where the Rev. John Talbot, the founder (in 1703) of St. Mary's, Burlington, New Jersey, who, it is said, when about seventy-seven years old, was thus ordained; and the Rev. Robert or Richard Welton, a noted clerical Jacobite who came to this country, and was for a year and a half placed in charge of Christ Church, Philadelphia, who, as was stated, was consecrated by a single non-juring bishop, Robert Taylor. It appears, however, after duly weighing all the evidence in the case, that while Dr. Welton did consider himself as a Bishop, yet he never, so far as any authentic testimony shows, exercised the episcopal office while in the Colonies, and that owing to his unseemly conduct, he was ordered home by the King's Privy Council, and sailing for Lisbon in Portugal, died there in 1726.

As to the consecration of the Rev. John Talbot, the testimony to prove it is insufficient, while the evidence against it can scarcely be set aside. At any rate it is a mooted question. Neither of them did any episcopal act, or left any episcopal impress on the church.

Efforts to secure Bishops of the Anglican line still continued to be made, but each one was thwarted, and the church drifted on as well as she could, under the jury-masts of Commissaries, until the country was plunged in the Revolutionary War, and its hidden dangers threatened shipwreck alike to Church and State.

Yet, deplore as much as we may, that the Church here was so long without any episcopal pilot to shape her course, we cannot but rejoice, that for our sakes, the providence of God so ordered events as that the episcopate was not conveyed to us until after the war of the Revolution, and after the Colonies of Great Britain had organized into an independent Republic.

By thus withholding from us the episcopate until our colonial relations with Great Britain were duly severed and our political status among the nations of the earth duly recognized, the fathers of the Church here were enabled to work out the episcopate so as to avoid old complications with the State, and vexing questions of endowments, titles, dignities and franchises; and especially was she, by this Independence, placed in such a position in relation to the liturgy of the [8/9] Church of England, as enabled her to re-adjust it to the new conditions of civil and political life in which she then found herself surrounded.

We stood therefore in a better position to secure a better episcopate, a better liturgy, a better system of canon law, a better set of clergy, and in better favor with the people, than if the early schemes of those who yearned for the episcopate had been accomplished; and the Church of England in the Colonies had been so mortised into the Church of England at home, that, in severing the political ties, the ecclesiastical had necessarily to be severed also, and there would have been left to us a headless organization--at once a barrier and a hindrance to the revivification of the prostrate Church. An Anglican episcopate before the Revolution would, I am persuaded, have done us more harm than good; and would have fettered, if not smothered, that spontaneous outcome of the Church people which, acting on the very laws of self-preservation, took prompt measures to organize on a new basis, while yet holding with an unrelaxed grip, upon the threefold ministry, the old liturgies, the two great creeds, and the Thirty-nine Articles, and homilies which state and expound the doctrines of God's Word and of the Book of Common Prayer. Thus we find, that though God worked tardily to the eye of man, yet with Him with whom "a thousand years are as one day," He was working wisely for the future of this great country; because by delay, He was enabling our forefathers to lay deeper and stronger, and in the very spirit and power of our free institutions, the foundation-stones of His Holy Church as we find them to-day in every State and territory of our continent-wide Union.

So soon as the independence of this country became an accomplished fact, and means of negotiation with the authorities in Great Britain had been opened, by the recognition of our nation and the reception of Mr. John Adams as our ambassador at the court of St. James, measures were at once taken to secure by law, and with all due regard to ancient precedent and canonical legislation, the English line of episcopal succession as it then existed, and was centred in the Archbishop of Canterbury as the Primate of all England.

And here let me say, that, in the short time which I can give to the subject in hand, I shall confine myself mostly to the steps taken to invest the Rev. William White, D. D., with the episcopate, and touch only incidentally the election and consecration of others. Even this, I shall have to do in a very condensed way, because your patience would not tarry an elaborate description.

In October, 1785, an address from the clerical and lay deputies of the Protestant Episcopal Church in America was sent to the Archbishop of Canterbury and other bishops, requesting them "to confer [9/10] the episcopal character on such persons as shall be recommended by the Episcopal Church in the several States by them represented."

To this application, a courteous, but cautious, reply was received. The subject was indeed one very much involved, both as it respected the conferring of the episcopate, and the approbation of the proposed liturgy of the newly organized Church. By the laws of England, as they then existed, the Archbishops could ordain and consecrate only such persons as were willing to take the oaths of allegiance and supremacy to the king, and due obedience to the Archbishop of Canterbury. From this necessity, relief could only come through Parliament, by passing an enabling act, dispensing with certain features of the English law, and relieving the English prelates from any censure or forfeiture, should they consent to the request from a foreign State. To remove these strong-rooted objections, and to secure this act of grace in behalf of a people who had just closed successfully a rebellion against their motherland, and set up themselves as an independent nation, required time, patience, forbearance, and the wisdom alike of churchmen and statesmen, so as to avoid entangling alliances and, perhaps, eventual defeat.

Through the kindly offices of Mr. John Adams and the Archbishop of Canterbury and others, the way was cleared of all obstacles, the needed act of Parliament (26 Geo. III., C. 84) was passed, the Archbishop had applied to the King and obtained his majesty's license by warrant under his royal signet and sign manual, authorizing and empowering him to perform such consecration; the readiness of the Archbishops and other bishops to proceed was declared, and the fruition of the long cherished hope of the episcopate was at hand.

On the 14th September, 1786, the convention of this diocese met here, and the brief official record is summed up in these words: "The convention accordingly proceeded to the election of a bishop by ballot, and the Rev. William White, D. D., was unanimously chosen."

