Correspondence between the Warden of St Columba's College and the Primate of Armagh

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CORRESPONDENCE.

 


 

I.

The Primate to the Warden.

Armagh,
October 25, 1853.

My dear Mr. Warden,

It is with much pain that I sit down to write to you on the present occasion; but I feel it my duty to do so, in consequence of my having seen a circular to which your name is affixed, in conjunction with the names of persons known for their extreme opinions in Church matters, requesting signatures to be procured to a Memorial to the Eastern Patriarchs, in which a censure is passed on the conduct of the Bishop of Jerusalem. My attention was called to this document a short time ago by the Archbishop of Dublin; and on Saturday last I received a note from the Rev. W. D. Veitch, written by the desire of the Archbishop of Canterbury, enclosing a copy of a statement prepared by the Committee of the Jerusalem Bishopric Fund.

Your name being the only one connected with Ireland in the list of signatures, must necessarily attract particular observations, and the more so, on account of the responsible office which you fill. In my endeavours to establish and to maintain the College of S. Columba, I have had serious difficulties from without to contend against; and in the internal management of its concerns, untoward circumstances have arisen which have caused me much trouble and anxiety. Of these annoyances I have never complained. I have always looked with hopefulness to the establishment of this College as a means, under the Divine blessing, of effecting an improvement in the system of classical education in this country. But when it now appears before the public that the Warden takes a lead in a fresh agitation of the English Church, and prominently unites himself with those who are well known to be persons of ultra opinions on ecclesiastical affairs, I am not aware of any mode but one by which I can free the College from the imputation of being an institution in which the views of this section of the Church are inculcated,—views which, for my own part, I disapprove of, and which, therefore, I cannot allow it to be supposed that I lend any assistance in propagating. I feel, then, that under these circumstances your continuing to preside over the College could not conduce to its interests; and as you intimated to me, on your being appointed to the office of Warden, that you would not hold the situation except with my full approval of your course of proceeding, I deem it due to myself, to you, and to the College, to say, (and it is with deep regret I do so,) that in my judgment it would be desirable that you should withdraw from the office which you now fill. The approaching Christmas vacation would probably be the least inconvenient time for making such a change; and between this and Christmas I shall be able to decide whether I shall continue to give my aid in maintaining the College longer in existence, or whether I shall resign my connexion with it, as its Visitor and Patron.

I am,
My dear Mr. Warden,
Yours faithfully,
JOHN G. ARMAGH.

 

 

II.

The Warden to the Primate.

S. Columba's College,
October 26, 1853.

My Lord,

I am so stunned by the communication which I have this morning received, that I must beg your Grace's permission to defer my reply for a few days,

I have the honour to remain,
My Lord,
Your Grace's faithful Servant,
GEORGE WILLIAMS.

III.

The Warden to the Primate.

S. Columba's College,
November 2, 1853.

My Lord,

I am sorry to be obliged to trespass on your Grace's patience a few days longer; but it is due first to your Grace, and then to the College and to myself, that I should act with the utmost deliberation in this very grave and momentous business.

I have the honour to remain.
My Lord,
Your Grace's faithful Servant,
GEORGE WILLIAMS.




IV.

The Warden to the Primate.

S. Columba's College,
November 9, 1853.

My Lord,

Permit me to assure your Grace that if my own private feelings and character only were at stake, I should be satisfied to reply to your letter of the 25th ult. by simply putting my resignation into your Grace's hands; but as several questions of great public interest are involved in the considerations which it raises, I must crave your indulgence while I reply at length to your communication.

In the first place, I must beg your Grace to consider that the possible and even probable consequence of compliance with such a requisition from one in your exalted station, would be the utter and irretrievable ruin of all the earthly prospects of a person in my position; and although I well know that nothing can be further removed from your Grace's wish than to do me any injury, yet this fact does not diminish at all the severity of the measure on your part; while the circumstance that I am exempt from its worst consequences, makes it, perhaps, more incumbent upon me to regard it in its bearings upon others, who might not be so happily circumstanced as myself.

Next, I must submit that I have great reason to complain that, without a word of previous inquiry from me as to the circumstances attending that act which you disapprove, your Grace should have called upon me to resign the trust which I hold, for causes quite unconnected with my administration of the Wardenship of S. Columba's College.

