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Full text of "A few historic records of the church in the diocese of Texas, during the rebellion : together with a correspondence between the Right Rev. Alexander Gregg ... and the Rev. Charles Gillette .."

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In giving the following pages to the public, it may be proper to state 
that I am influenced by two motives : a defence of my own rights, and 
the rights of Presbyters and Deacons, and ar defence of the Church against 
the usurpations of one of her highest ministers. I conceive that in the 
following discussion very grave principles, involving the liberty of con- 
science, and the freedom of Presbyters and Deacons to exercise it, and 
also the usages and teachings of the Church in this particular, are spe- 
cially trenched upon by the Bishop. 

It is with a view of bringing this matter before the Church at large, 
that, if possible, the question may be settled by such alterations of the 
law as may make the duty of each order of the ministry plain, that I 
make the following correspondence public. If a Bishop has a right to 
introduce prayers into the service of the Church on all occasions of 
public worship, and keep them there for years, then the Constitution and 
Canons of the Church need revising, so as to state the fact ; and if a 
Bishop has a right to introduce a mere political opinion into a prayer, by 
way of simple assertion, by authority of the Church, and to exclude from 
the exercise of their office all his clergy who do not agree with him, and 
cannot make the assertion with a good conscience, then the Church her- 
self needs reform. 


The following brief note of the Bisliop, together with 
the extracts from his address to the Convention, and the action 
of the Convention, will explain themselves. The Convention 
was held at the city of Austin, the capital of Texas, in the 
month of April, 1861 : 

To the Clergy and Laity of the Protestant Ej)isGO^al Church 

in the Diocese of Texas : 

Dear Bketheen: In compliance with the request of the 
Convention of the Diocese, which met in St. David's Church, 
Austin, on Thursday, the eleventh instant, the following ex- 
tract from my address, with the action of the Convention 
thereon, is herewith communicated to you. This request w^as 
made at my own suggestion, that you might be saved from 
misappreliension on the subject, through incorrect or exagge- 
rated statements : 


" I have very recently received from the Right Rev. Leoni- 
das Polk, D.D., Bishop of Louisiana, and the Right Rev. 
Stephen Elliot, Jr., D.D., Bishop of Georgia, a communica- 
tion, which they have been induced to make as the Senior 
Bishops in the Confederate States, proposing a Convention at 
Montgomery, Alabama, on third July next, to be composed of 
the Bishops of the said Dioceses, and of three Clerical and 
three Lay Deputies from each, to be appointed by their re- 
spective diocesan Conventions. The object of this Conven- 
tion will be, to consult upon such matters as may have arisen 


out of the clianges in our civil affairs ; and especially, as 
touching the relations of the Dioceses within the Confederate 
States to the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United 

" It is thought better, in the language of the said communi- 
cation, ' that these relations should be arranged by the com- 
mon 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 j^ro- 
duce inconvenient diversity.' 

"The necessity for such consultation, it is further added, 
' does not arise out of any dissension which has occurred with- 
in 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 bretln:*en 
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 necessitj^, 
have occurred, which have placed our Dioceses in a position 
requiring consultation as to our future ecclesiastical relations.' 

" As to what is here said respecting its essential unity, and 
the spirit of peace and concord prevailing in the Church, to 
this day, all must agree. Of the propriety, too, of such con- 
sultation, at this grave juncture in our ecclesiastical as well as 
civil history, it appears to me no doubt should be entertained ; 
and I heartily concur in the recommendation here made. It 
will devolve upon this body, if it should agree in this oj)inion, 
to take the action proposed. 

" If there are elements of change which can not be over- 
ruled or controlled, a fraternal interchange of views and har- 
monious action will doubtless give to these changes a right 

" If again, the general sentiment of the Church, ISTorth and 
South, should ultimately be found to tend to the expediency 
of a severance of the ecclesiastical union heretofore existing, 
then friendly consultation on our part, as prej^aratory to the 
final action of the General Convention, would be every way 

" Or, if there may be ecclesiastically a union, as there is un- 
questionably, in doctrine and feeling, a unity of the Church 
Catholic, ■which is above all nationalities, the course here sug- 
gested, under the peculiar circumstances in which we are 
placed, will be most likely to lead to its recognition. 

" And if, in accordance with this latter view, though our 
present ecclesiastical organization should have to give way to 
the force of circumstances, another should be established, provid- 
ing, as a bond of union, for a General Council of the Church 
in all the States, to meet once in six years, or at longer inter- 
vals of time, and legislate on mattera affecting the Church in 
its Catholicity, as its Liturgy and Faith, with Provincial 
Synods, composed of Dioceses contiguous and naturally fall- 
ing together, meeting once in three years, to take charge of 
theii* missionary and other local work — the annual Diocesan 
Conventions assembling, of course, as heretofore — an end 
would have been attained most important in the consequences 
resulting from the spectacle of such a union for the Church 
and the world, as well as in the happy effects directly upon 
the great body of the faithful — an end for which the mind of 
the Church seems to have been gradually preparing, and 
which many earnest hearts have longed to bring about. 

"May every change be directed aright, and the course of 
this world so peaceably ordered by God's governance, that His 
Church may joyfully serve him in all godly quietness, through 
Jesus Christ our Lord." 


Friday^ April 12. — On motion of the Rev. B. Eaton, that 
part of the Bishop's Address relating to a Convention of Dio- 
ceses in the Confederate States, to be held at Montgomery, 
Alabaraa, on the third day of July next, was referred to a spe- 
cial committee. 

The Bishop appointed the Hev, Messrs. Eaton, Gillette, and 
Rucker, and Messrs. "W". P. H. Douglass and W. L. Kobards 
said committee. 

Saturday, April 13. — The Eev. B. Eaton and the Rev. L. 


P. Rucker having presented majority and mino^-itj- reports 
from said committee, 

On motion of the Eev. L. II. Jones, it was 

Resolved^ That, in accordance with the recommendation of 
the Bishop, this Convention send three clerical and three lay 
deputies to the proposed Convention at Montgomery. 

Resolved, As the sense of this Convention, that the action 
of the said proposed Convention be returned to the Conven- 
tion of this Diocese for ratification or rejection. ■ 

The Eev. Messrs. Eaton, Gillette, and Jones, and Messrs. P. 
"W". Gray, S. M. Swenson, and A. M. Lewis were elected 

Tou will perceive, from the foregoing, the reasons for this 
movement at the present time. 

Before the last of June, the Conventions of all the Dioceses 
within the Confederate States will have met. 

And it was foreseen that, unless joint action, as in the pro- 
posed Convention at Montgomery, should be agreed upon, 
there would be independent Diocesan action, leading to in- 
convenient diversity, and to a severance, moreover, of those 
bonds which have united us so long, and so happily, with our 
Northern brethren. 

What the result of this general consultation will be can not 
be foreseen. Whatever action may be taken will be marked 
by calmness, moderation, and a spirit of peace and love. 

If it can be made to appear that some bond of union may 
continue to exist, as suggested in my Address, it will be ground 
of rejoicing. 

The thought of a violent rending of the Church, or of a sepa- 
ration, if such must needs be, otherwise than as brethren and 
friends, is not for a moment to be entertained. We bless God 
for the spectacle of union and of unity which the Protestant 
Episcopal Church in this country has ever presented to the 

And, whatever its future history may be, we feel assured it 
will be only such as we would desire to see written. 


Peace on earth and good will toward men, will be, as of 
old, tlie message proclaimed. 

You will join me, I know, in fervent prayers to God that 
His good Spirit may be with us in our councils, and that His 
Church may be one ; evermore preserving the unity of the 
Spirit in the bond of peace. 

Alex. Gkegg, Bishop of Texas. 
Austin, April 15, 18G1. 

The following are the majority and minority reports pre- 
sented, and referred to in the preceding minutes. The ma- 
jority report was rejected only by the Bishop's giving the 
casting vote : 


We, the undersigned, to whom was referred that part of 
the Bishop's Address relative to the anticipated meeting of a 
Convention at Montgomery, consisting of delegates from the 
Dioceses of the Confederate States, have had the same under 
consideration, and, aft^r mature deliberation, recommend the 
accompanying resolutions for adoption : 

1. Hesolved., That the Diocese of Texas, in Convention as- 
sembled, repudiate the idea that the dissolution of the civil 
government necessarily involves a division of ecclesiastical 
organization ; but shall at all times oppose any effort to change 
the same, or connect the Diocese with any body or association 
not first recognized and approved by the General Convention 
of the Protestant Episcopal Church of America. 

2. Hesolved, That we regard the assembling of a Convention, 
composed of only the Dioceses of the Confederate States, re- 
commended by the Rt. Rev. Bishops Polk and Elliot, and re- 
ferred to in the Address of our Bishop, as premature, and cal- 
culated to disturb the present harmony of the Church ; and 
we do hereby solemnly protest against the separate or con- 
nected action of said Dioceses affecting our ecclesiastical posi- 
tion, previous to the assembling of the General Convention. 

• 3. liesol'ved, That as the Church has always avoided poli- 
tics, and especially the agitation of questions growing out of 
our domestic institutions, we have great confidence in the 


sound conservative feeling in the Church, !North as well as 
South, and should deeply regret to see any action which would 
weaken our bonds of ecclesiastical union. 

4, Resolved^ That we have cherished fond hopes concerning 
the permanent establishment of the University of the South ; 
and as the Dioceses of Tennessee and l^orth-Carolina are 
specially identified with us in the accomplishment of this great 
work, we should, at least, desire their cooperation before tak- 
ing any step which would cause a change in our Church rela- 

5. Resolved^ That while we entertain the sentiment con- 
tained in the foregoing resolutions, and deske that no action 
should be had, yet a Convention of the Dioceses of the Confed- 
erate States may assemble ; we therefore recommend the elec- 
tion of three clerical and three lay delegates, to meet in said 
Convention, with instructions to oppose to the utmost any 
effort to disturb our present ecclesiastical union, or the forma- 
tion of any other, with powers inconsistent with the Con- 
stitution and Canons of the Protestant Episcopal Church in 

13th April, 18C1. « Benj. Eaton, 

CiiAKLEs Gillette, 
W. P. H. Douglass, 



The undersigned, one of the Committee to whom was re- 
ferred so much of the Bishop's Address as related to the pro- 
posed Convention at Montgomerj'-, Ala,, dissenting from the 
report agreed upon by said Committee, begs leave to submit 
the following minority report : 

Whereas^ The Senior Bishops of the Confederate States 
have recommended a General Convention of the Dioceses 
comprised within the Confederate States, to meet at Mont- 
gomery, Ala., on the third of July next, to take into consider- 
ation the changes necessary to be made in our ecclesiastical 
relations growing out of the new civil relations in which we 
have been placed by " the powers that be." 


And whereas, Tliis Convention recognizes tLe principle set 
fortli in the Canons of the primitive Clinrcli, and so earnestly 
contended for by the Protestant Fathers of our trnly Catholic 
and Apostolic Church, as opposed to the assumed universal 
authority of the Papacy, namely, that, in every separate 
national civil government, the Church should be mdejoendent 
and free from all foreign ecclesiastical jurisdiction. 

And whereas, For the purposes of harmony and uniformity, 
it is important that whatever changes may be made, either in 
the doctrines, discipline, or worship of the Church, should be 
done by all the Dioceses concerned acting in concert ; there- 

Resolved, 1, That the Convention concurs with the recom- 
mendation of the Senior Bishops of the Confederate States in 
the expediency of the proposed Convention at Montgomery, 
Ala., on the third of July next. 

Resolved, 2, That the Convention elect delegates, as pro- 
posed, to attend said Convention without instructions. 

Resolved, 3, That the action of said Coni^ention at Mont- 
gomery, Ala., should not be considered final in this Diocese, 
until ratified and approved by our Diocesan Convention duly 

April 13th, 1861. L. P. Kucker. 

In June, 1861, Bishop Gregg issued the following prayer, to 
be used in the Diocese during the continuance of the war : 


" O most powerful and glorious Lord God ! the Lord of 
Hosts, that rulest and commandest all things : Thou sittest in 
the throne judging right, and therefore we make our address 
to thy Divine Majesty in this our necessity, that thou wouldest 
take the cause into thy own hand, and judge between us and 
our enemies. 

" Stir up thy strength, O Lord ! and come and help us ; for 
thou givest not always the battle to the strong, but canst save 
by many or by few. 

" Give wisdom, courage, and every needful virtue to those 
chosen leaders, who may conduct our armies on the field of 


strife ; preserve them all from vain glorying, and from every 
undue excess in the hour of victory ; and. especially be with 
those who have gone, or may go forth in defense of their 
homes, of the institutions transmitted to them, and of every 
cherished right. Save them from the temptations to which 
they may be exposed, guard them from danger, strengthen and 
support them in the discharge of every duty to their country, 
and to thee, O Lord ! God of our fathers ! the rock of our re- 
fuge, who wilt give, we humbly trust, to thy injured people, 
victory at the last. We thank thee for the tokens of thy favor 
already vouchsafed. Continue them, we beseech thee, as we 
do put our trust in thee ; and grant that the unnatural war 
which has been forced upon us, may speedily be brought to a 
close, in the deliverance of thy people, in the restoration of 
peace, in the strengthening of our Confederate Government, 
that it may continue to flourish and prosper ; and in the ad- 
vancement of thy glory, O blessed Lord God ! who dost live 
and govern all things, world without end, through Jesus Christ 
our Lord. Amen." 

Although I thought this prayer savored by far too strong of 
party feeling for public use in the Church, yet I could con- 
scientiously use all the petitions, feeling that if it was God's 
will that they should be granted, I might well cry : " Thy will, 
O God ! be done." But when it came to the mere assertion of 
a fact, about which the Almighty was certainly better informed 
than any man could be, and concerning which there was great 
difference of opinion — an assertion which I did not believe to 
be true, as a matter of fact — I did not think it to be right for 
me to make it. It so happened that for a week or two after 
the prayer was put forth, either the Bishop or some other 
clergyman was with me, and took the part of the service in 
which the prayer occurred. During this time I took occasion 
to speak with the Bishop, stating some of my objections to the 
use of the -^ords, and especially my disbelief of what they as- 
serted. I observed that they might be omitted without affect- 
ing in the slightest degree any petition in the prayer ; and 
asked him to give me permission to omit them when I used the 
prayer. At the time, the Bishop said their insertion was not 


in accordance witli the usage of tlic Clnircli, and on this ground 
he would have left them out of the prayer, if it had been 
pointed out to him before the prayer was printed. He, how- 
ever, gave me permission to omit the words — a permission 
which I understood at the time to be as lasting as the use of 
the prayer ; and in my case, to extend to any place in the Dio- 
cese. In this, it afterward appeared, I was very much mistaken- 
The Bishop felt compelled first to limit me to my own parish' 
and afterward to withdraw the permission altogether. In re" 
gard to limiting me to my own parish, he evidently assumed 
an authority which is nowhere granted to him by canon. The 
law under which he put forth the prayer — which is the only 
one relating to the subject — enjoins a clergyman to use the 
23rayer for an extraordinary occasion, only in his " accustomed 
place of worship." If I had been traveling, therefore, in any 
part of the Diocese, during the four years of the continuance 
of the war, I should have felt under no obligation, by the law 
of the Church, to have used the Bishop's prayer on any occa- 
sion of public worship outside of my own parish. Therefore, 
when the Bishop forbade my officiating outside of my parish, 
unless I used, not only the prayer, but the words he had given 
me permission to omit, he certainly went beyond his au- 

In 1862, the Convention of the Diocese of Texas met in 
Houston. I extract from the Journal, as follows : 

On motion of Rev. Mr. Dalzell, 

'''■Resolved^ That so much of the Episcopal Address as refers 
to -our relation to the Confederate States, and to the Church in 
the United States, be referred to a special committee. 

" The following were appointed such Committee : Rev. "W. 
T. D. Dalzell, Eev. John Owen, Major S. Maclin, Colonel 
J. B. Hawkins, and Colonel A. M. Lewis." 

•" The Committee to whom was referred that portion of the 
Bishop's Address, having reference to the relation of the 
Church in this Diocese to the Confederate States, and also to 
the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, have 
given the subject that careful attention which its great im- 
portance demands, and beg to submit the following report : * 

" In the first place, the Committee feel that the Church in 


this Diocese has cause of thankfulness in the course adopted at 
the last Convention, when, in response to the Circular Letter 
from the two Senior Bishops then within the Confederate 
States, delegates were elected to represent this Diocese in the 
Convention which assembled at Montgomery, in July last : 
because, although no one of the Delegates elected was able to 
attend that Convention, the action of this Diocese having been 
concurrent with that of every other Diocese within the Confed- 
eracy, is evidence that we had adopted a principle of action 
aj)proved by the Bishops, Clergy, and Laity of the Church, as 
being catholic in its nature, and the only principle by which, 
we could be governed in the circumstances in which the 
Church then found herself placed in relation to the State. 
This principle has since then been further approved by the 
Churches in those States which have joined the Confederate 
States since our last Convention was held. And, in addition 
to this, the Committee also feel that the progress of events 
during the past year, has made it still further evident that the 
course pursued at the last Convention was wise, and, as we 
trust, directed by the great Head of the Church. The idea on 
which our action was based, was that an actual separation of 
certain States from the L^nited States had taken place, and 
that a new nation having been thus established, it became ne- 
cessary at least to consider, whether the Churches in the Dio- 
ceses within that new nation were not called upon, both in 
conformity with catholic usage in all ages of the Church, and 
in harmony with the system on which the Church in the 
United States is herself organized, to form themselves into an 
independent JSTational Church. The events of the last year 
show that this idea was correct ; that no future connection can 
exist between the States in the Confederacy and the United 
States ; and that, not merely in order to conform with the 
spirit and action of the Church Catholic from the Apostolic 
age down to the present time, but also that the Church might 
be enabled to exist at all, and fulfill the commission conferred 
on her by Christ, within these Confederate States, she must 
sever her connection in so far as government and discipline 
are involved, with the Protestant Episcopal Church in the 
United States, and organize into a permanent, distinct, ISTa- 


tional Clinrcb. But the Committee would suggest that pains 
be taken to impress the important truth on the minds of the 
members of the Church, and others, within the Diocese, that 
in thus organizing a National Church we sever none of the 
honds of unity that unite us in the communion of saints with 
the Church in the United States, and all other Churclies with 
whom we were in communion previous to the changes which 
have led to our national existence. 

" Secondly. The Committee would place on record the heart- 
felt sympathy of the Church in this Diocese with the cause of 
our country ; our sense of the grievous wrongs which led the 
Southern States to separate from the Old Union ; our hearty 
concurrence in the separation ; our repudiation in behalf of 
our country of the charge of having initiated the present un- 
holy war, waged against us by the United States ; our deep 
and abiding conviction that our cause is just and righteous ; 
that the war \i forced upon us by our enemies in defense of all 
the principles which the United States themselves- (as Colo- 
nies) asserted, and fought for, and established, namely, the 
independence of each separate State (then a Colony) and its 
inherent right to self-government ; and our solemn pledge, 
that our prayers shall be unceasingly offered to God for the 
Confederate Government, that it may continue to flourish and 
prosper, while, as an individual, each member of the Church 
will do all that lies in his power to aid and further the cause. 

" The Committee further desire to exDress concurrence in 


the action of the Convention held at Montgomery and Colum- 
bia ; a concurrence, however, which has been already shown 
by this Convention, in its adojDtion of the Proposed Perma- 
nent Constitution for the Church in the Cq^ifederate States, set 
forth by the Convention at Columbia. 

" In order, regularly and forcibly to express the sentiments 
here recorded, the Committee beg to offer to this Convention 
the following resolutions, for adoption : 

" 1st. Resolved^ That this Convention now formally de- 
clare — which, in consequence of the course of events in the 
State, has been practically the case ever since the adjournment 
of the last Convention — that the Protestant Episcopal Church, 


in tlie Diocese of Texas, has ceased to be a Diocese of tlie Pro- 
testant Episcopal Clinrcli in the United States. 

" 2d. Resolved^ That in thus declaring our independence of 
the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, this 
Convention simply adopts a principle of catholic usage, the 
application of which in our case is rendered necessary by 
tlie secession of the State of Texas from the United States — 
that principle being the existence of a National Church in 
every separate nation — while we retain the essential elements 
of unity with the Holy Catholic Church throughout the 

" 3d. Resolved^ That this Convention approve of the course 
of the Bishop of this Diocese, and also that of the Standing 
Committee, in their official action since the last Convention, 
by which they asserted the independence of this Diocese of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States ; and 

'■'' Resolved further^ That this Convention heartily concur in 
the sentiments of the Pishop expressed in his address, and 
earnestly press upon the attention of the members of the 
Church, that portion especially which refers to their personal 
dangers and duties in the present crisis. 

" 4th. Resolved^ That the Church in the Diocese of Texas 
owes civil allegiance to the Government of the Confederate 
States of America ; that she recognizes the divine command 
to siihmit to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake^ and 
adopts the practice of the Church in all ages, in yielding alle- 
tj-iance to the Government of the nation in which the provi- 
dence of God has placed her ; while, moreover, she sympathizes 
heartily with the cause of the Confederate States, and prays, 
and will pray to God, to bring to a speedy close the unholy 
war which has been forced upon us, and to strengthen the 
Government, that it may continue to flourish and prosper. 

" 5th. Resolved^ In order that the members of the Church 
in Texas may fully understand the present position of this 
Diocese, and the duties which devolve upon us in the present 
great emergency, the clergy are hereby requested to read to 
their congregations, after morning service, on the first Sunday 
after receiving printed copies of the Journal of this Conven- 




tion, all those portions of tlie Bishop's Address Tvliich refer to 
the same, adding such remarks as they may deem expedient. 

W. T. D. Dalzell, Chairman. 
John Owen, 
Sackfield Maclin, 
J. B. Hawkins, 
A. M. Lewis, 

On motion of General Bee, 

" Resolved^ That the report and resolutions of the ' Commit- 
tee to whom was referred that portion of the Bishop's Address 
having reference to the relation of the Church in this Diocese, 
to the Confederate States, and also to the Protestant Episcopal 
Church in the United States,' this day unanimously adopted as 
the sense of this Convention, be read before all the Churches 
of this Diocese at the time specified therein for reading so 
much of the Bishop's Address as refers to the subject," 

It will thus be seen that to the assertion of Bishop Gregg, 
" this unnatural war, which was forced upon us," -was added 
the solemn resolve of the Diocese of Texas, proclaiming the 
truth of the"assumption. And that no doubt might any longer 
remain upon the minds of those who differed about the " his- 
torical fact," the proceeding, by which it was settled, was or- 
dered to be read from every pulpit in the State. As no new 
argument or proof was offered, there still remained some who 
thought it a mere matter of judgment, and not an authorita- 
tive decree. The Convention at which the above action was 
taken, met on the fifth of June, 18C3. I was not j^i'esent at 
the meeting. 

On Saturday, the fifth day of July, I met the Bishop on the 
street in the city of Austin. He inquired if I had received a 
copy of the Journal of the Convention, to wdiich I replied that 
I had. He asked me if I observed the resolution requesting 
the reading of the report of the Committee on the Bishop's 
Address, and the resolutions. I answered that I had observed 
it. He then inquired if I intended to read them the following 
day ? I told him I did not, giving as my reason that it was 
communion Sunday ; that there was a good deal of feeling in 
the congregation, many supposing, as I did myself, that the 


resolutions, and tlie request to read tliem, was directed spe- 
cially' against myself; that if I read tliem, on that day, pro- 
bably a number of the communicants would leave the church ; 
that I did not see any thing special to be gained by reading 
them a week earlier or later, and that I thought the following 
Sunday would do just as well. 

The Bishop seemed much displeased, and told me, in a man- 
ner not at all pleasant, that if I would not read them the fol- 
lowing day, he thought he would go and read them to my con- 
gregation. I was not prepared for such a proposition, made, 
in such a way, and I replied he had no right to do that. He 
contended he had. After some further conversation, in which 
the Bishop still insisted that he had the right to read the reso- 
tions to my congregation without my consent, in virtue of its 
being his parish church — ^by which I supposed he meant the 
place where his family, and he, when at home, worshiped — 
we parted. He left me so much in doubt as to w^hat he in- 
tended to do, that I addressed him the following note on the 
afternoon of the same day. I thought the Bishop Avas taking 
a stand, ignoring my rights as a presbyter, and I at once de- 
termined that, under no circumstances, should he read the re- 
solutions the following day. I should- have remarked that 
before we parted, I had told him that if the proceedings were 
read, I should not haA^e the communion, although I had given 
notice for it the week previous. 

Let the correspondence which followed explain itself : 

" My Dear Bishop : Will you please inform me this even- 
ing what course. you have determined to pursue to-morrow? 

" Allow me to suggest an examination of the VI. Sec. of 
Can. 12, Title I. of the Digest. I take minister, as there used, 
to include a Bishop, except when making his visitation, as 
elsewhere directed in the canons. If you think I am wrong, 
please inform me. Yery respectfully, yours, 

" Austin, July 5, 1862. Chaeles Gillette." 

"Austin, July 5, 1862. 
" Dear Bkother Gillette : I have concluded to let matters 
take the course to-morrow which you suggest. I have not 


liitlierto, nor do I now understand Sec. YI, of Can. 12, Title I., 
as applying to the Bishop of a Diocese. It appears to m*e the 
point alluded to would have to be determii -^d upon other 
authority. ■ Yours, truly, Alex'r Gkegg. 

" Rev. C. Gillette." 

In the following Convention, which met in June, 1863, no 
public action was taken in regard to myself ; but soon after its 
adjournment I was surprised at receiving the following letter : 

" Houston, May 9, 1863. 
" Kev. and Deah Brother : You no doubt can but know 
that we. Presbyters in this Diocese, are aware of the position 
in which you are placed by the omission of the words in the 
Bishop's Prayer, ' which has been forced upon us.' 

" Moved by the kindest feelings and a due consideration of 
your long residence in this Diocese, we most affectionately say 
to you, that your course, as above mentioned, has presented a 
stumbling-block to many members of the Church in our Dio- 
cese, and especially to the clergy. 

" We affectionately beg, • therefore, that you will endeavor 
to conform to the use of the omitted words in the Bishop's 
Prayer, so as to remove this obstacle to the harmony and 
unity of the Church and clergy in the Diocese of Texas. 

" If this is not practicable, your brethren would kindly ask, 
if there is not a way of removing this diflficulty, that will ac- 
cord with your feelings and sentiments, and with the peace, 
honor, and quietness of our beloved Church in this Diocese ? 

" Please take the above into consideration, and reply to the 
Secretary of the Presbyters. 

L. P. Pucker, President. 
Edwin A. Wagner, W. T. Dickinson Dalzell, 

S. D. Davenport, P. S. Seely. 

John Owen, Secretary of the Clergy." 

I did not know the meaning of this formidable body of 
Presbyters, to whose Secretary I was directed to make answer. 
A self-constituted body, coming between the Bishop and one 
of his clergy, in a matter which was all vested in the Bishop, 
and so calling a brother to an account in a matter with which 


tliey properly had nothing to do — all this seemed to me so 
irregnlar and unchurchlike, that I hardly knew what course 
to pursue. But, upon reflection, I thought it better to make 
no reply. And, accordingly, I remained silent-. I have since 
learned that this letter was so arranged that some boasted that 
there was no Presbyter present who would dare refuse to sign 
it. But in this there was a mistake. Some had enough of 
the spirit of the Church to defy the political fury and refuse 
to sign the letter of " the Presbyters." I might not think it 
necessary to give this letter here if it did not make a connected 
link in the continued and systematic persecution, for opinion's 
sake, to which, for a series of years, I have been subjected. 
One of two things was evidently determined upon by " the 
Presbyters," as well as by the Bishop. Either I must give up 
conscience or'leave the Diocese. The former I could not, and 
the latter would have been very difficult for me under the cir- 

In June, 1864, the Council assembled again at Houston. 
As the letter of " the Presbyters " had produced no result, it 
became necessary for something further to be done. Accord- 
ingly, the Council took the following action : 

" The following preamble and resolution was presented by 
the Eev. Mr. Owen : 

" Whei'cas^ In the severe and bloody conflicts in which om- 
beloved country is still engaged, it is expedient and necessary 
that all, in and out of the Church, should be united, harmo- 
nious, and unflinching in the maintenance of our righteous 
cause ; and whereas, in the sj^ecial prayer prepared by our 
Bishop for the present war an historical fact is incidentally in- 
culcated and appropriately introduced, which can not, with 
good reason be questioned, namely, that the war was forced 
upon us, and that we were not the aggressors ; and whereas, 
the omission of the words, ' which has been forced upon us.' 
on the part of any clergyman, is an evil to be deprecated as a 
source of discord and contention, and in its measure subver- 
sive of truth, and love, and unity, and peace ; therefore, be it 

'•''Resolved hy this Council, That the Bishop of the Diocese 
be most respectfully requested to withhold from every clergy- 


man a permission to omit the aforesaid words, and to with- 
draw it wherever it has been granted, and thus prevent the 
ignoring of so important an established fact, which indubit- 
ably justifies our right to resist, even unto death, the wicked 
invasion of the relentless, cruel, and blood-thirsty enemies of 
our country. 

" After some debate, the preamble and resolution were made 
the special order for four o'clock p.m., to which hour the Coun- 
cil then took a recess. 

" Four o'clock p.m. — Council reassembled. Present, in ad. 
dition to those in the morning. Dr. Thomas J. Heard, of St. 
Paul's Church, Washington. 

" The preamble and resolution of Rev. Mr. Owen, being the 
special order for this hour, were taken up, and after some fur- 
ther debate, a vote by orders was called for by the Pev. Mr. 
Pucker, which, being duly seconded, resulted as follows : 


^^Ayes — Pev. Messrs. Pucker, Owen, Seely, Davenport, and 

" I:ioes — Pev. Messrs. Goshorn and Pichardson. 


''^Ayes — St, Mark's Church, San Antonio ; St. Paul's Church, 
"Washington ; St. Peter's Church, iBrenham ; Trinity Church, 
Galveston ; Calvary Church, Pichmond ; Christ Church, Ma- 

^^Dimdeci — Christ Church, Houston. 

^''Excused — Grace Church, Independence. 

" On motion of Hon. C, W. Puckley, the Secretary was re- 
quested to give the Bishop a certified copy of the preamble 
and resolution." 