His testimonials, together with those of Dr. Provoost (chosen Bishop of New York) and Dr. Griffith (chosen Bishop of Virginia), were signed by the general convention which met in Wilmington, Delaware on the 10th October, 1786.

Armed with all needed testimonials, Dr. White and Dr. Provoost sailed from New York on the 2d November, and after an eighteen-days passage (the shortest then recorded across the Atlantic), landed at Falmouth, England. They were kindly received by Mr. Adams, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and were sometime afterwards presented by him at court, to King George III.

The business in hand was carried on with all due regard to difficulties of one kind and another, until all legal forms having been [10/11] complied with, the two Bishops-elect were consecrated in the Chapel of the Palace of Lambeth on the 4th February, 1787, one hundred years ago to-day.

I need scarcely say that this Lambeth Chapel is full of historic interest, for it is linked with the memories of some of the noblest prelates of the Church of England during the last four hundred years.

There were consecrated Archbishops Matthew Parker, Edmund Grindal, and Whitgift, leaders in the English Reformation; Bishop Hooper, the martyr; John Jewell, author of the grand defence of the Church of England; Bishop Bilson, who wrote on the Perpetual Government of Christ's Church; the saintly Launcelot Andrews; the learned Bishop Overall; John Pearson, the expounder of the Creed; Thomas Kenn, whose morning and evening hymns, like England's drum-beat, is heard around the Christian world; Beveridge, the expositor of the Thirty-nine Articles; Joseph Butler, the author of the Analogy; Lowth, the commentator on the Psalms and Isaiah:--before the consecration of Bishop White. Since then, at the same chancel have been consecrated Charles Inglis, the first in the long line of England's colonial episcopate; Reginald Heber, the poet-bishop of India, whose missionary hymn, "From Greenland's Icy Mountains," has been the Marseillaise of the missionary army of the Church; Wilberforce, the Bishop of Winchester; George Augustus Selwyn, the missionary apostle to New Zealand, and many others who have gone to all parts of the globe, whose names are graven on the diptychs of the Church, and whose works and prayers have gone up as a memorial before God.

Instead of describing this consecration scene myself, let me give you Bishop White's own account of this solemn service:--

"Sunday, February fourth, we attended at the palace of Lambeth for consecration.

"The assistants of the Archbishop on this occasion were the Archbishop of York, who presented; and the Bishop of Bath and Wells, and the Bishop of Peterborough, who joined with the two Archbishops in the laying on of hands. Dr. Drake, one of the Archbishop's chaplains, preached, and Dr. Randolph, the other chaplain, read prayers.

"The sermon was a sensible discussion of the long litigated subject of the authority of the Church to ordain rites and ceremonies. The text was: 'Let all things be done decently and in order,' (I Cor. xiv, 40). The discourse had very little reference to the peculiarity of the occasion. The consecration was performed in the chapel of the palace of the Archbishop in the presence of his family and his household and a few others, among whom was my old friend the Rev. Mr. Duche.

[12] "I hope I felt the weight of the occasion. May God bless the meditations and recollections by which I had endeavored to prepare myself for it, and give them their due effect on my temper and conduct, in the new character in which I am to appear.

"The solemnity being over we dined with the Archbishop and Bishops. After spending the remainder of the evening very agreeably we took our leave, which was an effectionate one on both sides--and on our part, with hearts deeply sensible of the regard which had been shown to our Church, and of the personal civilities which we had received."

Such is the brief and simple statement of that memorable transaction; memorable alike to the Church of England, and to our Church in the United States. To the Church of England it was memorable, as being the first time that she had consecrated Bishops other than for her home dioceses, and was thus a marked epoch in her history; and memorable also, as this transaction had an important influence in inaugurating "the first century of the Colonial Episcopate," paving the way for the consecration (six months afterward) of Dr. Charles Inglis, as Bishop of Nova Scotia--"the first of the apostolic band who now in all parts of the British empire have planted the Church of the Anglican Succession, in the integrity of her Apostolic organization, and with the fulness of her evangelical truth"; for, since this consecration of Dr. Inglis as the first colonial Bishop, 165 others have been consecrated for, and officiated in the seventy-five colonial dioceses of the Church of England. It was a memorable transaction--as it respected the Church in America--as it conveyed to it, through that day's act, the Anglican succession of the episcopate to 143 bishops consecrated for and officiating in forty-nine dioceses and thirteen missionary jurisdictions--covering the entire territory of the United States of America.

Each of these great outflows of the Anglican episcopate and liturgy, to colonial England, in all its far-distant dependencies, and to us, through all our republic, began in 1787; and it well may be termed the Centennial year, which gave birth to a world-wide episcopate and world-wide dioceses, on which the sun never sets, and whose scriptural liturgy girdles the earth with its Holy Sacraments and its offices of devotion.

Dr. White was the one on whom the English Bishops first laid their hands, as we learn from the official register and other corroborating evidence; so that he was the first person consecrated for the Protestant Episcopal Church in America according to the ordinal (modified for that occasion) of the Church of England, and by prelates of the Anglican succession.

[13] Bishop White always recognized the invaluable services of Mr. John Adams (subsequently the successor of Washington as the second President of the United States), but for whose active agency the negotiation might have been delayed or thwarted. This was the more noticeable, because he came from New England--so strongly opposed to the introduction of bishops--and was a Congregationalist in religion, which recognized no bishop in its church polity.

