Bishop’s Address of 1851

The Rt. Rev. Stephen Elliott
First Bishop of Georgia

Brethren of the Clergy and Laity: My last year’s address closed with a tribute of sincere affection to the memory of the late lamented Rector of this church, and my address for the present year, must open with a like tribute to the memory of another devoted servant of our Lord, who very soon followed him to the grave. Through the mercy of God, our Diocese had been exempt for ten years from any mortality among her clergy, but within this past ecclesiastical year we have been called to lament the almost simultaneous removal of two of our oldest and most efficient Presbyters. Together have they gone to their account and to their rest, having finished their course, having kept the faith,–“They were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided.”

The Rev. Dr. Neufville, whose death occurred on New Year’s day 1851, had been for twenty-three years a Presbyter of this Diocese, and had filled, during that long period in uninterrupted succession, its most important offices. His position, as Rector of Christ Church, Savannah, gave him, in itself, an immense influence in the Church of the Diocese, and this was increased by his devotedness to her interests, by his admirable habits of business, by his wise moderation in council, by his sober yet earnest piety. As I have already dwelt at large, in an address delivered at his funeral and committed to the press through the affection of the Wardens and Vestry of Christ Church, upon the ministerial and personal character of Dr. Neufville, it is unnecessary for me at this time, to say more, than that, as your Delegate to the General Convention and as Chairman of your Standing Committee, he served the Church long and faithfully, and that his name must be forever linked with her history and progress in the Diocese of Georgia. You will doubtless, through appropriate resolutions, manifest your sense as a Convention, of his long service in the Church and of your own heavy loss.

The death of these, our two fellow laborers in the ministry, both in the prime of life and in the midst of their usefulness, furnishes me with a suitable opportunity of impressing upon you, my brethren of the Clergy, the deep importance of your ever keeping in your eye the main end and purpose of your sacred ministry. We are too apt, all of us, to be drawn aside from the direct and immediate exercise of our spiritual functions, and to become entangled in cares, or businesses, or controversies, which make us forget, for a time, that our office is “to teach and to premonish, to feed and provide for the Lord’s family, to seek for Christ’s sheep that are dispersed abroad, and for his children who are in the midst of this naughty world, that they may be saved through Christ for ever.” God has laid upon us the cure of souls, and we should be jealous with a great jealousy, of anything which turns us aside from this divine work. There are a thousand shapes which this temptation takes, shapes suitable to the tastes, the position, the spiritual views of everyone of us. It is not only secular things which draw us away from this our most important service—it is not only temporal cares which disturb and over come us—but everything connected with our office and duty in the church may be turned that way through the subtlety of the Tempter. His purpose is to keep the ministers of righteousness from pressing upon sinners their lost condition, from building up the children of God unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ, and whether he achieves his purpose through secular or ecclesiastical means, he cares but little. If he can so mix up a minister of the Gospel with the outward concerns of the church, if he can so entangle him in controversies, even about the truth, if he can so absorb him in ecclesiastical arrangements of whatever kind, as to draw away his thoughts, his studies, his prayers from the salvation of souls, his end is gained, gained only the more perfectly because of the beguiled minister is comforting himself the while, that he is laboring in his vocation for great truths and mighty interests. Ah! my Brethren of the Clergy, how trifling will all this appear when we come to view it upon a dying bed and in prospect of our final account! How every thing which was not concerned about the unsearchable riches of Christ, will shrink away before the disenchanting touch of that awful moment. Let me beseech you to keep this ever before you, and while engaged in building up the kingdom of our Redeemer, always to remember that even while building upon the true foundation, Jesus Christ, you may build wood, hay, stubble as well as gold, silver and precious stones, and that the fire shall try, every man’s work of what sort it is.

During our last Convention at Talbotton, on Sunday morning, May 12, I admitted the Rev. George McAuley to the holy order of Priests; in the afternoon, confirmed one person, and at night, confirmed another.

I commenced my usual visitation of St. Paul’s, Augusta, on Saturday May 25, preaching at night. On Sunday morning, May 26, I admitted Mr. B. Elliott Habersham, to the holy order of Deacons and in the evening confirmed seven persons. The Parish of St. Paul’s continues to grow steadily and permanently.

My visit to Augusta on this occasion was rendered doubly interesting by the opportunity which was afforded me, through the liberality of two of the members of St. Paul’s, of laying the corner stone of a new church under the title of the Church of the Atonement. A very large assemblage of people gathered to witness this interesting ceremony, in which I was assisted by the Rev. Messrs. Ford and Habersham, of the Diocese of Georgia, and the Rev. Mr. Cornish, of South Carolina.

