Bishop’s Address of 1897

Address of the Bishop
The Rt. Rev. Cleland Kinloch Nelson
3rd Bishop of Georgia



“Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord. Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works do follow them.” Rev. xiv., 13.

A mere formal announcement would seem out of place in referring to the decease on July 20, 1896, of the Right Reverend Arthur Cleveland Coxe, D. D., LI,. D., late Bishop of Western New York. So distinguished a character was he, not only in the deliberative assemblies of the Church but among the great men of this country, that his loss is common to us all. Learned in council, skilful in debate, his presence was felt wherever he might be. He was a man of most attractive personality, sharp as a scimitar in his rebuke and correction of sin and vice. While esteemed and reverenced in his own Diocese his fame could not be confined. Learned as an historian, powerful in controversy, but gentle and affectionate as a mother in dealing with the ignorant and penitent. He was a man mighty in the Scriptures whose meaning he was intensely interested to convey in their purity and simplicity. The Church owes him an immense debt of gratitude for his service in an American translation of The Fathers. The mourning of the Church over this great Prelate was like that of one who mourneth for his mother.

Within the past year the Church at large more, even, than the Diocese, has felt a keen deprivation in the removal of the Rev. Robert South Barrett, D. D., sometime Dean of the Cathedral. He succumbed on the I2th of September, 1896, to a lingering and dispiriting illness. He was a man of whom I have repeatedly said with the utmost candor that he was possessed of more virtues and fewer vices than any man I have ever known. His vocation seems to have been the preaching of the Word, in which he was most successful. His last lines written to me are worth quoting in full. I give you but the conclusion: “You. may tell my friends that I am happy; that I think of them constantly night and day; that I am praying for them this blessed Passion-tide, that we may all be very near Him who died for our sins and rose again for our justification. Oh, may we all meet again some sweet day to be forever with the Lord. With love for you and yours, and with earnest prayers for your dear Diocese, I am,

Yours most affectionately in the Lord,
Robert South Barrett.

In the death of the Rev. Francis A. Shoup, D. D., better known as General Shoup, on September 4, 1896, Sewanee lost one of her best and most valuable friends; the South, a loyal and patriotic soul and the Church, a Priest of rich learning, beautiful spirit, noble character and high attainments.

In the death of Judge William W. Montgomery, on Saturday, the 9th of January, this year, a loss was experienced which deserves more than passing notice. A marked characteristic in our deliberations was his uniform Christian courtesy. I love best to think of him as an affectionate and considerate friend. It will be a propriety which this Convention will readily perceive to prepare a suitable memorial of him. There are those among you who can speak far better than I can of his general learning, his high position at the bar, the force of his arguments and the honor and nobility which characterized all his actions. To me it is sufficient to think of him as one who lived the life of the righteous and died the death of the righteous.

Let us pray.
Collect for All Saints’ Day.
First Burial Collect.

Address. Beloved in the Lord: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you.

On behalf of the Church in Macon, I welcome you to this session in one of our most important centers, where by a continuous record of earnest and self-denying service of the clergy and the practical appreciation of the devout laity, both. past and present, our blest communion has exhibited vigor in growth and permanency in fruitage. At the outset of our meeting we pray that our presence here may stimulate and encourage our co-workers, and that all we, on our part, may be mutually refreshed and benefitted by brotherly counsel taken in a spirit of sincere devotion to the cause of Christ our Master, and controlled by Divine charity.

I deprecate the manifestation of inconsiderateness, of any partial or selfish views, and of any tone, manner or word that may be construed into lack of brotherly kindness. Let us waive every preference and every opinion which will not tally with a profound sense of our high obligations, and full realization of the difficult but honorable task of imparting the blessings of our heritage to the people of this great commonwealth.

In the debate which is inevitable and strictly proper to the review of our Diocesan laws, pray let us understand that our committee has in view no radical changes from the mode of Diocesan government in the past, and that when its work accomplished exceeds a much needed re-arrangement for convenience of reference, and continuity of subjects logically connected, the purpose involved is facility, justice and adaptation of method to developed needs.

It is not, I urge you to remember, a proper reception of the report of any committee of this body, to assume as a premise that such committee is charged with revolutionary intent. If a new law appears let it be examined calmly and dispassionately. We are bound to accept the assurance of those who draft it of the object aimed at, and if it be adjudged right, modify the language to accomplish the end in the manner agreeable to sound reason and prudence, most in keeping with the apostolic injunction “ Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” Phil, ii., 4.


