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FRANKLIN COUNTY, TENN.,
March 23d, 1861.
Rt. Rev. and Dear Brother:
The rapid march of events and the change which has taken place in our civil relations, seem to us, your brethren in the church, to require an early consultation among the Dioceses of the Confederate States, for the purpose of considering their relations to the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States, of which they have so long been the equal and happy members. This necessity does not arise out of any dissension which has occurred within the Church itself, nor out of any dissatisfaction with either the doctrine or discipline of the Church. We rejoice to record the fact, that we are to-day, as Churchmen, as truly brethren as we have ever been; and that no deed has been done, nor word uttered, which leaves a single wound rankling in our hearts. We are still one in Faith, in purpose and in Hope; but political changes, forced upon us by a stern necessity, have occurred, which have placed our Dioceses in a position requiring consultation as to our ecclesiastical relations. It is better that those relations should be arranged by the common consent of all the Dioceses within the Confederate States, than by the independent action of each Diocese. The one will probably lead to harmonious action; the other might produce inconvenient diversity.
We propose to you, therefore, Rt. Rev. and dear Brother, that you recommend to your Diocesan Convention, the appointment of three clerical and three lay deputies, who shall be delegates to meet an equal number of delegates from each of the Dioceses within the Confederate States, at Montgomery, in the Diocese of Alabama, on the third day of July next, to consult upon such matters as may have arisen out of the changes in our civil affairs.
We have taken it upon ourselves to address you this Circular because we happen to be together, and are the senior Bishops of the Dioceses within the Confederate States.
Very truly yours in Christian bonds,
LEONIDAS POLK, Bishop of Louisiana,
STEPHEN ELLIOTT, Bishop of Georgia.
ST. JOHN'S CHURCH, MONTGOMERY, ALA.,
July 3d, 1861.
In pursuance of the foregoing call, addressed, on the 23d day of March, 1861, to the Ecclesiastical Authority of each of the Dioceses then within the Confederate States of America, by the, Rt. Rev. LEONIDAS POLK, D. D., Bishop of the Diocese of Louisiana, and the Rt. Rev. STEPHEN ELLIOTT, D. D., Bishop of the Diocese of Georgia, a number of Bishops and other clergymen, and laymen, having assembled in St. John's Church, Montgomery, in the State and Diocese of Alabama, on this, the third day of July, 1861, on motion of the Rt. Rev. FRANCIS HUGER RUTLEDGE, D. D., Bishop of the Diocese of Florida, the senior Bishop present was unanimously requested to officiate as President of the Convention; whereupon, the Rt. Rev. STEPHEN ELLIOTT, D. D., Bishop of Georgia, took the chair, and after appropriate prayers, stated the purpose of the meeting, and, by leave, appointed the Rev. JOHN M. MITCHELL, of the Diocese of Alabama, secretary pro tem.
The secretary then called the names of the Bishops to whom the call of the meeting had been addressed, to-wit:
And the following answered to their names:
Certificates were then handed to the secretary attesting the election, by their Diocesan Conventions respectively, of the following clerical and lay deputies:
The roll being called, the following deputies answered to their names; of the Clergy:
Rev. Messrs. Banister, Mitchell, Pierce, Scott, Ellis, Williams, Rees, Clarke, Shand, Barnard, Crane.
Of the Laity--
Messrs. Ellerbe, Phelan, Beard, Whittle, Chappell, Allston, Martin.
The Rev. D. Pise, D. D., then handed to the Secretary a certificate of his appointment, by the Rt. Rev. Bishop of the Diocese of Tennessee, as a clerical deputy to this Convention, the State of Tennessee having seceded from the United States of America since the publication of the call of this Convention; whereupon the Secretary was ordered to call the name of the said clerical deputy, and the Rev. D. Pise, D. D., appeared and took his seat in Convention.
The Rev. Jno. M. Mitchell was then nominated, and elected Secretary of the Convention, and the President pronounced the Convention duly organized and ready for business.
Leave being granted, the Secretary appointed the Rev. W. C. Williams, Assisstant Secretary of the Convention.
On motion of the Rev. Mr. Clarke, the Rt. Rev. President appointed the Rev. Messrs. Clarke and Crane, and the Hon. Mr. Allston a Committee to prepare Rules of Order for the government of the Convention, and to report to-morrow morning.
On motion of Bishop Green, the Convention adjourned till to-morrow, 10 o'clock, A. M.
ST. JOHN'S CHURCH, Montgomery, Ala.
10 o'clock, A. M., July 4th, 1861.