It was the earnest hope and reasonable expectation of the liberal projectors of this good work, that it should have been ready for consecration before the meeting of this Convention, and I had made all my arrangements to meet that desire, but untoward delays have rendered it impossible.—Under these circumstances it has been deemed best to delay the consecration until the next Autumn.

As the Parish has been organized, a Rector obtained and the usual means of grace put into operation, it may not be inappropriate to mention, at this time, that the Church of the Atonement is the freewill offering of Mr. and Mrs. R. Hallowell Gardiner and Miss Mary G. Jones, of Augusta, Georgia, and is intended as a Free Church in perpetuity. It is located in the extreme North-west part of Augusta, among the new population that is gathering in that quarter for manufacturing purposes, and it is hoped that it may introduce the church to many families now unacquainted with its claims and privileges. In my next Annual Address, after consecration, should God spare my life to be an actor in that holy work, I hope to furnish a more detailed account of this munificent offering, praying meanwhile, that God may bless the means of grace thus opened through his church, and may return into the bosom of these his children a hundred fold, the influence of his Holy Spirit.

I began my visitation at Marietta on June 28, held services from day to day, until Sunday the 30th June, when I admitted Mr. J. H. George, late a minister of the Presbyterian Church, to the holy order of Deacons. At night I confirmed two persons in St. James’ Church. I found the church in Marietta in most excellent condition, increasing rapidly in numbers and in every good thing.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the 2d and 3d of July, I officiated at the Church of the Ascension, Etowah Valley, Cass county, and on the latter day confirmed two colored persons. Mr. Perdue has labored faithfully for 18 months at this point and has done all that could be done for the church—but the absorption of the land into a few hands has so much diminished the population immediately around the church, as to render it a work of greater toil than ever, to plant he church successfully at this point.

On Wednesday night, July 3d, I officiated in Cassville to a very good congregation. No official acts were performed at this place.

From Cassville I proceeded to Rome, Floyd county, and on Saturday, July 6th, I consecrated the church in that place under the title of St. Peter’s. This is a very neat building, beautifully located upon one of the hills which overlook the Town, and accommodates about three hundred persons. It is entirely finised and furnished with a neat fence enclosing the church, and has all been paid for through the liberality of this and the adjourning Diocese of South Carolina. I was assisted in this consecration by the Rev. Messrs. Scott of Marietta, Smith of Athens, Perdue of Cass county, and the minister of the church, Rev. Mr. Gibson.

On Sunday morning, July 7th, I admitted the Rev. Messrs. Perdue and Gibson to the holy order of Priests, and at night confirmed four persons. This Parish promises well under the ministry of Rev. Mr. Gibson.

On Wednesday and Thursday the 10th and 11th of July, I officiated in the private chapel of Dr. Theodosius Bartow, in Vann’s Valley, near the town of Cave Spring. Upon this visit I confirmed one person and administered the holy communion to Mrs. Lloyd an aged communicant of the church. As her last act of service, she presented the church with a valuable lot in the town of Cave Spring, very beautifully located and destined, I trust, at no late period, to bear upon it an edifice consecrated to the service of God, according to the rites of the Episcopal Church. These acts of private bounty should be recorded not only as testimonials, but as examples to the members of the Church of Christ.

On Sunday the 11th August, I officiated in Emanuel Church, Athens, upon which occasion I confirmed two persons. Mr. Smith is laboring faithfully at this point against many discouragements, not the least of which is the arising from emigration of church people out of the town.

Having received a summons from the presiding Bishop, in obedience to the requisition of five Bishops under the canon of 1847, to attend at Cincinnati upon the 1st day of October, a Council of Bishops to consider the case of the suspended Bishop of Pennsylvania, I took my seat in the Council of my brethren upon the appointed day. During the session of the Council the case of the suspended Bishop of New York was also brought under the consideration of the Bishops. The Council adjourned from day to day, sitting with closed doors and keeping a secret journal. Nothing was done by the Council to change, in any measure, the position of these Bishops.

