Bishop Bedell



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Subject: Turner




letter, McIlvaine, Bedell, Turner


For Mr. Turner

1.Why was an atonement necessary in order to forgiveness?

2.How are those [?] to be understood which represent God as being angry opposed to?

3.How can you prove that the atonement of Christ is so perfect, that it needs no repetition?

4.What is meant by the Intercession of Christ?

5.Who are the subjects of our Lord’s Intercession?

6.What are the several senses of the Lord Prophet, & how far are they applicable to Christ?

7.What is the difference between sanctification & justification?

8.How do you define prayer?

9.How do you understand the precept, “Pray without ceasing”?

10.Can the doctrine of the Resurrection be established by unaided reason?

What advice would you give to a person who believes that he is a pardoned sinner, but has no spiritual enjoyment?

What would be your course of instruction to one who requested to be confirmed; you not knowing at all the state of the person’s mind?

What are the grounds of your belief in the system of government by Bishops?

What do you know of Triumph; of Latimer; of Bishop [Muto]?

Washington D.C.

July 5th 1862

Rt Rev

My dear Bishop,

We have come round by B & Q.R.R. & this place, in order that I might see with my own eyes the desolations of war upon my beloved seminary. I hope to go there God willing on Monday.

We are in the midst of rumors. Every thing seems going on as usual, and I hear no fears openly expressed. It is all strange to me who have been so quietly pursuing the usual routine ever since the war broke out.

Mr. Bedell writes with me in kindest regards to yourself & all at Clifton to be attended to before the Thursday [?]. Finding the responsibility entirely thrown upon me (previously to those written answers) I could not hesitate to decline for the present to ordain him: and to advise him to serve Christ as a Layman.

These written answers have so far modified my judgment, that I would advise you to see and examine him. I have referred him to you. I do not see in him the proper qualifications for a Minister. I believe he has piety, & a desire to do good. He was (according to his own account) successful as a superintendent of [Seminary] Schools, but he has exhibited no particular aptitude for this or any other labor during his Seminary course.

I feel great compassion for him: for his studies have been pursued under much trial, & with [?] loss. Still we must not allow judgment to be warped by feelings of compassion; & must not forget that, even his losses seem to have been the result of indiscreet management. I am afraid of incapable drones.

With no other desire than that our blessed Lord may be served by the best of men, I commend the case to you.

[?] [?]

G. J. Bedell

Rt. Rev. Dr. McIlvaine.

The case of Mr. [?] Turner has given me great anxiety. Both Dr. Smith & Mr. [Sherry] have freely expressed their doubts as to his ability for the ministry; & this for more than two years. The [?] [?] have continued aiding him with reluctances. Some prejudices existed against him on the part of fellow students & others, as to his entire integrity - at any rate, his high sense of right. These could not be traced to any thing very positive; still they could not but weigh on my mind.

This examination was entirely unsatisfying. We gave him a second examination, [leaning] that he might have been confused by the publicity of the first. At the second he did worse. He failed to give any clear answer to the plainest questions on the atonement, [justification], sanctification - the way of salvation, mixing regeneration & forgiveness & election in much confusion - having no idea or rather expressing no clear idea on the subjects. The result was both of the Professors refused to present him except for ordination under the new Canon. I had conversation with him subsequently, & to my astonishment he had not even perceived that we were dissatisfied, but thoguht he had passed successfully.

I then gave him another trial by written questions, which he has answered as he asserts without referring to his books. These answers are enclosed, and are satisfactory. If I had not examined him verbally, these would have satisfied me.

However they came too late.

Answers to Questions [?] to Mr Turner.


We are informed by the Word of God that man is and has been a trans[?] of the Divine law. This law was published by God as a rule by wh[ich] He would govern the world. God saw fit in His infinite wisdom to enact it, and therefore the same right may be advanced in support of that law being maintained. Now, upon this principle, no sinner can consistently be forgiven unless on the ground of the atonement. The language of the law is positive “The Soul that sinneth it shall die.” If the sinner was pardoned upon any other principle than that laid down by the law, God’s wisdom and rectitude [would] be subjected to the change of a change of views in relation to the law that was published. It is true He [could] have forgiven without an atonement, but so far as the finite mind is capable of judging, it cannot perceive that the law would be vindicated.


They must be understood metaphorically. When God is said to be angry, it conveys the idea that He will surely visit the wicked with the calamities [which] fall upon them on account of their wickedness. When he is said to be appeased [?] the [?] is to be understood in an accommodated sense, ie, using language by [which] certain things are brought down to a level with our capacities.


By the death of Christ Salvation has been purchased for his chosen Prophets. This salvation was without any ground or merit of their own, [however] it was perfect because it was the cause and ground of their forgiveness. Man can not do anything towards procuring salvation, nor anything [which] renders him deserving of the Divine favor, or that gives him any claim whatever to it on the ground of justice- The Atonement - has been once made , it is sufficient and so perfect that all the desired ends of it have been accomplished, and [?] the work is so perfect that it needs no repetition.


That Christ is now interceding for us in the Heavenly Sanctuary, but how, we are not informed.


All his Elect Children.


