BISHOP OF THE DIOCESE OF MARYLAND.
RECTOR OF ST. ANDREW'S CHURCH,
VESTRY AND CONGREGATION
OF SAID CHURCH.
NO. 3. SOUTH GAY STREET.
To the Vestry and Congregation of St. Andrew's Church:
DEAR BRETHREN:--I consider it a duty which I owe to you and to myself, to slate the course which I felt constrained to pursue at the recent visitation of the Bishop of the Diocese. You are aware that notice had been given for a communion on that occasion, and inasmuch as it was not administered, you have a right to ask, and it is incumbent upon me to give the reason for that omission. It is not my purpose here to enter into the argument by which I defend my course, that will sufficiently appear in the following correspondence. The position which I have taken has not been taken hastily, but after long, and serious, and prayerful deliberation; in this step I have been actuated solely by a sense of imperious duty, duty to you, to myself, and to the order and arrangement of the church--I conceive that in the assumption of prerogative which the Bishop here makes, he transcends his authority, and, in so doing violates the provisions of the canons, tramples upon the rubrics, and disregards the usages, that is, the common law of the church in this particular--gladly would I have saved myself the unpleasant and painful duty which was thrust upon me if I could, but I had no alternative left but to violate conscience and moral obligation on the one hand, or to meet the responsibility of resisting Episcopal encroachment on the other. And in this step, dear brethren, you are equally interested with myself. If the Bishop's assumption be admitted in this particular, you allow the wedge to enter, which requires but an occasional pressure to effect its end; you concede a principle which needs but to be urged to overthrow and subvert that independence and those rights which the constitution, and canons have been so careful to secure to rectors, vestries and their congregations, a due regard to which I hold to be essential to the peace, harmony, and well-being of the Protestant Episcopal Church.
Very affectionately and truly,
Your Friend and Pastor,
JOSEPH TRAPNELL, JR.
Baltimore, Dec. 7th, 1846.
To the REV. JOSEPH TRAPNELL, Jr.,
Rector of St. Andrew's Church, Baltimore:
REVEREND AND DEAR BROTHER:--It is my intention, God willing, to visit St. Andrew's Church, in Baltimore, on the morning of the third Sunday in Advent, December the 13th, for the purpose of examining the state of the Church, and of administering the apostolic rite of Confirmation, to such young persons and others as you shall have prepared for that holy ordinance; on which occasion I propose also to celebrate the Holy Communion, and collect the offerings of the congregation for the Prayer Book and Homily Society of the Diocese.
I shall be glad to receive at the proposed visitation, from you and your churchwardens or vestry, information of the state of your congregation, under the following heads, viz:
1. A list of the Heads of Families belonging to the congregation.
2. A list of the Communicants.
3. A list of the Pew-holders.
4. A statement of the number of Children belonging to the congregation, statedly catechised by the Minister.
5. A statement of the collections and contributions for religious and charitable purposes, made in the congregation within the year ending at the date of the visitation.
Faithfully and truly,
Your Friend and Brother in the Lord,
WILLIAM ROLLINSON WHITTINGHAM,
Bishop of Maryland.
Baltimore, October 23d, 1846.
Baltimore, October 28th, 1846.
RT. REV. AND DEAR SIR:--Your notice of the 23d instant, has been received. I was on the point of notifying you of the fact, and presume I should have done it by this time, had I not heard from you, that more than three years, the canonical period within which Episcopal visitations are to be made to each parish within the Diocese, have elapsed, since you last extended your call to St. Andrew's.
We shall be ready for your visitation by the time specified, 13th December, and shall endeavor to have all the information you ask for collected in due form. As regards the celebration of the Holy Communion on that day, I have to say, that it will not be convenient, nor do I think it expedient, as it will have been administered on the preceding Sunday. Our second service is at 3 1/2 o'clock in the afternoon, which would, of course, be interrupted by protracting the services as you propose. I shall therefore be obliged to decline acceding to your proposal in this last particular.
Respectfully yours. &c.
JOSEPH TRAPNELL, JR.
Rt. Rev. W. R. WHITTINGHAM.
Baltimore, October 29th, 1846.
REV. AND DEAR SIR:--I have received your note, informing me that my administration of the Lord's Supper at my proposed visitation of St. Andrew's Church would be inconvenient, on account of the celebration of the Holy Communion on the preceding Sunday, and on account of the hour of evening service.
I might suggest that either the regular monthly celebration should be postponed, or the hour of evening service changed for the day proposed. It is, however, in my power to avoid the inconvenience you apprehend, by a change of the day of visitation. I beg you, therefore, to consider the notice already received by you as revoked so far as regards the day specified, and to substitute for the day therein named, the second Sunday in Advent, December 6th, on which day, God willing, I now intend to visit your congregation for the purpose as already notified.
I may observe, with reference to your remark, "that more than three years, the canonical period within which Episcopal visitations are to be made to each parish within the Diocese, had elapsed since" I "last extended a call to St. Andrew's." That you appear to be uninformed of the fact, that an arrangement for a visitation of St. Andrew's for the purpose of administering Confirmation had been made with the Rev. Mr. Keppler, previously to his removal from the congregation, and was broken off by his removal. My custom, with regard to the city congregations has been, to adapt my arrangements to the convenience of the Rectors, and to await information from them as to the time when they desired a visit, before making the appointment. Having awaited such information from you now nearly two years, I have made the appointment now notified, in order that the canonical period might not elapse without a visitation:
Very faithfully and truly,
Your friend and brother,
W. R. WHITTINGHAM.
Rev. Jos. TRAPNELL, Jr.
Baltimore, November 2d, 1846.
RT. REV. AND DEAR SIR:--Yours of the 29th ultimo, is this morning received, in reply to which I would remark, that I have no objections to your changing the day of your visitation from the 13th to the 6th of December, on which day, D. V. the sacrament of the Lord's Supper will be administered in due course by me.