On Wednesday the 2d October, the General Convention commenced its session in Christ Church, Cincinnati, and adjourned on Wednesday the 16th, after a laborious session of a fortnight. It gives me great pleasure to state that, although several very agitating questions were before the Convention for its consideration and action, I have never been present at any Convention where more courtesy and Christian feeling seemed to accompany every act and proceeding. Nothing indicates more clearly the deep wisdom of our ritual observances than the harmonizing influence which they exercise over the minds and feelings of the Clergy and Laity at these periodical assemblages. Whatever agitating questions—whatever differences of opinion or feeling—whatever diverse views of order, or doctrine, or discipline may seem to divide, at immeasurable distance, the Bishops, the Clergy, the Laity, before they assemble together, the one Liturgy of the Church calms and sooths and dissipates. Every morning we hear from the lips of Clergymen of every shade of view and feeling, the same forms of prayer and praise which have hung upon our lips and delighted our hearts from childhood, and we cannot feel that those who are using perpetually the same creeds and prayers and songs of praise, can be separated by any very wide gulf of difference. And this settled form of prayer keeps our services free from all party bias, from all selfish intrusion and forces all differences of opinion and of view, upon the floor of the Convention, where they very soon die out under the social intercourse and Christian charity of the members. The more I witness of the operation of our ecclesiastical arrangements, the more struck am I with their divine moderation and consummate wisdom.

There was but one new Canon passed at this session of the Convention, although there were important modifications of five others. The new Canon was one enacted for the special benefit of the Diocese of New York, empowering a Diocese, whose Bishop is suspended without a precise limitation of time, to elect a Provisional Bishop, who shall exercise all the authority of the Bishop of the Diocese during the suspension of such Bishop, and in case of the remission of the sentence of the Bishop and the restoration to the exercise of his jurisdiction, shall perform the duties of assistant Bishop, prescribed by Canon VI of 1832, and shall succeed as Bishop on the death or resignation of the suspended Bishop. This Canon, in addition to those passed at the Convention of 1847 gives relief to the Diocese of New York from the anomalous position in which it has stood since 1844.

The amendment of Canons adopted by this Convention are all very important, but passing the others by, I would direct your attention to the amendment of Canon 25 of 1832, entitled of “Episcopal Visitations,” and introducing a clause empowering the Bishop, if he shall think fit, “to administer the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper at such visitation.” This clause arose out of what is known as the Maryland petition, and was introduced to meet a case or cases arising between the Bishop of that Diocese and certain of his Presbyters. I opposed the introduction of this clause into the Canon, and voted steadily against it in all its steps for many reasons, the principal of which I now proceed to state:

I. Because I do not conceive that, in any question arising in relation to the construction of a Rubric of the Prayer Book, the General Convention has any authority whatever to place its interpretation upon the Rubric and make it authoritative in the Church. It tends inevitably to the confounding of legislative and judicial functions, and would very soon change the General Convention into a Court of Appeals upon every question of interpretation arising within the Dioceses.

II. Because a mode is prescribed in Art. VIII of the Constitution, by which any alteration may be made in the Book of Common Prayer or other offices of the Church, so that the moment any practical evil arises of sufficient importance to call for the remedy, it may be applied by forms of law prescribed in the Constitution of the Church.

III. Because the clause, while it affirms the right of the Bishop to administer the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, would seem to be pregnant of a denial on his part to administer the sacrament of Baptism, whereas the right, if inherent in the Episcopal authority, appertains to both sacraments alike, and if not inherent, cannot be conferred upon him except in the mode prescribed by Art. VIII of the Constitution.

IV. Because the Canon which was amended, was important merely as prescribing the time, the frequency, the arrangements of Episcopal visitations, and not the duties, they belonging to the office of a Bishop by the institution of Christ, and neither to be given nor taken away by any legislative authority in the Church.

V. Because it would be better, as a matter of expediency, to leave the question of the administration of the sacraments at Episcopal visitations to the usage which has prevailed since the establishment of the Protestant Episcopal Church of these United States.

For these reasons, several of them as you perceive, going to the very foundation of our Ecclesiastical organization. I declared in the House of Bishops that while I should respect the introduction of this clause into the Canon as an expression of the sense of the Legislation of the Church upon the topic discussed, I should, nevertheless, consider it as a mere nullity in law and should hold the relation between myself and my Presbyters unchanged by its introduction, and I here declare to you, my Presbyters in the Church, that I deem the question involved in this clause to be as much as ever an open one, to be decided, as heretofore, by Christian love and courtesy, and not by Canon.

