William Wilkinson.

A history of the general convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in ... online

. (page 11 of 52)
Online LibraryWilliam WilkinsonA history of the general convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in ... → online text (page 11 of 52)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


They are our fathers in the Church of God. There was a time
when we worked hard to get our Bishops, and one when some
people did not want any Bishops. For one, I do not want
this question influenced by the fact that Bishops sit behind
closed doors. It is not done for their privilege. It is one of
protection. I know of some matters being brought before the
House of Bishops in reference to Prayer Book revision when
this House was unwilling to have the action of the Bishops
known before we had considered the matter. I hope that the
amendment to the amendment will be voted down and the
Bishops placed upon a parity with the Deputies in matters
legislative."

The Rev. Dr. Elliott, of Maryland, said: "I would have
equality of both Houses as justice to ourselves and as justice
to the Dioceses which we represent. In a great council like
this we should act concurrently."

The Rev. Dr. Hoffman, of New York, the member of Revi-
sion Commission, who was charged with introducing the report
into the House of Deputies, said: "I may inform the House
that all those matters which give more power to the Bishops
were not suggested by prelates, and some of them were not
approved by some of the Bishops on the Commission."

The Deputy from Pennsylvania said: "We are likely to in-
crease the majority required in this House while we lower it
in that. It may be that a majority in the House of Bishops
could be 15. My opinion is that it would require 20. But I
may inform the House that under the present Constitution no
specific number is required. I think the three days' limit pro-
posed, in which the Bishops must report their action, and if it
is not in accordance with the action of this House state the
reasons for such dissent, to be exceedingly unjust. In regard
to equal rights, the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies can at
any moment, if it so wills, lay upon the table any matter
coming from the House."



Digitized by VjOOQ IC



HISTORY OF GENERAL CONVENTION. 1 23

Dr. McKim, of Maryland, thought the three days' require-
ment should be stricken out. He expressed his delight at
hearing that the request to extend the rights of the House of
Bishops did not come from members of that House. He
demonstrated that in voting as he should do against increasing
the Bishops' powers he should have the sympathy of the House
of Bishops itself.

Rev. J. J. Faude, of Minnesota, said : "It seems that the
general feeling in this House is against the increase of the
powers of the House of Bishops. Let us distinguish legislative
equality from the powers which belong inherently to the House
of Bishops. This House is perfectly able to hold its own in
matters of legislation. There are certainly matters I shall
oppose in this proposed revision, but I see no objection to this
section as it stands."

The Rev. P. G. Robert said that little by little the rights
of Bishops have been acknowledged. We should be willing to
trust them. They have to deal with all sorts and conditions
of priests. They had his profound sympathy. On a vote
being taken the amendment was lost.

By this time it was clear that the discussion on revision of
Constitution and Canons was becoming wearisome to a large
number of Deputies, and that it would not be carried through
at this Convention. Rev. Dr. Roberts moved that the consid-
eration be in the House and not in committee of the whole.
" I want to get out of the difficulty we are in," he said. The
Chairman said the motion was out of order. The committee
then arose and the House adjourned.



Digitized by VjOOQlC



CHAPTER XII.

The House of Deputies.

OCTOBER 8th.

jyiORNING Prayer was said by Rev. Dr. Alsop, of Long
*" Island, and the benediction was pronounced by the
Bishop of West Virginia.

Rev. Dr. Huntington, of New York, submitted a report from
the Committee on Amendments to the Constitution, to which
was referred the proposal to change the word M constitution fl
to " constitutions," and the incidental changes necessitated
thereby, and advised against the change.

Rev. Dr. Davenport brought in a report to amend Title 3,
Canon 1, Section 2, in relation to the office of Registrar.

Rev. Dr. Huntington, who had been asked by Rev. Dr. Hart
to present to the Convention his report as the custodian of the
Standard Book of Common Prayer, did so. It was accompanied
by a resolution to change the Golden Numbers in the book.
Dr. Huntington said, " Before anybody has time to ask any
difficult questions about the Golden Numbers, I move that the
resolution be referred to the Committee on the Prayer Book."
Agreed to.

Memorials in relation to the late Rev. Lewis Burton, of
Ohio, the late Dr. Wainwright, of Connecticut, the late Corning
S. Judd, of Chicago, and the late Hon. Matthew P. Deady, of
Oregon, were presented and referred to the proper committee.

