Journal — 1823

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JOURNAL OF THE

PROCEEDINGS

OF THE

FIRST CONVENTION

OF THE

PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH,

IN THE

STATE OF GEORGIA

HELD IN

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

FROM THE

24th to the 28th of February, 1823.

TOGETHER WITH THE

CONSTITUTION OF THE DIOOESS.

AUGUSTA

PRINTED AT THE CHRONICLE AND ADVERTISER OFFICE.

1823.

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Journal &c.

Augusta, Monday, February 24th, 1823.

 

This being the day, appointed by previous notice; for holding a Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church, for this State, several clergyman and lay delegates attended at Church in this city, at half 10 o’clock, A. M.

Morning prayer was conducted by the Rev. Hugh Smith, Rector of St. Paul’s Church, and an appropriate and excellent sermon delivered by the Rev. Abiel Carter, Rector Of Christ Church, Savannah.

After which, on motion of the Rev. H. Smith, seconded by Edward F. Campbell, Esq. it was resolved, that the Rev. A. Carter, take the chair, and that Dr. Tho. I. Wray, act as Secretary.

The following clergymen took their seats, as members of this Convention, viz :—The Rev. Edmund Matthews, Rector of Christ Church, St. Simon’s Island ; the Rev. Abiel Carter, Rector of Christ Church, Savannah ; the Rev. Hugh Smith, Rector of St. Paul’s Church, Augusta.

The following lay delegates appeared and took their seats, viz :—Doctor J. B. Read and Mr. Peter Guerrard, delegates from Christ Church, Savannah ; and Mr. John Course, Edward F. Campbell, Esq. and Doctor Thomas I. Wray, delegates from St. Paul’s Church in this city.

Certificates of their appointment were then severally presented by these gentlemen, which were examined and approved.

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The following rules of order, were then proposed and unanimous adopted.

1st. Divine service shall he performed every morning during the sitting of the Convention, previous to entering upon the business of the day.

2d. Every member, in discussing a question, shall rise and address himself to the chair.

3d. Every motion brought before the Convention shall he presented in writing, if it be so required by any member.

4th. At every misting of the Convention, the minutes of the preceding meeting shall be read, and before the final adjournment of the Convention, the minutes of the whole session shall be read.

On motion, it was Resolved, That a committee, to consist of three clerical and three lay members, be appointed to draft a Constitution for the Diocess of Georgia, and that the Rev. E. Matthews, Rev. A. Carter, the Rev. H. Smith, of the clergy; and Edward F. Campbell, Esq. Doct. James B. Read, and Mr. Peter Guerrard, of the laity, be that committee.

On motion, the Convention adjourned until half past 3 o’clock, of this day.

At half past 3 o’clock, P. M. the Convention met agreeably to adjournment, ond proceeded to business.

Doct. W. M. Parker, (not present in the morning from indisposition) appeared, and took his seat with the Savannah delegation.

The committee appointed for that purpose, reported a Constitution (See Appendix No. 1.) which was then taken up and considered section by section, when, on motion, it was Resolved, That: the Constitution lie over for further consideration.

The Convention adjourned until to-morrow’, half past 9 o’clock, A. M.

 

Tuesday, Feb. 25th, 1823.

The Convention met at half past 9 o’clock. The morning

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service read by the Rev. E. Matthews, after which the Convention proceeded to business.—So much of the Constitution being finally, passed as related to the election of officers. The convention proceeded to their election accordingly, when on counting out the votes, the Rev. A. Carter was unanimously chosen President; Doct. I. D. Read, Treasurer; and Doct. Thomas I. Wray, Secretary.
The Convention then proceeded to the adoption of canons for the government of the Protestant Episcopal Church in this State. —See Appendix No. 2.

The following gentlemen were duly elected members of the standing committee, viz : —Rev. E. Matthews, Rev. A. Carter. Rev. H. Smith, of the clergy ; E. F. Campbell, Esq. Jacob Wood, Doct. I. B. Read; of the laity.

Resolved, That this Convention do hereby accede to the Constitution of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States of America ; and that the delegation from this Diocess to the next General Convention, be requested to make known this resolution to the aforesaid Convention.