It is to be hoped that we are not misled by the frequent expression of our advance into false views of the condition of the Diocese. The hearty and generous co-operation of the clergy with the Bishop, the harmony existing in our Parishes and Missions, the willing disposition to accept direction and correction from him upon whom devolves the oversight of the whole, an increasing appreciation of the Church, her ministry, sacraments and ordinances, and a consequent willingness to spend and be spent, in which our clergy not only point the way but lead it, increase of reverent services, a steady aim toward that quarter which we are commissioned to keep ever before our people; studious abstinence from political alliances, temporary expedients, and exciting, often grotesque, methods of enrolling, adherents, utterly out of accord with the dignity, simplicity and, above all, the purity of the Christian religion—these are the causes contributory to a very encouraging, if not wholly satisfactory, condition of this field, to which coming because of. the need and the plain urgency of the call, I now find to be closely interwoven into my sincere affections, and its welfare the supreme motive under God of my every thought and action.

We trust and desire never to see such a state of prosperity as will affect our present peace and harmony, the resultant of tasks so immense as to leave no leisure for mischief, and of a self consecration on the part of our clergy nowhere excelled.

I must be frank with you to confess that the thought which oppresses me is my inability to fulfill one-half of that which I see could be done to advantage by three men, if each one were a true missionary. I am perfectly assured of the value of a Bishop’s visit wherever he can set foot and gather a congregation about him, as is always the case, the pick of the intelligence and capacity of the town; but stations already established preoccupy our time and attention. It is certain, too, that the Bishop’s visit is an influence for good even in the oldest and strongest of our Parishes. He is desired at meetings of Archdeaconries and Deaneries and gladly contributes his quota to make these meetings interesting and helpful. But one of two courses is unavoidable; if we cannot have increased episcopal supervision, either to increase the intervals between visits (which results in decrease of interest) or to subdivide the work, which includes larger outlay; for at present we have 551-; per cent, more points for administration than were listed at the beginning of my episcopate, none of which, in my judgment, would it be right or safe to neglect. This proposition involves three horns instead of the usual two. It may be that your committee can both lighten and enlighten the matter, bearing in mind that my complaint is not that I work too much but that I cannot do more.

Our Diocese is certainly to be felicitated upon the increased efficiency of administration of our Parishes and Missions, specially in the local features. To the earnestness and zeal of the laity, as well as the wisdom and godliness of the clergy, is to be ascribed the success hitherto.

Your Diocesan must, however, bring to your notice the additions to his labor because of his inability to secure proper and sufficient co-operation in Diocesan affairs. We do not charge apathy and indifference, but some want of energy and promptness in matters where delay is not only dangerous but disastrous.

We never call boards or committees together but for sufficient cause. A quorum is a right which you should not deny us. Unavoidable absence should in all cases be immediately reported to the convener; yet, again and again we have not only been deprived of a quorum, but not one word has been written or verbally communicated to save hours of waiting for delinquents who never came.

Let us stop this. Pray order no committees and pray accept no position on committees unless you really mean to come when called, to go when sent, and to inform us promptly with reasons when you can do neither. I would rather work single-handed than to be hampered by a lot of committees which do nothing, however good may be their intentions. There are times when I cannot act alone, and too frequently the Boards of the Diocese do absolutely nothing but clog the wheels of progress.


So long as the larger part of the State is virgin soil for the propagation of the Church, we cannot dismiss the responsibility of the strong to bear the infirmities of the weak, and home missions in the Diocese will demand a large share of our attention. If the minds of our strongest parishes (clergy and people) are open to conviction the evidences are not far to seek that their gifts have been well applied. It is not necessary to remind you of the depression which we have seen each year I have been with yon. What has been done in such times is a most conservative basis for an estimate of progress under ordinary conditions. When we further reflect upon our recovery from physical disasters of flood and fire, the multiplication of and continuous ministration in new churches, and the advance in self-help of our Missions, we may justly urge our plea for additional help to do our work. To make this plainer review for a moment a few facts.

Within the past year, Augusta, Savannah, Macon, Columbus and Atlanta have all supported their local Missions, varying in number from one to eight. The number of Missions in the Diocese sustained and administered has increased from 72 to 113; the local receipts from Missions aggregate $1,661.03.

The groups about Dalton ($314.00), Greensboro ($150.00), Gainesville ($185.00), Tallapoosa ($60.00), Atlanta ($300.00), Hawkinsville ($150.00), Cordele ($200.00) and Waycross ($200.00), contribute the full proportion of the stipends of the clergy. But the Diocese at large is giving for the extension of the work, $3,675.00, against $5,300.00, in 1891, so we are really administering 55,54 per cent, more churches at a reduced cost to the contributing Parishes of $1,625.00 per annum.