Mr. Adams many years after thus speaks of his efforts in 1786: "There is no part of my life on which I look back and reflect with more satisfaction, than the part that I took--bold, daring, hazardous as it was to myself and mine--in the introduction of Episcopacy into America."

Shortly after their consecration, Bishops White and Provoost sailed from England, and reached New York on Easter Sunday, April 7, 1787. The following month the Convention of the Diocese of Pennsylvania met in Christ Church, when Dr. White was warmly welcomed as Bishop, and took his seat as its presiding officer.

How the hearts of the churchmen of this State must have rejoiced at this completion of their long cherished hopes and toils

Here let me call your attention to the special Providence which furnished just such a man, for such a delicate and responsible place. Had he been a fresh importation from England, new to the colonial life, and one of the people who had recently tried to arrest our struggle for independence, he would have brought with him not only no common bond of sympathy with our civil and religious institutions, but would have excited positive opposition and distrust, and done more harm than good to the newly organized Church. Instead of this, however, Dr. White was a true son of the soil; born in Philadelphia, brought up as a lad here, educated as a youth at the College of Philadelphia, studied theology here under the Rev. Dr. Peters and Mr. Duche, began his clerical work here as assistant minister of Christ Church and St. Peters, was elected chaplain to the Continental Congress; accepted in full the principles of the Declaration of Independence; was the brother-in-law of the great financier of the Revolution, Robert Morris; was the staunch friend and pastor of Washington when he was here; was at one time the only clergyman of the Church here; was chiefly instrumental in organizing the Diocese of Pennsylvania, as well as the Protestant Episcopal Church; and was here elected Bishop. Hence his whole life up to this time, with the exception of his visit to England for ordination, was purely Philadelphian. He was a true "autochthon," and might, like the ancient Athenians, have worn a golden grasshopper in proof of his indigenous origin. Accordingly, when one so thoroughly an American in all his antecedents and surroundings came back from England, a consecrated Bishop, not with [13/14] mitre and crozier, not with lordly title or lordly retinue, he was received without distrust, was welcomed by all citizens as a fellow-citizen worthy of confidence, and recognized at once as the virtual head and judicious exponent of the newly framed church, in laying the foundation of which his hands had been so diligent and faithful. Who was better fitted by birth, by education, by social position, by political associations, by learning and piety, by prudence and executive ability, by a wise knowledge of men and the times in which he lived, to oversee and foster the Church in this Western land, than William White?

Surely he was God's special providence, in our special need, for the special service that was then required. He was the most conspicuous production of Pennsylvania in the eighteenth century, and the most conspicuous churchman in the then United States.

Having spoken of the consecration of Bishops White and Provoost, it may be proper that I should say a few words about the earlier consecration of Dr. Samuel Seabury, at Aberdeen in Scotland, in 1784.

While Bishop Seabury was undoubtedly legally and canonically consecrated a Bishop, by Bishops of the Church in Scotland, who traced their episcopal lineage to the consecration of four Scotch Bishops in Westminster Abbey, December 21, 1661, by the Bishops of London, Worcester, Carlisle, and Landaff; yet the status of the Scotch Church had been so complicated by the Revolution of 1688, and its adherence to the exiled house of Stuart, that there was a feeling of distrust between the two Churches of England and Scotland, so that Bishop Seabury was not then recognized as a Bishop, but only by his academic title of Doctor.

Up to this time, all the clergy in the United States in the Episcopal Church had, with few exceptions, English orders; all the Church and clergy had been under the nominal oversight of the Lord Bishop of London, all the missions of the Church had been planted by the Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts, and as negotiations had already been initiated for obtaining Bishops from the English hierarchy, it was not deemed courteous or prudent to intermit the efforts already begun, and hence, notwithstanding the presence of Bishop Seabury in this country, the authorities of the Church wisely determined to wait until three Bishops of the English line could convey to Bishops-elect here, what we craved of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the English Parliament.

It was a distinct understanding between the three American Bishops consecrated in Lambeth, and their consecrators, that there should be no conveyance of the Episcopate to any one in this country, until three Bishops of the Anglican line were present and officiating.

[15] Dr. Griffith, who had been previously elected as Bishop of Virginia, had died in this city before his consecration, but Dr. James Madison was subsequently chosen and was consecrated in Lambeth Chapel in 1790. Thus equipped with three Bishops of the Anglican descent, the Church was now autonomous and prepared to convey the succession to others. This was done in September, 1792, when the Rev. Dr. Claggett was consecrated in New York, Bishop of Maryland. In this first consecration held in this country, the Bishop of Connecticut united with the Bishops of Pennsylvania, New York and Virginia in the laying on of hands, and so blended in Dr. Claggett, the two lines of succession, Scottish and English--to be separated never, to be perpetuated till time shall be no longer. Thus were happily adjusted all personal and controverted questions, particularly as after the consecration of Bishop Madison for Virginia in 1790, the English laws against the Scottish Bishops were repealed by Parliament, and from that date "The Church in Scotland" was recognized by the English prelates as a sister Church, and restored to its rightful position as constituting the true Episcopate of Scotland.

In the adjustment of this delicate and politically intricate matter, Bishop White was principally influential. Bishop Provoost had most adverse opinions of Bishop Seabury, and disparaged him and his office in a marked manner. Bishop White, on the contrary, entertained for him much personal respect, accepted the full validity of his consecration, corresponded with him on the leading questions of the Church, and urged him to unite with the already organized general convention, and thus bring himself and diocese into line with the existing condition of affairs at that critical formative period of our history. The prudence and judgment of Bishop White secured this result, whereby the Church stood up before the nation as the one Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States of America.