Mr. Fairbanks presented a memorial from the annual council
of his Diocese asking that action be taken on the report of
the Joint Committee on degrees of affinity and kindred. Re-
ferred to Committee on Canons.



Digitized by VjOOQ IC



HISTORY OF GENERAL CONVENTION. 1 25

Rev. Mr. Bennitt, of Newark, moved that the title " Bishop
Coadjutor " be substituted for " Assistant Bishop " wherever it
occurs in the Constitution. Placed on the calendar.

Mr. Stiness, of Rhode Island, submitted an amendment to
Article 1, Canon 19, Section 12. Referred.

Dr. Morrison, of Albany, submitted an amendment to Title
2, Canon 4, Section 3, by inserting after the words " General
Convention " "And shall certify that a majority of all the clergy
and of the parishes and of the congregations of the proposed
new Diocese and the same proportion of the remaining territory
have given their consent to a division." Referred.

Rev. Dr. Egar, of Central New York, said that although the
Committee on Constitutional Amendments had brought in a
report, and asked to be discharged, this did not discharge the
House. He therefore moved that the resolution be placed on
the calendar. So ordered.

Mr. Forsyth, of Louisiana, on behalf of Bishop Sessums said
his Diocese invited the Convention to hold its next session in
New Orleans.

Two messages were received (Nos. 8 and 9) from the House
of Bishops, informing the House that it had adopted resolutions
containing amendments to the Constitution.

The Rev. Dr. Hoffman, of New York: I move to suspend
the rules of the House, in order that we may take immediate
action in this House on the messages just received from the
House of Bishops. Agreed to.

The President: The business now before the House is Mes-
sage No. 8, which the Secretary will read.

The message was read as follows:

Resolved, The House of Deputies concurring, that the fol-
lowing amendment be made to the Constitution, and that the
proposed amendment be made known to the several Dioceses,
in order that it may be finally agreed to and ratified at the
next General Convention, in accordance with the provisions of
Article ix of the Constitution.

Strike out the title and insert in place thereof the following:

" Constitution and Canons for the government of that portion
of the Catholic Church known in law as the Protestant Epis-
copal Church in the United States of America."

Adding thereto the sub-title " Constitutions."



Digitized by VjOOQ IC



126 HISTORY OF GENERAL CONVENTION.

The vote was taken by Dioceses and Orders with the fol-
lowing result:

Clerical vote — ayes, 47 Dioceses; nays, 5 Dioceses; divided,
1 Diocese.

Lay vote — ayes, 36 Dioceses; nays, 8 Dioceses; divided, 6
Dioceses.

The President: The House concurs with the House of Bishops
in Message No. 8. The question now before the House is
Message No. 9, which will be read.

The message was read as follows:

The House of Bishops informs the House of Deputies that
it has adopted the following resolution:

Resolved, The House of Deputies concurring, that the fol-
lowing amendment be made to the Constitution, and that the
proposed amendment be made known to the several Dioceses
in order that it may be finally agreed to and ratified in the next
General Convention, in accordance with the provisions of Art. ix
of the Constitution

Insert in place of Articles 1, n and in of the Constitution
the following:

I.

Section 1. There shall be a General Synod of this Church,
consisting of the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies,
which Houses shall sit and deliberate separately ; and in all
deliberations freedom of debate shall be allowed. Either House
may originate and propose legislation, but every act of the
General Synod must be adopted by both Houses and be cer-
tified by the signatures of the presiding officer and of the
Secretary of each House.

Sec. 2. Every Bishop of this Church, every Bishop Coad-
jutor and every Bishop whose resignation of jurisdiction by
reason of advanced age or infirmity shall have been accepted,
shall have a seat and a vote in the House of Bishops. A
majority of all Bishops entitled to vote, exclusive of those who
have resigned their jurisdiction and those who are Bishops in
foreign lands, shall be necessary to constitute a quorum for the
transaction of business.

Sec. 3. The senior Bishop of this Church, in order of con-
secration, having jurisdiction within the United States, shall be
the presiding officer of the House of Bishops, and shall be



Digitized by VjOOQ IC



HISTORY OF GENERAL CONVENTION. 127

called the Primate. He shall discharge such duties as may
be prescribed by the Constitutions and Canons of the General
Synod or for its own needs by the House of Bishops. The
Primate shall hold office for life, unless he resign or be removed
for disability or canonical cause.