Convention met pursuant to adjournment.
Morning prayer was read by the Rev. C. C. Pinckney, Jr., of S. C., and the Rev. J. J. Scott, D. D., of Florida. On the call of the roll the following deputies, not present on yesterday, answered to their names: The Rev. C. C. Pinckney, Jr., of the Diocese of South Carolina, and the Hon. F. S. Lyon of the Diocese of Alabama. The minutes of the last meeting were read, and, after amendment, were adopted.
The Rev. Mr. Clarke, presented a report of the Committee to prepare Rules of Order recommended the following, which, on motion, were adopted as the Rules of Order for the government of this Convention. (See Appendix A.)
On motion of Bishop Green,
Resolved, That a Committee of three Bishops, three Clergymen, and three Laymen be appointed to prepare, and present to this Convention, for its consideration, such subjects as may properly come within the purpose for which this Convention has assembled.
The President appointed on said Committee, the Rt. Rev. Drs. Green, Rutledge and Davis; the Rev. Drs. Barnard and Pise, and the Rev. Mr. Banister; and Messrs. Whittle, Phelan, and Martin.
On motion of Bishop Green the Rt. Rev. President was requested to act with this committee.
On motion of Rev. Mr. Pinckney,
Resolved, That any Clergymen present, who are not deputies to this Convention, be invited to honorary seats in the Convention.
The invitation, having been extended to them by the Secretary, was accepted by the following Clergymen, to wit:
On motion of Judge Phelan, an additional Rule of Order was adopted and numbered as follows:
No. 17. A question being once determined, shall stand as the judgment of the Convention, and shall not be drawn again into debate during the session, unless with the consent of two thirds of the Convention: provided, always, that any member voting in favor of any question, may, on the same day on which the vote is taken, or on the succeeding day, move a reconsideration of said vote.
On motion of Mr. Beard, the Convention took a recess till 5 o'clock, P. M.
Convention resumed its session at 5 o'clock, P. M.
The Rev. Henry Sansom, D. D., clerical deputy, and John Duncan, Esq., lay deputy, from the Diocese of Mississippi, appeared and took seats in the Convention.
Bishop Green reported that the Committee appointed to prepare business for the Convention had made progress and asked leave to sit again.
Leave was granted, and the Convention adjourned till 9 o'clock to-morrow morning.
ST. JOHN'S CHURCH,
Montgomery, Ala., July 5, 1861.
Convention met pursuant to adjournment at 9 o'clock, A. M.
Morning prayer was read by the Rt. Rev. Dr. Rutledge, Bishop of Florida, and the Rev. Dr. Sansom, of Mississippi.
After the call of the roll, the Secretary read a certificate attesting the election of the following Deputies from the Diocese of Louisiana:
The following appeared and took seats in the Convention: Rev. John Fulton, Hon. Alex. Montgomery, and J. M. Davidson.
The minutes of yesterday's proceedings were read and confirmed.
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Green, in behalf of the Committee to prepare business for the Convention, presented the following Report.
The Committee to which was referred the Resolution of the Bishop of Mississippi, begs leave to report,
That after a careful consideration of the invitation from the Bishops of Louisiana and Georgia, under which this body of Bishops, Clergy, and Laity is assembled, they have determined to submit to this Convention the single question of the necessity and expediency of forming an Ecclesiastical organization among the Confederate States, independent of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, and to suggest the mode in which this new organization shall be created.
The Committee were of opinion, that the Dioceses had determined, each for itself, the effect which secession had produced upon its Ecclesiastical relations, and had sent its delegates here, not to discuss or affirm that question, but simply to recommend the wisest course to be adopted by the Dioceses in the Confederate States, under the novel circumstances in which they find themselves.
The Committee has been unwilling, under the circumstances in which this Convention is assembled, to enter upon the work of re-organization. The rapid march of events has added four Dioceses to the seven which were originally invited to convene at Montgomery, and those Dioceses are, with a single exception, without representation
in this body. The Bishops of two of these Dioceses are the senior Bishops of the Confederate States, without whose counsel and advice we should be unwilling to engage in so solemn and responsible a duty. While this Convention is a very full and able body of delegates from the Dioceses originally invited to assemble, the Committee is of opinion that it would be highly proper to include in our ultimate deliberations, the wisdom and experience of the newly seceded States, and to take our final position with the unanimous consent of all the Dioceses which have been forced into a separation from the Church in the United States.
