ITS FIRST BISHOP.
"The seal of mine Apostleship are ye in the Lord."--1 Cor. ix. 2.
ALLUSION is here made to the method in which any important covenant or agreement is usually ratified. The most solemn confirmation is the seal, which is universally accepted as the sure pledge of the validity and genuineness of the document, to which it is affixed. And this figure, borrowed from early transactions between man and man, is often employed in Scripture to illustrate spiritual and heavenly truth.
It is thus employed regarding God the Father, revealing a way of salvation to the creature, sending His only begotten Son, as the appointed Mediator, the accredited messenger of the covenant, with tokens of His divine authority, "Him [5/6] hath God the Father sealed." It is employed regarding the believer, accepting the message, resting on it, and declaring it to be the sure refuge of his soul; when thus believing and receiving the testimony, "he sets to his seal that God is true." It is applied beyond this to that inward token of his adopting love, which God bestows upon all of his true children, as the pledge and earnest of the full inheritance prepared for them above: "In whom after ye believed ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of your inheritance." And, to quote but one other passage, it is used by the Apostle, when he would sum up the whole of religion in few words. When wishing to prove that religion is no vain and shadowy thing, as the world would have it--that the doubts of the sceptic, the life of the ungodly professor, do not affect the eternal truth of God; "nevertheless," the Apostle says--notwithstanding any such cavils--"the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." As in the foundation of an earthly building is often deposited a stone engraven with the name of the builder, and the purpose of the erection, so of the spiritual temple, the great Builder is God, and His design is to gather together "a chosen generation, a royal [6/7] priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people." [See Parkhurst, and Doddridge in loc.] Or, to view it perhaps in a simpler light, as a seal often bears on its sides a twofold inscription, yet one only obvious to the eye, so of the divine foundation the broad seal is sure--hidden and concealed from the eye is the Lord's secret knowledge of His people, but evident to all, and clearly legible is that personal holiness, which is the reflected image of the Creator, the only authentic and indisputable proof of a genuine work of grace in the soul.
Such, then, is the figure used by the Apostle, in reference to the Corinthian converts. If any questioned or disparaged his authority, his answer was at hand and ready, he could invite them to look around, and behold sufficient proof and evidence that his commission was from heaven. He could appeal to many souls, as his work in the Lord, or, in other words, as the seals of his apostleship: "They were to him what the king's seal is to the ambassador; signs that he speaks not for himself, but for the king, his master." [Abp. Sumner's Commentary.]
Now, in contemplating apostolic labour, we may surely view it under a twofold aspect. We may, on the one hand, consider St. Paul as sending forth others to preach the word, committing [7/8] the good treasure into their hands, and beseeching them not to neglect the gift that is in them, but to make full proof of their ministry. He finds one at Lystra, another at Antioch, others at Philippi or at Rome, and when he sees the work of grace advancing within them, and that from energy, from zeal for souls and general ability, they seem fitted for the work, then he sets them apart as chosen instruments, and ordains them to the ministry of the word. Over such how unfeignedly he would rejoice,--his own sons in the faith, his fellow-workers and fellow-helpers,--and, as he heard of their success in winning souls, he would say, "The seal of mine Apostleship are ye." But, on the other hand, we may contemplate him looking upon those, to whom he had himself preached the message of life, and to whose souls that message had been blessed, dwelling on such as the signs and tokens of his ministry. Of such he would say, "Though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the Gospel."
In such a double application, I propose to consider the words. In reference to those about to be ordained this morning by the solemn imposition of hands, I would humbly say, "The seal of mine Apostleship are these," and then, enlarging the field of view, summoning before the eye those [8/9] gathered in by our preaching, by yours, my reverend brethren, or to be gathered in by those sent forth by us, even after I may be called hence by death, I would invite you to say with me, "The seal of our Apostleship are ye." In the former case, we have St. Paul in his special apostolic office, rejoicing over faithful men, to whom he instrusts the preaching of the word; in the other, we have him in his general ministerial office, delighting, as every minister of God may do, in the conversion of souls, to be to him at the last day, for his "joy and crown of rejoicing."