Sec. 4. The Church in each Diocese which shall have been
admitted to the General Synod shall be entitled to be repre-
sented in the House of Deputies by not more than three
presbyters, canonically resident in the Diocese, and three lay-
men, communicants of this Church and having domicile in the
Diocese. Each Diocese shall prescribe the manner in which
its Deputies shall be chosen.

A majority of the Dioceses entitled to representation shall
be represented by clerical Deputies, and also a majority of the
Dioceses so entitled shall be represented by lay Deputies, to
constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The ab-
sence of a majority of the deputies of either order of any
Diocese shall not invalidate the representation of such Diocese
so long as there be present one or more Deputies of either
order. If any Diocese be not represented, or be represented
in one order only, such Diocese shall, nevertheless, be bound
by the acts of the General Synod.

On any question the vote of the majority of the Deputies
present shall suffice, unless otherwise ordered by these consti-
tutions, or unless the clerical or lay representation from any
Diocese require that the vote be taken by orders ; and in all
cases of a vote by orders the two orders shall vote separately,
each Diocese having one vote for its clerical and one for its
lay representation, if present ; and the concurrence of the votes
of the two orders, by not less than a majority in each order of
all the Dioceses represented in that order at the time, shall be
necessary to constitute a vote of the House.

Sec. 5. In either House any number less than a quorum
may adjourn from day to day. Neither House during the
session of the General Synod shall adjourn, without the consent
of the other, for more than three days, or to any place other
than that in which the Synod shall be sitting.

Sec. 6. One clerical and one lay delegate chosen by each
missionary district of this Church shall have seats in the House
of Deputies without the right to vote.



Digitized by VjOOQ IC



128 HISTORY OF GENERAL CONVENTION.

II.

The General Synod shall meet in every third year at such
time and place as shall be appointed by the Synod; and if there
shall appear to the Primate sufficient cause for changing the
place so appointed, he may appoint another place for such
meeting. Special meetings may be called in accordance with
canonical provisions of the Synod.

The Rev. Dr. Alsop, of Long Island: I move to strike out
Sec. i. Article I, as proposed in the message of the House of
Bishops, and insert the following:

Sec. i. There shall be a General Convention of this
Church, consisting of the House of Bishops and the House of
Deputies, which Houses shall sit and deliberate separately, and
in all deliberations freedom of debate shall be allowed. Either
House may originate and propose legislation, but every act of
the General Convention must be adopted by both Houses and
be certified by the signatures of the presiding officer and of the
secretary of each House.

The President: The question is on agreeing to the motion
to amend made by the Rev. Dr. Alsop, of Long Island.

The Rev. Dr. Kgar, of Central New York: I offer the fol-
lowing resolution:

Resolved, That Article i, Sec. I, of the proposed revised
Constitution be amended so as to read as follows:

"There shall be a General Convention of this Church on the
first Wednesday in October in every third year after the year

one thousand eight hundred and , in such place as shall

be appointed by the Convention, and if there shall appear to
the Primate sufficient cause for changing the place so appoint-
ed, he may appoint another place for such meeting.

"Sec. 2. The General Convention shall consist of the House
of Bishops and the House of Deputies, which Houses shall sit
and deliberate separately, and in all deliberations freedom of
debate shall be allowed. Either House may originate and
propose legislation, but every act of the General Convention
must be adopted by both Houses and be certified by the sig-
natures of the presiding officer and of the secretary of each
House/'

Number the succeeding sections of Article i, to correspond
with the above. I move to strike out from Article n all that



Digitized by VjOOQ IC



HISTORY OF GENERAL CONVENTION. 129

precedes the words "special meetings." I ask the gentleman
who has just made the motion to amend, to be kind enough
to confine his motion to the substitution of the word "Conven-
tion" for the word "Synod," which is the essence of his amend-
ment, and then permit this motion to be made.

The President: The Rev. Dr. Alsop modifies his amendment
and moves to substitute the word "Convention" for "Synod."

The amendment was agreed to.

The Rev. Dr. Egar: I now move the amendment, which I
have handed to the Secretary, and which I have just read.

Mr. Stetson, of New York: Before the amendment of Dr.
Egar shall be put, I desire to state that it was my intention
when this subject should have been reached in its proper order
to offer the following resolution:

Resolved, That the words "every third year" be changed so
as to read "every fifth year."

The President: The Rev. Dr. Egar modifies his amendment
so as to make it possible for the General Convention to meet
either every three years or every five years.

