Rev. W. Ward



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Fragment of a letter in which Rev. Ward discusses the harmful effects that fighting with Bishop Hobart has had on Chase's success in raising funds in England. Ward also recounts a meeting in which he experienced further opportunity for schism within the Church and warns Chase against embracing such opposition.




Mr. Norris, Bishop Hobart, American Episocopal Church, Church of England, Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, Colchester, Bishop of London, Archdeacon of Colchester, Mohawks, Norrisians


Second Sheet

as the travels of St. Paul, while there is not a trace of his footsteps remaining, except at the door of Mr. Norris, who is now doing all he can to obliterate them. I am very sorry there is one Bishop in the world capable of preaching & publishing such a slander of his Mother Church of whose bounty & hospitality he had so lately partaken. If we had merited his censure, it was not the way to mend us to publish our faults & failings to the world; nor was it likely to improve the hearts of his own people, to fill them with contempt for us; & [crossed out] fill them up with spiritual pride of their own superiority. His only object could be to raise himself in the good opinion of his people by flattering their vanity: but I should be sorry to entertain so mean an opinion of them, as to think he had gained his end. He has shown himself a bad politician in both countries. Honesty is the best policy; & meekness & Christian love the truest wisdom. This, we are told, is the way to inherit the earth as well as Heaven; & this was never more strongly verified than in the case of the Bishops Chase & Hobart. Had he taken you by the hand – Had you both come over hand in glove, side by side, & told your Mother Church your respective wants, the wants of our own Daughter episcopal church in East & West of North America, you would have carried the hearts of the whole Bench of Bishops, & every episcopal heart, laity & & Clergy, & they would have opened their treasures of books, money, blessings, & love to you both. Had you both commenced your career thus on your first landing in England, I am confident you might have raised in the united Kingdom, during the time you spent here, not so little as £50,000 - fifty thousand pounds! & at least one thousand efficient friends. At first, before I knew you, when I heard of the arrival of American Bishops, it was the American episcopal church that interested me, not this individual Bishop or that; and this was the general feeling. Bishop Hobart injured the general cause grievously. He injured your success more than you are aware of. Numbers here, of good men said, “These two American Bishops have come over here to fight; we will have nothing to say to them or their object,” & so you missed many a good friend. I have not seen Bp Hobart’s sermon; but I find he has reported us as a very degenerate race. We have nothing to boast of. May God make us better. At the same time I think we may stand the comparison not only with America but with any other society this day in the world. The Church of England has in this day hosts of enemies, abroad & at home, & so had the ark in the days of Noah, who were ready to pull it to pieces & set fire to it, while he was building it; but I trust that the same God who preserved the Ark, will interpose for the preservation of this Church, that his people may receive all those means of Grace which are requisite to prepare them for his heavenly kingdom. O Lord save thy people, & bless their heritage. Govern them and lift them up forever.

Thanks be to God, the spiritual weapons always prevail in the end over the [?], even in this world. You have only to return blessings from your heart. This will bring peace to your own mind, & may one day melt down his; & what is the great object of your heart, bring Glory to God & good to his Church. Remember Mary’s music – peace – peace – peace! This was what she put into your mouth, & expressed sweetly & softly on the instrument. This part of Mary’s music I am sure you will not forget. But it is impossible not to laugh at what went immediately before – hubbub! hubbub! hubbub! We must smile at it, while we are sorry for it, on account of the sacred order.

Since I wrote the the above, I have been in a situation where your example of “peace, peace, peace,” was of great use to me, & of infinite pervice to the good cause I had in hand. You are doubtless well acquainted with one of the oldest societies in our Church – The Soc. for the propagation of the Gospel in Foreign parts, the Society to which you owe your origin & which supplies all the clergy in our North American Colonies, & has lately extended its benevolent operations to the heathen in the East Indies, new Holland, & elsewhere, in short the oldest & most efficient society of the kind in the protestant world. I have been long very desirous of seeing a branch of it established in Colchester, & by getting the Bishop of London & the Archdeacon of Colchester on my side when his Lordship was on his visitation with us about a fortnight ago, I accomplished my object of calling a meeting of the Clergy the week after, in the very room in the Castle which you cannot forget. At first the Archdeacon was afraid ti would be useless, because he said the ground was preoccupied by the church Missionary, & Bible, & Jews Societies; but when I pledged myself that the members of those would become zealous members of this, he & the Bishop consented. You must know that all the Norrisians, & they are ten to one, who call themselves “high Church,” “orthodox,” & so on are desperately hostile to all the above 3 societies; and you must know that I do not, never did, nor ever will join the extreme partisans on either side, but with the blessing of God, will ever cooperate with both in every good work that is carried on with canonical regularity. I therefore belong to all these societies, & do everything in my power to suppress wrong feelings & promote kindly ones on both sides. The Norrisians however are not pleased with me for cooperating with the other side in any of their works, & yet they are obliged to apply to me when the want the assistance of the party in any favourite undertaking of theirs. This was the case in the present instance. They could not move a step in this object without the personal & cordial help of the Church Missionary leaders. With them I have had sufficient influence to obtain their heart, voice, & money to set the good work agoing, your amiable friend [Marsh] at the head of them. Well, what I wish to tell you is what happened at the meeting. The Archdeacon was in the chair, & having put the first [?] into my hand, I got up to advocate the cause by stating the good that the Society had done, & was doing, & the inadequacy of its funds to carry on the vast world it had undertaken – to show the unknowable blessing that it has been to the world, I gave a very striking instance of it, by reading your letter respecting the Mohawks. I went on to urge zeal & activity in our respective parishes, & I quoted you as a striking instance of successful zeal in a good cause. I then referred to your meeting a few of us in that room, the impression that you & your cause had made upon our best feelings &c. Just here, a rude Norrisian interrupted me with a [volley] of passion, which I bore unmoved without retorting a cross word. I left it to the chair to settle for me, which indeed the A’deacon did in the handsomest manner, by approving of all I had spoken, & desiring that I should go on. I did go on, nor did I fail to inform the company of all the great things you had undertaken & the success you have had, by God’s blessing & the means we had put in your hands; the good Bishop’s & his peoples gratitude towards us, & our obligation to him for the apostolic example he had set us & the love & veneration that he had left in our hearts, that we considered it a great privilege to have had a hand in so great & good a work, & for so great & good a man. The tide ran in my favour, & before the meeting broke up a public apology was made by the poor weak unhappy man that had given way to such a bad spirit. Had I resented the insult, as he justly merited, & not his angry bitter spirit with bitterness again, we should have kindled such a flame as would have set the two parties by the ears, & blown up the blessed cause in its very tender infancy. But I remembered the peaceful temper of a living character in a similar case & similar cause, & kept my temper, for which I have got the thanks of every real friend of the institution, & the approbation of my own mind, and I thank the God of peace for enabling me to subdue my own unruly will & passion on the occasion. I kept my temper & the Devil was silenced.

Now I consider that there cannot be a stronger proof that this is a good work that the Devil attempted to prostrate its establishment. He endeavoured to destroy the Great Head of the Church in the beginning, & there never has been a work undertaken since the days of Adam that has the Salvation of Souls for its object, that the Devil has not endeavoured to smother in its cradle, & his method from the beginning has been to raise Brother against Brother, & create schism, opposition, hatred, & dissatisfaction in the Church. But

[Fragment ends here]

Letter to Philander Chase



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