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Excerpt from Bp. Griswold's address convincing House of Bishops of the need for Episcopal missionaries in the West.




Windsor, VT


Bp. Griswold, Bp. Chase, William H Wilmers, House of Bishops, Council of Clerical and lay deputies, J.L.Hall, Franklin, Windsor


Extract from Bishop Griswolds address B’ the [5th] convention of the Eastern Diocese at Windsor Vermont — 1823. “The common objection to foreign [missions], that and own citizens require our utmost and undivided Efforts, tho’ weighty and worth of music attention, is more than balanced by other considerations. It is like pleasing that words of our family in excuse for our giving nothing in charity: not considering that almsgiving, in proportion to our ability, or the duty of all - they, generally, [soho] are most charitable, best provide for their own families; and have most reason to hope that God will continue to them the means. And it is a fect very much to the purpose, that those of the [various] denominations of Christians who do most for foreign missions, do most also for those at Home. To determine that foreign Nations shall not by our Efforts hear the gospel at all, till all the people of our own Country hear it Every week, or till our own Nations is fully supplied, is not consistent with the principles of Christianity: it is in Effort to determine that the gospel shall forever be confined within its present limits — Christina Charity required us to give something not only from the abundance, but Even from the [?] of our Table, to feed those who are perishing with hunger. Those to whom we may send the Gospel never while they live will hear the doctrines of life Salvation, if be [?] to send it — during the last century these were in England no small number of people for whose spiritual wants the national church did not effectually provide: but that was no valid objection against the formation of the Society for the propagation of the gospel in foreign parts; or to its making hose generous and noble efforts of which we are still reaping the blessed fruits — Some Christian zeal is diffused like the rays of light in every direction; its beams indeed are shed more profusely on nearest objects, yet they extend to regions the most remote …

Let us not forget that we have committed to us the same gospel, which Apostles and Evangelists, at the risk of their lives, proclaimed through all the world — they thought no sacrifice of time or goods, or ease or safety, too great to make in such a cause …

Mankind, in this their fallen state, are inclined to wickedness, and one naturally opposed to the doctrines of Christ, and a Godly life — There is less, and after all we can do, there will be less, of virtue and the Knowledge of the scriptures, and the practice of piety, than is desirable, and even necessary to our best happiness in this world, and eternal life in future state — We cannot in any prudence trust to the existing demand — the natural or general desire of mankind, for righteousness and faith and the love of God — without the instruction of parents and other teachers, without the restraint of laws and government, mankind would be intolerably wicked. And except means [were] provided and measures taken to instruct men in Christianity, and persuade them to a religious life, the knowledge of God, would rapidly decline — we may add that, in regard to worldly things, the demand and of course the efforts to Obtain them increase in proportion to their wants or deficiency — In religion the fact is just the reverse; the less of virtue or piety, or Christian Knowledge men have, the less will they desire and seek for it. If then it is important that men should live well; that they should know their spiritual state; that they should receive the doctrines of eternal life, and live as Christians; it is equally important that the Gospel should be sent to them, and means be provided for its regular ministrations — … Religious instruction tends more than anything, perhaps more than all things besides, to the promotion of “all virtue and Godliness of living” to the increase of peace on Earth, and goodwill towards men parts of the History of St James’ church Greenfield — Vermont — Previous to the year 1812 there were 3 or 4 families of Episcopalians in the Town of Greenfield, but they had not thought of organizing themselves into a society, or attempting to perform service according to the rules and order of the church — they had been visited at their per’n request by the Rev’ Mr Raquer of Hartford Connect: on the 29th of june 1803. Who baptised and … these Baptisms were the first Episcopal Services ever performed in what is now the county of Franklin — X on the 24th of Sep’t 1812 the Rev Mr Chase, of Hartford Conn: and now Bishop of Ohio visited Greenfield, performed divine service and baptized several children — on the [Event] of the 25th he preached a lecture at the house of the Rev’d J.L Hall — at this time a Society was organized and articles of agreement signed by five persons [vig] … More portienders follow and mention of the visits of two other clergymen at different times — and a contribution being made towards Building a church — then “on the 6th of May 1813. The Rev’d Mr chase again visited the parish, and performed service and preached several times — on the 10th of the same month he laid with due impressive Solemnity the Corner stone of a church — from this time the building was prosecuted with vigour, the members of the parish having subscribed with great liberality to the undertaking — … In sep’t following the Rev’d Mr. Chase officiated again at the house of Mr Hall — the church was finished and consecrated by Bp Griswold on the 31st of August 1814 — at which time 44 persons were Confirmed — [?] 1823, there are 65 families and more than 50 Communicants in the parish —


Conclusion of the report of the general convention 1823

“In conclusion, the Hose of Clerical and lay deputies [w’d] respectfully invite the attention of the House of Bishops to the fact that many churches are with’t Pastors: that in the West there exists a large body of Episcopalians, who are as sheep without a shepherd: that our Missionary Societies are comparatively inefficient for want of Missionaries: and in fine that it is Emphatically time as it respects our church that the harvest is plenteous but the labourers are few — the House of Clerical and lay deputies respectfully request the House of Bishops to suggest such measures as may serve to them the best adapted to secure to this church an increase of faithful and capable ministers. In making the preceding statement, the House of Clerical and lay deputies [solicit] the prayers and blessings of the House of Bishops, and respectfully request their counsel in a pastoral letter to the members of the church —

Signed in behalf of the House of Clerical and lay deputies,

William H Wilmer, President

Philadelphia May 24 1823

Excerpts from Bp Griswold’s Address 1823

Excerpt from Bp. Griswold's address to the Convention of Eastern Diocese



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