Journal — 1825 (with 1824)

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Third Convention






St. Paul’s Church, in the City of Augusta,


18th to the 20th of April, 1825.








Christ Church, in the City of Savannah,

ON THE 5d AND 4th OF MAY, 1824;





Augusta, Georgia, April 18th, 1825.
This being the day appointed by the last Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the State of Georgia, for the next annual meeting of the same, and this city having been selected as the place of meeting, several of the clergy and lay delegates accordingly attended at half past 10 o’clock, A. M. in St. Paul’s Church.

Divine service was conducted by the Rev. Hugh Smith, Rector of St. Paul’s; and a sermon, adapted to the occasion, delivered by the Rev. Abiel Carter, Rector of Christ Church, Savannah.

After the religious services, the Convention assembled: The Rev. Hugh Smith, President of the last Convention, took the chair, and Dr. Thomas I. Wray, Secretary of the last Convention, acted as Secretary pro tem. When the Convention proceeded to the election of officers; on counting out the ballots, it appeared that the following gentlemen were respectively elected by an unanimous vote—viz:

The Rev. Samuel Strong, of Oglethorpe County, President;
Dr. Thomas I. Wray, of Augusta, Secretary;
Dr. J.B. Read, of Savannah, Treasurer.
The President and Secretary then took their seats.

Certificates of lay delegation were laid on the table, and the Rev. Lot Jones and Dr. Thomas I. Wray were appointed a committee to examine them; who reported, as duly commissioned, the following persons—viz: From Christ Church, Savannah, Dr. J.B. Read and John F. Lloyd, Esq.; and from St.


Paul’s Church, Augusta, Dr. Thomas I. Wray, and Richard Tubman and Augustin Slaughter, Esquires.

The Convention being organized, consisted then of the following members, actually present—viz:

Of the Clergy—Rev. Samuel Strong, of Oglethorpe County, President;
Abiel Carter, Rector of Christ Church, Savannah;
Hugh Smith, Rector of St. Paul’s Church, Augusta;
Lot Jones, Rector of Christ Church, Macon.

Of the Laity—John F. Lloyd, Esq. from Christ Church, Savannah;
Richard Tubman, Esq.\
Dr. Thomas I. Wray, / from St. Paul’s Church, Augusta.

On motion, it was unanimously Resolved, That the Rev. Isaac Low, a clergyman of the Protestant Episcopal Church from the Diocess of New York, now present, be and hereby is, invited to attend the sessions of the present Convention.

On motion, it was then Resolved, That the same rules of order adopted by the two previous Convention of this Diocess, be adopted as the rules of order for the present Convention.

On motion of the Rev. Hugh Smith, seconded by the Rev. Lot Jones, it was Resolved, That the thanks of the Convention be presented to the Rev. A. Carter, for his very able and impressive sermon delivered before them this day.

The Rev. Hugh Smith and the Rev. Abiel Carter, being a committee appointed by the last Convention to procure Missionary aid for this Diocess, being called on, then made the following report:

We, the undersigned, being a committee appointed by the convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church, in the Diocess of Georgia, assembled in Savannah, May the 3d, 1824, “to procure a proper person to act as a Missionary, at such places in this State, and at such periods, and for such duration of time, as they in their discretion may deem fit,” beg leave most respectfully to report:–
That we deem ourselves highly favored in having procured the services, commencing from the 1st of January, 1825, of the Rev. Lot Jones, a Presbyter of the Eastern Diocess, received


into this Diocess by letters dismissory from the Right Rev. the Bishop of the Eastern Diocess—who has entered upon his duties with zeal, activity, and success; giving to your committee abundant cause for joy and gratitude, on account of the introduction of such a laborer into this part of the Lord’s vineyard. (Signed)

Augusta, April 18th, 1825.
The following communication was then laid on the table, by the Rev. Lot Jones, and ordered to be read—viz:
“At a meeting of sundry citizens of Macon, Bibb County, Georgia, favorable to the establishment of a regular mode of religious worship, holden on the 5th of March, 1825, the following preamble and resolutions were adopted:

Whereas, in all societies, some mode of religious worship is necessary, for the harmony, government and well-being thereof; we do hereby agree to associate ourselves as a congregation, for the performance of public worship, according to the rites and usages of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America—to be known and called by the name of Christ Church, in the Town of Macon, State of Georgia. Therefore,

Resolved, That the Rev. Lot Jones be appointed Rector thereof.
Resolved, That the Hon. C.B. Strong and Dr. A. Baber be appointed Wardens thereof,
Resolved, That Capt. Luke J. Morgan, Charles Bullock, Gen. J. McDonald, Edmund D. Tracy, E. McCall, R. Birdsong, and Thomas Campbell, be appointed Vestrymen thereof.
Resolved, That Simri Rose be Treasurer, and Nathaniel Barker, Secretary thereof.
Resolved, That we will be governed by the Edicts and Rules of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocess of Georgia.


Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be forthwith forwarded to the Standing Committee of the Protestant Episcopal Church in this Diocess.
(Signed) NATHAN’L BARKER, Sec’y.

The foregoing certificate of the incorporation of this Church, and resolution of conformity to the Canons of this Diocess, having been read; on motion, it was unanimously

Resolved, That Christ Church, Macon, be, and hereby is, received into union with the Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in this Diocess.

The Rev. Mr. Jones then begged leave to read to the Convention the following extract of a letter from the Hon. C. B. Strong, of Macon; which, on motion of the Rev. Hugh Smith, duly seconded, was ordered to be spread upon the Journals of the Convention:–
“Thrice happy should I be, were I enabled, as an humble representative of our newly formed society, to meet our dear brethren in Convention; but you know the weighty and very imperious circumstances that forbid. Situated as I am, all I can do is to communicate through you to the members of the Convention, my feeble views and humble desires. You know, by the short tour you have made through the State, the forlorn and scattered situation of the almost lost sheep of our flock—their destitute and bewildered condition; and how little is known of our holy faith and sublime mode of worship. You are also in some degree apprised of what might be done, were there proper means employed for raising our venerable Church from the dust. These considerations prompt me to entreat you to use your greatest exertions to induce the Convention, either by application to the General Convention, or in some other way, to procure one Missionary or more, to preach in this State. If one or two clergymen, of piety, talents, and eloquence, could be obtained, to labor in this desirable vineyard even for one year, sure am I, that both they and we, would reap a rich re-


ward. I have neither time nor talents nor boldness, to address that solemn body, the Convention, directly; but my heart and desires are with you; and my fervent and humble prayer to Almighty God, is, that you may all be guided by that light and wisdom and Grace, which come alone from on high, and point to the everlasting source of consolation.”

The following parochial reports were then made to the Convention:

Rev. A. Carter, Rector.
Marriages, 5
Baptisms, 1 adult.
13 infants.—14.
Communicants, 96.
Burials. There being no cemetery attached to this Church, the number of funerals which the Rector is called to attend, affords no estimate of the mortality of the congregation. Of those belonging to the congregation, there have been but two deaths during the past year!

The number of scholars on the books of the School, is 105; the number in general attendance at School, is 95; the regular attendants at School, amount to from 75 to 85.
There are 17 Teachers, who are all regular in their attendance on the School, and very attentive and zealous in the performance of every duty assigned them.
JOHN F. LLOYD, Superintendent.

18th April, 1825.
Rev. Hugh Smith, Rector.
Report from May 3d, 1824, to April 18th, 1825.
Marriage, 1.
Baptisms, 5.
Funerals, none.


Communicants, 51—being the same number reported to the last Convention, some having been added and others removed during the past year.

On motion, Resolved, That the Convention adjourn until to-morrow morning, at 9 o’clock.

Tuesday Morning, April 19th, 1825.
Divine Service was conducted in St. Paul’s Church, at 9 o’clock, by the Rev. Lot Jones, Rector of Christ Church, Macon; after which
The Convention assembled, and the minutes of the previous day were read and approved.