This action of the Council led to the final withdrawal of 
the permission formerly given to omit the words, "which has 
been forced upon us," by the issuing of a pastoral in the latter 
part of June, 1864, and a short note to myself, both of which 
will be introduced in their proper place in the following cor- 


After the action of tlie Convention in 18G2, and tlie conver- 
sation had with the Bishop, I felt that such injustice had been 
done me, both by the Convention and the Bishop, that I de- 
sired to set mj-self right, "if possible, at least with the Bishop. 
The^Rev. Mr.'^Wagner, being on a visit at the Bishop's, in 
Austin, I desired a conference in connection with some matters 
which had transpired. I wished this conference in writing ; but 
it so happened that it took place at the vestrj-room of St. Da- 
vid's Church, the Bishop, Eev. Messrs. Wagner and Brown, and 
myself, being present. In the conversation, Mr. Wagner was 
understood to say, that the action of the Convention in 1862, 
in the resolutions passed, and requested to be read in each 
congregation, was had with a view of making me define my 
position, politically. This, together with other propositions, 
clearly made or implied in the course of the conversation, led 
me, a few days afterward, to draw oif the ten following pro- 
positions to which I could not assent, which I submitted -to 
the Bishop in writing, and to which he made the reply an- 
nexed : 


" In the conversation had with yourself and Messrs. Wagner 
and Brown, at the vestry-room of St. David's, on Tuesday? 
the -fifth instant, I stated, in the beginning, that I did not ex- 
pect to argue the questions involved, but only desired to get a 
clear statement of certain points ; but that I should be glad to 
argue the subject at length in writing. I therefore said very 
little on that occasion in answer to the propositions advanced, 
or the statements made. 

"As, in my judgment, there are very grave and important 
questions involved, of vital interest not only to Mr. Brown 
and myself, but to the whole Church of God, and to the ad- 
vancement of the cause of our Divine Master in the world, I 
deem it my duty to make a very plain but very respectful 
statement of the light in which I view some of these points. 

" I premise, in the beginning, that I accuse no man of loillful 
wrong ; but yet I think a great and grievous wrong has been 
done to individuals and to the Church at large. 

" 1st. To begin with some of. the points fully stated, or as I 


deem clearly inferred from the conversation. I can not assent 
to the proposition that a Christian minister has no right to be 
guided by his own conscientious convictions of duty, although 
those con^^ctions may be contrary to those of many or all of 
his brethren. "Were this so, Luther and his colaborers in the 
Reformation must have been forever silenl;, and no reformation 
could have dawned upon the Church. The English Church 
would still have been sleeping quietly in the arms of the Pa- 
pacy. Transubstantiation and the sale of indulgences would 
still have been taught and practiced, and all the monstrous 
dogmas growing out of these and kindred doctrines would 
still have covered up and defaced the Church of God. If the 
above proposition were true, Galileo must have submintted to 
the doctors of the Church, and the true science of Astronomy 
must still have been unknown. A minister of God can only 
safely follow his o^^ti convictions of right when he has care- 
fully and prayerfully made use of the lights he has before 

" 2d. I can not assent to the proposition, that a minister of 
the Gospel violates the peace of the Church, when, in his own 
sphere, he conscientiously performs what he believes to be his 
duty, in accordance with the Eitual of the Church and with 
the permission and sanction of his Bishop, without transgress- 
ing any law or regulation of the Church. If this were so, the 
peace of the Church would be constantly broken, as often as 
one man differed from another on any subject whatever. If 
the peace of the Church is broken, it is rather they that break 
it who step out of their own sphere to censure and condemn 
those who may differ from them in opinion, in matters where 
the greatest liberty of opinion is allowed. 

" 3d. I can not assent to the proposition that a Bishop has no 
right to grant permission to one, or a number of his clergy, to 
omit a sentence, or part of a sentence in a special prayer, put 
forth by himself for ' extraordinary occasions.' This would 
be, as I conceive, to make a Bishop infallible, and his acts, 
like the laws of the Medes and Persians, which altered not, 
though a Daniel were thrown to lions for devoutly worship- 
ing his God. 

" 4th. I can not assent to the proposition that a minister is 


responsible for tlie political sentiments of liis congregation, 
and if lie can not guide and control tliem in politics, lie liad 
better leave tliem to tlie care of some one else. This would 
seem to me to place politics above religion, and tbe care of 
the state above the care of souls ; and I do not find this any- 
where taught in the gospels, or intimated in my ordination 

" 5th. I can not assent to the proposition that the Council of 
the Church, in solemn conclave, is bound to listen to the A^oice 
of the outside world, and jDublicly censure a brother clergy- 
man for what it deems a political heresy, passing a series of 
resolutions, and requesting them to be read in open church, 
thereby intending to force him to define his position, politic- 
ally. • This would be to make the Church a political engine, 
to discover by moral tortures the secret opinions of her clergy, 
and so expose them to the malice and persecution of unprin- 
cipled men. 

" ()tli. I can not assent to the proposition, that the present 
war is one for the sake of piety, and that the very existence 
of morality, virtue, and religion in the South, are involved in 
its issue. I am not able to discover any thing involved in the 
struggle which makes it jpar excellence a war for godliness, or 
for the advancement of the Redeemer's kingdom. 

"Ttli. I cannot assent to the proposition, that the injunction 
of our Saviour, ' Render unto Ctesar the things which be 
Caesar's,' makes it the duty of a Christian minister to harangue 
his people publicly or privately, to arouse in them a spirit of 
war and all the baser passions which must inevitably accom- 
pany such a spirit, calling our enemies vandals and an infidel 
host, when, in the judgment of charity, they are no more in- 
fidel or irreligious than ourselves. Such a course would, 1 be- 
lieve, be a violation of my solemn ordination vows, wherein I 
promised before God " to maintain and set forward as much as 
in me lay, quietness, peace, and love among all Christian peo- 
ple, and especially among those, that are or shall be committed 
to my charge." 

" 8tli. I can not assent to the proposition, that our last Dio- 
cesan Council has not exceeded the usual custom of the Church 
in political legislation, and that there has been no teaching of 


tlie clergy beyond "what was meet, considering tlie exigencies 
of the times, in relation to war and its adjuncts. I pass no 
censure, nor arraign any one for what has been done ; I simply 
state I hat, with my views of duty as a Christian minister, I 
could not do the same. 

" 9th. I can not assent to the proposition that any man has a 
right to go behind the words of prayer, and judge another as 
to whether he prays ' ex animo.'^ Of this, God alone is 

" 10th. I can not assent to the proposition, that the special 
prayer now in use in this Diocese is based upon the words, 
' which has been forced upon us,' and without these becomes, 
in effect, no prayer for the times. This would make a few 
words of gratuitous information to the Almighty to contain 
the essence of all the petitions — a proposition to which my 
judgment does not assent. 

" I feel that the action of my brethren partakes largely of an 
intolerant, sectarian, and persecuting spirit; a spirit which 
says, ' You must think and speak as I do, or not at all ;' and 
that, too, when no doctrine- or article of faith is concerned. 
In feeling thus, I give every individual credit for wishing to 
do right ; for an intolerant and persecuting spirit is compati- 
ble wath the utmost sincerity. St, Paul had no greater sin- 
cerity or desire to serve God when he preached the Gospel 
and was himself persecuted, than when, in former times, he 
had persecuted the followers of Jesus, even unto strange cities 
and to death. 

" I feel that my brethren are proposing a new test of fitness 
for ministerial labor among them, hitherto unknown in the 
Church. They are saying : ' You must believe with us politi- 
cally, or you can not labor in the Church with us. "We can 
not fraternize with you, without this ; but we will, by our acts, 
publicly say you are unworthy to labor with us, as a minister, 
in the Church of God.' " 

To this paper, the Bishop returned the following, as a reply : 

In reply to the paper submitted by Rev. Mr. Gillette, as to 
conversation held between himself and Mr. Brown, on the one 
part, and Rev. Mr. "Wagner and myself, on the other, and the 


matters involved, I remark, in the first place, (and wisli to be 
understood as speaking in all candor and kindness, however 
plainly,) that of the ten propositions deduced by Mr, Gillette 
from said conversation, and from the acts of Convention and 
the clergy, to which he can not assent, there is, in my opinion, 
but one, the eighth, which is deducible from any thing that 
has been said or has occurred, and even that is not set forth 
correctly in strictness of language. But, let the propositions 
be taken up in order, however misapprehended, that the whole 
subject may be discussed. 

The questions involved, both as to principle and practical 
consequences, are 'indeed grave and important for individuals 
and the Church, and unhappy results have abeady transpii'ed ; 
but not, I am persuaded, through the fault or error of their 
brethren, as to Kev. Messrs. Gillette and Brown. Of willful 
wrong, I trust no one is suspected. May not the present state 
of things, as to them, be attributable rather to erroneous opin- 
ion and position in the outset, and misconception, in conse- 
quence as to what has since occurred ? 

As to the first proposition, to which Mr. Gillette can not 
assent, " That a Christian minister has no right to be guided 
by his own conscientious convictions of duty, although those 
convictions may be contrary to the convictions of many, or all 
of his brethren," I do not understand it to have been made 
directly or indirectly. ' And yet, as here broadly and compre- 
hensively stated, its converse may, in some aspects, admit of 
very important qualifications. 

Has a clergyman, or any man, a right to be guided by con- 
scientious convictions, unless he has taken the pains to enlight- 
en his conscience by a well-informed judgment ? Suppose,' as 
in the case before us, these convictions are based upon a political 
opinion, the party entertaining them all the while eschewing 
politics, h.?^?, he not reason to distrust himself? "Would not 
common prudence dictate that he should be willing to take the 
opinion of the statesmen of the country, if you please, the 
wisest laymen of the Church ; just as he would expect a poli- 
tician, or man of the world, in matters of religious faith and 
practice, to take counsel of the divines of the Church ? 

But, granting his opinion is fixed and unchangeable — and his 


conscientious convictions based thereon must be his guide — 
how far has a clergyman of the Church the right, in conse- 
quence thereof, to persist in a line of conduct,, or in maintain- 
ing a "j.)Osition at war with the general sentiment and feeling 
of the diocese and a large part of his individual congregation, 
a course on his part, to a certain extent, disturbing the peace 
and bringing reproach on the Church, besides leading inevita- 
bly to alienations and divisions, or fostering and increasing 
such feelings, already in existence, among those committed to 
his charge ? Under such iinhappy circumstances, is he, of 
conscientious necessity, to remain where he is ? 

As to the second proposition to which Mr, Gillette can not 
assent, " That a minister of the Gospel violates the peace of 
the Church when, in his own sphere, he conscientiously per- 
forms what he believes to be his duty, in accordance with the 
ritual of the Church, and with the permission and sanction 
of his Bishop, and without transgressing any law or regulation 
of the Church," I do not understand that, in this form, any 
such proposition has been made ; because, first, we believe the 
course of Rev. Mr, Gillette not to have been in accordance 
with the ritual of the Church, in so far, at least, as the spirit 
of the ritual is that of unity and peace ; and second, because, 
though with the permission of his Bishop, he has omitted cer- 
tain words in the prayer, it was by no means with the Bishop's 
sanction or approval, but simply a point yielded, with pain, to 
Mr. Gillette's conscience, and with sad apprehensions, at the 
time, of the results which would ensue. But, taking the pro- 
position as it stands, it may not be untenable, for the reason 
that a minister may so far err in the manner of performing 
what he conceives to be his duty, as to violate the peace of 
the Church, though in letter he may not seem to violate the 
Church's ritual or laws. 

As to the third proposition, to which Mr. Gillette can not 
assent, " That a bishop has no right to grant permission to one 
or a number of his clergy, to omit a sentence, or a part of a 
sentence, in a special prayer, put forth by himself for-extraor- 
dinary occasions," I am not aware that it has been main- 
tained; but, on the contrary, I understand the right referred 
to, to have been expressly admitted by those who have ex- 

28 •» 

pressed the most decided opinion as to the inexpediency of 
such perinimon having been granted. Supposing, however, 
any- to hold the proposition, as set forth by Mr. Gillette, it 
vrould by no means follow, as he intimates, that it would make 
the Bishop infallible, or his acts " like the laws of the Medes 
and Persians, which change not, though a Daniel were thrown 
to lions for devoutly worshiping his God." For while none, 
within the pale of Protestantism at least, are so weak as to 
entertain any such notion of a bishop's opinions or acts, yet it 
might, with some show of reason, be held 'that a bishop had 
no right (albeit with power, if he chose) to permit, in favor of 
one or more of his clergy, what would seriously aifect the 
uniformity of j)i*ayer, and perhaps the Christian feelings and 
peace of the congregations of a diocese. 

As to the fourth proposition to which Mr. Gillette can not 
assent, " That a minister is responsible for the political senti- 
ments of his congregation, and if he can not guide and con- 
trol them in politics, he had better leave them to the care of 
some one else," I can only express my surprise that Mr. Gil- 
lette should understand any one to have made it, and add em- 
phatically, God forbid that it should be so ; and yet, with a 
disavowal of the proposition as here laid down, I can readily 
understand how a minister may incur a serious responsibility 
in connection with the political sentiments of a part or the 
whole of his congregation — responsihle, if not for their opin- 
ions originally, at least in giving his sanction thereto, in en- 
couraging a line of conduct based thereon, and in arraying, it 
may be most defiantly, a part of the congregation against the 
rest. For, though professing to exclude politics in toto in the 
pulpit, and actually abstaining, in letter, from any thing of 
the kind, he may, notwithstanding, make himself a decided 
partisan, g\yra.g all the weight of his official influence and 
pastoral connection to such a course ; and so do it that no one 
in or out of the Church will misunderstand his position. He 
may do it in the pulpit, throughout a great revolution and a 
bloody and protracted war, both in his ordinary routine and 
on extraordinary occasions, as of public fast or thanksgiving 
appointed by those in authority, by such a studied silence as 
to the great questions agitating the state, and the events 


transpiring around liim, moving tlie hearts, of millions of 
people, though in their spiritual bearing, as never to betray 
any sympathy with the government and country in their 
perilous struggle — a silence which he knows will be pleasing 
to a part, and as offensive to the other portion of his congre- 
gation — a silence which the very instincts of our nature in the 
love of country, as they are recognized and sanctioned by the 
Scriptures, would seem to forbid — a silence which ignores 
these special topics in their spiritual bearings, to say the least, 
which the times demand for the improvement of a people ; 
as, for examjyle, the temptation to the spirit of extortion, of 
revenge, of profanity, of reliance upon an arm of flesh and un- 
due absorption, in short, in the things of the present, in its ex- 
traordinary character to the neglect of spiritual things, and 
the duties which every good citizen owes to the state. lie 
onay do it again, most emphatically, by omitting certain words 
in a prayer put forth by his bishop, upon which the great 
question in connection with the public troubles, in the judg- 
ment of many of his people, as of the laity of the Church at 
large, is thought to depend : namely, as to ih.Q fact, whether 
the war was forced upon us — a course on his part calculated 
to excite in the people more bitter feelings, than an open 
avowal of his sentiments in connection therewith, however 
adverse, at such a crisis, and calculated to lead to more un- 
happy consequences in the end. Again, he may show a de- 
cidedly partisan spirit, by allowing himself, for whatever reason, 
to cherish most, if not all his private sympathetic associations 
with a certain class of his congregation, and these generally 
supposed to be disaffected toward the government, or at least 
not sympathizing with the country in its struggle — a course 
which would be decisive of strong political feeling and sym- 
pathy in the judgment of mankind. 

As to the fifth proposition, to which Mr. G. can not assent, 
" That the Council of the Church in solemn conclave is bound 
to listen to the voice of the outside world, and publicly censure 
a brother clergyman for what they deem a political heresy, 
passing a series of resolutions, and requesting them to be read 
in open church, thereby intending him to define his position 
politically," it certainly has not been made to my knowledge, 


nor is it deducible from the action of the Convention, by any 
process of reasoning whatever. For the proposition, as here 
set forth, is based upon an entire distortion of the character of 
the Convention, as arf assemblage of the Church, as well as its 
motives and objects in the action 'referred to. It was, in no 
sense, a " conclave,^'' but a public open meeting — its motive is 
to be found in the civil and ecclesiastical changes that had 
taken J)lace, as its object was for the Church in this Diocese, 
as it ought to have done, to give a formal and solemn expres- 
sion of its feelings and sentiments as to its relation to the Pro- 
testant Episcopal Church in the United States, and to the Con- 
federate States, and also as to the unnatural war which is being 
waged against us, with the grave questions connected with itf 
Such a declaration, under the circumstances, was due to that 
government, in its present perilous struggle, to which our 
hearty allegiance is due. The report and resolutions of the 
Committee rise far above the contemplation of individuals, 
whose course, indeed, may have helped, in their measure, to 
make such action eminently proper. There is, in fact, no allu- 
sion to persons — nor any language of censure, except by impli- 
cation — though there is a distinct reference to the war, in lan- 
guage reiterated, as " having been forced upon us." But this 
point had been made nearly a year before by the Eev. Mr. 
Gillette himself, in one of the leading parishes of the Diocese, 
by his declining, on grounds of conscience, to read the words, 
" which has been forced upon us," in the prayer put forth by 
the Bishop — leading, in his own parish and elsewhere through- 
out the Diocese, to general remark and much feehng, as was 
naturally to be expected. It was, in fact, an issue pre^dously 
made by Mr. Gillette with his Bishop as to a point which the 
clergy and laity of the Church, with very few exceptions, con- 
ceive to be of vast moral consequence in connection with the 
present war. "With him, therefore, rests the responsibility, 
whatever there be, of first making a distinct political issue, if 
it can be so called, when none had been thought of, and as 
was supposed, except with those anti-Southern in feelings, there 
could be no difference of opinion. The matter having been 
so much talked of and commented on throughout the Diocese, 
because of the extraordinary character of the issue made, and 


that a point toiicliing the uniformity of prayer in the Church, 
it was most proper and becoming that the Convention should 
solemnly declare " that this unnatural war has been forced 
upon us," for the vindication of the Bishop, of a suffering coun- 
tiy, of the Church's integrity, its members of all degrees hav- 
ing embarked their lives and fortunes in the struggle, and for 
its justification before God, in praying for victory over our 
foes. Of course, such a declaration, and that repeated, reflect- 
ed seriously upon the position and course of Mr, Gillette, but 
it is his unhappiness, not the fault of the Convention, that such 
should be the case. It was the natural result of his previous 
course, persisted in at a time when there should be no division 
as to such .a question, and contrary, as he well knew, to the ' 
general feeling and act of the Church, as expressed in prayer 
to God. In the language adopted by the Convention, there is 
no word of harshness unbecoming such a body, and nothing 
that savors of the excitement and vindictiveness of a political 
assemblage greatly roused. If there was any propriety in 
adopting the report and resolutions, there was certainly as 
much in requesting them to be read in all the churches of the 
Diocese. When matters of importance have been acted on by 
Conventions of the Church, in which general interest was felt 
by her members at large, it has not been unusual to have such 
actions brought before the congregations. It was eminently 
proper in this case, for reasons which have already been stated. 
It is questionable, I think, from what transpired at the time, 
whether there was, in the moving or adoption of the resolu- 
tions, any special thought of, or reference to, Mr. Gillette. It 
had been already resolved that that portion of the Episcopal Ad- 
dress referred to, should be read in the churches, and the other 
was very naturally added. The real object, if I understand it, 
was thus to have publicly made known, in all the parishes and 
to the Church at large, what the Convention had done ; and 
in no other way could this object have been so effectually ac- 
complished. There certainly can be no foundation whatever 
for the implied charge, that the action of the Convention 
" made the Church a political engine, to discover, by moral 
torture, the secret opinions of her clergy, and so expose them 
to the malice and persecution of irreligious and unj^rincipled 


men." "Was tliis remarkable language well Tveigbed ? The 
Cliureli of Christ prostituting itself to the work of exposing its 
own clergy to the malice and persecution of irreligious and 
unprincipled men ? "Who entertain secret opinions'now ? Is 
it a time for such things ? If I am not mistaken, the Conven- 
tion generally regarded Mr. Gillette's position, as to the war 
at least, as being well defined. If it, had been otherwise, the 
mere reading the resolutions in his parish could be no defin- 
ing of his position — his refusal to do so would have been sig- 
nificant. The Convention knew, of course, that it' could only 
request the clergy to read, having no authority to enforce a 
comjyliance, and not only as to the ivar, Mr. Gillette's opinion 
as to our separation from the Church in the United States 
was well known, after the meeting of the Convention in 1861, 
in St. David's, and I may add as to our political separation 
also. What secret opinion was it, then, which the Convention 
would fain have extracted ? Finally, as to the proposition 
before us, " It was no voice from the outside world to which 
the Convention had listened," but the cognizance of facts, well 
known throughout the Diocese, which shaped its action to the 
extent abeady explained. 

As to the sixth proposition, to which Mr. G. can not assent, 
" That the present war is one for the sake of piety, and that 
the very existence of morality, %drtue, and religion in the South, 
are involved in its issue," I am not aware that it has been 
made. It is surely a sad misconception of what has been said 
on the subject, to suppose it implies that this is a war "_^:>«r 
excellences^ for godliness or for the advancement of the Re- 
deemer's kingdom. When or by whom has such an opinion 
been expressed ? We do hold, with one consent, that it is a 
vMr in the issue of which: morality and religion are involved, 
though not their existence, to an extent beyond that .of any 
other war of modern times, if not beyond any since the days 
when the kingdoms of darkness were leagued against the in- 
fant Church of Christ for its destruction. 

We do not maintain, indeed, that the war is waged on our 
part ^'■jyar excellence " for godliness, but for our hberties and 
independence, for our cherished rights as States, and for our 
peculiar institution ; and, in the overthrow of these — in the 


scenes tliat "^'oukl precede and those wliicli would follow, in 
tlie yoke wliicli subjugation by our foes would impose, and the 
bloody horrors ever attending the efforts to throw it off — that 
our very religion, as we now have it and enjoy it, would be 
lamentably involved ; passing under a dark cloud, all ecclesi- 
astical organizations, as now existing, being broken up ; and a 
scattered and almost exterminated people, as we would be, 
forced to worship the God of their fethers in secret places, in 
the wilderness, or mountains and caves of the earth. In this 
sense and to this extent we are fighting for religion, and rely 
upon God for deliverance. 

As to the seventh proposition to which Mr. G. can not assent, 
" That the injunction of our Saviour, ' Render unto Caesar the 
things which be Csesar's,' makes it the duty of a Christian 
minister to harangue his people publicly or privately, to arouse 
in them a spirit of war, and all the baser passions which must 
inevitably accompany such a spirit, calling our enemies van- 
dals and an infidel host, when in the judgment of charity 
they are no more infidel or irreligious than ourselves, I ask : 
Who has laid down such a proposition as a whole ? What 
clergyman of the Church has harangued his people, as that 
term is generally understood, or endeavored by noisy address, 
in public or private, to arouse in them a spirit of war — an at- 
tempt, to say the least, that would have been quite unneces- 
sary ; that spirit having been justly roused in a i)eople who 
are determined, in reliance on the help of God, to defend them- 
selves from the invasions, ravages, and horrible purposes of an 
exterminating foe? I do understand, that the injunction of 
our Saviour referred to, imposes the duty of allegiance to the 
government under which we live, and of supporting it in de- 
fense of its liberties, and that this allegiance or fidelity to the 
state — a natural obligation, as society is formed, not less than 
the subject of divine injunction — is wholly incompatible with 
the desire, or willingness, or even indiflerence ; that a govern- 
ment at war with our own, and seeking to overthrow it, should 
succeed in the attempt, and be reestablished in its stead,. 
And, furthermore, that this duty of allegiance or fidelity to 
the State makes it imperative on every citizen and subject 
thereof, in his proper sphere, and by every means becoming 


his character and position, to assist in the defense of his coun- 
try and its institutions, and, so far as he can, to guide and en- 
courage those \rho are nobly bearing the bloody burden ; and 
that he who does not this, makes not the retm*n due for the 
civil blessings he enjoys, and is, so fai*, not a faithful and loyal 
citizen. The minister of God, in such a crisis, has his allotted 
sphere and proper part to perfoi'm. He can not, without in- 
curring gitive responsibilities, in his public teaching or private 
example, ignore the iact of the war, and of the duties and 
dangers growmg out of it. Even if he should believe his 
country to be in the wrong, it is very questionable, when the 
die is once cast ; a vast and overwhelming majority having de- 
cided whether he has the right to hold out in such a course of 
indijfference and opposition, so weakening, as far as his example 
goes, our cause at home, and in effect, to that extent, giving 
aid and comfort to the enemy. For if majorities, however 
controlling, ai'e thus vii'tually denied the right of governing 
and shaping the destinies of their country, all the compromises 
of society are overthrown, a spiiit of faction is encouraged, 
and a blow, fatal in its character, struck at the unity and 
moral strength of the state. If, under such circumstances, a 
man will hold out, when the struggle for very existence as a 
nation is going on, the alternative is left him, and he ought to 
embrace it, of renouncing his allegiance, and going where he 
tliiuks the 7'ight prevails. But apart fi-om natural instincts, or 
the love of country, which the Scriptures recognize and en- 
courage, we have the sanction of God himself, as he called 
his people of old to wage war against their enemies round 
about them, showing that war is not of necessity an evil j)er 
se / that the invader may be righteously driven out, and that 
God's ministers, like his prophets of old, as they were directed 
by him, may, in their allotted sphere, instruct and animate 
the people in their duties, at a time, as twic, which involves the 
interests of religion, not less than independence, liberty, and 
life. A5 to the ""judgment of charity,*' wliich Mr. G. affirms 
should prevent us fi-om calling our enemies an infidel host, or 
vandals, and cause us to esteem them as not more infidel or 
irreligious than ourselves, though we are, indeed, sinners 
against God, have much infidelity among us, and have come 


grieroiislj eliort of our duty, as individuals and a people — 
and while charity as to the individual is worthy of the high 
encomium passed upon it by the Apostle — we have yet to 
learn that, as to a people, charity calls upon us to shut our 
eyes to some of the most patent facts of history, as when we 
speak of a corrupt branch of the Church of Christ, and the 
states under its sway ; or of the French in the days of their 
bloody revolution, as a nation of infidels ; of the Mormons 
now, as an adulterous and profligate sect ; or as to the masses 
of the free States of America, and especially those of Xew- 
England, as being, what some of their own most enlightened 
writers declare them to be, strongly infidel. WJiere^ we ask — 
these writers not less than ourselves being the judges — is the 
hotbed of infidelity on this continent ? From whence have 
the numberless isms of the day, almost without an exception, 
proceeded ? "Where has the spirit of agrarianism shown itself 
most rampant ? "Where has the doctrine of " higher law " 
been proclaimed with unblushing front, and openly advocated ? 
the present Federal Secretary of State — ^the master spirit, per- 
haps, of this crusade against the South and against slavery — 
being the higher-law apostle ; a crusade based upon the 
avowed declaration, that, if the Scriptures sanction slavery, 
they are not to be heeded. And, where on the other hand, 
have Unitarianism, TJniversahsm, transcendentalism, Atormon- 
ism, spiritualism, andhigher-lawism,hadtheleasthold,andmade 
the smallest progress, but in those States where the institution 
of domestic slavery has prevailed with its conservative ten- 
dencies, and vjTcere^ also, the originally predominating elements 
of population have continued to exercise a happy sway ? 
"While all this is said in no spirit of boasting, nor the fact de- 
nied that in the Xorth are niOLny^ very many conservative and 
pious people, and that the Protestant Episcopal Church there 
for example, has made remarkable progress — being the main 
bulwark, as Mr. G. himself has hitherto been accustomed to 
affirm, against the infidelity around it — it is yet most appar- 
ent that infidelity has fearful sway — that abolitionism is 
but one of its multiform phases — and that, in this war, which 
abolitionism had much to do in forcing upon the country, and 
is now recklessly urging on, we may, without doing violence 


to tlie judgment of charity, speak of an infidel host, and of 
vandals^ too. For what has the war been in the Border States, 
in onr captnred cities, wherever, in sliort, the enemy has pen- 
etrated, but one series of shocking vandalism ? ' Calling our 
slaves to insurrection, arming them against us, destroying the 
property of unoffending citizens, defacing our churches, brvit- 
ally treating our ■women and children, and. now developing it- 
self more plainly than ever in the monstrous order of General 
Pope. Was it a breach of charity to speak of the ancient 
Goths and Yandals, as such ? or for the persecuted and flying 
Huguenots to call their merciless enemies infidels and mur- 
derers? and is charity, the very bond of peace and of all 
virtues, to be held up to lis now as a shield and cloak to our 
foes ? We do not mean that all of those who are warring 
against us are infidels or vandals ; God forbid ! Already 
many illustrious exceptions have appeared, and we know that 
thousands are deceived and misled. But in speaking as we do, 
it is of the mass, of the spirit animating them, and of their 
plainly marked conduct in the prosecution of the war. It is 
2)assing strange that a minister of God, in so speaking, though 
he may consistently therewith pray for our enemies, as I trust 
every good man does, should yet therein violate his " ordina- 
tion vows," to maintain and set forward, as much as lieth in 
him, quietness, peace, and love among all Cliristian people, 
and especially among those that are, or shall be, committed to 
his charge — and this in a Southern community, a part of a rav- 
aged land, and when there should be but one sentiment pre- 
vailing. The most effective and only way, indeed, of setting- 
forward peace and quietness between the Southern and Nortli- 
ern people, is to drive out the invaders, and bring the war to 
a close. Are arms not to be taken up by the members of the 
Church against a ruthless foe ? Are the dearest rights of men 
not to be protected ? And are we forljidden to speak of the 
spirit, conduct, and acts of our enemies as they deserve ? Is 
all this incompatible with a general spirit of charity ? Do we 
not pray that our own soldiers may be saved from all undue 
excess in the hour of victory, from the temptations to which 
they may be exposed, and that peace may be restored ? 

On the other hand — and I speak in all kindness — may not a 


minister sadly fail to set forward "quietness, peace, and love" 
among the people committed to liis charge, by persistently de- 
clining to say Amen to a prayer put forth by his Bishop and 
read before the congregation, when his opinion as to a fact 
declarative made in the prayer is well known, so that he 
would in doing otherwise compromise no opinion or violate 
his conscience, simply giving his assent to the petitions there- 
in, as he reads them himself, and as would be understood by 
any one present ? Is not such a course, under the circum- 
stances, unprecedented in the Church of Christ ? A minister 
kneeling at the sam.e altar with his Bishop, and refusing to 
respond to the petitions he oflPers up, though they may be ac- 
companied by a declaration to which he can not assent, and is 
so understood not to assent ? Does it not encourage those of 
the i")eople who sympathize with him to persist in a like course ? 
Does it not wound the feelings of others, sadly mar the devo- 
tional feelings of the congregation, and strike a well-nigli fatal 
blow at the spirit of prayer itself, Avithout which there can be 
no quietness, peace, and love? And rather than persist in 
such a course, with such consequences inevitably resulting, if 
indeed his conscience will not allow him to do otherwise, do 
not his ordination vows call upon him to weigh well a position 
fraught with such unhappy consequences for the Church of 
Christ ? It is with exceeding pain that I contemplate the cir- 
cumstances which make the utterance of such convictions pro- 
per on this occasion. It would rejoice me to see my brethren, 
who, I think, have greatly erred in this matter, pursuing a 
course not to the violation of their consciences, for that I think 
l)y no means necessary, hid a course which would give unity 
to prayer at least, and deliver them from an attitude of separa- 
tion in the devotions of God's people. 