While, for these reasons, this Committee is unwilling to recommend any plan of re-organization, it has deemed it quite within the scope of the authority of this assembly to advise the Dioceses of the Confederate States upon certain points of a practical character, requiring immediate attention. The most important of these is, a respectful recommendation to the Dioceses of the Confederate States to continue in force, for the present, the Constitution and Canons of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, so far as applicable to existing circumstances. The adoption of this recommendation will prevent any diversity of action on the part of the Dioceses of the Confederate States; and will render any hasty and premature legislation unnecessary.
The relations of the Dioceses of the Confederate States to the Foreign and Domestic Missionary Society of the Church in the United States, also demands our immediate attention. All postal communication having ceased between the United States and the Confederate States, it has become almost impossible to remit and receive money between the two parts of the country. We have deemed it advisable, therefore, to recommend to this Convention the adoption of a plan by which all difficulty will be obviated, and no stop placed to the current of the Church's charity.
It is the duty of the Dioceses of the Confederate States to take charge at once of all the Missionary operations within its borders, and especially to shield the Missionary Bishop of the South West, and the Bishop of Texas from all embarrassments in the pursuit of their Episcopal work. The Dioceses of the Confederate States are quite able to supply every thing that may be lacking to their Brethren in the more destitute portions of the Church's operations.
The Committee therefore recommend the adoption of the following resolutions:
Resolved, 1. That the secession of the States of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, and Tennessee, from the United States, and
the formation by them of a separate Government, called the Confederate States of America, renders it necessary and expedient that the Dioceses of the Protestant Episcopal Church within those States, should form among themselves an independent organization.
2. That it be recommended to the Ecclesiastical authorities of the Dioceses within such States as are now, and as may hereafter become members of the Confederate States, to recommend to their Annual Conventions next ensuing the appointment of four clerical and four lay deputies from each Diocese, who, with their respective Bishops, shall meet in Convention, at Columbia, S. C., on the first Wednesday in June 1862, for the purpose of arranging such organization.
3. That this Convention respectfully recommends to the Dioceses within the Confederate States of America, the adoption of measures to continue in force, within their respective limits, until some more final and definite action can be taken, the Constitution and Canons of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, so far as they may be applicable to existing circumstances.
4. That it be recommended to the Bishops, Clergy and Laity of the Confederate States, to remit, for the present, their contributions for Domestic Missions to J. K. Sass, Esq., President of the Bank of Charleston, S. C., who shall distribute, pro rata, among the present missionaries of the Domestic Board in the Confederate States, the amount contributed for general purposes, and send to their destination the amounts contributed for special purposes.
5. That it be recommended to the Dioceses of the Confederate States especially to sustain the Missions in the South Western Missionary District and in Texas and Florida, and to provide for the support of the Episcopate in the jurisdictions of Texas and the South West.
6. That it be recommended to the Bishops, Clergy and Laity of the Confederate States, to remit their contributions for Foreign Missions to Mr. Henry Trescott, of Charleston, S. C., who shall remit the amount to our Foreign Missionaries. All contributors to Foreign Missions are requested to specify the Missions to which they desire their contributions to be sent.
7. That J. K. Sass, Esq., and Mr. Henry Trescott be, requested to act as the agents of the Dioceses of the Confederate States, for the purposes above designated.
8. That it is desirable that Printing and Publishing Houses should be encouraged in the Confederate States, for the supply of Bibles, Prayer Books, and other necessary publications, and that it be recommended
to the Church to promote this object as far as posible.
W. M. GREEN, Chairman.
The Rev. F. A. P. Barnard, LL. D., front the same Committee, by leave, presented the following as a minority Report:
The undersigned, a minority of the Committee appointed to prepare business for the action of the Convention, believing that the resolutions reported by the Committee do not embrace all which the interests of the Church require of this Convention, and that they fall short of the expectations generally entertained of it, beg leave to present their views as follows:
It is believed that the secession from the American Union of the States now forming the Southern Confederacy, has left the Church in those States without any general organization. This opinion is set forth in the first of the Resolutions of the Committee, and will without question, be concurred in unanimously by the Convention. It is admitted that the state of things requires action. The Resolution reported by the Committee so declares. And such action, it is believed, that the Church generally in these Dioceses expects this Convention to take.