While the judgment of history will ever award to Bishop White a masterly prominence in the organizing of the Church, in moulding its liturgy, in harmonizing discordant elements, in securing the desired Anglican episcopacy, and as the central figure in the building and equipping, and launching and piloting of the early American Church for half a century, that same judgment of history will accord to Bishop Seabury those marked heroic qualities, which led him through trials and rebuffs, and self-sacrifice and opposition, to grapple stoutly and successfully with every difficulty, and to win success by a courage which never weakened, by a perseverance which never faltered, with an ardor prompted by a holy aim, and resulting in a victory for which the Church of to-day rises up and does him homage.

Here then, as in so many other instances in our ecclesiastical history, we see how diverse lines of thought and action, creating at [15/16] times discord, and almost disunion, were overruled by God, to produce in the end, unity of opinion, harmony of action, and consequently greater stability and strength to the final organization. It was furthermore a happy circumstance, that the organizing of the diocese and the framing of the Church were done at a time when the air was full of liberty, when the minds of patriots were seething with questions of human rights and of popular government, and when all along our line of Colonies, the great men of the land and the wise men were deep in the study of republican institutions based on reason and buttressed by law.

Bishop White lived in the very centre of this ferment, under the very sound of the bell that rung out our independence, in daily association with the leading minds of the country, in official connection with its legislative action. He breathed its air, he inhaled its spirit, he imbibed its principles, and thus was eminently fitted to be one of the founders of the Spiritual Republic of God.

In the draft of the constitution, which was mostly from his pen, there were engrafted certain principles of ecclesiastical and canon law which were unknown in the Church of England; and which, though partially appearing in some of the older constitutions of the Saxon Church, and of the primitive Eastern dioceses, had, for more than a thousand years, been kept out of sight, in the ascendancy which the priesthood had claimed and exercised over lay people. Those principles were: first, the organization of the Church as an ecclesiastical body, with full and perfect power of self-government, and entirely independent of secular control; second, the introduction of the laity as joint councillors and legislators, with equal voice and vote with the clergy in such Church conventions; third, the giving to the several dioceses the right to elect their own Bishops, subject to confirmation by the whole Church, and in which election and confirmation the laity have equal voice with the clergy; fourth, the full and equal liberty of each national Church to model and organize itself and its forms of worship and discipline in such manner as they may judge most convenient for their future prosperity.

Accustomed as we have been, all our lives, to these principles, we cannot understand what a really great advance was made in the then existing order of things, when Dr. White and a few others boldly brought them out and had them incorporated in the fundamental constitution of our Church. With a political sagacity that grasped at once the sound maxims which the framers of our civil government embodied in the Constitution of the United States, and with a foresight which saw, that for a free people, with free institutions, the Church should also be free, he, with his few companions, in his study in Walnut street above Third, [*No. 89, now 309, Walnut street, and still standing] drew up that instrument which is the [16/17] Church's Magna Charta, or the Declaration of Independence of our disestablished Church. And what is the result? That document, brief as it is, and subsequently enlarged and modified as it was, has been everywhere hailed as one of the wisest ever penned for the purposes for which it was made. Not only have the principles therein enunciated worn well in the working machinery of our Church for a century; not only have they been reproduced in the constitutions of all our organized dioceses; not only have they kept us together amidst all the strain and severances of civil war; but they have been copied in their essential features in the new constitution of the "Church of Ireland," and the very points which distinguish our constitution, are those most loudly demanded by the provincial convocations and diocesan conferences and Church congresses in the motherland. These same principles have been incorporated, as far as circumstances would permit, into the colonial church organizations; and, because they are principles which accord with God's word, because they agree with the usuage of the primitive churches, because they are in harmony with free institutions, therefore they will everywhere prevail.

The establishment in the Church of England of a "House of Laymen" a body elected by the lay members of each diocesan conference, and which shall have "deliberating, testing and suggesting power," is a notable step forward in calling out, and putting to practical use the zeal and wisdom of the Laity in church affairs. Thus the work of William White, planned so quietly, yet wisely, in this city a hundred years ago, is honored and copied by the wisest churchmen and statesmen of the age, and will perpetuate itself through all coming time. This "House of Laymen" has the full endorsement of the present Archbishop of Canterbury, who said of it last July, "nothing but indifference and inattention on the part of the true laity of the Church could possibly prevent the House from being an accurate mirror of lay opinion."

The practical result of giving the laity their scriptural position in the Church has been to draw towards it the best and wisest men of thought, men of affairs, men of culture, men of energy, men of liberality, men ready to work, and to give, and to pray, because they feel the responsibility laid upon them, and because they feel that the Church is not a mere sacerdotal caste; that it is not a mere organized hierarchy, so hedged about with repellant forces, that the laity must stand aloof as passive recipients of churchly offices, rather than be active workers in dispensing the blessings, which the Church, as representing her Ascended Head, is the fountain, and of which each member, male or female, clerical or lay, should be a conduit distributing those blessings to a perishing world.

[18] Of the three Bishops consecrated in England, viz., William White, Samuel Provoost and James Madison, and who transmitted the Apostolical Episcopate to the American branch of the Holy Catholic Church, Bishop White was the most prominent and active. His position as presiding Bishop gave great weight to his opinions, and his thoughtful, calm and judicious views, quietly expressed, and firmly held, may be said to have shaped the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States for nearly half a century. He is the only one of the early bishops who has left behind him published works, unfolding the proceedings of those early efforts to organize the Church, and the only one who has expounded the theological sentiments of our creed, and catechism, and ordinal.