Allow then your thoughts, my beloved brethren, to dwell on those about to be presented to me, and now soliciting by my lips an interest in your fervent prayers. They surely, in their distinctive and peculiar circumstances, afford proof of the reality and character of that Apostleship, to which, unworthy as I am of the least of his mercies, the providence of God hath called me.
One of them appears before me, already well-known and beloved by you all. [The Rev. J. Chapman, of the Middle Church.] For it is a part of the wisdom of our Church, in conformity with scriptural rule and apostolic example, to demand of her clergy a season of trial and probation, ere she promote them to the fullest exercise of ministerial authority. The same individual therefore who, as on this day last year, was in the presence [9/10] of many of you admitted to the lower order of the ministry; stands before me to-day, in order to obtain the highest authority which we can bestow. You have full known, Brethren, his "conversation and manner of life and doctrine;" and opportunity has been publicly afforded you, and one other opportunity is afforded you to-day, of declaring, if you know ought against him. In the absence of this, we are justified in supposing that he comes with "a good report of them that are without," that he carries with him your good wishes, and that you are here therefore, not as uninterested spectators, but to join your hearty and effectual prayers as for one, whose profiting already appeareth to all.
Now he, brethren, carries my thoughts backwards, and connects me with a late beloved flock, over which I had only been recently placed, when summoned by God, to the spiritual oversight of this diocese. [All Saints Church, Derby, in which parish Mr. Chapman was Scripture Reader.] Having laboured with me in a subordinate sphere, he gladly and cheerfully consented to share my trials and difficulties, and to be associated with me once more, promoted to the blessed work of the ministry. To him, therefore, I would say, You connect with the scenes of home, and my last charge there. You connect me also with that parochial [10/11] charge, as I may call it, in which God has strengthened you to labour during the past year affectionately and earnestly, and, as I trust the last day will show, successfully. You have the hearts of your people, I am well assured, and you are breaking to them the bread of life. God is fulfilling to your His own promises, that His word shall take effect, and in some, over whose deathbeds you have watched and prayed during the last twelve months, you have, unless human judgment be mistaken, some seals--some jewels to be placed hereafter in your Saviour's crown. If then I felt confidence and pleasure in setting you apart to the first order of the ministry, how much is that confidence increased after a year's experience of your zeal and energy,--after repeated personal observation of the success of your ministerial labour! When I see you, I think of the land whence we came together; I am reminded that my commission and apostleship are derived from that country, whose is the high privilege to send the Gospel to the remotest nations of the earth.
But another on this occasion claims our sympathy, although a comparative stranger. [The Rev. W.H. Taylor late of Spaniard's Bay, Newfoundland, now of St. James's District, Assiniboine.] He would lead my thoughts into a very different channel, and call upon me to reflect that, though sent out to this far distant spot, it is not [11/12] to a solitary, an isolated diocese, that I have come; that this is but one of the dioceses of British North America,--that a close link ought to bind together,--one spirit animate the whole body. He comes to us to-day from Newfoundland, bringing, according to early custom, "letters of commendation" from him whom God has placed over that portion of His Church. [Epistolai sustatikai, 2 Cor. iii. 1. See Bingham's Antiquities, Book II., chap. iv., sec. 5.] This ought to be bring us into close and intimate connexion with our brethren there. Lopng has been his journey to reach this remote quarter. On his way he has passed through those States which owe their origin to our common mother, he has seen something of that Church, which may be termed the daughter of the Church of England, and which is now stretching her roots far and wide. He has brought letters from many of those labouring in that country; so with them too intercourse is opened and friendship commenced; for what prevents a living friendship between those,w ho have never seen each other in the flesh? [I think it but due here to acknowledge the kindness with which Mr. Taylor was brought on his way hither, especially by the Rev. E. G. Gear, Chaplain at Fort Snelling. Through him I received at that time various papers and documents bearing on the Church of the United States, and, only two days before the delivery of this Sermon, I received through the same channel letters and charges from four bishops of the American Church.] [12/13]