The view which has governed the course of the Committee, however, seems to be, that the functions of this Convention are fulfilled, when the opinion has been expressed, that action is necessary, and a recommendation has been submitted to the Dioceses to convene another similar body at a future day. It is held that this body possessed only advisory powers, and that it is not, therefore competent to the formation of a Constitution. If it were proposed to prepare a Constitution here, and to attempt to make such an instrument binding upon the Dioceses, there would be force in the objection. But, as no Constitution, whether formed by this Convention or by any other, can be binding upon any Diocese until after it shall have been duly ratified by the Convention of that Diocese, the recommendation of a Constitution to the consideration and adoption of the several Diocesan Conventions appears to the undersigned, to be the most natural and most desirable measure which the Convention, considered only in the capacity of an advisory body, could adopt.
It has been suggested, that at a future Convention, a larger number of Dioceses might be represented; and that those which have no delegations here, might feel that they had been denied an important privilege in being excluded from a hearing in the formation of the organic law by which they are to be governed. If it were possible to presume that any large departure would be proposed from the form of the instrument under which the Church in the United States
has so long happily flourished, there might be force in this objection. But the Committee have shown how little they anticipated anything like this, by recommending to the Dioceses that they take measures to perpetuate here the provisions of the Constitution and Canons of the Church in the United States. A Constitution, therefore, prepared for the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States, will, without question, whenever it shall be formed, and by whatever body, embrace substantially the features of the Constitution which has so long been found entirely acceptable to the Churches in these Dioceses; and a complaint on the part of any one Diocese that its voice had not been heard in the original formation of the instrument, is the least probable of all things.
By proposing a Constitution to the Diocesan Conventions, this Convention is but offering its advice. This advice may be rejected and a course, such as that which the Resolutions of the Committee contemplate, may still be adopted by the Dioceses. The proposition of the undersigned, therefore, can do no possible harm; while, in case of its success, it may very materially promote the interests of the Church in these States, by accelerating its organization.
If it could be made to appear to the undersigned, that any really substantial advantage could accrue from a delay of the action which they propose, they would be the first to acquiesce in such delay. If the disadvantages inseparable from the unorganized condition into which, by causes from without, the Church in these States has been thrown, were of a nature to be cured by the lapse of time, they would be content patiently to endure them, until relief should spontaneously come. But it is manifest that time can only aggravate these evils; while the remedy, if it ever come at all, must come at last by means precisely such as are here proposed. For even a Convention specially called to prepare a Constitution, can do no more than finally to refer its work to the acceptance or rejection of the several Dioceses; which is all that the proposition of the undersigned contemplates in regard to the Convention.
Entertaining these views, the undersigned therefore, propose the following Resolutions, as a substitute for the second of the Resolutions reported by the Committee.
Resolved, That the Dioceses represented in this Convention, viz: the Dioceses of South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana and Tennessee, be formed into an Ecclesiastical organization, to be entitled the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States of America, such organization to be complete between the Dioceses ratifying this action, when such ratification shall have
been made by their respective Diocesan Conventions, and on their adoption of a Constitution for their government.
Resolved, That any Dioceses now within, or which may hereafter be within the limits of the Confederate States of America, and which are not here represented, may be received into this organization on adopting the Constitution and applying for admission to the General Convention.
Resolved, That a Constitution be prepared by this Convention, as the instrument of union between the Dioceses to be embraced in the organization here provided for, and that the same be submitted to the several Diocesan Conventions for their ratification.
Resolved, That the Ecclesiastical Union provided for under the foregoing Resolution, remain in force between the Dioceses adopting the Provisional Constitution as recommended by the Convention, only until the meeting of the next General Convention of the Dioceses of the Confederate States, and the adoption by them of a permanent Constitution.
All of which is respectfully submitted by
F. A. P. BARNARD, DAVID PISE, J. M. BANISTER, Minority of Committee.
The Convention then proceeded to the consideration of the Resolutions contained in the Report of the Committee.
On motion of the Rev. Mr. Crane, the first Resolution was unanimously adopted, to wit:
Resolved, That the secession of the States of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, and Tennessee, from the United States, and the formation by them of a new Government, called the Confederate States of America, renders it necessary and expedient that the Dioceses within those States should form among themselves an independent organization.
The second Resolution being under consideration, to wit:
Resolved, That it be recommended to the Ecclesiastical authorities of the Dioceses within such States as are now, and as may hereafter become members of the Confederate States, to recommend to their Annual Conventions, next ensuing, the appointment of four clerical and four lay Deputies from each Diocese, who, with their respective Bishops, shall meet in Convention at Columbia, S. C., on the first
Wednesday in June, 1862, for the purpose of arranging such organization;--
The Rev. Dr. Barnard moved the adoption of the Resolutions contained in the Minority Report as a substitute therefor.
The motion was seconded, and pending the discussion of the same the Convention took a recess till 5 o'clock, P. M.