The Committee, consisting of the Rev. A. Carter, Rev. H. Smith, Dr. Thomas I. Wray and Dr. J.B. Read, appointed by the last Convention to draft such additional Canons for the government of the Protestant Episcopal Church in this Diocess, as they might deem expedient, being called upon to report, submitted the following Canon to the consideration of the Convention; which, after a full discussion, section by section, was adopted without dissent:

“In case any clergyman of this Diocess, shall be accused of error in doctrine, immorality of life, or neglect or transgression of any of the Canons of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, or of this Diocess, it shall be the duty of any two or more clergymen, or of the wardens and vestry of the Church of which he is Rector, or to which he may belong, who shall have knowledge or belief of such misdemeanor, to represent the same to the Bishop, or in case there be no Bishop, to the Standing Committee of the Diocess. In the event of such representation, it shall be the duty of the Bishop, or if there be no Bishop, of the Standing Committee, if he or they shall deem the charge or charges worthy of investigation, forthwith to notify the accused of such charge or charges, together with the time and place for his trial.

The mode of trial shall be as follows:–The Bishop, or the


Standing Committee, as the case may be, shall appoint a number of Presbyters not less than five, of whom the person accused may select a majority by whom to be tried. The result of the trial shall be made known to the Bishop, or in case there be no Bishop, to the Standing Committee, who shall pronounce and execute, or cause to be pronounced and executed, such sentence as may be awarded; should the same, by him or them, be deemed just and proper.

Should the sentence be suspension or degradation from the ministry, the Bishop, or provisional Bishop, or should there be none, some neighboring Bishop, shall be requested to pronounce the same.

Should it be impossible to obtain from this Diocess the requisite number of Presbyters to constitute a board of trial, the deficiency may be supplied from a neighboring Diocess.

Should any clergyman, accused and cited for trial according to the above provisions of this canon, neglect or refuse to obey the citation, such neglect or refusal shall be considered as an acknowlegment of the truth of the charges preferred against him, and sentence shall be pronounced accordingly.

The following communication was then received from “The Society for the Advancement of Christianity in the State of Georgia:”
“In obedience to the requisition of one of the articles of our Constitution, the members of this society feel it a pleasing duty which at this time devolves upon them, to present to ‘the Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of Georgia,’ now in session, an account of their proceedings during the past year. Aided by an appropriation from ‘the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America,’ the Rev. Lot Jones assumed and entered upon the laborious duties of a Missionary, in advocating the claims of Episcopacy in the interior of our State. The successful result of the zealous labors of this intelligent, pious, amiable and exemplary minister, com-


menced only in January last, cannot, it is thought, be more happily communicated, than by submitting on the present occasion, the report just received at his hands by this society, and which they have the satisfaction now to present to the Convention:
To the Society for the Advancement of Christianity in Georgia.

“In compliance with the request of your committee, I have visited a considerable number of the Towns in this State; I have found the members of our church scattered in every direction, as ‘sheep without a shepherd.’ Some have availed themselves of the solicitations of the religions denominations in their vicinity to commune with them; but still glance an anxious, wishful eye to their first love, and would rejoice in being again admitted to her bosom. Others allude to the church of their fathers with the liveliest interest, and fervently pray that it may be established amongst them. Every town I have visited contains persons who were raised in our church, and retain a predilection for her services.

There is in the vicinity of Madison, a wealthy individual who has expressed his intention of erecting an Episcopal Church. Should he accomplish so desirable an object, there cannot be a doubt but that a clergyman of our church would receive a handsome support.

