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(Vol. II., page 234.)
THE TWO VERSIONS OF THE “DIES IRÆ."
General Dix's first translation of the “ Dies Irce" was made in 1863; the revised
version appeared in 1875. The variations are as follows :
Day of vengeance, without morrow! Day of vengeance, lo! that morning
5. On the written volume's pages
Now the written book containing Life is shown in all its stages
Record to all time pertaining Judgment-record of past ages!
Opens for the world's arraigning.
Sits the Judge, the raised arraigning, See the Judge his seat attaining,
Darkest mysteries explaining,
Nothing unavenged remaining. [Verses 7 and 8 are the same.]
9. Holy Jesus, meek, forbearing,
Jesus, think of Thy wayfaring, For my sins the death-crown wearing, For my sins the death-crown wearing, Save me, in that day, despairing. Save me, in that day, despairing.
(Verses 10 and 11 are the same.]
As a guilty culprit groaning,
As a guilty culprit groaning, Flushed my face, my errors owning, Flushed my face, my errors owning, Hear, O God, my spirit's moaning ! Hear, 0 God, Thy suppliant moaning!
[Verse 13 is the same.]
In my prayers no grace discerning, In my prayers no worth discerning,
Yet on me Thy favor turning, Save my soul from endless burning! Save me from that endless burning ! [Verse 15 is the same.]
16. When the wicked are confounded, When the wicked are rejected, And by bitter flames surrounded, And to bitter flames subjected, Be my joyful pardon sounded !
Call me forth with thine elected!
COMMUNICATION FROM THE HON. JOHN A. DIX TO THE
SELECT COMMITTEE OF THE SENATE ON THE REPORT
OF TRINITY CHURCH. [The following communication from the Hon. John A. Dix to the Chairman of the Committee of the Senate on the Report of Trinity Church, was prepared when he supposed it would be impossible for him to appear before the Committee in person. On the 23d of February he presented himself as a witness, and after being sworn, and asked to state generally any facts within his knowledge in regard to the charges made against the Vestry of Trinity Church, he replied that when he was subpænaed he was en: gaged in the transaction of important business, from which he feared he would not be released till the labors of the Committee were closed. He had, therefore, prepared a communication, addressed to the Chairman of the Committee, and sent it to Albany a week before, by Mr. Livingston, one of his associates in the Vestry. The session of the Committee having been continued to a later period than he had expected, he had thought proper to appear before them in person. He added that he had the communication with him, and if the Committee would permit him to read it he thought it would save them a good deal of time in preparing questions, and himself a good deal of inconvenience in writing out answers. The Committee having assented to the suggestion, he read the communication, as a part of his testimony]
New York, February 11, 1857. Hon. U. Spencer, Chairman of the Select Committee of the Sen
ate on the Report of Trinity Church: SIR, -I have just seen and read the Report made to the Senate on the 29th ult, by the Committee of which you are chairman, together with the testimony appended thereto; and as there are imputations therein derogatory to the character of the Vestry of Trinity Church, of whom I am one, both as regards their fairness and their discreetness in the execution of their trust, I ask leave to submit to the Committee the following statement. Business of a very urgent nature, affecting the interests of others, which I should be inexcusable for neglecting, prevents me from visiting Albany. I should otherwise have appeared before the Committee and asked them to take
testimony orally, instead of soliciting their indulgence so far as to allow me to present it in the form of a written communication.
I was appointed a vestryman in the autumn of 1849, and have served in that capacity to the present time. With the exception of ten months in 1854 and 1855, during which I was absent from the country, and occasional temporary absences from the State at other times, I have attended with a good deal of regularity the meetings of the Vestry, and have taken a somewhat active part in its proceedings.
I do not propose to trouble the Committee with any discussion of the legal rights of the Corporation under the original grants by which it holds its property, or the legislative enactments by which its corporate powers have been confirmed or enlarged; nor do I intend to offer to the Committee any opinion with regard to the true interpretation of those enactments or grants. The sole object of this statement, which is made on my own responsibility, is to present such explanations as seem to me necessary to exonerate myself and my associates from charges which have been brought against us by some of the witnesses, and which do us, as I conceive, great injustice.
