Download Full Text (2.3 MB)






letter, McIlvaine, Wittingham


Cinc. March 30, 1861

My dear Bishop,

Your kind letter transferring Mr. Jenks, I have read and now write to say that it is accepted and he is transferred.

I hope you are seeing more and more hope as to the political state of things in Maryland. The country owes very much to the leadership of Governor Hicks. He kept his anchorage and [?] held on. Had he drafted, and he would have drafted, and all the fleet of Border Slave States would have gone ashore. It is a most humiliating trial, all this storm, to our trust in governments. Consent is not law, and therefore cannot be government. But I do not see that politically we can have any other. But what if we are to be invaded in the Church by that doctrine of consent and secession– where then is the wrong of [?]? The duty of [?]– the force of discipline? The faculty with which the Southern Bishops (especially Bishop Polk) seem to have taken it for granted that political secession, required ecclesiastical, and to have adopted the supremacy of the state over the union of the Church is damning. I do not see why if our church general union (of diocese) may be there unified, by the will of a majority, [?] any applied to or [?] of the consent of all – why a part of a [?] may not take the analogous step. At least it is very credible that such part may infer its right to do so.

The great lesson is – less dependance on man’s arrangements – more reliance on the inward life of spiritual religion binding heart to heart in the living [?] of the True [?], under the power of the Holy Ghost.

I remain, dear Bishop, affectionately your friend and brother.

Charles P. McIlvaine

Letter to Bishop Whittingham



Rights Statement

No Copyright - United States