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Rev. DeLancey responds to Chase's letter of July 31, defending the ordination of Arthur Carey and arguing that Chase's concern about infiltration of Catholicism into the Episcopal Church is simply a "figment of the imagination." He, however, thanks Chase for bringing his attention to the formation of the Church in Texas.
Arthur Carey, Bishop Onderdonk, Catholicism, religion, Episcopal Church, Texas
DeLancey, William Heathcote, "Letter to Philander Chase" (1843). Philander Chase Letters. 1191.
Geneva Aug 11 1843
My dear Bishop
Your’s [sic] of the 31st of July reached me yesterday.
In regard to the ordination of Mr Carey several publications in New York which could not have reached you prior to the date of your letter have greatly modified the statements of Dr Smith & Anthon, & diminished confidence in their accuracy, not to say flatly contradicted some of their allegations. Mr Haight, Mr Price, Dr Seabury, & Mr Carey himself, have each published on the subject.
Though I am a Huegonot by descent, & have a hereditary hostility to Rome, yet, after a sober view of the case, I do not see how Bp O. could have done otherwise than ordain Mr Carey, when satisfied by his own private examination of him & [fortified] by the advice of six out of eight examining presbyters.
In regard to the “tendency to Rome” supposed to exist among the clergy or laity in the Church I hold it to be a figment of the imagination & that its chief support as well as origin lies in the misapprehension & misrepresentation of those who are hostile to the Chh, & curious of its rapid extension, abetted by the ill judged tone & conduct of certain religious newspapers, & the unfledged theology of some inexperienced bookworm students. For myself I have no fears for the sound protestantism of the Church. Nor do I think any thing more is necessary than that the Bishops in their several Dioceses should exhort the clergy to go on in the faithful & zealous discharge of their ministerial duties, preaching the gospel in the Church, & maintaining her long tried doctrines & polity & worship, without intermedling [sic] with speculations & distinctions & niceties which minister to strife & not to edification. In my judgment the “[Oxford]” tide had already attained its height & was on the ebb before this disturbance in New York occurred. Prudence & Patience under the good providence of God will bring the disturbed waters to the true calm, & I doubt not, my dear Bishop, but that if your valuable life is spared, you will in September 1844 preside over a General Convention as united & harmonious as any that has ever met in this country. “May the Author of peace & Lover of Concord” verify this prediction!
In regard to Texas, what you state is quite new to me. A national organization of the Chh, there, prior to [our] [?] Convention will save us from much trouble. In conveying the Episcopacy to them we should exact such security against [?] & heresy of all sorts as the Chh of England required of us under a similar application & such as the nature of the [?] will admit. The precise form in which the security should be given is a [nice] question. The mode you suggest is probably the best, & possibly the only mode that can be adopted. We ought to be reasonably assured that the Liturgy, offices, & Articles of the [Protestant] Episcopal Chh will be adhered to. In offering these views confidentially addressed [to] you, be assured of my sincere regard, & of my earnest prayers for your welfare, & for the largest success to your devoted, & self denying labors in Illinois.
Commending you & the Chh over which you preside, with your particular Diocese to the guidance & control of the ever blessed Spirit
I remain truly your friend & brother
W. H. DeLancey
Rt Rev. Dr Chase