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Cornerstone paper; altar; wearing vestaments in procession
letter, McIlvaine, Bedell
McIlvaine, Charles Pettit, "Letter to Bishop Bedell" (1863). Charles Pettit McIlvaine Letters. 331.
River between Marietta & Wheeling. Boat shaky & hence the writing.
Monday Ap. 20, 1863
I suppose if you went to Chicago, you will be home when this reaches Gambier. I have been unable to get to Gallipolis & [Pomeroy]. I staid three days at [Ironton] waiting for a boat & then had to go back to [Portsmouth] & take the R.R. to [Marietta] or lose my appointment there. I spent Saturday & Sunday there. Fortunately a transient boat has come to-day which will enable me to get to Steubenville in time. I have consented to [?] in [?] [Brooke Co] [?], & would have done so in Wheeling had the [Rector] & [?] [requested]. As I have in manner of doubt that Bp. Wh[?] has cut himself off from them by forsaking the Church to which they belong, & [is in more there Bishop] than is the Bp. of Oxford. I have declined going to the corner [stoning] at [Warren]. The [Fast] day makes it impossible to do so before the Sunday, when I am to be in St. W[?] Cleavland May 3 & to do it the following week when the [Convocation] is called would too much delay me on my way to N.Y. for which I have but just time enough. I hope you will go. Abbott wrote to know if he should request the clergy to bring their [surplices]; for a procession  I wrote in such a way as would stop such folly were he to expect us. What may be done when he does not expect us I know not, but such [parades] we must not allow, where we [preside]. I should not wear my Episcopal robes, partly because I don’t think they should ever be seen in the streets, & partly because I avoid such such display whenever I can because to lay a corner stone is not an episcopal function or even exclusively clerical. A lay man can do it as rightfully as a minister. The Architect of the new Ch. drew an altar. Not supposing such to have been actually done, but thinking it well to preoccupy. I wrote Abbott saying if the Architect should do it put your veto in it, supposing that would be enough. He wrote [evidently] [?] (in a good spirit however) that his mind & [taste] are that way & that had I not been there beforehand, he would have had an altar & there would have been trouble. My only fear now is that something will be adopted so neutral that it can not well be made a point of, & yet an [?] & uncandid endeavour to evade my objection & get something as [near] an altar & as [unlike] a [table] as can be allowed. I want you to use influence as to that.
I saw at Marietta the last Western Episcopalian & have telegraphed to [Edmonson] to change the last direction in the Fast Day Service which being all taken from that of the [late] [Gen.] [Conv.], when there was no sermon, contains three words [calculated] to [mislead]. By omitting the words “[Then] shall follow,” it will be all right. I wish you would see that the change is made in the paper & in the pamphlet [form], if the copies have not been already sent out. The Editorial in that [number] in Butler’s Analogy as introduced by an extract from the L[?] Record alarms me. I cannot imagine who could have written it. I don’t like it because of its unjust depreciations of the Analogy, because of its evident leaning to German [states] of [mind] in theology & philosophy ([mental]) in [preference] to the English, in other words to deductive “subjectivity” ([barbarous] word) in [preference] to inductive “objectivity” which means to German speculation in [preference] to the Newtonian or Baconian induction. Kant [professed?] to Reid. I don’t like the praise given to Kant & Coleridge as religious philosoph[isers], over such so called “realism” as that of Butler & the English school of divinity in general. Much of the writers’ meaning I do not profess to see, but what I do see & what I suppose to be intended when I do not see, [savours] very disagreeably to my taste of precisely that [form] of German philosophy which makes the basis of their rationalism; which his at the root of the scepticism of the [Essays & Reviews], & prepares the way for the rejection of all these “objective” evidences of Christianity on which our Lord so prominently rested his claim to be believed.
But the [?] [?] of such articles, articles on such subjects in a paper intended for our parishes to be a [practiced] paper of edification for ordinary religious readers, is my question. I [wish] such discussions were wholly excluded. What can the reader of the W. Ep. 99 out of 100 make of such an article? I think there has been enough of [Colenso] in the paper. [?] [?] Dr. [?], Dr., as Editor, (I forget his name) will he come? I expect to get home next Friday. Yours Mc. C. P.
Did [Muenscher] write that Article? He has always had a tendency that way. Don’t mention what I say.