In Milledgeville there are a large number who are connected with no religious denomination, most of whom would prefer the services of our church to any other. Monticello and Greenesborough should also be mentioned, as presenting interesting fields of labor. In the latter place there was formerly a flourishing Episcopal Church; but the loss of their Pastor, in connexion with the difficulties they had to encounter in their secluded situation, prostrated their hopes, and led many of their members to other communions. Macon also presents a sphere of labor interesting in every point of view. When I visited them in February, they had been for months destitute of every appearance of public worship; no religious society had been


organized—no clergyman had for a long time appeared among them. But, though deprived of the benefits of the sanctuary, they were not indifferent to religious subjects. A large and attentive congregation assembled, and the services of our church were regularly performed. The citizens requested that I would devote as great a portion of my labors to them as was consistent with my other arrangements; I accordingly returned to that place after I had visited the Northern parts of the State; and on the 5th of March, an Episcopal Church was there organized in due form, the minutes of which have been presented to the Convention. Yours, most respectfully,

In addition to this most gratifying communication, the Society for the Advancement of Christianity, beg leave to state to your body, that the Rev. Mr. Strong, your President, has given us every reason to believe, that, although several circumstances combined to prevent the immediate and formal organization of an Episcopal Congregation in his vicinity, and at the place where he ordinarily officiates, yet that there are many persons there favorable to the object; and that, in all probability, it will be carried into effect at no very distant period.

The society beg leave to congratulate the Convention on the happy effects which have resulted from the judicious application of the liberal appropriation made by “the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States,” and to assure them that after this practical illustration of the value of Missionary efforts, it will employ its most zealous, tho’ still circumscribed exertions, to provide for the spiritual wants of the scattered members of our fold, in this extensive Diocess. All which is respectfully submitted.
(Signed) HUGH SMITH, President.
Edward F. Campbell, Secretary.

The above report of the Society for the advancement of Christianity, having been read and approved, on motion, Resolved, That it shall appear on the Journals of this Convention.


The Convention then proceeded to ballot for members of the Standing Committee, and for delegates to the General Convention; when the following gentlemen were elected by an unanimous vote—viz:

As the Standing Committee for the ensuing year—of the Clergy, the Rev. Hugh Smith, the Rev. Abiel Carter, and the Rev. Lot Jones; and of the Laity, Edward F. Campbell, Esq. Dr. James B. Read and Hon C.B. Strong.

As Delegates to the General Convention—of the Clergy, Rev. Mr. Strong, Rev. Mr. Carter, Rev. Mr. Jones, and Rev. Mr. Smith—Of the Laity, Edward F. Campbell and Joseph Wheeler, Esqrs. of Augusta; Anthony Barclay, Esq. and Hon. George Jones, of Savannah.

The Report of the Treasurer was then read and approved.

On motion, Resolved unanimously, That the time of holding the next Convention, as specified in the Constitution of the Protestant Episcopal Church in this Diocess, be held on the 4th Monday in April, 1826.
Resolved, That the next Convention shall be held in the town of Macon.
Resolved, on motion of the Rev. A. Carter, seconded by John F. Lloyd, Esq. That the Rev. Hugh Smith be appointed to deliver a Sermon at the opening of the next Convention.

On motion, Resolved, That the Rev. H. Smith and Dr. T. I. Wray, the Secretary to the Convention, be a committee to provide for the printing of the Journals of the last and present Conventions; and that they be requested to have printed with the same, “The Address of the First Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church for the State of Georgia, to all the scattered members of that Church throughout the State.”

The minutes of the Convention having then been read and approved, the Convention adjourned to meet on the 4th Monday in April, 1826.
Thomas I. Wray, Secretary.


Journal of the Proceedings of “The Protestant Episcopal Society for the General Advancement of Christianity in the State of Georgia.”

The society convened, according to the time printed out in the constitution, at 5 o’clock, P.M. on the 18th of April, 1825.
Present the Rev. Hugh Smith, Rector of St. Paul’s Church, Augusta, President.
Samuel Strong, of Oglethorpe County.
Abiel Carter, Rector of Christ Church, Savannah.
Lot Jones, Rector of Christ Church, Macon.
Edward F. Campbell, Secretary.
Dr. Thomas I. Wray. And
Dr. Anderson Watkins.

Agreeably to a resolution of the last convention, the Rev. H. Smith, as chairman of a committee then appointed, submitted a report in relation to the funds of the society, which was accepted, and directed to be placed on file.

