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(provided by cataloger) To the clergy and laity of the Diocese of South Carolina.
Thomas F. Davis
Camden, So. Ca.
Call number 4544 Conf. (Rare Book Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
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CAMDEN, SO. CA, MAY 18TH, 1861.
To the Clergy and Laity of the Diocese of South Carolina:
At the recent meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Advancement Society of the Diocese, the following resolution was passed--
Resolved That the Bishop be requested by this Board, to lay the present condition of our Society before the Diocese and to adopt such measures in the premises as he deems expedient.
This resolution was the result of an examination into the present financial condition of the Society, and its prospect for the ensuring year, commencing on the 1st of July next. It was thus ascertained that the demands upon the Society for the next year will be equal to nearly nine thousand dollars, ($9,000) while the present available means to meet those demands do not equal five thousand dollars. ($5,000.)
This has been the result partly of over appropriations for the past year, and partly because of the state of the times. Under these circumstances, it was thought best to make no appropriations until after the next annual meeting of the Society itself; and in the mean time that an appeal should be made to the Diocese by myself on behalf of the missionaries.
If ever there was a time, beloved Brethren, when such an appeal should reach our hearts, surely it must be the present. Now, our dependence upon God and our duties to God, and to the Redeemer of our souls must fill our minds. Our country is menaced; our fellow-citizens and our children exposed to danger; our rights as a people are at issue. We are ready to abide the issue, for we believe in the righteousness of our cause. Let us seek unto God daily in our prayers. Let us put our whole trust in Him; but let us also render Him that which he claims. While our brethren are upholding the banner of our country in the field, let us uphold at home the banner of the cross. Let not our missionaries suffer, nor our church want the means of life. Permit me, therefore, earnestly to press it upon you, that immediate efforts be made in your respective congregations, to meet these deficiencies of the Missionary Board. To this end I think it perfectly justifiable to suggest and request, that all other applications for missionary aid be laid aside until these necessities be supplied. South Carolina has never been behind other Dioceses in liberal donations for other fields of labor, and under right circumstances, she never will be; but we are now struggling for all that is clear to us at home, and therefore our first duty is to ourselves. The two Institutions of the Diocese that now most need our aid, are the Advancement Society and the Theological Seminary. In behalf of the first I have spoken above. Of the last, let me say, that the salaries of the Professors remain unpaid, and that there are no funds in the Treasurer's hands.
I therefore earnestly request that those who are annual subscribers to the Seminary, to make immediate payments, and those who have not yet subscribed, to come forward in its behalf, and not to suffer this young and promising Institution of the Church to suffer and be weakened.
Thus, brethren, I beseech you for Christ's sake, come to our aid and let our efforts and our hearts, and our prayers unite before God, in seeking of Him protection and blessing.
Very truly, your brother in Christ,
THOS. F. DAVIS
Bishop of the Diocese of So. Ca.