In consequence of the very heavy debt and claims left upon the Montpelier Institute and the unavoidable accumulations upon that debt and those claims, the affairs of the Institute were brought to a close during the autumn of the last year, and the whole property was sold at sheriff’s sale, and purchased by Mr. Jos. Story Fay of Savannah, for $13,000. Upon the occurrence of this sale, I summoned the Board of Trustees of the Institute and laid before them a statement at large of the conduct of the Institute from the beginning of its indebtedness at various periods, of the amount necessary for its redemption, of its capacity for self support, and left it with them to decide the questions of its repurchase and future management. They determined immediately and with great unanimity that it should be repurchased and carried on, and immediately proceeded to make their resolutions effective. Through the liberality of the Churches in Savannah, Columbus and Macon, the amount of money required for its repurchase was immediately made up, Mr. Fay having consented to take for the property, the amount paid at sheriff’s sale and liberally throwing an as a donation from himself towards its repurchase, the interest which had subsequently accrued, amounting to some four to five hundred dollars. This valuable property is now secured to the Church and will continue to dispense its blessings to the Diocese. I trust that the members of the Church will feel that it is their duty to give it the countenance and support which such an Institution always requires, and I can assure them that nothing shall be left undone, on my part, to make it a school fit for the education of the children of refined and Christian parents.

During the winter my services were rendered every alternate Sunday, so long as my health would permit, to the bereaved congregation of Christ Church, Savannah. I officiated in that Church on Christmas day, on the Sunday after Christmas, on the first and third Sundays of January, on the first and third Sundays of February, and on Sunday the 13th April, on which occasion, with the consent of the Bishop of South Carolina, I admitted to the holy order of Priests, the Rev. James H. Elliott of that Diocese, the Rev. Messrs. Carter and White being present and assisting in the laying on of hands. The same afternoon I confirmed in St. John’s Church eight persons, three of whom were candidates from Christ Church and one from St. David’s, Glynn county.

On Sunday March 30, a fortnight previous to this ordination, I visited the Mission of the Church to the Negroes upon the Ogechee River, under the charge of the Rev. Mr. Williams. This Mission has grown up, under the persevering efforts of the Missionary, into a most interesting field of labor; nearly every planter upon the Northeast side of the great Ogechee having placed his negroes under the charge of the Missionary. If I am not very much deceived in my expectations, the time will soon come when these people will flock as doves to our windows, and the Missionary will reap a full harvest in answer to his prayers and labors. Eight candidates were offered for confirmation, and many more might have been presented, had not the Missionary felt it to be his duty to lead them to a stricter self examination and a higher knowledge, before they should be permitted to partake of the privileges of the Church.

A portion of Passion Week, concluding with Easter Day was developed to the Mission in Baker county. The Rev. James H. George, Deacon, took charge of this Mission in January last, and has been dividing his time between Albany and three stations comprising the neighboring plantations. I officiated at Albany, assisted by the Missionary, on Easter Eve and Easter Day. At Evening prayer for Easter Day I confirmed one adult. On Monday morning I baptized a white infant at the residence of Dr. Nelson, and at noon of the same day, reorganized the Parish of St. Paul’s, Albany, which had been suffered to become extinct. A very excellent spirit seemed to pervade the Episcopalians of Albany and that neighborhood, and I trust that a Church edifice will soon rise to testify their zeal for Christ and his Church.

In the afternoon of Monday, Mr. Nightingale took me to his plantation, where service was arranged for the ensuing morning. A large congregation, more than sufficient to fill the edifice, was collected together, and masters and servants were united in the solemn ceremonies of the Church. Upon this occasion I baptized a colored adult and confirmed four persons, two whites and two colored. The communion was administered to a large body of Episcopal Communicants.

In the afternoon I rode to the plantation of the Hon. Garnett Andrews, where I baptized one white adult and confirmed three whites. The services were deeply interesting, being the ingathering to the Church, of a household in the wilderness.

That same evening I proceeded to the plantation of Maj. Thomas M. Nelson, (of Columbus,) where I found all the servants gathered and the colored children awaiting baptism. I baptized eighteen children, Maj. and Mrs. Nelson standing with the parents, as sponsors. One colored adult was also baptized upon this occasion.

Could my movements have been so arranged as to continue my visitations among the plantations, I have but little doubt that much more might have been accomplished, but I was obliged to take my departure on Wednesday, feeling that there was a vast work left behind for the Missionary to perform. May God give him wisdom and strength for the duty.

Several important points in the Diocese have not been visited during the past year, in consequence of the condition in which they were placed either by sickness or removal of their Pastors or the dismantled state of the Churches incident to the erection of larger edifices.