To him then would I turn and address myself. 'We will welcome you this day in the name of the Lord, and bid you God speed. A district in this portion of the Lord's vineyard will be placed under your immediate pastoral superintendence,--indeed in it you have already extended the ministrations of the Church to those who were but seldom able to worship with us in the sanctuary. Your labour will be among those who have left their homes and settled here; among some, who have fought in the service of their country and are now fixed with their families around them in habitations of their own. They will be your settled charge, and in labouring there, you may perhaps do something for the poor Indians who encamp among them, unwilling to remove far from the graves of their fathers. [There is in that quarter an Indian burying-ground. After I had written the above, an Indian encamped thereabouts, willing to build and settle, said to me it must be in that direction, as his father's grave was there.] Only be ready to seize any openings which may present themselves; and remember that the charge this day committed to you is, "to seek for Christ's sheep that are dispersed abroad, and for His children who are in the midst of this naughty world, that they may be saved through Christ for ever.'" [Ordination service.] [13/14]
A third, however, presents himself, one who will make this day remarkable in the history of the Church in Rupert's Land. He will call me off from the thought of the house I have left, to this, the home and country of my adoption. Elsewhere one might forget the mighty and ennobling thought of the number of the redeemed people of God,--one might forget the extent of the land to be subdued. But Christ reminds us, "Other sheep I haev which are not of this fold, them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice." The Redeemer has sounded this in the ears of many, and raised up those who, when His voice has been heards aying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" have humbly and tremblingly replied, "Here am I, send me." The sight then of him before me, the duty and privilege to which I am now called in connexion with him, would prove that Christ is gathering out His sheep even here. The few sheep in the wilderness, the little bands of Indians scattered over the surface of this mighty land, are not unnoticed by the Saviour. The same Redeemer who beholds the masses of the dense population with which the mother-land teems, regards also with pity and compassion the remnants it may be of a once larger population thinkly scattered over the wilds of the West, and He has, we trust, purposes of mercy, days of brightness [14/15] yet in store for them.
[The gradual melting away of the Indian tribes is we fear too true: how blessed then if, as Europeans advance, they can hold up among them the true lamp of life, and transmit it to all future generations!
Augeacunt aliæ gentes, aliæ minuuntur;
Inque brevi spatio mutantur secla animantum,
Et, quasi curaores, vitai lampada tradunt.
Lucret. II. 76.]
This day is an earnest of better things. One from among them is now before you, already blessed in turning many of his countrymen to righteousness; and surely he has thereby " purchased to himself a good degree and great boldness in the faith that is in Christ Jesus." [Mr. Henry Budd, who as catechist prepared the way for the Missionary Station at Cumberland. he was first sent thither in 1840, and Mr. Smithurst, on his visit to the Station in 1842, found no less than eighty-five candidates for baptism. Since the arrival of the Rev. James Hunter in 1844, Mr. Budd has been laboriously occupied there with his duties as schoolmaster and catechist.] Is he not then a seal of mine Apostleship, if not only believers are raised up, but ministers from among them? If the other cases prove that I am sent from the Church of my home,--that I am linked with the Church in other dioceses--surely he will prove that I am sent to the Indians in Rupert's Land. "If I be not an Apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you," my Indian brethren; for from among yourselves one stands forth to say, "Send me as a herald to my own [15/16] kinsmen according to the flesh, send me to beseech them in Christ's name, Be ye reconciled to God."