Had your Grace vouchsafed such inquiry, it would have been in my power to have stated, that the insertion of my name on the Committee for circulating the Memorial to the Oriental Patriarchs had no sanction from me, either directly or indirectly; and that I have taken no part whatever in circulating that paper, or in procuring signatures to it. These assurances I now spontaneously give to your Grace, although I did not think fit to volunteer any nation in the columns of a newspaper, in reply to an attack of which I have only heard, and which I did not care to see.

I must add, however, in all honesty, that although I gave no authority for the insertion of my name on the Committee, and very much regretted it, I did not repudiate or withdraw it, when it was too late to prevent its publication; partly, because I knew that whatever mischief it could do would be past remedy, and that my motives for withdrawal would be almost sure to be misconstrued; but chiefly, because I felt that it would be cowardly to shrink from the responsibility of a measure in which I was bound to take a special interest, although in my present position I had wished to remain entirely passive.

With regard to the Memorial itself, I consider myself fully pledged to its general contents, and feel that I, at least, have no option but to make it the medium of expressing to the Eastern Prelates, that my individual sentiments on the subject to which it relates, still continue to be in accordance with those contained in the Commendatory Letter of the late Archbishop of Canterbury, of which I was, in my official capacity, the bearer to many of them.

My Lord, my opinion on Bishop Gobat's proceedings in Palestine have never been made a secret of by me; I published it fully to the world at a time when they had attracted no public attention, more than a year before your Grace honoured me with this appointment. It was not my fault if my sentiments were not clearly understood. The following language is, I apprehend, very unambiguous.

After fully detailing the proceedings of Bishop Gobat, in his own words, I thus conclude:—

"As it has been my lot, in the course of Divine Providence, to declare to three of the Patriarchs, and other distinguished Prelates of the Orthodox Churches of the East, the good faith of our own Metropolitan, and the friendly disposition of the Anglican Church, it is my duty to enter my protest, valeat quantum, against this aggressive policy, as a direct violation of the terms on which the Anglican Bishopric at Jerusalem was established."—Holy City, vol. ii. p. 616 (note on p. 596).

I had no right to suppose that a fresh avowal of opinions, which I had expressed so plainly and decidedly in my published writings in 1849, and which were not held to disqualify me for an appointment in 1850, would be made the ground of my removal in 1853. It might have been anticipated that I should avail myself of every opportunity of repeating—especially to the aggrieved parties—my sense of an injustice, which I was known to feel so keenly, and with such good reason.

Your Grace is aware that I was appointed by the late Archbishop of Canterbury to accompany Bishop Alexander to Jerusalem. I had an opportunity of learning his Grace's sentiments with reference to this question of aggression on the Dioceses of the Oriental Bishops, not only from his Commendatory Letter, but from conversations at two private interviews with which he honoured me before I went out. When I found, on the spot, that the Prelates, both of the Greek and Armenian Rite, mistrusted the friendly professions of the Archbishop's letter, dreading—what has since come to pass—a repetition of the practices of the emissaries of the Church of Rome, and of the American Congregationalists, it was my duty to repudiate the notion of dishonesty with all the earnestness of one who had full faith in the integrity and uprightness of that revered and lamented Primate. Among the dignified ecclesiastics to whom I personally guaranteed, with my Bishop's sanction, the good faith of the English Church, were the late Greek Patriarch of Antioch, the then Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, and the present Greek Patriarch of Jerusalem: and these protestations I afterwards repeated to the Greek Patriarch of Constantinople, and to many ecclesiastics of the Church in Russia.

Well then might I be expected to be foremost to protest against a course of proceeding which is even avowed to be opposed to the original instructions of Bishop Alexander, and to the professions made through him to the Oriental Churches; and as I never understood that one condition of my tenure of this office was to ignore my own identity and antecedents, or to abstain from any further connexion with matters in which I had become so deeply implicated, I must maintain that I was at liberty to make that protest according to my own discretion.