The changes in the Diocese have been more than usually great since our last Convention, owing to the death of the Rector of Trinity Church, Columbus, and Christ Church, Savannah. The Rev. Thomas F. Scott has resigned the charge of St. James’, Marietta, and accepted a call to Trinity Church, Columbus—the Rev. Wm. Johnson has resigned the charge of St. Stephen’s, Milledgeville, and removed to Alabama—the Rev. George McAuley has resigned his charge of the plantations near Savannah, and has taken charge of St. Stephen’s, Milledgeville—the Rev. Mr. Harlow has resigned the Church of the Messiah, St. Mary’s and removed to Florida.

During the ecclesiastical year three Clergymen have been added to the Church by ordination, the Rev. Messrs. Gahagan, George and Habersham. Mr. Gahagan was ordained at my request by the Rt. Rev. the Bishop of Virginia, and has taken charge of Griffin as a Missionary Station. Mr. Habersham has been placed as a Missionary at Madison, Morgan county, and Mr. George is laboring in Baker county. Mr. W.H. Harrison has been transferred from the Diocese of North Carolina, and has been called to the Church of the Atonement, Augusta. Mr. J. Stuart Hanckel, of South Carolina, has accepted a call to St. James’ Church, Marietta, and is by this time at his post. The vestry of Christ Church, Savannah, has tendered that Parish to the Rev. Abraham Beach Carter, of Morrisania, New York, the son of their former Rector, which call Mr. Carter still holds under consideration.

Our candidates for orders have been diminished by the withdrawal of his name on the part of Mr. Alexander C. Smets, on account of ill health, likely to unfit him for the due exercise of the ministry. I have received information of the removal into the Diocese of Mr. Nevius, a candidate for orders in the Diocese of Michigan, but I have not yet received his letters from Bishop McCoskry.
It has become my painful duty in the course of the year to displace from the Ministry under Canon XXXVIII, of 1832, the Rev. Gardner Jones, late a Deacon of this Diocese. Soon after his ordination, Mr. Jones left my Diocese and never returned to it afterwards This is one of the sad cases, so numerous now-a-days of defection to the Church of Rome. I am called upon also to communicate to you the displacement from the Ministry of the Rev. Messrs. Forbes, Preston and White, of the Diocese of New York, of the Rev. Mr. Ives, of Connecticut, of the Rev. Mr. Bakewell, of W. New York, of the Rev. Dr. Huntington, of South Carolina, all for the same cause. I have also received notice from the Missionary Bishop of the Northwest, of the degradation of the Rev. Zachariah A. Goldsmith, from the Bishop of Delaware, of the displacement of the Rev. William L. Suddards; from the Bishop of Pennsylvania, of the displacement of the Rev. J.J. Kerr, from the Bishop of Indiana, of the degradation of the Rev. G. Lamb Roberts, from the Bishop of Ohio, of the deposition of the Rev. Alfred M. Loutrel.

I have received during the past month a letter from the Lord Bishop of Oxford, accompanying a Protest of himself as Bishop, and of a large majority of the Priests and Deacons of the Diocese of Oxford, to which have been since added the names of a large number of laymen of the same Diocese, against the late usurpation of the Bishop of Rome, whereby he has assumed the right and power of dividing the Territories of the Ancient British Church and Nation into new Provinces and Sees, and asking on behalf of the Clergy and subscribing Laity of the Diocese of Oxford, my approval and concurrence in that Protest.

As one of the Bishops of the Holy Catholic Church, I do give my most hearty approval of and concurrence in this Protest, and trust my beloved Brethren of the Clergy and Laity, now assembled in Convention, that you will do the same. I have not yet replied to the letter of the Bishop of Oxford, hoping that you would unite with me in signing some document which should express, in solemn form, the unanimous agreement of the Bishop, Clergy and Laity of this Church with the action of the Diocese of Oxford. We should withhold nothing, at this moment, which can in any measure comfort the hearts and strengthen the hands of our Brethren of the Church of England while engaged in deadly struggle with the common enemy of the Catholic Church of Christ. If you agree with me in these views, I would recommend that a committee be raised for the purpose of preparing a response to the Protest of the Diocese of Oxford. The letter of the Bishop of Oxford together with the Protest are hereto annexed marked A.