When, therefore, we ask for larger contributions we do so upon merit and not upon faith. We ask you to weigh our claims by the worth of our work and to sustain our hands where conquest for Christ is limited only by lack of material support. We should have means not only for immediate use, but to gradually make an endowment which will enable us at least to carry our Missions over the dull season of the year, instead of each year laying a heavy tax on the missionaries, vexing the Treasurer and piling care on the Bishop. I am not oblivious to an item in our report which would naturally be selected for criticism ; the numerical decrease in Churches reported from 28 to 26 in number. I beg you to bear in mind that this diminution is apparent and not real, and is the result of placing in their proper category of organized Missions, six or more Churches which regularly received more money for their support than was locally contributed. We have changed their position from Parishes to Missions, and altered the conditions by requiring them to give more than they receive, to their evident advantage and ours. But fifty organized Missions developing self-help are greatly preferable in every way to a corresponding number of limping Parishes, specially as many of them are nearer to the reality of a Parish than some which passed for such in previous years. Our effort is directed to this end that every such Mission shall do its best to pay for its ministration as well as its inferior ‘current expenses. Our belief is so strong as to be a conviction that neither man nor family, Church nor Diocese, is worth time or labor which does not manifest a disposition and develop an ability to support itself. Admitting occasional exceptions, a pensioner is an invalid, a pensioned Church an invalid, and a Church pensioned from its birth is likely to be a cripple during the whole of its existence, unless some force be applied which ‘can make it get up and walk. We do not encourage this spiritual hysteria, and the result of our practice is beginning to show practical fruits.

A complete survey of our Missions shows far greater growth than can be estimated upon the single basis of contributions for the support of the clergy. In the Archdeaconry of Albany, Grace Church, Waycross, has finished paying for its rectory and now pledges $550.00 per annum and house; Christ Church, Valdosta, has erected stone buildings which in a short time will increase the income at this point from $30.00 per annum to $150.00. Cordele has raised locally, and in the vicinity, $400.00 for the new church, and pledges $312.00 per annum. Fitzgerald and associate Missions have contributed in land, material and money $600.00 within the past year, and will pledge about $200.

In the Archdeaconry of Atlanta, payment has been completed at West Point, about $400.00; Newnan, $300.00; LaGrange, $200.00; East Point, about $800.00, and at other points various sums, aggregating not less than $2,500.00, besides, the pledges for ministration have more than doubled at Dalton, will be made $180.00 at Washington, and amount to $550.00 in the Cathedral Missions.

In the Archdeaconry of Augusta, Waynesboro and Grovetown each contribute something (a large sum for the membership) for ministration.

In the Archdeaconry of Macon, pledges for a building at Dublin have reached nearly $1,000.00, and at Sparta, about $200.00 for the building already erected. Some contributions have been made at Ft. Valley for the little church there, and a lot has been given at Marshallville.

In the Archdeaconry of Savannah, Holy Trinity, Pineora has completed its payments and contributed to the support of the minister.

Camden County Missions have increased their pledge. The people of S. Mark’s, Ogeechee, have contributed not less than $100.00 for local needs.

The Church of the Good Shepherd, Thomasville, has added to its plant a school house worth $1,500.00, and many other items of improvement may be noted in every part of the Diocese.

The acquisitions of land and buildings, amounting to many thousand dollars, will appear elsewhere.


As this Convention has twice already expressed its cordial assent to my contemplated absence from the Diocese, I feel that I need not further burden you with requests. I am anticipating much benefit from intercourse with my brethren in the Episcopate in the Lambeth Conference, at historic Canterbury, and still more in connection with a celebration at Glastonbury, which name connects us with native British Christianity of the earliest ages. I trust my interest may redound to your good.

As I am already sufficiently apprised of the various systems in England and on the continent to know that they are inapplicable to America and Americans, I give my pledge to the registered opponents of the Cathedral that I shall not devote the larger part of my time to imbibing foreign notions, or in study how to subvert the Diocesan system in favor of local aggrandizement, centralized wealth and a princely Episcopal establishment, toward which existing conditions do not greatly contribute, and which to imitate, my native and acquired modesty forbids. I feel that I may be safely trusted not to transport a complete cathedral across the water to Georgia. I hereby request that from date of May 25th the Standing Committee of the Diocese will assume the duties and powers of the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese until further notice from me.


