Thursday, January 01, 2009

Get Thee Hence ...

BB NOTE: He's done it again - and it's must-reading for any and everyone who is not only interested in preparing for General Convention this summer, but also for those preparing for the Constitutional Convention of the new province this summer as well. Anglican Curmudgeon gets out the dusty books, blows off the dust, and shows Bonnie Anderson and the gang up at 815 to be completely off their historical rocker. Get thee hence.

Here's a gem from the archives. It is the instructions given by Virginia to their General Convention deputies in 1785. Those instructions come in mighty handy this year for all who call themselves Episcopalian or Anglican:

During your representation of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the General Convention, we recommend to your observance the following sentiments concerning doctrine and worship. We refer you at the same time, for these and other objects of your mission, to our resolutions on the proceedings of the late Convention at New York.

Uniformity in doctrine and worship will unquestionably contribute to the prosperity of the Protestant Episcopal Church. But we earnestly wish that this may be pursued with liberality and moderation. The obstacles which stand in the way of union amongst Christian societies are too often founded on matters of mere form. They are surmountable therefore by those, who breathing the spirit of Christianity, earnestly labour in this pious work.

From the holy scriptures themselves, rather than the comments of men, must we learn the terms of salvation. Creeds therefore ought to be simple: And we are not anxious to retain any other than that which is commonly called the Apostles creed.

Should a change in the liturgy be proposed, let it be made with caution; And in that case let the alterations be few, and the stile of prayer continue as agreeable as may be to the essential characteristics of our persuasion.

We will not now decide what ceremonies ought to be retained. We wish, however, that those, which exist, may be estimated according to their utility; and that such as may appear fit to be laid aside, may no longer be appendages of our church.

We need only add that we shall expect a report of your proceedings to those whom we shall vest with authority to call a Convention.
Read it all here. Note: The photo is Archbishop of Canterbury Geoffrey Francis Fisher on the pulpit at Boston's Christ Church in 1952.

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