The Dangers of Church Centralization: Some Remarks on the Proposed Changes in the TEC Constitution
The tendency in all such bodies as our General Convention, is to centralize power; and unless there are well defined checks and barriers to it, we can not avoid its dangers. A centralized ecclesiastical power is an unqualified evil, and as surely results in corruption as if that were the goal of its ambition. A very superficial glance at the history of the American Church will show, that we have been drifting with accelerated velocity towards this danger, with almost the drowsy indifference of the lotus eaters.
"Let us alone. What pleasure can we haveWhen the first steps were taken to form a Church Union, each State had its own Church; which was, to all intents and purposes, a National Church, and was so regarded. Each State might have any number of dioceses within it. In the General Convention—no matter how many dioceses there might be within it,—each State was entitled to but one body of delegates. The Church Constitution, like that of the Government, did not seek to interfere with the political theory, that each State is sovereign in all local matters. Even the trial of bishops remained within the States until 1841, when, by reason of the change which had been made in 1838, allowing dioceses to be represented in the General Convention, a necessity arose for such a provision.
To war with evil? Is there any peace
In ever climbing up the climbing wave?"
Read it all and look carefully at the date.