While no effort may be spared to enable your Diocesan to fulfill his weighty responsibility as chief missionary, and to remove from him any share in the burden of raising the funds for the support of our missionaries, we ought not to lose sight of the fact that the household of faith for which we are bound to provide, is not contained within Diocesan bounds any more than to parish lines. It is my most fervent desire that our membership of the Missionary Society of the Church, which we attain by our new birth in Holy Baptism, should find proper recognition in a reasonable proportion of our offerings for the established and prospective missions of the Church, abroad or wherever the trustees of these gifts may direct.

To some of us it is quite apparent that the law of the tithe has never been repealed, and that it is as much more binding under the Christian than under the Mosaic dispensation, as we are inheritors of better things than those which were promised to Abraham. I am persuaded that neither the clergy nor the laity can claim exemption from the operation of this principle re-enforced by the gospel.

It is applicable as well to parish as to diocesan income, and I fail to perceive how, as a Diocese, we can imagine we are living aright unless out of the aggregate incomes of the Parishes we pay into the Missions’ treasury at least one-tenth of our receipts. I know there are Dioceses, as there are Churches and individuals, which do less, but I, for one, should not want to have their consciences or the lack of them, least of all in the day of final reckoning. The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society is the creature of our highest legislative and deliberative assembly, the General Convention. Acting under resolutions of this body, sitting as the Board of Missions, we are requested in an urgent appeal to realize our share in the general obligation and to assess ourselves equitably for the purpose of securing a definite annual income for the propagation of the gospel. It is a reasonable request. The duty is just and apparent. I am convinced that we can make a satisfactory reply. I find no reason why every Church, Chapel and Mission station should not appropriate one-tenth of its income for this purpose as the minimum of its self-imposed charge. I think we ought to do it— the weakest with the strongest. I further believe with all my heart that the more any Church does for objects outside of itself the easier is its way of self-support; and I see not how we can ever expect the outpouring of the abundant blessings of the Almighty as long as we are careless about paying his rent charge and taxes upon His own property. You may not hold my view and you never will until you practice tithing, then you will lose sight of the obligation in the conviction which will come to you when tithing that this is a practical scheme with promises attached which never fail of fulfilment. I never yet met a man who tithed his income habitually that he did not confess that he was literally better off for it; and such, I doubt not, will be the experience of Parish and Diocese following the same rule. Let but the Rectors and their vestries, the Missionaries and their committees take the step and follow it up; they will be surprised at the ease with which the additional sum can be raised, when faith in the promise and work under the influence of that faith combine upon the obvious duty.

I should glory in making reply to the Board of Missions that every Church in the Diocese will hold itself bound for one-tenth of its annual income to be appropriated to this cause; and I should go forth to my Diocesan work with the perfect satisfaction of seeing with my own eyes the fruits of this policy.


It is not because I consider the meeting of our Convention the best time, but because it is the only occasion when our clergy are assembled in any considerable number, that I select this time for delivering some words of pastoral counsel, which are unheeded in the informal presentation of these things in The Church In Georgia.

1.   It is my desire that closer attention be given to the use of the liberty and elasticity in the services under the law of the Church. Morning Prayer, when followed by the Holy Communion, may be shortened by beginning with the sentences, “The Lord be with you” and response, the Lord’s Prayer, and end after the prayer for the President with “The grace of our Lord.” On week days the omissions permitted are the exhortation and all that follows the second permanent collect except “The Grace,” which must be said. At Evening Prayer on Sundays the exhortation may be omitted and the service may end with the second permanent collect and “ The Grace,” but the omissions are not compulsory; and I am firmly of the opinion that the Church does not intend that the latter most instructive prayers be omitted at both services on Sunday, and thus deprive us of some of the most needed intercessions.

On week-days the liberty is greater. Beginning with a sentence and the Lord’s Prayer we may end after the second collect with any appropriate prayers.

2.   I do earnestly beg the clergy to announce the Epistle as the rubric directs and not interpolate any Sunday or anything else. The order is perfectly explicit; “The Epistle is written in the chapter of beginning at the verse,” and “Here endeth the Epistle.” If this selection be from any other part of the Bible than the Epistles, the Church yields to the express prejudice of the Westminster divines by causing it to be announced, “The portion of Scripture appointed for the Epistle is written in the chapter of beginning at the verse,” and “ Here endeth the Epistle,” is the proper conclusion in both cases.