You say, in your first letter, that on the occasion of your approaching visitation, among other things, "you purpose also to celebrate the Holy Communion, and collect the offerings of the congregation." Now the construction which my mind placed upon this remark was, that on the occasion proposed, you designed taking the Rector's place at the Communion Table, to collect the offerings of the congregation, i. e. receive them from the wardens, to consecrate the elements, and administer them, (or at least the bread) to the people. If I was wrong in my construction, then your language conveyed a different meaning to my mind than you intended, and one word from you will correct my misapprehension; but if you did mean to imply so much, then, as I conceive, a question of principle is immediately raised and mooted, which I am in duty bound respectfully, but firmly to maintain and defend. Desiring to be emphatically a servant of the Prince of Peace, and never to contest a point, even so important as the one herein involved, for mere contention's sake, or at all when it can be avoided consistently with duty--I did hope that I should have been spared the task, now unavoidably imposed upon me, by simply informing you for the reasons named in my note of the 28th ult., that it would be both inconvenient, and I thought inexpedient to administer the Holy Communion on the day contemplated. But by your changing the day of your proposed visitation to us, which, from your published circular, I know must be at considerable inconvenience to yourself, I am compelled, nolens volens, to meet the issue. The administering of the Holy Communion to the people of his charge is one of the appropriate duties of the Rector of each respective congregation. To administer the sacrament, no less than to preach the word, &c., is one of the peculiar functions of the Parish Priest, and in the discharge of this, as well as his other specific duties, no one has a right to interfere, nor can any one legitimately take his place but by his arrangement. Now, so far as occupying my Desk or Pulpit is concerned, I feel myself perfectly at liberty to invite a brother occasionally to officiate in my place; but in administering the sacrament I should never allow myself to give place to another unless in the case of sickness or some such providential impediment. I never have, since my ordination to the Priesthood, permitted another to take my place in the administering of the communion to my own people, but once, and that was yourself, on occasion of your first and only visitation to Trinity Church, Upper Marlborough, whilst I was the Rector. But you will remember that at that time I was indisposed from recent sickness, and then, by my request, Rev. U. Beall, of Virginia, assisted you, whilst I took my seat among the congregation. On this basis of principle then, I take my stand, nor can I consent to give way, though I would gladly have avoided the necessity of defending my position, in the way attempted in my last communication.
Again, as I maintain that the administration of the Holy Communion is the peculiar duty of each Rector to his respective congregation, so do I also, with equal confidence, maintain that it is no part of the Episcopal function, in the character of Bishop. And the canons of the Church so far from contemplating that the Bishop, at his Episcopal visitations, shall administer the Communion, by their silence imply directly the contrary. [See canon XXV of the General Convention for 1832.] I hold that the canons are to be strictly, and literally interpreted, and that they are designed to regulate the action as well of Bishops, as of Presbyters and Deacons; defining their respective duties, and protecting them in the possession and enjoyment of their privileges and rights; consequently, the bounds of jurisdiction and authority being thus clearly marked and defined, it is impossible for either Bishop, Priest or Deacon to transcend the provision of the canon, without at the same time encroaching upon the rights of the others; and I hold it to be an axiom, that as with strife, so also with encroachment, whether in matters ecclesiastical or civil, its beginning is like the letting out of water, which, if unopposed, will soon effect such a breach as will endanger the safety, if it does not prove the utter destruction of the whole embankment which it saps. The rights and prerogatives of the Presbyter are as dear to him, as are those of the Bishop to him, and these the canons and constitution of the Church have taken care to mark out and defend, and whilst I would most scrupulously respect those of the Episcopate, I cannot consent, so far as I am individually concerned, to connive at an infringement of those of the Priesthood.
Again. Not only are law and canon opposed to this practice, but precedent is also against it--your predecessors in office in this Diocese, aye, even, he who had provisional charge just before your promotion, never presumed thus to take upon themselves the peculiar duties of the Rector, and by performing them, to encroach upon his prerogatives--indeed I question whether the thought or wish ever entered their mind. And, with perhaps a few exceptions, and those of very recent date, the practice of Bishops in the other Dioceses is against this novel usage.
The practice then is clearly an innovation for which neither law nor precedent can be pleaded, and which I, for one, feel not only that I ought, but that I must oppose.
If I have mistaken your meaning you will be kind enough to excuse my unnecessary labor. But if I have rightly apprehended you, I am, in my own conscience, justified in troubling you with so long a letter.
On the first Sunday in December, therefore, I purpose, in my usual course of duties, to administer the Holy Communion to my charge, &c., on which occasion, as I approve the object, I have no objection that the collection be applied in aid of the funds of the Prayer Book and Homily Society of the Diocese.
In conclusion, I may remark, that I was not "uninformed of the fact that an arrangement for a visitation of St. Andrew's, for the purpose of administering confirmation had been made with the Rev. Mr. Keppler," &c. Nor was I uninformed of the reason why the visitation was postponed, which, if you will refresh your memory by a recurrence to the date of your notice, you will find that the visitation was interrupted, not by Mr. Keppler's removal, but by your necessary absence at New York, on occasion of the melancholy Onderdonk trial. Mr. Keppler informed me that you had signified to him that the visitation was only postponed, and for the r reason aforesaid, and, consequently, for a considerable time after my removal to the city, I was weekly expecting a communication from you on the subject. However, this is a matter of no importance, farther than that it is always desirable that we should be perfectly right upon every question of fact.
Very respectfully yours, &c.
JOSEPH TRAPNELL, JR.
Rt. Rev. W. R. WHITTINGHAM.
Baltimore, November 4, 1846.
REV. AND DEAR BROTHER:--I learn, with regret, from your letter of the 2d inst., (which reached me, on my return to town last evening) that "on the basis of principle" you "cannot consent" to my administration of the Holy Communion at my proposed visitation of St, Andrew's Church. You maintain, you say, that such administration is the peculiar duly of each Rector to his respective congregation, and no part of the Episcopal function; and you regard the canons as implying that the Bishop, at his Episcopal visitations, shall not administer the Communion; while precedent, as you think, is against it. You therefore "feel that you ought and must oppose" the administration in question as an "innovation."
Now, it will hardly be maintained that a Bishop is deprived by his office of the privilege of administering the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper; and yet, as I have no exclusive parish, the effect of your view would be to deprive me of that privilege, and make me incapable of the administration of that Sacrament, except as the assistant or substitute of the Rector of Some parish or congregation. The natural conclusion is, that it pertains to me by right of my office to have the privilege of administering the Lord's Supper in any parish or congregation of my Diocese, in which, with due regard to circumstances, and proper notice, I may express my desire so to do.
This right I do not recollect ever to have heard questioned, until now, by any person calling himself an Episcopalian.
With regard to the construction of the canons, my deliberate judgment is directly the reverse of that which you express; and by your ordination vow I conceive you to be under obligation to submit to my judgment, when we have the misfortune to differ on such a point, until some competent authority, judicially or by legislation, pronounce me to be in error.
Precedent is not, as you think, against the administration of the Lord's Supper by the Bishop of this Diocese, as part of the service on occasion of his visitations.
1. Bishop Claggett, in his first report of the details of a visitation, made to the Convention of 1810, states that in the Upper Chapel of St. John's Parish, Prince George's county, on the 13th of August he preached, and on the next day "preached again, administered the Holy Supper and confirmed;" that on the 24th of August he "reached the parish church of Durham, in Charles county, where he was met by the Rev. Messrs. Duncan and Swann, and the Rector;" the Rector read prayers, and the Bishop consecrated the church, preached and confirmed; "the next day the Rev. Mr. Swann read prayers, and the Bishop preached and administered the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper." On Easter Tuesday, the Bishop "visited the Chapel of St. Paul's Parish, Prince George's county, and was there joined by the Rev. Dr. B. Contee, who read prayers, the Bishop preached, confirmed ten persons, and administered the Holy Eucharist to about forty of the faithful in Christ Jesus."--Journal 1810, PP. 13, 14.