These volumes are to the proceedings of the conventions which framed our Church what the "Federalist" and "The Madison Papers" are to the proceedings of the conventions which framed the Constitution of the United States. They derive their value, not only as contemporary testimony of the views and principles held at that time, but also give us the interpretation of principles and actions by one, himself a prominent actor, and well qualified to state what he knew of the sentiments then held and embodied in constitutional, or canonical, or liturgic laws and ritual.

It is most fortunate for our Church that Bishop White, with that prudence and foresight which always distinguished him, wrote out his "Memoirs of the Protestant Episcopal Church," his "Lectures on the Catechism," his "Commentary on the Ordination Offices," his ten "Pastoral Letters of the House of Bishops," and sundry other valuable and important publications. He was frank in the expression of his views, and manfully defended what he regarded as the sound doctrines and pure worship of the Church over which he presided.

As we look back to the difficult times in which he exercised his functions as one of the founders and legislators, and subsequently the chief ruler in the Church, we cannot but thank God that so blameless a man in his Christian life, so scholarly a man in his mental culture, so calm a man in times of popular excitement, so forecasting a man amidst threatened perils, and so firm a man amidst the unsteady opinions of the day, was given to the Church at that time, to be to it, in its separation from the mother Church, and its erection into an independent one, what Washington was to the civil movement of the Revolution. Both were men of marked characteristics, each eminently fitted for his respective work, each saw it carried into completion, and each ruled as the first president of the organization which he helped to frame.

And when George Washington, the President of the United States, sat in his pew in this Church, and William White, the President of the [18/19] House of Bishops of the United States, ministered in this chancel, there were then seen as worshipers in the same Episcopal service, and within these same hallowed walls, the two men, to whom, more than to any other two, the Republic of the United States owed its civil life, and the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States its corporate existence.

Such is the growth of a seed-thought, planted one hundred years ago. But I need not pursue this line of thought any further. Suffice it to say, that rarely has it been given to any man to occupy so conspicuous a position in Church affairs, and to do his allotted part so truly and wisely as to reap the applause of a century for his solid workmanship and his goodly life.

His name deserves to be held in living and loving remembrance.

To his great statesmanship, and his marvelous sagacity as a wise master builder there was added the simple faith of a devout believer, and the marked humility of a true Christian. There was nothing pompous or ostentatious in his whole make-up. He was guileless as a child, simple in all his habits, and refined and courteous in his intercourse with the people. Nor was there anything effeminate in his character. What might have seemed such was the self-restraint of a disciplined mind, moderating all his acts, toning down all his passions, and bringing his whole will into harmony with Christ. The breath of slander never uttered a word to his dishonor. His pure life was a living sermon; his ministry was quiet, but solemn and effective, and his whole bearing, especially in after life, was patriarchal, and in his presence all classes recognized a holy apostleship, and honored him with affectionate regard.

His church views were moderate, but sound, being well grounded on God's Word and the primitive church. He was strong and clear in his utterance of them, and he has left behind works which tell exactly the lines of his churchmanship and the principles on which he acted as a Bishop. His doctrinal opinions leaned, as he himself stated, to the Armenian rather than to the Calvanistic view. Yet he did not embrace the laxity of the former any more than the severities of the latter, but held a proper mean, by which he extracted good from each, and blended them in his sermons to the edification of his hearers.

He died July 17, 1836, in his eighty-ninth year. On the day of his funeral--which was attended by the public authorities, various charitable organizations and the clergy of all denominations--there was a general suspension of business, and, for the first time in Philadelphia, the flags of the city and the ships in the harbor were placed at half-mast for a private citizen. His ashes are deposited in this [19/20] chancel, where he officiated as Presbyter and Bishop for sixty and three years, and which for many generations will be a patriarchal shrine of the foremost earthly builder of the Protestant Episcopal Church.

Brethren of this Diocese, we may justly be thankful to God that a hundred years ago to-day He gave to Pennsylvania this "godly and well-learned man" to be its first Bishop; that He continued him to this diocese as its chief pastor, for over forty-nine years; that he so wisely and safely guided the diocese which he helped to form, until it had ripened into maturity and strength; that he has left behind him such a spotless record of private and official life, and that for nearly fifty years he was the Presiding Bishop of our Church throughout this land.

In the dedication of his "Memoirs of the Protestant Episcopal Church" to the Bishops of said Church, ("all of whom," Bishop White says, "have been ordained to the Episcopacy by my hands,") he writes: "Having lived in days in which there existed prejudices in our land against the same, and much more against the office of a Bishop, and when it was doubtful whether any person in that character would be tolerated in the community, I now contemplate nine of our number conducting the duties of their office without interruption" in addition to ten others "who have gone to their rest."

If he could say this in 1817, what would he say now, at the close of this first century, when the roll of consecrated Bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church numbers 141? [* Bishops Holly and Riley not included, as one was consecrated for Hayti and the other for Mexico.] Seventy-one of these Bishops are now living, ministering in forty-nine Dioceses, and sixteen missionary jurisdictions, having under them 4,000 clergy and over half a million of communicants.

