DIED, MARCH 27th, 1929
shine upon him. Amen.
A diocesan Memorial Service for Bishop Brent was held in St. Paul's Cathedral, Buffalo, Wednesday, April 24th. The Preacher was the Rt. Rev. A. C. A. Hall, D. D. Bp. of Vermont.
For the accommodation of many from the eastern portion of the diocese unable to attend this service, a similar service was held in Christ Church, Rochester, Friday, May 10th, on which occasion the Preacher was the Rt. Rev. James E. Freeman, D. D. Bp. of Washington.
These Sermons, with the Tribute of the Church of England in Canada, are herewith published by order of the Executive Council through its Department of Publicity.
THE TRIBUTE OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND IN CANADA (read at the Memorial Service in St. Paul's Cathedral, Buffalo, April 24th, by RT. REV. JAMES FIELDING SWEENEY, D.D., Bishop of Toronto.)
Rt. Rev. Brethren and Brethren of the Clergy and Laity:
I am present, by your kind invitation, as a representative of the Sister Church of England in our friendly neighbouring Country of Canada, to convey to you two messages of sympathy with you, both as members of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, and also as Churchmen of the great Diocese of Western New York. Needless to say they concern the loss that you, we, and Christendom itself has sustained in the passing of Bishop Charles Henry Brent of imperishable and blessed memory.
The first from the Executive of our Missionary Society of the Canadian Church, conveyed through me as a humble member of the Committee, is as follows, viz:
"The Executive Committee of the Missionary Society of the Church of England in Canada having received at its meeting on the fourth day of April a report of the death of the late Bishop of Western New York, The Right Reverend Charles Henry Brent, D. D., desires on the occasion of the Memorial Service in the Cathedral at Buffalo to express on its behalf its deep sense of the loss sustained through his death by the "whole state of Christ's Church Militant here in earth", and desires to place on record their admiration of the greatness and power of his life as one of the foremost Missionary Leaders and Christian Statesmen of this age."
The second is from the Executive Committee of our own Diocese, (his native Diocese), the Diocese of his birth, his boyhood and early manhood, the Mother Diocese of the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario, that of Toronto.
"The Clergy and Laity of the Diocese of Toronto extend to the Diocese of Western New York their profound sympathy in the loss sustained by that Diocese through the death of its late Bishop, Charles Henry Brent.
"The loss of the Diocese is, in hardly less degree, the loss of the Episcopal Church in all English-speaking lands, and indeed of the Church covering even a far wider area.
"By his international work on behalf of World Peace, of Christian Unity, Faith and Order, and of the restriction of the Opium traffic, Dr. Brent made his influence felt as widely as that of any living Churchman. His sane grasp of the essential facts, his wisdom in dealing with them, his tact in leadership, his absolute devotion to the great causes he espoused, and his undaunted faith in the Providence of God and the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ, combined to win for him the admiration, the confidence, and the hearty co-operation of those with whom he was associated in these important issues.
"What Dr. Brent's helpfulness and power were in his own Diocese we, who had the privilege of knowing him here in the Diocese of his birth, early training, and Ordination, both to the Diaconate and Priesthood, can well understand.
"The various undertakings, Diocesan, National, and International, which Dr. Brent promoted so ably, will not fail or halt by reason of his removal; his work was too firmly grounded on the eternal verities to suffer any such catastrophe; and we believe that God, Who dowered him so richly, will adequately inspire others to carry on his work. We who remain may well feel encouraged by his loyalty, his faith, and his wonderful mastery of difficult causes, as we reflect that what God hath wrought once, God can do again.
"With uplifted and thankful hearts, we shall long remember this noble Bishop as a great Canadian, an outstanding American, a commanding International personality, and a loyal Churchman, who served God, his fellowmen, and the Church, with all the fullness of his wonderful powers".
In presenting these Resolutions, may I say how deeply sensible I am of my inability to adequately express our sense of common thankfulness for the God-used, spirit-filled life of this servant of the Master, expended and exhausted in the service of mankind, and crowned with the admiration of all that everywhere serve the same Lord whom he loved, and also our sense of common loss in the passing of this Leader of the Church of God.
The Bishop who belonged to all Christendom.
May God comfort with the consolation of His Holy Spirit the members of his family nearest and dearest to him by ties of blood; the members of the Diocese over which he presided with such distinction, and the wide circle of Bishops, Clergy and Laity in which he was so outstanding a figure.
