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Bishop Whittingham laboriously precise in telling McIlvaine of procedure which had McIlvaine pastoral letter passed over by Bishop Hopkins. Unity will come, but not without some difficulty.




letter, Whittingham, McIlvaine, Hopkins



November 25th 1865

My dear Bishop

Your letter of the 21st only reached me yesterday. I could not [consult] my notes taken in the House in time to answer it at once; and altho’ my own [recollections] concerning the matter were distinct and strong, I did not like to trust them [without] [?] of the written record, and further [sifting] by [reflection]. I have [resorted] to [both] and no [change] has been the [result]. I [can] [find] in my memory no trace of any other [view] of the [publication] to be made by you than as a Letter of the House to the Clergy and Candidates [for Holy Orders]—as such to be published—and as such, to be published just as it would have been had it been addressed to all the Clergy and Laity of the Church. It was withheld from the latter [because] in the judgment of the majority of the House, it was not expedient to present matter so entirely [polemical], and containing so many statements of unfaded argument and objections, to the mixed and often unintelligent [auditories] which must be found in very [large] [numbers] [among] [the] congregations of the Church to all of which a Pastoral Letter generally addressed would have [under] the [communal] [provision], to be publicly read. But in the judgment of the House expressed by a vote [nemine] [contradicente] taken immediately after an explicit statement of the ground made by [me] in answer to an inquiry by Bp. [Talbot], it was addressed by the House as the assembly of chief patrons of the Church to the clergy and candidates as a timely [monition] and instruction how to meet and oppose errors of a dearly kind already largely [prevalent] and threatening to [become] more so—and so issued at this [juncture] more especially as a proper [mean] of [warding] off from the Church the reproach of [?] in the [disgraceful] wickedness of one of the [members] of [her] Episcopate. The latter [consideration] was especially brought [out], as I remember, in reply to an objection that the House by such actions would be setting a precedent of a novel procedure—in which it was [remarked] that it must be [admitted] to be a precedent—but that there was no extravagance in the expectation that it would be very [long] before a similar call for action on the part of the House would [occur]—[until] when there could be no danger in the precedent.

All this goes to show that the publication was at the time well understood and discussed as the action of the House—not a mere permission [or] recommendation of action on your part.

Accordingly, my private entry is:

Tuesday morning,

“Potter rose and moved to dispense with order of [day] in order to bring in motion to make McIlvaine’s Letter a Lett. of [this] H. to Clergy and Candidates for Orders.

Hopkins at [once] [said] that [?] [?] him very badly—he had prepared a [Past.] letter

(here follow notes of the conversation about suspending rules to hear his [?] read, and what followed that reading until)

Potter renewed his motion.

Whitehouse [moved] substitute, [?] [not] agree to take [one] documents and pass the other by

[?] that Bps. inform [H.] of [?] that in consequence of [?] expedient to [forbear] issue of pastoral Letter

Stated [reasons] something at length

For sometime no one [?].

Odenheimer did at length, [?] [advocating] [?] of Potter’s [?] of resolutions asking to have [?] [part] [above].

B[?] called for alteration of Whitehouse’s [?] by [omitting] two [reasons] assigned

Whitehouse agreed:

[Hawks] [opposed] telling the Lower House we [?] not do it

Hopkins [appealed] to the H. [for its own silence]

Wanted to know the reason why his paper was rejected

Porter [rose] — H. was in a painful position—believed the H had not expected another Past. Lett.—had [recommitted] the [last] expecting it to be modified.

McIlvaine explained (here follow notes of the expl. by you and Bp. [?])

[Whipple] testified to the [?] of the resolution which he had offered—it was as Pott’s res. assumed.

Potter [ag.] rose—insisted that [pres.] embarrassment arose from unexpected and uncalled for presentation of the second doc. Must adhere to his [res.] dispensing with Past. altogether.

Whitehouse read [ag.] his substitute as amended Ayes 9 Noes 10.

On Porter’s [res] ‘in [judgt’t.] of this H. [inexpedient]’ Ayes 13 Noes 3.

[20] [res.] [?] Bp. of Ohio issue paper

Talbot opposed—asked Why publish?

Whitt. said [bec.] in his [judg’t.] & it was right and [fit] and highly proper and our bounden duty to issue such a warning to clergy and candidates on question it was carried [?] [?].