As to the eighth proposition, to which Mr. G. can not as- 
sent, " that our last Diocesan Council has not exceeded the usual 
custom of the Church in political legislation, and that there 
has been no teaching of the clergy beyond what was meet, con- 
sidering the exigencies of the times in relation to war and its 
adjuncts," it is only necessary to remark that there was, at 
the meeting referred to, no " political legislation" which could 
/have been beyond its pro^-incc, but simply a declaration, by 


report and resolutions,- of tlie feelings and opinions of tlie Con- 
vention as to the grave questions that have agitated Church 
and State, including a very decided expression as to the pres- 
ent loar. That this exceeded the usual custom of the Ameri- 
can Church can not be said, for there has been no custom of 
the sort, the present revolution being altogether new and un- 
paralleled. At the breaking out of the old Revolution, the 
Church was in an organized state in but few of the colonies, 
these forming a part of the Establishment, and in two of which, 
Maryland and Virginia, where the number was greatest, at 
least two thirds of the clergy were loyalists, the remaining por- 
tion being true to the cause of liberty, and casting all their 
influence in its behalf, a few going so far as to take up arms. 
There was no Bishop, as now, nor Conventions organized, as 
we have them, "When the yoke was thrown off, the Church 
in America was considered separate from that in England. 
Our condition now being peculiar and unprecedented, the ac- 
tion taken by our Convention was likewise new, except as to 
that in other confederate dioceses previously, and was be- 
coming the occasion. From the time of Constantine, when 
the empire became nominally Christian, down to the present, 
throughout the history of the Church of England, nothing can 
be found to indicate that om- recent action was inconsistent 
with the practice of the Church, though in a sense unusual 
and extraordinary. As to the teaching of the clergy on the 
subject of the war and its adjuncts, if there has been any error, 
it has been in not coming up to the spiritual demands of such 
a crisis, rather than in exceeding the bounds of propriety. I 
should blush for the Church and mourn over her indifference 
and timidity, if nothing more, if she had failed to give that 
vast moral influence which she possesses to the righteous claims 
of the State with which at such a time, as always, her interests 
and welfare are closely and indissolubly connected. 

As to the ninth proposition, to which Mr. G. can not as- 
sent, " that any man has the right to go behind the words 
of prayer, and judge another as to whether he prays ex 
animo,^'' I ask. Who has so aflirmed, who maintains it ? In 
reply to a remark made in the conversation first herein re- 
ferred to, I did say, and still hold, that the use of the other 


part of the prayer, tiiougli omitting the declaratory words 
" which has Leen forced upon us," ought to be sufficiently de- 
cisive of the opinions and sympathies of a clergyman so using 
it, as to the present conflict. I did say, and still hold as a 
general proposition, without judging any man, that it would 
not of necessity be so decisive. That one, for example, may 
repeat the prayer as here affirmed, ex animo, if you choose, and 
yet not in the sense that another does, and that when such an 
one prays for victory, and that the Confederacy may flourish 
and prosper, the point is not whether he prays with a general 
spirit of devout submission to the will of God — for this all 
good people are supposed to do — hut what does he %oish to le 
God's loill in the matter. lie may simply pray that if God 
wills, let it be so, while there is not, in fact, an actual desire on 
his part which is lawful that God would will it to be so. As 
in the case of our Saviour, who prayed, " Let this cup pass 
from me," manifestly wishing in his human nature that it 
might be God's will to permit it, but straightway adding, " ISTev- 
ertheless, not my icill but thine be done." It is well known 
that certain of our prayers in the Church, as in the Baptismal 
Office, are repeated by persons who difl;er doctrinally in a dif- 
ferent sense ; and why may it not be so as to the prayer be- 
fore us ? 

As to the tenth proposition, to which Mr. G. can not as- 
sent, " That the special prayer now in use in this Diocese is 
based upon the words, ' which has been forced upon us,' and 
without these becomes in efl:ect no prayer for the times," I 
am not aware that any such statement has been made. It may 
have been remarked, indeed, that in one sense it is, or has heen 
made, the key to the prayer, or something like this. But 
taken without the words referred to, those who have been most 
decided in the ex])ression of opinion, on the subject, have, I 
believe, admitted that the prayer would yet be suitable and 
comprehensive, and cover the ground generally which such a 
prayer should do. It is strange that the words, " which has 
been forced upon us," as spoken of the war, should be regard- 
ed by any in the light of " gratuitous information to the Al- 
mighty." For what can be said in prayer, of a declarative 
kind, which is not familiar to God ? He knoweth what we 


have need of before we ask liim. The question, in sucli cases, 
onglit to be, Is the statement or declaration made, in itself, or 
its connections, proper and becoming ? As here, the words, 
" which has been forced npon ns," naturally occur in proceed- 
ing to a petition touching the war, and are as proper as the 
words, " Thy injured people," which precede them ; for we 
are not an injured people as to that at least, if the war has not 
been forced upon us. Why the one is so much objected to, 
and not the other, I am at a loss to imagine. Whereiji, as to 
that, have we been wronged, if we are equally as, or more re- 
sponsible than our enemies in bringing on the war, unless it 
be in their conduct in its prosecution ? As to which, it must 
be remarked that the prayer was put forth, and the words, 
" Thy injured people," acquiesced in, before the war had as- 
sumed its present aspect, and when the injury could only have 
been referred to the manner of its inception. The words so 
much objected to have a precedent as to their being declara- 
tory, in the universal practice of man in prayer. The prayers 
of the Church, as they constitute a fixed part of the Liturgy, 
are of necessity general, even the special prayers and thanks- 
givings in the Prayer-Book partaking of the generality. A 
prayer, on the other hand, put forth by a Bishop for extraor- 
dinary occasions, may naturally be expected to go more into 
detail, and would not be marred of necessity by a declaration 
lilce that in question. 

I have said that if the matter had been sug-gested to me at 
tlie time of composing the prayer, the words might have been 
omitted, simply on the ground of such a statement of fact be- 
ing unusual in the Liturgy of the Church, though never ex- 
pressing regret that it had been done. After further reflection, 
however, and a deliberate survey of the whole subject, I am 
not prepared to repeat the remark. As before remarked, the 
words came in naturally" in the connection Avhere they occur. 
ISTo special thought was given to them, nor did it occur to 
me that any one's conscience would be officially burdened 

In regard to the remark made by Mr. Gillette, that the 
action of his brethren " partakes largely of an intolerant, sec- 
tarian, and persecuting spirit, a spirit which says you must 


tliink and sjDeak as I do, or not at all," I am persuaded he is 
sadly in error. He must not forget that the plea of persecu- 
tion has often been made, though never so sincerelj, by those 
who natnrally sought some shelter from the troubles which 
their own errors had brought upon them. Where is the evi- 
dence of intolerance, of sectarianism, of persecution? If he 
had the rigid to hold and act upon a political opinion, as he 
maintains, and that not only privately, as an individual, but 
in his official character in the Church, declaring therein, as 
publicly as any one could do in conversation, "that the 
Avar has not been forced upon us," so expressing, as it were, the 
voice of a parish, or of the rector thereof, at least, and making 
an issue on a prayer put forth by authority, had not the Con- 
vention also the right to make an opposite declaration, in 
the behalf of the other parishes represented, and of the Church 
at largo ? It would be monstrous, were it otherwise. Indi- 
vidual ministers might, in that case, do the Church an incal- 
culable injury^ and yet the Church, forsooth, be stopped from 
a word in its own vindication ! 

But, beyond this, what have the clergy, as a body, done ? 
Mr. Gillette appears to regard the action of the Convention 
as having been taken chiefly for the purpose of condemning 
himself and Mr. Brown, whereas, other and much more im- 
portant purposes were before it, animating it in its course, and 
shaping its actions. If, in the result of the elections, Mr. Gil- 
lette finds evidence of intolerance and persecution, he is not, 
perhaps, aware of the pain with which that result was looked 
to, by some, if not all of his brethren, though felt to be neces- 
sary. He may not be aware, again, that the object was not 
to wound or injure him, but to do justice to the Church, an 
issue having been made, first of all, by himself. The Conven- 
tion, feeling that, under all the circumstances, to continue him 
in the position he had hitherto held, as one of the oldest and 
most prominent Presbyters of the Diocese, would have been 
to sanction his course in the matters herein referred to, besides 
being in the teeth of its own solemn declaration as to tlie war 
in the Confederacy, and our relations to the Church in the 
United States, and action thereon. For the spirit which ani- 
mated the Convention, in all its proceedings, the members 


doubtless felt that they would be responsible to God, and, I 
trust, may be able to give a good account. 

To one part I should bear testimony, that, throughout the 
meeting of Convention, I remember not to have heard a word 
of personal unkindness toward Mr. Gillette uttered, nor did I 
see any thing in the conduct of the members incompatible 
with Christian charity for him. I trust he may sooner or 
later discover that they have not acted as he has charged. 

And^ finally, as to what Mr. Gillette remarks, "that he 
feels his brethren are proposing a new test of fitness for minis- 
terial labor among them, hitherto unknown in the Church, 
saying, You must believe with us politically, or you can not 
labor in the Church with us ; we cannot fraternize with you, 
without this ; but we will, by our acts, publicly say. You are 
unworthy to labor with us as a minister in the Church of 
God, " I can only say, that he sadly errs in his conclusions 
from what transpired ; that his brethren have set up no new 
test, as will appear from what has already been said ; and 
that, so far as their action in Convention bears on the sub- 
ject of his remark, it has been simply to the efiect, not that 
he is unworthy to labor with them, but that his course, of late, 
in the Diocese, has been inimical to the dearest interests of the 
States, has seriously affected his usefulness in the Church, and, 
as far as such an example can, at the present time, will aflfect 
the welfare of the Church itself. For these consequences, 
surely, they are not responsible. It is a time which tries 
men's souls, and for his conduct every one will have to bear 
his own burden. 

In reply to the Bishop's strictures on the ten propositions, 
to which I can not assent, and only one of which, the eighth, 
he thinks had foundation in truth, I M'ould state, that I ad- 
dressed a letter to Rev. Mr, Wagner, asking whether he did 
not, in effect, assert some of the propositions named. Rev. 
Mr. Brown made a minute of tbe conversation at the time, 
and this minute has since fallen into my hands, I have com- 
pared the Bishop's statements, Mr. Wagner's letter, and Mr. 
Brown's minutes, and for convenience of reference, place 
them side bv side. 


Tlie Bishop. 

1^ " As to the first proposition, 
to which Mr. Gillette can not 
assent, that a Christian minis- 
ter has no right to be guided by 
Lis own conscientious convic- 
tions of duty, although those 
convictions may be contrary to 
the convictions of many or all 
of his brethren, 1 do not under- 
stand it to have been made di- 
rectly or indirectly." 

" As to the second proposi- 
tion to which Mr. Gillette can- 
not assent, ' that a minister of 
the Gospel violates the peace of 
the Church, when, in his own 
sphere, he conscientiously per- 
forms what he believes to be his 
duty, in accordance to the ritu- 
al of the Church, and with the 
permission and sanction of his 
Bishop, and without transgress- 
ing any law or regulation of the 
Church,' I do not understand 
that in this form any such pro- 
position has been made." 

"As to the third proposition, 

• that a Bishop has no right to 
grant permission, to one or a 
number of his clergy, to omit a 
sentence, or a part of a sentence, 
In a special prayer put forth by 
himself for extraordinary occa- 
sions,' I am not aware that it 
has been maintained." 

" As to the fourth proposition, 
that a minister is responsible 
for the political sentiments of 
his congregation, and if he can 
not guide and control them in 
politics, he had better leave 
them to the care of some one 
else, I can only express my sur- 
prise that Mr. Gillette should 
understand any one to have 
made it, an<l add, emi)hatically, 
God forbid that it should be so." 

"Astotlie fifth proposition, 

• that the Council of the Church 
In solemn conclave, is bound to 
listen to the voice of the outside 
world, and publicly censure a 
brother clergyman for what they 
deem a political heresy, passing 
a series of resolutions, and re- 
quiring them to be read in open 
church, thereby intending him 
to define his position political- 
ly,' it certainly has not been 
done to my knowledge." 

Eev. Mr. Wagner. 

" A minister has no right to 
stand out against the expressed 
opinion of his Bishop and breth- 
ren of the clergy, in matters 
which do not involve the faith. 
But he is bound to yield his con- 
victions, to their advice, and act 
in co7iceri with therm, for the 
general good and order, or else 
toffooiitfrom them intosoini 
C&ngenial Jiefd, \a which op- 
portunity is aflorded for the free 
exercise of his convictions ; and 
no permission of the Bishop 
could affect my view of this ob- 
ligation so to act." 

" I consider that Mr. Brown 
and yourself are chargeable for 
having tiolat e.d the harmony 
(not the peace) of the Church's 
operations, by your general 
course of conduct in reference 
to the performance of public 
services, and by your lack of 
interest in the political crisis 
which has convulsed the coun- 
try — even though the Bishop 
granted the permission, under 
the circiunstances." 

Rev. Mr. Brown. 

" Itev. Mr. Wagner asserted 
that Rev. Messrs. Gillette and 
Brown violated the peace and 
harmony of the Church." 

Again, " were violating the 
peace and harmony of the 
Church in refusing to pray that 
prayer as set forth by the Bish- 

"I think the Bishop had no "Rev. C. Gillette said tha 
right to grant the permission maker of the prayer had the 
to one or more of his clergy power to authorize an omission 
to omit a portion of a prayer therefrom, if he chose, and he 
which he had canonically put had so chosen. Rev. Mr. Wag- 
forth, for the genera! use of the ner denied the right to do tliis." 
ichole Church, and I so ex- 
pressed myself." 

" If a rector can not influence 
his congregation so as to pro- 
mote unity in them, viiity of 
sentiment icith the ichole 
Church in a crisis such as 
this, it is evidence of his insuf- 
ficiency for such a charge, and 
he ought to relinquish it." 

"I believe that the future 
prosperity of the Church in this 
State demanded that the re- 
cent Convention should express 
its decided disapproval of the 
reported course which had been 
pursued by yourself, Mr. Brown, 
and some of the laity, during 
the year previous, and it was 
under this pressure that your 
names were removed from the 
various Committees, etc. 

" It was to meet this demand 
that a portion of the Bishop's 
Address was referred to a Spe- 
cial Committee, that a distinct 
utterance of our sympathy with 
our country's cause might be 
given by the Convention, and 
the report, preamble, and reso- 
lutions adopted. 

" I lielieved, (and so must you 
have believed, when you read it 

" The Rev. Mr. Wagner said 
that the omission of liev. C. 
Gillette's name from all com- 
mittees of the Convention, was 
designed as a special rebuke to 
him. That the report and reso- 
lutions of the Committee on that 
part of the Bishoi)'3 Address, 
having reference to the relation 
of the Church in this Diocese, 
to the Confederate States, and 
to the Protestant Episcopal 
Church in the United States, 
had been freely canvassed by 
the majority of the members, 
before they were presented to 
the Convention. That they 
were understood by this major- 
ity, and on their adoption by 
the whole Convention, to have 
been drawn uj) for the i)uri)ose 
of testing the political standing 
of the Rev. C. GiUette. That it 


The Bishop. 

Hev. Mr. Wagner. 
in connection with the other ac- 
tion,) that the resolution requir- 
ing ' it to be read before all the 
congregations,' was designed to 
effect the following results : that 
the sentiments expressed by the 
Bishop, and indorsed by the 
Convention in terms so strong, 
might be made available to the 
instruction of every member of 
the Church, in every congrega- 
tion ; that the clergy might be 
aided in building up their peo- 
ple in the sentiments which 
their brethren (clerical and lay) 
throughout the entire South, 
had uttered with singular unan- 
imity, and that those of the 
clergy, whose course had made 
them obnoxious to the course of 
the community at large, might 
be compelled to publish, with 
their own lips, that the position 
they occupied was in antagon- 
ism with the voice of the Church 
in the Confederate States, and 
more especially with the Church 
in the Diocese of Texas. 

" I did not say that it was 
talked of among a majority of 
the members of the Convention 
before the Committee made their 
report ; though I did say your 
conduct had been spoken of 
very freely by members of the 
Convention, not only during 
but before and after its session." 

Eev. Mr. Brown. 
was believed by several, if not 
every member of the Conven- 
tion," that the Rev. C. Gillette 
would refuse to read the report, 
and the passages pointed out 
in said report. In answer, or 
by way of comment. Rev. 0. 
Gillette said that it was very 
evident to his mind that his 
clerical brethren had resolved 
themselves into a political 
clique, to determine his politi- 
cal position." 

" As to the sixth proposition 
to which Mr. Gillette can not 
assent, ' that the present war is 
one for the sake of piety, and 
that the very existence of mo- 
rality, virtue, and religion in 
the South is involved in its is- 
sue,' I am not aware that it has 
been made."^ 

" The Bishop and Mr. Wag- 
ner Vjoth insisted that the war 
was not a political war, but one 
involving the very being of re- 
ligion and of the Church." 

The Bisliop liimself lias at various times, and on several oc- 
casions, used tlie following language, wliich seemed to me to 
amount to my proposition : "At a time, as now, 'vvbicli in- 
volves the interests of religion, not less than independence, 
liberty, and life." Speaking of the confederate successes near 
Richmond in 1SG2, he says : " It may not unfrequently be 
concluded, with humble confidence, that God is on the side of 
those in their successes, who are struggling against a powerful, 
malignant, and exterminating foe, for national independence, 
for religion, liberty, and right." " Are we not struggling for 
our very existence as a people, for religion, and liberty ?" " In 
the yoke which subjugation by our foes would impose, and the 
bloody horrors, ever attending the efforts to throw it off, that 
our very religion, as we now have it and enjoy it, would be 
lamentably involved, passing under a dark cloud ; all ecclesias- 
tical organizations, as now existing, being broken up, and a 


scattered and almost extermiuated people, as we would be, 
forced to worsliip the God of our fathers in secret places, in 
the wilderness, in mountains and caves of the earth. In this 
sense, and to this extent, we are fighting for religion." From 
the Bishop's own language, I do not see what reason he has to 
quarrel with my proposition. 

The Bishop. Mr. Waffner. Mr. Broxcn. 

" As to the tenth proposition, " I asserted that the whole " Mr. TTagner insisted that 

'That the special prayer now in basis of the prayer was found the prayer was based upon the 

use in tills diocese is based up- in that eircuinstance," (express- words omitted, and when these 

on the words " which has been ed in the words " which has been were removed, the jirayer was 

forced upon us," and without forced upon us,") "and without all but valueless. To this the 

these becomes in effect no pray- the acceptation of that clause, Bishop was understood to as- 

er for the times,' I am not aware would become, in my mind, sent." 

that any such statement has an unsuitable prayer for the 

been made." times." 

From the preceding statements, I think it is very evident 
that the understanding, and the recollection of Messrs. AYag- 
ner and Brown, sustain me very fully in regard to the sense 
of the propositions. As one is partially granted by the Bishop, 
there remain but two, the seventh and ninth, which are not 
already established. That these propositions, when put in 
writing, assume a new form, and one of much greater im- 
portance than when merely talked over and loosely asserted, 
I can well understand. But how the Bishop should have un- 
derstood so differently from all the rest who took part in that 
conversation, or how, in the few days which elapsed between the 
conversation and the writing of his answer to my propositions, 
these points should have passed from his mind, is more diffi- 
cult to comprehend. The whole answer looks to me like spe- 
cial pleading, and the spirit of the reply is any thing but what 
I could have wished. It seems to me that the Bishop has 
determined, having, as he thinks, the power, by his office and 
influence, to put me down and drive me from the Diocese, my 
offense being that I am not sutHciently committed to the cause 
of the South. 

How far it becomes necessary for me to answer the Bishop 
in his statements, or implications, impugning my actions or 
motives, there may be room to doubt ; and yet something is 
due to myself in this connection. I do not propose to do more 
than refer to some of the more important j^oints laid down by 
the Bishop in his communication, as referring to myself indi- 


viduallj, or to the great principles affecting religion and the 

In the beginning, the Bishop says : " Unhappy results have 
already transpired, but not, I am persuaded, through the fault 
or error of then- brethren, as to Eev. Messrs. Gillette and 
Brown. May not the present state of things, as to tliem^ be 
attributable rather to erroneous opinion and position in the 
outset, and misconception, in consequence, as to what has since 
occurred ?" 

Let us examine for a moment this " erroneous opinion and 
position," and the " unhappy results." The erroneous opin- 
ion consisted in this, that they did not believe the war forced 
upon the South by the l!lorth. How shall they be convicted 
of error in holding this opinion ? Is the Bishop, or are the 
clergy in the Diocese of Texas competent to decide them in 
error in this matter ? Does such a decision come within their 
province in council assembled, even if they were competent in 
point of ability ? Has this matter been so decided that the 
Bishop can now certainly and infallibly declare one or more 
of his clergy in error in opinion, because they assert that they 
do not believe the !N'orth forced this war upon the South ? Is 
it not possible that the opinion as above stated is true, and that 
those who hold the opposite are in error ? So much for the 
erroneous opinion. ]S"ow, what was the erroneous position 
held by the Eev. Messrs. Gillette and Brown ? I know of no 
erroneous position for which they could be held justly respon- 
sible. "With the Bishop's permission to omit, they did not as- 
sert in the special prayer that the war was forced upon the 
South by the K"orth. If this was an error, could it be charged 
on them ? They used a permission granted by the Bishop ; if 
it placed them in an erroneous position, why did the Bishop 
lead them into it by giving his permission ? In consequence 
of this permission being used, the Bishop forbade Rev. Messrs. 
Gillette and Brown from officiating, on any occasion, outside 
of the cm-e of St. David's. In this prohibition, the Bishop 
plainly exceeded his authority. Mr. Brown being a deacon, 
the Bishop could direct where he should officiate ; the Eev. 
Mr. Gillette being a presbyter, the Bishop could exercise no 
such authority. But to waive the question of authority, if their 


position ill not oflBciating outside of St. David's parish was 
one of error, who placed them in it ? Upon whom rested the 
responsibility ? 

What are the unhappy results referred to ? Evidently dis- 
cord among brethren, and a forbidding to preach the Gospel 
where it is needed. Who is to blame for this ? Was there any 
good ground for brethren to be offended because the Eev. 
Messrs. Gillette and Brown did not agree in an opinion ex- 
pressed by their Bishop — an opinion which any one had a 
right to entertain or not, as he pleased ? When rightly con- 
sidered, what possible ground was there for offense in this ? 
Who was to blame that the Gospel was not preached ? The 
Bishop gave leave to omit certain words in a prayer, and then 
forbids the clergymen to oflficiate outside of a single cure, even 
if traveling and desired to officiate, because they do just what 
he gave them leave to do. Who is to blame for these " un- 
happy results" ? 

In speaking of the first proposition, the Bishop says : " Has 
a clergjanan, or any man, a right to be guided by conscien- 
tious convictions, unless he has taken the pains to enlighten 
his conscience, by a well-informed judgment ? Suppose, as 
in the case before us, these convictions are based upon a poli- 
tical opinion, the party entertaining them, all the while es- 
chewing politics — has he not reason to distrust himself?" The 
assumption, that I have " taken no pains to enlighten my con- 
science by a well-informed judgment," is wholly gratuitous. 
I do not claim to have ever taken an active part in politics. 
But I do claim to have noticed passing events, and to have 
read newspapers enough to form an opinion upon the great 
political questions of the day ; and I do not think the lauguage 
used by the Bishop either proper or justifiable in the present 

Again the Bishop says : " Would not common prudence dic- 
tate that he should be willing to take the opinion of the states- 
men of the country, if you please, the wisest laymen of the 
Church, just as he would expect a politician or a man of the 
world, in matters of religious faith and practice, to take coun- 
sel of the divines of the Church ?" 

What does all this^mean ? Are the wisest laymen of the 


Cliurcli all holding one opinion in the matters here spoken of? 
If there is a diyided sentiment, what shall determine which 
party is right ? Shall we follow the greatest number ? If so, 
the Bishop himself is wrong, for those who maintain his opin- 
ion are largely in the minority. Shall the ablest men decide 
it ? Who shall point them out ? I think they are here and 
everywhere opposed to the Bishop. 

But does the Bishop mean that the politician, or " the man 
of the world," when he takes counsel of the divines of the 
Church, on matters where there is dispute, follows their coun- 
sels without using his own judgment ? If that is what he 
means, is the implied assertion true ? Do politicians or men 
of the world do this ? Again I ask, What does all this mean ? 
Is it for talk ? or to blind ? or what is its object ? 

What the Bishop further says under the first proposition, if 
it means any thing, means that a man who conscientiously be- 
lieves he is right, must even give up the holding of an opin- 
ion, or go out of the country, because a majority of his neigh- 
bors do not think as he does — reasoning which, if it were true, 
would once have driven the Saviour of men out of the world, 
and would now drive all faithful ministers out of it also. 
'•' Under such unhappy circumstances, is he to remain where 
he is V The Bishop here intimates his desire for me to leave 
his diocese, but I trust will not insist, unless I shall find it 

Under the second projDosition, the Bishop says : " A minis- 
ter may so far err in the manner of performing what he con- 
ceives to be his duty, as to violate the peace of the Church, 
though in letter he may not seem to violate the Church's ritual 
or laws." What the Bishop here means by his italicized ^^ maoi- 
ner^'' I have not the slightest idea. He evidently has found 
something very objectionable in my " manner" of performing 
serN-ice, but what, I have no means of divining. I would not 
refer to it, except to show how fault-finding are the times. 

Under the fourth proposition, the Bishop accuses me of 
criminal silence upon " special topics, which the time demands 
for the improvement of a j)eople ; as for examjile, the temp- 
tation of extortion, of revenge, of profanity, of reliance upon 
an arm of flesh, and undue absorption — in short, in the things 


of the present, in its extraordinary cliaracter, to the neglect of 
spiritual things." I can simply say that, in my judgment, 
this accusation is without just foundation. I do not claim to 
have treated these subjects as the Bishop has. But that I have 
been silent upon them, I do not conceive to be a fair state- 
ment ; that I have not been sufficiently enthnsiastic in the 
cause of the Southern Confederacy to suit the Bishop, is quite 
evident, and that it is a very grievous offense, in his judgment, 
is also evident from all he says. Another complaint the Bishop 
makes under this head is as follows : " He may show a decidedly 
partisan spirit by allowing himself, for whatever reason, to cher- 
ish most, if not all, his private sympathetic associations with a 
certain class of his congregation, and these generally supposed 
to be disaffected toward the Government, or at least not sym- 
pathizing with the country in its struggle." 

The associations here complained of, were with intimate 
friends, some of them of twenty years' standing. The Bishop- 
had known these persons a much shorter time, and much less • 
intimately than I had done. He chose to break away from them, , 
although strong suj^porters of the Church, and some of them 
communicants, because he thought they were not sufficiently 
warm in the Southern cause, and actually ceased to visit them. 
He desired me to follow his example, and because I could not 
see and act in this matter as he did, it made an occasion for a 
grave charge. According to him, a man must abandon his 
long-cherished friends, if they do not go strong for the South- 
ern Confederacy. 

In my use of the word " conclave," in the fifth proposition, . 
I had no reference of course to an assembly of Rome's cardi- 
nals. I rather used it in a much more common signification, , 
to mean a meeting for Church legislation. Even the Bishop 
himself could not have supposed that I used it to signify a 
secret assembly of cardinals. 

Of the action of this meeting, he says : " It was most pro- 
per and becoming that the Convention should solemnly de- 
clare ' that this unnatural war was forced upon us,' for the 
vindication of the Bishop, of a suffering country, of the Church's 
integrity, its members of all degrees h^iViug embarked their 


lives and fortunes in the struggle, and for its justification be- 
fore God in praying for victory over our foes." 

From this language of the Bishop concerning the ])TO])Tiety 
of the action of the Convention, I must certainly dissent ; and 
it would not siu-prise me if the time should yet come when the 
Bishop himself will dissent from it also. His whole reasoning 
here, strikes me ;a3 untenable, and that which will not bear the 
scrutiny of sober thought when the excitement of the present 
times shall have passed away. 

In commenting on the sixth proposition, the Bishop uses 
this language : " Our very religion, as we now have it and enjoy 
it, would be lamentably involved, passing under a dark cloud, 
all ecclesiastical organizations as now existing being broken 
up, and a scattered and almost exterminated people, as we 
would be, forced to worship the God of our fathers in secret 
places, in the wilderness, in mountains and in caves of the 
earth. In this sense, and to this extent, we are fighting for 
religion, and rely upon God for deliverance." If the Bishop 
does not say to all intents and purposes in the above, " that 
the present war is one for the sake of piety, and that the very 
existence of morality, virtue, and religion in the South are in- 
volved in its issue," then what does he say ? and what does 
he mean ? Under the seventh proposition, the Bishop asks : 
" What clergyman of the Church has harangued his people or 
endeavored, etc., to arouse in them a spirit of war ?" Could 
the Bishop ask this question publicly and men be free to an- 
swer, there are not a few men who would say to him in re- 
sponse : " Thou art the man !" " I understand that the injunc- 
tion of our Saviour imposes the duty of allegiance to the gov- 
ernment under which we live, and of supporting it' in defense 
of its liberties, and that this allegiance or fidelity to the state — 
a natural obligation as society is formed, not less than the sub- 
ject of divine injunction — is wholly incompatible with the de- 
sire, or willingness, or even indiiference, that a government at 
war with our own and seeking to overthrow it, should succeed 
in the attempt and be reestablished in its stead." 

The Bishop Could not have stopped to think how much such 
reasoning made against himself, and all who went into seces- 
6101! ; breaking up the lawful government, to which they 


owed allegiance, and attempting to establisli another govern- 
ment on its ruins and in its stead. Surely, if the Bishop's 
reasoning be true, this was all wrong, and I was right in doing 
nothing to overthrow and destroy my government. 

Again the Bishop says of a minister, " if he should believe 
]iis country to be in the wrong, it is very questionable, when 
the die is once cast, a vast and overwhelming majority having 
decided, whether he has the right to hold out in such a course 
of indifference and opposition, so weakening, as far as his ex- 
ample goes, our cause at home, and, in effect, to that extent 
giving aid and comfort to the enemy. For if majorities, how- 
ever controlling, are thus virtually denied the right of govern- 
ing and shaping the destinies of their- country, all the compro- 
mises of society are overthrown, a spirit of faction is encour- 
aged, and a blow, fatal in its character, struck at the unity 
and morab strength of the state." 