Convention resumed its session at 5 o'clock, P. M.; and after further discussion of the motion of the Rev. Dr. Barnard, on motion of Hon. F. S. Lyon, adjourned till to-morrow 9 o'clock, A. M.
ST. JOHN'S CHURCH,
Montgomery, July 6, 1861.
Convention met pursuant to adjournment.
Morning prayer was read by the Rt. Rev. the Bishop of Mississippi, and the Rev. Mr. Shand of S. C.
Present as on yesterday except Mr. Whittle.
The minutes of yesterday were read and approved.
On motion of Rev. Mr. Williams, leave of absence was granted to Mr. Whittle, of Ga.
Convention resumed the consideration of the motion of the Rev. Dr. Barnard.
Rev. Mr. Mitchell offered, and moved the adoption of, the following, as a substitute for the Resolutions of the Minority Report, as offered by the Rev. Dr. Barnard, to wit:
Resolved, That as preliminary to the organization declared necessary in the foregoing Resolution, a Committee of three Bishops, three Presbyters and three Laymen, be appointed by the Convention, to prepare and report to an adjourned meeting of this Convention, to be held at [left blank] on [left blank] a Constitution and Canons, under which such an organization may be effected; and that the Ecclesiastical authorities of all the Dioceses within the Confederate States, not now represented in this Convention, be invited by the Rt. Rev. President of the Convention to take the requisite
steps for the representation of such Dioceses at the adjourned Convention.
The motion was seconded, and the resolution adopted, as a substitute for the Resolutions of the Minority Report.
The same was then adopted as a substitute for the Second Resolution of the Report of the Committee.
On motion, it was referred to the four Bishops present, to suggest the most suitable time and place with which to fill the blanks left in the Resolution.
The Bishops recommended "Columbia, S. C., as the place," and "the third Wednesday in October next," as the time; both of which recommendations were, on motion, adopted.
The third Resolution of the Committee then coming up for consideration, the Rev. Mr. Ellis, of Florida, offered the following as a substitute, to wit:
Resolved, As the sense of this body, that the Constitution and Canons, known as the Constitution and Canons of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, except in such respects as political relations make them inapplicable, and with those changes which our political relations make proper, is now the law of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States of America, and should continue to be so regarded until altered or amended by a Generrl Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States of America, and that the Senior Bishop in the Confederate States of America be requested at once to enter on the duties of Presiding Bishop.
On motion of the Rev. Mr. Fulton, of Louisiana, the Resolution and the substitute were laid on the table. Ayes, 17-- Noes, 6.
Convention then passed the fourth Resolution of the Committee.
The fifth Resolution of the Committee was also passed.
The sixth Resolution was then adopted.
Convention then adopted the seventh Resolution.
At this stage of the consideration of the Resolutions of the Committee, Rev. Mr. Crane, by leave, introduced, and on motion, the Convention adopted the following, to wit:
Resolved, That a Committee consisting of two Bishops, two Presbyters, and two Laymen, be appointed to draft a plan for carrying on
the Missionary operations of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States, to be submitted to the adjourned Convention, to be held at Columbia on the 16th of Oct. next.
The Chair appointed as the Committee,
The Convention then adopted the eighth Resolution; and the whole body of Resolutions passed by the Convention, as the result of its action upon the Majority and Minority Reports of the Committee, is as follows:
Resolved, 1. That the secession of the States of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, and Tennessee, from the United States, and the formation by them of a new Government, called the Confederate States of America, renders it necessary and expedient that the Dioceses within those States, should form among themselves an independent organization.
Resolved, 2. That as preliminary to the organization declared necessary in the foregoing Resolution, a committee of three Bishops, three Presbyters, and three Laymen, be appointed by the Convention to prepare and report to an adjourned meeting of this Convention, to be held at Columbia, S. C., on the third Wednesday in October next, a Constitution and Canons, under which such an organization may be effected; and that the Ecclesiastical authorities of all the Dioceses within the Confederate States, not now represented in this Convention, be invited by the Rt. Rev. President of the Convention to take the requisite steps for the representation of such Dioceses at the adjourned Convention.
Resolved, 3. That it be recommended to the Bishops, Clergy, and Laity, of the Confederate States, to remit for the present, their contributions for Domestic Missions, to J. K. Sass, Esq., President of the Bank of Charleston, S. C., who shall distribute, pro rata, among the present Missionaries of the Domestic Board, in the Confederate States, the amount contributed for general purposes, and send to their destination the amounts contributed for special purposes.