Rev. Dr. Fulton moved that Dr. Egar's amendment be laid
on the table. On division being taken 154 said "Aye," 167
said "No." The discussion was continued by Mr. Nash, of
New York, Rev. Dr. Egar, Rev. Dr. Davenport, Rev. Dr. Stone,
and Mr. Biddle. The question was now upon the substitute of
Dr. Egar, which was rejected. The question was now upon
Section 1 of Message No. 9, of the House of Bishops.

The President: If there be no further amendments to Sec.
1, the House will consider Sec. 2.

Mr. Bennett, of Massachusetts, moved to strike out Sec. 2
of the Bishops' message and put into it the following words:
"The Bishop or Bishop Coadjutor, if any, of every Diocese,
and every Missionary Bishop, shall have a seat and vote in
the House of Bishops. Any Bishop whose resignation of his
jurisdiction shall have been duly accepted shall have a seat
therein without a vote. A majority of all the Bishops entitled
to vote, exclusive of missionary Bishops in territory beyond
the United States, shall be necessary to constitute a quorum
for the transaction of business."

Mr. Prince moved to amend by striking out the words



Digitized by VjOOQ IC



130 HISTORY OF GENERAL CONVENTION.

"Bishop Coadjutor" and inserting "Assistant Bishop." This
amendment was rejected.

House adjourned until 3 o'clock.

At the afternoon session Mr. Sowdon presented the trien-
nial report of the Treasurer of the Convention. Rev. Dr. Ward
presented report from the Joint Committee on place of meeting
of next General Convention, recommending the city of Boston,
Mass. Report placed on calendar.

Mr. Edmunds, of Vermont, on his own motion and by
unanimous consent, was excused from further attendance at the
Convention and his resignation as a member on the Committee
of Amendments to the Constitution was accepted. From this
time Mr. Henry Wells, of Burlington, filled the place in the
delegation from Vermont vacated by Senator Edmunds.

The revision of the Constitution was now again taken up.
Rev. Dr. Rhodes, of Southern Ohio, moved to postpone the
Bishops' Message No. 9 until tomorrow morning at 9 o'clock.
This was voted down.

Mr. Bennett's amendment was now the question. Rev.
Chauncey B. Brewster moved to amend the amendment pro-
posed by striking out the last sentence of the same. This was
accepted by Judge Bennitt. The Rev. Dr. Morrison, of Albany,
said he preferred the old section as it came from the House of
Bishops. He deprecated the idea that venerable Bishops, who
by reason of age had resigned jurisdiction, should be without
votes. Dr. Hoffman said if the House desired to give resigned
Bishops a vote, in his judgment the thing to do was to accept
the section as sent from the Bishops.

Dr. Richards, of Rhode Island, said it is possible that there
may be at one time two Bishops who have resigned in one
Diocese. In that case, such Diocese would have three votes
in the House of Bishops.

Mr. Lightner, of Minnesota, asked what provision was in-
tended to be made to determine the cause of resignation. Dr.
Hoffman replied: "I suggest the insertion of the words, 'whose
resignation has been duly accepted.' " Rev. Dr. McVicar: " I
call attention to this bugbear of depriving the aged and infirm
Bishops of their votes. It amounts to little, after all. They
are still Bishops. We are simply depriving them of the right
of legislation in matters which have almost ceased to interest
them practically."



Digitized by VjOOQ IC



HISTORY OF GENERAL CONVENTION. 131

Rev. Dr. McKim moved to amend by the words, "A majority
of all Bishops entitled to vote, exclusive of those who are
Bishops in foreign lands, shall be necessary to constitute a
quorum for the transaction of business."

Mr. Hill Burgwin called attention to the fact that the Con-
stitution which it is now proposed to amend knows nothing
about resigned Bishops. The amendment to the amendment
was lost.

Now Mr. Bennett's amendment came up, and it was rejected.
The question now recurred on Section 2, which was adopted.

Section 3 came up for discussion, and the word " Primate."
By reading Section 3 it will be seen that the question of a
General Synod and the designation of the presiding Bishop by
the word M Primate," were involved. Mr. George C. Thomas
moved to strike out the word "Primate" and put in its place
" Presiding Bishop." Rev. Dr. Elliott, of Maryland, made a
very able speech. He said the Commission had, of its own free
will, increased largely the power of the House of Bishops. He
affirmed that not a single reason had been given why the words
"Presiding Bishop" should be dropped. He said, "If we are,
as we are told we are, the American Church, do not let us be
ashamed of American names or republican institutions or re-
publican words. We cannot find any loftier name than that of
4 Presiding Bishop/" This speech was very manly and frank
and able.