2. Bishop Kemp, in the report of his first visitation, made to the Convention of 1815, states that on Monday, November 14th, he "proceeded to Churchill, where the parish church of St. Luke's stands; the day was bad, and few persons attended; but" he "preached, and administered the Lord's Supper. The next day," he "preached at St. Paul's, near Centreville, and administered the Sacrament. And, on the following day," he "officiated at the church near Wye Mill, where the Lord's Supper was also administered. These churches" were "under the care of the Rev. Mr. Stephens." "On the 16th" he "preached at Easton, and confirmed, and on the following day preached and administered the Lord's Supper at St. Peter's Church. The congregations are under the care of the Rev. Mr. Baynes." "The 4th of May, being the Lord's day, he preached at Salisbury, administered the Lord's Supper, and confirmed. The Rev. Mr. Stone is Rector." "Monday, the 8th," he "preached at the church of Somerset parish, at Princess Anne. The Holy Supper was administered, and twenty-one persons confirmed." "On Sunday the 14th," he "preached at Cambridge, in the church of Great Choptank parish, and administered the Lord's Supper, and confirmed. The Rev. Mr. Laird has been lately settled in the Parish."
3. Bishop Meade reports to the Convention of 1830, that while provisionally visiting the Diocese in 1829, "in the parish of the Rev. Mr. Adams, at Sharpsburg, he officiated twice, and administered the Lord's Supper."
4. Bishop Stone's first report to the Convention of 1831, gives none of the details of the services at his visitations; but in his second report, I find him stating that in the church at Rockville, he preached and confirmed at one service, and preached and administered the Lord's Supper at the next.
These instances abundantly prove that there is precedent for the administration of the Lord's Supper by the Bishop of this Diocese, as part of the services at his visitations.
I may add, in corroboration of the Diocesan practice, that the late venerable Bishop Griswold was accustomed to report his administration of the Lord's Supper in visitations among the Episcopal duties performed by him. In the address to the Convention of the Eastern Diocese in 1830, "in many of the churches visited, there have been no confirmations; but in all of them I have preached, from once to three or four times each; and in a large part of them have administered the Lord's Supper." Expressions to the same effect occur in his addresses in 1833, 1840 and 1841. Others I have not at hand.
I trust that these reasons will appear to you sufficient, upon reconsideration of the question, to warrant the withdrawal of your objection to my proposed services at the intended visitation of St. Andrew's church.
You are under a mistake in supposing that my change of the day appointed for that visitation must occasion me inconvenience; on the contrary, it so happens, that it suits my convenience better, on several accounts, than the original appointment.
You are also not quite accurate in your view of the reason for the failure of my last arrangement for a visitation of St. Andrew's. My absence in New York occasioned only its temporary deferral. The final indefinite postponement resulted from Mr. Keppler's removal, and your omission to renew a proposition for a confirmation in the congregation.
Very faithfully and truly,
Your friend and brother,
W. R. WHITTINGHAM.
Rev. JOSEPH TRAPNELL, Jr.
Baltimore, December 7th, 1846.
RT. REV. AND DEAR SIR:--Yours dated the 4th instant, was not received by me until last evening. I have noted its contents, and herewith respectfully submit my reply. In my letter of the 2d I argued the question at issue between us, upon three distinct and independent grounds, to but one of which, in your communication of the 4th, have you seen proper to look; and that by far the least important one, and even what you have there adduced, I think I shall show, is not altogether to the point. Your quotations, I humbly apprehend, do not prove what it becomes you to prove, if you rest your whole authority, in this particular, upon the basis of precedent. I frankly admit that the ground on which I went, in maintaining that precedent was against you in this Diocese was my own observation and recollection of facts; and for the practice in other Dioceses, I relied upon the statements of those who were conversant with the facts in question. And so far as our own Diocese is concerned, I maintain still, and shall endeavor to show hereafter, that precedent is against your PRACTICE, and most clearly at war with your PRINCIPLE. But I defer this for the present.
Now, though you have not so much as attempted to show that either my first or second position heretofore defended, is untenable, or even defective, and though I cannot therefore be required either to relinquish my stand, or to defend myself further on these points, until my argument has been answered or weakened, still I will volunteer to discuss those positions more fully; nor will I consent to give up the cause until I am shown to be in error, not by a mere gratuitous assumption, but by legitimate argument.
First, then, I reiterate the assertion, that to administer the communion to the people of his charge, is the peculiar duty of each Rector respectively. Nor can he be set aside by any authority under heaven, without a palpable violation of the order of the church.--And in further defence of this position, permit me to call your attention to the Institution Office. In the Rubric at the conclusion of this service, (whether the Bishop be present or not,) it is required "that the instituted Minister shall proceed to the communion service, and to administer the Holy Eucharist to his congregation." Whilst the following Rubric requires that, "When the Bishop is present," he "may perform such other duties as are herein assigned the Instituting Minister, as he may choose." But he may not "choose" to perform any "other duties," than those which are "assigned the Instituting Minister." Now to this you may reply, that as I am not an instituted Rector, I cannot plead the benefit of the Rubric. But this is not the main point in support of which I quote it; (though I think it would be hard to show wherein the jurisdiction and prerogatives of an ordinary Rector, differ, in spirituals, from those of an instituted one,) but it is to show that the Bishop's authority is limited by Rubrical no less than by Canonical arrangement. And permit me here most respectfully to ask, whether you, in virtue of your office, would feel yourself at liberty to disregard the prescriptions of these Rubrics, and, on an institution occasion, take upon yourself the administration of the communion, or to perform any "other duties" than such as are "assigned the instituting minister" in the Bishop's absence? I certainly presume you would not--and why not? First, because the Rubric prohibits it, and secondly, because there is a propriety in the arrangements here indicated. Yes, Rt. Rev. Sir, there is a beautiful and just propriety--but the propriety is neither more beautiful, nor more just in the Rector breaking the bread and distributing the wine to his own peculiar charge on this occasion, than upon every other.
But, in the next place, let us turn to the Rubrics in the communion service, and enquire into both their spirit and letter: and if the Rubrics in the Institution Office are binding upon the Bishop, and if he would not feel at liberty to disregard their provisions, pray tell me upon what principle are those in the communion service to be overlooked and violated. If either have the stronger claim upon our respect, and deference, and obedience too, I respectfully suggest it is the latter. But, "to the law and to the testimony."
It is unnecessary for me here to specify all the Rubrics which regulate what is to be done, and how it is to be done, and by whom it is to be done in the performance of this service; but shall simply instance in a few--though in all of them you will discover that The Minister, or The Priest is to officiate, excepting in certain particulars where it is otherwise directed. Now who is the Minister or the Priest here referred to, who, but the settled Rector of the parish or congregation where the communion is celebrated.
