Philander Chase



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Philander Chase amends and elaborates on his letter to Bishop Hopkins of November 9th.




Philander Chase, Bishop Hopkins, Dr. Upfold, House of Bishops, Parliament, House of Lords, General Convention, assembly, addendum


Jubilee College Nov 10 1849

Very dear Brother:

I wrote you yesterday under very unfavourable circumstances of body and mind, in answer to your quoting what you had written to New York Committee.

I agreed with you in the main aim and tenor of your sentiments but did not mention the particulars in which I seemed to differ.

I can not see why a diocesan convention may not specify the object they have in view indesiring a special convocation of the house of Bishops if they have the right to address them without specifying.

The example appealing to the Houses of Parliament seems to fail in exact similitude. The House of Lords are not acknowledged by the British Constitution to have a power of perpetuating their Order by imposition of hands on the worthy and by excluding unworthy candidates and otherwise of deponing immoral members of their body as have our House of Bishops. Had the Peers of the Realm this power they might be addressed by any integral part of the British government in a legal manner specified in the Acts of Parliament. Your simile failing, the inference from it falls with it.

I think I stated the way in which I had concluded to dispose of this matter: and of this I am anxious to know your opinions.

The avowed object to be attained by calling the special meeting is the Restoration of a Bishop condemned for immoralities without the sign of penitence to the enjoyment of all his official dignities in his diocese in the Hoise of Bishops and in the General Seminary of learning wherein our Clergy are educated for the Sacred Ministry. Than this there can be no greater question presented. My mind involves consequences of life and death to the usefulness of the Episcopal Church throughout the length and breadth of our land.

If such a proposition be duly rejected we may live

If it be entertained and successful we die.

Or if life still linger it will resemble what we see in limbs disjoined and torn from the body.

You will not therefore be surprised when I tell you of my feelings of horror at reading in “a Brothers” letter a desire that a meeting of the House of Bishops be called to effect this object in the month of Feb next! a season most inclement and in a city where influences of a partial character, (if we may judge from the past experience) so generally prevail. When I reflected on the helplessness of my own self in my world by circumstances being without salary from any source advanced in age & labouring under great infirmities of body such as require the constant attendance of personal friends more than doubling my expenses in travelling. I could not but view the requisition as unreasonable in the extreme: and that those who made it were blind to all the behests of Charity.

I am truly thankful that but four of our beloved Brethren are implicated in this matter and I have reason to pray that these four will ere long be convinced of their error and rejoice that their request is not granted.

For ti ought not to be granted even in the case of another’s signing the request deeming myself not restricted as to the length of time I may allow for the [next] before the Convention in Cincin’t as I stated to you in my yesterdays letter.

Considering this letter as confidential I shall say a few words and close my remarks on this effort of N. York to [hoist] their Degraded Bishop once more into the House of Bishops for that he has been pronounced such by a Majority of his peers is a fact on record. They add insult to injury in effecting their object. Dough faces we must all be considered if we receive the impression on our characters which they would make without a struggle to ward off the disgrace. Not a moment of peace would I enjoy were I to violate my conscience in terminating Bp. B.T.Os suspension which was virtually [Degration]. On this ground I stand: and no other can I occupy & be true to my vows to God and the life & prosperity of his Church and your sincere friend & faithful Ser’t in Christ

Phil’r Chase

Letter to Bishop Hopkins



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