Had I not stipulated for such freedom of thought and action prior to my appointment, I yet should have hoped that the perfect independence and irresponsibility of one in my position, except in matters relating to the instruction and well-ordering of the School, had been so lately vindicated by Dr. Arnold, that I could have nothing to dread on that ground; and I am bound to maintain that principle, as he did, at any sacrifice of personal feeling, as a duty to every Schoolmaster in the United Kingdom, and to the cause of Education generally.

But your Grace reminds me that "I intimated to you on my being appointed to the office of Warden, that I would not hold the situation except with your full approval of my course of proceeding." I cannot question the accuracy of your Grace's memory, but I must be permitted to say that my words are stretched very far beyond any meaning that I could have attached to them, as I never contemplated the possibility of their being applied to acts entirely apart from the duties of my office, and in no way connected with the College. I should have merited your contempt, if I could so far have surrendered my independence of mind and liberty of action. Your Grace could scarcely expect or desire any person of any education or position in society to do so.

But I may take the liberty to remind your Grace that, on an occasion when the province of Visitor was extended beyond its legitimate bounds, as prescribed by the Statutes then in force, I raised no question of jurisdiction, because the point then submitted to your Grace did relate to my conduct in my office; but the moment I had reason to believe that you disapproved of my course of proceedings, I offered to resign, (April 9, 1851,) and as soon as you had declared your disapproval, I voluntarily sent in my resignation, (April 24.)

It should also be remembered, that since my appointment, a new code of Statutes has received your Grace's sanction as Visitor, in the XIIth of which provision is made for proceeding against a Warden charged with holding opinions contrary to the teaching of the United Church of England and Ireland, as at present established.

While I owe it to my own position and character, not to plead guilty to this grave charge, implied in your Grace's letter, (of which I protest my entire innocence,) and while my resignation would justly be regarded as equivalent to putting forward that plea; I owe it equally to the Fellows, not to allow the invasion of their province and functions by an exercise of the Visitatorial jurisdiction contrary to the constitution of the College.

The sum of my offence, as I understand it, is this—That in a matter of public interest, on which I had plainly declared my convictions, in my published writings, in 1849,—and in which I am personally concerned as no one else is, — I have abstained from all action of any kind, and have been content to remain entirely passive, even when my silence was liable to be misconstrued into complicity with acts which I considered dishonourable; but that when my name had been used without my knowledge or authority, and, as I now learn, "by mistake," I remained passive still and would not withdraw it, because I felt that to do so would be an act of extreme moral cowardice.

Such is my offence; and for this your Grace calls upon me to resign, on the ground of an engagement, of which I have no recollection, and which I certainly should not have felt at liberty to make in the sense in which I am now required to perform it.

My Lord, I came here at your Grace's earnest desire, from a sphere of comparative ease and security. You know something, though very little, of what I have had to contend with, in every way, in my endeavours to perform the duty here assigned me, and to make this School a fit place of education for the sons of Christian gentlemen. How far I have succeeded it is not for me to judge. If I have to any extent, it is, I feel, a cause of deep thankfulness, and an ample recompense for all I have endured; and however painful it might be to relinquish a post in which I am now permitted to see some fruit of three years’ most anxious labour, it would ever be a satisfaction to me to reflect that my removal was occasioned by a protest against what I must ever regard as a plain violation of positive engagements on the part of Bishop Gobat.

But I cannot believe, unless I learn it from yourself, that your Grace would wish me to resign for such an offence, and on the ground of a promise taken in a sense which I never so much as contemplated, without a further explanation and a clearer understanding of the circumstances attending that implied promise than has hitherto taken place.

I trust I may be pardoned one remark on the extremely embarrassing position in which I am placed towards the parents of the boys committed to my charge, as well as towards those gentlemen to whose zealous cooperation and support I am so largely indebted for any measure of success that has attended my exertions in this place, by the fact, that while your Grace calls upon me to resign my appointment, you intimate a doubt whether, even in that event, you will continue your connexion with the College.

In conclusion, I must be permitted to express my deep regret, that my constant uniform endeavours to conduct an Institution, which was calculated to become a great national blessing, on the principles on which it was first established, and on which alone I consented to become connected with it, so as to secure your Grace's confidence, have been counteracted, by circumstances which I could not control.