The following gentlemen were then chosen from this Diocess to attend the next General Convention, viz :—Rev. E. Matthew’s, Rev. H. Smith, Rev. A. Carter, Mr. Joseph Wheeler, Jr. Anthony Barclay, Mr. Wm. W. Hazard and Doct. George Jones.

A motion for adjournment until to-morrow, halfpast 9’oclock A. M. was made, and carried.

Wednesday, Feb. 26th, 1823.
Half past 9 o’clock A. M.

The Convention met agreeably to adjournment. The minutes of the proceeding day having been rend and approved—

On motion of the Rev. H. Smith, seconded by Edward F. Campbell, Esq. it was Resolved, That the next Convention of this Diocess, be held in Christ Church, Savannah.

On motion of Dr. W. M. Parker, seconded by Mr. P. Guerrard it was Resolved, That the Rev. Hugh Smith be appointed to

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deliver the Sermon at the opening of the next Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in this State.

A motion to that effect having been made and seconded, It was, Resolved, That a proper form for a certificate of the appointment of a delegate or delegates to the State Convention, and also a form for the proper style or title of regularly organized Churches, be annexed to the Journal of this Convention. See appendix, No. 4.

It was then moved and carried, that a committee be appointed to draw up a suitable address to the Members of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the different parts of this State, and the Rev. H. Smith, Edward F. Campbell, Esq. and Dr. I. B. Read, were appointed that committee.

The Rev E. Matthews then asked and obtained leave of absence during the remainder of the session.
The Convention then adjourned until to-morrow morning, at half past 9 o’clock.

Thursday, 27th Feb. 1823,
Half past 9 o’clock

The Convention met, and divine service having been performed by the President, proceeded to business.

The committee appointed to prepare an Address to the members of the Church in this State, being called upon to report, presented the following

ADDRESS

The Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church for the State of Georgia, to all the scattered members of that Church, throughout the State, of Georgia :

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 ex-

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change the feebleness of individual, separate action, for the strength of united, concentrated effort. She is about to take 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 assented 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, one 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

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look.—In the name of our common faith, our common hopes, and, above all, of our common Lord, we ask your payers and your cooperation. “Pray ye the Lord of the vineyard, that he would send forth labourers into his field,” and that he would crown their labours 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 your infancy received you into her bosom, or in maturer years, admitted you to her altar. She has a claim on your 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 commiment to the grave.

It is not, however, on the feelings of nature, the tender recollections of 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 it work for which posterity 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 blessing 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 he not disheart-

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ened. These obstacles are not insurmountable. Despondence itself, must become sanguine, when it inspects the record of our past proceedings. Incredulity itself must believe, that He who has 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 communications on all points connected with the situation, the wants and the prospects of the Church, in your respective vicinities. A knowledge of the actual state and necessities of the Church, is indispensible, in order to the amelioration 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

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various and pressing. Her very existence depends on your willing contributions. All the surplus of your means would not be more than adequate to the supply 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, 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 Apostle 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 this “work of faith and labour 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 in her ;” that he would make her “an eternal 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 arc sanctified through the Faith that is in Christ Jesus.”

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N. D.—Communications relative to the state or prospect of the Church may be addressed either to the Secretary of the Convention, Doct. Thomas I. Wray, Augusta; or the President of the standing committee, the Rev. Hugh Smith, Augusta.

The foregoing address having been read, was unanimously adopted as the address of this Convention, and ordered to be printed with the journal.

On motion it was Resolved ; That the Rev. N. Bowen, D. D. Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of South Carolina, be; and hereby is respectfully invited by this Convention, to perform Episcopal offices in this State under the regulations prescribed by the 20th canon of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America; and that a copy of this resolution be addressed to him by the Secretary of this Convention.

On motion, it was Resolved, That a Society for the extension of religion in this State, be instituted, and placed under the control of the Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the diocess of Georgia, and that the Rev. A. Carter and the Rev. H. Smith, be a committee to prepare a constitution for the same.

On motion, the Convention adjourned until to-morrow at 12 o’clock.

Friday, 28th Feb. 12 o’clock.

The Convention met according to adjournment. The minutes of yesterday having been read and approved, the committee appointed to prepare a constitution for the society for the extension of religion in this State, reported the same, which having been fully considered was adopted unanimously —(See Appendix No. 3.)