You, Right Reverend and Reverend Brethren and Laity from the Dioceses of Pittsburgh and Central Pennsylvania, [* Originally these Dioceses were part of the Diocese of Pennsylvania] can claim a part of this heritage of memories and service, left to the whole State by its first Bishop. As your Diocesan founder and Episcopal ancestor, you ought, as I know that you do, hold his name in due veneration, and will, I trust, ever prove loyal to the fundamental principles which he laid as the basis of the ecclesiastical structure which covered the whole commonwealth with its constitution and canons, its episcopacy and its liturgy, which are still reverently retained in the organization of our several Dioceses.

The connection between our Diocese and New York, which began in 1784 with the incipient measures taken in organizing the Church after the Revolution, has been strengthened in a variety of ways and [20/21] by certain marked peculiarities. Each of the first Bishops of New York and Pennsylvania received their degrees of Doctors of Divinity from the University of Pennsylvania. Each of the two Bishops were elected the same year. Their testimonials were signed in the same general convention at Wilmington, Delaware, in October 1786. They sailed from New York for England in the same ship, were presented together at court to George III.; were consecrated together by the same Archbishops and Bishops in Lambeth Chapel, London, returned to the United States together, and landed together in New York on Easter, 1787, as the first Bishops of the Anglican Succession on this Continent--a day, which commemorating as it did Christ's Resurrection, foretokened as it were, the resurrection of our prostrate Church and her uprising into the life and liberty and glory of her risen Head and Saviour Jesus Christ.

In addition to this both Bishops laid their hands on the head of the first Bishop consecrated in this land, viz., Bishop Claggett. Each was chaplain to Congress, and each was Presiding Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church.

The second Bishop of New York, Benjamin Moore, was consecrated Bishop by Bishop White.

The third Bishop of New York, John Henry Hobart, was born in Philadelphia, was a student in the college here, was confirmed by Bishop White, studied theology with him, was ordained deacon by him, had his first parishes in this diocese, and was consecrated by Bishop White to the episcopate.

The fourth Bishop of New York, B. T. Onderdonk, was consecrated by Bishop White, and his brother, H. U. Onderdonk, was also consecrated by Bishop White, as Assistant Bishop of Pennsylvania, and at the death of Bishop White, the two brothers were severally Bishops of the two dioceses of New York and Pennsylvania.

The same coincidence again took place when the two brothers, Alonzo and Horatio Potter, were consecrated as Bishops of Pennsylvania and New York. What perhaps, considering the blood and official relationship of these brothers, is more striking still, the son of the Bishop of Pennsylvania (Henry Codman Potter) who was mostly educated in this city, who was ordained here, and had his first parish in his father's diocese, is now the Bishop of New York; having succeeded his uncle Horatio Potter, after having served several years as his assistant.

Thus the personal, official, and ecclesiastical relations of these two great Dioceses have been kept up for more than a century by intermingled ties, which have bound us together in strong and lasting union.

[22] And now closing the door of the past century, we stand before the open door of a new century. Rarely has a century condensed within itself such changes in the physical, intellectual, moral, social, scientific, and commercial world as the last one hundred years. It has brought to a focus the enlightenment of sixty centuries; it has gathered up into itself more potent agencies, stored up more munitions of aggressive force, equipped itself for more important conquests in all departments of human life and thought, than any since the advent of our Lord whose "Anno Domini" designates the Christian era.

Especially is this true of our land and of our Church: a land, soon to swarm with its hundreds of millions of people; and a Church, well fitted to be the nursing mother of these swarming myriads. In looking to this future, a far-seeing statesman prophesied of the time not far distant, "when the whole continent with all its various States shall be a plural unit with one constitution, one liberty, one destiny," and so the Christian statesman forecasts the time when the Church, throughout this whole continent, "shall be a plural unit" (e pluribus unum), plural, as to certain questions of polity and worship and administration, yet a unit, as members of the one mystical Body of Christ, which is the blessed company of all faithful people.

Dear Brethren, in bringing this discourse to a close, let me say that it has mostly been taken up with an historical review of the men and measures for the founding and erecting and equipping what Nehemiah terms "the outward business of the House of God."

Let not our minds rest alone on the study of the framework, eminently worthy as that framework is of careful study, but let us remember that, behind all these human plans and organizations, there has been present the Divine Architect of all, the Holy Ghost, and the unseen but ever spiritual presence of Him who "walks in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks."

We may have the most perfect church organization which earth can furnish; we may have a well attested apostolic lineage for our ministry; we may have as grand a liturgy as the human mind can construct; we may have as gorgeous a ceremonial of worship as the loftiest aesthetic art can devise; we may have as magnificent cathedrals and churches as human architects can build;--but if our diocesan organization does not rest on Christ as its corner-stone; if that apostolic succession is merely the articulation of dry bones, and is devoid of the life-blood and nerve-force of apostolic fellowship and doctrine; if that lofty worship degenerate into mere lip-service and ceases to be the true worship of God in spirit and in truth; if that gorgeous ceremonial tends to fasten the mind on the accessories of divine service, and obscures, rather than unfolds Christ, and if our noble church edifices only echo through their aisles a teaching not [22/23] warranted by Scripture, not supported by the Book of Common Prayer, not meeting the soul's true and eternal needs--teaching for doctrine the commandments and traditions of men, at once "strange and erroneous,"--then is our church indeed without Christ--a fair temple without the schekinah; like the Church of Ephesus, having "left its first love"; like Sardis, "having a name that thou livest but art dead," and like Laodicea, "lukewarm, neither hot nor cold."