The Rev. Dr. Lobdell, of Western New York, who is one
of the most faithful attendants and diligent and careful Deputies
in the Convention, now addressed the House, and was listened
to with marked attention. He said: "There seems to be an
impression that those of us who are accustomed to vote, and
very seldom make speeches, cannot vote intelligently unless we
are properly instructed. They think we do it ignorant ly. They
are wrong. We do it in a spirit of forbearance. If fewer long
speeches were made the action taken would often be more in-
telligent. Every Deputy has had the report of the Commission
in his hand for months, and has studied the subject and is
prepared to vote."

Rev. Dr. McKim said that, not withstanding the words spoken
by the learned Deputy from Western New York, he desired to
place himself by the side of his brother from Maryland. He



Digitized by VjOOQ IC



132 HISTORY OF GENERAL CONVENTION.

said, " Names are things, and I oppose it because it suggests
a hierarchy."

Rev. Dr. Harwood, of Connecticut, made a strong speech
against the word " Primate." He asked if there was any think-
able reason why this change in name should be made. "Your
Primate will have no Provincials, no court, no power."

The Rev. Dr. Huntington said it is proposed to associate
the word "Primate" with the venerableness of old age, and
veneration for old age is one of the primary principles of
Christian morals. He said: "I am on record as having fought
against pretentious titles, and struck at 'Very Reverends' and
'Venerables' whenever I had a chance, but when it comes to a
truly great position it should have a great name. The Church
must be thoroughly American, or it may just as well close its
doors. 'Primate' has no Anglomania about it. It is not hier-
archical. The two words that are, are 'Archbishop' and 'Metro-
politan.'" Dr. Huntington also spoke strongly against "Prelacy,"
but he said there is nothing inconsistent in all this with advocacy
of the word "Primate."

The Rev. Dr. Carey, of the Diocese of Albany, said they
need not fear the use of the word M Primate." The Am-
erican people would understand it perfectly.

The Rev. Dr. Greer, of New York, made a speech against
the use of the word "Primate," which was intense in its fervor.
He said: " Names stand for principles, for facts, for groups of
facts, for whole philosophies of principles. In a name that is
full of ancient and memorable associations a whole history is
spoken. You cannot divest a name of its history. I am
appealing to common sense when I say that the great mass of
the American people will associate with the word ' Primate *
something more than the venerableness of age. There is more
power in names than there is in laws, and give me the naming
of things and I don't care who makes the laws. I want to see
this Church the great comprehensive Mother Church of the
American people. The place it has gained has been under
those simple, great and dignified titles that the common sense
of the multitude can appreciate, understand and respond to."

The Rev. Dr. Green, of Iowa, said, "This Church of ours has
grown to what she is because she is an institutional Church
filled with the dignity of an episcopacy, because she is a Church



Digitized by VjOOQ IC



HISTORY OF GENERAL CONVENTION. 1 33

that looks back to the apostolic succession. She came from
England and marched into the van of American institutions
and is going on from conquest to victory. I shall welcome
the term 'Primate' because it puts us into touch with the
Anglican communion throughout the world."

The Rev. Dr. Spalding, of Alabama, said that he found that
Peter was Primate in New Testament history.

Rev. Dr. Battershall, of Albany, said that Primate was
simply a numerical term, most innocent and most convenient
as a designation for the House of Bishops. This and nothing
more.

Mr. Fairbanks, of Florida, said that the term had been
chosen by the House of Bishops to designate their own officer
and they ought to have such a right. The term Presiding
Bishop was on a par with Presiding Elder. We ought grace-
fully to accept the desire of the Bishops.

The Rev. Dr. Parks, of Massachusetts, made a scholarly
speech in which he sought to show that the name "Primate"
was itself an innovation. He said it belongs rightly to an
Archbishop and when the provincial system is established and
you have an Archbishop in every state, "Primate" will be un-
equal to the dignity of the head of the whole Church and he
will have to be called the Patriarch of the Church in America.

Mr. Thomas, of Pennsylvania, said, "I appeal to my brethren
on all sides to let matters stand as they are. We may be
hurt by making a change. Do not force the matter, as it



Online LibraryWilliam WilkinsonA history of the general convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in ... → online text (page 11 of 52)