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letter, McIlvaine, bishop
McIlvaine, Charles Pettit, "Letter to unknown bishop" (1860). Charles Pettit McIlvaine Letters. 47.
Cinc. Feb. 27. /60
My dear, my own Bishop -
How cheering your letter from Gambier, + Mr. Wharton’s the same. He seems so delighted with what you are doing + all your influence. All seems to be getting right again. I am thankful for all the arrangements. When will you ordain Mr. Griffin? Soon I suppose. I will a blank letter of order- Oh! how delighted I shall be to see the theological students + Professors, [unite??] with social prayer spirit.
It is the desire of my heart & see a [?], energetic spirit of loving [?] [prayerfulness] there. How much of the education is in that. When I lived there I used to have a meeting of the students of the Sem. & three professing religion in the college (fear [than]) at my house for prayer + teaching. It was a meeting which many remember now, as [Syle, Uppord, &c.] [?] are [?] that used to be [?]. Then I led to preach once a Sunday, + sustain the week-night [teaching?] (there was no Rector). I do not remember that I ever had any of the ? clergymen to take my place. I say had to, that is I felt I must on account of the [?] All the while I kept up a Professorship as the Sem. students [?] ^ as ^ when Dr Sparrow [?] + sometimes one in the college. But why do I [?] with these things about myself. I am so glad of all you are + are doing. You have recd a letter from Mr. Goddard. Did it surprise you? I have always been afraid that a [?] would come when his infirmities would make trouble, + now it has come. My dear energetic + earnest + good [?]; the most unselfish of creatures & [entirely] [engrasped[ with [?] + efforts to do good, had got up away [?] ladies of Christ Ch. a [desire] to … Mr. Bedell talked with her & others about for [?] of [?] clergy of the Diocese. Last week their [Dorces] Society or some other was meeting & there they talked the place over. There was some kind [?] of mind whether it should [general]to Episcopalians with reference to parochial connections or parochial- of Christ Ch. [?] was for the former, others, the letter, but [???] good spirit. They agreed to have meeting this week of [?] interested in the object, there to decide what it should be, + so organize. A way considerable + hopeful feeling had got up. Mr. Pendleton, Mr. [Shrenburger] + [?] [unflattered] ladies were much interested.
On Saturday, Col. Pendleton told me, Mr. G[?] had indicated to him that he was much offended that all this had gone on without his being consulted, + opposed particularly the idea of a general society. The truth is, the ladies did not suppose that till they had concluded whether it was to be general or not, the [?] had around to consult him as Rector of Christ Ch. When that question was settled, if on the parochial side, then of course, act under him to a certain extent. The Col. wanted me to try to get things fixed to his mind as to the Parochial feature - This I soon settled. Nain gave up her [news?] + on Sunday morning I went to the Ch. expecting Mr. G would give out a notice of meeting to organize a [parents] society on Tuesday, + I was desired to say something to help it. I went to the [?] room- Mr G. came in. Immediately I recd a [?] from [?] [?] to see me in the Lecture Room. I went + found her much troubled + I did not wonder. She had another, a veyr proper [notice] to hand to Mr. G. for him to send to the Congregation. She said to him, “You will be glad to learn that there is so much spirit awakened for this object, that we have thought the way is prepared to call a meeting to organize &c. + then handed the notice & said, ‘will you read this, if it [?] your nerves. She was going to add + will you come + open the meeting + give in your counsel. But before she could say many words, he said he would not give out the [?] complained strongly of the slight showed to him, said he wanted [??] to go from his people but what was directed as to its object by himself, that this [?] would interfere with the state of mind he wanted to promote during Lent + would [?] his Easter collection. I cannot go into all he said to Nain, which considering who she is & his professed personal relations to me, was pretty remarkable. The result was that he said he wanted it all put off till after Lent. Nain said that would be too late, as the congregation so soon after that begins to scatter, that if any thing is to get well under weigh [sic], it must begin before. He said he would answer for that. From this congregation I [?] to the [?] room. [?] Pendleton, I not knowing all this had just said to him that I would speak to him on the subject, that all was right &c. So he expected me to speak about it. But there was no ? now for such a decision as would be called up, for I must differ to [ceed?] with his views of his Rectorial selections, + I was not disposed to go into worship after such a [letter]. I therefore said nothing. He asked me if I would take any part in the Service, I said no. I was going to sit in my own pew. This evidently [hurt] him, but I said it just as I had done several times before, only he saw what was in my mind, because he heard Nain’s [?] to me calling me out. But as I was going round to the front of the Church, I thought as I had nothing to do there, I would go off to Mr. [Melby’s?]. Ch. + encourage [?] Dr I did + talked for hours.
The result is that the ladies feel that an a[?] is ? over them + their needles & [?] which they have not been used to, + I some of them have gone to him + quietly told him so. But they will not raise a resistance, so they give up the whole business. If he chooses to revive the matter after Lent, they will wait for him to come to them. Nain was the most active, + all sympathise with her, but she never [shares] as much as a[?] such troubles. She says to her friends. You cannot serve me in any way so much as [?] to talk about me [?] the troulbe. Don’t defend me. Let us be perfectly quiet, + go on just as usual in other things. So the thing rests now - Monday -
But all this just opens a page which I have long expected he would force all to read - of his peculiar infirmity. He must rule in every thing, + I have always known that his expression of attachment + deference to me would last just so long as I did not differ from his personal plan, or [news] - The truth is if his theory of his [Ordinal] rights were carried out, no body would have a right to say a word of religious advice to any of his people but through him, or to ask a dollar of any of them without his permission. Some of his people could use any [influence] but by his leave.[??] in the Church would be forbidden, all must be under Ch. authority. He is a radical as to all above him, such as Bp. - & a Wp-Wp high Churchman as to all below him. What despots would use Bp be in his eyes, if he [?] should claim that no body should come out over Diocese to use influence or get [?] without over permission & that the clergy should further not object out of their own parishes but with over leave.
I shall try to keep things peaceful if possible. But I fear that will be difficult. As soon as we get [?] conversation about the weather, I must show him. What I [entered] differ with him, + there it will be as all his past history shown, & as Mr. Wharton said when he came here that a [?] [towards] we will take possession of his mind, + I shall be very much changed in his sight.
I have a very good, affectionate [?] letter from [?]
I should much like to know what Mr. G wrote you, + how you answered.
Yours very affly