3.   It would be a great help to the laity if the clergy would say “Amen” where they are told to do so, and omit saying it where they are not told to do it, as, for instance, to omit to say it after confirmation by the Bishop, at the end of the service and the like. It may seem a small thing but it vitiates an intention and a clear liturgical principle ; on the other hand it is very discouraging to the Bishop that the clergymen with him should mumble the responses and the amens, instead of taking this occasion to lead the people by themselves responding audibly throughout.

4.   There is one distressing habit to which I wish to refer for the last time. I have spoken of it, written of it as a violation of the Church’s intention and as an act of irreverence to which I shall not, if I am the celebrant of the Holy Communion, any longer submit. I refer to the evil custom of a large part of the congregation leaving the Church during the Communion Office, at various intervals, as may seem good to them. Some depart “before the plates are passed,” some during the exhortation, others during the absolution, others during the singing of the hymn, others as soon as they have received, others, yet, before the final prayers and blessing; a small number “depart with the blessing” and these alone obey and let the Priest obey the Church’s order. I shall not enter into any discussion of theories on the subject; the law of the rubric is enough for me. Omission means prohibition in the view of some people not of us, but omission of intimation or slightest suggestion, that anyone is permitted to depart until the time specified in the rubric is not permission to depart; omission never is and never can be construed into a command. I do not wish to compel any to remain through the celebration who cannot or will not do so ex animo; but I do wish, and shall insist that if people begin the service with me they must stay to the end. I know of nothing more distracting than the habit referred to. I request that the clergy will allow me to celebrate the Holy Communion at an hour when those who are present at the beginning of the Divine Office will continue to the end. If I am desired to celebrate at 11 A. M. with Morning Prayer, I shall preach the sermon after Morning Prayer and let all who will not complete the Office of the Holy Communion go out during the singing of the Introit, and recommend this practice to the clergy who are subjected to this annoyance. I, myself, have been so much pained by the scurrying of people urgent to depart, that I can no longer endure this abuse, and crave the aid of my reverend brethren to prevent it by any legitimate means. The plan which I recommend to obviate the objectionable habit has been tried in Christ Church, Savannah, Christ Church, Macon and in the Cathedral, with the expressed approval of many and to the great comfort and peace of devout communicants. The example is supplied in the Ordinal and in no way conflicts with any rubric or liturgical principle, as the preaching of a sermon is not confined to the Office of the Holy Communion, and may follow Morning Prayer with as perfect propriety as Evening Prayer.


One of the distinctive marks of the offices of the Book of Common Prayer is that they realize the ideal of the Saviour’s prophecy and injunction that the worshippers of the Father shall worship Him in spirit and in truth. Throughout Christendom there are no forms which so carefully preserve the proper attitude of all engaged therein, and secure the rights of the people, absolutely inhibiting the minister from being the mouthpiece and sufficient spokesman of a silent and inactive congregation. He may not, if he would, deprive the people of their participation in the sacrifice of the altar, nor debar them from a personal, real and vocal interest in every office. Neither may the people, under the express command of the Church, lawfully deprive or debar the Priest or Minister of his privileges, but they, the people, constantly and unlawfully do this very thing:

1.   ‘By denying their presence at appointed services, according to preference, fancy, mood, humor or whim.

2.   By not audibly, heartily and unitedly taking up their responses, notably in not giving their unqualified and full endorsement to the action of the Minister in the “Amen,” without which the prayers and thanksgivings are not complete.

3.   By nullifying worship through the postures assumed in prayer—sitting up with hand up to forehead, sprawling on the seat, laying the head on the forward bench, and doing anything and everything except obeying the law of the Church, which bids them kneel down upon their knees.

I warn you, beloved laymen, that many of you are living in habitual disregard of features of worship which are obligatory, indispensable and that do contribute in the largest degree to the perfection of our most spiritual offices, and that you degrade those things which you have sworn to uphold, thereby shearing the Church of some of Her most glorious distinctions. For what can so truly exalt Him in the eyes of men, and dignify ourselves in His all-seeing eye, as humility of body and soul, a service offered with reverence and godly fear, and worship in the beauty of holiness.

May we hope that these negligences of indevotion will immediately disappear, and that you will be as careful to comply with the simple directions for you as you are to exact (as you otherwise cannot even attempt to do) obedience of your clergy to the letter as well as the spirit of the laws in red.

And I charge yon, beloved clergymen, to leave no excuse of this disregard of things important by the lack of provision, or by any derangement of furniture that may conduce to this bad end. Least of all will you by your own slovenly performances, giving color to the quotation (the reverse of the Scriptural expression) “like Priest, like people.’