Look at the Rubric immediately following the offertory. To whom are "the alms and other devotions of the people" to be brought? "To the Priest, who shall humbly present, and place it upon the Holy Table." And again, in the following Rubric, "and the Priest shall then place upon the table so much bread and wine as he shall think sufficient, after which done he shall say," &c. Again, look at the Rubric before the exhortation: "At the time of the celebration of the Holy Communion, the Priest shall say," &c. Again, in the Rubric before the prayer next preceding the act of consecration. Who is to address the glorified Savior, "in the name of all those who shall receive the communion?" "Then shall the Priest kneel down and say." Again, who is to perform the act of consecration? Look at the subsequent Rubric, "When the Priest, standing before the table, hath so ordered the bread and wine that he may, with the more readiness and decency break the bread before the people, and lake the cup in his hands, He shall say the prayer of consecration as followeth." But is all this to be done by the Priest, i. e. the Rector, only in the Bishop's absence? Not so, let the following Rubric enlighten us on this point: "Then shall the Priest first receive the communion in both kinds himself, and proceed to deliver the same TO THE BISHOPS, Priests and Deacons, in like manner, (if any be present,) and after that to the people also, in order, into their hands, all devoutly kneeling, and when he delivereth the bread he shall say," &c.
That I am right in my construction, that the Rubrics contemplate that the Rector shall do all this, and nobody else, when he is present and able, is proved I think satisfactorily by the change of phraseology in the Rubric before the form to be used in delivering the bread, and that to be used in delivering the cup. Whilst the first of these Rubrics, indicating that the consecrating Priest, i. e. the Rector, shall officiate in distributing the bread says, "And when he delivereth the bread, he shall say," &c.; the other Rubric varying from that phraseology, says, "And the minister who delivereth the cup, shall say." Now what does this variation in terms here mean? Why, in my judgment, it means this, and nothing less, viz: That while the Rector is permitted to invite a brother to assist him in delivering the cup, he is not at liberty to abandon his post of duty, as officiating minister, on the occasion. The church requires him, when able, to be there, and by his position to indicate his office and function as Rector, and that too by a specific Rubric which is paramount to all other authority. But you may say to me, What, can the Bishop do nothing, then, when present on an Eucharistic occasion? To which I reply, certainly, he can do whatsoever the Rubrics enjoin, and this must he do, neither less nor more, and what is that? Why first, the Rubric preceding the absolution says, "Then shall the Priest (the Bishop if he be present) stand up and turning to the people say." Again, thus speaks the Rubric before the benediction, "Then the Priest, (the Bishop if he be present,) shall let them depart with his blessing." And to these two particulars is the Bishop restrained by Rubric, which I presume is equally as binding upon the highest as the lowest ecclesiastic in the church.
But you may object that all this refers to an ordinary communion service, and not to an occasion of a regular visitation. To which I reply, that if it be a visitation for ordination, (which, however, strictly speaking, is not a visitation in the meaning of the canon,) then you are right, nor should I ever be so weak as to urge an objection to your taking any part of the service you saw fit to take, or to apportion the service just as you might choose, were you ever to see fit to request my church for purposes of ordination. But if you mean a visitation, such as the canon specifies, then I say the communion is no part of the services contemplated, either by the law or ritual of the church, and if at that time there be a communion, it is legitimately, solely, and entirely under the control of the Rector, being nothing more than the ordinary communion of his charge. So much for the argument from the Rubrics.
But you say, in your last communication, "Now it will hardly be maintained that a Bishop is deprived, by his office, of the privilege of administering the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper." Certainly not; a Bishop, though a Bishop, retains in himself all the characteristics and prerogatives of a Presbyter; his super-added order and office increase, they do not diminish his powers; he may do all that he could, do before his consecration, and beside that, he may do what constitute the specific duties of the Episcopate. Could he then, as Presbyter, do what is now purposed to be done by a Bishop? Certainly not. Is this particular act, now sought to be done by you, one of the specific duties of the Episcopate? This you will not maintain, or if you do, the principle if pressed would involve you in a very awkward dilemma. Then, though, as Bishop, I contend as strenuously as you can, that you are not, "deprived of the privilege of administering the Lord's Supper," yet at the same time I maintain that, in virtue of your office, you have not acquired the right, or prerogative, or "privilege," if you please, of performing those presbyterial acts which neither you, prior to your consecration, nor any other Presbyter would ever dream of contending for, viz: the right to supplant, for the occasion, the Rector of a Parish. But, say you, "the effect of my view would be to deprive the Bishop of that privilege, and make him incapable of administering the Lord's Supper, &c., because he has no exclusive Parish." Now, surely your own acumen must tell you that this inference is totally a non-sequiter; it is not the effect of my view, which would thus deprive you, but it is the effect of your "not having an exclusive Parish," a condition which the Canons never contemplated, that a Bishop should occupy. [See Canon XXV of the General Convention of 1832, sec. 2.] It is the effect of this circumstance, unexpected and unprovided for by Canon, in which you find yourself, and not the effect of my view, or the view of any other man, which deprives you "of the privilege of administering the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper," as Presbyter, Had you a Parish, then you might perform, within its limits, all presbyterial acts. But you are not, being without a Parish, therefore, deprived of the privilege of so doing, as Bishop, on every occasion, when the Communion constitutes a part of any service which is of a character peculiar to the Episcopate, as for example, "the Ordering of Deacons," "the Ordering of Priests," "the Consecration of a Church or Chapel," and, if you should be the presiding Bishop, "the Consecration of Bishops." And I would still further add, though there be nothing in the Constitution, Canons or Rubrics of the Church upon the subject, that there is a propriety, which would require that you should officiate in the administration of the Lord's Supper on occasion of the meeting of the Annual Convention of your Diocese.
From a review of the argument which I have now presented, I am forced to say, and I cannot conceive how you can differ from me, that the conclusion which you call "natural," viz: "that it pertains to you by right of office to have the privilege of administering the Lord's Supper, in any Parish or Congregation of the Diocese, in which, with due regard to circumstances and proper notice, you may express your desire so to do," is really most unnatural, unwarranted and therefore utterly inadmissible-indeed, it cannot be otherwise, when it is, as I have shown, in conflict with the order and arrangement of the Church.
You say, "you do not recollect eVer to have heard this right questioned until now, by any person calling himself an Episcopalian." Permit me most respectfully to ask, whether you ever heard this right asserted, until recently, by any person calling himself a Protestant Episcopal Bishop. I do not ask, whether you can show that Bishops before you, have occasionally at their visitations, under peculiar circumstances, administered the Communion, but whether this has ever been sought to be done by any invariably or at discretion, as a part of the Episcopal prerogative. This, then, is the true question at issue, and which you, for your own sake, are bound to make good or abandon, and that not only on the ground of precedent, (which you have not yet done, as I shall hereafter show,) but also on the ground of Rubric and of Canon, viz: That it is a part of the Bishop's function, delegated to him at his Consecration, to put aside the Rector of a Parish or Congregation, appoint the time of Celebrating the Holy Eucharist, officiate on the occasion, and appropriate as he pleases "the alms and other devotions of the people," whenever he shall see proper so to do.