That God may recompense to you a thousand-fold your past care for His children in this place, and your great goodness to myself, is, and shall be, the prayer of,

My Lord,
Your Grace's faithful Servant,
George Williams.

 

 

Enclosures in No. IV.

(I.)

The Warden to Mr. Fowler.

S. Columba's College,
October 26, 1853.

Reverend Sir,

Will you be so good as to inform me, at your early convenience, whether you had any authority from me, direct or indirect, for inserting my name on the Committee for procuring signatures to the Memorial to the Oriental Patriarchs.

I am,

Rev. Sir,
Yours faithfully,

George Williams.

The Rev. C. A. Fowler,

Crawley, Sussex,

(II.)

Mr. Fowler to the Warden.

Worthing, Sussex,
October 30, 1853.

Reverend Sir,

I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your letter, and lose no time in replying to it, to say that you never did give me any authority for putting your name on the Committee in question, "neither direct nor indirect." There must be some mistake. I am very sorry that it has happened.

I beg to remain,

Truly yours,

C. A. Fowler.

Rev. G. Williams.

 

 

V.

The Warden to the Primate.

S. Columba's College,
November 11, 1853.

My Lord,

In case your Grace should require a further explanation of the long delay of my answer, I beg permission respectfully to inform you, that independently of the reason mentioned in my note of the 2d instant, I was daily expecting some further communications from England, which have not even yet arrived.

I did not consider them so material to my case as to warrant further delay, although they may be of importance to clear up one point, on which I have at present no certain information; on which account it was that I ventured to trespass on your Grace's patience longer than I had wished or intended to do.

I have the honour to remain,

My Lord,
Your Grace's faithful Servant,

George Williams.

 

 

VI.

The Primate to the Warden.

Armagh,
November 11, 1853.

Dear Sir,

I have given to your letter of the 9th inst. the fullest consideration in my power; and in replying to it, I beg to recal to your recollection the reason I assigned, in my letter of the 25th ult., for the opinion I expressed, that it would be desirable that you should withdraw from the office you hold in the College of S. Columba. That reason I stated to be your having appeared before the public as a leader in a fresh agitation of the English Church, and your having prominently united yourself with those who are well known to be persons of ultra views on ecclesiastical affairs; the necessary consequence of which would be, that the College would be regarded as an institution in which the peculiar views of this section of the Church are inculcated,—views which I disapprove of, and which I cannot allow the public to suppose that I lend any assistance in propagating.

You have not said anything in your letter which would remove this imputation from the College; for you have not disclaimed in any way your concurrence and sympathy with the party alluded to, whose proceedings of late years have been, in my judgment, most injurious to the peace and welfare of the Church, You assert that you have great reason to complain of my not having inquired from you as to the circumstances attending the appearance of your name in the list of the Committee, before I called on you to resign the trust which you hold, for causes unconnected with your administration of the Wardenship. But I must observe, that no explanation of those circumstances, if you could have given a satisfactory one to myself privately, could possibly undo the mischief which the College sustained in the eyes of the public by your standing forth identified with the leaders of an extreme party in the Church.

It was because this mischief admitted but of one remedy, that I pointed out to you the course which I thought the interest of the College required you to adopt.

You inform me that it was without your knowledge, and without previously obtaining your consent, that your name was placed on the Committee; yet, so far from having taken care to let this be known, a letter of yours to the Rev. R. S. Brooke, (which at your desire was shown to me, and which bears the same date as your letter to the Rev. C. A. Fowler,) assures him that your signature was attached to the document to which he alluded, by your authority,—that document (the only document in which your name appeared before the public) being the list of the Committee.

Had you immediately on the publication of your name, written directions to withdraw it, and publicly stated the reasons which induced you to abstain from acting on that Committee, namely, that you could not permit it to be inferred that you were one of the party whose leaders occupy the foremost place in this movement, your motives would not then have been liable to be misconstrued, and the ill effects of the publication of your name would have been obviated, and the fact that you had, as an individual, published your sentiments respecting Bishop Gobat, would have secured you from a charge of "cowardice" in declining to take a leading part in the present instance, should any one have been disposed to prefer such a charge against you.