Resolved, 4. That it be recommended to the Dioceses of the Confederate
States, especially to sustain the missions in the South Western Missionary District, and in Texas and Florida; and to provide for the support of the Episcopate in the jurisdictions of Texas and the South West.
Resolved, 5. That it be recommended to the Bishops, Clergy and Laity, of the Confederate States, to remit their contributions for Foreign Missions, to Mr. Henry Trescott, of Charleston, S. C., who shall remit the amount to our Foreign Missionaries. All contributors to Foreign Missions are requested to specify the Missions to which they desire their contributions to be sent.
Resolved, 6. That J. K. Sass, Esq., and Mr. Henry Trescott be requested to act as the agents of the Dioceses of the Confederate States, for the purposes above designated.
Resolved, 7. That a Committee consisting of two Bishops, two Presbyters, and two Laymen be appointed to draft a plan for carrying on the Missionary operations of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States, to be submitted to the adjourned Convention, to be held at Columbia, on the 16th of Oct. next.
Resolved, 8. That it is desirable that Printing and Publishing Houses should be encouraged in the Confederate States for the supply of Bibles, Prayer Books, and other necessary publications, and that it be recommended to the Church to promote this object as far as possible.
On motion, the Convention then voted to go into an election of the Committee to prepare a Constitution and Canons.
The Rt. Rev., the Bishop of South Carolina, asked that he might not be placed on the Committee because of physical infirmities.
On motion, the Convention took a recess for half an hour.
The half hour having expired, the Convention resumed its session, and proceeded to the election of the Committee by ballot.
The Chair appointed Messrs. Davidson, Ellerbe and Martin, as tellers, to count the votes for the Bishops; Messrs. Beard, Chappell, and Duncan, as tellers, to count the votes for the Clerical members; and Rev. Messrs. Pinckney, Banister, and Clarke, to count the votes for the Lay members.
The tellers having made their reports respectively, the Chair declared the following duly elected to constitute the Committee, to wit:
On motion of the Rt. Rev. Dr. Green, the Convention then passed the following.
WHEREAS, It is important that there should be a full attendance of each Order in the above named Committee,
Resolved, That in case of the inability of any member to attend to the duties of the same, the Senior Bishop on the Committee, be authorized to accept his resignation and to fill the vacancy.
On motion of Rev. Mr. Williams,
Resolved, That three thousand copies of the Journal of this Convention Be published, under the direction of the Secretary, and that the Secretary be authorized to draw on the different Dioceses for the expenses of this Convention, in proportion to the number of Clergy in each Diocese.
On motion of Rev. Mr. Pierce,
Resolved, That the Rt. Rev., the Bishops in attendance on the Convention, be requested to issue a Pastoral Letter, urging upon the Clergy and Laity, prompt and liberal contributions to the cause of Missions within the Confederate States.
Resolved, That the same Committee be requested to correspond with Bishop Lay and Bishop Gregg, in relation to the Missionary affairs of their Dioceses.
On motion of the Rev. Mr. Clarke,
Resolved, That the thanks of this Convention are hereby tendered to the Rector and congregation of St. John's Church, Montgomery, for their generous hospitality.
On motion of Gen'l Wm. E. Martin.
Resolved, That the thanks of the members of this Convention be returned to the citizens of Montgomery, for the generous hospitality extended to us, during our stay among them.
On motion of A. W. Ellerbe, Esq.,
Resolved, That the thanks of the Convention be tendered to the Rt. Rev., the Bishop of Georgia, for the able, dignified, and impartial manner in which he has discharged the duties of President of the Convention, and also to the Secretary and Assistant Secretary, for their faithful and efficient discharge of their appropriate duties.
To this Resolution, the Rt. Rev. President responded, and at the request of the Convention, permitted his remarks to be entered on the Journal, as follows:
In returning you my thanks, Brethren of the Convention, for the very kind and cordial manner in which you have expressed your approbation of my course as your Presiding officer, it gives me pleasure to say, that my duty was made quite easy by the courteous, Christian, yet earnest manner, in which the work, entrusted you by your respective Conventions, has been performed. Our number has not been large, but every Diocese of those originally invited, with the exception of Texas, has been fully represented, by the ablest, and most experienced of its Clergy and Laity. That Diocese was hindered, by the fortune of War, from partaking in our Councils. When we consider the distance, the expense, the season of the year, and above all, the uncertainty which was made, from peculiar circumstances, to hang around the meeting of the Convention, we have reason to congratulate ourselves upon the very large proportion of those appointed to this meeting, who have attended here. It shows an earnest appreciation of the necessity of this Convention, and of the importance of the principles which were to be discussed and settled.