JAMES TORONTO. Toronto, April 22d. 1929.
Sermon preached by the RIGHT REVEREND ARTHUR C. A. HALL, D.D. Bishop of Vermont, at the Memorial Service to Bishop Brent in St. Paul's Cathedral, Buffalo, Wednesday, April 24th, 1929
Hebrews x.9: Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God. Quoting Psalm xl.
I preached the sermon at the consecration of our dear Brother, your late Bishop, in Emmanuel Church, Boston, and I preached again six months later in Calvary Church, New York, at the Farewell Service before he sailed for the Philippine Islands. I could not refuse the invitation to come and do honor to him at this Memorial Service in his own Cathedral though I have shrunk from the task and feel myself unequal and unable for it.
Anything in the way of panegyric would be highly inappropriate, and most displeasing to him. Neither is it fitting here to tell of his career, or to repeat the sort of tributes that the papers, secular and ecclesiastical, have paid.
It seems to me helpful for one who knew him very intimately to try to strike at the leading and central point in Bishop Brent's character, which gave meaning and force to all his life and work.
The invitation came to me on Good Friday, and the central thought in the Day's services struck me almost unconsciously as giving the key to the life of the servant as to that of the Master. You will remember how Psalm and Epistle press home the meaning of the Saviour's sacrifice: "Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God." That was the mainspring of the disciple's life. Entire and absolute surrender to God, to do His will and carry out His purposes at whatever cost, through whatever difficulty--that was the dominant desire, the fixed determination of Charles Brent. "When he cometh into the world he saith, A body hast Thou prepared for me: Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God." As a young priest entering on his ministry as I first knew him, that was the cry of his heart, with a longing to dedicate himself wholly to the Lord's service, in devotion and labor. Working among the poor and out-of-the-way people, negroes and others, without any thought of personal ambition or desire for recognition (which nevertheless speedily came to him), it was the same motive which upheld and stirred him during his thirteen years ministry in Boston. When, all unexpectedly, the call came from the House of Bishops to go to the Philippine Islands and establish our Church's mission there, the only stipulation in his mind was that he must receive sufficient stipend to provide for the family for whom he was responsible. A call to new service could not be inconsistent with service already imposed and accepted. And right well has that service been fulfilled. Such a brother and such an uncle is seldom found in any circle.
Let me try to point out how this great central law and motive of Bishop Brent's life showed itself in several generally recognized characteristics.
This entire self-surrender and single desire to know and do God's will gave to our brother the simplicity and humility which marked his conduct and enabled him to pass unscathed through the fires of publicity and popularity, and to be equally at home with rich and poor, with the highly placed and with the common run of men and women. The Headquarters Staff and the rank and file of the army equally claimed and trusted him as a friend and comrade. As an English Church paper says, "He could speak to business men, or diplomats, or undergraduates with equal ease, and all knew that a man of God had been among us." (The Guardian, April 5, 1929).
It was this which gave him courage to face physical danger, or opposition from those in power, to espouse unpopular causes, and challenge those whom he thought wrong in Church or State. Witness the stand he took on the suppression of the opium traffic, or against any harsh treatment after the War of "conscientious objectors"; and even his chivalric defense from indiscriminate condemnation of the Turks, seeing that the chief things they had learned from Christians were better weapons of war and better fighting.
It was this conscious fellowship with God, based on entire surrender to His will, which gave to Bishop Brent that splendid independence of thought and action which led him from time to time to take a line not that of those with whom in political or ecclesiastical matters he would ordinarily have been associated. This rendered him suspect to some, as a leader or spokesman; they could not tell what he might not do or say. Undoubtedly this prevented his being elected Presiding Bishop of the Church at New Orleans. There was not a particle of partisanship in his make-up. In the last letter which I received from him, the last of a great collection, written on March 18th from London but which reached me on Maundy Thursday just after I had received news of his death, and had made special commemoration of him at the Eucharist, he said with reference to something I had written about an issue that must come before the Church, "Of course I am always sorry to stand apart from you, but I must follow the gleam."
Brave he was in withstanding friends as well as in championing unpopular causes. Whether one agreed with his line or not, one would be sure that it was dictated by no sort of personal motive, but was the result of a conscientious conviction arrived at after careful and impartial thought. Mistaken he might be, possibly prejudiced, but never swayed by an unworthy motive or swept along by a hasty snap judgment.
