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sometimes exist, and the Bishop who sets himself to correct them must take the risk of opposition, misrepresentation, and contumely, while he will not shrink from his plain duty.
It has been thought that the provision allowing the election and tranfer of a Missionary Bishop to a Diocese gave certain privilege and pre-eminence. But there is evidently a growing prejudice against such transfer. It would now lower a Bishop, accepting such election, in the public estimation. The Canon allowing it is likely hereafter to be a dead letter and might as well be repealed.
We have said enough to show that our Canon law in respect to the formation of Dioceses in missionary jurisdictions is unprimitive, uncatholic, and radically wrong. The grounds of this opinion might be given much more fully as they lie in many thoughtful minds. The time has come in the progress of our missionary work when our Bishops and Deputies in General Convention should consider how the law may be amended so as to bring our practice into accordance with the right and catholic principles which history shows to have always prevailed. We would recommend the repeal of S ix. of Canon 15, Title I., and the amendment of paragraph 5 of $ vii. of the same Canon, so as to read substantially as follows :
“Any Bishop elected and consecrated under this section shall be entitled to a seat in the House of Bishops, and whenever there shall be the requisite number of clergy and parishes according to Section I. of this Canon, it shall be his duty to summon a Convention or Council for the organization of a Diocese within his jurisdiction ; and he shall be the Bishop of such Diocese when organized, without vacating his missionary appointment: Provided, that he continue to discharge the duties of Missionary Bishop within the residue of his original jurisdiction, if there be such residue.”
It may be objected that this would violate the great principle of free selection of the Bishop by his clergy and people. But all beginnings are exceptional. In the erection of a new Diocese by division, the Bishop of the old Diocese may select the new, without election. The principle can only apply to Dioceses already in existence. To make it applicable in the founding of new Sees would be in
contravention of all Scripture and History. In such case the Church could never have had Bishops. And as a inatter of fact, the clergy of a Missionary Bishop do virtually choose him by going out to work under him. And the faithful laity stand to him in the relation of St. Paul's converts to himself. He should be able to say to them: “If I be not an apostle unto others yet doubtless I am unto you, for the seal of my apostleship are ye in the Lord.” The Bishop of Oregon or of Nevada has been as truly elected by his present flock as has the Bishop of Kansas or of Nebraska.
We believe that some such amendment will be sure to . commend itself on due consideration to candid minds in the Church; and that it will certainly be made, if not by the dext General Convention, as soon as the Church has come up to the full appreciation of her poeition and duty as a Missionary Body.
Another change in this Canon is desirable if not essential. There is room for serious doubt whether the clergy and members of the Church in a missionary jurisdiction are subject to any Canons but those of the General Convention. In paragraph 4, § vii, Canon 15, Title I, it is provided that “each Missionary Bishop shall have jurisdiction over the clergy in the District assigned him," and that " in the case of the trial of a clergy man,” “ the clerical members of the Standing Committee appointed by the Missionary Bishop, as is hereinafter provided, may make presentment, and the trial shall take place according to the Constitution and Canons of any Diocese of this Church which may have been selected by the said Missionary Bishop at the time of the appointment of such Standing Committee.”
It is optional, then, with the Missionary Bishop whether he will make such selection. What if he has neglected or declined to do so ? He could probably constitute his court of three presbyters, and as there would be no canonical provisions to guide him the trial must take place according to the rules of procedure in civil courts. But why are “the
Constitution and Canons of any Diocese” here spoken of ? What have Diocesan Constitutions to do with the trial of a clergyman? What code of Diocesan Canons is there in which more than a single Canon would be applicable? Is it intended that, if the Bishop select the Constitution and Canons of any Diocese, such Constitution and Canons are to constitute the law of the jurisdiction for all purposes for which Constitution and Canons are required in the Dioceses ? This is clearly the design. Why then is it not explicitly provided ? It looks as if either there was an essential omission by an oversight, or the Church intended the Missionary Bishop to be the lawmaking power, under the General Canons and law of the Church, for the government of his jurisdiction, as in faet he must be as the law now stands.