A report was then received from the Rev. Lot Jones, a missionary employed by this society, giving a most gratifying statement of the success of his mission: which having been read, on motion, it was

Resolved unanimously, That the thanks of this society be, and hereby are, tendered to the Rev. Lot Jones, for his assiduous and very successful labors as a missionary in the interior of this state; and also, that the secretary be requested to furnish the Rev. Lot Jones with a copy of this resolution.

Under the 7th article of the constitution of this society, it was then Resolved, That the society present to the convention a report of its proceedings during the past year (For which report see pages 9, 10 and 11 of the journal of the proceedings of the present convention.)

The following preamble and resolution, submitted by the Rev. Abiel Carter and duly seconded, were then passed:
“Whereas, there now appears a prospect that missionary exertions in this diocess would be abundantly successful; and whereas, the want of means for the support of missionaries, is the greatest obstacle in the way of the efforts of this society.—Therefore
Resolved, That the committee appointed at the first institution of this society, to procure funds for its use, be requested to renew their efforts for this purpose.

On motion by Dr. Watkins, duly seconded, it was then Resolved, That the Pastors of the different Episcopal congregations throughout the State, be requested to preach an annual sermon and make a collection in aid of the fund of “The Protestant Episcopal Society for the General Advancement of Christianity in the State of Georgia.”

A letter from W.R. Whittingham, of New York, Secretary and Treasurer of “The Society of enquiry respecting the advancement of Christianity,” addressed to this society through its secretary, being read; on motion,


Resolved, That said letter be placed on file, and that the President and Secretary of this Society be a committee to reply to the same.

On motion seconded, Resolved unanimously, That the second section of the constitution of this society, be amended by the insertion of the word “Bibles” in the latter clause of the same, so as to read thus: “And the distribution of Bibles, Prayer Books, and Religious Tracts.”

On motion, Resolved unanimously, That the 4th article of the constitution of this society be so amended, as that only one half instead of three fourths of the amount of life subscriptions, be placed in the permanent fund; and that the other half shall go to the annual disposable fund

And be it further resolved, That the following clause be added at the end of the fourth article—viz:
No monies shall be paid out from the treasury, except under an order signed by the president and secretary, with the assent of a majority of the members of the standing committee.
(Signed) HUGH SMITH, President.
E.F. Campbell, Secretary.
At a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Diocess of Georgia, held in St. Paul’s Church, on Tuesday, April 19, 1825,
The Rev. Hugh Smith was re elected President.
Edward F. Campbell, Esq. Secretary. And
Dr. James B. Read, Treasurer.

Testimonials were then laid before the committee by Mr. Henry Hood, as to scholarship, piety and attachment to the Protestant Episcopal Church. Proving satisfactory, the committee unanimously signed testimonials to be presented to the Right Rev. Bishop Bowen, preparatory to the admission of the said Henry Hood as a candidate for holy orders in this Diocess.
The convention having appointed this committee to discharge certain duties as a committee of investigation, it was Resolved unanimously, That the committee should consent to act accordingly. Whereupon an immediate commencement was made on said duties. The committee then adjourned sine die.
HUGH SMITH, President.
Edward F. Campbell, Secretary.



Protestant Episcopal Church of the State of Georgia,
Held at the City of Savannah, on the 3d and 4th of May, 1824.
Savannah, May 3, 1824.

This being the regular place and day of holding the second convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church of Georgia, ac-


cording to concurrence of the clergy, wardens, and vestry of the different churches of the diocess; two clergymen and several lay-delegates attended at Christ church at half past 10 o’clock, A.M.

Morning service was read by the Rev. Abiel Carter, rector of Christ church, Savannah; and a sermon was preached by the Rev. Hugh Smith, rector of St. Paul’s church, Augusta.

The Rev. Mr. Carter, as president of the last convention, was invited to the chair, and Dr. Thomas I. Wray acted as secretary pro tem.

