POSITION OF THE BISHOP.
Bishop Willis in his Diocesan Church Magazine takes the ground that Christian missions to heathen nations and peoples throughout the world will be injured by the news that will go everywhere of the prominent part taken by the sons and descendants of Christian missionaries in Hawaii in overthrowing the ancient monarchy of the country. Whether the Bishop can maintain this ground or not is not a question that we are going to discuss. What we oppose to the characteristically flippant attack on Bishop Willis by the Advertiser is that the question he raises is an eminently religious one, and therefore quite meet and proper to be discussed in the organ of his bishopric. The Advertiser accuses Bishop Willis of belonging to the Middle Ages because, simply, he believes that a limited monarchy is still the mos suitable form of government for the Hawaiian Islands. Bishop Willis happens to be, however, of the most advanced turn of mind with regard to royal prerogative and popular government. He is known to have been strongly opposed to the Queen at her accession, that she had the right to dismiss the constitutional Ministers of the Crown and begin her reign with a Cabinet of her own choice. His opinion on that occasion was formed by a study of the latest English authorities, showing that he was in touch with the most advanced school of political thought of his own nation. In favor of the Queen’s prerogative in that crisis was a majority of the Supreme Court, including the present head of the Provisional Government, who found their reasons chiefly in the musty precedents of absolute monarchy and medievalism. The late Judge McCully alone in the Supreme Judiciary held for the strict integrity of the written Constitution, which admitted neither death nor anything but a vote of want of confidence passed by the Legislature as a cause for the resignation of a Ministry. The attack of the Advertiser on Bishop Willis lacks justice and abound in malice. It simply goes to prove that the Bishop’s fulmination has struck home with unerring aim and no small degree of force.
(Daily Bulletin, 3/18/1893, p. 2)