For instance, be would not be pushed into advocating immediate Filipino independence, perceiving from experience that the people were not yet ripe for nationhood.
In working for the Reunion of Christendom he would not countenance short cuts which he saw would hinder the great consummation for which he longed. Patience there must be amid whatever discouragements and disappointments such as the refusal of the Roman Catholic Church to seize the opportunity--great, as he believed--of explaining to ready listeners, its position and dispelling prejudices. He insisted that the original platform of the movement should be maintained; (a) that it should really aim at the reconciliation of the whole of Christendom, without exclusion on either side of any who would subscribe to the recognition, in thought and action, of the sovereignty and living Headship of Jesus Christ; and (b) that the immediate work of its promoters and of meetings in its behalf is Conference, the frank opening and explaining of difficulties, not the settlement or determination or differences. Friendly relations must precede and prepare for union. There is need of patience and of firmness in presenting truths and claims, as well as of charity, of which indeed these are real and indispensable elements.
To turn again to a more personal matter.
"A body hast Thou prepared me." This, you know, is the Septuagint substitute, adopted in the Epistle to the Hebrews, for the Hebrew, "Mine ears hast thou opened" in Psalm xl, in close connection with the words "Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God." With a body, I think, never constitutionally strong, though inured to hardness, Bishop Brent's health was seriously affected by the climate of the Philippine Islands and by the hard journeys which early work there involved. He fought on with great courage; faced painful operations bravely and calmly (to the edification of doctors and nurses), bore pain and discomfort and threatened collapse without complaint, and with as little interruption of work as possible. Prolonged absences from the diocese were a grief to him. In his last letter to me he wrote of his eager desire to be back in his diocese, though he feared he should be able to do little before the fall.
The human body, of whose "Splendor" he wrote inspiringly, was an instrument of service and an instrument of discipline. In pain and weariness and discomfort he carried it to the end. May we not apply to this missionary the words of the Apostle Paul: "I rejoice to supplement in my flesh what remains of the afflictions of Christ for His Body's sake, which is the Church"? (Col. i. 24) As Bishop Lightfoot says, "The Church is built up by repeated acts of self-denial in successive individuals and successive generations."
The body is one great instrument of service, to be trained and used for God and for our brethren: the mind is another, to be disciplined and developed and employed in mastering and in imparting truth. Bishop Brent in his early ministry recognized gaps in his previous education, and set himself in dead earnest to supply them. He read widely and studied hard, and so gained a familiarity with philosophical thought and a pleasing literary style. Thus he became fitted to deal sympathetically and helpfully with men and women of culture as well as with the simple and the ignorant. An example this, surely for us, my Brothers in the Sacred Ministry. If we come to do God's will, we must seek to love Him with all our minds, and put at His disposal all our powers intellectual as well as physical and spiritual. As we plead our Lord's perfect oblation (in the Eucharist) we offer and present along with Him ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy and living sacrifice to God and for our brethren.
Again, may I point out another effect of this entire consecration of himself to do God's will? It led to a freedom and largeness of mind--not to laxity--with regard to ecclesiastical rules and customs. There was nothing petty or meticulous about Bishop Brent's own observance of practices of devotion or rules of discipline; nor about the counsel he gave to others. Many letters to me asking advice about difficult cases show how he grieved over mistakes and faults in matters connected with marriage, whereby people had put themselves wrong with the Church; how earnestly he sought to temper discipline with mercy, and to find a way, when possible, by which persons who in ignorance or even through wilfulness had forfeited the privileges and fellowship of the Church might be restored thereto.