The following clergymen took their seats as members of the convention, viz. the Rev. Hugh Smith, rector of St. Paul’s church, Augusta; and the Rev. Abiel Carter, rector of Christ church, Savannah.

Of the laity, the following gentlemen respectively exhibited certificates of delegation, viz.
Dr. James Bond Read, Dr. William Parker, and Anthony Barclay, Esq. of Christ church, Savannah
Dr. Thomas I Wray, of St. Paul’s church, Augusta.

Which being approved, the convention proceeded to elect its officers; when, on counting the ballots, the following gentlemen were found to be duly elected:
The Rev Hugh Smith, President.
Dr Thomas I Wray, Secretary.
Dr. James Bond Read, Treasurer.

On motion of Dr. Read, seconded by A. Barclay, Esq. it was Resolved, That the thanks of the convention be tendered to the Rev Mr. Smith for the very able and appropriate discourse delivered before the convention this day.

On motion, Resolved, That the rules of order of the last convention be adopted for the government of this.

The following reports were handed in by the clergy.

Parochial report of Christ church, Savannah.
The Rev. Abiel Carter, rector
Baptisms, adult 1, children (white) 22, (colored) 3. Total 26.
Marriages 4.—Burials 6 –Communicants 80.
A confirmation was held in this church by the Right Rev. Bishop Bowen, on the second Sunday after Easter of last year, when 84 persons received that holy rite.
There is a Sunday school attached to this church, of the state of which the following report has been furnished by the superintendent.
“The school was commenced on the first Sunday in December, 1822, with two teachers and five scholars: since that time there have been admitted into the school twenty-two teachers,


and one hundred and sixteen scholars. The number on our books at present are fifteen teachers and eighty-eight scholars. We have in general attendance in school from about 65 to 75 scholars.
“The prosperity of the school has exceeded the most sanguine expectations of its warmest supporters; and its present prospects are such as to give us every encouragement.
“The school receives the countenance and support of the congregation generally.
“The attention on the part of the teachers towards the school meets with my entire approbation.
“JOHN F LLOYD, Sup’t.”

Parochial report of St. Paul’s church, Augusta.
The Rev Hugh Smith, rector.
Communicants added since the last convention 23—died 4—removed 1—present number 51.
Baptisms, adults, 3 white and 1 colored—children, 21 white and 2 colored. Total 27. Marriages 7.—Burials 9
On Sunday, the 16th of November, a confirmation was held in this church by the Right Rev. Bishop Bowen, on which occasion eighteen persons received that holy rite.

On motion, it was unanimously Resolved, That the third article of the constitution, respecting the time of holding the annual convention, be amended, by striking out the words “third Monday in April, 1824,” and inserting in their place, 3d Monday after Easter, 1825.

On motion, Resolved, That the diocess of Georgia avail itself, without delay, of the kind donation of “the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the United States of America;” and that the clerical members of this convention, or a majority of them, be, and hereby are, authorized to procure a proper person to act as missionary, at such places in this state, and at such periods, and for such duration of time, as they in their discretion may deem fit.

The following gentlemen were re-elected unanimously to constitute the standing committee for the ensuing year, viz.—The Rev Edmund Mathews, the Rev. Abiel Carter, the Rev. Hugh Smith, Edward F. Campbell, Esq. Jacob Wood, Esq. Dr. J B Read.
Members of the General Convention for the ensuing year, re-elected, viz—The Rev Hugh Smith, the Rev. Abiel Carter, the Rev. Edmund Mathews, Joseph Wheeler, Esq. W. W. Hazard, Esq. Anth. Barclay, Esq Dr. George Jones.
On motion the convention adjourned until half past 10 o’clock to-morrow.


Christ Church, Tuesday, May 4, 1824.

Morning service was conducted by the Rev. Abiel Carter, after which the convention went into session.

On motion, Resolved, That the Rev. Hugh Smith, the Rev. Abiel Carter, Dr. James B. Read, and Dr Thomas I Wray, be a committee to draft such additional canons for the government of the Protestant Episcopal Church of this diocess as they may think necessary, and that the said committee be requested to report such canons to the next annual convention.