You seem to think that because you stated your opinion of Bishop Gobat's conduct in the second volume of your work published in 1850, I therefore ought to have anticipated that you would join in the Memorial now in circulation. I confess, however, that the perusal of your statement in your first volume, p. 451, respecting the erroneous doctrines which have obtained "the unanimous consent of the whole Church of the East," did not prepare me to find your name affixed to a document which intimates that the Eastern Churches are regarded by the Memorialists as not "corrupting the Apostolic doctrines." In the part of your work to which I refer, the "Seven Sacraments," "Transubstantiation," "Purgatory," the "adoration of pictures," the "worship of hyperdulia to the blessed Virgin, and that of dulia to the holy Angels and to all Saints," are mentioned as being authoritatively approved by the Churches, to the governors of which the Memorial is addressed; and that a body of clergymen who have subscribed our Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, and who hold their preferments by virtue of that subscription, should publish a statement which implies that they do not view the errors above mentioned as being "corruptions" of the Apostolic doctrines," is in my opinion a circumstance much to be deplored.

You intimate to me that, inasmuch as the course which you have taken did not relate to "the instruction and well ordering of the school," it was an unwarrantable interference with your independence as a Schoolmaster for me to address to you such a communication as my letter of the 25th ultimo. I cannot admit the principle which you thus lay down, that the course adopted by the Schoolmaster of a school in regard to public affairs beyond the precincts of his school, is not to be subject to the cognizance of the Patron and higher authorities of the Institution. Were a Head Master to embark in a scheme of political agitation, such an act of indiscretion would plainly indicate that the person who committed it was not possessed of the solid judgment, the forbearance, and the quiet devotion to the business of his office, which are so requisite in one to whom the character of youth is entrusted; and the injury to the School which would result from it, would fully justify the interference of its Patron. And when a Head Master comes before the public as a leader in a new ecclesiastical agitation, the well-judging portion of the community will, I am confident, coincide with me in opinion, that such a person manifests a want of discretion that must militate against the welfare of the School: and in the particular case before me, the School thereby becomes liable to the suspicion, which I have already adverted to, of being a place in which the extreme opinions of those with whom the Master has allied himself are inculcated.

You are of course aware, that on a former occasion, previous to your appointment, I found it necessary to interfere for the purpose of freeing the College of S. Columba from what was in a similar way injurious to it; and both at the time I gave my sanction to your filling the office of Warden, and on other opportunities which offered, I have very distinctly informed you that I would give no countenance to the introduction into that College of the peculiar views and observances of the agitating party in the Church to which I allude. I can assure you I feel that you are only doing me justice when you say that nothing could be further removed from my thoughts than to do you an injury. But I do not perceive how your resigning your situation now, at my desire, can have the effect of involving you "in utter and irretrievable ruin," any more than when, on a former occasion, you stated that "the moment you had reason to believe that I disapproved of your course of proceeding, you offered to resign, (April 9, 1851,) and as soon as I had declared my disapproval, you voluntarily sent in your resignation, (April 24.)"

In addressing my letter to you I have not violated any of the Statutes of the College. Those Statutes do not hinder me from forming my own opinion of the Warden's conduct, and expressing that opinion to him. In the exercise of the liberty which belongs to me, I have stated to you that, in my judgment, your continuing in the office of Warden is not for the interests of the College. That judgment is unaltered by the explanation of your conduct which you have laid before me. But whether it is your intention to act upon the opinion which I have expressed, or not to do so, I am not able to collect from your letter; and I must request you to let me know your decision without further delay. I do not touch at present upon some matters personal to myself, which are adverted to in your letter, as my object is to confine my remarks to the main points which are involved in our correspondence.

I am,

Your faithful Servant,

JOHN G. ARMAGH.

The Rev. the Warden of S. Culumba's.

 

 

VI.

The Warden to the Primate.

S. Columba's College,
November 12, 1853.

My Lord,

Your Grace's reiterated and yet more emphatic charge against me of holding and inculcating extreme opinions on ecclesiastical matters, leaves me no choice but to call upon the Fellows to investigate the truth of that charge; and I respectfully decline to decide upon the question of resignation until my character is cleared from that imputation, or the charge is substantiated according to the XIIth Statute of the College; in which latter case, your Grace, as Visitor, has the absolute power of dismissal.

