William Sparrow



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Sparrow dislikes the General Convention's alterations to the prayer book, and is dismayed at the power and influence being given to the Diocese of New York. He reports that Brother Bronson will buy copies of the Episcopal Register to distribute and praises Mr. Smith.






Mr. Meade, Parson Johnston, Bishop Hobart, General Convention, Ohio Seminary, Bishop White, Philadelphia, Brother Bronson, Episcopal Register, Mr. Smith, Mr. Baldwin


Rev. and dear Brother

I did hope that you would, after your return from Philadelphia, take pity upon those, who tethered to a few square feet of pasture, are prevented from the enjoyment of a wider range and let us hear at last, of what is going on in the world beyond the mountains. Perhaps you will heed the excuse used in the gospel “I have married a wife.” If so, I submit, I will say nothing more about the past, but now that you are settled down in all composure & sedateness of married life, may I not hope that you will favour me with a few lines? Do tell me something of the great ecclesiasties [sic] whom you met at Philadelphia especially of the two [classes] into which they are unfortunately divided? Pray is Mr. Meade so totally unfit to be Bp. of [Pennsylvania] as some seem to think? Does he not seem quiet as much a man after God’s own heart as his learned competitor? How does Bp. Hobart seem to feel & how did he act? What was the general feeling towards poor, poor Ohio - that contemptible little flock in the wilderness? - Parson Johnston who has just written me, says that the Bp. has many friends among the “Radicals” (a new term to me & not very brotherly) but insinuates that he stands very low in the estimation of all others. His letter is filled with what this one & that one said about him & his proceedings. He seems very much taken with the Bp. of North. Carolina on whose opinions [the] [?] seems to have wrought so powerfully. He has given me some characteristic anecdotes concerning him.

Do tell me what you think of the most important measure of the Gen. Con.--the alterations of the prayer book. I tell you plainly I do not like them. If they were passed tomorrow, I should not avail myself of them once in an age.

Tell me also how you like the [?] Sunday School [Union]? So far as I know any thing about it, I am pretty well pleased, except with that part which puts it, like every thing else, under the principal control of the Diocese of New York. Not only the integrity & independence of every diocese, but a weight & influence proportioned to its standing, seems to me essential to the peace & prosperity of the Ch. & it is well worth consideration, whether so many general institutions confined, as it regards those who control its proceedings & give it its character to one city are not calculated to [throw] too much into one one scale & destroy the equilibrium of power. You will say, with a smile, that I am jealous of New York & you are right. I ever will be while she arrogates so much to herself & while she shows so little of the spirit of our [Lord] & Master--a spirit which [seeth] the good of souls more than its own [agrandosement].

I have just heard from the Bp. He was going on making collections & had obtained about $500 in Philadelphia. He does not say when he will leave it, or where he will go next. Bp. White, with whom he dined lately, drank the health of the Ohio Seminary, but with admirable consistency refused (when it was proposed by a friend) to let our dear Diocesan preach in his Church a sermon, recommending it to public patronage, which he had before delivered in Mr. Allen’s!! I believe the needle if let alone would turn to the proper point but N.Y. is a powerful magnet.

The Bp. has sent out to Steubenville a box or two of books for our school, I suppose, directed to your care. If so, pray forward them as soon as possible. We have already suffered much for the want of them.

I have just heard from Brother Bronson. He is married & is as happy as a King. He says the Brethren in Vermont have engaged to take 50 copies of our Periodical (in return for the patronage he has lent theirs) whenever it is issued. Pray can’t you get some subscribers for the Episcopal Register in Steubenville. It is only $1.00 per year & judging from the specimen I saw most ably edited. If I mistake not Mr. Smith is one of our best & most gifted men. He seems a firm & yet liberal churchman--just the kind I like. I have just heard from or rather of Mr. Baldwin. He is engaged to preach half his time for 2 years in Zanesville, the other half is to be devoted to Newark & Granville. Between them all he is to get upwards of $600.00 per ann. This was joyful intelligence to me. The people in Worthington had made an arrangement with Mr. Wing which precluded all hopes of his settling here & I feared that he would return to New York in disgust.

This, like all my epistles, is written in great haste. But a friend can write in haste as well as any other way, & I pray you to accept it sorry as it is, as coming from such. I want, Dear Sir, to have more frequent communication with you, for my own sake & the sake of the Ch. Please present my best respects to Mrs. Morse & Mr. Wells & accept those of your friend & brother in [?]

Wm. Sparrow.

Letter to Intrepid Morse



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