Only as the Holy Ghost, the living Spirit of truth, teaches in our churches; only as the living Christ is heralded there in his perfect fulness as the sinner's only Saviour; and only, as the one living and true God, is worshipped there "in the beauty of holiness" and "in spirit and in truth," can we fulfil the true conditions of our existence as an organized Christian Church,--then only can Christ speak to us as he did to the angel of the Church of Philadelphia, one of the seven Churches of Asia, and emblemized by a golden candlestick, saying "I know thy works. Behold I have set before thee an open door and no man can shut it, for thou hast a little strength and has kept my word and hast not denied my name." God grant to the Church in this Philadelphia of the western world, a large increase of strength, a more faithful keeping of His Word, a deeper reverence for the "name which is above every name," and "in which name every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord." God grant that "the open door" set before us may be entered in, that we may more sedulously improve the opportunities for possession and expansion, until "the open door" shall become the triumphal arch of the Church's progress, through which, the sacramental Host, under the leadership of the Great Captain of our Salvation, shall march on its way to the gate of pearl and to the door that was "opened in Heaven."

It is an interesting fact that already to-day has a service commemorative of that event which we now celebrate, been held in England, in the same Chapel of Lambeth, under the auspices of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and in which two of our American Bishops, Lyman, of North Carolina, and Potter, of New York, have borne their part. Bishop Lyman, of North Carolina, is the Bishop in charge of our Churches on the Continent of Europe, and so fitly represents our whole Church, while Bishop H. C. Potter singularly combines in his person the Dioceses of New York and Pennsylvania--of New York as being the direct successor of Bishop Provoost, of New York, and of Pennsylvania as being the son of the third Bishop of Pennsylvania, that grand and ever-to-be-venerated man, Alonzo Potter. And so to-day not only are these two dioceses fitly represented by one who so singularly unites both in his own person, but our whole communion through its accredited representation abroad. Bishop Lyman stands [23/24] with them in reverent attitude before the shrine of that historic chancel, where was conferred on our Church the great boon of the Episcopate and where was laid the cap-stone of our ecclesiastical organization. All thanks to the Primate of all England for granting the use of his chapel this day for that service. And still greater thanks be to God that the two Churches stand to-day, bound to each other by national, spiritual and ecclesiastical rivets which no force of man can rend, but which will grow stronger and more loving as the ages roll on, and of which we devoutly say esto perpetua.

A few months before he died Bishop White wrote these simple but expressive words: "Whether prosperity or adversity be his appointed lot, he is sure that, if his reason be continued to him, his life will not end without prayer for the Church, in the concerns of which he has so long engaged, and especially for the Divine blessing on her ministry and her institutions, to be manifested in the conversion of sinners, in the edification of the godly, and, in the end, of both the glory of God and the enlargement of the Kingdom of His Son, the adorable Redeemer." To this prayer, let every heart respond Amen! To this end let every hand toil, and for Christ and His Church let every one live and work, till prayer and toil and work shall give place to the rest that remaineth for the people of God, and the church militant on earth, give place to the church triumphant in Heaven.


Address of the Standing Committee of the
Diocese of New York.

JANUARY 27, 1887.

To the Right Reverend William Bacon Stevens, D. D., LL.D., Bishop of Pennsylvania.


In the absence of the Right Reverend, the Bishop of New York, we, the Standing Committee of that Diocese, acting as the ecclesiastical authority, have the honor to acknowledge your invitation to be present at and take part in the services commemorative of the One Hundreth Anniversary of the Consecration of the Right Reverend William White, D. D., the first Bishop of that Diocese over which, by Divine permission, you preside. We thank you for that fraternal invitation, and have much pleasure in accepting it, in the person of our representative, the Reverend Thomas Richey, D. D., by whose hand we send you this letter; he is too well known to you and to the Church to make it necessary for us to commend him to your regard and affection.

The event about to be commemorated in Christ Church, in your good city of Philadelphia, is one of the most interesting of those included in the series of centennial services which have engaged, or remain to engage, the general attention. Compared with the whole course of time, one hundred years are a small thing; and yet, if we view the centuries with reference to the relative importance of events and the rise and progress of great movements, some appear to take a more conspicuous place than others in the range of observation. Such a century is that which covers the history of the branch of Christ's Holy Catholic Church to which, in the providence of Almighty God, we belong. It has been prolific of wonderful phenomena; it has witnessed changes almost incredible; it has given a prodigious impetus to the progress of arts, sciences and inventions; its record is the [25/26] chronicle of amazing evolutions, affecting the order of States, the aspect of the world, and the interests of millions of mankind.

But of all the phenomena which, in our own country, have marked the flight of the century, none have so deep an interest for us as those attending the progress and expansion of our beloved church. It has been observed, that "the rise and growth of a church in a nation or any portion of a nation which has expanded like the United States, is perhaps the most important theme in the history of the nation itself." How vast, then, the importance to be attached to the sight of the steady growth of our branch of the Church of Christ, which, at the close of the American Revolution, a trembling little flock, without bishops, with less than two hundred clergy, without organization, misunderstood, derided, oppressed and held in subjection, is now a mighty people, strong in her apostolic order, distinct in her proclamation of evangelical truth, firmly linked, through her episcopate, to other great branches of the Holy Catholic Church, foremost in influence, warm in her sympathy with all who call themselves by the name of Christ, and better adapted than any other body in the land to afford a centre and basis for the organic unity of all believers! Surely, among the results accomplished during the last one hundred years, by the patient toil of men under the guidance of the powers above, none are better worth studying than those presented by a comparison of the table of statistics of this church in 1783 and 1883. The Apostle applies to the habitable globe the significant title of qicoumenh: the Christian scholar may take it as a proper description of this earth with the qicoV, the House of God, set up in it. What were the earth without that House of God? And what are the annals of human events, without the addition of those divine events connected with the building of that House, which hallows the land by its presence, as the family altar of household religion consecrates the Christian home?