I have also received from his Grace the Arch-Bishop of Canterbury a communication transmitting to the Diocese of Georgia, a Report adopted at the annual meeting of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, held on Friday Feb. 1, 1851, in which Report all Bishops in communion with the Church of England are directed to be informed of the arrangements which have been made for the celebration of the Third Jubilee of the Venerable Society, and to be invited to unite with the Society in celebrating the same in their several Dioceses in such way as they shall deem expedient. This Report together with the letter of the Arch-Bishop, are hereto annexed marked B.

When it is remembered, my beloved Brethren of the Clergy and Laity, that the American Colonies, now these United States, were the chief scene of the Society’s labors up to the acknowledgement of our Independence in 1783, it seems but fitting that we should heartily unite with the English and Colonial Churches in this interesting celebration. The Episcopal Church of the United States owes the Venerable Society a debt of gratitude which it can never repay, and now when it asks in return for its kind protection during the days of our struggling infancy, only that we should become partakers of its joy; we cannot be so heartless as to turn a cold and indifferent ear to their appeal. In the present and thickening struggle with Rome, it is highly important that the pure branches of the Catholic Church should draw more and more closely the bonds of Christian fellowship, and should strive to realize the communion of saints in a simultaneous offering of thanksgiving and praise to God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost.

As it has been proposed by the Venerable Society that the time of celebration should extend through an entire year, commencing June 16th, 1851, and as the Sundays of June 22d and November 30th, have been specially named as the Sundays for preaching Jubilee sermons throughout all England and her Colonies, I would respectfully recommend to this Convention that a sermon be preached in every Church of this Diocese, upon those two Sundays respectively, and that collections be taken up upon those days: the collection on Sunday June 22d, to be devoted to Missions within the Diocese; and that on November 30th, to be devoted to Church building within the Diocese. I would also recommend that the sermons on those occasions be made to have reference to the subject matter of the Jubilee, and the encouragement which the eminent success of the Venerable Society should give to every Christian heart in its efforts to advance the Kingdom of the blessed Redeemer. Should this Convention agree with me in these opinions and recommendations, it would give me pleasure to issue a Pastoral to the Diocese, urging upon the Churches the due celebration of these days, and invoking their benevolence in behalf of the objects brought to their notice.

And now, my beloved Brethren, commending you to the grace of God, I pray you to be of one mind and of one spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Bishop of the Diocese of Georgia.



Oxford, 23d Jan. 1851.

Right Reverend Brother: I herewith transmit to you a copy of a Protest solemnly adopted by us, the Bishop and Clergy of this Diocese, synodically gathered in our Cathedral city of Oxford, on the 22d day of November, 1850, against the late usurpation of the Bishop of Rome, whereby he assumes the right and power of dividing the Territories of this Ancient Church and Nation, into new Provinces and Sees, and thrusts new Bishops into them.

Our Protest has been deposited in Perpetuam Memoriam, in the archives of the Diocese, and at the request of the assembled Clergy, as well as by my own desire, I now forward a copy of it to you, and to all other of my most Reverend and Right Reverend Brethren, the Arch-Bishops and Bishops of Sees in recognized communion with this See; and that you may know how far this Protest expresses the opinions of the Clergy of this Diocese, I now subjoin the following statement of our numbers and our signatures, &c.

The Diocese of Oxford contains at this time about 591 Benefices with cure of souls, which are served by 547 Incumbents, who are assisted by 261 Curates. Of this total number about 40 incumbents must be left out of calculation as being prevented from taking part in such an act by insanity, extreme sickness, absence, age or other ascertained causes.

There remain 507 Incumbents; of these 393 have signed the Protest; 43 have declined to sign it, and have stated to me their “reasons” which are such as these:

1. That in it, this act of the Roman See is protested against as schismatical, not as “Anti-Christian.”
2. That to embody as it does, all the doctrinal protests of the English articles, is an insufficient Protest against the corrupt doctrines and idolatrous practices of Rome.
3. That the English Church is in it declared to possess a succession of orders from the Apostles.
4. That the Protest does not contain sufficient scriptural or doctrinal teaching to instruct ignorant Protestants.
5. Because it does not set forth corruptions and divisions which exist amongst ourselves.
6. Because it claims as on our side, the judgments of the Holy Church Universal.

Adding then the 43 who for some or all of these “reasons” have declined to sign it, and subtracting those before mentioned as incapacitated, there remain unaccounted for from the whole Diocese 74 incumbents.

The Protest has been signed by 242 curates and other clergymen resident and officiating in the Diocese—in all by 632 Clergymen.
Eighteen curates have not signed for the reasons above referred to.

