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Sorry they differ on date of Ordinations at Gambier. Seminary should be more prominent in Diocese but not by a "miscellaneous audience" (at commencement). Doesn't mind Rosse Chapel, however. Not want list of clergy to attend either. I enjoy ordinations at Gambier, so no weekday either. "The old man clings to his old ways." McIlvaine not want to give charge during a convention session, either. Clifton as a man, but he declined rightly.
letter, McIlvaine, Bedell, seminary, Gambier
McIlvaine, Charles Petit, "Letter to Bedell" (1863). Charles Pettit McIlvaine Letters. 341.
Cincinnati May 23
My dear Bishop,
I am in receipt of yours of the 18th and 20th. I am sorry we differ so much about the best times for ordinance at G. and the delivery of seminary Theses. The tending of College offices and arrangements to override or [?] the sem’y. I have always seen and recited. I was especially manifested under Douglas. It must be watched and recited. the importance of making the sem’y more prominent in the eyes of the Diocese, I knew. But I differ as to the manner of doing it. I do not think the delivery of theses before a miscellaneous audience on some great public occasion is the beneficial way. C[?] what sort of theses they must be compared to and how out of place would be any thing like aiming at [?] display, c[?] moreover how [?] such themes, the greater number of theological students must appear to the [?] of those who would attend, the result I think would be an audience not interested, students engaging in the exercises unwillingly--without stimulus and [?]ed in the aspect and feeling of the audience, and the reputation of the seminary injured. I believe it impossible that by any such public exercises the sem’y could do itself justice in the view of a miscellaneous audience. Hence I know of no [?] Sem. that has such a Commencement. The Gen. Sem’y has an address by a Bp. and the delivery of diplomas. Princeton has nothing but the annual examinations. Andover I believe the same. At Alexandria, if any thing more than an address by some clergyman or Bp. it was to a small select audience in the Sem’y Chapel. It has been a subject of consideration with me all the time I have been in [?] and I have never been able to see what [be]tter could be done than to have things as before. If the Faculty shall see fit to have the these read in Rosse Chapel on the Ev. now appointed by their note, instead of the Sem’y Chapel, I shall make no objection. My chief objection is not to the place, but the time last year--bringing them [?] the hurry and weariness and before the sort of audience excited by the Commencement. It would not be for the purpose of having a large audience that I should consent to Rosse Chapel--for I do not believe that of importance. It would be because of the greater room to those who would attend--and the better exercise in delivery to the young men. One thing I have observed in the students--a decided aversion to any exercise corresponding to that of the public orations of the college Commencement.
Now about the day of ordination. I have so strong an attachment to ordinations at Gambier on a Gambier Sunday that during the short time I have yet to spend in the ministry, I must decline a change. I do not know that there is much benefit to be had in getting a number of clergy to attend--any more than whenever we can worship and commune together. What I seek is not a large congregation for the occasion, but quietness and that special pleasure which I always find in the order simplicity and solemnity--the retirement seclusion and absence of curiosity and more energy to hear some man preach, of the Gambier congregation--I no where enjoy the worship as I do there--I no where ordain with the same feelings of quiet peacefulness of sound as there. To have the ordination on any other day than Sunday, especially a day of Commencement week and [?] the preparations for Commencement, would be to me a breaking up of associations and a loss of enjoyment which I would favor [?]. As to the preferences of the young men, of any year and of the Faculty and Congregation I should suppose, there could be no doubt. The old man clings to old ways.
About Convention--Morrell preaches the sermon. I shall deliver the charge either on the Ev. of the first day or the morning of the second--but not during a session of the Convention. I have not been accounted to make any any announcement of who is to preach the sermon--and see no use in it. The Charge will be long--perhaps longer than can be all delivered. At any rate, I shall rest myself in the course of it, by having a hymn sung. Clements has declined Clifton and I do not wonder. They wanted him to board at Mr. [Ambrose’s], they providing a horse and buggy--there being no hardy horse here and no body willing to take him. They will have to find out something of the difficulty of getting a minister. Because Mr. Lloyd stayed so long--and [?] at Mr. [Ambrose’s] they think it easy to get a successor. I have advised Judge Mitchell to think of Leavitt, for P[?]. Where to send Charles I do not know. On some accounts I should prefer his beginning not in my diocese. On others, otherwise--I saw Potter in Phila.-- and had a talk--and he consented to review the case, but I see no ground of hope. He told me that his Father thinks highly of Short but I did not like to ask him (the Father), lest I should seem to give up his son. I called twice to see Power about Short but missed him. I had only Sunday and Monday in Phila.
The son of Mr. L[?] of Brooklyn having taken his affairs in hard in consequence of his state of health will pay the $1000 which he engaged to pay in money or a Brooklyn lot when I was getting the foundation some years since if a P[?] the Bedell I believe.
I will thank you to send me by next Mail your ordinations--just the [?] and order--also any [?] of a Church. In working out a list of clergy for the secretary of [?] I knew not where to put Young--who I believe was ordained by you during my absence. Dyer said he could say no more of [?] than he had written you. He spoke well of A. W. Wylie of Brooklyn--in reference to [?] Cinc. Before recommending him I should like to know what you know of him. Dyer thought you had acquired an objection to him arising out of his not going to Newark--and in which he was excusable. He speaks of him as a man of decided talent, who has been informed by experience-of fine appearance--and calculated to take a strong p[?].