« ZurückWeiter »
tion, or even which experience might suggest concerning
some particular miracles, if considered independently of others. The miracles of Christ were of various kinds, and performed in great varieties of situation, form and manner ; at Jerusalem, the metropolis of the Jewish nation and religion, in different parts of Judea and Gallia lee; in cities, in villages; in synagogues, in private houses; in the street, in highways; with preparation, as in the case of Lazarus; by accident, as in the case of the widow's son at Nain; when attended by multitudes, and when alone with the patient ; in the midst of his disciples, and in the presence of his enemies ; with the common people around him, and before scribes and pharisees, and rulers of the synagogues.
I apprehend that, when we remove from the comparison, the cases which are fairly disposed of by the observations that have been stated, many cases will not remain. To those which do remain, we apply this final distinction ; “ that there is not satisfactory evidence, that persons pretending to be original witnesses of the miracles, passed their lives in labours, dangers and sufferings, voluntarily undertaken and undergone in attestation of the accounts which they delivered, and properly in consequence of their belief of the truth of those accounts."
Having inserted all the papers and letters that can be found concerning the
first American Episcopate, during the progress of the negociation; it is deemed proper to conclude with the following act of recognition by the Clergy of Connecticut, and Bishop Seabury's address in reply, although they are documents which were published at the time. EDITOR.
To the Right Reverend Father in God, SAMUEL, by divine Prov.
idence, Bishop of the Episcopal CHURCH in conNECTICUT. The ADDRESS of sundry of the Episcopal Clergy in the State of Con
necticut. REVEREND FATHER,
WE, who have hereunto subscribed our names, in behalf of ourselves, and other presbyters of the Episcopal Church, embrace with pleasure this early opportunity of congratulating you on your safe return to your native country'; and on the accomplishment of that arduous enterprize in which, at our desire, you engaged. De. voutly do we adore and reverently thank the Great Head of the Church, that he has been pleased to preserve you through a long and dangerous voyage; that he has crowned your endeavours with success, and now at last permits us to enjoy under you, the long and ardently desired blessing of a pure, valid, and free Episcopacy: A blessing which we receive as the precious gift of God himself; and humbly hope that, the work he has so auspiciously begun, he will confirm and prosper, and make it a real benefit 10 our Church, not only in
this state, but in the American states in general, by uniting them in doctrine, discipline and worship; by supporting the cause of Christianity against all its opposers ; and by promoting piety, peace, concord and mutual affection, among all denominations of Christians.
Whatever can be done by us, for the advancement of so good a work, shall be done with united attention, and the exertion of our best abilities. And as you are now, by our voluntary and united suffrages (signified to you, first at New-York, in April, 1783, by the Rev. Mr. Jarvis, and now ratified and confirmed in this present convention) elected Bishop of that branch of the catholic and apostolic Church to which we belong : We, in the presence of Almighty God, declare to the world, that we do unanimously and voluntarily accept, receive, and recognize you to be our Bishop, supreme in the government of the Church, and in the administration of all ecclesiastical offices. And we do solemnly engage to render you all that respect, duty and submission, which we believe do belong, and are due to your high office, and which, we understand, were given by the presbyters to their Bishop in the primitive Church, while, in her native purity, she was unconnected with, and uncontrolled by, any secular power.
The experience of many years had long ago convinced the whole body of the clergy, and many of the lay-members of our communion, of the necessity there was of having resident Bishops among us. Fully and publicly was our cause pleaded, and supported by such arguments as must have carried conviction to the minds of all candid and liberal men. They were, however, for reasons which we are unable to assign, neglected by our superiors in England. Some of those arguments were drawn from our being members of the national Church, and subjects of the British government. These lost their force, upon the separation of this country from Great Britain, by the late peace. Our case became thereby more desperate, and our spiritual necessities were much increased. Filial affection still induced us to place confidence in our parent Church and country, whose liberality and benevolence we had long experienced, and do most gratefully acknowledge. To this Church was our immediate application directed, earnestly requesting a Bishop to collect, govern, and continue, our scattered, wandering, and sinking Church ; and great was, and still continues to be our surprize, that a request so reasonable in itself, so congruous to the nature and government of that Church, and begging for an officer so absolutely necessary in the Church of Christ, as they and we believe a Bishop io be, should be refustd. We hope that the successors of the Apostles in the Church of England have sufficient reasons to justify themselves to the world and to God. We, however, know of none such, nor can our imagination frame any.
Bul blessed be God! another door was opened for you. In the mysterious æconomy of his Providence he had preserved the remains of the old, Episcopal Church of Scotland, under all the malice and persecutions of its enemies. In the school of adversity, its pious and venerable Bishops had learned to renounce the pumps and grandeur of the world; and were ready to do the work of their heavenly Father. As out-casts they pitied us; as faithful holders of the apostolical commission, what they had freely received they freçly gave. From them we have received a free, valid, and purely ecclesiastical Episcopacy, are thereby made complete in all our parts, and have a right to be considered as living, and, we hope through God's grace shall be, a vigorous branch of the Catholic Church.
To these venerable fathers our sincerest thanks are due, and they have them most fervidly. May the Almighty be their rewarder, regard them in mcrcy, support them under the persecutions of their enemies, and turn the hearts of their persecutors; and make their simplicity and godly sincerity known unto all men! And wherever the American Episcopal Church shall be mentioned in the world, may this good deed which they have done for us, be spoken of for a memorial of them!
and others. Middletown, Aug. 3d, 1785.