Is there not here then proof in the sight of men, and we trust to the joy of angels, that a living branch of the Church of Christ is planted in Rupert's Land,--that Indians partake of "the root and fatness of the good olive tree?" Is there not proof that the prayer of the first minister of God who visited this land is now answered? You, my beloved brother, (for surely to-day we ought to recount the way by which God has led and guided you,) can remember the day when the hand of God found you, thirty years ago, child engaged at the time in your boyish sport. God's servant asked you to follow him, God made your youthful heart willing; but it cost your mother a heavy pang to part with you. She lives, however, to see this day, and surely has reason to rejoice in the sacrifice which she then made. [Mrs. Budd is now very aged, and remembers, though indistinctly, the taking of York Factory by the French, under La Perouse, in 1782. She understands very little of English; how great then her gratification in hearing her son explain in her own tongue the plan of salvation! To carry this message to others, she is willing to give him up with little expectation of ever seeing him again on earth.] The first prayer taught you and your companion is recorded by that clergyman who from that hour took and trained you. "Great Father, bless me, [16/17] through Jesus Christ." Such were the simple words in which he first taught you to approach the throne of Grace, and after mentioning them, he adds his own fervent petition, "May a gracious God hear their cry, and raise them up as heralds of his salvation in this benighted part of the world. [See the Journal of the Rev. J. West, p. 16.]
To-day God has answered this prayer. The lips which uttered the petition, and taught you the prayer, are now sealed in death. Of the two then committed to his charge, one is in active secular employment in the country at this moment, and you are here, about to dedicate yourself solemnly to the service of the sanctuary. The respected clergyman whose name you bear, whose kindness you have long experienced, and who affectionately writes to you as a father to a son,--he, I trust, still survives, and glad will be be to hear, in his declining years, that his name will now be associated with the first minister of native birth in this land. Is there not proof then here that God hears and answers prayer; that "the bread cast upon the waters is found, though after many days?" The petition was uttered before any Church was yet raised to the glory of God in this country, before the voice of any minister had been heard in this settlement, and [17/18] now our eyes behold the fulfilment of it under circumstances which ought to fill every heart and mouth with praise.
"Go forth then, accompanied as you will be by the prayers of many on your behalf. Gladly would I have kept you here to minister by my side, and assist me in intercourse with the Indians around. Many would wish to retain you here, no one more so than myself; but I know the wants of that spot to which you go. I know the desires of your countrymen there for the word of life. Go then to your brethren, and may the Spirit of the Lord go with you. Plead with them in your Saviour's name affectionately and earnestly; bear with them patiently; place before them the joy of heaven, and the narrow path which leads to it; depict the terrors of hell, and the broad way which conducts thither. Dwell upon the constraining love of Christ in pitying lost souls; dwell on the Spirit's quickening power in renewing sin-stained hearts. Say to them, when yearning for their eternal salvation, My heart's desire and prayer to God is, that you might be saved. I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh. Expect trials, for Satan will be very active, and your countrymen still in the chains of heathenism will employ every [18/19] agency against you; but take unto you the whole armour of God, watch in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry."
But we must not limit our view to the ministering servants of God. They may indeed naturally occupy much of our thoughts this day, when, in many a cathedral at home, a large band of priests and deacons are being sent forth, and hwne in many a colonial diocese, as here, a few labourers are being set apart to gather in the fruit of fields, already white unto the harvest. If however we rejoice over those ordained as seals; if I can feel the humble confidence that those before me are indeed men of God, men of faith and prayer, I would regard them as means to an end, and would seek to realise in my own mind, and to impress upon yours, the mighty consequences which may result, under the blessing of God, from their ministerial labours.
Let us view then the Apostle, not who was sending forth ministers of the word, but as himself the unwearied preacher,--the highest pattern for us all, my reverend brethren. Contemplate him receiving the call of God on his way to Damascus, with that call renewed to him by the lips of Ananias, and then afterwards solemnly commissioned by God, when kneeling and praying in the [19/20] courts of His holy temple, as you have heard in this morning's service; there old that Jerusalem was not to be his appointed sphere, but that to proclaim salvation to the Gentile world he was now "the chosen vessel." [Acts xxii. 21. See Stanley's Sermons on the Apostolic Age, p. 177] From that hour how mighty the Apostle in the power of the Spirit! To pass over those in Asia, at Antioch and Ephesus, at Lystra and Derbe, and to take only those in Europe, when the vision of the Macedonian man invited him to cross the narrow boundary, saying, "Come over and help us,"--how many seals! How many at Philippi, "in the pure and lovely Church," which he planted there. [For the expression see Tate's Horæ Paulinæ, p. 32.] How many among the Scripture-loving disciples at Berea--how many among those whom the Apostle so tenderly cherished, as a "nurse doth her children," at Thessalonica--how many even in profligate and luxurious Corinth! And where then is the secret of his strength? Is it not in the full persuasion that an obligation from heaven was binding on his soul; is it not given in the chapter of our text, where he says, "Necessity is laid upon me, yea, woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel?" Was it not that deep distrust of self which led him to labour unremittingly, "lest, having preached to [20/21] others, he himself should be a castaway?" Was it not in this, combined with that firm dependence on God, twhich led him to anticipate fresh triumphs in every fresh field, and not to rest until God had graciously given him some seals, some crowns of rejoicing.