I cannot but thank God in your behalf and in behalf of the Church, for the complete unanimity which has accompanied the assertion of the necessity and expediency of an independent organization. While we have differed upon some details of time and place, we have not differed at all upon this point. We have, with one voice and one heart, agreed that the Church of the Confederate States must be as independent as the Confederate States themselves. We have desired no change in the Faith or order of the Church, no relaxation of its discipline, no alteration in its Liturgy; but we have determined, by the help and grace of God, to advance his kingdom among us, through Constitutional and Canonical arrangements of our own. And in this unanimity may we perceive the continued favor of God towards us as a people. He has been with us from the beginning of our civil movements, and has blessed us, both in State and Church, with an unity of feeling and of purpose that is most extraordinary. In the State and in the Church, we have moved as one man, and no voice of discontent or of dissatisfaction has been beard among us. We are ready
to bear and to suffer for the good cause we have in hand, but never to yield nor compromise. "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name be the glory, for thy mercy and thy truth's sake."
We have done, Brethren of the Convention, enough at this meeting, and yet not too much. We have asserted the necessity and expediency of a new organization, and we have appointed a Committee to prepare the Draft of a Constitution and Canons for our future government; but we have referred the consideration and adoption of those details to an adjourned meeting, to be held during the coming Autumn. And in this have we done wisely, for we most earnestly desire to have with us the wisdom, the experience, and the piety of those great Dioceses whose States have so lately declared themselves a part of the Southern Confederacy. We have, in like manner, arranged our Missionary work temporarily, doing at the meeting only what was essential, and leaving future arrangements for a larger and more extended representation.
Before we separate, let me impress upon you your duty as Christians and Churchmen, during the conflict which is upon us. Times of excitement, like these, are times of great temptation, and we must take heed lest we be swept away from our principles and our proper line of conduct. We shall be tempted to bitterness of feeling, to virulence of language, to impulsive action, to conduct unbecoming the desciples of the meek and lowly Jesus. Let us strive, while we render faithfully unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar's, to render likewise unto God the things which are God's. We are all warmly and earnestly united upon the necessity of this great Constitutional movement, and we need no hasty and immature legislation to vindicate our patriotism. Let us preserve that soberness and conservatism which have always distinguished Churchmen; and while we uphold firmly the great principles upon which our new Government has been founded, let us not be carried off into unchristian conduct and feeling. Besides the country, we have the Church to preserve, and we must see to it that she comes out of this convulsion unspotted and unstained. May the Holy Spirit of God rest upon us, and guide us into all truth.
And now, my beloved Brethren, commending you to the protection of Almighty God, and wishing you a safe return to your homes and Parishes, I reiterate my thanks for your very cordial recognition of my services as the Presiding officer of this body.
After the singing of the Gloria in Excelsis, and the offering of Prayers by the President, the Convention adjourned, to meet at Columbia, S. C., on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 1861, at 9 o'clock, A. M.
STEPHEN ELLIOTT, D. D., President.
Attest--JNO. M. MITCHELL, Sec'y.
1. The Convention shall be presided over by the Senior Bishop peesent; by whom, or those appointed by him, its daily sittings shall be opened at 9 o'clock, with the order of Morning Prayer.
2. When the President takes the Chair, no member shall continue standing, or shall afterwards stand up, except to address the Chair.
3. No member shall absent himself from the Service of the Convention, unless he have leave, or be unable to attend.
4. When any member is about to speak or deliver any matter to the Convention, he shall, with due respect, address himself to the President, confining himself strictly to the point in debate.
5. No member shall speak more than twice in the same debate, without leave of the Convention.
6. While the President is putting any question, the members shall continue in their seats, and shall not hold any private discourse.
7. Every member, who shall be in the Convention when any question is put, shall, on division, be counted unless excused.
8. No motion shall be considered as before the Convention, unless seconded, and, when required, reduced to writing.
9. When a question is under consideration, no motion shall be received, unless to lay it upon the table, to postpone it to a certain time, to postpone it indefinitely, to commit it, to amend it, or to divide it--and motions for any of these purposes shall have precedence in the order herein named. The motions to lay upon the table and to adjourn, shall be decided without debate. The motion to adjourn shall always be in order.