You will have felt in all that I have said that this entire surrender to the will of God on which I have dwelt as the central characteristic and ruling motive of Bishop Brent's life, is not anything reserved for leaders in religion, for clergymen, or bishops, or statesmen. It should be the common-place of the Christian life in all disciples of the Lord, whatever their place or employment; "Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God." As he himself wrote in his Valedictory, "Man's chief vocation is to penetrate through the things of sight and sense, and to establish and consummate relationship of a personal character with God. There is nothing that can take the place of this, and without it life loses such effectiveness as it might otherwise have." He would, I know, strenuously object to my setting him forth as a perfect example in this or in any respect (I often failed, he would say, to realize my ideal); he would approve of my using such an occasion to urge this upon you, his clergy and his people, as the great and all-embracing rule for life in the choice of a vocation, in the bearing of suffering, in the fulfilment of difficult tasks, in the endurance and resistance of temptations of whatever kind, "Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God." As you praise God for the wonderful grace manifested in the life and work of your spiritual Father, seek to reproduce his spirit; show yourselves his true disciples and spiritual children. I may apply to you the exhortation of the writer to the Hebrews: "Have in loving and grateful remembrance your departed spiritual ruler and leader, who spoke to you the word of life, and considering the issue of his life, imitate his faith." (Heb. xiii. 7.) That deathbed scene which has been described to us, of the Bishop reciting for his own departing soul the Commendatory Prayer, till he lapsed into unconsciousness, that may as truly as a martyrdom, which probably was in the mind of the writer, be regarded as "the issue of his life", the summing up and revelation of its character. Contemplating this, imitate his faith. As Bishop Westcott says commenting on this passage: "The spirit and not the form of their lives (departed spiritual leaders) is proposed for imitation: the faith by which they were supported, and not the special actions which the faith inspired in their circumstances."
And I may urge you to carry on his work, and those things which he desired to see accomplished. Give loyal and generous support to his devoted coadjutor and successor, in whom he bad the greatest confidence. See carried to conclusion the division of the Diocese, on which he set his heart, insisting on a fair distribution of endowments. Give and claim support for Hobart College and for DeVeaux School, for which he entertained great hopes. Maintain the Church Mission of Help, a cause dear to him, the protection of those in moral danger, a manifestation of the Church's true mission, to strengthen such as do stand, to comfort and help the weak-hearted, to raise up those who fall, till God finally beats down Satan under our feet. Promote opportunities of Retreat, especially for the clergy, and all means for the keeping up of their spiritual life, out of which their pastoral and other work will spring, and by which it will be strengthened and steadied.
Do all in your power to further the cause of Reunion that was so near Bishop Brent's heart, for which during these last years he so largely lived. This will involve some study and much prayer. Insist, so far as your influence goes, that the movement be kept on sound lines, with large-hearted generous appreciation of the work of other communions, and of their difficulties, but without any forfeiture of the principles of Faith and Order for which we stand, the contribution which it is our privilege to make to a reunited Church.
Cherish a Liberal Catholicism such as your Bishop exemplified, a love for ancient ways, combined with loyalty to Anglican, our own, traditions and rules; boldly facing difficulties, welcoming Truth from every quarter, sure that all truth is from one Source; adapting modes of service to the needs, the prejudices (if you like) of various sets and classes of people with varying temperament, education and inheritance.
Let Priests and People follow such a course with the inspiring example before you of your latest Chief Pastor, for whose life and work we heartily thank our God, of whose continued interest and prayers we are sure, and for whom we ask the fulness of light and peace and speedy preparation for perfect service in perfected life.
Adieu, dear Brother, Adieu!
Sermon preached by the Bishop of Washington, RT. REV. JAMES E. FREEMAN, D.D., LL.D., at the Memorial Service for the Rt. Reverend Charles H. Brent, D.D., held in Rochester, N. Y., May 10th, 1929.
A brilliant Scotchman has affirmed that, neither religion or philosophy can get on without an incarnation. We are met today to pay tribute to one who in his person was the incarnation of both religion and philosophy. Amid a world of men and women whose lives are colorless and without fixity of conviction, our beloved brother and friend stood as the exemplar of the highest ideals and noblest purposes. He was won't to speak of himself as a "spiritual adventurer." To his lofty vision, life was a sacred and solemn trust. The talents committed to it were designed for holy purposes and so to use them in the markets of the world that they might yield to their sovereign Lord the largest possible return, was to fulfill the highest ends and aims of being. With prodigal generosity and self-effacing zeal he used his gifts and talents for the enrichment of his fellows. From the days of his earliest ministry as a parish priest, through all the changing scenes and circumstances of his colorful and eventful life, he was the high-minded exponent of Him whose commission he bore, and in whose service he found his deepest joy. The most microscopic study of his life as pastor, priest and bishop, discloses the utter completeness of his consecration and his singular fidelity to the noblest ideals of his ministry. Here was one who could truly say, "that He should be made manifest, therefore am I come."