And where then is the apostolic office in action and vigorous exercise at the present time? When churches are multiplied, when believers are strengthened and built up, when communicants increase and sabbaths are highly prized: a savour of holiness is then diffused around, and many are led to say, "We will go with you, for we have seen that God is with you." And if the Apostleship be a missionary one, then must we add,--when unbelievers are led to throw away their arms of rebellion, and "falling down begin to worship God, and own that God is with us of a truth."
How blessed when the work and word of God so advance and flourish! Not that we are to value ministerial labour by its success; not that we can calculate that a given amount of energy will produce a certain effect, nor infer necessarily, from want of success, that there must be ministerial unfaithfulness. [If God suffers even a holy pastor not presently to see the fruits of his labours, it is to convince him that the success of his labours belongs to God; and he ought to humble himself, and pray much, and fear lest the fault should be in himself.--Bishop Wilson, Sacra Privata, p. 103.] With God, brethren, [21/22] is the residue of the Spirit, and the Spirit alone can breathe upon the slain that they may live. But though He may keep the soul long waiting, seldom does He withhold a blessing in the end, when there is fervent faith and prayer. And I cannot but think that, if we felt more of St. Paul's yearning for souls, more of a similar blessing would rest upon our labours.
For it has been well observed, that the Apostle's test is one applicable to every succeeding age. The ministers of God may not now "see revelations, nor work miracles, nor hear a voice from heaven calling to them, but all may have this seal, a people converted to God." [Abp. Sumner's Commentary.] When they see the sinner reclaimed, the ungodly changed and renewed, the man of the world become the devoted servant of God, the man of pleasure become a man of prayer, they behold the same sight which gladdened the Apostle's heart, and they ought to thank God with him and say, "Such were some of you, but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God." When they see that what they preach is copied in the life, the holiness which they enjoin is transferred into the daily conversation;--yea, that the faith and devotedness [22/23] of some of their people almost outrun their own descriptions of the believer's course, the case is surely plain; looking on such, no language can be more suitable than the Apostle's, when he says, "Ye are our epistles written in our hearts, known and read of all men; ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart."
And what bond, brethren, can be closer than that which binds the minister of God to his spiritual children, what consciousness more ennobling than the thought that one has been blessed to a single soul! There is a satisfaction in benefiting a fellow creature for time, relieving present want and misery, and diffusing even temporary comfort. But to feel the assurance, "Thou owest unto me thine own self besides;" to be instrumental in directing one perishing sinner to the cross of Christ, and to look forward to meeting him a ransomed saint, and joining with him in the praises of the Lamb that was slain for ever and ever,--what joy can compare with this? It is to multiply such joy that we send forth labourers this day; and, brethren, "our joy is the joy of you all;" for hereunto we labour, "warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus." [23/24]
In conclusion, let me beseech you, my beloved brethren about to be ordained, to take heed to yourselves and to your doctrine, that you may both save yourselves and them that hear you. Very great is the responsibility of the office which you undertake. "Fearful it is," as has been powerfully said, "to be a man, as to man alone attaches responsibility." More fearful than to be a minister, to have intrusted to us not our own welfare only but the welfare of others also. How fearful then to be a man and minister, and to be ministers as well as men for life, to have upon us a commission which can never be revoked." But heavy as is the responsibility of ministers, correspondingly great are their comforts and enjoyments. To be occupied with heaven more than with earth, to be messengers of peace and reconciliation, to be sons of comfort to a sorrowing world, this is your blessed calling. It is yours, to quote again the words of the same living prelate, "to bind up with balm from Calvary, the wounds that have been opened at the foot of Sinai." Preach then the law in its divine holiness and spirituality; preach it in its divine holiness and spirituality; preach it in its condemning power, until you bring the sinner as a lowly suppliant to the foot of the Redeemer's cross. Make Christ and Him crucified, the centre of your preaching,--Christ "made unto us wisdom, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption." And then raise [24/25] thereupon the superstructure of a holy and devoted life; proclaim in the ears of all that vital religion consists in regaining the image of God now, to prepare us for His presence hereafter.