On motion, Resolved, That the secretary of this convention address a letter to the proper officers of each of the several churches which have not paid their annual contributions as required by the 4th canon of this diocess, requesting payment of their arrears.
The convention adjourned, to give room to a meeting of the Society for the General Advancement of Christianity in this State.

At a meeting of the Protestant Episcopal Society for the General Advancement of Christianity in Georgia, held in Christ church, Savannah, at 12 o’clock, 4th of May, 1824; the Rev. Hugh Smith, president ex officio, in the chair, and Dr. Thomas I. Wray acting as secretary pro tem.

Resolved, That the society do report to the convention that a few contributions to its funds have been obtained during the last year; but that farther solicitations or any application of its funds had been deemed inexpedient, and that this society will present a more detailed report of its proceedings to the ensuing convention.

The convention went again into session, when the above report was read and approved.

On motion, Resolved, That the Rev. Abiel Carter be appointed for the diocess of Georgia a trustee of the General Theological Seminary of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States of America.

Resolved, That the meeting of the next annual convention of the diocess of Georgia, be held at St. Paul’s church, Augusta; and that the Rev. Edmund Mathews, rector of Christ church, St. Simons, be appointed to preach a sermon at the opening of the convention.
The minutes of the session having been approved, the convention adjourned sine die.
THOMAS I. WRAY, Secretary.



“The first Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church for the State of Georgia, to all the scattered members of that Church, throughout the State of Geogia—greeting.”

The present, brethren, is an interesting era in the local history of our venerable Church. It marks the dawn of a brighter day upon her prospects. She now appears as a “city that is at unity in itself.” Her spiritual building is now “fitly framed together, that it may grow unto an holy temple in the Lord.” Duly and harmoniously organized, she is now about to exchange the feebleness of individual, separate action, for the strength of united, concentrated effort. She is about to take a name, and a station, among her sister Churches in our country, and to form a component part of that glorious body, of which Christ Jesus, our ascended Lord, is the glorified Head.

Deeply indeed are we indebted to this Divine Head of the Church, for his fostering care over her infant state,–for having preserved in her members, when as yet “they were few in number, yea very few, and they strangers in the land;” their attachment to her pure and primitive principles, and their zeal for her interests; for having put it into their hearts to associate for the celebration of her services, and the reception of her ordinances,–and finally, for having now united by one tie of christian fellowship, these separate associations into one body, animated by one spirit, having “one faith, on Lord, one baptism.”

These, indeed, are causes of the most lively gratitude, and we trust that you will cordially unite with us, in the thankful acknowledgement, that the hand of the Lord has been over us for good. Yes, brethren, “hitherto hath the Lord helped us,” and while we gratefully acknowledge his aid, while we rejoice in the animating prospects which it opens to our view, let us remember, that it is both our duty and our privilege, to be “fellow-workers with God” in the establishment and extension of his church; and that on the zealous, indefatigable discharge of this duty, in a great measure, depends the actual acquisition of those important advantages, which are now apparently within our reach. It is the good pleasure of God to work by means; to accomplish the purposes of his providence by human instrumentality. If, then, we would attain the end, we must use the means. “It is good always to be zealously affected in a good cause;” and what cause can more imperiously demand our warmest zeal, than the welfare of the Redeemer’s church, which was “purchased by his blood?” Brethren, to you we look.—In the name of our common faith, our common hopes, and, above all, of our common Lord, we ask your prayers and your co-operation.—“Pray ye the Lord of the vineyard, that he would send forth laborers into his field,” and that he would crown their labors with an abundant harvest. In dependence on that aid which


he has promised to the prayer of faith, diligently use your own exertions for the establishment of that church, which in you infancy received you into her bosom, or, in maturer years, admitted you to her altar. She has a claim on you affections and on your aid. She is the church of your Fathers; in her faith they were baptized, and lived, and died; in her words they presented their petitions before God; at her altar they knelt, and her solemn services consecrated their commitment to the grave.