How the Bishop could have penned such language under the 
circumstances, and n'ot have felt that he was strongly con- 
demning himself and his coadjutors, is hard to understand. 
The rebellion had been commenced by a minority in the se- 
ceding States, and gained a majority only when the peoj)le, 
disarmed ^nd through fear, were made to engage in a struggle 
which they at first loathed and shuddered to commence. 

But suppose that every individual human being in the se- 
ceded States had gone willingly into this matter of tearing 
up and dismembering the government, still they would have 
been largely in the minority, when considered in relation to 
the whole government, to which the Bishop, and I, and all 
owed our allegiance ; and, according to his own argument, 
even if he thought the Government wrong, he had no right to 
oj^pose, or to set himself in opposition to it. I do not myself 
subscribe to the doctrine of " My country, right or wrong," or 
that I am to go with tlie majority, even if I may think it 
wrong. For my Bible tells me : " It is better to go alone to do 
well, than with a multitude to do evil." I could have wished 
the Bishop to have stopped short of trying to make me guilty of 
treason by "giving aid and comfort to the enemy," not that I 
fear its consequences, but the spirit manifested docs not Igok 
" lovely and of good report." 

Again, tlie Bisliop says : " As He (God) called bis people of 
old to wage war against tlieir enemies, showing that war is 
not of necessity an QYilj^er se ; that the invader may be right- 
eonsly driven out, and that God's ministers, lilce his prophets 
of old, as they were directed by him, may, in their allotted 
sphere, instruct and animate the people in their duties, at a 
time as now^ which involves the interests of religion, not less 
than independence, liberty, and life." In order to make this 
reasoning good, I think the following assumptions must first 
be proved, namely, that the people of the South are, par excel- 
lence^ the people of God, and the people of the ISTorth heathens 
or infidels. That we have a government established separate 
and distinct from that of the ISTorth, making us a foreign na- 
tion owing no allegiance to the Government of the United 
States. That our ministers in this respect occupy the place 
of God's prophets of old, and "are inspired or directly com- 
manded of God to incite the people to war. 

The Bishop says again : "Is not such a* course unprecedent- 
ed in the Church of Christ ? A minister kneeli^ig at the same 
altar with his Bishop, and refusing to respond to the petitions 
he offers up, though they may be accompanied by a declara- 
tion to which he can not assent." I might answer, truly : "Is 
not such a course unprecedented in the Church of Christ ? a 
Bishop insisting upon the introduction of a declaration into 
a prayer, expressive of an opinion of his, but disbelieved by 
many — insisting that men should say Amen to it, whether they 
believe it or not — thus striking ' a well-nigh fatal blow at the 
spirit of prayer itself ?" I might add much more of the same 
Bort, as the Bishop has done, and with any right-minded man, 
it would all apply to the Bisliop and not to me. Through all 
his reasoning, the Bishop seems to forget that this whole mat- 
ter commenced, and is prosecuted by his trenching on the 
sacred rights of others, in attempting to compel them to be- 
lieve and do that which he has no right to attempt ; that he 
considers himself and others greatly ' aggrieved because he 
can not have his own way in manufacturing public opinion, 
and making all men assent to what he proclaims. He seems 
to forget that a portion of the community have any right left 
them — even the right to an opinion, quietly held. According 


to Lis idea, tlie greatest thing and tlic greatest good is tlie 
Southern Confederacy — any thing which militates against that 
is an evil, and must be opposed — every man that does not give 
his hearty support to this, must be silenced, or driven out of 
the country. Even in the Church, there can be no prayer or 
worship equal to that which prays for the Southern Confeder- 
acy, or justifies the rebellion, by proclaiming that those who 
fight her battles are acting on the defensive. This is not only 
evidently the Bishop's view of the subject, as appears from 
his writings ; but he absolutely forbids service and the 
preaching of the Gospel, unless the minister first declare that 
the war "has been forced upon us." 

In his argument, the Bishop evidently assumes that all the 
morality, and religion, and high-toned honorable feeling, and 
every principle of right are with the South, while all evil, and 
wiclcedness, and aggression, and irreligion are with the N^orth. 
According to his views, there may be, and are, some good 
people in the ISTorth ; but the masses, and those who engage 
in the war, are infidels and vandals. The Bishop may change 
his mind before he dies, provided his nice talk of living in 
mountain caves should be thouo^ht better of, as no doubt it 
will, when he becomes better acquainted with the N^orthern 

IIow far the Bishop's reasoning, in regard to the eighth 
proposition, is correct, the action of the Convention will show, 
and men who read it must decide for themselves. His refer- 
ence to the state of the Church in the " old Eevolntion," if 
properly applied, would have led the Church to have been 
quiet and minded her own business until the war was over 
and the boundaries of territory settled, so that if it was neces- 
sary to form a new organization, we might know what States 
belonged to the Confederate States. Our dioceses were or- 
ganized, and our bishops in cliarge, and no further organiza- 
tion for the good of the Church was required. The only thing 
to be gained by further organization was to add strength to 
the rebellion, by giving moral power to the Government. 

The Bishop claims that the Cliurch did not exceed her cus- 
tom, because hitherto she had no custom. Is this so ? Has 
not her custom been to be silent, and not to legislate on mat- 


ters of state ? I am speaking of our own branch, of the 
Church in this country. "When he refers to the Church from 
Constantino down, he speaks of it when the Church is con- 
nected with the state, and of course it does not apply to our 
present reasoning. 

In regard to the ninth proposition, and praying ex animo, 
I thought at the time of the conversation, and I still tiiink that 
the Bishop desired to draw from me an expression as to whe- 
ther I prayed, " That if it be God's will, let it be so," or 
whether I had an " actual desire that God would will it to be 
so." Tliat he insisted that I should use the prayer in the lat- 
ter sense, and it was in this connection that I thought the 
Bishop exceeding his province in wishing me to pray that 
" God would will it to be so," rather than "to let it be so if it 
was his will." I did not think that he or any man was able 
to take such a supervision over any other. It was in this 
connection that he desired so earnestly to know what I wish- 
ed in regard to the final result of the war, as referred to by 
Mr. Brown. 

Under the tenth proposition, the Bishop asks : Where is the 
evidence of intolerance, of sectarianism, of persecution ? 

The evidence of intolerance is found in the fact that my 
brethren of the clergy would not ask Mr. Brown or myself to 
officiate for them or assist them when we were in their par- 
ishes. That they would not officiate for us, or assist in the 
service, when visiting in our parish. It is true, I did not visit 
the parish of any of my brethren so as to be asked to officiate, 
but Mr. Brown spent several weeks in the parish of a brother, 
who did not extend the courtesy of asking him to assist in the 
service or preach, giving as a reason, that Mr. Brown omitted 
the words of the prayer heretofore referred to. Those of the 
clergy who came to our parish refused (with one exception) to 
take part in the service or preach, and that exception subse- 
quently refused, while staying at the house of the Bishop. 
This intolerance is essentially sectarian. Again, the proof of 
intolerance is found in the action of the Convention, which 
studiously dropped our names from all committees, by way of 
reproof for our supposed ofi'ense. It is found in the act of the 
Bishop himself, in forbidding Mr. Brown and myself to offi- 


date outside of the cure of St. David's ; wlien Mr. Brown Lad 
been ordained deacon, with the express understanding, on the 
part of the Bishop, that he should perform missionary duty in 
places contiguous to Austin, while he further pursued his stu- 
dies under my direction. All these acts are intolerance in the 
worst form. They are sectarian in character, and in spirit as ^ 
well as deed, persecution. 

I might add much more in connection with this communi- 
cation of the Bishop, but I have probably said enough to 
show its spirit and point out some of its inconsistencies. 

The following, in regard to Mr. Brown's officiating, will ex- 
plain itself: 

" My Deae Bishop : Could you not make an arrangement 
for Mr. Brown to hold service at two or three places, within 
twenty or thirty miles of this, so that he might do missionary 
duty ? If you think such an arrangement well, I would sug- 
gest the neighborhood of Mr. "Williams's and San Marcos, 
where Mr. Yellowly and his family expect to be after the 
first of next year, and they are very desirous of having the 
services of the Church. 

" If such an arrangement could be made, Mr. Brown could 
be doing something for the Church while he is pursuing his 
studies. Yours truly, Chakles Gillette. 

" AusTitT, December 2, 1862." 

" Deae Beothek Gillette : I am much engaged at this mo- 
ment, and will converse with you, in reference to the subject 
of your note, to-morrow afternoon, D. Y. Yours truly, 

"December 2, 1802. Alex. Gkegg. 

"Rev. C. Gillette." 

"My Deae Bishop : "Will you be kind enough to give me, in 
writing, your reasons for not wishing Mr. Brown to do mis- 
sionary duty ? "Will you also inform me whether you would 
consent that either of us should hold service and preach, if we 
were traveling in any part of the diocese where there was no 
congregation, and were desired so to do ? Yours truly, 

" AusTEsr, December 8, 1862. C. Gillette." 


"Austin, December 8, 1862. 

"Dear Brother Gillette: God forbid that I should not 
wish any clergyman of the Church to do missionar^^ duty ! 
Our recent conversation related to another point, as did others 
previously held, namely, my unwillingness for yourself and 
Mr. Brown, elsewhere than in this parish and its adjunct, to 
omit the words, " which has been forced upon us," in the 
prayer first put forth by me to be used during the present 
war. As to this, I supposed there had been of late so clear an 
understanding between us, as to preclude the necessity of any 
further inquiry or communication on the subject. I will, how- 
ever, once more state, that I am not willing, by extending the 
limits of the permission, granted under peculiar circumstances, 
at your own and Mr. Brown's special request, to encroach fur- 
ther on the uniformity of prayer, and unity of devotion in the 
diocese, to disturb in other places, under any circumstances, 
the peace of the Church in this matter, or wound afresh the 
deepest sensibilities of our people, who, with very few excep- 
tions, regard the voluntary omission of said words as vitally 
touching the justice and righteousness of this war of defense 
against a ruthlessly invading foe, and as indicative of a want 
of sympathy in our cause. If there was any error of judg- 
ment at the first, as many appear to think, in granting the 
permission at all, let the unhappy efi'ects, which we have here 
painfully experienced, be extended no further. 

" Yours truly in Christ, Alex. Gregg. 

"Rev. C. Gillette." 

The Bishop returned thanks for certain confederate victo- 
ries, to which he did not hear me say Amen, and took me to 
task concerning it, on which account I addressed him as fol- 

" Mt Dear Bishop : I was very much astonished at the 
question you propounded to me at the vestry-room, on Wed- 
nesday, seventh instant, as well as at the manner of propound- 
ing it. In reflecting upon it since, my astonishment has not 
abated, and I desire to learn whether you asked the question, 
supposing you had authority as my Bishop so to do, or 
whether you asked it as a friend, and merely to satisfy cu- 


riosity ? It is scarcely necessaiy for me to add, that I feel 
deeply wounded at sucli a question asked in such a way. 
" Tours truly, " Charles GiLLEriE. 

"Austin, Jan. 14, 1SG3." 

" Austin, Jan. 15, 1863. 

" Dear Brother Gillette : To your note of yesterday 
touching the question referred to, namely, the painful impres- 
sion left on my mind that you had not responded to the special 
thanksgivings offered by me for the Confederate victories at 
Fredericksburgh and Galveston respectively, was correct ; I 
reply, that it was propounded by me in the same capacity, 
precisely, in which both oral and. written communications 
have been received, and replied to from you as Rector of St. 
David's, touching the difficulties that have arisen, and the 
questions at issue of late. 

" I meant to claim no such authority in asking the question 
as to make an answer from you obligatory ; and yet felt then, 
as I do now, that it was altogether proper under the circum- 
stances, and in connection with what has transpired between us. 

" I must confess my surprise at the feeling of- astonishment 
to which you give expression. It did not so strike me at the 

"I did not mean or wish to wound you, and was unconscious 
of any thing offensive in my tone or manner, though aware, 
of course, that it would be an unpleasant question to you. It 
was painful to me, I assure you, to approach you on such a 
subject, as has been the trial to my feelings in St. David's for 
some time past. Yours truly, " Alex. Gregg. 

" Eev. C. Gillette." 

" My Dear Bishop : Your note of yesterday does not re- 
lieve my mind from doubt concerning the position you design 
to occupy. My desire is to learn a simple fact, clearly stated 
by yourself. And I desire to learn this fact as a guide in the 
performance of what may seem to me to be duty. ISTeither of 
us ought to fear a clear statement of truth. I desire, therefore, 
that you will inform me plainly, whether you asked the ques- 
tion before referred to, supposing you had authority as my 
Bishop so to do ? 


" To my mind, there is a wide difference between having 
authority to ask a question, and power to compel an answer. 
In the latter proposition I feel no special interest at present. 

" I regret that there should have been any thing in St. 
David's to try yom* feelings. I have endeavored to cause you 
as little trouble as possible, and feel that, under the circum- 
stances, I am not justly chargeable with blame. I have my- 
self for a long time been deeply pained and grieved at the 
condition, of things ; and the more so, because I could dis- 
cover no necessity for it. But the circumstances have been 
beyond my control, and, therefore, I do not consider myself 
responsible. Yours truly, Chakles Gillette. 

" Austin, Jan. IT, 1803." 

"Austin, Jan. 17, 1863. 

" Dear Beothek Gillette : I regarded my note of yester- 
day as sufficiently explicit ; supposing it would convey a clear 
idea to your mind as to the position I meant to occupy in the 
matter referred to. 

" If you think, as your language seems to import, that I 
fear ' a clear statement of truth' on the subject, you entirely 
misapprehend me, and have made an imputation which should 
be plainly alleged, or if not meant, at once withdrawn. I 
know not why I should fear to speak clearly. I may fail 
through inability to do so, but nothing more. 

" As to the point upon which you desire to be informed 
plainly, namely, whether I asked the question supposing I had 
authority as your Bishop to do so ; I answer, not such author- 
ity as is specifically conferred by canon in certain cases, or, in 
other words, the question was not asked in the highest sense 
authoritatively. It was simply in the exercise of the right, 
which a Bishop may be presumed to have, to approach his 
clergy by way of inquiry in matters affecting the individual or 
the Church ;■ as to which suggestion may be made, advice 
given, or such other action taken, as may tend to the Chui'ch's 
welfare. In connection with the communications formerly 
made between us, the question should not have excited sm*- 
prise. I 

" While there is a difference, as j'ou remark, ' between hav- 


ing authority to ask a question and power to compel an 
answer,' you have strangely mistaken the purport of words — 
since the term ' oLhgatory ' could scarcely be presumed in 
such a case to hare been used in any other than its usual 
moral acceptation — one of those instances of obligation where 
the individual must judge for himself 

" It would be more than useless to discuss the question now, 
as to whom responsibility properly attaches for the state of 
things existing in this parish. There is no reason* to hope 
that there ever will be an agreement of opinion between the 
parties immediately concerned, or those whose feelings so 
widely differ in regard to the great struggle now convulsing 
the country. • ■ 

" The symj^athies cherished and opinions entertained (for 
they rise far above what is merely. political) will never, per- 
haps, be materially changed ! "Whether in Church or State, 
account must be given to God for all that has transpired. 
" Yours truly, Alex. Gkegg. 

" Eev. C. Gillette." 

" My Deak Bishop : I am obliged to you for your clear 
statement of your position in your last note. I am probably 
a little dull of comprehension, and need more explicit language 
than most persons. 

" I did not intend to cast any imputation by the language 
used by me in my last communication. This statement I 
trust will be satisfactory on that point. 

" You say : ' It was simply in the exercise of the right which 
a Bishop may be presumed to have to approach his clergy by 
Avay of inquiry in matters aifectiug the individual or the 
Church, as to which suggestion may be made, advice given, or 
such other action taken, as may tend to the Church's welfare.' 

" According to the first fact of this statement, it may be 
readily conceded that a Bishop has a right in many things to 
question his c;Jergy, where he thinks ' suggestion may be made, 
or advice given.' But it may also be readily conceived that a 
Bishop may overstep the bounds of his prerogative, and ques- 
tion in matters where conscience is concerned, and over which 
he can have no jurisdiction nor any right to question. 


'* As to tlie case -wliere prayer is offered in the worshiping 
assembly, wlio but God is to judge in regard to the purity of 
intention, or the rectitude of conduct in any individual, in say- 
ing, or omitting to say Amen, to any prayer offered, and what 
human being shall take it upon himself to judge his brother 
in such a matter, and pronounce it ' a grave offense,' when he 
does not say Amen audibly ? 

" If an individual offend in such a case, it seems to me he is 
clearly amenable to God, and to God alone. He may err, but 
it is an error where his brother has no right to intrude. ' To 
his own master he standeth or falleth.' 

" I may not understand what is meant by the language, ' or 
. such other action taken as may tend to the Church's welfare," 
for it seems to me vague and indefinite ; but I can hardly con- 
ceive that a Bishop has authority over his clergy, beyond that 
of counsel and advice, unless there has been some violation of 
canon law, or ordination vows. 

" As you remark, ' it would be more than useless to discuss 
the question now, as to whom responsibility properly attaches,' 
etc. After all that had been said, I deem it but justice to 
myself as a minister in God's church, acting, as I humbly 
trust, in his fear, and praying to him for guidance and direc- 
tion, to state that I do not feel the responsibility to rest with 
me. I occupy the position I do not of my own choice, nor is 
it one of my own seeking. It ' has been forced upon me, 
and I think without just cause. 

"I feel that this matter has assumed a form 'far above what 
is merely political.' For, with all due deference, and with- 
out any design to be in the least disrespectful, I look upon it 
now as a settled design to force my conscience, or to drive me 
from the Diocese, if no harsher means are employed. And I 
pray God, in whose hands are the hearts of all, to overrule 
for his glory ; if it must be by my suffering, His will be done. 

" I trust I am not now acting, neither have heretofore acted, 
without a deep sense of my accountability to Him. 

"Tours truly, "Chaeles Gillette. - 

"AirsTEi, January 19, 1863." 


" AusTix, Janucary 21, 1S63. 

" Dear Bkothek Gillette : Your disavowal of any inten- 
tion to cast an imputation on me, was satisfactory. 

" "While it is not at all pleasant to me to protract sucli a 
correspondence, I feel that it is proper for me to reply briefly 
to some of the remarks made in your note of yesterday. My 
statement was clear to you except the last clause, ' or such 
other action taken as may tend to the Church's welfare,' which 
you think is vague and indefinite. 

" It was expressed, I admit, in very general terms, and 
meant to cover a class of cases which I thought it unnecessary 
to specify. Enough has been said which was definite. 

" In the case supposed by you, where to question is to in- 
fringe, or to overstep the bounds of lawful prerogative, that is, 
the omitting to respond to a prayer, where it is a point of con- 
science between a man and his God, it may be so in the case 
of an individual in a strictly private capacity, but not of 
necessity when he is acting ofiicially, and his course may in- 
volve, more or less, the welfare of a parish, the good of the 
Church. Here the Bishop may with propriety question for 
the purpose of making suggestion, or giving advice, or for the 
relief of his own mind, if painfully impressed by his brother's 
course. The plea of conscience must not be carried too far as 
a shield from inquiry. I need not remind you what trouble 
"^conscience' has given individuals yr brought upon the world. 
Your general proposition, therefore, must be received with 
much qualification. In the case before us, where I could not 
but be impressed with the fact that you had not responded to 
certain special thanksgivings, was it not proper for me to ques- 
tion with a view to suggestion, advice, or my own relief and 
satisfaction — not desiring wantonly to intrude, or to indulge 
a harsh or censorious spirit — and especially was it not so in 
view of what had already transpired ? 

" You again remark, that you do not 'feel the responsibility 
to rest with you,' and add ' that the position you occupy has 
been forced upon you, and that without cause.' How forced, 
if you could at once have left, or afterward, when the Presi- 
dent gave opportunity, or, indeed, at any time subsequent ? 
If you chose to remain after a prayer had been put forth by 


your Bisliop to whicli you could not assent, how can 3"on say 
your position lias been forced upon you? Or in choosing to 
omit certain words, (wliicb. was permitted at your request,) did 
you not take very liigh moral ground against this war of 
defense on our part, in opposition, as you well knew, to the 
prevailing sentiment in the Diocese ? "Was the position forced 
upon you ? But, thus remaining and protesting thus, as often 
as you read the prayer, — and that in a leading parish and the 
capital of the State, with not a few around you sympathizing 
in your course, and known to be disaffected toward the gov- 
ernment, protesting thus against the war, though one of holy 
defense and sacred justice on our part, — the action of the Con- 
vention was not only timely and proper, but imperiously de- 
manded ! and can you say that action or its legitimate results 
was forced upon you ? When afterward it became proper, as 
the Convention requested to read the extract from my address 
with the report and resolutions of the Committee, did you not 
choose to defer the reading because of a very unsound and un- 
patriotic feeling on a part of the congregation ? Do you sup- 
pose that in any other parish, or locality in the Diocese, it 
would have driven any from the communion ? Instead of the 
matter referred to, did you not choose to preach a sermon 
which, however proper in itself, became a source of offense to 
not a few, because of its evid<3nt bearing on the existing state 
of things ? "When afterward a brother clergyman came to 
the parish, who had been prominent in the action taken by 
the Convention, did courtesy call for more than a general invi- 
tation for him to officiate for you, without j)ressing him for 
his reasons in declining? Was not the conversation in the 
vestry-room, afterward, requested by yourself, and did not the 
papers subsequently submitted by you, elicit my communica- 
tion in reply ; and the correspondence since, has it not been 
induced by you in the first instance ? May it not be that, un- 
consciously to yourself, you have been led to seek the atti- 
tude of an injured and persecuted man ? and I say this in no 
sj^irit of unkindness, or to reflect on your sincerity. 

" What, then, has been forced upon you ? What has led, step 
by step, to all that has transpired? When you saw in the 
outset that the position you were about to take would array 


you against the Diocese in a matter -u-liere tlic deepest and 
most sacred feelings were involved — for tins was actually the 
case — liow could you expect the plea of conscience to relieve 
you of the consequent responsibility, and so to change the 
whole order and aspect of things, as to make that position and 
its results forced uj)on yourself? 

" A man in an official position, and such as you have occu- 
pied in the Diocese, could not expect to be regarded in the 
light of a mere private individual; and this appears to me one 
of the serious errors into which you have fallen. 

" You furthermore remark : ' I look upon it now as a settled 
design to force my conscience, or drive me from the Diocese 
if no harsher measures are employed.' 

" This allegation is not, in my opinion, at all supported by 
the facts in the case, and you can not take the position, which 
you doubtless believe yourself to occupy, of an injured and 
persecuted man. I say this most emphatically ! What you 
mean by 'harsher measures' I do not exactly comprehend. 
If you refer to violent proceedings against your person, I feel 
sure you would not for a moment imagine, that I have ever 
thought of, or would countenance in the slightest degree, any 
thing of the kind, or that there are any who would. Let me 
also assure you that such a thing as forcing your conscience 
has never been thought of. God forbid that it should be so ! 

" As to ' a settled design to drive you from the Diocese,' 
while it is a hard saying, let me remark, and I do it in sorrow 
of heart, that what has transpired in consequence of the posi- 
tion first taken by you, and naturally tending to that point, 
namely, your leaving sooner or later, as you remarked to me 
some time since you expected to do so, must not by any means 
be confounded with a design oa the joart of others to drive you 
ojQE". That first position set you adrift on the current of events ; 
and however pure your intentions, or satisfied in your mind 
of the rectitude of your course, (for thus I believe you have 
felt and acted,) yet siich was that ])Oi,iiion and your stibsequent 
course, that deep and general feeling has been excited both 
here and elsewhere through the Diocese; and nothing has 
occurred to my knowledge, by any open expression of feeling 
or sentiment on your part, to lessen that feeling. The view 


expressed by you, too, respecting yonr bretliren, that ' their 
action partook largely of an intolerant, sectarian, and perse- 
cuting spirit,' and ' that they were proposing a new test of fit- 
ness for ministerial labor among them hitherto unknown in 
the Church, saying, you must believe with us politically, 
or we can not fraternize with you; but we will by our 
action publicly say, you are unworthy to labor with us as 
a minister in the Church of God' — all this indicated that you 
could not, with satisfaction to yourself, remain permanently 
among them, and that it might be best that you should not. 
But frorii whence has such a state of things proceeded? Does 
it necessarily follow, that because one or two are in conflict 
with a larger number, or have placed themselves in conflict, 
that the latter are in the wrong and the former injured and 
persecuted ? 

" In declining to officiate for you, your brethren who have 
been here did it of their own free will and accord, and simply 
on the ground that in the position you had taken witli refer- 
ence to the prayer they could not ask you to officiate for them, 
and they would much have preferred that so unpleasant an 
issue should not have been forced upon them. In declining 
to extend the permission to omit the words in the prayer in 
other places than this parish and its adjunct, I stated the 
reasons which influenced me, and they are such as my judg- 
ment approves. 

"But what more need be said? I have most devoutly 
wished and earnestly prayed, that the course of this world 
might be so peaceably ordered by God's government, that 
his Church might joyfully serve him in all godly quietness 
through Jesus Christ our Lord. And in my official course, 
since our national troubles commenced, I haye only sought to 
discharge, in the fear of God, what I conceived to be my duty 
at this momentous crisis, both to Church and State, for the two 
are now and ever ^oill he closely and indissolubly comiected. 
I have feared from the first that you did not fully realize 
the true character of this war, the issue at stake, the spirit and 
design of our enemies, the unalterable determination on the 
part of our people that the Government from which they 
separated should never be reestablished over them, and the 

65 • 

feeling wliicli tlie non-avowal of sympathy with them in their 
perilous struggle would naturally excite in their hearts. But 
enough of this ! 

" I write in sorrow, and God knoweth the feelings of my 
lieart. In no spirit of unkindness has a word heen uttered. 
There has been much in the past to bind me to you in the 
ties of Christian affection, and I shall never cease to pray for 
the happiness and welfare of you and yours. 

" May God be with us both, to direct us in these, as in all 
our doings, with his most gracious favor! "Whatever the 
course of things may be hereafter, whatever our trials — for we 
must expect to be tried — may it only be to incite us to the 
more faithful discharge of duty here, and the laying up a sure 
and immutable crown of rejoicing hereafter. 

" Yours truly, Alex. Gregg. 

" Kev. C. Gillette." 

" My DexVr Bishop : Tour communication of yesterday is; 
so long that my engagements will not permit my answering it, 
to-day. If it please God, I will answer it on your return from, 
your visitation. Yours truly, 

" CnAELES Gillette. 

" Austin, Jan. 22, 18G3." 

"My Dear Bishop: I do not suppose this correspondence 
can be any more pleasant to me than to yourself. I have en- 
tered upon it, and pursued it, only as a matter of self-defense 
and for the vindication of the Church and my order of the 

" Your reasoning is to me very strange, but with your 
avowal of the close and indissoluble connection of the Church 
and State now and ever, I think I understand you. 

" This union I neither see nor acknowledge, and I can only 
suppose you are mistaken in your statement. But let me take 
up some of the points in your communication in nearly the 
order in which they are mentioned. 

" In regard to the language of your former communication, 
' or such other action,' etc., you, say you ' expressed it in gen- 


eral terms, and meant it to cover a class of cases,' etc. I am 
utterly at a loss to know to what class of cases you refer, as I 
conceive the whole ground covered by the first part of your 
statement, and by the canon law of the Church — when a 
bishop has exhausted his counsel and ad^ace, I conceive he 
has nothing more to do, until it comes to canon law. I can, 
therefore, see no cases covered, and no cases that could he 
covered by the language used. Most undoubtedly a bishop is 
bound by law, as well as his clergy, and there are very few 
cases where ' the Church's welfare is concerned,' that he can 
become a law unto himself or to them. 

" In regard to saying amen, let me state the individual case. 
You twice returned thanks for victories. You were under the 
impression that I did not say amen to either, and you asked 
me if I did. In reply I stated that for one I did say amen, 
for the other I did not, and I gave you my reasons. This I 
did as a matter of friendship, not because I acknowledged any 
right in you, as my Bishop, to ask the question, or any obliga- 
tion on me as your presbyter to answer it. I make no objec- 
tion to answering the C[uestion as a friend, but I utterly refuse 
to answer it when asked authoritatively. I claim that any 
minister, when another is officiating, is simply an individual 
worshiper, and is no more responsible to his Bishoj), for saying 
amen to a prayer or a thanksgiving, than any member of the 
congregation. He is not acting ofiicially, but as an individual, 
and God alone has the right to take cognizance of his acts. 
It is a matter of conscience between him and his God, and no 
individual man has a right to intrude. This general proposi-. 
tion onust he received, I tlihik, loithout qualification, and covers 
the point at issue in the present correspondence. But as some 
■important points in regard to what has passed during the last 
year and a half are brought forward, I propose to refer to 

" In regard to my position being forced upon me, you ask 
how, and then enumerate a series of acts of mine, all tending, 
as you judge, to bring me into my present position, and hence 
•you conclude, that I alone have been in fault, and I alone am 
responsible ; as if all these had been the deliberate acts and 
choice of myself — a choice, too, with the consequences full be- 


fore me. It would be very easy to refute all this by a sup- 
posed case, for it all goes to show bow an opinion entertained 
makes every thing right on one side, and not entertained makes 
every thing wrong on the other side. But it will be sufficient 
for present purposes to take a plain statement of facts. 

" Before entering the sacred ministry, my mind was turned 
upon the different fields of labor calling for the services of 
clergymen ; I took a survey of work at home and abroad, and 
considered the subject attentively for several years, while pre- 
paring for my future work. Texas was then a foreign field, 
and to me far less inviting than any of those occupied by the 
Church, except Africa. As a matter of choice, I would sooner 
have gone at that time to Greece, or Syria, or China, than to 

" When ordained, I was urged to stay at home among 
known and tried friends ; inducements were held out to me 
such as would have secured competence and comparative ease. 
But I felt it an imperative duty to pass all these by, and go 
where comparatively none would go — for only two of our 
clergymen were then in this vast field. I therefore came to 
Texas, not as a matter of choice, but of duty — a conscientious 
feeling of duty from which I dared not turn away. Thus was 
my field of labor in the Church fixed — forced upon me, if you 
choose — ^by that troublesome conscience whose voice I dared 
not disregard. 