BISHOP SEABURY'S ANSWER.
I HEARTILY thank you for your kind congratulations on my safe return to my native country; and cordially join with you in your joy, and thanks to Almighty God, for the success of that important business, which your application excited me to undertake. May God enable us all to do every thing with a view to his glory, and the good of his Church !
Accept of my acknowledgements for the assurances you give me of exerting your best abilities, to promote the welfare, not only of our own Church, but of common Christianity, and the peace and mutual affection of all denominations of Christians. In so good a work, I trust, you will never find me either backward or negligent.
I should, most certainly, be very apprehensive of sinking under the weight of that high office to which I have been, under God's Providence, raised by your voluntary and free clection, did I not assure myself of your ready advice and assistance in the discharge of its important duties; grateful, therefore, to me, must be the assurances you give, of supporting the authority of your Bishop upon the true principles of the primitive Church, before it was controlled and corrupted by secular connexions and worldly policy. Let me entreat your prayers to our supreme Head, for the continual presence of his Holy Spirit, that I may in all things do his blessed will.
The surprise you express at the rejection of your application in England is natural. But where the ecclesiastical and civil constitutions are so closely woven together as they are in that country, the first characters in the Church fur station and merit, may find their good dispositions rendered ineffectual, by the intervention of the civil
anithority: and whether it is better to submit quietly to this state of things in England, or to risk that confusion which would probably ensue, should an amendment be attempted, demands serious consideration.
The sentiments you entertain of the venerable Bishops in Scot. land are highly pleasing to me. Their conduct through the whole business was candid, friendly, and Christian ; appearing to me to arise from a just sense of duty, and to be founded in, and conducted by, the true principles of the primitive, apostolical Church. And I hope you will join with me in manifestations of gratitude to them, by always keeping up the most intimate communion with them and their suffering Church.
SAMUEL, Bp. Erl Ch. Connect. Middletown, Aug. 3d, 1785.
JUDGES, CHAPTER THE 5TH, On me, the priestess of the living
The care of Israel was bestow'd : archs, hear,
Ephraim and Benjamin obey'd my Princes and Judges to my song give
The scribes of Zebulon allegiance ear ; To Israel's God my voice I'll raise,
shew'd, And joyful chant Jehovah's praise.
And Issachar, a princely train, Lord when in Edom's glorious day
With glittering ensigns dazzled all the Thou wentest forth in bright array,
plain. Earth to her inmost centre shook, But oh! what sad divisions keep The mountains melted at thy look, Reuben inglorious 'midst his bleating The clouds dropt down their watery sheep? store,
Gilead in Jordon his asylum seeks, Rent with the thunder's loud tremen. Dan in his ships, and Asher in his dous roar.
creeks ; Must I remember Shamgar's gloomy Whilst Naphthali's more warlike sons days,
expose And that såd time when Jael ruled Their gallant lives, and dare their our coast?
country's foes. No print of foot then mark'd our pub. Then was the battle fought by Calic ways
naan's kings Waste horror reign'd, the human face In Taanach beside Megeddo's springs : was lost.
The stars themselves 'gainst Sisera Then 1, 1 Deborah, assum'd command, declare, The nursing mother of the drooping Israel is heaven's peculiar care.
Old Kishon stain'd with hostile blood, Then was our nation alien from the Rolld to the main a purple flood; Lord,
The neighing steed, the thundering Then o'er our heads high wav'd the hostile sword,
Proclaim'd the terrors of the war : Nor shield nor spear was found to arm But high in honor 'bove the rest for fight,
Be Jael our avenger blest, And naked thousands turn'd their Blest above women! to her tent she backs in flight.
drew But nowawake my soul, and thou arise, With seeming friendship Jabin's mighBarak; to thee the victory is given ;
ly chief; Let our joint song ascend the skies, Fainting with hcat and toil he sought And celebrate the majesty of heaven. relief,
Father. As out-casts apostolical commission, . From them we have re: Episcopacy, are there right to be considered . shall be, a vigorous bi.
To these venerable have them most ferv: regard them in mcrc enemies, and turn thi simplicity and godly the American Epin may this good deedi memorial of them!
3. noch in bearenly lar:
power their truths
Jehovah. child became, xre every blame, with purest flame!
Jehovah. winers, death endur'd, rans they might be curd, endless life procur'd ?
Jehovah. 'hy throne on high, an with mercy's pitying eye, i fy ears against my cry,
Jehovah ne, Lord, my errors past!
incere repentance fast; wat and truth forever last,
Jehovah. -100d I ever cease to be
the word and thee, oss undly loved me,
Juborah. terze mure may I forbear
as av lemuest love and care, s pour u theu my soul in prayer,
I HEAR my safe return i your joy, and th portant busines May God enabi and the good oi
Accept of my exerting your own Church, 1 tual affection or I trust, you wii
I should, me the weight of vidence, raised myself of your important duti you give, of su principles of corrupted by s treat your pray of his Holy Spi
• Verror, that was inadvertent. sa he top, for Charles Wesley
England is nati tions are so ch.. first characters good disposition