It would be difficult to say in which of the three-fold aspects of the Christian ministry he most excelled. So varied were his splendid qualities of mind and heart that in everything he did, a fine intelligence, an absorbing zeal and a full consecration made him a splendid exemplar of his holy office. Probably to no man in our generation has been given more varied or more exacting tasks than were imposed upon this devoted son of the Church. In the best sense, his was a comprehensive and broadly Catholic ministry. He could not think of his ministry in terms of some restricted area, he could not think of life, whether in Occident or Orient, as being foreign to his love and service. With the Latin poet, Terence, he would gladly say, "I am a man, and nothing that is human is foreign to me."
Those of us who have been privileged to be associated with him in tasks that called for vision and the genius of statesmanship, bear tribute to his rare judgment, his definiteness of conviction and his frankness and clearness of statement. Where others were hesitant and fearful, he was bold and aggressive. Where others were conservative and cautious, he was outspoken and ready to follow his ideals. As a counsellor and advisor, his active and discriminating mind clearly distinguished between facts and fallacies, and to reach a worthy end he would not abide compromise or follow the line of least resistance. Repeatedly, in situations that were tense, where judgments were affected by beat of argument, where passionate discussion gave evidence of prejudiced and biased views, he remained calm and reflective, and like a true pilot indicated a course that was sound and statesmanlike. Even when stirred by deep emotions or fired by some appealing method of procedure, the quiet of his voice, the clarity of his vision and the depth of his conviction were marked and commanding. He was possessed of a serenity of soul that gave to all he said and did an influence that was compelling and convincing. It was said of a certain tribe of old that had gathered to the standard of the new king, David, "they were men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, and all their brethren were at their command." The thing that gave them the place of primacy and leadership, was their capacity to evaluate and appraise the issues of the hour. They had the genius of statesmen, they had the highly developed faculty of a discriminating judgment; where others were confused and bewildered, their vision was unimpaired and their judgment unerring. Few in number, they were mighty in power. It was to this exclusive order that Bishop Brent belonged.
Quite apart from his unusual gifts as a seer and prophet, he possessed the faculty that belongs to statesmanship. Claiming no infallibility of judgment, readily susceptible to the logic of those whom he trusted, always considerate of the opinions of others, he exercised an influence in every assemblage in which he sat, which gave him high rank as a spiritual leader and guide. To trace to their source the various elements that constituted the genius of this remarkable man is reserved for those, who through the long years of his ministry at home and abroad, were privileged to be his intimate companions and co-workers.
The place he occupied in the larger and more general concerns of the Church and state, gave him prestige and distinction as a world figure. Beginning his ministry here in the Diocese of Western New York, coming as a citizen of a great sister commonwealth, he exhibited such generous understanding of American ways and practices that, without delay he was readily assimilated into the life of the Republic. From the very inception of his ministry down to his latest hour, he was irritated by a narrow provincialism. Insular ways of habit and practice were wholly repellent to his broad and comprehensive mind. To define either his citizenship or his churchmanship would be a difficult task. With distinct leanings to the best traditions of national and ecclesiastical life and with strong convictions concerning the uses and practices that he held to be historic and fundamental, he refused to be classified, he would not subject himself to the narrow limitations of school or party. Catholic-minded, with a love that was generous and comprehensive, he sought to find in all those whose fidelity to his Master was unchallenged, those elements that make for friendship and brotherly love. In every sphere in which his ministry was exercised this course characterized his attitude. In one of his splendid books that bears the suggestive title, "The Mount of Vision," this characteristic Catholicity of mind finds noble expression. He was ever seeking the heights from which to get the broader sweep of vision. His unfailing quest, whether in dealing with individuals or groups, was
for those things that contribute to harmony and a better understanding, and that lead ultimately to that kind of agreement that sets forward the high claims of Christ's kingdom. In this he was not unlike the prophets and seers of other ages. The beacon lights of history whose enkindling lamps have lighted the way to the world's progress and advance have ever been those, who,
"Seeing far an end sublime,
Contend, despising party rage,
To hold the spirit of the age
Against the spirit of the time."