" For twenty years my poor services have been given to the 
Church in Texas : given with the same feeling, that in the 
providence of God here was my lot, and that I might not go 
elsewhere. That same ' troublesome conscience ' forces me to 
stand in my lot, through evil as well as good report. But if I 
now felt myself free to seek another place of abode and labor 
in God's vineyard, and if there were no hindrances from the 
powers that be, as you suppose, (which supposition admits of 
great doubt,) still my present position is forced upon me by 
the necessities of the case. I have a family of helpless children 
dependent upon my daily exertions for bread. I have no 
money, and have never had, since in Texas, more than suffi- 
cient to meet my constantly recurring wants. I have no pe- 
cuniary interest anywhere but here. The small amount of 


property I have, if sold to-daj^ at a fall yaliiation, would do 
little more tlian pay my debts and take my family out of the 
country. But it is patent to you, and to every one, that no 
sale of property could now be effected, for money which could 
be used beyond the limits of the Confederacy, nor could this 
have been done at any time since the troubles commenced. 
If, then, I desired ever so much to go, and there was nothing 
in the way but the want of means, how could I go, unless I 
were to turn myself and family into a set of beggars and live 
upon the charity of those we might find willing to give ? 
"Would there be any thing in such a course which would seem 
to be following the leadings of God's providence ? You being 
judge, is there any thing in the necessities of the case which 
would justify such a course ? And by so doing would I not 
justly come under the condemnation of the Apostle, when he 
says, ' He that provideth not for his own, and especially for 
those of his own household, hath denied the faith, and is worse 
than an infidel' ? The present state of things which makes it 
a pecuniary impossibility for me to make a change, has been 
brought about without my seeking or my aiding; hence, in this 
respect, my present position ' has been forced upon me.' 

" But when I said my position was ' forced upon me,' I 
meant something more than mere locality — I meant the posi- 
tion I occupy before the public. And here let me remark 
that my position was the same in this respect as now, before 
most of the things transpired which are mentioned in your 
communication, and for which you think me censurable. 
There has been no material change of which I am aware. 

" What is this position ? It is a feeling in the public mind 
that I have arrayed myself in opposition to my Bishop and to 
my brethren of the clergy. Is this true as a matter of fact ? 
I think not. How, then, do I come to occupy this position ? 
I answer, from misunderstanding and misrepresentation. ISJ'ot 
that I charge any one with willfully doing me injustice ; but it 
has so happened that there has not been a clear understanding 
of the case. What have been the facts ? Simply this : My 
Bishop set forth a prayer in which there occurs, not as a peti- 
tion, but as a declaration of a matter of fact, a political opinion 
— an opinion which, if it were necessary to maintain, it cer- 


tainly need not have been made a subject of information to 
the Almighty in a prayer composed for public use in the 
Church — an opinion concerning which there was bound to 
be diversity. In this opinion I frankly stated to my Bishop, in 
the outset, that I conscientiously differed with him, and asked 
his permission to omit the declaration in using the prayer. 
The omission affected not in the slightest degree a single peti- 
tion in the prayer. In asking to be excused from declaring 
the opinion, I did not seek to force my opinion upon any body 
else. I only asked to be excused from declaring before God, 
in prayer, that to be a fact which I was not convinced was a 
fact. Surely, under such circumstances, I only asked what 
was lawful for me to ask, and what, as an honest Christian 
man, I was bound to ask ; and in granting my request, my 
Bishop only did what I think a wise, considerate. Christian 
Bishop would always do. Thus far I can see nothing wrong. 
A difference of oj^inion on the point in question was lawful. 
It was lawful and right, under the circumstances, for me to 
ask to be excused from declaring the opinion. It was lawfid 
for my Bishop to excuse me, and here the matter might and, 
in my judgment, ought to have ended. Did it so end ? Far 
from it. Although my Bishop said (though he would not now 
repeat it) ' that had the matter been suggested to him before 
the printing of the prayer, he would have omitted the words in 
question,' and although he now declares that 'taken without 
these words, those who have been most decided in the expres- 
sion of opinion on the subject have admitted that the prayer 
would yet be suitable and comprehensive, and cover the ground 
generally which such a prayer should do,' although, under 
these circumstances, it could be no matter of conscience with 
him to have the words used, he still claims the right, whenever 
present, to read the prayer himself with the words, and finds 
fault with me for not saying amen. He persists in this Sunday 
after Sunday, although he is aware that not only myself, but 
many communicants in the congregation are wounded by its 
use, and can not say amen. The Bishop himself thus breaks 
the unity of worship in a Christian congregation. For if the 
unity of worship so much talked of be broken, it must be 
broken in a single congregation. For it is not probable that 


all the congregations in one Diocese, to say nothing of a more 
extended region, use precisely the same prayers, no more and 
no less, on any given Sunday. Am I not forced, then, to oc- 
cu^^y the position I now do, by the constantly recurring act of 
my Bishop, who might have freed me from it without any 
violation of conscience by permitting the prayer to be used 
always in the same way in the same congregation ? It is 
highly probable, if this had been done from the beginning, the 
change would never have been observed, and all the feeling 
which has been manifested would have been avoided. I did 
not seek or desire to express any opinion upon the point in 
question. If I have done so, it is because I have been forced 
to do it in a negative manner, by asking to be excused from 
uttering, as a fact, that which I could not see reason to believe 
was true. 

" Again, if I have only done what my Bishop gave me 
leave to do — which leave he had a perfect right to give, and 
so have in no way placed myself in opposition to him, nor in 
any way transgressed any law or regulation of the Church — 
have I not further been forced into the position I occupy by 
the action of my brethren in the Convention, whereby they 
proclaim to the world that I am guilty of grave offenses, so 
grave that I must not be permitted to hold any place in the 
management of the affairs of the Diocese ; but my name must 
be stricken from every committee and every office, although I 
had spent all my ministerial life in Texas, wearing myself out 
for the good of the Church, having participated in all the 
councils of the Church since the organization of the Diocese, 
there being only one presbyter who has spent half the time in 
Texas that I have done ? Was not the j)nblic mind still fur- 
ther prejudiced by the Convention's passing a series of resolu- 
tions, and requesting them to be read in all the congregations, 
with the intent, as a brother informed me, of ' making me de- 
fine my position, politically' ? And has it not still further been 
forced upon me by my brethren, who have visited here, refus- 
ing to officiate for me, thus giving the world to understand 
that I am guilty of such grave offenses that they could not 
fellowship with me ? And have not all these things been with 
the knowledge and consent of my Bishop ? Surely, if a posi- 


tion, nnsoiiglit and undcsired, was ever forced upon a man, 
mine lias been forced npon me, and, as I still think, without 
my having given any cause ; for, I can not suppose that any 
would be so unreasonable as to say I had given occasion for 
all this, when I had simply used a plain right to ask to be ex- 
cused from uttering a political sentiment in public prayer, 
simply as a matter of information to the Almighty, which 
statement I did not see reason to believe to be strictly true, 
and my Bishop had granted my request, excusing me from 
making the assertion. 

" In regard to forcing my conscience, driving me from the 
Diocese, or using harsher means, the simple facts seem to me 
to be these : It may be my misfortune not to see points as 
clearly as some others, but so it was, that I did not, and do 
not now, see what others said they did, and I asked to be ex- 
cused from declaring the same, on the ground of conscientious 
scruple. Other very serious grounds of objection might be 
found to using the assertion in a public prayer. But the 
gTound of conscience was that on which I honestly asked to 
be excused. I am ' aware of the trouble conscience has given 
individuals and brought upon the world.' But because con- 
science has been abused, I do not see that that excuses a man 
for having no conscience, or disregarding it, wdien he lias one. 
Having conscience as the ground for asking the excuse, being 
excused by my Bishop on that ground, what is it but an at- 
tempt to force my conscience when I am constantly made to 
feel, by the premeditated acts of my brethren, that they are 
holding me up before the' public as one unworthy to associate 
with them, thus bringing the outside pressure of an over- 
excited public to bear, either to make me yield and use the 
words, contrary to my own convictions of right, or else leave 
tlie Diocese ? What is it but an attempt to force my con- 
science, or. drive me from the Diocese, when I am forbidden to 
hold even an occasional service anywhere in the Diocese out 
of my own parish, although persons having no minister might 
desire me to give them the services of the Church ? "What 
means the invitation I have several times had, to leave the 
Diocese, by those who think they can judge of what is my 
duty in this matter better than I can myself, and who seem to 


tliink that for a minister to change his place of labor in the 
Church he has only to will a change, and make it without 
reference to anj surroundings except the wish of those who 
may desire to be rid of his company ? As the whole matter 
turns on a point of conscience, how could it be expected that 
any ' open expression of feeling or sentiment ' of mine should 
be given to change the sentiment of others toward me, unless 
I violated my conscience ? Could I utter as truth what I did 
not believe to be true, without violating my conscience ? As 
in the dilemma in which I am placed, only the two alterna- 
tives are offered me — of leaving the Diocese, or using the 
words ; what is it but a settled attempt to force my conscience 
or drive me from the Diocese ? 

" In regard to harsher means, let me state facts. The pub- 
lic are much excited, and seem determined that all, even min- 
isters, shall share largely in their excitement. Many acts of 
violence, without process of law, have been committed. If I 
am rightly informed, at least a hundred and fifty men in this 
State have lost their lives since these troubles commenced, 
without any legal tribunal having determined that they had 
violated the laws of the land. It is a fact well known to all 
livins; in this vicinitv that there has been, at times, intense ex- 
citement among the masses of the people ; and it only needed 
a spark to have kindled a flame which no human skill or fore- 
sight could have controlled or seen the end of. 

" Once started it would have been a mob uncontrolled, and 
only to cease when the frenzy should have worn itself out. 
Under such circumstances, who could tell where the blow 
would fall, or who would have been the victim ? Is it not 
evident that those who, from any cause, had been made pro- 
minent, whether by their own acts or the acts of others, would 
be most likely to suffer from the unrestrained violence of the 
mob ? Has there not been reason, then, for men who have 
been evil spoken of to fear the hand of violence and ' harsher 
means ' ? 

" In regard to the extending the permission to hold service 
elsewhere, if I should be out of my parish, and requested so 
to do by a minister, or by a congregation without a minister, 
I must say in all candor, though with great sorrow, that I 


think you hare entirely exceeded yonr antliority in the case, 
and that there is no canon law of the Church which will sus- 
tain a Bishop in such a prohibition, not even in the letter, and 
certainly not in the spirit. 

" You say, ' the Church and State are now and ever will be 
closely and indissolubly connected.' As this language is gen- 
erally understood, I must beg to differ from the statement 
here made. I think the Church and State are separate and 
distinct, and I trust will ever so remain. But with such an 
opinion entertained, I can easily conceive how your mind has 
been greatly biased in this whole matter, and that a supposed 
offense against the State may be punishable in the Church, 
and that a political opinion must be made an article of faith ; 
for the whole of this proceeding seems to me to look directly 
to this, and nothing less. I have heard yon accused of seek- 
ing the union of Church and State, under the Confederacy, 
which I have hitherto denied, and I sincerely regret that your 
own langnage puts it out of my power to do this any more. 

" Whatever may be your ability satisfactorily to disavow the 
assumption which you claim, ' that there is a connection be- 
tween Church and State,' or that such connection is designed 
or intended to be established, yet allow me to suggest that the 
use of such language is calculated to do more injury,- both to 
our Chiirch and the liberal State which gives free toleration 
to every persuasion of Christians, and to every character of 
religionists, than any other which man can invent. The lan- 
guage is precisely that 'employed in the constitutions and laws 
of the despotic governments, where such a connection, in fact, 
exists — a connection which has furnished as martyrs tens of 
thousands of dissenters and non-conformists. "Whatever differ- 
ence of opinion there may be in regard to the present unfor- 
tunate and unhappy contest, I do not believe that any consi- 
derable number of either party regarded as the smallest boon 
won by our Protestant fathers, that they forever severed the 
political connection between Church and State. Nothing 
could now be a severer blow to the cause which you have so 
much at heart than the publicity of the sentiments that such 
connection has never, in fact, been dissolved, but that it still 
exists in theory and in fact. I am jDcrsuaded that misappre- 


hensions upon a question so vital to civil and religious liberty 
have been at the foundation of the acts of yourself and the 
Bishops of the other Dioceses, which have caused the imputa- 
tion in some quarters that the Episcopal Church desired a legal 
recoo-nition as the Church of the Confederate States of 

" I can easily conceive such views, when hypothetically en- 
tertained, as connection between Church and State, can lead 
to the great mistake, that Christian ministers should enter 
into the political contests of the day. This interference in 
public affairs by the pulpits of the North is everywhere con- 
ceded to have been a principal element which has led to the 
terrible civil war which now scourges the land. I can not 
admit such connections between Church and State, hence my 
. conscientious belief, that it is the duty of Christian jninisters 
to know ' only Christ, and him crucified.' The aftairs and 
management of the State belong to the people and to the 
Governors of their choice. Our clergy, unlike the Bishops of 
England, have no place in the civil government ; any assump- 
tions to the contrary are only apples of discord, and he who 
maintains them will be fouud, ere long, scattering 'firebrands, 
arrows, and death.' 

" There are a few things alluded to in your communication 
which, perhaps, need some words of explanation on my part. 
You speak of ' your delay to read the resolutions of the Con- 
vention, and of the sermon preached on that occasion.' I did 
not suppose then, nor do I suppose now, that the reading of 
the resolutions one Sunday sooner or later made the slightest 
difference. It so happened that the resolutions reached me 
two or three days before Communion Sunday. I saw from 
the character of the resolutions that in my congregation their 
being read would produce unpleasant feeling, and I felt cer- 
tain Avould keep some from the Communion. I, therefore, 
judged it more prudent to defer reading them to another Sun- 
day, and told you so when you asked me if I intended to read 
them on that day. "When you insisted that you would go into 
my pulpit and read them on that day, if I did not, I told you 
that you had no right to do so ; that you were bound by the 
same laws that regulated any presbyter in my parish, except 


vrlien on a Tisitatlon. When you insisted that you had a 
right, in virtue of its being your parish church, (by which I 
suppose you meant the parish in which you resided,) I told 
you, that if you persisted I should not have the Communion, 
and you finally yielded. I thought I was the best judge in 
my own parish. I was not responsible for the state of feeling 
in my parish at the time, but as a faithful pastor it was my 
duty to see how it might best be met. 

" In regard to the sermon j)reaclied on that occasion, I think 
it was entirely in accordance with the Gospel. It was pre- 
pared and preached, word for word the same, six years before, 
and therefore could have had no special reference to any thing 
then transpiring. If any supposed otherwise, does it not show 
that it must have been in the imagination of the listener, or 
else that such a sermon was timely and needed? I have never, 
up to this time, heard any one express any dissatisfaction with 
the sermon, nor have I heard any one, except yourself, say that 
any dissatisfaction was expressed. You heard the discourse, 
and stated to me afterward that there was nothing in the ser- 
mon itself that any one could find fault with. 

" You speak of my pressing a brother for his reasons for not 
ofiiciating for me. I did not intend to be discourteous in what 
I did. His answer to my invitation was such that I thought 
he rather desired to give me his reason for refusing, and I was 
somewhat confirmed in this idea by learning afterward that he 
had given the same information, unasked, to a member of the 
Church who had simply been introduced to him. 

"You say: 'When you saw in the outset the position you 
were about to take would array you against the Diocese.' 
This is certainly very strange language, under the circum- 
stances. I did not suppose that any one foresaw what has fol- 
lowed in this connection. In a conversation had with your- 
self, I understood you to say, that you had no idea at the time 
the permission was asked, of what has followed. I certainly 
foresaw nothing of the kind, nor did I dream of arraying my- 
self against any one, or that any would array themselves 
against me, which I am sorry to find seems now to be the 

" You speak of my remarking to you ' some time since that 


I expected to leave tlie Diocese.' You certainly mistook my 
meaning. I remarked to you that certain tilings would ' drive 
me from tlie Diocese ; ' not at all that I expected to go of my 
own free will and accord. I think you will easily call to mind 
the circumstances under which these remarks were made. I 
grieve to say it, but it was when I felt deeply wounded at 
what seemed plain to me, and I thought ought to have been 
plain to my Bishop — that, without intending it, he was foster- 
ing a spirit of dissension among my congregation ; for he had 
just returned from performing the funeral services in the family 
of one of my parishioners, which he had done without saying 
a word to me, except to send me word a little before the time 
of service, that he was going to do it. I have felt that by this, 
and by other acts of my Bishop, my hands were weakened in 
my parish, and that dissensions were cherished and breaches 
made wider. And it was in view of such things that I said, 
I could see plainly that these things would drive me from the 

" You say, again, ' I have feared from the first that you did 
not fully realize the true character of this war,' etc. I confess 
that from the first I have felt it quite enough for me to faith- 
fully perform the duties of my station as a Christian minister, 
without mingling in any way with the excited feeling which I 
see around, and growing out of a state of war. A Christian 
minister may see and lament the evils attendant on such a 
state of things as now exists ; but how he, as an ambassador of 
the Prince of Peace, the herald of Him who would ' neither 
strive, nor cry, nor cause his voice to be heard in the streets' 
— ^liow he can come down from his high calling, to mingle and 
make himself one in these earthly conflicts, I do not under- 
stand. I have not so learned Christ. 

" As proof that this is no new opinion with me, I may ap- 
peal to my whole life. Before I left the land of my nativity, 
the practice of preachers carrying political opinions into the 
pulpit liad become so frequent as to threaten Christian frater- 
nity and social relations. I had always understood our Church 
to deplore and condemn, even this assumed connection between 
Church and State ; and when I entered the sacred ministry I 
had a fixed determination never to mingle politics with the 


Gospel of Christ. Wlien I came to Texas, I found a free peo- 
ple, living under a constitution wLicli guaranteed a separate 
nationality, and rejoicing in nothing more than that the revo- 
lution of 1836 had forever separated that ' connection between 
Church and State,' -which had led and still leads to such dis- 
turbing ' j)ronunciamento3,' and to such frequently recurring 
bloodshed, in the republic from which they had severed their 
political connection ; I here found our Church under the mis- 
sionary patronage, arid joined by religious connection with 
the Church of the United States. One year after my arrival 
in Texas, a civil revolution commenced, which merged the 
nationality of Texas in that of the United States. In this 
revolution I took no part beyond the casting of a vote, feeling it 
then, as now, my duty ' to render unto Ciesar the things that 
are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.' Historians 
say that the consummation of this revolution 'forced' a war, 
but upon whom the war was forced, God alone can judge — I 
did not feel it my duty, nor did oui: Church then undertake to 
decide by whom, or upon whom ' the war was forced.' It cer- 
tainly severed the ' connection of Church and State,' in a vast 
field which it opened to our labors. The revolution in which 
we now find ourselves may be beyond my comprehension ; I 
own that I regard it as a matter of inscrutable Providence. 
But I feel in my heart that it brings no new political ' connec- 
tion between Church and State.' It makes no new change in 
the duties of a Christian minister. We have yet in the Church 
very much land to be possessed. A vast field for religious 
work is before us. I own it to be the duty of us all, as citizens, 
to submit to the powers that be, to observe the constitution 
and laws which are intended to operate upon all alike, to ac- 
knowledge political changes as established facts. But whether 
these changes have been ' forced' or voluntary, wise or unwise, 
for the happiness of the people, or to make it more burden- 
some upon them, are matters which, in my humble judgment, 
neither Bishop, Priest Deacon, or Convention can determine 
at the outset. Neither the Constitution, law, nor the Bible 
punishes or authorizes human punishment for non-conformity 
in political or religious sentiments. To claim it, is to claim 
absolute power. To practice it and assert it on the ground 


of tlie ' connection of Cliurcli and State,' certainly tends to 
the overthrow of both, just in proportion to the influence of 
those who assert and act upon the hypothesis. 

" You say, again, ' Does it necessarily follow, that, because 
one or two are in conflict with a larger number, or have placed 
themselves in conflict, that the latter are in the wrong, and 
the former injured and persecuted ? ' I answer no — nor is the 
converse of the proposition of necessity true. I am not aware 
that any one has made or maintained the proposition here 
stated. Again, you say: 'You can not take the position, 
which you doubtless believe yourself to occupy, of an injured 
and persecuted man.' In regard' to this assertion, I suppose 
it would only be a matter of opinion between us, after all that 
might be said upon the subject. But if he whose rights are 
interfered with without cause, whose character and influence is 
assailed without just reason, whose honest labors in the most 
sacred profession are curtailed and his influence well-nigh lost 
for the time being — and all this too for the sake of an opinion, 
an opinion he does not seek to express, but only desires not to 
express its opposite, — if such an one is not injured and perse- 
cuted, then I think it would be hard to tell what injury and 
persecution mean. That a man does not utter the words dic- 
tated toi him in solemn prayer, which express simply the dec- 
laration of an opinion which he can see no ground for believing 
true, and from the utterance of which he has been excused by 
the individual dictating — that for this he should be proscribed, 
and his name cast out as evil, — if it be not persecution, what 
is it ? It is more than useless to say such an one has set him 
self in opposition. How set himself in opposition, when he 
has simpl}^ exercised the right of having an opinion, has done 
nothing more than exercise liberty of conscience, and if he is 
made to suffer in any way for this, what is it but being injured 
and persecuted ? The opposite reasoning from this would jus- 
tify all the persecuting powers which have ever existed, and 
at once bring us to a point when we must say that no persecu- 
tion for conscience's sake has ever existed. The poor man who 
has suffered mart3'rdom for opinion's sake, has not been perse- 
cuted or injured ; he set himself in opposition to a majority by 
holding an opinion contrary to theirs, and he has no right to 


have an opinion of his own, even if he did not seek to express 
it. Therefore, no matter what may have ha^Dpencd to him, he 
has not been persecuted and injured ; his life even was a just 
forfeiture of his having an opinion. I am sure that my Bishop 
would give his assent to no such reasoning as this, and yet, 
when carefully considered and carried out, I can see only this 
end to which it would lead. It seems to me the very form 
that every persecuting and fanatical spirit has taken, from 
the commencement of the world downward. My view of this 
subject may be wrong, but it is the only view which seems to 
me correct. 

' " You expressed a desire not to continue this correspondence. 
I have consequently dwelt more at length on some points men- 
tioned in your last communication than I otherwise should. 
I do not feel that the subject is by any means exhausted, but 
I may weary your patience by writing further. 

" Allow me to say, in conclusion, that no word which I have 
uttered here has been dictated by the slightest unkind feeling 
toward yourself or any one else. I have simply endeavored 
to make myself understood in matters where I consider the 
greatest and dearest princijples involved — principles which rise 
far, verij fai\ ' above mere political opinion.' I give you full 
credit for all honesty of purpose, but I feel that your idea of 
the 'connection of Church and State' has led you into error, 
and greatly biased your judgment in this whole matter. 

" I most heartily and devoutly join you in the prayer, ' that 
the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered,' etc., 
and, again, ' that God may be with us both, to direct us in 
these and all our doings with his most gracious favor.' I also 
pray that our trials may incite us to the more faithful dis- 
charge of our duty here, and the laying up of a sure and 
immutable crown of rejoicing hereafter. Yours, truly, 

"Austin, March 16, 1863. Charles Gillette." 

"Austin, April 20, 1863. 

" Dear Ekother Gillette : The brief reply which I de- 
signed making to your communication of the sixteenth ulti- 
mo, has been delayed simj)ly by the pressure of other work. 

" To protract the correspondence can tend only to evil, in- 


volving as it does new questions or issues as to memory of 
facts, construction of language, the bearing of actions, etc., 
concerning all which, it is manifest, no better understanding 
will be readied. ]^or, let it be added, can mere reiteration 
add force to what has once been said. 

"I could say somewhat in reply to your undertaking to 
' vindicate the Church,' and to inform me as to the rights and 
duties of a Bislioj), but it would be unkind, and I forbear. 

" The circumstances under which you came to Texas, though 
you dwell much on the subject, have really nothing to do with 
the present issue. 

" Having taken the position of one persecuted, it would be 
worse than useless to discuss questions of conscience, or what 
constitutes persecution, or whether one may not be egregious- 
ly mistaken as to his own position in the premises. 

" As to the point whether your present position has been 
forced upon you, the question is not whether you foresaw or 
any one else what followed, but simply, has it resulted, in the 
natural order of things, from the stand you first took. You 
think not, as was to be expected. Let it remain so, then, for 
enough has been said as to that. 

" You say I claim the right to read the prayer ! Certainly. 
Did you not unqualifiedly consent that I should always do so, 
when present ? Was it not the distinct understanding? Why, 
then, complain so dolorously now ? and why, in view of these 
facts, the extraordinary assertion that I violate unity in read- 
ing my own prayer ? What unity ? That of disafi'ection ? of 
Northern sympathy ? Are only one class to be regarded ? 

" Is it possible you can imagine, had you been quietly per- 
mitted to read the prayer yourself, that your omission of the ■ 
words would not have been observed, or created feeling? or 
that there has been nothing else to lead to the general belief 
that your real sympathies have not been with us in this cruel 
and monstrous inroad of our enemies ! Are ministers not 
men! and subjects of the State? And are they expected to 
reach such a sublimated point of virtue as to have no wish as 
to the result of a struggle like this ? Does reason, does con- 
science, does religion forbid it in them ? Have they not to 


rcnoimce every noLlo sentiment of love of country, to be with- 
out ardent desire, tliougli in submission to the will of God ? 

" You have made much ado about political excitement, etc., 
(though I know none of our clergy who have gone beyond 
the bounds of propriety in this matter,) as if this was a ques- 
tion oi politics! 

" You speak of one hundred and fifty citizens put to death 
in Texas, etc. I have kept no such accurate account ! Do 
you include in the number of these, (all of whom you seem to 
consider political martyrs,) those who armed and organized 
themselves against tlie government, or were on their way to 
join the enemy? or, had gone, and returned to murder our 
people ? 

" You speak of law-abiding citizens here. Did you ever 
liear of any of this class who held out as long as they could 
against the payment of the war-tax ? 

" A Bishop may put forth prayers for extraordinary occa- 
sions; he may excuse the omission of certain words therein, 
in compliance with the request of one or more of the clergy ! 
and yet, if he limits the bounds of that permission, territorial- 
ly, for reasons which he may deem good, he at once becomes 
despotic! He must take the feelings of others as his gui(Je ! 
or incur severe censure ! Let this pass! 

"My repeated assertion, that there is an indissoluble con- 
nection between Church and State, alarms you ! You once 
denied the charge above against me ! that I desired an estab- 
lished religion. Alas ! for me now, you can do so no more ! 
My brother, your fancy has run away with you ! The idea 
provokes a broad smile ! I thought you understood the, kind 
of moral connection referred to! ISTone would be more sur- 
prised than the good .Bishops of the Confederate States, who 
have shown themselves in this as true churchmen, as true 
patriots, at hearing of such grave apprehensions respecting 
them in a Texas Presbyter ! For the quieting of your fears, 
let mo tell you that I have, for more than a year past, been in- 
tending to give full expression to my views as to the relation 
of Church and State, etc., and I was actually engaged in doing 
so when your communication was handed to me. You will 
soon be able to consider these views at your leisure, and if 


you go beyond me in repudiating an establislied religion in 
any form, you will be radical indeed ! To that document in- 
quirers may after > tliis be referred! I can readily conceive 
from whence the charge comes, that the Episcopal Church in 
this Diocese, or in the Confederacy, desires a union of Church 
and State. Let such a conceit be no more maintained ! 

" I still think you expressed yourself as first asserted by me 
in regard to leaving the Diocese — and am positive in my re- 
collection ! — but, like other issues, as to the memory of the 
fact, it must stand so ! 

" As to official acts performed by me in this parish, I utter- 
ly disclaim any intention or desire of injuring you, or foster- 
ing dissension. I said enough to you at the time in connec- 
tion with every such act, and if that did not sufiice to unde- 
ceive you of my feelings and motives in the matter, nothing I 
could now say would. 

" I am not conscious in any instance of having violated the 
rules of propriety and courtesy. God forbid that I should 
trample on the rights of my brethren of the clergy ! They 
are as dear to me as my own ; but I have said enough to you 
on this subject in the past. 

*' It is not I who have fostered a feeling against you, tied 
your hands, or weakened your influence in this parish, but 
your own course, persistently maintained in difi'erent respects, 
from the beginning of these troubles ! It is no pleasure to me, 
I assure you, to have to write thus. Justice to myself, how- 
ever, demanded some reply ; and it grieves me that such a 
communication should have been rendered proper ! 

" Yours truly, " Alex Geegg. 

"Rev. C. Gillette." 

" My Deak Bishop : Your communication of the twentieth 
instant, was handed me on the night of the twenty-first, after 
your departure for Houston. 

" I have read it carefully, and find nothing in it which 
seems to me to pertain strictly to the questions at issue. 

"I regret that you thought it 'proper' to return such an 
answer ; but if you are satisfied with it, I do not complain. 

"For the present, I forbear comments on your points of 


departure from the main subject. Ilumljly praying tliat God 
may guide us both into the way of all truth, and lead us to 
accomplish that which shall be for his glory, I remain 

" Yours truly, Cuakles Gillette. 

" Austin, April 23, 1863." 

" Austin, May 22, 1863. 

" Dear Brother Gillette : Your brief note in reply to my 
communication of the twentieth ultimo, reached me at Hous- 
ton. Lest my silence should be construed into an admission 
(which I am very far from making) of the correctness of your 
assertion, that there was nothing in my communication 'which 
pertained strictly to the questions at issue,' I need write sim- 
ply to relieve you from any such impression. If there were 
'points of departure from the main subject,' I only followed 
in your lead. 

" I have neither the taste nor time, in such a correspond- 
ence, to reiterate the same things, to enter into vain disputes 
as to questions of fact, or to comment upon motives. That 
you should think my last a departure from the main subject 
is surprising indeed ! 

" In your prayer, that we may be guided into all truth, and 
led to accomplish that wdiich shall be for God's glory, I heart- 
ily join — as in best wishes for your happiness. I remain 

" Yours truly, Alex Gregg. 

" Eev. C. Gillette." 

Tlie Bishop speaks in the foregoing letter of having kept no 
accurate account of murdered citizens. It seems that neither 
he nor I had kept a very accurate account, as Governor Ham- 
ilton states in his address to the people of Texas, issued about 
this time, that from our own public prints he had learned that, 
not only one hundred and fifty, but more than a thousand citi- 
zens of Texas had been murdered. 

After the close of the Council in June, 1864, without any 
previous intimation of what he intended to do, or of what had 
been done, the Bishop sent me the following pastoral and 
note. As I was the only clergyman offending, it is hard to 
see the necessity of a public pastoral to withdraw the permis- 
sion to omit the words in question, any more than to grant 


Bucli permission, "unless the object was to turn tlie attention of 
an excited public upon, and array them against, myself : 

To the Clergy of the Protestant Episcojyal Church in the Dio- 
cese of Texas : 

"Dear Brethren: I have had under careful consideration 
the ' Preamble and Eesolution ' adopted by our late Diocesan 
Council, (whicli will appear in the Journal,) most respectfully 
requesting me to withhold from every clergyman, or to with- 
draw, where it had been granted, permission to omit the words 
' which has been forced upon us,' in the Urst special Prayer 
put forth to be used dm-ing the j^i'esent war. This action, as 
those of you who were present are aware, was taken by the 
Council with the full understanding that it could only be sug- 
gestive or advisory, and that the Bishop would be as perfectly 
free as before to follow the dictates of his own judgment, it 
being left by canon a matter of right and responsibility exclu- 
sively with him. Since the adjournment of the Council, the 
clerical members of the Standing Committee, appointed by 
general Canon to be ' a Council of advice to the Bishop,' have 
also made a unanimous request to tlie same effect. The rea- 
sons set forth by the Council for its action are, the expediency 
and necessit)^ of .union and cooperation on the part of all at a 
time like the present ; the fact that the omission of said words 
' is a source of discord and contention,' and 'in its measure, 
subversive of truth, and love, and unity, and peace ' — and, that 
the ignoring of such an historical fact vitally aifects the re- 
sponsibility involved as to the inception and prosecution of this 
unnatural war. 