Again you say, "with regard to the construction of the Canons, your deliberate judgment is directly the reverse of that which I express." Have I not a right, then, to ask that you be candid and generous enough to state to me the reasons upon which your "deliberate judgment" is based? Now, I claim to be possessed of some degree of intelligence and independence of mind, and cannot consent to abandon a conclusion to which I have been led, by a process of legitimate reasoning, at the mere counter declaration of any man, no matter what his position or reputation may be; and still further, I cannot help considering it as approximating very nearly to an insult to one's intelligence, even to be asked to do such a thing. But you ask me to abandon what I believe to be the sound conclusions of my own mind, and which you have not even attempted to disprove, because, forsooth, you tell me "your deliberate judgment is directly the reverse of what I express." And in addition to this you also undertake to point me to my ordination vow, as obliging me to acquiesce. "By that vow," you say, "you conceive me to be under obligation to submit to your judgment, when we have the misfortune to differ." Why, my dear sir, if, with the vaunted successor of St. Peter, you claimed infallibility, you could not ask more than this, since you decline adducing any argument, to show that my conclusions are erroneous, and that your "deliberate judgment" is founded in truth.
Will it be contended by any man of sound mind, and liberal Protestant principles, as distinguished from Romish despotism, that by his ordination vows, the Presbyter, in the Protestant Episcopal Church, is bound to surrender all his faculties into the hands, as it were, of his Bishop, and to suspend his every conclusion upon matters of faith and duty--to know nothing, to believe nothing, to do nothing, until his Bishop shall inform him what his "deliberate judgment" respecting the matter is? And yet preposterous and ridiculous as such an assumption would be, it is nevertheless in principle that for which you contend. "With regard," say you, "to the construction of the Canons, my deliberate judgment is directly the reverse of what you express; and by your ordination vow, I conceive you to be under obligation to submit to my judgment, when we have the misfortune to differ on such a point, until some competent authority, judicially or by legislation, pronounce me to be in error."
But let us look into this matter a little more nearly, and see what this ordination vow precisely is, after which I will attempt to satisfy you that you are already, by a competent tribunal, pronounced to be in error.
What then is this ordination vow on which you lay such stress. Ordination vows are solemn things, and to no man's mind more so than my own. But had this vow required of me what you assume, viz: to see with your eyes, to hear with your ears, and never to think, judge, or practice otherwise, in religious matters, than as you may direct, I never would have taken it, or if, through ignorance, I had taken it, I would now abjure it forever.
But, to the honor of the Church be it spoken, this vow requires no such thing. Nay, it is of a character to be taken, and to be obeyed too, by an independent, intelligent mind; there is nothing in it which implies, or countenances either the spirit, or the practice of an abject subserviency. The "Charge," and the "Government," which "the Bishops of the Church, and other Chief-Ministers," have over the Presbyter or the Deacon, must be, as in the Ordinal declared, "according to the Canons," whilst the obedience to be rendered is also Canonical. The "admonitions" too, which, "with glad mind," the latter are "to follow," and the "judgments" to which they are to "submit," are not to be arbitrary, without reason, and in contravention of the law and order of the Church, but they must be "godly." In reference to all of which, as discreet, and sober, and intelligent, and pious, and responsible men, the Presbyter, &c., is to decide.
You say, "on such a point," as the one now mooted, "I am bound to submit to your judgment, until some competent authority pronounce you to be in error." I flatter myself that that competent authority has already spoken, which authority is none other than the Church herself, speaking directly to the point in controversy, through the medium of her lucid and venerable Rubrics, and the verdict rendered, as I have shown, is unquestionable against you. I know not what higher tribunal can adjudicate this case, and from the judgment of the Church herself, I presume there is no appeal. In reference to this matter, then, I think we may appropriately apply the maxim--
"Ecclesia locuta est, causa finita est."
And now to the question of precedent. What, then, is the principle which you are laboring to establish, and upon which your practice in this particular is sought to be based? Is it that a Bishop may occasionally, at the discretion or request of the Rector, in case of a vacancy) or under other peculiar circumstances, celebrate the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, in a Parish or Congregation, at the time of his visitation? The basis of precedent which you have cited, or can cite, is not strong enough to sustain anything heavier than this. Nay, but what you assume is, (and it can rest upon nothing short of a principle, which, at the last Diocesan Convention, you virtually denied that you held, viz: that, as a part of the Episcopal prerogative, you have the right and authority to make your appointments, and officiate in the desk, in the pulpit, and at the Lord's Table, at any point within your Diocese, whenever you please to signify your intention to the Rector so to do, and that he, by his ordination vow, is bound unhesitatingly to submit. Now, this is that for which you are to show a precedent, both in the theory and practice of your predecessors, and until you do so, all the citations which you may make, like those in your last communication, even were they as strong to the point as you would make them appear, which they are not, as I shall presently show, are widely beside the mark. For the purpose of legitimate argument they are good for nothing in a question like the present, because their effect is logically neutralized, by the citation of a similar number of instances, in which your predecessors made visitations without administering the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, And you know that from the record of their official acts I could cite at least a hundred to one against you.
But let us here turn to the Journals of Convention, from which you profess to draw your precedent, and I am sorry to say that you have not done your predecessors in office entire justice, and could they now speak, they would reprove you for the injury, which, through you, their memory is made to sustain; but I will endeavor to vindicate them in this particular. You assume for them, what they never claimed for themselves, nay, what one of them, Bishop Kemp, most positively disclaims, viz: that they looked upon "the administration of the Communion as a part of the services of a Diocesan visitation." I happen, by the good providence of God, to have these very Journals to which you refer in my hands, and besides them a good many more, which I may perchance have occasion hereafter to use, you will therefore excuse me for taking the liberty of verifying your quotations.
1. And, first, I will request you again to turn to the "Notitiae of Bishop Clagett, No. 1, for the years 1809 and 1810," and look at the first instance to which you direct my attention. You quote the good Bishop's Notitiae thus: "In the upper Chapel of St. John's Parish, Prince George's County, on the 13th of August, he preached, and on the next day he preached again, administered the Holy Supper, and Confirmed." Now can it be possible, in your hunt after the ghost of a precedent to sustain you in this objectionable practice, you failed to see that little, but important word, "VACANT," which stands after the word "County?" but perhaps you did in your eagerness to crush me under the weight of precedent, for I am sure had you seen it, or seeing it had regarded it, it would have opposed you as the angel did Balaam when so eager to secure the gain of unrighteousness, or, to change the metaphor, it would have reproved you, as the dumb ass did the madness of the Prophet. Bishop Claggett most emphatically states that St. John's Parish was at this time VACANT.