Narrow and insular ways of thinking and living signally fail to set forward the large and beneficient interests of the race. Every step of progress that has been registered, has been inspired by those who had the capacity to discover in the world of seeming confusion and disorder the outworking of a plan of which God is the supreme architect. If any passion surged in the soul of our brother, it was one that compelled him to see in the contradictions and seeming inequities of life, a mighty and glorious design, whose ultimate purpose was the enfranchisement and enrichment of men the world over.
It would be quite difficult, if not impossible, to segregate into definite fields of service the extraordinary career of this bishop and pastor of souls. Parish priest, exemplifying in daily habit and practice to his devoted people the faith and sacraments of the Church; bishop, in a far removed field among peoples of strange speech and primitive habits of life; statesman, dealing with the complex problems involving national and international responsibilities and obligations as they concerned a nefarious and deadly traffic;, soldier and chaplain, effecting with nicety of adjustment the relationships of those of different faiths and practices: exponent and leader in council rooms, where Christian unity was the supreme theme; ambassador and minister plenipotentiary, accepted and gladly accorded a place of distinction wherever his various assignments brought him: who shall dare to place limitations upon his field or fields of operation, who shall say that in the wide area of his ministry he lacked concentration, or that definiteness of purpose, that issues in work nobly planned and worthily performed? "There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth, there is that witholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty." If it be true that "the liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth shall be watered also himself," then surely of this high-souled son of the Church we may be assured that, his splendid accomplishments were inspired of God and have received the blessed encomium, "Well done, good and faithful servant."
Any eulogy we might pronounce, however well founded, must fail to do justice to the man of whom we speak. We feel the chastening of his gentle spirit as out of the fullness of our heart we strive to do him honor. He sought not praise and honor of men, he knew that secret place where virtue is its own reward, and work well done finds its deepest satisfaction and its most enduring compensation. In all the many and varied aspects of his notable ministry, two signal notes marked and distinguished it; the one, his insistent and urgent appeal for a better world understanding, issuing in a better world order and universal peace; the other, his unfailing and persistent endeavors to effect, out of the babel of confused and conflicting voices, a standard of appeal and a basis of unity that should fulfill the yearning of Him, who gave his life a ransom for many. World peace and Christian unity, these were the supreme ends for which he strove. No problem was too great, no wall of division too high, no language so unfamiliar, no background so obscure as to hinder or halt him in his search for a better understanding and the accomplishment of the high ends of unity and peace. Never once in all his contacts with various schools of thought did men forget his place and office, nor his devotion and allegiance to the church of his adoption and love. Like another, "He bore his great commission in his look." He believed profoundly in the history, traditions and practices of the Church of which he was a chosen leader. He never lowered his standard, he never compromised his position, he never brought aught but honor and distinction to the house of his fathers.
Few men, if any, in our generation, have had a wider fellowship than did he, and to no one did friendship mean more. The gentleness of his spirit and the sweetness of his nature gave him large place among men and bodies of various types and kinds. Men overcame his modesty and gave him preferment, in spite of his reluctance to assume the place of leadership and control. In our own Commission on Faith and Order he occupied a place of unchallenged power and influence. Men might differ with his methods, they could not if they would, resist his spirit. There was a subtle influence that proceeded from him, apart from all that he said or did, that moved men to follow him in spite of their own conclusions. That his praise is in the churches of every name is witnessed in the universal sorrow over his sudden passing. Bishop of the Philippines and of the Diocese of Western New York, he literally was accepted by men at large, in Orient and Occident, as a champion of all that was fine and noble and of good report, and he gained an eminence that gives him place among Christian leaders of every name and in every land.
Lausanne saw him reach the apex of his power and influence as a world leader. With physical strength failing, his soul seemed more radiant, thus rendering him the outstanding guide and leader of this gathering of the religious forces, literally of the world. From beginning to end with a gentle persuasion that was compelling and irresistible, he so directed the discussions and debates, that differences found no voice, rivalries were forgotten, long standing contentions were lost sight of, and the spirit of brotherly love and kindness brooded over all. It was the fulfillment of a long cherished hope, and while it may have failed to fulfill the aspirations for which he had persistently labored, it registered the greatest advance that has been made by the churches of every name, in the direction of a better understanding and finer spirit of comity and good will.