" The voice of the Council and Standing Committee, thus 
properly expressed, is to be regarded, first, as an earnest ex- 
pression of opinion in a matter deeply concerning the welfare 
of the Diocese and the general good ; and, secondly, as their 
united testimony to the continued and growing evil resulting 
from the omission referred to as practiced in one instance. 

"Painfully conscious myself, as my brethren of the clergy 
and laity have thus been, of the unhappy effects of such non- 
conformity in so important a particular ; and feeling that with 
the progress and developments of the war, the evil has in- 


creased rather tlian abated, I must confess my own tliouglits 
for some time past liad been turned to tlie propriety of the 
course here indicated. Under all the circumstances, therefore, 
my own deep convictions lead me to acquiesce in the wishes 
of those who are alike interested with me in all that relates to 
the welfare of the Church and the advancement, by every 
proper means, of the cause which we have so much at heart. 
The said permission will, therefore, be withdrawn in the only 
case in which it is now exercised — not to force the conscience 
of any one — God forbid ! — but with the fervent prayer and 
earnest hope that it may lead to uniformity in our public de- 
votions at least, and to the promotion of the spirit of unity 
and peace. 

" Aifectionately yours, in Christ, 

" Alexander Gregg, 

" Houston, June 15, 1864. " Bishop of Texas." 

" Houston, June 23, 1864. 
" Dear Brother Gillette : I inclose you herewith copies 
of a pastoral which I have issued to the clergy, and which will 
explain itself. The permission granted to you heretofore to 
omit the words ' which has been forced upon us ' in the first 
special prayer put forth by me is hereby withdrawn. I trust 
you may see your way open to a full conformity in this par- 
ticular, and that this source of trouble and pain will no longer 
exist. Yours truly, 

" Alexander Gregg." 

In the Pastoral, as given above, the Bishop uses this lan- 
guage : " The said permission will therefore be withdrawn in 
the only case in which it is now exercised — not to force the 
conscience of any one — God forbid !" This language will 
seem somewhat strange when I state that from the very first I 
had told him it was with me a matter of conscience not to use 
the words in question. He had been for three years in the 
habit, whenever present, of reading his prayer and relieving 
me. After publishing his Pastoral, he reached home about 
midnight, on Saturday night. He sent a servant early on 
Sunday morning to my house, to ask me to meet him at the 


vestry-room at nine o'clock. "What could be the object of 
this hasty meeting ? I did not even know he had returned — 
was it to tell me he sympathized with me, and •v^oiild do all 
he could to relieve me ? that he would still take the part of the 
service in which his jDrayer occurred, as he had done for three 
years ? Oh ! no ; it was to tell me that he could no longer 
assist me. I must take all the service myself, and use the 
hitherto omitted words. Did he want to force my conscience, 
or what did he want ? 

So far as the public was concerned, I had remained silent 
up to the time of publishing the following letter in the Austin 
State Gazette. The action of the Convention, called forth by 
my course, and aimed at myself, had been before the public 
for two years, and there had been great misrepresentation, 
while I had not been heard. I felt therefore when the Bishop 
again brought the matter before the public through his Pas- 
toral that I ought to try to be heard in turn. I understood 
the editor of the Gazette to promise that he would publish not 
only the following letter, but the entire correspondence, the 
next letter of which I told him was then ready on my part for 
publication. The Bishop had his rej)ly published in the same 
number with my letter, and so great was his influence with 
the editor, that, although I understood him to have promised 
to continue to publish the correspondence, after talking with 
the Bishop, he refused to publish, even if I paid him for it at 
his advertising rates. So I was compelled to remain unheard. 


Between the Rt. Rev. Alex. Gkegg, D.D., Bisiior of the 
Diocese of Texas, and the Rev. CnAELES Gillette, Rec- 
tor OF St. David's, Austin. 

" Editok State Gazette : 

Dear Sir : As you published the Pastoral Letter of Bishop 
Gregg, will you please insert the following reply ? I sent a 
copy for publication to the Galveston News^ in which several 


mistakes occur, and on this account I should much prefer a 
publication in your paper. 

" Yours, truly, Charles Gillette. 

"Austin, July 30, 18G4." 

" My dear Bishop : I have received your Pastoral, and 
the accompanying note, withdrawing the permission granted 
to omit the words, ' which has been forced upon us,' in the 
first special prayer put forth by yourself for use during the 
present war. I can not, as you desire, ' see my way open to a 
full conformity ' in the particular referred to, for reasons which 
I will proceed respectfully to state. 

" I have for a Igng time acquiesced, in what now very plain- 
ly seems to me, a violation of canon law ; and had not my 
attention been called more particularly to this matter, by your 
Pastoral, and the accompanying note, I might have contin- 
ued quietly to transgress the law of the Church. But being 
forced to take a position before the public, I will endeavor to 
do so, in the fear of God, and in obedience to what I believe 
to be the law of the Church. This will compel me in future, 
in public worship, to omit the two special prayers put forth 
by yourself, and to use in the place of these, the prayer ap- 
pointed by the Church, to be used ' In Time of War and Tu- 

" The Constitution and Canons of the Church in the United 
States were adopted by our General Council, making only 
such changes as were necessary to adapt them to our civil 
government. The House of Bishops in their ' Pastoral Let- 
ter,' inform us of this identity, with the minor exceptions here 
referred to, 

"By a reference to the 'Digest of Canons' put forth in 
18G0, you will observe, that Section 1-i of Canon XIII., Title 1, 
(under the authority of which, the two sj)ecial prayers now in 
use in this Diocese were put forth,) reads as follows : ' The 
Bishop of each Diocese may compose forms of prayer or 
thanksgiving, as the case may require, for extraordinary occa- 
sions, and transmit them to each Clergyman witliin his Diocese, 
whose duty it shall be to use such forms in his Church on such 
occasions.' You will also observe that Canon XX., Title 1, 

reads as follows : ' Every minister sliall, before all sermons 
and lectures, and on all other occasions of public worship, 
use tlie Book of Common Prayer, as the same is or may be 
established by the authority of the General Convention of 
this Church ; and in performing such service, no other prayers 
shall be used than 'those prescribed by the said Book.' The 
Eighth Article of the Constitution of the Church declares, 
that ' no alteration or addition shall be made in the Book of 
Common Prayer, or other offices of the Church or the Articles 
of Peligion, unless the same shall fee proposed in one General 
Convention, and by a resolve thereof made known to the Con- 
vention of every Diocese, and adopted at the subsequent Gen- 
eral Convention. I believe that the Canon and Article here 
quoted contain all the law of the Church pertaining to the 
subject now under discussion. 

" I think it is a general rule adopted in all courts, civil, 
criminal, ecclesiastical, or military, that the different parts or 
sections of a law must be so construed as to harmonize, where 
this is possible. In the present case, there seems to be no con- 
flicting in the law. The Twentieth Canon makes it obligatory 
for all ministers to use the prayers prescribed in the Book of 
Common Prayer, on all occasions 0/2)^^10 loorsliip^ and no 
other jpr ay ers. The Fourteenth Section of Canon XIII. makes 
an exception, and requires the Clergy of any Diocese to use the 
prayer or thanksgiving set forth by the Bishop for an ' extra- 
ordinary occasion,' which must mean a special service. There 
is then no conflicting in the Canons, and this point seems 
clearly established, namely. That the Church requires her 
clergy to use the prayers of the Book of Common Prayer on 
all occasions of public worship, and no other, with the single 
exception, that, on an 'extraordinary occasion' or special ser- 
vice, they must also use the prayer or thanksgiving set forth 
by the Bishop for that occasion. 

'"''Secondly. I am not aware that ' extraordinary occasion ' in 
the Fourteenth Section of Canon XIII. has been interpreted to 
mean any thing more than a single, special occasion, previous 
to the present war ; no prayer having been put forth by any 
Bishop for continuous use in public worship previous to this 
time. This is further evident from the fact that the Church 


has composed, and set forth, a form of prayer to be used in 
cases where there is Hkely to arise a necessity for the continued 
use of such prayer. Therefore, it is evident she lias given her 
Bishops no power to compose forms of prayer wliich shall be 
used on all occasions of public worship, year after year ; as 
this would be in violation of the Eighth article of the Constitu- 
tion of the Church, by changing the Liturgy, and to all intents 
and purposes, for the time being, the Book of Common Prayer. 

" Thirdly. I conceive that where the Church has provided 
herself with a prayer for- any occasion, and placed the same in 
the Book of* Common Prayer, she has not granted to her Bish- 
ops permission to set such prayer aside, and to substitute one 
of their own in its place, or to add another prayer to hers, for 
tlie purpose of recording an ' historical fact ' in connection 
with what may be deemed an 'extraordinary occasion' of 
long duration. But if ' extraordinary occasion' be interpreted 
to mean a continued season, during which public worship often 
recurs, even then her Clergy are bound to use the prayer set 
forth in the Book of Common Prayer, and no other. Who 
ever heard of a Bishoj) in the Church, issuing a prayer for the 
use of congregations, in time of ' Dearth and Famine,' or of 
' Great Sickness and Mortality,' or during a 'Session of Con- 
gress,' whether ordinary or extraordinary? "Why then should 
it be done in ' Time of War and Tumults?' 

''''Fourthly. It would be begging the question to say that a 
'Time of War' was an 'extraordinary occasion' contem- 
plated by the Canon. If this be so, the prayer provided by 
the Church becomes useless, and a nullity, and the Prayer- 
Book itself subject to any Bishop, dm'ing the continuance of 
war ; and Bishops of different opinions, may introduce ' his- 
torical facts,' exactly contrary, and require the clergy and laity 
of the different Dioceses respectively to adopt them as matters 
of faith. By the same reasoning, any of the other occasions 
contemplated by the Church, and for which she has prepared 
special prayers, might be declared an 'extraordinary occa- 
siun,' for which a Bishop might prepare a special prayer, into 
which he might introduce, not only an ' historical fact,' but 
any false or corrupt doctrine, and make these also articles of 


faitli. Can it be supposed that the Church has granted any 
such permission ? 

'•'•Fifthly. The period these prayers have been in use; the 
universal consent of the Clergy, and the request of the Coun- 
cil, establish no prescriptive right. If the Canons have thus 
been unintentionally violated, it forms no reason why the in- 
fraction should be continued. Certainly a precedent against 
the Constitution and written law is not to be followed. 

" Sixthly, "While a clergyman is bound to obey his Bishop in 
lawful matters, yet (inasmuch as the Bishop is bound by the 
Constitution and Canons of the Church) he has 'no right to 
order any thing which contravenes these, and if he does, his 
Clergy are not bound to obey. Should an 'extraordinary 
occasion' arise, coming within the purview of the Canon, and 
for which the Church has not provided, and the Bishop should 
set forth a prayer or thanksgiving, to be used in the Diocese, 
I should be bound to use it on such occasion in obedience to 
his authority. 

" I regret exceedingly, that, in regard to the public services of 
the Church, there should be any difference of opinion between 
my Bishop and myself. In regard to the use of the words 
' which has been forced upon us,' it has been with me a mat- 
ter of conscience from the beginning, as I informed my Bishop 
at the first, when he gave me permission to omit them. I have 
seen nothing to change my views upon this subject, and con- 
sequently I have the same conscientious scruples, now, that I 
have always had, and therefore could not use the words as 
they were intended. In carefully reviewing the Canons of the 
Church, I have come to a conclusion concerning the use of the 
two special prayers, not previously entertained, which satisfies 
my mind, that to use any special prayers set forth- by a Bishop 
constantly in public worship, is a violation of the laws of the 
Church, and therefore I can not conscientiously continue to do 
this. The Church has prepared her own prayer for ' Time of 
"War and Tumults,' which reads as follows : ' O Almighty God, 
the Supreme Governor of all things, whose power to create no 
creature is able to resist, to whom it belongeth justly to punish 
Binners, and to be merciful to those who truly repent ; save and 
deliver us, we humbly beseech thee, from the hands of our ene- 


mies ; tliat we being armed witli tliy defense, may be preserved 
evermore from all perils, to glorify thee who art the only giver 
of all victory : through the merits of thy Son Jesus Christ our 

" The Canon requires the clergy, if they use any prayer, to 
'use this and nb other. 

" There seems to have been a false impression made upon 
the public mind, from my not using the words, 'which has 
been forced upon us,' making this a sign of my hostility to 
the government. For tliis imj^ression there has been no 
just cause. Had the words in question contained sentiments 
directly contrary to those expressed, I should still object to 
using them, as intending to assert a political fact, and on this 
account not admissible in a form of public prayer for constant 
use ; being opposed to the spirit, if not the letter of the Canons ; 
and to the usage of the Church. But the great question in 
my mind, is now, as it ever has been, one of liberty of con- 
science, and of ecclesiastical law. 

" I think I know the duties of citizenship. These I intend 
faithfully to perform. But I do 7iot intend to leave the per- 
formance of the sacred duties of my ministerial office, to min- 
gle in the strife of politics or of civil government or of war. 
These things belong to others, but not to me. I can not sup- 
pose that I should further either my own salvation, or the 
salvation of others, by mixing in any suph arena of strife. I 
regret that those around me are not willing that I should 
quietly attend to the sacred duties of my office. But what- 
ever others may say or do, there is but one safe course for me 
to pursue, and that is to approve myself to God, and my own 
conscience. Yours truly, 

Charles Gillette. 

"Bight Bev. Alexander Gregg, D.D., 
'july 2, 18G4:." 

"Austin, July 20, 1SG4. 

" Brother Gillette : Your communication of the second 
instant, in reply to my note of the twenty-third ultimo, ac- 
companying the Pastoral, was handed to me two days since, 
in which you inform me that, for the reasons therein stated, 
you will feel compelled in future, in public worship, not only 


to decline conformitj as to tlie words ' wliicli lias been forced 
upon us,' but, further, to omit entirely tbe two special prayers 
put fortb by me to be used during tlie present war. 

" Were your reasons more satisfactory than they appear to 
me to be, I should yet much doubt the propriety in such a 
case, deeply affecting uniformity in our public worship and 
the consequent peace of the Church, in thus opposing in this 
seemingly insubordinate way your individual interpretation, 
not only to the course of this DioQese, but of the entire Church 
of the confederacy. Look ivell to it lest the plea of conscience, 
which has already been productive of so much disturbance 
and evil amongst us, and so greatly marred your usefulness, 
prove in the end an ignis fatuus, leading you into a bog from 
which there will be no extrication. It would be sad for you 
if the course you propose to pursue should be found but to add 
the guilt of contumacy to the grievous error, to say the least 
of it, with which your course for the past three years has been 
justly chargeable. 

" Though your determination seems to be fixed, I pray that" 
it may not be too late for reconsideration, and that even now 
you may be saved from such unhappy consequences and guid- 
ed aright. Yours truly, 

" Alexander Gkegg. 

"Kev. C. Gillette." 

, , " "Austin, July 21, 18£4. 

" My De^vr Bishop : Your note acknowledging the receipt 
of mine of the second instant (which yom* absence from home 
prevented you from receiving earlier) is before me. I had 
hoped that if my reasoning did not satisfy your inind, you 
would have shown me its fallacy or have referred me to some 
other canon bearing upon the subject, and so have given mo 
some ground for changing my position. In this I am alto- 
gether disappointed. Your language in regard to ' conscience ' 
and ' contumacy ' is very hard for me to comprehend. I think 
I understand the implied threat ; still, I do not know that 
threats should move a man conscious of committing no oifense. 
The grave charges you make against me are in my judgment 
utterly without foundation. A man who feels with all his 
Boul that he is striving to fulfill his duty in the fear of God, ac- 


cording to tlio holy Scripture and tlio law of the Church, can 
well commit his cause to the Almighty and leave results with 
Him. Yours truly, 

" C. Gillette. 
" Rt. Rev. Alexander Gkegg." 

In publishing the following letter, the Bishop, as he states 
in his note to the editor, made some considerable additions, 
thus making it to differ from the one he sent to me. I was 
not aware that in publishing a correspondence such things 
were done. He speaks of the time elapsing from the date of 
my letter until he received ijt, as if I had committed some 
great feult in this. I had already told him that the reason 
was his absence from home, and' I did not know where a letter 
would reach him. He also complains of my publishing my 
letter when he saw it was in answer to his published Pastoral, 
sent to me as well as his note. I had been arraigned before 
the public, but I might not be heard there. How much cause 
there was for complaint, the public can now judge. 

"Austin, July 30, 186i. 
" Mk. RicnARDSON : It is unusual in this form to bring any 
matters of difficulty, connected with the Church, before the 
public. The appearance, however, in the News Bulletin of 
"Wednesday last, of Rev. C. Gillette's communication to me, 
of the second instant, (received more than two weeks after 
that date,) makes it imperative on me, in justice both to the 
Church and myself, to depart in this instance from a rule so 
manifestly proper, by sending you my reply for publication. 
As to the circumstances which led to its being written, it will 
explain itself. It is not my wish or intention to engage in a 
public controversy — for having sent Mr. Gillette, in the first 
instance, a short, admonitory letter, I wrote at further length 
simply in compliance with his expressed wish and for his peru- 
sal, without any view whatever to publication, and with not 
the slightest intimation of such a design on his part ; and now 
only desire to give another view of the important subject he 
brings out. There is not as m-uch detail on some points as 
ajrpcarance in the public prints would seem to demand. T 


send it, however, ag it is, with a few additions and changes, 
feeling assured, that under the circumstances, in the course 
here pursued, my motives will be appreciated. 

" Yours truly, Alexander Gkegg." 

"Austin, July 22, 1864. 

" Beothek Gillette : Your note of yesterday is before mo. 
After reading your communication of the second instant, set- 
ting forth your reasons at large for the course you propose to 
pursue, and stating, that being forced to do it, you had come 
to a conclusion and taken a position, I felt it would be useless 
to sa}'^ any thing by way of reply to your argument, or of 
throwing light on the subject for your guidance. I was the 
more confirmed in this feeling by what I had heard of your 
course in St. David's, on the third instant — a course^ unwar- 
rantable, irregular, and w^ell calculated, as it actually proved, 
to lead to the most serious results. It was, indeed, a finishing 
stroke at the unity of this unfortunate parish, aimed by your- 
self at the very vitals of its peace and spiritual welfare. I 
must speak plainly on tlds^ as well as other points, which 
your note of yesterday makes proper, and which the occasion 
imperiously demands at my hands. 

" In your last, you express disappointment that I did not 
attempt to show the fallacy of your reasoning, thus giving you 
some ground for changing your position. Therefore, notwith- 
standing my previous conviction that it would be useless, I 
will say something on the subject. But let me first remark, 
that you strangely misconstrue my words of warning into a 
threat. This would have been as unbecoming in me as be- 
yond my province. 

" As to the prescribed use of the Prayer-Book on occasions 
of public worship, and the mode of making any change there- 
in, there can be no question. The simple point in the case is, 
does the Canon, authorizing a bishop to put forth Special 
Prayers, etc., justif)^ the use of such special prayers as have 
been provided in this instance, both here and elsewhere in the 
Confederacy, as well as at the .ISTorth ? You think not ; and, 
as I understand it, on two grounds chiefly : First, that ' extraor- 


dinary occasion,' as the words are used in tlie Canon, must 
mean a ' special service,' or a single ' special occasion,' and 
that no other interpretation has prevailed prior to the present 
war. Surely this reasoning, or assertion rather, is altogether 
specious. For why may not an occasion in eifect and reality 
1)6. continuous^ not only for one or two or three services, or a 
few days or weeks, but even longer ? How would you define 
it ? As being confined to one day^ or to one service ? What 
authority or precedent is there for such a position ? ISTono 
whatever, since, prior to the present time, the question had 
never been raised. The very fact, that the Church herself 
has provided Special Prayers to be used during extraordinary 
occasions, or circumstances, if you prefer the latter term ; or 
exigencies — as times of ' Dearth and Famine,' or ' "War and 
Tumults ' — these being always supposed to continue for a 
longer or shorter season, proves your whole position fallacious, 
showing, as it does, that even Special Prayers are provided 
for periods of indefinite duration. And why, on the same 
ground, may not such special prayers as those in question be 
likewise proper here ? Point me to a single precedent, or in- 
terpretation, prior to your own, to the contrary ! It is simply 
taken for granted by you, that ' extraordinary occasion ' must 
mean a, single, special occasion, or service. Whereas, in truth, 
the general precedent, both l*Torth and South, from the begin- 
ning of this great convulsion, is to the contrary — bishops pre- 
scribing, and clergy and laity acquiescing in the propriety, 
and even necessity, in view of the devotional wants of our 
people in such a crisis, of something of the kind. And is this 
nothing to make a man distrust his own view — to enforce obe- 
dience to lawful authority and to quiet his conscience, at least 
as to any responsibility of his in the matter ? Many of those 
who have thus prescribed and acquiesced have had much to 
do with the framing of Canons, with their interpretation, and 
the practice of the Church in such matters. Is all this in no 
wise to influence a conscience, so delicately tender, as, at the 
very thought of a possible departure from the Canon, or, the 
acting where a doubt remains, to bleed at every pore ? Again, 
I tell you, heivare of such a conscience, with its plea of prayer- 
ful investigation, and (if it is opposed, or thought not to be 


justified in a certain course of conduct) its cry of persecution 
for righteousness' sake ! 

" But, your second ground of argument is to this effect, 
namely, that if ' extraordinary occasion ' be interpreted to 
mean a continued season, during which public worship often 
occurs, even then her clergy are bound to use the prayers set 
forth in the ' Book of Common Prayer, and no other,' etc., as 
you state to be prescribed by Canon. Tliis applies only to the 
regular ordinary service, for the bishops are authorized by 
Canon to put forth other j)rayers. This su];)posed interpreta- 
tion and your reply to it, narrows down the issue very much 
to the point therein raised, and I call your special attention to 
what follows on the subject. Dr. Hawks, the highest author- 
ity as an expounder of our Constitution and Canons, in com- 
menting on the Canon in question, uses these words ; and you 
will observe particularly that he supposes the. strongest case, 
because one in which a full and ample service is provided. 
His language is, and I quote it all : 

" ' One of the questions that may arise under this Canon, is 
this : Can the Bishop, when a service is set forth by the 
Church, in the Book of Common Prayer, make any additions 
to that service ? Thus there is in the Prayer-Book, a form of 
prayer and thanksgiving, directed to be used yearly, on the 
first Thursday in jSTovember, or on such other day as shall be 
appointed by the civil authority. Has the Bishop authority 
to compose any additional prayer to be used in that service ? 
Is any case an extraordinary occasion, within the meaning of 
the Canon, for which the Church has made provision ? It 
may, indeed, be said that the thanks set forth in the Special 
Service, are for the fruits of the earth particularly, and that it 
seems fit to express our gratitude for other mercies also. 
Doubtless it is so, but the general thanksgiving of the Morn- 
ing Service, is supposed to do that sufficiently, for it is direct- 
ed to be used immediately before the Special Collect for the 
fruits of the earth, and the service is entitled ' a form,' etc.-, 
for the fruits of the earth, and all the other blessings of His 
' merciful Providence.'' The case of these other blessings, it 
would therefore seem, is, in the view of the Church, met by 
the general thanksgiving. Some of our bishops have taken 


a diiferent view of tlic sulrject, and set forth a form additional 
for tlianksgiving-day. The matter is of very little moment, 
however, except as involving a principle. Uniformity of litur- 
gical worship, in the public services of the house of God, is 
the motto of churchmen ; and, inasmuch as the bishops are 
not likely all to set forth the same form, this uniformity is 
lost. Wherever the Church has provided a service, we think 
it would be best not to deem the period appointed for its use 
an extraordinary occasion. The objection sometimes made, 
that the Bishop, by his own act, alters the Book of Common 
Prayer, in setting forth the form, is founded on a mistake. 
The Bishop has, indeed, no authority to alter the service, and 
he does not alter a word of it — he retains it all, but adds 
to it.' 

" From alHhis we are to infer, that, in this distinguished 
writer's view. First, when a ' service ' is provided, it would 
simply be hest not to deem the period appointed for its use an 
extraordinary occasion ; it not appearing, however, that he 
supposes a short, general prayer, to be synonymous with a 
service. Second, that an extraordinary occasion may be for a 
period. Third, that it is a matter of very little moment, ex- 
cept as involvings the principle of liturgical uniformity.. 
Fourth, that the right of a bishop to make the addition, if he 
sees proper to do so, is not questioned. Fifth, that such addi- 
tions, even in the case of a full, special service, have been 
made and practiced — sliowing, as we may add, that had the 
canonical propriety of such a course been questioned, some 
subsequent General Convention would have amended the 
Canon so as to make it more explicit on the subject, or the 
House of Bishops would have expressed its opinion formally,, 
to make the practice uniform if possible. Such being the case 
in these particulars, and with such authority and practice in 
view, what shall be thought of a clergyman, stepping forward 
and saying, I take a certain view of the Canon, and will not 
read the prayers put forth by my Bishop ? Can you for a 
moment believe, that such a man as Dr. Hawks, writing as he 
does here, would dream of such a course of conduct ? 

" Your objection, that ' if bishops are authorized to put 
forth such prayers to be used dm-ing a long, season, there 


would be no uniformity,' etc., applies with as much force in 
principle to prayers for a single occasion, for which, accord- 
ing to your admission, if it be extraordinary and no provision 
is made, there would be authoritj^ to provide. The further 
objection, that false doctrine or new articles of faith might 
thus be imposed upon the Church, is met by the simple fact, 
that such erroneous or false teaching would, in the mode ap- 
pointed by the Church, at once receive due correction and 

"In dwelling with so much emphasis upon the thought, 
that because certain Prayers are provided, as for a ' Time of 
War and Tumults,' no others are to be added, you entirely 
overlook the fact that such prayers may have been and doubt- 
less were provided for very diiferent reasons than to prevent 
others from being put forth and used — as, for example, simply 
to make some general and permanent provision for the use of 
the" Church in case nothing else should be done. For the 
Bishops are not required to put forth such special Pra^'er for 
extraordinary occasions. The language of the Canon is, they 
m,ay. But, the Bishop may see fit not to do so, or he may be 
absent, or there may be, for the time, no Bishop ; in which 
cases, were no provision whatever made, a painful v^ant would 
be experienced. But, consider the Prayer for a ' Time of "War 
and Tumults.' It is short and very general. It does not meet 
the universal devotional wants of the people at such a time as 
this. It is admirably framed, indeed, as far as it goes, and 
you and every clergyman are at liberty to use it. But it 
manifestly falls short of what the heart now, in its approaches 
to God in public worshi]3, longs to express more in detail ; and 
hence, with singular imanimity, this general want has been 
provided for by additional special prayers. 

" You remark, ' that she (the Cliurch) has not granted per- 
mission to add another prayer to hers for the purpose of re- 
cording an historical fact.' Do you not know, for it has been 
explained to you again and again, that the words referred to 
here, as to an historical fact, were incidentally introduced into 
the prayer at the time it was composed, without any special 
.thought, and only came under particular consideration when 
you asked permission to omit them \ You are perfectly aware 


that theh' insertion was not the prmiary or secondary object 
of the prayer at all. Why then such an implied assertion 'i 
Tou further argue that other facts might be introduced, and 
so' the privilege grossly ab'used. In reply, let me ask, is the 
sense of propriety and judgment of the Bishop in such cases 
not to be at all trusted ? 

"In closing, for I have written hurriedly and under the 
pressure of very limited time, I must add, that, in my view, 
you have taken a radically false position as to your responsi- 
bility in the matter of canonical obedience. And I do not 
hesitate to say, and charge you before God to bear it in mind, 
that you have not the right in such a case, (it being one not 
of flagrant wrong or palpable violation,) where the general 
language of the Canon, for it is of necessity general, authorizes 
the Bishop to put forth prayers, as in the case before us, and 
especially where, as here, there is no precedent to the contrary, 
but rather a general acquiescence and practice — that you have 
not tJie right to raise the question and make the issue of can- 
onical interpretation in the way you propose, by an act of 
positive disobedience to lawful authority — therein setting an 
example, always pernicious, of open insubordination in the 
Church of God. The Church herself has provided by Canon 
and custom alike, how such errors (if indeed it be an error on 
the part of your Bishop in this case) are to be corrected, 
namely, by an amendatory Canon, or an expression of opinion, 
hitherto deemed to a certain extent authoritative, by the 
House of Bishops. Even the citizen is bound to obey the law, 
though he thinks it unjust or unconstitutional, until a com- 
petent tribunal has decided the question. The member of the 
Church is bound to reverence her teaching and obey her voice, 
clearly ascertained and plainly enforced, until, should their 
correctness be questioned, some authoritative decision is pro- 
nounced, as by a General Council. And so, here, until a le- 
gitimate and authoritative expression on the subject shall be 
obtained, it is the bounden duty of every clergyman within 
the pale of the Church to conform. Should he set authority 
at defiance, as you propose to do, and persist in his opposition, 
such a course can only be deemed unchurch-like, irreverent, 
insubordinate and contumacious in its essential character and 


tendencies ; for what is jour ordination vow, but that jou 
' will reverently obey your Bishop, following, with a glad mind 
and will, his godly admonition, and submitting yourself to his 
godly judgment ' ? 

" Furthermore, you will permit me to say, that it would 
have been better for you and your troubled conscience, had 
yon looked more carefully than you appear to have done into 
the nature and limits of human responsibility. A misguided 
conscience, for example, in this matter of responsibility as to 
our peculiar institution, was one of the most active causes at 
work in forcing this war upon us. Suppose it to be the case, 
that there is some ground for questioning the canonical pro- 
priety of Special Prayers like those in use here for a ' Time of 
War ' — that the subject is at least involved in doubt — you are 
not responsible in the case at all. The Eishop has to bear 
that ; and no one would imagine, that should he have erred in 
judgment, any guilt in such a case would be incurred. Leave 
the responsibility with him. Let the point be decided, if peed 
be, in the riglit way and at the right tiriie^ and ' study to do 
your 0"\\Ti business.' I repeat it — under the Canon, this ques- 
tion of intei'pretation here is not for you to decide. You 
should not trouble yourself with the matter. It is properly 
left in other hands. Your duty is in another line of action, 
namely, that of canonical obedience and conformity. The 
spirit of meekness at least should dictate such a course of con- 
duct. So much for the omission of the prayers in toto, as you 
propose, which you have now made the plea for non-conform- 
ity, shifting from your original position of merely omitting the 
words, ' which has been forced upon us.' 