I beg leave to say farther, with perfect respect for the Committee and the body by which it was appointed, that, in presenting this statement, I have not overlooked the vital relation which an inquiry instituted by one branch of the Legislature, through the action of a committee, into the administration of the internal affairs of a religious corporation, bears to the rights of every ecclesiastical body in the State. I do not admit the existence of such an authority as has been exercised in regard to the body with which I am connected, more especially when carried so far as to solicit ex parte opinions concerning the motives under which individuals may have been supposed to act; and I cannot but think, when the question is deliberately considered, that it will be found to possess a most important bearing upon
the rights of conscience, which it was one of the leading objects of the Constitution to secure-a question well worthy, under this aspect, of the most serious public regard. If I have chosen to meet, with a reservation of rights which I deem inviolable, the imputations cast upon me and my associates, instead of passing them by in silence, it is in order that the minds of the Committee, the Legislature, and the community may not be misled by the testimony in which those imputations are contained.
Soon after my connection with the Vestry commenced my attention was attracted to the financial condition of the Cor. poration, which seemed to me very unsatisfactory. Its debts amounted to nearly half a million of dollars; and by reason of the large donations it was in the habit of making to other churches, its revenue had become inadequate to its expenditures, and the annual deficits were made up by a sale of property. I regarded this practice, though founded upon a generous consideration for the wants of other parishes, and a desire to promote the advancement of the interests of the Episcopal Church in the city and the State, as opposed to all sound principles of finance. No fund or endowment can long withstand a regular consumption of its principal. Encumbered as the Church property was by leases, it could rarely be sold, in any considerable parcels, without serious sacrifice; and it was my opinion that the contributions of the church, instead of being enlarged, should be curtailed; that its debt should not be increased, that its expenditures should, if possible, be brought within its income, and that its property should, as a general rule, be preserved until the expiration of its leases, when it could be sold without loss; thus leaving the church in condi. tion to carry out with vigor and success the great plan of ministration which seemed to me to be clearly marked out by changes in progress in the distribution of business and population throughout the city.
In accordance with these views, when it was decided to build a chapel in the upper part of the city, in order to preserve to the church its ancient parishioners, who had removed in large numbers from the neighborhood of Trinity Church, St. Paul's, and St. John's, I introduced a resolution providing that the corporate debt should never exceed the sum of $250,000 beyond the amount of its bonds and mortgages, exclusive of those given by churches. The latter were excepted for the reason that they have never been regarded as an available resource. No interest is collected on them, and they are, in fact, held by the Corporation for the purpose of preventing, in case of emergency, the property to which they attach from being devoted to secular uses. The resolution referred to, after being amended so as to increase the limit of the debt to $300,000, was adopted.
It is due to entire frankness to say that I was opposed to the construction of Trinity Chapel, believing the private wealth of the district, for which its ministrations were designed, sufficient to furnish them without the aid of Trinity Church. At the same time there were arguments in favor of the measure, on the score of justice and practical usefulness, which it was not easy to answer, and solicitations from old and faithful friends of the church, who had removed to the upper part of the city, too earnest and persuasive to be resisted by the Vestry, many of whom had been their associates from an early period in life, and who were naturally reluctant to dissolve the connection as they approached its close.
The measure having been resolved on, the Vestry adopted a plan which the architect estimated to cost $40,000. I urged its adoption on the ground of its comparatively small cost, and I particularly pressed on the Vestry the consideration that in the principal parish church enough had been done by them for the embellishment of the architecture of the city. At a subsequent meeting a majority of the Vestry, deeming the proposed edifice too small, or perhaps too plain for the position it was to occupy, adopted another plan, estimated by the architect to cost $79,000. It was never intended by the Vestry to exceed that sum. But those who have had any experience in building churches know not only how little confidence is to be placed in such estimates, but how difficult it is to adhere to original designs; and they will be disposed to consider the Vestry—who ultimately found themselves involved, greatly to their disappointment and annoyance, in an expenditure of $230,000 for the chapel and site-as objects of sympathy rather than censure.
This unlooked-for expenditure, and the continued annual contributions to other parishes, which the Vestry were unwilling to abridge, have carried the corporate debt up to the enormous