C. E. Gadsden



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Bishop Gadsden defends the ordination of Arthur Carey.




Philander Chase, Arthur Carey, General Convention, Protestant Church, Episcopal Church, religion, Texas, Bishop Whittingham


Charleston 18 August 1843.

My worthy brother (ought I not to say Father, if for no other reason, than your being Presiding Bp) in the “one Ministry.”

On your letter of the 31 July, received yesterday, I have to remark, by way of preface, that I unreservedly endure your well expressed sentiment: “I am as from Geneva [&] Puritan [&] “as from Rome”; and to your first Question, I reply, adopting your language as marked thus “- I am “satisfied with the ordination of Arthur Cary [sic] to the diaconate of the Church,” because 1 He complied with every Canonical requisition 2 Six clerical witnesses besides many laymen testified to his orthodoxy and only 2 clerical against it. 3 His honesty and truth and indeed his piety are not questioned, & he deliberately signed the declaration in the 7th Article of the Constitution of our Church, 4. I attach much more importance to a [profession] made under such solemn circumstances, as when he was ordained, than to a conversation liable to be misunderstood, 5 Mr Cary [sic] in his publications, in the Churchman, denies the accuracy of the Rev Dr S’s statement, and that he corrected the Doctor’s manuscript, which had been supposed to be the case

6 The Bishop had advantages, peculiar to himself for forming a right [deceiver] as to the heresy, or not of the accused, for I He had before him all the witnesses pro & con, & could confront the one with the other II He no doubt had a private interview with Mr C & thus, verbally or in writing, his statement, in explanation or refutation of that, from his accusers.

7. The chief responsibility resting with the “Chief Pastor the Bishop,” he had the highest motive to such for a just decision.

8. “Charity thinketh no evil--hopeth all things fill will all things” * therefore one who is at a distance, at least, ought to put the most favourable constitution on Mr C’s conduct, as the examiners proceedings, & on the Bishop’s decision.

9 (And this indeed is a reason which if there were no other, would be sufficient for me) The Bishop is the divinely appointed ultimate arbiter on the question of heresy, as relates to a candidate for holy orders, brought before him: I bow to his “godly judgment.” As a member of his diocese should, must [?] should one, out of it, The protest even of his own Convention could not arrest a Bishop in the exercise of his discretion-- altho you might punish him afterwards, by impeachment &c.

I have no doubt that you will agree with me that there is reason to be thankful that our church recognizes a [final] [tribunal], in cases like Mr C’s, and that the [tribunal] is that recognized by “the holy Scriptures & Ancient Authors” by the Apostolic, Spiritual Church.

It is more to my taste, to suppress a flame th[an] fan it even by my [feeble] breath, this let[ter] therefore is intended for your own eye exclusively. It is a time to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, & for grace to “maintain & set forwards “quietness, peace & love among all Xn people”..Meditating on this case I have thought much of 1 Thess IX, 9, 10, 11 & 2 Thess [c] 3. 11, 12 I presume you have seen Bp Whittingham’s Sermon on Godly quietness preached May 1842

[As] [to] your second question, which respects Texas, I remark that it seems to me, if a Bishop is elected there, that for his Consecration by any of our Bps, the same [severities] should be required as in the case of our own Bps consecrated in England. The course of proceeding might be the same with slight modifications. I so write from recollection, not having lately rec’d that part of our history. I should wish to see the Texas “proposed” liturgy, articles & other formularies, also the Constitution of their Church, and Canons if they make any at their primary Convention. I remain, with the best wishes for yourself family & flock -

Very truly Yours

C. E. Gadsden

Letter to Philander Chase



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