Since the Protest was adopted and made public, a large number of lay Communicants and other laymen have subscribed, and are subscribing their assent and consent to the Protest of the Clergy.

To this our solemn Protest then, Right Reverend Brother, on behalf of the Clergy and subscribing Laity of this Diocese, and on my own behalf, I heartily desire your approval and concurrence, and praying God, even our Father, for Christ’s sake, to have you ever more in his Holy keeping, I remain, Right Reverend Brother,

Your faithful friend and servant in the Lord,

To the Rt. Rev. the Bishop of Georgia.



In the name of God—Amen.

We Samuel, by Divine permission Bishop of the Diocese of Oxford, with the undersigned Priests and Deacons, being assembled under the protection of Almighty God in our Cathedral City of Oxford, on this twenty-second day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty—Do hereby, in the presence of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and before the whole Church, make this our solemn Protest and Declaration.

Whereas, we have seen or heard that the Bishop of Rome has pretended to divide this ancient Church and Realm of England into certain new Dioceses, and to appoint over them certain Bishops, to whom he, the said Bishop of Rome, pretends to commit the cure and government of the souls of all Christian people therein dwelling, contrary to the rights of this Church, and the ancient laws of this realm;–Now we, the said Bishop, Priests and Deacons, whose names are hereunto subscribed, do utterly protest against any such invasion of this church and realm: and we do declare that the church recognized by law in this land is the ancient Apostolic Church thereof, possessing the ancient faith, true Sacraments, and a lawful ministry; and that her Bishops and Clergy are the Bishops and Clergy thereof, by unbroken descent from the Holy Apostles; and that the Missionaries of the Bishop of Rome within this land, who are striving to withdraw the people from the Communion of the English church, are intrusive and schismatical; and we protest before God and His Church, against these schismatical claims and proceedings, as also against their doctrines and teaching, as being, on many points of faith and practice, contrary to God’s Word and the teaching of the Universal Church; all which are more especially declared in the Articles of our said church of England. And we do declare that we believe that this our protest would be approved, and the schismatical acts and corrupt doctrine and idolatrous practices maintained by the Bishop of Rome would be condemned, by the judgment of the Universal Church, if it were possible that such judgment could be now by any means collected; and we declare that the church of England did, at the Reformation make, and hath now for 300 years, continued its protest against the claim of the said Bishop of Rome to exercise jurisdiction over the Church Universal, and over this Church of England in particular; and also against the false Doctrine of said church of Rome; and that we do now renew and continue the same protest.

And we do solemnly warn all Christian people committed to our charge, that they yield no obedience to the so-called Bishops now thrust into our land, under pain of incurring all the guilt of willful schism.



LAMBETH, March 21, 1851.

Right Rev. and Dear Brother: I think it right to apprize you that the Society, for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign parts, having, through the goodness and favor of Almighty God, been permitted to complete a century and a half of Missionary labor, has resolved to commemorate with thanksgiving and prayer the close of its third Jubilee.

The commemoration will commence on Monday, June 16th, being the anniversary of the signing of our Charter, with full Church Service in Westminister Abbey, and on the following Sunday, June 22d, sermons appropriate to the occasion will be preached in the Principal London Churches.

It is unnecessary for me to enter into further particulars, as they will be found in the accompanying printed Circular.

The Society has good reason to expect that what may be called its solemn Jubilee, will be observed in all the Colonial churches, but the occasion seems to justify the hope of a still more comprehensive union of Prayer and Praise.

Bearing in mind the relation of our two Countries, and the intimate connexion which subsisted between the Society and many of the States during the greater part of the last century, I feel some confidence in proposing to you the joint celebration of a Jubilee, in which all the members of our church must feel a common interest.

I venture also respectfully to submit, whether in a time of controversy and division, the close communion which binds the Churches of America and England in one, would not be strikingly manifested to the world, if every one of their Dioceses was to take part in commemorating the foundation of the oldest Missionary Society of the Reformed Church. A Society which, from its first small beginnings in New England, has extended its operations into all parts of the world, from the Ganges to Lake Huron, and from New Zealand to Labrador. Such a joint commemoration, besides manifesting the rapid growth and wide extension of our church, would serve to keep alive and diffuse a Missionary spirit, and so be the means, under the divine blessing, of enlarging the borders of the Redeemer’s kingdom.

In submitting to you this proposal, it can hardly be necessary to add that we “desire no gift” but only your Christian sympathy and the communion of Prayer. If, however, the alms of your congregation be added to their prayers, we should rejoice to see them appropriated to the relief of the pressing needs of your own Church.