We offer you our cordial congratulations on the particular occasion which you are about to commemorate. It is not long since, in the ancient town of Aberdeen, in Scotland, a great number of prelates, clergy and laymen, including representatives from our own country, met together to keep the centennial of the consecration of Samuel Seabury, first Bishop of the American line. Now is to be observed, in its proper order, the second of the great centennials of our ecclesiastical history, the day on which, in the chapel at Lambeth, on the banks of the historic Thames, William White, of Pennsylvania, and Samuel Provoost, of New York, were added to that line by the consecrating hands of the English successors of the Apostles. It was ordered by that Divine Providence which directs the fortunes of the [26/27] Church, that the powers of the apostolic office should thus be transmitted from several sources and distinct fountain-heads. It was wisely ordered, no doubt, that the three who were to constitute the triple link and band required by the ancient canons in order to secure the due perpetuation of a pure and primitive Episcopacy, should be the men that they were, each a representative of some special characteristic in the Family of God, each contributing some special personal gift to the common stock, each exerting some needed influence to shape the course of things and prepare the way for those who were to come after. In that venerable triad, how beautifully shines the form of the father of the Pennsylvania line! Who does not know, or knowing, does not love, that face, which the painter's art has preserved to us, that countenance which seems to be the mirror of purity and holiness, of faith and patience, of meekness, wisdom and steady purpose to have no other will but that of God? The mere sight of those features, as portrayed for our recollection, might move the most worldly heart, and inspire the wish for something of that inward peace which it reflects, as calm waters reflect the glory of the upper air. Happy are the people who call themselves his spiritual descendants, and point to his image as that of their first Father in God!

It is meet and right that on this occasion, greetings should go to the Diocese of Pennsylvania from the sister Diocese of New York, considering the strange manner in which they have been connected in the persons of their chief pastors. The first Bishop of Pennsylvania and the first Bishop of New York were consecrated together; kneeling side by side, they received the Holy Ghost for their great mission in America. Later on, in the year 1830, two brothers are found, filling the Episcopal chairs at the same time in those two dioceses; and again, after the lapse of nearly a quarter of a century, two brothers are again seen occupying those same sees. And to-day the son of a Bishop of Pennsylvania (now with God) is Bishop of New York. So strangely has the tie of blood been added to strengthen those of office and locality. The coincidences are striking; men of faith will discern in them the working of that Unseen Hand which ordereth all things in heaven and earth.

As official representatives of the Diocese of New York, we offer to you, Right Reverend Sir, those cordial congratulations which are your due, in this twenty-sixth year of your administration; we congratulate you on the peace and prosperity of your diocese; on its growth as exemplified in the division and sub-division which have become necessary since you were called to the charge of it; on the respect and affection in which you are held by your sons in the clerical order and. the people of your flock. We rejoice with you in the evidence that Almighty God has blessed your work, and would [27/28] express the wish that you may long continue to enjoy the sense of the reverence and honor accorded to you by your fellow-citizens in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and your brethren in the Household of Faith.

With the request that you will convey to the clergy and people of your Diocese the assurance of the affectionate regard of their brethren and companions in New York, who salute them and wish them prosperity, we have the honor to remain, Right Reverend Sir,

Your very obedient, humble servants in Christ,



February 4, 1787. - 4 February 4, 1887.

THE favour of your presence is requested at a Service Commemorative of the Centennial Anniversary of the Consecration of the first Bishops for the American Episcopal Church by Bishops of the Church of England, February 4th, 1787, to be conducted by His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, in the Chapel of Lambeth Palace, the scene of the original Consecration, on Friday Morning, February 4th, at 9.30 o'clock precisely.

Be good enough to present this invitation at the door. As the number of sittings is limited, it is desirable that it should be presented as early as possible.

[29] Proceedings at Lambeth.

THE service in Lambeth Palace chapel began with the Veni Creator, after which his Grace, the Archbishop of Canterbury, proceeded to celebrate Holy Communion, assisted by the Bishop of North Carolina as epistoler and the Bishop of London as gospeller.

In the prayer for the church militant his Grace introduced the words "And the President of the United States" after the mention of the Queen.

After the recital of the Nicene Creed, the Bishop of New York delivered the Address.

The Archbishop was assisted by the Bishops of London, New York and North Carolina in distributing the Holy Sacrament.

The Archbishop closed with a prayer from the ordinal and pronounced the Benediction.

There were present in the chancel the Bishop of Rochester, the Dean of Windsor, and the Rev. Montague Fowler. And among those attendant in the congregation were the Bishops of Durham, Ely and St. Albans; Sir Henry Holland, Colonial Secretary, the American Minister and Mrs. Phelps, Mr. Charles Phelps, Mr. Henry White, Secretary to the Legation; Lord Norton, Rev. Henry White, Rev. Treadwell Walden, of Boston; Rev. E. W. Lyle, of Tokio; Rev. T. T. Sherl, Rev. J. Cave-Browne, Rev. R. H. Hadden, Rev. W. Panckridge, Rev. Dr. Townsend.

The Archbishop announced his receipt of the following cable message from the Bishop of Pennsylvania:

"The Diocese of Pennsylvania sends cordial thanks for the Canterbury Memorial Service at Lambeth."

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