 The constitution of the Protestant Episcopal Church in this, State; as reported by the committee; having been again read and maturely considered, was now finally adopted; and signed all the members of the Convention.

On motion, it was Resolved, That the journal of this Convention together with the constitution of the Protestant Episcopal Church in this State, as adopted by the same, be printed ; and 300 copies of the same be struck off, and that the Rev. H. Smith and Dr. Thomas L Wray, be a committee to superintend their publication.

The minutes of the whole session having been read and approved, the Convention adjourned sine die.

ABIEL CARTER, President

THOMAS I. WRAY, Secretary.

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APPENDIX, NO. 1.

CONSTITUTION
OF THE
PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH,
IN THE
STATE OF GEORGIA

As it was unanimously adopted by a Convention of the said Church, holden in the city of Augusta, on the 28th day of February,1823 : Provided, however, that nothing therein contained, shall be so construed, as to contravene any part of the Constitution or Canons, of the Protestant Episcopal Church, in the United States of America,

ARTICLE 1st.

The several congregations of the Protestant Episcopal Church in this State, now represented in this Convention, shall be considered as one Church or Diocess; to be known and designated by the name of the “Protestant Episcopal Church in the State
of Georgia,” with a view to an Union with the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America.

ARTICLE 2d.

Any Congregation of said church in this State, not now represented in this Convention, by making application to the Convention for admission, shall, on acceding to this constitution, be received into union With this church or diocess.

ARTICLE 3d.

A convention of this church shall be held on the third Monday in April, 1824, and on the same day of each succeeding year, at such place as the previous convention may appoint : Provided, however, That no convention shall be opened for the transaction of business, unless there be present, at least two clergymen and delegates from two congregations. And in case no Convention be formed, the standing officers of the last Convention shall hold their respective offices until successors shall be appointed.

ARTICLE 4th.

All clergymen of the Protestant Episcopal Church, of regular standing, residing and statedly officiating in this State, shall be considered (ex officio) members of the convention. Each congregation in union with this church, shall be entitled to a representation by one lay delegate or more, at discretion, not exceed-

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ing three ; to be appointed by the church wardens and vestry of the congregation, to which such delegate or delegates may respectively belong.

ARTICLE 5th

Every convention shall be opened with divine service and a sermon the preacher, to be appointed by the previous convention.

ARTICLE 6th.

The convention shall deliberate and act as one body; unless when any member shall call for a division on any question in which case, each clerical member shall be entitled to one vote, and the lay delegates each congregation jointly, to one vote: and a majority of both orders shall be necessary to a division.

ARTICLE 7th.

At every meeting of the convention, a President shall be chosen from among the clergy, until a Bishop be appointed for the diocess, who shall then be (ex officio) President of the convention.

ARTICLE 8th.

At each annual meeting of the convention a Secretary and Treasurer shall be chosen from among the members thereof, each to hold his respective office until the next annual Convention.

ARTICLE 9th.

A standing committee shall be chosen at each annual meeting of the convention, to consist of three clerical and three lay members, of the time and place of those meetings, due notice in writing, shall be given to all the members thereof, at least four weeks before the time of such meeting. At a meeting thus notified, any four members (provided one be a clergyman) shall form a quorum.

The standing committee shall meet as soon as practicable after their election, and choose a President and Secretary from among their own number, and it shall be the duty of the President to call a meeting of the committee whenever he shall deem it necessary, or whenever he shall be required so to do by any three or more members of the committee.

The standing committee shall have power to call special conventions of this church, whenever peculiar circumstances may render it necessary: Provided, at least four weeks notice of the time and place of holding such convention, shall be given in writing to all the clergymen, and all the congregations connected with this church.

The general powers and duties of the committee shall be such as are designated by the general constitution of the church.

ARTICLE 10th.

The convention shall in all cases, elect its officers by ballot,

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each clergyman to be entitled to one vote, and each congregation to one vote to be expressed by its delegation.

ARTICLE 11th.

After the close of this convention, no alteration of this constitution shall he made, but at an annual meeting of the convention; and then, only with the concurrence of at least two thirds of the members present.

 

APPENDIX NO. 2.