10. All Committees shall be appointed by the President, unless otherwise ordered.
11. When the Convention is about to rise, every member shall keep his seat until the President leaves his chair.
12. The Reports of all Committees shall be in writing, and shall be received, of course, and without motion, unless re-committed by vote of the Convention. All Reports recommending or requiring any action
or expression of opinion by the Convention, shall be accompanied by a resolution for the action of the Convention thereon.
13. If the question under debate contain several distinct propositions, the same shall be divided at the request of any member, and a vote taken separately, except that a motion to strike out and insert, shall be indivisible.
14. All questions of order shall be decided by the Chair, without debate; but any member may appeal from such decision; and on such appeal no member shall speak more than once, without express leave of the Convention.
15. All amendments shall be considered in the order in which they are moved. When a proposed amendment is under consideration, a motion to amend the same may be made; no after amendment to such second amendment, shall be in order. But when an amendment to an amendment is under consideration, a substitute to the whole matter may be received. No proposition on a subject different from that under consideration, shall be received under color of a substitute.
16. In taking the question, the vote, if called for by any delegation, shall be by Dioceses and Orders.
17. A question being once determined, shall stand as the judgment of the Convention, and shall not be drawn again into debate during the session, unless with the consent of two-thirds of the Convention; provided, always, that any member of the Convention voting in favor of any question may, on the same day, on which the vote is taken, or on the succeeding day, move the reconsideration of said vote.
RICHMOND, May 16, 1861.
The Rt. Rev. THOS. F. DAVIS, D. D., The Rt. Rev. STEPHEN ELLIOTT, D. D., The Rt. Rev. F. H. RUTLEDGE, D. D., The Rt. Rev. W. M. GREEN, D. D., The Rt. Rev. LEONIDAS POLK, D. D., The Rt. Rev. ALEX. GREGG, D. D.,
Rt. Rev. and Dear Brethren:
We observe that a meeting of the Bishops and of Delegates of the Dioceses within the Confederate States, has been appointed to be held at Montgemery on the 3d of July next, in order to consider the present relations, and the proper future course of those Dioceses.-- The results of that meeting will be likely to affect the position and conduct of Dioceses situated as ours are, in States not yet in union. with "the Confederate States," but which desire, and will probably soon accomplish that union. In this state of things, it seems to us, that the welfare of our Dioceses will be better secured, and the unity and prosperity of the Church in all the Southern States advanced, by having as general a representation as possible of the Southern Dioceses at that meeting. But for this purpose a change of the time and place of the meeting, will be highly expedient, if not absolutely necessary. We therefore, respectfully and affectionately, beg to suggest to you, the propriety of deferring the time of meeting a month or two, and of appointing for the place, Raleigh, or Ashville, in N. C., or Sewanee, in Tenn.
We remain, very truly,
Your friends and Brethren,
WILLIAM MEADE, J. JOHNS, THOS. ATKINSON.
MILLWOOD, June 20, 1861.
To the Bishops, Clergy, and Laity, of the Protestant Episcopal Church, assembled in Montgomery, Ala., the 3d of July, 1861.
DEAR BRETHREN AND FRIENDS:--In the Providence of God I am prevented from being with you, for the purposes mentioned in the circular of the Bishops of Louisiana, and Georgia. The season of the year, and the locality, were considered so objectionable to Bishops Johns, Atkinson and myself, as to induce us to address a letter to some of the Southern Bishops, proposing a later period, and other place, when and where a fuller attendance from the seceded States might be expected. A letter, just received from Bishop Elliott, holds out the expectation that the meeting must be held according to notice given, yet that it will adjourn to some other time and place. It would be improper in me to attempt to reach Montgomery on the 3d of July, and I am sure no others from Virginia will be there. It would require, I am told, three days and nights of continuous travelling from Richmond, to make the journey, and that is altogether too much for one of my age and infirmities.
I am also now in the midst of scenes and duties which I ought not to forsake for any other. The contending armies are all around me, and in daily expectation of deadly conflicts, and I must not be far distant from those numerous and dear relations, friends, fellow citizens and brethren in Christ, who may suffer and die on the battle fields.
As to the time and place of assembling, your body will doubtless make a proper choice. I have only to say, that if the fact of the civil Government being located in Richmond, and our Congress being appointed to meet there--if I am not mistaken--should render it the most eligible place, it will be most agreeable to myself, and I doubt not, the whole Church of Virginia, (as well as the inhabitants of Richmond,) that you should adjourn to that city.
Praying the Divine presence and blessing on your consultation, I remain yours, in the Lord.
WILLIAM MEADE, Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church of Virginia.
The Convention stands adjourned to meet at Columbia, S. C., on the third Wednesday in October, 1861.