" Going back to the omission of these words, let me remark, 
that the only proper course for you to pursue, should your 
conscience absolutely forbid their use, is to resign your posi- 
tion, and not force a painful and distracting issue upon the 
Church. You are not bound to remain where you are, under 
such circumstances, the permission having been withdi'a-wTi. 
And I put it to your conscience, whether it would not be bet- 
ter for the peace of the Church, and the spiritual welfare of her 
members, as well as for all parties concerned, that you should 
quietly withdraw, rather than take a step, which will inevita- 


bly make the state of tilings worse than it lias been, and tend 
to serious and manifold evil ? 

" You remark, as you have done on other oceasions, that you 
' do not intend to leave the performance of the sacred duties 
of your ministerial office to mingle in the strife o§ politics, or 
of civil government, or of war. These things belong to others, 
but not to me. I can not suppose that I should further either 
my own salvation, or the salvation of others, by mixing in any 
such arena of strife.' This I understand to be an implied in- 
sinuation, that there are others who do all this. Now let me 
tell you, that if there are any of our brethren chargeable with 
such a course, I do not know them ; and furthermore, let me 
say in all candor, that they are just as earnestly intent on dis- 
charging the duties of their sacred calling, and as laboriously 
engaged in forwarding the salvation of others, as yourself. In 
my opinion, as in that of most of our people, you have really 
taken as decided a position and been as active in exerting a 
certain influence in connection with the war, as any other. 
Nay^ that you are justly chargeable with having brought on 
the unhappy state of things in this matter, that now exists in 
the Church. 

" You seem to think, that the action of your Bishop and of 
the Council has been aimed at yourself personally, and the 
only endeavor ma'de, tliat to force your conscience ! This is 
far, very far ^ from the truth. It has only been to restore uni- 
formity, peace, and quiet. Yown j^osition. unhappily taken at 
the outset and persisted in, has been the fruitful source of the 
evil. Kot alone the omission of the words, ' which has been 
forced upon us,' as you seem to imagine, but many other 
things also have induced the public to think, that your real^ 
deepest sympathies^ as a man and a minister, have not been 
with us in this perilous struggle. And let me tell you, once 
for all, that impression never will be, never can be efiaced. I 
leave you, in the matters involved, to God and your con- 
science. Yours truly, 

"Alexakdek Geegg. 

" Eev. C. Gillette." 


■ " Austin, July 23, 1864. 

" My Dear Bishop : Your communication, handed me last 
evening, contains the opinion of Dr. Hawks npon the 14th 
Section of Canon XII!, Title 1, and your deductions therefrom, 
which requites further consideration by me. I had expected to 
open my church for divine service to-morrow, in accordance 
with my intention announced in my communication of the second 
instant. I do not wish to act hastily, but rather to arrive at 
truth. I will therefore delay opening the church to-morrow, 
and will thank you to loan me the work of Dr. Hawks for a 
day or two, as I desire to examine several points not referred 
to in your communication. I had before desired to refer to 
the work of this distinguished canonist, but did not know that 
a copy could be had in town, 

" Yours truly, C Gillette. 

" Rt. Eev. Alex'k Geegg." 

" Austin, July 23, f864. 

" Bkother Gillette : I have been out this morning until a 
few moments since. Your note is before me. As you desire 
further time for consideration, and propose not to open the 
church to-morrow, I write to ask whether, under the circum- 
stances, it would not be better for me to officiate in the church. 
I will cheerfully do so, and make the offer chiefly on account 
of the congregation, which has been two Sundays without 
service. As there is thus no necessity for it, it seems to me 
they should not be deprived of service to-morrow. 

" I send Dr. Hawks's work. 

" Yours'truly, Alex. Gregg. 

"Rev. C. Gillette." 

Note. — In the preceding letter, the Bishop seems very anxious the con- 
gregation should have service. He did not wish " to force any man's con- 
science." Why could he not have done as he had been doing for two years 
previous, whenever he was present in the church, namely, assist the Rector, 
and take that portion of the service in which his unfortunate prayer oc- 
curred ? Such a course might have relieved, for a season, at least, the 
Rector, whom he knew to be surrounded by bayonets and threatened with 
a halter. It would have allayed public clamor ; but it would not have 
made the Rector cease to officiate, nor have driven him from the Diocese. 


" GovALLEY, July 24, 1864. 

" My Dear Bishop : I was in the country yesterday, and 
did not receive your note until about dark. I should be glad 
for you to have service to-day, as you propose. Please inform 
ine by the bearer, that I may know what to do in regard to 
ringing the bell. Yours truly, 

" Rt. Rev. Alex. Gkegg. C. Gillette." 

Note. — To the above the Bishop returned a verbal answer, that he de- 
sired not to ofliciate. The following Saturday he addressed the following 
note to the Rector : 

" Will Brother Gillette inform me what he purposes to do, 
60 far, at least, as to enable me to know what to expect, as to 
service to-morrow ?" 

" July 30, 1864. . " , Alex. Gkegg." 

" Govalley, July 30, 1864. 
"My Dear Bishop: I have been suifering most of this 
week from a slight bilious attack, occasioned, as I think, by 
too much exposure to the hot sun, and so have not as yet com- 
pleted my answer to yours of the twenty-second instant. I 
shall not have service in St. David's to-morrow, but, if you 
desire, will open the church for you. 

" Yours truly, Charles Gillette, 

" Rt. Rev. Alex. Gregg." 

" Brother Gillette : I am sorry to hear of your indisposi- 
tion. Will officiate (D.Y.) as you propose to-morrow, and 
give notice accordingly. Alex. Gregg. 

" July 30, 1864." 

For the better understanding of the reader, I will here state, 
that the act so strongly condemned by the Bishop, as having 
taken place on the third of July, was simply this : It was the 
first Sunday in the month, and I had given notice for the com- 
munion ; but in the mean tim<3 I had received the Bishop's 
Pastoral and note, withdrawing the permission to omit the 
words. I could not use them. If I proceeded as usual on 
tliat Sunday, and omitted them, I knew that would create ex- 
citement. I therefore concluded simply to have the commu.- 
nion service and communion, and dismiss the congregation, 
which I did. This the Bishop pronounces " a course unwar- 


rant able, irregular, and well calculated, as it actually proved, 
to lead to the most serious results," What there was so " un- 
warrantable " and " irregular " in all this, I do not understand. 
It is no uncommon thing to have the communion service with 
the communion by itself. I do not, therefore, see the neces- 
sity for the language used by the Bishop. 

• " My Deak Bishop : A slight indisposition last week has 
prevented my returning as early an answer to your communi- 
cation of the twenty-second ultimo as I intended. Before en- 
tering upon the argument connected with our subject, I must 
allude to some points in your letter, w*hich require some notice 
in passing. In regard to what you say of what transpired in 
St. David's on the third of July, I reply, that what I did was 
done with the hope of allaying excitement, in performing, as 
far as possible, the duties devolving upon me on that day ; 
and I can not suppose that the censure you apply is at all de- 
served. So, too, in regard to the censures and personalities 
contained in several parts of your communication, I must say, 
I think them unjust and out of place. 

" Your remarks in regard to conscience, and your statements, 
either direct or implied, that mine is defective, may or may 
not be true. As you have in no way enlightened me, as to 
wherein it is defective, I remain as before, thinking it right. 
But even supposing it wrong, I had not expected a Bishop to 
ridicule or use sarcasm to correct a misguided conscience. 

" I remember an eloquent divine to have said, that ' con- 
science is the voice of God in man ;' and to me, as the faculty 
which decides what is right or wrong in action, it has seemed 
a something almost divine. I was not prepared, therefore, for 
a teacher of our holy religion to use such means as you seem 
to be using, to correct a too tender or misguided conscience. 
I am aware that a misguided conscience has led to manifold 
evils in the past, and will probably do so in the future. But 
still, I suppose every man must be his own judge of his con- 
scientious convictions of duty ; of course, doing what he can 
to exercise an enlightened conscience. In the case before me 
I have tried to do this, acting in the fear of God. 

" You say : ' You have taken a radically false position, as to 


your responsibility in tlio matter of canonical obedience. And 
I do not liesitate to sa}^, and cliai'ge you before God, to bear 
it in mind, you have no riglit,' etc. And, again : ' Furtlier- 
more, you will permit me to say that it would have been bet- 
ter for you and your troubled conscience, had you looked 
more carefully than you appear to have done into the nature 
and limits of human responsibility.' Again : ' You are not 
responsible in the case at all, the Bishop has to bear that'.' 
If I understand this kind of reasoning, it is, that a bishop is 
the law to his clergy, and if they break the plain law of the 
Church at his command, lie is to blame, and not they. I do 
not think the Church, or Christianity, or good morals, teach 
any such doctrine as this. Although I have been trained 
from an early period of my life in the doctrines of the Church, 
yet I have never learned any such doctrine of ' human re- 
sponsibility.' I believe that doctrine to be a prominent 
teaching of the Jesuits of the Church of Rome, but one which 
all Protestants utterly abjure. Look at it in the present case. 
I bound myself by a solemn obligation, amounting almost to 
an oath, when I was ordained, to obey the laws of the Church 
in conducting j)i^blic worship. Those laws require me to 
use certain prayers, and no others. My Bishop tells me to dis- 
regard my solemn promise, and disobey the laws, and he will 
take all the responsibility, and free me. 'I do not understand 
any such mode of shifting responsibility, nor did I ever expect 
to hear it advocated by a Protestant clergyman. In another 
place you exhort me to obedience to the laws of the Church. 
To be obedient is what I am asking to be allowed. I desire 
to do as the Constitution and Canons require. If we could 
all return at once to be guided by these, there would no 
longer be any difficulty. 

" Your strong reason for withdrawing the liberty hitherto 
granted, of omitting six words in your . first payer, is based 
upon the plea of tiniforinity . Yet, you now tell me that I 
am at liberty to use the additional prayer from the Prayer- 
Book, which neither you nor the clergy of the diocese use. If 
I were to do this, how much would it further uniformity ? 

" Let us now turn to what may more properly be termed your 
argument in connection with the language of Dr. Hawks, and 


your deductions therefrom, as yon seem to lay upon this lan- 
guage such stress. Permit me, however, to remind you that 
you seem entirely to overlook the positive language of the 
Twentieth Canon, and also of the Eighth Article of the Con- 
stitution, under which the present c'ase falls ; w^hile the case 
referred to by Dr. Hawks might be said to fall under the 
Fourteenth Section of Canon Thirteen, He refers to a case 
tvhich can occur at most but once a year, and always on 
Thursday, and so would not occur in the great majority of 
cases, on any occasion of public worship, and therefore might 
well be considered as an ' extraordinary occasion,' while the 
present case covers ' all occasions of public worship.' That 
service of once a year. Dr. Hawks gives it as his opinion, 
as best nol to consider it an ' extraordinary occasion ; ' 
and, hence, that a bishop should not put forth a prayer, or 
thanksirivinG: for that occasion. "Would not this distinguished 
canonist be somewhat astonished to find a Bishop so miscon- 
struing his language — which expressly declares that in his 
judgment there is not ground for putting forth any addition 
to tliat yearly service— that he should plead from it the right 
to put forth prayers to be used on all occasions of public wor- 
ship for a series of years, — and this, too, contrary to the ex- 
press language of the Eighth Article of the Constitution, and 
. also of the Twentieth Canon ? It is impossible for me, and I 
think it would be for most men, to comprehend the assump- 
tion of analogy in the two cases, which would furnish a found- 
ation for such deductions as are made. Let us look at them 
more in detail. Dr. Hawks is considering an occasion for a 
special service, happening once a year, and considered by 
some of the bishops as an ' extraordinary occasion,' and so 
coming under the exception provided for when they have a 
right to set forth an addition to the service prescribed. His 
opinion is against the Custom of some bishops, and so would 
be opposed to you, even if the cases were analogous. The 
stress you lay on service loses its force, since the Church has 
provided a service for all occasions, whether ordinary or extra- 
ordinary. And the permission granted to a bishop is not to 
set forth a service, but simply a prayer or thanhsgiving. Your 
second deduction, that an ' extraordinary occasion ' may be a 


period, does not appear. Tlie service set forth is for one day 
in each year, it is true, and that day specified, and so miglit 
be called an 'extraordinary occasion,' for one day in each 
year. 'But by what mode of reasoning this makes that day a 
period, or its annual recurrence a period, in the sense of which 
we are speaking, I can not understand ; or how this example, 
recurring once a year, can be made to cover ' all occasions of 
public Avorship,' for a series of years, contrary to the express 
words of the Canon, and of the Constitution, is not evident 
to me ; nor do I think it will be apparent to others. Your 
third deduction places Dr. Hawks entirely with me. He is 
speaking of uniformity in the whole Church, by using the 
Church's prayer, in opposition to uniformity being broken, by 
each bishop's putting forth his own prayer, even for tliat one 
occasion, and thus making each diocese the boundary of uni- 

" Your fourth deduction, as to the right of a Bishop in the 
case mentioned, not being questioned, and your fifth, that 
neither the General Convocation nor the House of Bishops have 
done any thing to render the Canon more explicit, simply 
shows, that this service for one day in each year may be con- 
sidered as an ' extraordinary occasion,' and the Church, with 
her usual modesty and kindness, leaves some liberty to her 
Bishops here, as to her clergy and laity elsewhere, although 
her uniformity may be broken by it. As, for instance, in the 
Creed, where she allows ' any churches' to omit altogether 
the Avords, ' He descended into hell,' or to substitute for them : 
' He went into the place of departed spirits.'^ What you 
say in your fifth deduction in regard to a full service is 
answered, as before, by the fact that the Church has just as 
much a full service for every Sunday and every day in the 
year as for the first Thursday in ISTovember, and indeed more 
so ; for in her ritual for constant use she allows no change or 
addition, while for Thanksgiving day some think she allows 

* I resided for severaryears in the Diocese of Virginia, and I Icnow that in that 
diocese several congregations always, omitted the words in quesfion, or made the 
Bubstitution as permitted by the Church. The same is also done in other dioccsea, 
and yet no one ever dreamed of its breaking uniformity, or disturbing the ' unity 
and peace' of the Church. 


the addition as being an ' extraordinary occasion.' The 
language of our distinguished canonist, as quoted by you, is 
certainly very strong and very much to the pointy namely : 
' Wherever the Church has j^rovided a service, we think it 
would be best not to deem the period apj^ointed for its use an 
extraordinary occasion.' Such language is very decisive as 
to the author's opinion ; and if he would say this in regard to 
a service occurring once a year, what would he say concerning 
the daily or weekly services — that is, services, in the language 
of the canon, for ' all occasions of public worship ' ? The 
Church has provided her service for ' Time of "War and Tu- 
mults,' by furnishing a prayer to be used on all occasions of 
public worship during the continuance of war and tumults. 

"But the real cpiestion is in regard to the language of the 
two Canons and the Eighth Article of the Constitution. The 
canons ought to be so construed as both to stand ; and, as I 
stated in my former communication, I think this can easily be 
done. But if this can not be done, which Canon must take 
precedence ? Evidently, the one regulating ' all occasions of 
public worship,' as the section defining what may be done on 
* extraordinary occasions' is simply directing as to an excep- 
tional case. This, I think, would be granted by all expound- 
ers of law, and hence the clergy would be bound by the Canon 
regulating all clergymen on all occasions of ])ublic worship ^ 
and so be required to use the ' prayers in the Book of Com- 
mon Prayer, and no others.'' But, again, our distinguished 
canonist decides, that although a Bishop does not alter the 
Book of Common Prayer, he adds thereto by his prayer or 
thanksgiving, (this must certainly be the case, if it is in con- 
stant use year after year,) which makes your prayers violate 
the Eighth Article of the Constitution, which declares that 
' no alteration or addition shall be made to the Book of Com- 
mon Prayer,' etc. The Constitution, if it can not be made 
to harmonize with the Canons, is the higher authorit}', and 
must take precedence. Every clergyman, before he is ordain- 
ed, takes a solemn obligation to conform, not only to the (ioc- 
trines, but tb the worship of the Protestant Episcopal Church ; 
and in addition to this, every Bishop, before he is consecrated, 
makes this solemn promise : ' In the name of God, amen : I, 


chosen Bisliop of tlie Protestant Episcopal Cluircli in , 

do promise conformity and obedience to the doctrine, disci- 
pline, and worskijj of the Protestant Episcopal Church in . 

So help me God, through Jesus Christ.' 

"With these things before me, I do not sec how a clerg_yman 
can use, or a Bishop enforce, the use of the prayers in (j^uestion. 
That men may err when they do not know the law, is readily 
understood ; but how ministers and Bishops can persist in a 
palpable violation of the Constitution and of plain law when 
they do know, is to me past comprehension. 

" Your language in regard to the permissive character of the 
Canon, and your deduction therefrom in regard to the j)rovision 
of special prayers in the Prayer-Book, seems without force, 
.since the Canon itself goes on to make the very provision to 
satisfy your proposed case, stating that ' the clergy in those 
States or dioceses, or other places within the bounds of this 
Church, in Avhich there is no Bishop, may use the form of 
prayer or thanksgiving composed by the Bishop of any dio- 
cese.' But there is a thought of much greater moment, con- 
cerning the permissive character of the language, which seems 
to have escaped your notice. 

" Contrast the language of the Twentieth Canon and the 
Eighth Article of the Constitution with that of the fourteenth 
section of Canon Thirteenth, ' The Bishop of each diocese 
may,'' fourteenth section of Canon Thirteenth ; ' every min- 
ister shall,'' Canon Twentieth ; ' no alteration or addition 
shall be made,' Article Eighth. Yet the two jyermissive pray- 
ers under ' onay'' are now made to violate the positive lan- 
guage ' shall ' of the Twentieth Canon and of the Eighth 
Article of the Constitution. There is another point in con- 
nection with the last provision of the Fourteenth section of 
Canon Thirteenth, which you seem to me to overlook, but 
which plainly limits the first part of the section, namely: 
' Bishops 7nay also compose forms of prayer to be used before 
legislative and other public bodies.' Would this permission 
allow a Bishop to introduce a prayer composed under it into 
the Church on ' all occasions of 2)uhlic worship' ?' This would 
not be contended. Then why contend for it under tlie lirst 
permission ? You say in regard to the prayer in the Prayer- 

' 110 

Book for ' Time of "War and Tumults,' tliat ' it does not meet 
the universal devotional wants of the people at such a time 
as this.' This is the same argument, and almost the same 
language, nsed bj those who for years have disturbed the peace 
of the Church by claiming that they were too straitened in 
the prayers of the Chm'ch ; that more fullness and particularity 
were necessary in public worship, to meet present circum- 
stances and passing events; and therefore latitude must be 
given for extemporaneous prayers. Is expediency to override 
the Constitution and the law ? The Church does not seek to 
meet the wants of which you speak, in her piihlic services. 
She inserts no ' historical facts,' as ' primary,' ' secondary,' 
or any other object of prayer. All her prayers are formed on 
a different model, and she wisely leaves the ' universal, devo- 
tional wants' to which you allude, to the social circle, the 
tiimily, or the closet • and it is this very thing which, when 
rightly considered, will be perceived to form one of her strong- 
est bonds of union and one of her mightiest towers of strength. 
She meets, in a general way, the spiritual wants of all, in , 
language to which none can "object ; she intrudes individual 
opinion upon none, as a nucleus for contention and strife. 

" You speak of precedent, and desire me to show it for my 
interpretation of the canons. You must certainly know that 
the nsage or precedent of the Church up to the commencement 
of the present war, has been to consider ' extraordinary occa- 
sion' as a single service, or for one day only. It ■ is easy to 
see how, in the general excitement incident to the present un- 
happy war, all might have readily fallen into the error of 
which we are speaking, but which is nevertheless a violation 
both of the Constitution and of the Twentieth Canon, I may 
here repeat, in substance, a remark made in my former com- 
munication. The period these prayers have been in use, the 
universal consent of the clergy, etc., form no prescriptive right. 
If the Canons have been unintentionally violated, this forms 
no reason why the infraction should be continued. I have 
alluded to these things briefly, lest you might suppose if; I 
passed them by in silence, that they contained argument ap- 
plicable to the present case. But the real argument in the 
case must rest on the language of the two Canons and the 


Article of the Constitution. Can the two Canons and the 
Eighth Article be made to harmonize ? If so, ' extraordinary 
occasion' does not cover all occasions of public worship, and 
so violates the express language of the Twentieth Canon and 
of the Eighth Article of the Constitution. If the two Canons 
do not harmonize, which is the ruling canon ? Evidentlj the 
Twentieth, which is the general rule, rather than the Fourteenth 
Section of Canon Thirteenth, which is only the exception. But 
if the Canons and the Constitution disagree, which takes pre- 
cedence ? Evidently the Constitution is the higher authority ; 
tlierefore it must stand, if the Canons fall. According to it, 
no addition must be made to the Book- of Common Prayer. 
But there is p'erfect harmony between the Twentietli Canon 
and the Eighth Article of the Constitution, and as either of 
these would govern the Fourteenth Section of Canon Thirteenth, 
both together must settle the question beyond a doubt. As 
you seem so strangely determined on my violating the Consti- 
tution and law of the Church, urging as a reason your opinion 
as to the necessity or the expediency of the case, and the act 
of the Bishop in setting forth prayers, it may be quite perti- 
nent to refer you to a short sentence of Dr. Hawks, bearing 
upon this subject. Says he: 'It seems to have been forgot- 
ten that the visage of regulating the exercise of a Bishojfs 
functions hj certain fixed rides, is as ancient as the office of a 
Bishop. There is as piuch of venerable antiquity in the cus- 
tom of making laws for Bishops, as there is in making Bishops 
themselves. It may safely be affirmed that, since the days of 
the Apostles, they never were left with no guide but their own 
discretion.' I may add that your assumption that it is of no 
consequence to me if I violate the Constitution and laws of 
the Church, if I only obey your order or direction, seems to 
me to destroy these great truths lying at the foundation of all 
law, civil and ecclesiastical. The first is that no officer or 
citizen possesses any arbitrary power. The second, that, in 
the language of the greatest expounder of the common law, 
(tlie rules of which our canons make binding,) ' Law is the 
rule of civil conduct, presented by the superior power in the 
state ; ' or, as civilians say, ' It is a solemn expression of legis- 
lative will.' In the Church, our General Council, as the high- 


est legislative body of tlie Cliurcli, lias spoken. ISTo Bishop 
can give an order for wliicli he finds no authority in the law 
of the Church, An order which violates the Constitution and 
canons of the Church can not be conscientiously obeyed. 

" It is a failure to observe these cardinal principles of self- 
preservation which has led to tliat ' higher-lawism' which has 
involved the country in the present terrible revolution. The 
argument of necessity, and the power of will and force, is 
daily destroying all the restraints of law. It seems to me, 
then, that you must recognize this truth, that precedents which 
violate the Constitution and law of the Church can neve^ be 
invoked in the face of the written law. 

" Yours truly, Chaeles Gillette. 

" Kight Rev. Alexajstder Gregg, D.D. 

" Austin, August 2, 1864." 

" Austin, August 4, 1804. 

" Bro. Gillette : I infer from your communication of the 
second, received yesterday afternoon, (and which will be 
answered in due time,) that you purpose to carry out your 
first intention of holding service, and omitting the two special 
prayers. I am well a*ware that a large part of the congrega- 
tion, such is the state of feeling, will not attend your service ; 
and, as you state in your last you desired by your course in 
church, on the third ultimo, to allay excitement, the question 
arises here, can no provision be made for those who will 
otherwise be without service, and no step taken to prevent 
more serious disturbance in the Church ? I am willing to 
hold a separate service, and much prefer doing so, in the ex- 
isting state of things ; but do not wish, even in appearance, to 
act discourteously, or to seem to trample upon what might be 
considered the right of others, and therefore write at the out- 
set, to know if you assent. I am satisfied the course I pro- 
pose will be a great relief to many, and be attended witL 
happy results. Please let me hear from you at your earliest 
convenience. Tours truly, Alex. Gregg,. 

" Rev. C. Gillette." 


"Austin,- August 5, 18G4. 

" My Dear Bishop : Your communication of yesterday was 
handed me just at dark. In reply I would say, unless you 
can refer me to some further law upon the subject, I conceive 
the Constitution and the Canons would fully sustain me in 
pursuing the course indicated, but as you propose to answer 
me, I am willing to wait for further light, and for the sake of 
peace, to forego the exercise of a plain canonical right, and so 
for the present will invite you to have service and preach in 
St. David's. If this proposition is met by you with the spirit 
in which it is made, it will tend, in my judgment, much more 
to harmony and peace than any other course which is likely 
to be pursued. Yours, truly, ChiVkles Gillette. 

" Et. Eev. Alex. Gkegg." 

Note. — To the above I had added the following : " Your proposition 
to divide the congregation makes it proper that I should here allude to 
some facts in the past, I was warned by a gentleman, now nearly two 
years since, after he had listened to some remarks of yours" concerning 
this parish, that you would make an effort to divide it. I did not at the 
time think his remarks just, but I soon discovered what led me to fear 
he might have been correct in his deductions, made from your language. I 
intimated to you, not many months after, that, whether intended or not, 
you were exciting discord and contention iji my parish. For a little season 
you were more guarded ; but it was not long before your efforts, whether 
designed or not, became very apparent to myself, and others in the congre- 
gation. They have continued until j'ou have made the proposition in writ- 
ing to divide the parish. I have been satisfied for a long time that you had 
fully determined on one of two things, either to di-ive me from my par. 
ish, or to divide it. Although you have charged me as being responsible 
for the present state of feeling and division in this parish, yet there is a 
difference of opinion prevailing on that subject, as I and many others think 
that upon yourself rests the responsibility for the present unhappy state of 
things in St. David's. For more than two years you have not ceased 
to perform ministerial acts in my parish, in violation of the law of the 
Church, without consulting me, or asking my permission, (which of course 
would have been granted, if asked.)" 

Just as I was about to send the foregoing, as a part of the last letter, 
three of my vestrymen called at my house, and informed me that a mem- 
ber of the congregation, just returned from the war, had taken it upon him- 
self to circulate a paper, throwing the blame of the existing state of affairs 
in the parish upon the rector, and asking for signatures requesting him to 
resign. This individual was told the statement in regard to myself was not 


true, and he was advised to desist from any further efforts. He had gotten 
his own and two other signatures. The vestrymen advised me to leave off 
that portion of the letter above indicated, since, however true it might be, 
it would arouse ill-feeling. I followed their advice, and did not send it, but 
it is thought proper to insert it in publishing the correspondence. 

" Austin, August 5, 1864. 

"Bro. Gillette : Yours of this morning has just been 
handed to me. I trust your proposition is met in the spirit 
with which it is made, as my only object and sincere desire is 
to do what may promote the Church's welfare, in accordance 
with the spirit and letter of her laws. I will, therefore, ' for 
the present,' (D. Y.,) in compliance with your invitation, hold 
service an-d preach in St. David's, and doubt not, until your 
final action is taken, it will tend to peace. 

" Yours truly, Alex. Geegg. 

" Rev. C. Gillette." 

"Austin, August 9, 1864, 
"Bko. Gillette : I xlo not wish to protract this correspond- 
ence, especially as your last, of the second instant, shows very 
plainly that it has already reached a point, which will make 
it productive of no good result, but rather of evil. You only 
reiterate in a diluted form* your first argument, and narrow 
down the issue, according to your own admission, to the inter- 
pretation of the Eighth Article of the Constitution and Twen- 
tieth Canon, in connection with Section Fourteen of Canon 
Thirteen, making it turn chiefly upon the former, and, if needs 
be, the first. "While aduiitting the correctness of the general 
principle of interpretation you lay down, I must insist, as a 
clear and indisjputohle ])oint^ that the Eighth Article and 
Twentieth Canon have in reality nothing to do with the mat- 
ter. The first forbids any change in the Book of Common 
Prayer, except in the mode prescribed. But who before your- 
self ever imagined that the use of certain special prayers for a 
time, though protracted, as in this instance, makes any change 
in the Prayer-Book ? They form no part of that book in 
fact, were not intended to do so, and can not by any process 
of reasoning whatever be made to have such an effect. They 
are distinct from it, and so universally understood to be, sim- 


ply being used in connection with it ; tliougli tlie extrtaordinary 
occasion of their use be protracted, they yet form a temporary 
and not ^ permanent provision. They -were not put forth by 
the Bishop as siicJi] and form no more a part of the Prayer- 
Book proper, than they do of tlic building in which they are 
read. The pastoral letters by which they were accompanied 
limited their use to t?ie loar. They are under no circum- 
stances to go beyond it, and therefore, for the time being only, 
assume the character of special prayers put forth by a bishop. 
On the other hand, w^ere the council of a diocese to issue cer- 
tain prayers for general and permanent use, or were the gen- 
eral council, by its own action alone, and without submitting 
it to the dioceses, to prepare any thing of the kind, they would 
form an integral part of the Liturgy, and the Eighth Article 
might well be adduced to prove such action unconstitutional. 
But to apply it here, where no one dreamed that such a thing 
is done, and it is not so intended, is simply absurd ; and a 
thousand pages of argumentation, could they be wTitten, so. 
plain it seems to me is the proposition, could not make it ap- 
pear more so than it is, 

" In like manner, the Twentieth Canon, wliicli requires the- 
use of the prayers in the Book of Common Prayer, and no 
others, does not apply here, as it would to the case of a cler- 
gyman, for example, using additional prayers of any sort of 
his own accord, without authority, or of a bishop doing the 
same. In fact, it does not apply in this case at all, and can 
not be made to do so. For here the Bishop acts expressly un- 
der the Canon, which provides for special prayers, and the- 
only question that can possibly arise, is, does the Canon au- 
thorize such prayers as have been put forth here ? This is a 
question, first, of interpretation, upon which we diiFer diamet- 
rically ; and, second, of practice, as to which all the Churchy 
bishops, clergy, and laity, except yourself, and perhaps a few 
others, are agreed. There is no previous precedent to fall 
back upon ; and as not only a large majority, but the whole 
American Church, may be said to be of one mind, should it 
not settle the matter, at least, for the present ? It nmst do so 
with all right-minded men of orderly spirit. 