CANONS
OF THE
PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
IN THE
STATE OF GEORGIA,
Passed in the Convention of said Church, in Feb’y, 1823.

CANON 1st.

Whenever any number of persons in this State, shall associate to form an Episcopal Church, and shall elect two Wardens, and any number of vestrymen, at discretion ; and shall properly signify their association for this purpose, to the officers of the standing committee, or to the Bishop, if there be one, they shall be recognized as an episcopal congregation duly organized, subject however to the usual discipline of the Protestant Episcopal Church in this State : and it is hereby recommended to all congregations that may be thus organized to obtain as early as possible, a legislative act of incorporation.

CANON 2d:

Whenever a special convention of tins chinch shall be called, it shall be the duty of the President of the standing committee, in giving notice of the meeting, to specify the business for which such convention is called.

CANON 3d.

It is hereby required that every settled minister of the Protestant Episcopal Church in this state, shall keep an accurate, register of the marriages, baptisms and funerals he has solemnized, during the last year,—stating the names of the parties married, and the date of the marriage; the date of the child’s birth and baptism, with the names of the parents and sponsors;

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the names of the persons interred, and also the names of the communicants of his church : and that he shalt render to the convention at each annual meeting, a written account of the same.

CANON 4th

Each church duly represented in this convention, shall pay, or cause to be paid, into the hands of the Treasurer of the convention of fifteen dollars annually, for defraying the incident expenses of the convention.

CONSTITUTION
OF THE
PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL SOCIETY,
FOR THE
General Advancement of Christianity in the State of Georgia.

Article 1. This Society shall be denominated “The Protestant Episcopal Society for the General Advancement of Christianity in the State of Georgia.”

Art. 2d. The objects of the society shall be, the extension of the ordinances of the church, to its destitute members in different parts of the state; and the distribution of prayer books and religious tracts.

Art. 3d. The society shall be composed of such members of the convention for the time being, and other persons; as shall have complied with the terms of membership.

The payment of two dollars, annually, shall entitle to membership ; or the payment of ten dollars, at any one time shall constitute a person a member for life.

Art. 4th. Of the amount of life subscriptions, only one fourth shall be placed in the disposable fund; the other three fourths shall constitute a permanent fund, which shall be properly in vested, as soon as it shall amount to one hundred dollars, and of which the interest only shall be annually added to the disposable fund. Not more than one fourth of the annual disposable fund, shall be expended in the purchase of prayer books and tracts; the other three fourths, if required, shall be devoted to missionary purposes.

Art. 5th: The Standing Committee of the Protestant Epis-

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copal Church in this State, for the time being shall constitute a board of trust for this society. The President and Secretary of that committee shall be respectively the President and Secretary of this society; and the Treasurer of the convection shall be its Treasurer.

Art. 6th. There shall be an annual meeting of this society, at the place appointed for the annual convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in this State, at 5 o’clock, P. M. of the first day of the meeting of the convention,—due notice of which shall be given to all the members.

Art. 7th. The society shall annually present to the convention an account of its prooceedings.

Art. 8th. The constitution of this society may be altered by the vote of a majority of the members present at any annual meeting.

N. B. Communications to the society during the present year, must be addressed either to the Rev’d Hugh Smith, Augusta, President of the Society; or to Edward F. Campbell, Esq. Augusta, the Secretary. Donations or subscriptions to the society may be forwarded to either of these gentlemen, or to Dr. J. B. Read, Savannah, the Treasurer of the society.

APPENDIX, NO. 4.

Form of a certificate of Appointment as a Delegate to the State Convention.

This certifies that at a meeting of the Rector, Wardens and Vestry (or Wardens and Vestry if no Rector were present) of ______Church, in _____, held on _____ day of _____, the following person (or persons, as the case may be) viz : K. L; M. N; and O.P. are duly elected to represent this Church in the next Convention of this State, to be held in__________; on ______ day of _______, 182_.
The above certificate shall be signed by the Rector, if present, and by at least one Warden and two members of the Vestry.

The Style or Title of Churches.

The proper style for a duly incorporated congregation , is “The Rector; Church Wardens and Vestry (or else, the Church Wardens and Vestry) of _______ Church, in ________,” The first blank being left for the name of the Church, the other for that of the place.