I will lose no time in laying the case before the Fellows.

I beg permission to correct two inaccuracies in your Grace's letter. 1 . My letter to Mr. Brooke, avowing the signature to the "Memorial," bears date the 25th of October, the date of your Grace's letter to me; and the note to Mr. Fowler, concerning my appearance on the "Committee," bears date the 26th of October, the date of my acknowledgment of the receipt of your letter,—in consequence of which it was written.

2. I beg further to call your Grace's attention to the fact that, in speaking of the possible consequences of compliance with your request upon those "not so happily circumstanced as myself," I expressly stated that "I was myself exempt from these consequences."

I have the honour to remain,

My Lord,
Your Grace's faithful Servant,

George Williams.

 

 

VII.

The Warden to the Primate.

S. Columba's College,
November 15, 1853.

My Lord,

I beg to inform your Grace, that immediately on the receipt of Mr. Fowler's reply to my note of the 26th ult., both which I enclosed on the 9th inst., I wrote to him a second time, but have as yet received no answer.

Failing of this, I wrote to Dr. Mill, and received his reply only last night. I enclose a copy of my note (I.), and the original of his reply, (II.)

I now beg distinctly to state, that Dr. Mill is the only person with whom I had held any communication whatever on the subject of the Memorial, prior to the date of your Grace's letter, and that entirely of a private nature; that nothing whatever had passed between us on the subject of the Committee; and that the only communication which I have received from him on the subject of the Memorial, since I met him in England early in July, was a request that I would "write a statement of facts respecting the Jerusalem Bishopric, in its aspect towards the Orthodox Greek Communion," which I declined to do.

I yesterday wrote to the Fellows, calling upon them to proceed to an investigation according to the XIIth Statute of the College.

I have the honour to remain,

My Lord,
Your Grace's faithful Servant,

George Williams.

 

 

Enclosures in No. VII.

(I.)

The Warden to Dr. Mill.

S. Columba's College,
November 9, 1853.

My dear Dr. Mill,

I received a letter on the 25th ult. from a clergyman at Kingstown, a perfect stranger to me, informing me that he "had seen my name in an English newspaper appended to a 'Memorial to the Oriental Patriarchs,' touching certain practices of the Bishop of Jerusalem," and asking me "whether I had indeed given my signature for such a purpose as that document sets forth?"

I had not myself seen any list of signatures to the "Memorial;" but since Mr. Brooke mentioned it as a fact, I assumed it to be so, and concluded that you had anticipated what you may well have supposed to be my wishes and intentions, and had affixed my name.

Assuming the fact, I accepted the signature, and answered that "it was attached by my authority;"—as it was, if you had done it.

A subsequent letter from Mr. Brooke led me to imagine that he was not very accurate, and suggested doubts as to the fact which he had stated, and I had assumed on his statement.

It is not a matter of much importance, per se, but circumstances have arisen which render it desirable for me to know exactly how far I was committed to the "Memorial" on the 25th of October; and as no one in England but yourself has any authority from me, implied or expressed, to affix my name to it, I shall feel obliged if you will inform me whether you had done so before that date, or have done so since?

I remain.

My dear Dr. Mill,

Yours most sincerely,

George Williams.

The Rev. W.H.Mill, D.D.,

Trinity College, Cambridge.

(II.)

Dr. Mill to the Warden.


College, Ely,
November 12, 1853.


My dear Williams,

I only received this morning your letter of the 9th, and lose no time in replying to it. It may seem strange, but I really cannot tell whether your name is on the list of those who subscribe the Address to the Eastern Prelates, or not. Most certainly, if it is there, it has been so placed, not by your desire expressed by word or letter, but in consequence of what the Secretary has heard from me, as sure of your acquiescence in being so placed. You will believe me when I say, that I would by no means have expressed such security, unless I did at the time really entertain it in my own mind. But I shall not the less regret, if it be so, that it did not occur to me to think there might be reasons for your withholding your name, and to ask your express consent first.

I write by this post to Mr. Neale, who has all the names, to write to you at once, whether yours is among them; and if so, whether (if he knows) it was inserted before, or after the date you mention. This will save the delay of its coming through me here, or at Cambridge.