" I can not see, indeed, how any one under such circum- 


stances, with, I may say, the whole Church against him, in a 
mere point of interpretation, and whose compliance on his 
part is made ifrvperative^ how he can resolve it into such a 
grave question of conscience ! Is universal practice not to 
bear upon the decision of such a point ? Is a man to stand 
out, and set all aidhority at defiance ? How, then, are dis- 
putes, or controversies, ever to be ended ? To what is such a 
spirit ever to yield ? And when shall principles ever be set- 
tled, if usage, universal usage, is to have no weight ? Such 
is the compass of the argument as you have nari'owed it down, 
and, except incidentally, I will not dwell upon it further. 

" My deductions from Dr. Ilawks's language, presented 
without any argument, do not appear to me to be at all shaken 
by your comments thereon. And even if they were, it would 
only bear collaterally upon the question. Take, for instance, 
one of these deductions, thesecond, which affirms that ' extra- 
ordinary' occasion may be for a period, and does it not plainly 
and unanswerably follow from such language as this ? 
' Where the Church has provided a service, we think it 
would be best not to deem the period appointed for its use an 
extraordinary occasion.' Now, in the name of logic, what 
does this mean, if not, in Dr. Hawks's view, that where no 
service is provided, an extraordinary occasion may be for a 
period ? The other point whether a single yrayer is a sei^vice, 
in the sense here intended, is another question. But why 
argue such points ? Is not their simple presentation decisive ? 

" You reason, that since the permission to a bishop to 
compose prayers to be used before legislative or other bodies, 
does not authorize their use on all occasions of public wor- 
ship — no more should the permission to put forth special pray- 
ers for extraordinary occasions authorize any thing of the 
kind. This reasoning is remarkable indeed, and such a jion 
sequitur as scarcely ever fell under my notice before ! While 
pondering this permission to put forth prayers to be used be- 
fore legislative bodies, etc., did it not occur to you that the 
prayer for Congress, with the prescribed change of a few 
words, would have answered quite as well, or better, accord- 
ing to your reasoning, than any such additional forms ; and 
that the fact of its not being thus prescribed argues infcren- 


tlally in favor of tlie autliority to use other prayers for a time 
of war ? And, further, did you not stop to ask youi'self in 
another connection, if special prayers for extraordinary occa- 
sions are to be confined to one day, or one service, and not 
to be used for a continuous season, what the provision for 
the use of such prayers in a diocese where there was no 
bishop would have availed in the days when railroads were 
not so common, and communication was by no means 
speedy ? As is not unfrequently the case, the bishop has 
scarcely time to publish them in his own diocese, what, then, 
would have become in other days of those outside ? Does not 
the very fact of such a provision, therefore, imply that in the 
view of the framers of the Canon, it was deemed that an ex- 
traordinary occasion might be continuous ? 

"It is a gross and very extraordinary perversion of what I 
said as to your responsibility in this matter, to change it as 
you do in words like these : ' Those laws (of the Church) re- 
quire me to use certain prayers and no others. My Bishop 
tells me to disregard my solemn promise and disobey the laws, 
and he will take all the responsibility and free me.' This 
sounds more like the incoherence of a man dreaming, 
than any thing else. Your Bishop told you no such thing. 
lie meant nothing of the kind, and you should have known it. 
What he meant and plainly expressed was, that the Canon 
made him, in the first instance, responsible ratlier than your- 
self. Can you not take this idea in ? 

" With what' holy horror you must have awoke to find your 
Bishop a Jesuit ! And then again, by a sudden metamor- 
phosis, to behold him contending for more latitude, as in the 
way of extempore prayer, etc., in the Church — first hurrying 
him rapidly forward on the road to Rome, and then to Geneva I 
Can you not settle his real status a little better than that ? 

" How simple a fact it is under the Canons, that certain of 
them throw responsibility directly on the Bishop, others on 
the clergyman, others on both — that is all ! ]Sro,no ! Accuse 
me not of being willing to shoulder your responsibility in this 
matter. I should certainly stagger and fall by the wayside 
under the burden ! It is enough for me, God knows, to en- 
deavor to meet my own. 

118 • - 

" You kindly send your Bishop liis solemn consecration 
TOW, as though it were not familiar to him ; and then, after 
some remarks, indulge in this language, (what shall I say in 
describing it ?) ' How ministers and bishops can persist in a 
palpable violation of the Constitution and of plain law, when 
they do know it, is to me past comprehension.' And well it 
may be ! Did you weigh these words ? Do you now fully 
comprehend their import ? Did your conscience whisper 
nothing while you were penning such a grave reflection upon 
the ministers and bishops of the Church ? But to complete 
the lesson, you quote, for my edification. Dr. Ilawks's language 
as to laws having been made for Bishops as well as others, and 
their being bound by these laws. "Will you pardon me for 
Baying, that I read this passage nearly twenty years since ? 
Have I ever uttered a word to the contrary ? Take care lest, 
in the zeal of a late conversion to the truth in the interpreta- 
tion of our Constitution and Canons, you go beyond yourself, 
and become a ' new light,' and the foremost canonical reformer 
of the age ; for you may find yourself, like many others have 
done, breaking down in the race ! 

" I had intended saying a word or two as to the singular 
means' you charge me with using, in dealing with too tender a 
conscience. Did I really say it was too tender ? As I thought 
I understood the disease, was not the remedy rightly left to 
my own choosing ? What you deem personalities were only 
a legitimate reply, in truth, to remarks which you had made, 
and were so intended. But enough of" this, as" of my reply in 
general to your communication, the latter portion of which 
smacks strongly of the bar. I have written more than was at 
first designed, and not a word has been dictated by any spirit 
of unkindness. I only regret that circumstances should have 
made it necessary to write at all. The argument is at an end. 
" Yours truly, Alex. Gregg. 

" Rev. C. Gillette." 

" Austin, Aug. 15, 1864. 

" Mt Deak Bishop : Your communication of the ninth in- 
stant, to which I have been hitherto prevented from replying, 
I will (D.Y.) answer in a few days. I write this_morning for 
another purpose. 


" In your note of tlie fourth instant you say, ' Can no step 
be taken to prevent more serious disturbance in the Church V 
and again : ' I do not wish, even in appearance, to act dis- 
couf"teously, or seem to trample upon wliat might be consid- 
ered the rights of others.' In your note of the fifth instant 
you say : ' My only object and sincere desire is, to do what 
may promote the Church's welfare, in accordance with the 
spirit and letter of her laws.' 

" I desire respectfully to ask whether, in your judgment, 
your utter ignoring of me in my official capacity in the admin- 
istration of the Iloly Communion in my church yesterday, 
was calculated ' to prevent more serious disturbance in the 
Church ' ? whether it was, ' in appearance ' or in /"act, courte- 
ous ? and whether such a course is likely ' to promote the 
Church's welfare, in accordance with the spirit and letter of 
her laws ' ? Your proceeding was so unheard-of, that I am at 
* a loss to know in what light it is to be considered. 

" Yours truly, C. Gillette. 

" Et. Rev. Alex. Gkegg." 

" Austin, Aug. 15, 18G4. 

" Brother Gillette : I am not more surprised at its tone 
than I am at the fact that you should have thought it proper 
or necessary to make the inquiries contained in your note of 
this moiyiing ; and but for the desire not to wound or give 
pain where none was intended, would not reply, except to ad- 
monish you of your spirit of growing insubordination. My 
course yesterday as to the Communion was, according to my 
understanding, but the carrying out, literally, your own invi- 
tation for me to'hold service and preach, ' for the present,' nor 
did I imagine that any other course, under the circumstances, 
would be expected, or any offense be taken. If there has 
been any ignoring of your official capacity lately, it has been 
at your own instance. 

" Yours truly, Alex. Gregg. 

" Rev. C. Gillette." 

" Austin, Aug. 15, 1864. 
" My Dear Bishop : I am sorry you seem so far to have 
misunderstood my note of this morning, and also, in some de- 


gree, tlie relation we liold to eacli other in tliis parish. I de- 
sired jou to have service and preach for me, ' for the present.' 
Bv this I understood the usual morning and evening service 
of the Church on Sundays, with preaching — nothing more, 
nothing less. When you proposed to me, a week ago, to give 
notice for the Communion on yesterday, I had no objection, 
and expected, of course, you would take the leading portion 
of the Communion service. It is customary for the officiating 
clergyman on such an occasion to ask a brother who may be 
with him in the chancel to assist, if not in the prayers, in the 
administration of the elements. I have never known it other- 
wise. In my judgment, the circumstances made it highly 
proper that you should have done this yesterday. I thought 
so then, and think so still ; and I think unbiased men who 
understand the case will agree with me. I have not intended 
to give my parish into your hands beyond the ordinary service 
of every Sunday, and I supposed you would have so under- 
stood it. I can assure you my questions were propounded in 
no spirit of insubordination, but because I thought there had 
been a violation of the common courtesies of brethren, which 
it would be better to avoid. I am glad to learn from you that 
there was no intention to wound or give pain. Still, it is but 
right and just to tell you plainly, that you did wound and give 
great pain, not only to myself, but to numbers of the^ commu- 
nicants. ' Yours truly, Chaeles Gillette. 
" Rt. Kev. Alex. Gregg." 

"AusTEsr, Aug. 15, 1864. 
" Bkother Gillette : I will now say what I might have 
added to mj note of this morning but for the want of time. 
You speak of replying to my last communication in a few 
days. This will be unnecessary, as the correspondence is at 
an end. For enough has been said, the argument is virtually 
exhausted, and I can see nothing good to result from an in- 
dulgence in personal reflections, to which any thing further 
would be calculated to lead. Besides^ the tone of your last, of 
the second instant, as well as your note of to-day, is such as 
to forbid my receiving any farther communication from you, 
unless with the assurance that it is written in a proper strain. 


I am impelled to this course by motives of duty and propriety 
alike, and, as yonr Bishop, will only add one warniwj xcord to 
you in conclusion, and that is, to weigh well the course upon 
which you have entered, as it only seems to be leading you, in 
spirit, from one degree of insubordination to another. 

" Yours in the Church, Alex Gkegg. 

" Kev. C. Gillette. 

" P. S. — Just as I was about to send this off, your note of 
this afternoon was handed to me. It calls, however, for no 
reply. • A. G." 

To the foregoing note I made no reply at the time. Per- 
haps none was necessary, either then or at a later period. 
Taken in connection with the preceding correspondence, it 
probably carries along with it its own refutation, and shows 
as clearly the working of the Bishop's mind without as it 
would with comment. The following communication I had 
partially prepared before receiving the Bishop's note, as above. 
But as he forbid my sending it to him, I did not complete it 
until since the close of our civil war. 

" Austin, August 10, 1864. 

" My Dear Bishop : Although you announce, in a some- 
what peremptory manner, that the argument is at an end, yet 
you will no doubt permit me a few words in reply. 

" I can by no means allow your clear and indisputable 
point. For however it may be to you, it is by no means 
' clear and indisputable' to me. 

"How could you overlook the language of the Constitution, 
' no alteration or addition,' and substitute your italicized words 
' any change,^ and then base your argument upon the Prayer- 
Book's being left intact by your prayers? — that because your 
prayers are not inserted within the book, therefore it is no 
violation of the Constitution of the Church ? Your principle 
of reasoning, if correct, would allow a Bishop to put forth an 
entire service for the Church, and compel his clergy to use it 
on ' all occasions of public worship,' and if he did not have it 
bound up in the same volume with the Book of Common 
Prayer, it would be no violation of the law of the Church. 


For in such a case, it would 'form no more a part of tlie 
Frayer-Book, than of the building ' in which the prayers were 
used. But I know you will not allow your own argument 
when carried out legitimately. Let us not distract by making 
false issues. The plain object of the Eighth Article and 
Twentieth Canon, is to regulate public worship in the Church, 
by enjoining ' the use of the prayers in the Book of Common 
Prayer, and no others.' In this sense, which is the plain and 
obvious meaning of the language of the law, the constant use 
of your prayers is as much an ' alteration,' and ' addition' to 
the Frayer-Book, as much so as if they were inserted in the 
book itself. Again, why attempt to draw the mind away 
from the point at issue, by talking about the illegality of a 
Council's putting forth prayers ? No one claims that it would 
be lawful for a council to put forth prayers, even for an extra- 
ordinary occasion. In reasoning upon the Twentieth Canon, 
why attempt to confuse by talking about a clergyman or 
bishop using unauthorized prayers ? Why talk of the Council, 
Diocesan or General, issuing prayers for permanent use ? What 
has our argument to do with all this, unless you wish to dis- 
tract, and draw away the mind from the point in question? 
Why assume the point upon which the question turns, and 
try to make it hinge upon something foreign to the subject, 
and about which nothing has been said? The question is sim- 
ple. Do the laws of the Church authorize a Bishop to put 
forth prayers for an extraordinary occasion, which shall em- 
brace an indefinite period — for a series of years — it may be for 
a generation, and compel his clergy to incorporate these into 
the public worship of the Church ' on all occasions ' ? I can 
not so understand it. Nor can I understand that the Eighth 
Article of the Constitution, and Twentieth Canon, have noth- 
ing to do in regulating the setting forth Special Frayers for 
continued use in the Church, 

" I do not assert that the prayers in question constitute a 
leaf within the lids of the Frayer-Book, nor can I suppose that 
is all the Article and Canon are intended to cover. But rather 
to prevent ' alterations or additions ' to the forms of Church 
service in constant use, Now the two prayers in question 
add to the daily or weekly liturgy of the Church, just as much 


as if tliey "were inserted in the morning and evening service, 
and this they have done on all occasions of pnhlic worshi]) for 
several years ; and if your assertion is correct, may continue 
to do for a generation to come, for who can tell when this war 
will e;id ? If extraordinary occasions can be made to cover 
'all occasions' of public worship for a series of years, and that 
too, when the Church has provided her own prayers, how easy 
for Bishops to make all occasions for which the Church has 
provided Special Prayers, ' extraordinary occasions,' and so 
give us, under one or other of these occasions, their prayers 
continually ? For if they have a right to set aside a prayer of 
the Church, and substitute theirs in one case, they have in any 
or all cases provided for by the Churcli, and so there would be 
constant and increasing additions to the form of public wor- 
ship, which is, to all intents and purposes, adding to the Book 
of Common Prayer, and ministers would never have an occa- 
sion when they would use the prayers of that book and no 

" I am. surprised at what looks like a simple quibble in your 
argument about the addition to the P]-ayer-Book. No one 
supposes your prayers are within the lids of the Book of Com- 
mon Prayer. No one supposes the law of the Church confined 
to such an addition. 

" AVhether this matter can be made clearer by argument or 
not, the conclusions we arrive at are widely different. Your 
mode of disposing of the Eighth Article, and the Twentieth 
Canon, looks as if you found it much easier to cut than untie 
the knot. 

" You seem not to have observed my language in regard to 
your second deduction from Dr. Hawks, neither the manner 
in which the Doctor uses the word ' period.' 

" I said it was not a period in the sense of wdiicli we were 
speaking, namely, a continuous period, covering ' all occasions 
of public worship,' but simply a single service occurring an- 
nually. You quote Dr. Ilawks's language thus, ' When the 
Church has provided a service, we think it would be best not 
to deem the period appointed for its use, an extraordinary oc- 
casion,' and you triumphantly ask, ' in the name of logic, and 
common-sense, what does this mean, if not in Dr. Ilawks's 


view, where no service is provided, an " extraordinary occa- 
sion " may be for a period V If you will allow an honest 
answer to this question, to settle the matter, then the argu- 
ment to this part of the subject will indeed be ' at an end,' 
and you must own yourself vanquished, for it settles the. mean- 
ing of ' extraordinary occasion,' to be only a simple service, 
and not a continuous time. The ' period ' of which Dr. Hawks 
speaks, is only a single service, happening once a year ; and it 
can be made to cover only this one service. Hence your ' ex- 
traordinary occasion,' unprovided for by the Church, and for 
which a Bishop may put forth a Special Prayer, must also be 
a ' period ' of one service only. 

" I have again examined yoiu* language in regard to my re- 
sponsibility in using the prayers in question, as set forth in 
your communication of July twenty-second. I understand 
you to refer to my responsibility in using the prayers, and not 
yours in putting them forth. That although I may think there 
was a violation of the law of the Church, yet you intimate to 
me that I am to have no conscience in the matter. You are 
to order, I am to obey, and with you rests the responsibility. 
This seems to me a short way of expressing your idea, as con- 
tained in your language. Your letter was published, and I 
think many besides myself understood you as saying about 
what I expressed. Your reasoning might appear better on this 
subject, if yom' assumption, that you have ordered and insisted 
on nothing contrary to law, were true. But you have assumed 
the very point in dispute. I contend you have ordered that 
which is contrary to Canon, and the question is, when a supe- 
rior orders an inferior to break what he beheves a plain law, 
may he (the inferior) obey and be guiltless ? I must repeat, I 
do not know any such doctrine of shifting responsibility. You 
certainly have a very singular way of putting the case when 
taken in connection with what you now say you meant. You 
are speaking of 'the canonical propriety of special prayers 
like those in use here for a Time of War,' (and this ' canonical 
propriety,' involves the use of them by the clergyman. You 
say : ' You are not responsible in the case at all. The Bishop 
has to bear that ; and no one would imagine, that should he 
have erred in judgment, any guilt in' such a case would be in- 


curred.' It might not be amiss to ask liere, how much greater 
is the guilt of a Presbyter for erring in judgment, than that of 
a Bisho]^ ? I think your argument "u-ould go to show that the 
guilt of the Presbyter consists in his exercising his judgment. 
He must have none, in this resj)ect at least, except as he gets 
it fi'om his Bishop. 

" I do* not know that I am called upon to follow you 
through your answer, in which you seem to have lost your 
temper, and to make use of language which carries with it its 
own refutation. My desire in this discussion has been to ar- 
rive at truth in connection with the Canon law of the Church. 
I did think, and I still think, I have a right to an opinion on 
the subject. If I am wrong, I have no objection to defer to 
the voice of the Chm'ch. If your opinion is correct, then the 
law of the Church needs revision, to make it explicit and har- 
monious, so that in future there may be no misunderstanding. 

'' I will now, for the present at least, leave the question of 
Canon law, and discuss the more serious case of conscience, in 
connection with your attempt to compel me to use the words, 
' which has been forced upon us,' in your Special Praj-er. 
I contend you have exceeded your authority as a Bishop in 
the Church of God ; that you have violated the law of 
charity — and that you have set at naught the great principle 
of the Protestant reformation. 

" I told you in the very outset, that the words, ' which has 
been forced upon us,' in the prayer put forth, asserted, as a 
matter of fact, what I believed to be false. Your intention 
was to assert, that this was forced upon the South by the 
ISTorth. This you and the Council assert to be ' an historical 
fact.' Tliis I do not, and never have believed. On tlie con- 
trary, so far as I have been able to gather facts, from what I 
saw and heard passing around me, I think the South threatened 
war first, and finally chose it and commenced it, as a way of 
deciding a political difference. I do not stop here to adduce 
reasons for this opinion. I simply state it to be my opinion. 
To this opinion, formed from the best data of inforination I 
could get, I had a right, and neither you, nor the Council, had 
any right, individually or officially, to deprive me of it, or force 
me to abjure it, by compelling me publicly to declare to the 


contrary, and least of all, in a solemn, public act of worship to 
Almighty God, 

" So far as the argument goes, it matters not whether I was 
correct in my opinion or not, if I sincerely believed the asser- 
tion false. You were bound to respect my conscientious scru- 
ples, and not try to compel me, week after week, to utter be- 
fore God, that which I believed to be false. For three years 
you respected my conscientious scruple, and during that time 
you told me you thought you were right in so doing — .you 
then, without one word of previoiis intimation that you had 
changed your mind, withdrew your permission, and compelled 
me to do one of two things, either to violate my conscience, or 
to CQase to officiate. Of course, I chose the latter alternative. 
In doing this, you plainly exceeded your authority as a Bishop. 
Ko Bishop has a right to exercise an authority over the con- 
science of one of his Presbyters, or even one of the Laity. 
The Church has nowhere given such authority to her Bishops, 
an authority which would be anti-protestant and unscriptural. 

" J3ut, again^ if the matter of Canon law be waived, and it 
be granted you have a right to put forth prayers to be used by 
your clergy for a series of years, (which I do' not believe,) still 
you must conform to the law of the Church in framing those 
prayers. Her law is her usage. In her public prayers she 
does not insert political opinions, or declare ' historical facts.' 
Judged by her standard, you exceeded your authority as a 
Bishop in the house of God. AVlien a Bishop has violated her 
rule, although he may have done it thoughtlessly, one would 
suppose it a plain matter of duty on his part when his atten- 
tion ^vas called to the fact, to erase the obnoxious clause, rather 
than attempt to compel his clergy to use it, and so violate 
their conscience. 

" Again, in the enforcement of the use of a prayer put forth 
by a Bisliop, he is to follow the rule of the Church in like 
cases, which is to respect conscientious scruples. If she has no 
written law upon the subject, she has her own usage, which 
has the force of written law. See how* ^carefully she deals 
with conscience even in her solemn creed ; she directs that any 
minister, or any congregation having scruples in regard to the 
words, 'He descended into hell,' may substitute others, or 


omit them altogether. In tlie admhiistratioii of Holy Bap- 
tism, she directs that, any parents or sponsors desiring it, the 
minister officiating may omit tlie sign of the cross, and the 
words accompanying. All this yielding on her })art, is to scru- 
ples of conscience, and she yields it, too, Avithout any npLraid- 
ings.or attempts at wit or sarcasm, thrown out against her 
chilHren who have these scruples. Has the enforcement of 
your prayer been according to her rule ? By violating her 
custom, her universal j^ractice, so fiir as the reformed Catholic 
Church is concerned, have you not exceeded your authority in 
the Church of God ? 

" Your opinion, in the prayer, is a mere political opinion, 
or as you and the council term it, ' an Jiistorical fact ;' and it is 
introduced as mere assertion, as if it were necessary in public 
worship to inform the Almighty of, ' historical facts.' To 
leave it out, takes no petition from the. prayer. To assert it 
or not, affects no religious truth. When first introduced, it 
was disbelieved by a number of your clergy and many of the 
laity in your diocese ; numbers of the latter of whom have 
never said Amen to it, and never would, if it was to continue 
in use for the term of their natural life. Numbers in mj own 
congregation, who have been the warmest friends of the 
Church, and the supporters of this congregation for years, did 
not believe it, and would not say Amen to it. All this was 
known to you before you attempted to compel me to violate 
my conscience in uttering what I believed untrue ; and yet 
you persisted in your course, and compelled me, through pub:- 
lie excitement, to resign my parish. You refused to assist in 
reading the prayers — as you had voluntarily done for years — 
and thus relieve me from that part of the service in which 
your prayer occurred. You would not appoint a lay-reader 
to assist me, who might do the same in your absence. Yet 
you did not hesitate to appoint such a reader, who should 
take the whole service, and read a sermon while I sat in the 
congregation, (whether such a proceeding be a violation of 
Canon law, let the proper authorities judge.) You did all 
you could to ignore me in my ministerial capacity, not only 
not allowing me to assist in the service, or to preach in my 
own church, when you had compelled me to invite you to 


hold service, but you proceeded to administer tliecommunion 
to my congregation, while I was sitting in the chancel with 
my surplice on, not even allowing me the place of a deacon to 
administer the cup. Several of the communicants who did 
not go forward at first, were so wounded by this act, as to 
stay away from the communion, and others who went forward 
first, would not have gone, if they had dreamed what you 
intended to do. Has not such conduct, on your part, been a 
gross violation of Christian charity ? "What was my oifense, 
for which you chose, in this and other instances, (without a 
charge against me, or the possibility of a charge bemg brought,) 
to publicly intimate to the congregation, that I had no right 
to minister in holy things ? Simply that I did not, in a sol- 
emn prayer to God, at 3'our bidding, make an assertion which 
I conscientiously believed to be untrue. What Pope of Rome 
ever required greater obedience to his infallible mandate ? 
Was not freedom of conscience one of the main points con- 
tended for in the Reformation ? Must we now, three hundred 
years after the fighting of that great battle for rehgious liber- 
ty, have — what ? Kot an article of faith pertaining to religion, 
not a declaration in regard to a truth of the Gospel, or that 
which in any way pertains to revealed truth, but simply a 
political opinion, pronounced by the council an ' historical 
fact,' placed in a special prayer, and made a ]3art of the Litur- 
gy of the Church for years, and the clergyman who can not 
adopt it as a part of his faith, or will not do violence to his 
conscience by uttering a falsehood as often as he ofiiciates in 
the Church, must be debarred from ofiiciating, and driven 
from his church ! Is not such a course stripping us of the 
great boon of the Reformation — liberty of conscience ? If an 
infuriated atheistic mob had done such a deed in this the 
nineteenth century, to carry a point in infidelity, or political 
intrigue, it would scarcely have been credited. Who, then, 
will beheve that a Christian Bishop, in his paternal care, 
with his great love for the souls of men, and to whom ' the 
reputation of his clergy is very dear,' has so far forgotten the 
duties of his high station, as to mete out such vengeance to 
one of his clergy, fbr no other reason than that he happens to 
difier from his Bishop in a political opinion ? 


" Tli€re are other points wliicli have arisen in the course of 
tliis discussion, whicli it may be well to refer to. 

" It has been urged by yourself and others, that omitting the 
words ' which has been forced upon us,' the unity of worship 
is destroyed. The Church herself has never sought to enforce 
any such unity as is thus referred to — a verbal uniformity in 
every congregation throughout a diocese. 

" This appears from her direction in regard to the use of the 
Creed and the Baptismal service. It also appears from the 
very Canon by which a bislio}) is authorized to put forth a 
prayer for an ' extraordinary occasion.* 

'" The Church knows of no uniformity of worship by Dio- 
ceses. Her uniformity, so far as sought, is sought for an en- 
tire branch of the Church. Yet, even here, she neither de- 
sires nor enjoins any such uniformity as that for which you 
contend. Her ' occasional prayers and thanksgivings,' set 
forth to be used according to the discretion of each clergy- 
man, or the necessities of his congregation, make constant 
change and variation, and keep the uniformity here spoken 
of. The permission for clergymen in any diocese or territory 
wliere there is no bishop, to select any prayer put forth by 
any bishop for an e?:traordinary occasion, gives license for as 
many different prayers within a diocese, on any specified ' ex- 
traordinary occasion,' as there are clergy in the diocese. 

" But y(3ur own course shows that the plea for uniformity 
had in reality no weight in your own mind ; Init was simply 
a plea by which to oppress one who ditfered from you politi- 
cally. For had niiiformity been' really what you sought, you 
would not have pursued the course you have. For instance, 
your desire for uniformity is so great, that you can not allow 
one of your clergy to omit six declaratory words in a prayer 
you have put forth. Yet you kindly give tlie same clergy- 
man the gratuitous information that he is at liberty to use the 
prayer set forth by the Church for * times of Avar and tumult,' 
in addition to those set forth by yourself, while you neither 
use that prayer yourself, nor direct your clergy generally to 
use it. In other words, in your opinioTi, the introduction and 
constant use by one of your clergy of an entire prayer, used 
by none of the others in the diocese, or by yourself, would 


conduce more to uiiiformitj in worship, than the omission of 
six words by one of your clerijy, in a prayer put forth by 
yourself, and these words containing no petition. 

" Again, you debar a clergyman from officiating, because 
he can not conscientiously use six words in your prayer ; and 
for months you place a lay-reader in the congregation, the 
charge of which you have compelled the clergyman to resign. 
Yet this lay-reader cannot pronounce the absolution, or the 
greater benediction — never reads the ante-communion ser\dce, 
(which most, if not all of your clergy do.) lie can not bap- 
tize, nor administer the communion, yet he can read the six 
words in your prayer. Does this, in your estimation, consti- 
tute uniformity of w'orship ? Your lay-reader can do all this, 
while a presbyter sits in the congregation, laboring under no 
' disability,' except that which you have imposed upon him, 
by bidding him assert in prayer, an opinion which he believes 
untrue. What shall we say of such consistent laboi's to pro- 
duce uniformity in the service of the Church ? 

" This whole matter niay now be summed up in lew words. 
It is evident, from all our correspondence, that my offense 
(very grievous in your eyes) has been, that I did not sympa- 
thize so deeply with the Southern Confederacy, as you thought 
I ought to do. I suppose you felt like many others, that you 
had staked every thing upon its success, and you were unwill- 
ing that any one over whom you had any influence or author- 
ity, should do otherwise. Acting upon your theory, that 
' the Church and State are now, and ever will be. closely and 
indissolubly connected,' you conceived that you were author- 
ized to put forth a political test in the Church, and bring all 
to your standard of thinking in matters of state. This idea 
seems to me to have been the radical stone of error, upon 
which you built all your assumption and persecution, claim- 
ing the right to control my conscience in matters where you 
have jfot, and by right never could have, any control. 

" Because I would not yield a blind submission, you took 
advantage of the excited state of men's minds, and placed me 
in a position where,- 1 understand, according to your own as- 
sertion, you had to interfere to save my life. Be this as it 
may, it is very certain you would not dare to pursue any such 
course of persecution in times of peace and quiet. It would 


not have been prudent for me to have written tlius to you six 
months ago. But times have now changed, and men who for 
years have been compelled to be silent, or speak according to 
a rule prescribed l^y others, can now talk without fear. 

" Before dismissing this subject, let us ask how will this 
record sound in the future history of the Church — a record 
which shall transmit to posterity the fact, that a bishop of the 
Church considered the assertion of a political opinion in pray- 
er to God, of more importance than all the prayers of the 
Church and the preaching of the Gospel ? — that men who 
could not assert the politics of their bishop, must be silenced 
from the ministry for the time being ? AVill the people of 
Christendom believe a thing so strange '{ Will they believe 
tliat under any circumstances, there could have been such in- 
fatuation '{ — that a minister of the Gospel should be forbid- 
den to preach, and deprived of his church by a Christian 
bishop, because he could not tell the Almighty that a certain 
political opinion of his bishop was true, when he believed it 
false ? How does all this compare with the teaching and ex- 
ample of the blessed Jesus ? Has all this been according to 
His Gospel ?" 

" My dear Bishop : I had expected to say to you, previous 
to your leaving Austin, what I nowwrite. The opportunity 
not offering, I take this mode of informing you that I am just 
on the eve of my departure for the North, where I expect 
(D. Y.) to have some facts in coimection w^th the Church in 
Texas, together with our correspondence, published. As you 
would not permit me to send you my closing communications, 
I add them in the publication. Should you desire to continue 
this correspondence publicly, I shall hold myself in readiness 
to answer any communication you may address to me. So far 
as the Canons and Constitution of tlie Church are concerned, 
1 shall use my best endeavors to have the points at issue 
definitely settled by the General Convention. I hope it may 
be your pleasure to be present, that you may aid in the set- 
tlement of so important a matter. 

" Yours truly, Chaeles Gille-itk. 

'' Austin, August 31, 1865." A