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Concerning the possibility of an Asst. Bishop and the qualifications such a man should have.


KMcI 590510




letter, McIlvaine, Wharton


Elyria, May 10, ‘59

My Dear Mr. Wharton:

AS you are the only one who has introduced the matter of an Assistant Bishop to me since I went to Europe, I will communicate a little that is now on my mind to you as to that matter—not to speak of other reasons, for which I have special facility in writing to you on so delicate a subject. … If I am to have an Assistant to give me real relief, of course it must be one in whose harmony of views, spirit, and policy, I can justly rely. How many good men might be selected, in whom there would be peculiarities that would give uneasiness instead of the reverse. Again, the welfare of the Diocese, its position as to the whole Church, and the position of the College and Seminary before the Church, require, on the part of the Assistant and my successor, such a character, that there will be no letting down, no moderating away, no indistinctness or indecision as to those features of doctrine, action, influence which have placed Ohio where it now is. We can gain nothing by more moderation, less positiveness, more churchiness,—less prayermeetingness, etc. I have learned in three quarters that some talk of —. I do not know who thus talk. It may be they imagine that such a middle man might carry with the evangelical men, and thus they would secure eventually what they want—one of whom they hope that the mitre and antagonism would make him go up higher. I hope there will be no looking after any such man, and I hope popularity of talents will have but a subordinate and very subordinate influence in the choice; last of all the consideration of a man’s having means of supporting himself to some extent. Our standard is at the mast-head now, and has always been, and to that we owe all. It must not come down on inch to please anybody, or gain anything. Such as —, I think a good deal of, and probably he would be a good choice in New Jersey—as good as he could be arrived at there,—to avoid much worse—but we must have a more house-top man,—one who is more grown a great deal in the stature of gospel strength, and boldness and decidedness for Christ are the great qualifications.

Yrs. very affect’ly,

C.P. McIlvaine

Letter to Francis Wharton



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