Abbildungen der Seite

the Solemn Service in which we had all united, and under the very roof beneath which that Service was held, — while from the magnificent spire above us the Flag of the Union was waving in all its purity and pride, only lower, in all our eyes and in all our hearts, than the hallowed emblem of our religion. If any thing has resulted from our deliberations, under such circumstances, which may tend to the harmony of the Convention and the peace of the Church, let the influence be ascribed to that impressive Service, and to Him to whom we trust our prayers were not offered in vain.


The Special Committee of Nine, to whom were referred the several propositions offered successively by Messrs. BRUNOT, CARPENTER, ANDREWS, HOFFMAN, and WARREN, and by the Rev. Mr. BURGESS and the Rev. Dr. LEEDS,—all of them relating to the condition of our Church as affected by the condition of our country,

respectfully submit the following Report :

The Committee have been deeply impressed with the importance and with the difficulty of the duty assigned to them. They have examined with care all the various Resolutions which have been referred to them, and have not lost sight of the subsequent suggestions, which have been made in debate, by members of this Body from many different parts of our country.

In framing the Resolutions which they have at length, after much deliberation, agreed upon, they have had three leading objects in view. They have designed to leave no room for honest doubt, or even for invidious misconstruction, as to the hearty loyalty of this Body to the Government of the United States. They have desired to confirm and strengthen the unity of the Church, as represented in this Convention. And they have attempted so to refer to the course of our brethren who are not represented here, as to shut no door of reconciliation which is still open, and to afford the best hope that they may still be induced to reconsider and retrace their steps, and to renew their relations, in Christian love and loyalty, to a common church and a common country.

The Committee have felt that it was not fit for this Convention

to act or to speak as if they despaired, or in any degree doubted, of the ultimate restoration of the legitimate national authority over our whole land. They have felt, too, that the question before them was not so much as to what might be done, or what might be said, by this Body, as a matter of stern justice, in vindication of the authority or the dignity of the Church; but as to what it was wise to do or say at this moment, consistently with our own convictions, and with a view to preserve, unbroken and undisturbed, every remaining link or tie of religious association and Christian sympathy, which might be of use hereafter in accomplishing the great end of restoring our National Union.

The Committee are unwilling to conclude their Report without one other suggestion. While there could have been no hesitation, under any circumstances, in expressing, now and always, our earnest and abiding loyalty and devotion to our country, its Constitution and its Laws, and to all its duly constituted authorities, they have felt that there yet rested upon this Convention the most solemn obligation to abstain from entering upon any narrower questions, which peculiarly belong to the domain of secular politics. Our Blessed Lord, in declaring that His Kingdom is not of this world, and in directing us to render unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's, has clearly taught us, that whether as Ministers or as Legislators and Councillors of His Church, we are to refrain from those matters which He has not committed to our care. There is doubtless a difficulty in the minds of many, in clearly discerning the precise boundary line between the subjects which come within our jurisdiction and proper sphere of duty as Christian Ministers and Ecclesiastical Councillors, and such as belong exclusively to secular politics. But the Committee can hardly doubt that there will be a general concurrence in the opinion that, in this most critical period in the history of our Church and of our country, when words are things, and when rash utterances at one end of the Union may co-operate with rash acts at the other in extinguishing the best hopes which remain to us, it is wise for such a Body as this to err on the safe side, if we must err at all; and to keep ourselves clearly within the limits which the Councils of our Church have hitherto so uniformly observed.

In accordance with these general views, the undersigned recommend the adoption of the following Resolutions:

Resolved, by the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies of this stated Triennial Convention, that assembling, as we have been called to do, at a period of great national peril and deplorable civil convulsion, it is meet and proper that we should call to mind, distinctly and publicly, that the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States hath ever held and taught, in the language of one of its articles of Religion, that “it is the duty of all men who are professors of the Gospel to pay respectful obedience to the Civil Authority, regularly and legitimately constituted ;” and hath accordingly incorporated into its Liturgy “a Prayer for the President of the United States and all in Civil Authority," and “a Prayer for the Congress of the United States, to be used during their session ;” and hath bound all orders of its Ministry to the faithful and constant observance, in letter and in spirit, of these and all other parts of its prescribed ritual.

Resolved, That we cannot be wholly blind to the course which has been pursued, in their ecclesiastical as well as in their civil relations, since this Convention last met in perfect harmony and love, by great numbers of the ministers and members of this Church, within certain States of our Union which have arrayed themselves in open and armed resistance to the regularly constituted Government of our Country; and that while, in a spirit of Christian forbearance, we refrain from employing towards them any terms of condemnation or reproach, and would rather bow in humiliation before our common Father in Heaven for the sins which have brought His judgments on our land, we yet feel bound to declare our solemn sense of the deep and grievous wrong which they will have inflicted on the great Christian Communion which this Convention represents, as well as on the country within which it has been so happily and harmoniously established, should they persevere in striving to rend asunder those civil and religious bonds which have so long held us together in peace, unity, and concord.

Resolved, That while, as individuals and as citizens, we acknowledge our whole duty in sustaining and defending our country in the great struggle in which it is engaged, we are only at liberty, as Deputies to this Council of a Church which hath ever renounced all political association and action, to pledge to the National Government as we now do

the earnest and devout prayers of us all, that its efforts may be so guided by wisdom and replenished with strength, that they may be crowned with speedy and complete success, to the glory of God and the restoration of our beloved Union.

Resolved, That if, in the judgment of the Bishops, any other forms of occasional prayer than those already set forth, shall seem desirable and appropriate, whether for our Convention, our Church, or our Country, for our Rulers or our Defenders, or for the sick and wounded and dying of our Army and Navy and Volunteers, we shall gladly receive them and fervently use them.

Resolved, That a certified copy of the foregoing Report and Resolutions be transmitted to the House of Bishops, in evidence of the views and feelings of this body in reference to the afflicting condition of our Church and of our Country.



NEW YORK, October 9, 1862.*

* There are no speeches which I would more gladly have included in this volume than those in which I advocated the adoption of the above Resolutions; but they were made without notes and never reported at length, and I have found it impossible to recall them. The Resolutions were adopted by the House of Delegates, and happily prepared the way for the complete re-union of the Church at the last Convention,





COLONEL CHARLES L. HOLBROOK,—You have been honored with the command of a regiment which has been enlisted under the auspices of the old “Boston Light Infantry,” and which has recognized its filial relations to that corps by calling itself “ The Tiger Regiment." The officers and members of the Boston Light Infantry, past and present, and of the Second Battalion, of which it has recently formed a part, have accordingly desired to manifest their regard for your command by some substantial and visible token, which may accompany you in your tour of patriotic service, and which may serve to remind you that there are those at home who will watch your movements with an eager interest and a jealous pride, and whose hearts will be with you in every hour of prosperous or adverse fortune which awaits you,-- whether of endurance or of struggle, of tribulation or of triumph.

Sir, I need hardly recall, in this presence, the history of that old corps, whose familiar designation you have adopted, and whose character may seem in some sort committed to your keeping. You yourself, certainly — who have risen to the successive command of a regiment in peace, and now of a regiment in war, after so long and honorable a service in its ranks - must know its history by heart. You have not forgotten how it sprung into existence, just four and sixty years ago, in that memorable year 1798, when our infant Republic was menaced, and more than menaced, by the madness of revolutionary France; and when it seemed as if that gallant and generous nation, which had done so much to aid us in establishing our Independence, and whose arms

« ZurückWeiter »