Such as my notes—copied exactly (except [noticed] [omissions]) abbreviations, underlinings [?] just as jotted down while the affair was going on.

One result is to show how [?] the statement made in the Ch. [?] a couple of weeks ago conforms to the real [excuse] of action.

I will take the opportunity to say that I, at least, for once, know nothing of the concerted [?] action, of which Porter was [said to be the organ], by which both [?] of pastoral letters were set aside. I, at least, in all that I did, acted solely on my own judgments & responsibility without any concert or pre-arrangement with others, and I know after meeting on consultation such as the [amount] in the [?] [?] to have taken place. Certainly no thought of any such concerted action entered my mind from first to last, during all the [procedures] on the [subject] of the Past. Letter—except that early in the [Conv.] during my attempt to get a change made in the nature of the Pastoral and to have a special Committee appointed for that purpose, I spoke to two or three of the bishops of the [desirableness] of saving ourselves from the [infliction] of another attempted Pastoral by the Presiding Bishops but singly, and only in the way of casual remark.

With regard to the style to be given to your [?] [?] [?], I distinctly remember your conversation in the H. with Potter and with me, just as you have recounted it. It tallies perfectly, you perceive, with all that I have [given] above. I remember also, your private remark to me, inquiring my view of the sort of Title page to be given? but at that time had such an [entire] absence of doubt as to the character of the [publication] that I misunderstood the [drift] of your inquiry, and thought it had reference merely to some point of phraseology—as to the [mode] in which the character, as a new form of action of the House (about which, having no doubt myself, it did not [seem] to me that you had reference to my doubt) should be expressed: [e.g.] whether it was to be called a “Pastoral” Letter, or not? About its being designed by the House to be a Letter of the House itself, I say again, I had not the least doubt then, and have had no doubt, or suggestion of doubt, since, until your letter yesterday first [raised] it.

Of course, I conceive it to have been the will of the House (any argument at the [of his discussion] [?] was wholly bared on the assumption that such was the case) that the [plural] form of address was to be retained throughout—tho only changes to be made being those [required] by the change of persons addressed.

Whatever you may append in the way of additions, or notes, I think should be carefully distinguished as your own, and [specified] in the Title—e.g. “Edited, with additional remarks and notes, at the request of the House by” [?]

The body of the publication, I take it—all actually read in and to the House—is the publication of the House itself, made by nobody’s request, nor by anybody at its request, but its own. The request is to you to prepare what was so read for the altered destination given it, when it was withdrawn from the public and addressed to the minority [above].

Of course such address of the letter by the House requires its publication and [distribution] with the Journal. It must go to every clergyman entitled to the Journal, or the action of the House becomes nugatory. It is an authoritative act, not an appeal to opinion—to be sent, not [offered] for purchase to be addressed to those for whom it is intended not advertised to their curiosity.

With regard to the other topic of your letter—I m, as you may well suppose, as much disappointed as you can be with the apparent [tenor] of the action of the Southern Bishops (4 in all) and delegates [at] [?]—but I happen to have the advantage of knowing what it means—which is simply compliance with our [overtures], in such a way as to hinder [cleavage] among themselves. An element, small in numbers, but [?] important, would have divided from the rest, had the wishes of the better part been carried out. To hinder that, the awkward and ungracious method adopted was resorted to. The Bishops are unanimous in considering the return of all as certain, and a question of [months] only. [?] will signify its recognition of its position to the [Presd’y.] Bp within a month. Alabama and Mississippi with the least possible delay. [?] accepts our action—only delayed signification of such acceptance [until] his [?] should have been taken off. So. Car. and part of Va [alone] are recalcitrant—to the extreme [annoyance] of the Bp. of Va, who considers himself as much at one with us as [?]. He is to do duty for me in [Cumberland] on Thanksg. Day. In the meanwhile, what difference can their position, so awkward for themselves, make to us? You and I regarded them as otherwise [?] in the [?] [?] in the United States: and, as I [?], have no call to notice anything [irregular] in [their] audition or [proceedings] which is not formally and judicially brought before us. I have [?] [?] with Johns and Atkins in, in the way of [?] Letters Dimissory [?] and [find] no [difficulty] in it. Faithfully & affect. yrs. W.R.Whittingham

Letter to Charles Pettit McIlvaine



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