Ordination Of Deaf Mutes In Philadelphia Usa

Nearly all the deaf mutes connected with the Protestant Episcopal Church

in this city assembled yesterday morning in the church of the Covenant,

to witness the ordination into the priesthood of two deaf and dumb men.

The ceremony had been long talked of among the deaf mutes, and as none

of this class of persons had ever before been ordained to this order in

the church in this country, there was a widespread desire among the
r /> Episcopal community to be present at the ceremony. The church was well

filled when the exercises began. Owing to the length of the services,

the regular morning prayer was omitted, and after hymn 153 had been

sung, Rev. Thomas Gallaudet, D.D., Principal of the Deaf and Dumb

Institution in New York, who was to preach the sermon, was introduced.

Dr. Gallaudet prefaced his sermon by saying that when a deaf mute was

addressed, the words were not spelled out, but that the ideas were

represented by signs. Ideas about the intellect were conveyed by a sign

about the head, those relating to the sensibility by a motion near the

heart; in short, the sign language was as distinct and individual as the

English language. Rev. Mr. Chamberlain, of Iowa, stood up in the chancel

as Dr. Gallaudet began his sermon, and interpreted the sermon to the

deaf mutes who sat in a body near the front of the chancel. Dr.

Gallaudet sketched the progress of deaf mute education from the

establishment of the first school in Hartford by his father in 1817. As

illustrating the individuality of the sign language, he mentioned that

while he was in Brussels in August last he preached to a congregation of

about twenty deaf mutes, English, French, Belgian, and his sign language

was comprehended perfectly by all. "Sounds," he said, "are only outward

symbols of ideas, just as signs are." At the conclusion of the sermon,

Rev. Henry W. Syle and Rev. Arthur M. Mann were presented for

ordination, the former by Rev. Dr. Miller, and the latter by the Rev.

Dr. Atwell, of Toledo. Sitting within the chancel, one at each end of

the communion table, were Bishop Stevens and Bishop Bedwell, of Ohio,

while nine other clergymen surrounded them. Among them the placid

countenance and venerable form of Rev. W. H. Syle, father of one of the

candidates, was especially noticeable. Bishop Stevens then read the

exhortation, and it was interpreted by Dr. Gallaudet to the two

candidates, who stood in their robes at the chancel rail. Eagerly did

they watch the motions of the reverend gentleman as he conveyed to them

the words the Bishop was speaking. The Bishop then asked Mr. Syle the

questions laid down in the prayer book. As Dr. Gallaudet finished

interpreting each question, Mr. Syle handed a slip of paper on which was

written his answers, to Rev. Mr. Clere, of Phillipsburg, who read it

aloud. Rev. Mr. Mann then arose, and Bishop Bedwell stated that the

questions and answers would be interpreted. He asked the same questions

asked by Bishop Stevens, and Mr. Mann slowly communicated his answers,

using only his right hand in replying. The ceremony of laying on of

hands was then performed, Bishop Stevens and several others laying their

hands on Mr. Syle's head, and Bishop Bedwell performing that office for

Mr. Mann. The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was then administered to

the newly ordained priests, and they were welcomed within the chancel

rail. A special invitation was given to the deaf mutes to commune

immediately after the clergy, and there were enough present to occupy

the long chancel rail twice. The sacrament was then administered to the

congregation, and the audience was dismissed with the benediction by

Bishop Bedwell. On Saturday, the second biennial session of workers

among the deaf mutes in the Episcopal Church was begun in St. Stephen's

Church. Rev. Dr. F. J. Clere, of Phillipsburg, was elected President,

and Rev. Mr. Syle secretary and treasurer of the conference. An address

of Bishop Howe, and papers by Messrs. Clere and Syle were interpreted to

the conference by Dr. Gallaudet.--Philadelphia Inquirer, 15th Oct.,