2. Again: For what purpose you could have produced your second instance I am utterly at a loss to conceive, unless it was for array's sake, a weak cause requires to be supported by feints. This was on occasion of the Consecration of a Church, and of the services to be performed on such occasions the administration of the Communion is a part which the Rubrics require the Bishop to perform. Bishop Claggett was too good a churchman to disregard the authority of the Rubrics. It is true these services were extended through two successive days, the Bishop taking the opportunity then offered, to make a Canonical visitation and to Consecrate both at the same visit, and for the convenience of all, (indeed, I doubt whether it could have been otherwise in a Parish like Durham,) these combined services were not crowded into one day but divided so as to be performed upon two successive days; the Communion then was a part of the Consecration and no part of the Confirmation Service.
3. Again: Look once more, I pray you, at the third instance you adduce; you say, professing to quote the Bishop fairly, which I am again sorry to say you have not done, "on Easter-day the Bishop visited the Chapel of St. Paul's Parish, Prince George's County, and was there joined by the Rev. Dr. B. Contee, who read prayer; the Bishop preached, confirmed ten persons, and administered the Holy Eucharist to about forty of the faithful in Christ Jesus." But did you not read, but a few lines above where you commenced your quotation, that the good Bishop remarks with sorrow that this Parish "for two years and upwards" had "been destitute of a Rector, and had not been visited by any minister except himself?" I say, did you not read this? Yes, you did read it, and you did read it attentively, as the mingling of words which occur above, with what you have extracted as a fair quotation, for the purpose of making a complete sentence, most undeniably proves. Then, why had you not the candor to insert this statement. Why, my dear sir, the reason is evident, you knew that it would show that the case was not in point, aye, you knew still further that it would make against you, and therefore by suppressing this most important fact, you expected to make of the venerable Proto-Bishop of the Diocese of Maryland a false witness in your favor. Bishop Whittingham, I feel that you have attempted to impose upon my presumed ignorance of the facts cited by you, or rather, of my presumed inability to verify your statements. This is unfair, it is dishonorable. I know this is harsh language to be used by me to you; but your course here, in endeavoring to take advantage of me, has aroused my indignation, and I cannot repress the utterance of what I really think.
Having exhibited what I have exhibited in reference to each one of your quotations from Bishop Claggett's Notes, no unprejudiced tribunal would require me to notice what you have further adduced by way of precedent. But for the sake of the important principle involved, I will also investigate them so far as Bishop Kemp's practice in this particular is concerned. For having discovered what I have now discovered in reference to your professed quotations from Bishop Claggett's Notes, I here assure you, that I can never hereafter place confidence in what you affirm, in a matter of controversy, without first verifying it myself. And if this be necessary in reference to a simple matter of fact, how much more necessary is it that when doctrines are asserted from the sacred desk as the truth of God, affecting the eternal interests of the immortal soul, that the People should "search the Scriptures daily whether these things be so."
I will now proceed to examine what you cite from Bishop Kemp's Report to the Convention of 1815--and, in passing, I would say, that a lawyer would abandon a case as hopeless if he had no more available witness to call upon the stand than you have in the person of Bishop Kemp. Your first quotation states that "on Monday" (Nov. 14) "he proceeded to Churchill where the Parish Church of St. Luke's stands; he preached and administered the Lord's Supper." This is all he says about St. Luke's, Churchill. Is it not probable that this Parish was at this time vacant? Nay, is it not demonstrated that it was so, by the fact that the Bishop states that on the preceding day, November 13, "being the Lord's day, I preached in St. Paul's Church, about seven miles from Chestertown, and confirmed nine persons." But though Sunday there was no Communion. A Rev. Mr. Turner was Rector of the Parish at that time. The conclusion, I say, most natural is, that St. Luke's Parish was then vacant, from the fact, that the day previous, though the Lord's day, there was no Communion in the Church over which Rev. Mr. Turner was placed, and on this day though Monday, it was administered in St. Luke's. At any rate you have not shown that it had a Rector, and that he was present, which you are bound to do before you can appeal to this case as a precedent; and even then it would show hut an occasional practice and not a general one. Again: "The next day I preached at St. Paul's, near Centreville, and administered the Lord's Supper." There is no evidence that the Rector, the Rev. Mr. Stephens, was present on this occassion. He may, for anything you can show to the contrary, have, for some good reason, requested the Bishop to take his place. It is certain, as I shall show hereafter, that the Bishop never claimed to officiate on these occasions as a matter of right.
"And on the following day I officiated," says the Bishop, "at the Church near Wye Mill, where the Lord's Supper was also administered." Now, first, as before there is no proof that the Rector was present; and, secondly, if present, there is no proof that he did not himself administer the Communion, for the Bishop does not say that he administered the Lord's Supper. But "that the Lord's Supper was administered." Again: "on the 18th," says the Bishop, "I preached at Easton, and confirmed, and on the following day I preached and administered the Lord's Supper at St. Peter's Church." Now, here again as before, what proof have we that Mr. Bayne, the Rector, was present on this occasion. He may have been sick, and for the time being he may have invited the Bishop to take his place. Again: the 4th of May, "being the Lord's day, I preached at Salisbury," says the Bishop, "administered the Lord's Supper, four confirmed." Does he say that the Rector, the Rev. Mr. Stone was present and able in body, nothing of the sort? What, then, does this instance avail you? "On Sunday, the 14th," the Bishop states, "I preached at Cambridge in the Church of Great Choptank Parish, and administered the Lord's Supper," &c. "The Rev. Mr. Laird has been lately settled in the Parish." But was he present on the occasion. Where is the proof?
Out of these instances which you have cited, six in number, in which there was a Communion at the time of a visitation, you can not place your finger upon a single one which smiles upon your practice, indeed I think they are all strongly against you.
Bishop Claggett occupied the Episcopal chair in this Diocese for about twenty-four years, from '92 to '16, and during an administration of its affairs for near a quarter of a century, you have with all your known and acknowledged diligence been able to discover but three instances in which the Bishop notices that he had a Communion in connexion with a Confirmation, and of these three instances, as I have shown, two occurred in vacant parishes, and the other at the consecration of a church; a weak foundation indeed, this, upon which to rear such a fabric as you contemplate. There is one other instance in the official life of Bishop C., which, as it is as much to your purpose as either of those you have adduced, it is somewhat surprising you did not cite it, and the only reason I can think of for this omission, as it occurs on the very next page of the Journal of 1810, from which you quote is, that you knew that I must necessarily be too well acquainted with the history of Trinity Church, Upper Marlborough, not instantly to detect the fallacy. [I was Rector of this church myself for six years, and of course knew that Bishop Claggett organized this congregation, and was its first Rector.]