It is not, however, on the feelings of nature, the tender recollections filial piety, that we would rest her claims. In herself she is worthy of your affection and support. Her ministry is apostolic; her constitution is primitive; her services are fervent and animated, yet chastened and reverential; her doctrines are the doctrines of the Bible, the doctrines of the Cross; her only object is the promotion of “pure and undefiled religion.” Such, brethren, is the church in whose establishment we ask your aid.

Brethren: you act, not only for yourselves, but also for those who will succeed you. In laying the foundation, and raising the goodly fabric of our Zion, you will be engaged in a work for which prosperity will bless your memory. When you shall be laid low in the grave, your children and your children’s children will think of you with gratitude. They will reap fruits of righteousness, and joy, and peace, from that very seed which you will cast into the ground, and on which you will invoke the blessings of the Most High.
We are aware, brethren, that there are difficulties to be encountered. Your number is small, and the individuals composing that number, are perhaps scattered. But be not disheartened. These obstacles are not insurmountable. Despondency tiself, must become sanguine, when it inspects the record of our past proceedings Incredulity itself, must believe, that He who “hath thus begun among us a good work, will perform it” unto the end.

However small, then, be your number in each vicinity, let that small number be embodied. The Master whom you serve, declared, that wheresoever even two or three should be gathered together in his name, there would he be in the midst of them.” Make the experiment. Fear not, even though you be “a little flock.” The “Great Shepherd of the sheep,” who “laid down his life” for their sakes, can augment your number, and cause you “to go in and out and find pasture.” Under the strong convictions of duty, and in your Master’s name, set up the standard of the church. It will be hailed with joy by many an eye now dim with age, that once gazed upon it with youthful rapture; and it will, perhaps, allure to the Great “Captain of your salvation,” many who are now engaged in the service of “the World, the Flesh, and the Devil.”

Brethren: we invite and intreat your free and full communica-


tions on all points connected with the situation, the wants and prospects of the Church, in your respective vicinities. A knowledge of the actual state and necessities of the Church, is indispensable, in order to the amalioration of the one, and the relief of the other. Any counsel or aid, in the furtherance of your exertions, which the Providence of God may place in our power, shall be cheerfully accorded.

At a crisis like the present, brethren, when the Church of our Fathers, in this State, is for the first time, concentrating her energies, and assuming an organized form, it will not, we trust, be regarded as an indication of sectarian narrowness, but as a suggestion of prudence and of duty, when we remind you of the exclusive claims which your own Zion, (especially under existing circumstances) has upon your liberality. Her wants are now various and pressing. Her very existence depends on your willing contributions. All the surplus of her necessities. To the supply of these, and these only, let that surplus now be devoted. We wish you not wholly to confine your charities, either temporal or spiritual, within the pale of your own communion, but there, at the least, let them begin. Turn not the stream of your benevolence into many and various channels, until it has first fully watered and refreshed your own enclosure; then, when this is accomplished, let it also extend its refreshing influence to others. It is doubtless our duty, “as we have opportunity, to do good unto all men,” but it is especially our duty to do good to those who are of the same “household of faith.” The Apostles has stigmatized as “a denier of the faith, as worse than an infidel,” the man who “provides not for those of his own household,” and the remark is not more justly applicable to the natural than it is to the spiritual family. To the support then, of that spiritual family with which you are connected, first contribute with a devoted heart and a willing hand; when its wants are fully supplied, then seek another depository for your contributions to the cause of God.

In conclusion, brethren, suffer us once more to intreat your zealous co-operation in the “work of faith and labor of love,” and especially your union with us in fervent prayer to our common Lord, that he would indeed establish our Zion on “the Rock of Ages;” that he would “make fast the bars of her gates, and bless her children within her;” that he would make her “an external excellency, a joy of many generations.”

“We commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among them that are sanctified through the Faith that is in Christ Jesus.”

Georgia Journals: 1823-44. St. Augustine, Florida: Dobbs Brothers, Library Binding Co., Inc.