Hopkins, John Henry

(Jan. 30, 1792-Jan. 9, 1868). Eighth Presiding Bishop. He was born in Dublin, Ireland, and came to the United States in 1800. Educated privately, he began work in 1813 as a superintendent of ironworks near Pittsburgh. Although not yet ordained, he was called in 1823 as rector of Calvary Church, Pittsburgh, where he was temporary organist. He was ordained deacon on Dec. 14, 1823, and priest on May 12, 1824. Hopkins became assistant minister at Trinity Church, Boston, in 1831, and was elected the first Bishop of Vermont. He served as bishop from his consecration on Oct. 31, 1832, until his death. He served as Presiding Bishop from Jan. 13, 1865, until he died. Hopkins was a prolific writer and controversialist. In Slavery: Its Religious Sanction (1851) he argued that slavery had a divine warrant. After the Civil War, Hopkins as Presiding Bishop welcomed the return of the southern dioceses and helped to end the division that was caused by the war. The Law of Ritualism (1866) was influential in the eventual acceptance in most Episcopal parishes of such liturgical customs as eucharistic vestments and altar candles. He died in Burlington.

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