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letter, McIlvaine, Bedell
McIlvaine, Charles Pettit, "Letter to Bishop Bedell" (1859). Charles Pettit McIlvaine Letters. 55.
about cases visitations
Cinc. Dec. 21. 1859
My Dear Bishop
Yours from Cuyahoga Falls reached me this Ev – and its predecessor remains unanswered. That contained the pleasing account of the second [?] at [Hendron]. You will find cause to be a little cautious in that direction. You will find in good ministers an overwhelming desire to be reputed to have presented many for Confirmation, which makes them lean too much to a favorable [view] of cases thus arising. Sometimes persons who are truly prepared for Confirmations, but held back, unreasonably, are determined by [?] the confirmation of others. I suppose that was the case at [Hendron]. I once gave Dudley [?] a second confirm. soon after the first–but with fear. It was of young persons whose sympathies had been [?] by seeing their friends confirmed. I believe they all proved to be the seed on the rock where they had not depth of earth, and the world’s sun withered them away. [Fairchild] is as you say, but disposed to [?] [?] and complaining. But I value him a good deal. I have known him many years. He is intelligent and well read, and had he more polish and refinement would do well for higher positions. You read [Holden], [Morrell], and [McMurphy] exactly–[?] thing [?], [?] less selfish, more [?], more [?] than [Holden], I know not. He is very poor, has a small salary, never complains, secures charges, and considers others more than himself.
About the R.R. tickets the [?] [?] have nothing to do with them. Mine have either been sent me [?] or I have put some body of influence with a [?] [?] to see about it. There are from ten to twelve [roads] that make up the routes needed. As they [pass] into different hands, and presidents and superintendents change, uncertainty is thrown into the matter–some of it is entirely a matter of good feeling on their part. The Pittsburgh and Fort [?], I fear will be unavailable hereafter, as the road has gone into the hands of a [?], and its offices are in Pittsburgh. It was only the fact that its former Pres. had been a cadet under me at W. Point that caused him to send me a ticket. When I see about my own ticket, I will see about yours. The list of clergy I gave to Dr. [?] at Richmond, and he must have it, or it is among the secretary’s papers. I have written Dr. [?].
I am so glad you found your dear Mother so much better. You will have a happy Christmas with her and [?] loving people. My little granddaughter is recovering from the scarlet fever, and none others have taken it, for which God be praised. Did I mention [Newark] and [Granville] and Springfield, [Clarke Co] among the places to be united? They are such. I was much interested in the account of your [?] and especially pleased with what you say of Warren, Youngstown, and Akron. As they have called somebody to Dayton, unless he declines, we have no place that would suit [Monroe], unless [?] [?] would do. They have called [?] to Gambier–I do not know what he will do. Perhaps you have heard that the Faculty have found out and expelled the [rascals] that committed the [outrage] on the Presidents [house]–Dr. try to get [Cooper] to [?].
As to an account of your visitation for [?] – I hardly know what to say. For many years I have confined my report of visitations to the [?] – to statements of results–confirmations etc. I began on the plan pursued by others, but abandoned it, partly because it involved a great deal of detail of [?], [?] places–who did this and who that, of which there was no use but to fill a page and make a show. What general observations on the state of things I saw needful, I made. I found it was expected I would say pleasings says–of the parish and that–praise the churches consecrated–compliment the ministers etc, and there was a temptation to do it. If I did it [?] in some cases, it was awkward not to do in others, so I gave it all up. If you do it for this visitation, you will be expected to do for the next. Can you make it interesting without going so with detail that it will be about [personnel]. If you do anything I would be very general, and in that way a sort of [?] letter including the [?] work of the Diocese and the paper, would do good.
I come to your cases–No. 1–Uniting with other ministers on Thanksgiving Day. I wholly disapprove of it and wherever I have known it have condemned it. The object is to save a sermon, on the part of the others and avoid the difficulty of preaching to a few people, and of making an extemporaneous service each for hereafter. Our people have a right to the services of their minister in their own Ch. and in the prayers appointed and our minister has a right to leave them with it on that day. A layman would be [?] in reading the service in such case–in the absence of the minister–and he could [?] the people somewhere else then in the clergymans Ch.
Case No. 2–not so objectionable, but unwise. He had better have declined to preach at all, if doing so he should feel called [there?] to [mingle?] matters.
No. 3 is awful. I have no idea where either occurred. None have asked me. They know me well about such matters.
I am so glad you have been pleased and encouraged. I know well what has been the feeling where you have been–everything to cheer you, and your [?] and my second [?]
Bp — you carry your home with you -- that is a great help in staying long in a place. After we [had] heard all there is to hear, or that would be heard of the [??] &c. of a parish, what a comfort to get up with your sermon + there have your wife to talk to. I’m the absence of a wife. I have often got away + hid in the woods + talked to talked to the flowers + trees. Thank you both for your prayers for me. Remember me affectionately to your dear Mother [along the side: & your dear, good wife -Your ? affly - C.P.M-]
P.S. I forgot to say something to E. [Liverport & Crop? Creek] The former is on a R.R. from Pittsburgh to Steubenville [?] Reached -- Crop Creek [?] is some three or four miles from the R.R. from Steubenville to Newark. The station’s some 10 miles from Steubenville. In snow or any hard weather, there is no difficulty. There is in that neighborhood a nearly defunct [?] (St. Johns? - Springfield) which I did not visit the last time I was at Crop Cr. considering it not worth the effort. That is carriage ride. Many a time I have done it on horseback. With the exception of that, the rest can be easily done + [there] from thence you can Canter? & Wooster & Mansfield. Although I [?] in Steubenville last Oct. 2nd yet that people would be delighted to see you + hear you + on the whole I think I would take them on your return - unless it should be too bitter cold. But I would advise Mr. Bedell to [ship in] Steubenville [?] you go to Crop Creek. They are an old Bp. Chase [coming ?] of ?? E. Liverport is “small [?]”