In its common acceptation it is understood to mean a person who [protects] future events; and also to signify a person who spoke by Divine inspiration. It was also used to denote a search and interpreted by some of the Jews to be an Orator or eloquent speaker, and again by others as a man to whom God has rives led sweet things.

The term is applicable to Christ, because in Him were combined all the attributes above referred, to, in the highest sense, by St’s suffering and death, He taught as a messenger from God.


Justification is a judicial act. Sanctification is a progressive work of a moral nature, the one precedes the quiet of sin, the other follows, the one removes the quiet of sin, the other removes the pollution of sin.


It is the offering up of our desires to God for things agreeable to HIs will, in the name of Jesus Christ as our only mediation, and by the aid of the Holy Spirit, these desires must be accompanied with a confession of our sins, a truly heartfelt remembrance and thankful acknowledgement of all the mercies wh[ich] Our Heavenly Father has bestowed upon us.


That stated times of prayer should be observed, and that we should continue instant in that duty, that prayer [should] take the precedence in all our undertakings, wh[ich] will help us in all our lawful business and every good work.


The doctrine of the Resurrection cannot be established by unaided reason, it is one of pure revelation. Reason on the contrary does not suggest, but rather seems to think it incredible.

These answers have been prepared in accordance with Bishop Bedell’s request. Time will not permit me to prepare the answers to the second series of questions this [Evening], will do so in the morning.



Rt. Rev. G. L. Bedell D D.

1. I would, in the first place, make the case one of spiritual prayer for guidance, secondly, I would carefully probe his case, and ascertain what are the grounds of his belief that he is a pardoned sinner, if they were correct, and yet wanting in spiritual enjoyment, would make known to him the Gospel plan of salvation, urging him to make it a subject of deep and earnest prayer to God through Jesus Christ and imploring the aid of the Holy Spirit to enlighten his mind, and not cease in his petitions to the throne of grace, fully relying upon the precious [?] that “Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.”

2. My first course would be to ascertain if he possessed the necessary qualifications, [?] Intellectual and Spiritual, especially the latter. I would pursue a course of instructions setting forth the facts that the Rite was one of Divine institution of Apostolic practice, and designed to be a standing and perpetual ordinance, and the one appointed by our beloved Church by [which] a [procession] of Christ is made before men. I would, upon every occasion make it a subject of earnest prayer to the throne of Grace that I shed present no one for this sacred rite, but those in whom I had every confidence that they were born again.

I believe in the system of Ch. Government by Bishops, as the only [true] one and my grounds of belief are the Scriptures in connection with the writings and testimony of the early Fathers.

[Quingle] was a native of Switzerland, the exact year of his birth I do not remember, think it about 1478. He was early consecrated to the Church, and at an early age admitted to its ministry. A few years after being desirous of ascertaining the true interpretation of Scripture, and ascertain if the views held by the Ch. of Rome were correct or not, he [?] gave himself to the study of the [N] [S] Scriptures, which resulted in his decision that the Ch. of Rome was in error. He drew up his views in a series of articles, and also published some works in opposition to them. His opinions were widely circulated throughout his native land wh[ich] resulted in a civil war between the [patrists] and his followers, in which he was killed while acting in the capacity of Chaplain in the prime of life. He may be safely considered as the Champion of the Reformation in Switzerland, and one whose memory will always be dear to the natives of that country, not only for his natural talents, and deep piety, but for the bold stand he took in the defense of the truth as it is in Jesus.

[?] was an Englishman by birth. His age to the best of my knowledge about ten years younger than that of [Quingle], received his education at Christ’s College Cambridge. He was a zealous [patrist] until about the age of fifty, at which time he became a equally zealous champion for Protestantism. During the reign of Henry the VIII he was appointed by the Monarch to the Bishop[?] of Worcester, but upon the [?] of the six articles resigned his office as Bishop, for wh[ich] act he was persecuted and imprisoned - he remained in imprisonment until the accession of Edward the VI when he was set at liberty but did not resume his position as Bishop - continuing to preach in decided and bold terms in the cause of the Reformation he was again imprisoned by many and condemned to die at the stake, his martyrdom took place about twenty years after his appointment as Bishop. A beautiful feature in his character was the adornment of the doctrines he preached in the pursuit by his daily work and conversation.

When the subject of obtaining more Bishops for the increasing demands of the Ch after the Consecration of Bp [Seaberry] (wh[ich] was obtained in Scotland) was agitated, a correspondence took place between those so desirous and the proper authorities in England wh[ich] resulted so amicably and favorable to the interests of the Ch. that a Convention was held in Philadelphia either in May or June 1786 at wh[ich] Resolutions were adopted to the effect that conformity would be adhered to so far as position and the circumstance connected with the Change of Government would permit. These Resolutions were approved of and at a subsequent Convention held in the following Oct wh[ich] was represented by Delegates from various Churches the Rev Dr Provost of NY was elected as Bp for that state and the Rev Dr White of Phil Chase for the state of Pa. They left in a short time for London, upon their arrival were introduced to the Bp by the American Minister. After a delay of about three weeks they were Consecrated at Lambeth Place by the Rev Archbishop Moore of Canterbury, being presented by the Archbishop of York. They again took passage for the US and arrived on Easter Sunday of teh following year, about the beginning.

To Charles Petit McIlvaine



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