Owing to its bearing upon the most vital relations of society, and the fearful havoc created by loose and inconsistent laws, the subject of divorce is, rightly, most prominent among sociological problems, and our ecclesiastical settlement of the question for ourselves as Churchmen and Christians, is taxing all thoughtful minds. There is enough in print to afford every man the means of studying the issue; and I shall not enter into a disquisition upon the subject. But as our general canon in its last section is utterly unsatisfactory and will certainly be sharply debated in our next General Convention, it is not untimely for me to announce my position and to ask our clergy to define theirs very closely.

1.   There is no law compelling us to marry divorced people, therefore, there is no danger to us in refusing to do so.

2.   The clergy are not free to act independently in the premises but are required to refer to the Ordinary (i. e.), the Bishop of the Diocese.

3.   My convictions are clear that there are causes for the separation of man and woman who have been married, but that none of these causes carry with them or imply the right of a second union on the part of either the man or the woman.

4.   My conclusions are that divorce a mensa et a thoro, does not give release a vinculo; that wilful severance of the tie by the infidelity of either does not give liberty to the other party to contract a new union. Our marriage service is consonant with the blessed Gospel; our canon is not. It is quite possible by means of a canon which can be enacted in two days to contravene the law of the marriage service that cannot be altered in less than three years. There ought to be no dissension as to which law is the higher; “Those whom God hath joined together let no man put asunder,” is the law of the service. The innocent party in divorce for adultery may marry again is the permission of the canon, requiring reference to the Bishop. I give my assent to no such proposition. In addition to the opposition between the marriage service (permanent) and canon (easily changeable), a judicial opinion in favor of a supposed innocent party is utterly impracticable. There is no way by which a Bishop can determine which party, if either, is innocent, nor whether the cause is such as the canon admits as proper for divorce, and justification of the Bishop’s verdict for a second union.

With these complications it is proper for me to remind my reverend brethren that they are not competent to marry anyone who has been divorced, without first securing the Bishop’s opinion; and I notify them in advance that as I am not empowered to annul a marriage, I shall certainly not accord permission to marry anyone whose former marriage has been, denied (not annulled) by a court having no more rightful power or authority in the eyes of God in these premises than I, myself, as Bishop of the Church of God, possess.


That we have need of amendments and some new features in our Diocesan law is not so apparent to anyone, probably, as to the man who is called upon to direct all the machinery in a very complex plant, to increase power, to minimize friction, to avoid waste, and also realizing that he, as much as any man is under law, prefers not to assume privileges nor to rely too much upon precedents, but to act under recognized and accepted rights.

As our authority has been called into question to enter the theoretical bounds of a Parish without the permission of the Rector or Vestry, it is important that the first Section of the Canon on Missions should be more explicit. The general Canon on intrusion does not in my opinion, affect the liberty of the Diocesan to prospect for and establish Missions in any territory which is actually unprovided with the ministrations of the Church, whether such locality be within city limits or within those vast confines which are now the boundaries of some of our Parishes.

If the point of intrusion on my part be sustained, then I have been guilty in a multitude of instances; for I have not only outlined but built up many Missions within the territorial limits of every Parish in the Diocese, and unless the objection be sustained by a law clearer than any we now have I propose to continue this course to the end of my Episcopate.

A new Canon will be presented by the Committee on Revision which is designed to obviate long lapses in parochial ministration. We have suffered severely in places by a policy of retrenchment or by dalliance, which for many months together has deprived the Church’s children of their rightful food, the counsel of the clergy, and has necessitated that the little ones be baptized and the deceased buried by strangers, while the people are scattering and our position weakening every day, and yet the Chief Shepherd has no power to supply the lack, even though he should have the means. The proposed Canon seems to me admirably adapted to meet the issue which has arisen more than once in my Episcopate.

It does no injustice to any one, but only seeks to make it sure that a mercenary or careless Vestry cannot, of its own sweet will, close the Church, fund its beggarly receipts, discourage the people, and play into the hands of adversaries by announcing that until further notice there will be no service in the Episcopal Church; while the Bishop must stand meekly by with folded hands and suffer his people to be literally driven away from their own spiritual home.

It is none too soon to put a stop to this disastrous proceeding, and to make it beyond the power of a Vestry, either upon resignation or long vacation of a Rector, thus to obstruct progress and to turn back for years, it may be, the labors and sacrifices of the past.

Bishop of Georgia.