It would be a great satisfaction to me to learn from you at any moment of leisure, whether you have thought it expedient to take any step in this matter. And now, commending the whole subject to your serious consideration, and yourself to God’s care and protection,

I am, Right Rev. and Dear Brother,
Your affectionate Brother in the Lord,


At the Annual meeting of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, held on Friday, February 21, 1851—The following Report was read and adopted:–

The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel having, through the mercy of Almighty God, been permitted to complete the labours of One Hundred and Fifty Years with no small measure of success, earnestly invites all who feel an interest in the Missionary operations of the Church of England, to join in celebrating, with thanksgiving and prayer, its Third Jubilee.

To this end, the Society recommends—That the time of celebration extend through an entire year, commencing June 16th, 1851, being the Anniversary of the day on which the charter was signed.

That, by permission of the Dean and Chapter, the opening of the Jubilee year be celebrated in Westminster Abbey, on Monday, June 16th, 1851, by Divine Service, with Holy Communion, and that the Members and friends of the Society be specially invited to attend.

That a public meeting of the Society be held in London on the following day (Tuesday), with a view to increase the interest of all classes in the religious condition of the British Colonies, and the Missionary work of the church.

That the District Secretaries in connexion with the Society, be invited to attend a Special Meeting, at 79, Pall Mall, on Wednesday, June 18th, at 11 A.M. to make arrangements for forming local Jubilee Committees.

That endeavors be made to procure as many of the London churches as possible for Sunday, June 22d, in order that Jubilee Sermons may be preached in various parts of the Metropolis on that day; and that Preachers for such churches be specially provided by the Society, if so desired by the Incumbents.

That the ordinary celebration of the Anniversary at St. Paul’s be fixed for some convenient day subsequent to June 16th.*

That the Dean and Chapters of the several Cathedrals in Great Britain and Ireland be requested to allow Jubilee Sermons to be preached in their Cathedral Churches, on such day, during the present year, as they may deem most suitable for a Diocesan Celebration of the Society’s Jubilee.

That on the First Sunday in Advent (Nov. 30th), or on any other convenient Sunday, the Jubilee be celebrated in every Parish Church where permission of the Incumbent may be obtained.

That the Bishops of the various Colonial Dioceses, and all other Bishops in communion with the Church of England, be informed forthwith of the contemplated arrangements for the celebration of the Jubilee at home; and that they be respectfully invited to unite with the Society in celebrating the same in their several dioceses, in such way as they shall deem expedient.
That a brief historical account of the Society’s past operations be prepared, and that a series of Colonial and Missionary publications together with some devotional tracts suitable to the occasion, be drawn up, under the superintendence of the Secretary.

That a Special Jubilee Fund be opened, which shall be appropriated, at the option of the contributors, to one or more of the following objects:
a. Extension of the Episcopate abroad.
b. Education of Missionary Candidates.
c. Emigrants’ Spiritual Aid Fund.
d. General Purposes of the Society.

*The Anniversary Festival will be held at St. Paul’s Cathedral on Wednesday, June 18th.


After the address, the following resolutions were adopted:

Resolved, That so much of the Bishop’s address as relates to the death of the Rev. Dr. Neufville, be referred to a committee of three Clergymen and three Laymen, to report suitable resolutions for adoption by Convention.

Rev. Messrs. Scott, Dr. Ford, R.M. White, and Messrs. Taylor, Nightingale and Whittle were appointed as that committee.

Resolved, That so much of the Bishop’s address as refers to the Protest of the Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of Oxford and the Clergy of his See against the late schismatical and intrusive acts of the Bishop of Rome, be referred to a committee to be appointed by the Bishop, consisting of three clergymen and three laymen, to report thereon to this convention.

Rev. Messrs. Dr. Ford, Scott and Bragg, and Messrs. Nelson, Gairdner and Fishburn were appointed as the committee.

Resolved, That so much of the Bishop’s address as refers to the communication of his Grace, the Archbishop of Canterbury, be referred to a committee of three clergymen and three laymen, to be appointed by the Bishop, to report to this convention.

Rev. Messrs. R. Johnson, R.M. White and Mower, and Messrs. Griffin, Williford and Yonge, were appointed as the committee.

The Parochial Reports were read and ordered to be printed in the Appendix.

Rev. R. Johnson asked and obtained leave of absence after to-day.

After Prayer by the Bishop, convention adjourned to the hour of Public Worship to-morrow morning.