He has left us a legacy that lays upon us large responsibilities. He has; by his faith and example, called us to a new mount of vision. The trail he had the courage to blaze, we of his fellowship must dare to follow. The church cannot and will not prove unresponsive to his valiant summons. World peace is seemingly as yet, an irridescent dream, and yet it must be prosecuted in the face of all opposition and in spite of the cynic and the doubter. It is a glowing and glorious theme. It is indispensable to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Our brother abhorred war, with all its attendent evils, he believed it uneconomic, wasteful, brutish and unchristian. He was insistent in urging pacific methods and the rightful recognition of concordats and inviolable agreements. That Christ had proclaimed: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," and that it was the supreme maxim by which all industrial, social and political order must ultimately be tested, was his unfailing and persistent claim. Shall we be less courageous in proclaiming it than was he? The time has come when the law of Christ must be courageously defended and its principles maintained against all adversaries. A broader vision must supersede the narrow and provincial. Love of country cannot so obscure our vision as to render us unresponsive to the pressing and clamorous needs of the world. Old things are passing away, a new day is dawning, the insistent call of the hour is for a new affirmation of the sovereignty of our Lord. It is the age-old conflict between Odin with his valhalla of wicked emissaries and the man on the Cross. The issue has never been more clearly made. The spirit of Brent is calling, calling us to action: there shall be no compromise, no retreat, until the proud standard of the Crucified has been lifted up and recognized as the world's mighty emblem of salvation and peace. We shall prove unworthy and recreant to the Master whom he loyally followed, if we fail to set forward the cause that literally inflamed and consumed his soul as with a passion. With like zeal and determination we must, with renewed ardor, address ourselves to the great task of pressing the high claims of unity. The Christian Church must come at length to see the folly of its controversies, its rivalries and its divisions. The peace of the Church is bound up with the peace of the world. Our unhappy divisions must be healed. We who hold the Christian faith, who believe in the divine Son of God, must find a ground of agreement. It can only be found in Him who commands our common service and challenges our unfailing love and devotion. He still waits for the consummation of that for which He prayed and gave His life. What Professor Royce called the "blessed community," implies the fellowship and mutual confidence of those who kneel in humility before the uplifted Saviour of mankind. To hasten the glorious fulfillment of Christ's yearning prayer for His church, to Bishop Brent transcended all else. He would have his church the chivalrous leader in this movement.
To him the words of the Master, "he that is greatest among you shall be the servant of all," had a significance that made obedience imperative. As we stand here today we wonder who is to rise up and take his place. "Who is sufficient for these things?" Who among us has the grace of humility, the genius of statesmanship, the spirit of Christ, to carry forward the banner lately fallen from his hand? We shall best honor him, by honoring and loving his Christ. We shall best demonstrate our affection by maintaining and setting forward those lofty ideals and purposes for which he lived, and for which, literally, he gave his life. Courageous apostle of peace and unity, spiritual adventurer, we would here highly resolve to enlist our lives in the furtherance of those ideals that made him a forerunner of the day of better things.
His earthly tasks are ended. He has fought a good fight, he has kept the faith, he has earned his reward. In realms of joy and peace, he walks with Him who treads amid the golden candlesticks.
In the city of his greatest accomplishment he came at length, tired and worn, but undiscouraged, and undefeated, to lay his burden down. Back to his Peniel, where he had seen God face to face, he came to the earthly climax of his notable career. In the watches of the night the silent messenger summoned him. Without murmur and without complaint he hastened on to meet the Master whom he loved and served. He knew whom he had believed and he was persuaded that he would keep that which he had committed to Him against that great day. Of this, our brother, the words spoken of one of old are true. "He was not, for God took him."
By his own wish, he would have his tired body rest in the place where his soul took its flight. Modest in life, he was modest to the end. Even the rewards that men give to those who live worthily he would not ask, nor did he covet. Sufficient for him that he might come to the Master of his life, the Lord whom he had faithfully served, saying: "Lord, thou gavest unto me five talents: lo, I have gained five other talents." Only to hear His, "well done," only to see His face, only to know that he was worthy to stand before the Son of Man, this meant fulfillment, this meant joy and peace eternal. His friends and brethren who linger on to fulfill their pilgrimage, will long treasure in their heart of hearts the memory of this dear and blessed life. Again and yet again we shall hear the soft accents of his voice and feel the stimulating influence of his quiet spirit.
Truly of him the poet's words are true
"When prophecies shall fail, and knowledge is no more,
And the great day is come,
Thou by the throne of God shalt sit triumphant."