Alfred Lee



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Have you received proposed letter from Presiding Bishop to Southern Bishops? Bishop of Georgia (at Polk's funeral) justifies course of the sword. Declares the Church did not have part of War. I will have no part of this.




letter, Lee, McIlvaine, church


Wilmington. June 29th / 65

My Rt. Rev. & Dear Brother

You have no doubt received as well as myself, a draft of a letter, from the Presiding Bishop, proposed to be addressed to the Southern Bishops. May I ask for a free statement of your opinion on this movement? However desirous of peace and unity, I confess that I entertain a strong reluctance to affix my name to such a paper. It will be sent, among others, to the Bishop of Georgia. You, I presume, have seen his funeral address at the burial of Bp. Polk (published in the [?] Witness of June 2. / 65) in which, in the strongest terms, & with full deliberation, he justifies the course of our unfortunate brother in taking the sword - and wherein he hurls against the loyal Bishops and Clergy of the M.S. denunciations unsurpassed in any Papal Bulls or Anathema. Is the author of such a vituperation to be welcomed back to his place in our Councils without retracting or apologizing for his abusive and slanderous accusations? Is he not really more culpable than Bp. Polk himself?

The averment moreover, that “the Church to which it is our happy privilege to belong, had no part, direct or indirect, in producing the melancholy conflict”, is, to my mind, untrue. The Church at the South by her current teachings on ^ The subject of ^ slavery, by promoting sectional hatred, and by rushing with indecent haste into the assumption of Southern independence, had a great deal to do with producing and sustaining the conflict. Next to the leaders of the Conspiracy no class of men have a heavier responsibility than those Bishops and Clergy. Are we to be drawn individually into such action as shall preclude us from full examination of these delicate and highly responsible questions when we meet?

Hoping to hear from you soon and fully, I shall defer for the present my answer to the Circular

Affly your bro in Christ,

Alfred Lee

Bp McIlvaine

Letter to Charles P. McIlvaine



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