We therefore propose that a paragraph to be numbered (7) be introduced after paragraph (6) $ vii, Canon 15, Title I., to the following effect :
“Every such Bishop shall select at the time of the first appointment of such Standing Committee the Constitution and Canons of some Diocese of this Church, and by the advice and consent of such Standing Committee, he shall make such modifications in the said Constitution and Canons as in his and their judgment local circumstances may require; and the Constitution and Canons so modified shall be in force and valid for the government of his jurisdiction until a Diocesan Convention or Council lawfully organized shall frame the Constitution and Canons of his Diocese."
There is much uncertainty among our clergy as to the powers of a Bishop in reference to his clergy and parishes when he makes a visitation and at other times when present in his churches. That he may administer the Holy Communion when visiting a church is settled now by Canon. There is a diversity of opinion even among the Bishops themselves as to whether the Bishop may control the services and the disposition of the offertory. The extraordinary statement has been ventured in a pamphlet put forth by several distinguished clergymen that he can only officiate in any church in his Diocese on suffrance of the rector, except on the rare occasions, " at least once in three years," when he gives the requisite notice of a formal visit for a confirmation. For our part we do not believe that under the General Canons or those of any Diocese, rectorial rights can thus exclude the Bishop from the performance of his legitimate duties. No Canons can be so understood as to over-ride the Ordinal or the Rubrics, or the necessary inferences therefrom. When a church is placed under the Bishop's “spiritual jurisdiction,” as it is when consecrated, something more must be meant than that he can once in three years or oftener, hold confirmation in a parish. But, however it may be in organized Dioceses, there is no such limitation in missionary jurisdictions. The Missionary Bishop has much more to do than to confirm, or to confirm and ordain. He bas larger functions than mere oversight. He is the pioneer missionary, the chief preacher, the administrator, the executive, as well as the ever present efficient overseer of all the work of his appointed field. He comes as near as is possible in these times, to being what the apostles were and what bishops were in the primitive Church. He is sent forth by the House of Bishops as were the apostles from the Apostolic College in Jerusalem, to preach the Gospel, to evangelize and receive into the Church the people for whom he is appointed, and build them up in the Faith. Whatever may have been done before him by clergy or laity, whatever organizations may have been established, he is none the less the head of all the work. There can be nothing obstructive of his efforts, but the world and sin and satan; he is sent to fight and to overcome. There can as yet be po ecclesiastically legal parish, for there has been no law for the forming of parishes, and no guarantees required or given of adherence to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Church. Various persons calling themselves Episcopalians, or professing a preference for the Church's services, may have associated themselves together to build a church and to support a minister. Such associations may have become incorporated and thus acqnired a civil status.
State or Territorial law, they are what they call them selves, but they are not Parishes of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, till they are pledged in their Charter or Constitution to the doctrine and usages of the church, and the Bishop as the ecclesiastical authority has given them recognition ; nor is church property safe in their hands. His sanction is necessary to the organizing of a parish or a mission. He prescribes the manner in which they are to organize, their Constitution and the laws for their government, having power to select Canons in which these things are determined. He can send missionaries and fill vacancies without waiting for the “call ” of ves. tries. He can preach and officiate in any and every church whensoever and as often as he deems proper. select any church as his cathedral, antecedently to any being duly organized in accordance with the law of the Church and recognized by him as having the rights of Parishes. He can create and establish parish boundaries, change them at will and determine their limits, acting by the advice and consent of the Standing Committee. Whenever present in a church he is present as a Bishop, as chief missionary. He may take such part as he desires, and assign the parts to the clergy. He is the unit of administration, the centre of gravity, the source of jurisdiction. He represents the powers that after Diocesan organization will be vested in the Bishop and Convention, and thus possesses not only executive but also judicial and legislative functions. He is responsible to the House of Bishops for all his acts, and he is the only one who is responsible to any outside authority. They whom he has called to his aid are responsible to him and he must see that they perform their duties. Of course, he must not be arbitrary nor dictatorial. He must exercise his functions and fulfil his responsibilities with great care and full consideration of others. His government is eminently paternal. His extensive powers must in due time be limited. He must begin from the first to distribute them and