I came back but yesterday from London, where there has been a Committee for considering the Declaration of the four Archbishops. I hope the Minute agreed on is not wanting in deference or respect to their Graces' exalted station in the Church, while disclaiming any intention of speaking authoritatively ourselves; and hoping that the fault that may be found with our proceeding will not prevent the Archbishops, in conjunction with their Right Reverend brethren, from noticing officially and removing the scandal of which we think we have reason to complain,

Believe me,
My dear Williams,
Yours very truly,
W. H. MILL.

27


VIII.

The Warden to the Fellows.

S. Columba's College,
Dear Sir,November 14,1853.
It is with extreme pain that I write to inform you, that I have lately received from his Grace the Visitor an intimation that, in his judgment, "my continuing to preside over this College would not conduce to its interests," and calling upon me "to withdraw from the office which I now fill," as the only mode "by which he can free the College from the imputation of being an Institution in which views which he disapproves of are inculcated."

It has appeared to me, on the most mature consideration, that while compliance with his Grace's suggestion, previous to inquiry, might seem to indicate, on my part, a guilty consciousness, from which, I thank God, I am entirely free; and might be regarded as equivalent to a plea of guilty to the grave charge implied in his Grace's communications, — which could not but be most injurious to my own character; — it would be so far from clearing the College from the imputation of being a place where erroneous opinions are held and taught, that it would rather serve to prove that there is no sufficient safeguard against the introduction of such opinions, and no constitutional check to their propagation in the College; for the tenor of my religious belief and practice and teaching, is precisely now what it was when I first came to the College, three years ago.

If, then, after my resignation, the Primate were to withdraw his countenance from the College—(a contingency which he contemplates, even in the event of my resigning)—leaving the College under this stigma, I should be justly chargeable with betraying, not only its interests, but also the principles on which it was instituted and has been conducted, and with which you and all connected with it are identified.

This I have no right to do without your sanction; and I am therefore compelled, by a sense both of public and private duty, to call upon the Fellows to proceed, with as little delay as possible, to the investigation of the charge, according to the provisions of the Xllth Statute of the College, a copy of which I inclose.

The correspondence which has passed between his Grace and myself shall be laid before you as soon as possible.

I beg further to inform you, that the XXVth Statute requires that meetings for the determination of all such matters shall be held in the College; but by the XXIXth Statute it is provided, that a meeting for this purpose may be held without my previous consent.

I must decline to suggest any course of proceeding in a matter affecting my own conduct and character; but I shall be happy to offer every facility in my power for the investigation of the charge, and to reply to any inquiries that you may think fit to institute.

I remain,

Dear Sir,

Yours very faithfully,

GEORGE WILLIAMS.




ENCLOSURE IN No. VIII.

Statute XII. of S. Columbas College.

"If the Warden shall be charged with immoral conduct, or with holding opinions contrary to the teaching of the United Church of England and Ireland, as at present established, or with the commission of any criminal act, it shall be competent for the Majority of the Fellows to call upon the Visitor to inquire into the truth of such charges, and in the event of such charges, or any of them, being proved to the satisfaction of the Visitor, it shall be competent for such Visitor to declare the said office of Warden to be vacant, and it shall be so accordingly from the date of such declaration."

APPENDIX.


CORRESPONDENCE WITH MR. BROOKE, ALLUDED TO BY THE PRIMATE, PAGE 17, AND BY THE WARDEN, PAGE 21.


I.

Mr. Brooke to the Warden.

Kingstown, Mariners' Episcopal Church,
October 24, 1853.

Rev. Sir,

Having seen your name in an English newspaper appended to a "Memorial to the Oriental Patriarchs," touching certain practices of the Bishop of Jerusalem, will you permit me to ask if you have indeed given your signature for such a purpose as that document sets forth.

As I have been frequently asked for my opinion of the merits of your College by parents in my congregation, I am naturally anxious to have all the information I can collect, which I trust may account, as well as apologise, for the intrusion.

I am, Rev. Sir, Your faithful Servant in Christ,

Rev. G. Williams, RICHARD S. BROOKE.
St. Columba's College.

II.

The Warden to Mr. Brooke.