Bishop Kemp, including the two years during which he acted in conjunction with Bishop Claggett, held the Episcopate of the Diocese about eleven years, in which time he notices a Communion in connexion with a confirmation, six times, at which he himself officiated five times, but in neither case are we informed of the presence of a Rector. [This is according to Bishop W.'s showing.] Now contrast these facts with those which now appear upon the Journal of our conventions. You have been Bishop of the Diocese little more than one-fifth of the time of Bishop Claggett's Episcopal life, and not one-half that of Bishop Kemp's, and yet it would be a labor,- onerous indeed, to write out the instances in which you have associated a Communion with a Confirmation, and the result of such an undertaking would be quite a volume. And yet you tell me you are but acting upon the precedent your predecessors set you. Why, my dear sir, their practice and yours are the very antipodes of each other. Their practice was to observe the Canons and Rubrics, and proprieties of the church, and to confirm only at their visitations, never invading the Rector's rights, or encroaching upon his peculiar functions; whilst your practice is to disregard these limitations, and to insist, as a part of the Episcopal prerogative, to take upon yourself the Rector's character, and on these occasions to administer the Communion to his people, and direct "the alms and other devotions" as you may see fit.
But again, look at the summing up of the Episcopal acts of your predecessors, at the conclusion of their addresses to Conventions; and I do not think you can point to a single instance in which the number of Communions celebrated constitute an item in these statistics. Certainly Bishop Claggett's reports present nothing of the sort, as far as I have been able to examine. And what is the fact in regard to Bishop Kemp in this particular--see Journal for 1820, page 7, "From these minutes it appears that since the last convention I have held seven Confirmations," &c., but no Communions named. Again, see Journal for 1821, p. 10, "Since last convention I have administered the Holy Ordinance of Confirmation fifteen times," &c., but nothing said about the Holy Communion. Again, Journal for 1827, p. 8, "During the last year I have consecrated-two churches, visited ten, and confirmed one hundred and sixty-eight persons," &c. But not one word of the Communion; and the only apparent exception to this that I can discover, is to be found on the 7th page of the Journal of 1819, where the Bishop says, "during the past year I have visited twenty-four churches, in all of which I have preached, and sometimes administered the Lord's Supper." But may not this have been in vacant parishes, or when the Rector was only in Deacon's orders; or may it not have been on occasion of ordinations or consecrations? During the year the Bishop tells the convention that he had "consecrated four new churches," "ordained five Deacons and three Priests, and assisted at the consecration of two Bishops." If, therefore, he administered the Communion on the occasions of the consecration of the churches and the ordaining of Priests and Deacons, as of course he did, this alone would make twelve times, which, together with the Communion in vacant parishes, and in those supplied only with the ministration of Deacons, in all probability is what the Bishop refers to when he says, "And sometimes I administered the Lord's Supper." But this I shall render more clear hereafter. Now turn to the Journal of our last Convention, page 51, and the very first thing in the synopsis of your labors for the year, you tell us is, that you had administered the Lord's Supper SEVENTY-FOUR TIMES. And yet you tell me that precedent in this Diocese is in your favor, and therefore you insist on my withdrawing my objections and conceding to you the right to administer the Communion to my people at your approaching visitation.
Let us look at this question of precedent once more, for as you rest your authority, so far as argument is concerned, upon this ground alone, it is well that we know, beyond all doubt, what this precedent really is. Now be so good as to turn to the Journals of convention for the year 1824, page 9: Bishop Kemp remarks, "The next day, (Nov. 21,) being the Lord's day, I performed divine service in the parish church of King and Queen Parish, confirmed twelve persons, and administered the Lord's Supper, INASMUCH AS THE MINISTER, THE REV. MR. MITCHELL, IS ONLY A DEACON." Would he have done so had Mr. Mitchell been a Priest? Certainly not--Again same page, "On Monday (26th April) I visited Trinity Church, Upper Marlborough, preached, confirmed seven persons, and administered the Lord's Supper, INASMUCH AS THE PARISH WAS VACANT." Would he have done so, think you, had the parish been supplied with a Rector in Priest's orders? Nay, this is another legitimate precedent. Journal for 1825, p. 8, "On the 24th of October, being the Lord's day, I preached, administered the Lord's Supper, and confirmed ten persons in the parish church of Princess Ann,"--but inasmuch as no Rector is mentioned the probability is this parish was vacant. Again, p. 9, "On the 12th April, I preached, administered the Lord's Supper, and confirmed in Christ Church, Calvert County. THIS PARISH IS AT PRESENT VACANT."
And now hear the conclusion of the whole matter, page 10 of the Journal for the same year. "In every church that I have visited, I have preached, and often performed the morning and evening service. I have also administered the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and confirmation. In all parishes, however, IN WHICH THE CLERGYMEN ARE PRIESTS, I SHALL DECLINE ADMINISTERING THE SACRAMENT, although it will give me much pleasure to do it, when the Ministers are Deacons or when the parishes are vacant." Why did you not quote these precedents too, Bishop, in your letter to me? This you should have done or abandoned precedent altogether. And now I hesitate not to say that a jury of any twelve true men in the land, having heard me thus far would render a verdict in my favor without even leaving the box.
Behold, this is the precedent which Bishop Kemp has set you, and this is the precedent too, which every consideration of law and order, and propriety clearly require that you should follow.
Now, Rt. Rev. Sir, what becomes of your declaration that you never before heard this right questioned by one calling himself an Episcopalian. It may be so, but you are now made aware of the fact, if you were ignorant of it before, that one who was a Protestant Episcopal Bishop not only would not assert any such right believing that he did not possess it, but positively and publicly declined to carry out any such practice--and yet this very Protestant Episcopal Bishop you have endeavored to make your "scapegoat" in this particular. I will here close my remarks upon the question of precedent, without noticing what you say as to Bishop Mead, Bishop Stone, or Bishop Griswold's practice, not being able at this time to refer to either of the instances you specify. Bishop Stone's practice I know was against you, Bishop Mead's in his own Diocese, I am credibly informed, is also against you. Whilst Bishop H. U. Onderdonk, whilst provisionally Bishop of this Diocese in 1829, p. 15, of the Journal tells us, that he administered the Holy Communion but twice, once on the 20th December, in Christ Church, Rockville, at the ordination of Rev. H. C. Knight to the Priesthood, and once at Easton; I perceive from the statistics above given, on the 8th March in Christ Church. But as there is no report from this church, in this or the preceding journal, I am at liberty to infer that at this time it was vacant.
I had intended showing, in concluding this paper, that there is danger, least that which is sometimes conceded on the score of courtesy, may soon be claimed on the ground of right. When you first came among us, many may have yielded to you in this particular, now under consideration, as a courtesy, who would have resisted the measure had it been asked on the ground of right. But I am tired, as I suppose you will be by the time you have read what I now have written, I must therefore, for the present conclude, by returning to you your own words, first making them my own, and thereby changing their application, viz: "I trust that these reasons will appear to you sufficient, upon re-consideration of the question to warrant your withdrawal of your" purpose or wish to administer the Communion to the people of my charge at your intended visitation of St. Andrew's Church.
Very respectfully yours, &c,
JOSEPH TRAPNELL, JR.
Rt. Rev. Bishop WHITTINGHAM.
Baltimore, December 1st, 1846.
REV. AND DEAR BROTHER:--Your letter of November 7th has just come to my hands, with a multitude of others, on my return from visitation.
