Letter to Bishop White


Letter to Bishop White


Rev. W. Ward



After giving an account of Bp. Chase's success in England, Rev. Ward inquires about why he has resigned his Bishopric and been dismissed from Kenyon College. He hopes that Chase will be enabled to form a new diocese and found another seminary.




Bishop of Sodor and Mann, Bishop Hobart, Mr. Bowdler, Mr. Marriott, Lord Kenyon, Dr. Gaskin, House of Bishops, Trustees, Lake Erie, Michigan, Bishop Chase, Philander Chase


Bishops Court - Isle of Mann

Sept. 23 - 1833

My venerable & Right Rev. Brother

You may be surprised to receive an address from the Bishop of Sodor & Mann; but I cannot refrain from communicating with you on a subject very interesting to my mind. - I have taken warm interest in the affairs of the American Protestant Episcopal Church. I have looked upon it as a section of our own Church, emanating from Lambeth, whence you derive your Apostolic commission. I have during the last seven years been mainly instrumental in raising the Funds that gave foundation & finish to Kenyon College in Ohio. - The Bishop of Ohio, after a few months’ sojourn amongst us, left such an impression of affection & veneration on the hearts of old & young of all ranks & degrees amongst us, in Church & state, as can never be effaced; and every account we received and frequently we did receive accounts of the progress & success & completion, of Kenyon College, was received with an interest as lively as we should feel in the founding of a College in our own Diocese.

I must give you a short sketch of some circumstances attending his mission in this Country. On his arrival in London he found every door shut against him. He found that a Brother Bishop, Bp. Hobart of New York, had prejudiced every Bishop on the Bench, and many of the leading dignitaries of the Church against him. He had even placed [hard] bills in many Bookseller’s shops & places of public resort, cautioning the public against a schismatical American Bishop, who was shortly to arrive in England, to raise money for the founding of a Theological Seminary in the State of Ohio, unconnected with the House of Bishops. This barred every door against him, and for some months he remained in London as much alone as if he had been dropped in the deserts of Arabia, disconsolate & desponding; but by a remarkable kind Providence raised up a host of Friends almost instantaneously. The Daughter of a Scotch Bishop arriving in London at the house of a friend, enquired if there were anything new taking place in the affairs of the Church; and upon being answered that it was said two American Bishops had arrived, the Bp. of New York and the Bp. of Ohio, to raise money for the spiritual exigencies of their respective Dioceses, the replied that that was very remarkable - for that her Friend, Mr. Bowdler, on his death-bed a few months before, hearing of the hard labour of the Bp. of Ohio, & the deplorable want of Presbyters under him, as stated in one of our Periodical Papers - said to her - I am persuaded that that Bishop will one day come over to this Country, to raise money to supply his wants, and if so, you will be so good as to give him this €10 BankNote. She therefore requested her Friend Mr. Marriott to find him out - and after some days of unsuccessful enquiring, a tall, striking, episcopal looking person caught his eye, standing against a window on the first floor on the opposite side of the street. Judging that this was no ordinary person he knocked at the door, & enquired if the Bp. of Ohio were there - Yes Sir, was the reply, he is upstairs. If an Angel had come from above to support & console him, and lead him out of his distress, he could not have been more sensible of his being sent by his merciful God in the hour of need, than he was upon hearing the motives of the visit, & receiving an invitation to his house that this gentleman was sent by the same overruling Providence. In short, this gentleman, Mr. Marriott, with Lord Kenyon & Dr. Gaskin, secretary of the Society for promoting Xtian Knowledge, being convinced by authentic documents wh. the Bishop produced, that his object was good, and his mission sanctioned by some of the most distinguished of his Brethren, & that all his views were perfectly legitimate, adopted his cause, undeceived the Bench of Bishops, gave their distinguished names as his Trustees, drew him forth into notice which was all that was required; for wherever he came he was received with veneration & respect, & carried such a career of success as is very rare during the 3 or 4 months that he remained after his first introduction by these Gentlemen

What I am anxious, and it is the object of this letter to learn, is the cause of Bp. Chase’s resigning his Bishopric, & being dismissed from Kenyon College? for this I understand is the case, and that he is now driven to seek a shelter in the uncultivated wilderness somewhere towards Lake Erie or in the territory of Michigan. I can hardly conceive a harder lot than that of the Bishop who, after founding a Diocese & forming a great Seminary of learning in the Wilderness - single-handed - after many years of an anxious & laborious life, is suspended & supplanted by Members of the College of his own fostering, who, as it is understood here, raised up a conspiracy from the macchinations [sic] of which he was obliged to take shelter in the Wilderness. I judge how I should feel myself if I were expelled from the College & 7 new Churches wh. I have erected since I came to this Diocese, 5 years ago - unpitied & unprotected by the majority of my Brethren Had Bp. Chase attempted any thing schismatical, I should be the last man to defend him; but if, [?] as it always has been represented to us, he put his College under the visitatorial power of the House [?] [?] and framed its Constitution in every respect consistently with the Unity of the Church [?] cannot see how Kenyon Coll. should justly excite any jealousy on the part of Bp. [?] or any other American Bishop. The whole Church should rather rejoice & thank God for such a great blessing as Kenyon Coll. must be to the present generation & to many generations yet unborn. If you can keep pace with your new populations in [?] your Churches & Schools of learning, your Church will rapidly gather strength, & become the Salvation of the New World. I am, together with many of the early friends of Kenyon Coll. very anxious to know the cause or causes that brought about this sad change in the condition of Bp. Chase, wh. seems to us so hard & cruel. Bp. Chase is so far from being a schismatic that I understand that he has not, or will not, do any Episcopal Office without the sanction of the House of Bishops - that is, unless he is appointed by them to a new Bishopric. There is such a sympathy for him here, that I am persuaded, if his character were cleared, & if he still retained the good opinion, & his conduct merited the approbation of the House of Bishops, he might be enabled to form a new Diocese, & found another Seminary by the aid of his Friends in Old England.

We should all feel indebted to you if you gave us some information upon this subject And if your eyes are dim, like mine, in your extended old age, you can like me, employ an Amanuensis.

Praying God to prosper all your labours - to spread your Church far & wide over the New World - to grant you the Kingdom of Heaven -

I am - my dear & Rt. Rev. Brother - your faithful Friend in Christ Jesus

W. Sodor & Mann

Letter to Bishop White



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