[Shown privately to the Primate by the Warden's desire, October 27th.]

S. Columba's College,
October 25, 1853.

Reverend Sir,

In reply to your note of yesterday's date, I beg to say that my signature was attached to the document to which you allude, by my authority; in explanation of which,—as I gather from your note, that it seems to you to require an explanation,—permit me to state the principal motives that induced me to sign the Memorial to the Oriental Patriarchs. First, because I know that the proceedings of Bishop Gobat are in direct violation of the letter and spirit of the instructions given to the late Bishop Alexander, as embodied in the Metropolitan's Encyclical Letter to the Oriental Prelates.

You are perhaps aware that I was appointed by the late Archbishop of Canterbury to accompany Bishop Alexander to Jerusalem as his Chaplain, in which capacity it was my duty, not only to communicate the letter to the Patriarchs and Bishops of the Eastern Churches, but to assure them of the good faith of the English Church, in the friendly professions contained in that letter; and to do my utmost to allay the apprehensions and remove the suspicions of hostile intentions which they not unnaturally entertained, with the sad experience of Papal aggression before their eyes. Independently, therefore, of the conviction that our character for probity and truthfulness has grievously suffered by this direct violation of a solemn engagement, I have cause to feel personally aggrieved, that pledges which I gave in the name of the English Church, and with the knowledge and sanction of my Bishop, have been violated by his successor.

Secondly, I am persuaded that the aggressive measures of Bishop Gobat must prove a formidable hindrance to the reformation of the Eastern Churches. I have no kind of sympathy with their manifold errors, doctrinal and practical; and it is because I so heartily desire to see these grievous blemishes removed, that I deeply regret those ill-advised attempts to disturb the peace and unity of those communities, the result of which must be to shake the confidence of the people in their ecclesiastical superiors, from whom the reformation must proceed, if it is to be solid and permanent; nor was the expectation of such a happy change hopeless—however it may be now. I knew many intelligent members of the Eastern Church, who deplored its errors sincerely, and earnestly desired their removal, and would have used all their influence to this end. The effect of these anarchical proceedings can only be to disgust them, and to counteract their endeavours.

Thirdly, I am convinced that any further divisions among the Eastern Christians must expose them to still more fatal injury from the attacks of the Church of Rome, which has already made terrible havoc in those parts through the insidious assaults of the Jesuit missionaries; and believing, as I do, that the united protest of Eastern Christendom against the Papal claims, which it has maintained consistently and uniformly for so many centuries prior to our reformation, is an important subsidiary argument against those claims, I cannot regard but as exceedingly mischievous anything that serves to weaken the front of their battle in our common cause. With these convictions, and in consideration of the part which I was called to take in the first institution of the Bishopric, I feel bound to avail myself of every opportunity of deprecating the aggressive policy of Bishop Gobat; and as I cannot choose my company, I must act in concert with those who take the same view of this particular case as myself.

I beg to offer you many apologies for having replied to your note at so great length; but I wished both to signify how heartily I approve of the honest and straightforward course which you have taken in addressing me directly on the subject, and also to show that antecedent circumstances have imposed on me a special obligation to adopt a course I knew would expose me to some obloquy, and to be liable to be misinterpreted.

I remain, Rev. Sir, Yours faithfully,
GEORGE WILLIAMS.


III.

The Warden to Mr. Brooke.

[Also shown to the Primate by the Warden's desire]

S. Columba's College,
October 27, 1853.

Rev. Sir,
It may be important to guard against a possible misunderstanding of my letter of the 25th instant.

There have been, I believe, two documents circulated, "The Memorial to the Oriental Patriarchs," and a Circular inviting signatures to that Memorial.

I understood your question to related to the Memorial itself; and I answered it in that sense, because although I had not formally sanctioned any one to affix my signature to that document, my sentiments on the subject were so well known that I could not object to its being done.

With regard to the other document,—which I understand has been made the subject of an attack upon me in a Dublin paper—I beg to say, that I never gave any authority to any one, directly or indirectly, to place my name on the Committee for circulating the Memorial, and very much regretted that it was done.

I am, Rev. Sir, Yours faithfully,
GEORGE WILLIAMS.