This delay is not my fault. I took particular care on leaving, to direct the transmission of letters that should arrive within a few days, thinking it probable that my last would receive an answer from you within that time. The unusual form of your letter prevented its transmission, as it was not known to be a letter.
Its great length has hindered me from giving it, as yet, the careful perusal its contents demand; but I am sorry to find that their (its?) nature is such as to leave me no alternative but that of asking whether you assent or decline my offer of a visitation of St. Andrew's Church on Sunday next, as proposed in my second notice?
For obvious reasons, an early answer to this question is desirable, as I am to be out of town two or three days, I may not receive it before Friday evening, unless it be sent to Annapolis, care of Rev. E. M. Van Deusen.
Very faithfully, Your friend and brother,
W. R. WHITTINGHAM.
Rev. J. TRAPNELL, Jr.
Baltimore, December 2d, 1846.
RT. REV. AND DEAR SIR:--Your note of the 1st inst. has been duly received--In reply to which I beg leave simply to state that we have a very interesting and encouraging class ready for Confirmation, and that notice has been given to the congregation that that solemn and impressive rite will be administered by you D. V. on Sunday next.
Very respectfully yours, &c.
JOSEPH TRAPNELL, JR.
Rt. Rev. W. R. WHITTINGHAM.
Sunday morning, December 6th, according to appointment, Bishop Whittingham met me at 10 1/2 o'clock. After waiting till near 11 o'clock I introduced the subject of our correspondence by stating that my main object in asking him to meet me was, that if possible, I might have his approbation of the course I felt it my duty to pursue in regard to the administering of the Communion on that occasion. The Bishop enquired whether I proposed to prescribe to him what he should do in the discharge of his Episcopal duties? To which I replied, certainly not, but that in the matter now at issue an important principle of right and duty was involved, and that I could not recede from the position I had taken, unless I should be met and refuted by argument. (About this time the Rev. Mr. Lewin came into the Vestry Room, and also my friend, Mr. Peachey, leader of the choir, which occasioned a brief interruption of the conversation.) After Mr. P. retired, I remarked that in the matter concerned, my position was taken, and that I could never, with my present views, give way, that I was prepared and willing to discuss the question of right, but that until met fairly by argument, I could never concede the point. The Bishop then asked whether I meant to say that the Communion could not be administered by him on the present occasion? I replied that I meant to say that if the Communion was administered on the present occasion it would be administered by me. The Bishop immediately replied that he should not then go into the church. My response was very well. The Bishop remarked that he was glad this conversation was had in the presence of a witness, referring to Rev. Mr. Lewin. [The reference to Mr. Lewin forced upon my mind the conviction that he was present by appointment, as the Bishop's chosen witness, to note particularly what I might say. I determined, therefore, that there should be two witnesses present, instead of one.] I immediately stepped to the door and sent for Mr. J. P. Miller, a member of my vestry. Not a word farther passed till he came in--I then remarked that as it seemed desirable there should be witnesses present on the occasion, to notice what was said in the conversation passing between the Bishop and myself, I had taken the liberty to send for him. The Bishop then turned to Mr. Miller, and stated briefly how this point came to be raised between us, in the course of which he stated that he had sent me the same notice of a visitation that he was in the habit invariably of sending to other brethren. I then asked the Bishop whether he ever before in the city of Baltimore had insisted on a Communion as a part of an Episcopal visitation. He replied the point had never before been raised. I asked further what course the Bishop pursued when he administered Confirmation in the afternoon? His answer was, he had no Communion. I then asked whether he had ever, in the city of Baltimore, associated a Communion with a Confirmation. The Bishop was of opinion that he had done so at Christ Church. I replied that I had a distinct recollection that on that occasion the Bishop, in his report, I thought, to Convention, said that "the Rector did him the favor to administer the Communion." The Bishop assented to the fact, and said that the Rector acted at his request, he, (the Bishop,) being indisposed from recent cold and loss of voice. I then remarked, that it did not become me to catechise the Bishop, and that if the question I was about to ask was an improper one, I hoped he would not answer it; but that with his permission I would enquire whether, near two years since, this same question had not been presented, wrhether having made a similar appointment to the one he had made with St. Andrew's, he was not met with the same objection, and that when he fulfilled the appointment there was no Communion. He replied that he knew of no such case, but that if I would name the case I had in view, he could answer positively. I then stated that the case that I referred to was an appointment which had been made with Rev. Mr. Bean, of Washington, on which occasion, though notice of a Communion had been given, there was none administered. The Bishop stated that Mr. Bean had made no objection to him, and that when he visited his Church, Mr. B., in the presence of witnesses, apologised for not being prepared for the Communion, and excused himself in a manner satisfactory; but that he had never raised the point which had now been raised by me. [I have received a communication from Rev. Mr. Bean, in reference to the allusion in the above conversation, in which he says, "I neither intended, thought of, or made any apology, nor ever supposed any such thing ever took place."] I replied that what may have passed between Mr. B. and the Bishop I knew nothing of, but that I did know that Mr. B. had written to some of the brethren on the subject, in which letters he did raise this very question. The Bishop remarked, he did not know what private motives might have actuated Mr. Bean, but that no such reason had been assigned him, nor was he aware that he, (Mr. B.,) even entertained any such objections. The Bishop then proceeded to say that there\ was one circumstance that I had failed to notice, viz: that when the city clergy notified him of their wish of a visitation, he left them to make their own arrangements, as to time, &c., as would best suit their own convenience, and that on such occasions if there were no provisions for a Communion he had nothing to say about it, but that when he made an appointment for a visitation, he then made his own arrangements and included the administration of the Communion among the services of that occasion. I now informed the Bishop that anticipating the difficulty I had declined having the elements taken into the Church. I then remarked with a good deal of feeling, my dear Bishop, I hope you will not suppose that I take this position out of personal hostility to you, it is not this; but the duty I owe to the order, and arrangement and ritual of the Church constrains me to take it, it is not with me a matter of personal feeling, but a question of principle. The Bishop replied that he judged no man's motives but by his actions, and that if it was a matter personal with him he would give it up immediately, but that it was with him a matter involving the rights and duties of the Episcopate, which he had received, and which it became him to transmit to his successors in office. I remarked that as he spoke of succession I would simply say, that the particular function which he now claimed to exercise had never been transmitted by his predecessors in office to him. He remarked, so you think. I replied, so I have shown. Again he remarked, so you think. I answered, at all events you have not shown the contrary. I then asked him if he had not seen Bishop Kemp's public declaration on the subject. He said he had not. I replied, with surprise, you have not? (My reason for so doing was, that I had quoted it in the course of our correspondence.) The Bishop remarked we had not time to discuss this matter, and arose to go into the Church. In leaving the Vestry Room, he asked me if my position was taken, to which I replied that it was; and here ended our personal interview.
JOSEPH TRAPNELL, JR. Sunday evening, December 6th, 1846.
I have submitted this report of our conversation to Mr. J. P. Miller, who agrees with me that it is substantially correct, so far as it transpired in his presence.