Let your standard be a high one; and that it may prove effectual, be yourselves examples of the flock, and "never forget that he who would be a blessing to others, is to begin by winning spiritual blessings for himself."
[For the three passages here quoted, I am indebted to an excellent Charge, by Bishop Potter, of Pennsylvania, 1849, on the Ministerial Office; it is followed up by an admirable one, 1850, on the Method and Manner of Ministerial Study.]
And let me affectionately ask you all, brethren, whom I see here assembled from many different congregations, to pray for us. You behold to-day all the clergy of this infant diocese, save two, who are too distant to allow of their attendance. With one united voice we beseech you, pray for us; we cast ourselves on your prayers; our dependence is on them; our work thrives in exact proportion to them. "We live, if ye stand fast in the Lord." pray for us, than an increased blessing may rest upon our work; pray for us all, but especially for those wbout to be set apart to the ministry. There will be during the service an interval of still and solemn silence, when they will be commended to your secret supplications. May every soul here present send up then the earnest and heartfelt [25/26] petition that they may go forth in the power of the Spirit, and may be "as workmen that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
Now imagine that it is for our own sakes that we make this demand. We have spoken of ministerial seals: what are these seals but your souls? The question for your own hearts is,--Am I yet sealed with the Holy Ghost of promise? Am I among the sealed ones of God? Until their number be completed, the voice from heaven withholds the destroying angels saying, "Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads." May God include us all in this happy number, while time and opportunity are yet vouchsafed: that when minister and people stand before the throne, "we may be your rejoicing, even as ye also shall be our's, in the day of the Lord Jesus."
APPENDIX. No. I.
THE aged clergyman referred to is the Rev. Henry Budd, of White Roothing, Essex. Mr. West having been his Curate before leaving England, gave his young charge at baptism the name of Henry Budd. In the baptismal Register it stands thus:--"July 21, 1822. Henry Budd, an Indian boy, about ten years of age, taught in the Missionary school, and now capable of reading the New Testament, and repeating the Church of England Catechism correctly. (Signed) JOHN WEST."
To bear out what I have said of the interest which this aged servant of God has ever since taken in him thus named after him, I cannot deny myself the pleasure of quoting from his last beautiful and touching letter, and I hope I am not guilty of any breach of confidence in so doing.
White Roothing, Essex, April 25, 1850.
MY DEAR HENRY BUDD,
I cannot suffer another year, (it may be my last,) to elapse without thanking you for your kind and affectionate letter of last year, and sending you another back, [27/28] as a memorial of affection to you. By this time probably you are a preacher of the everlasting Gospel, and may you be able to say with my dear brother lately departed, at 77 years of age, "I thank God that the object of my sermons has ever been to bring sinners to Christ." I am now very old, about 77 years, and our God has mercifully given me two hints of late, that my time of departure is at hand; I have been suddenly deprived of one of my senses, and dear Bickersteth, who used to call me his father, is just gone before me. I cannot last long, but God has given me to see a wonderful day, in which the dayspring from on high has visited us, and we have seen about fourteen Bishops sent out to our colonies, to bless the churches there established. God Almighty be praised! and one sent out to call you, I trust, into the ministry. I rejoice greatly in that event, and am sorry that my age and absence prevented my giving and receiving his blessing before he left. May he and his fellow Bishops be a rich blessing to the colonies, and the Lord give the word that great may be the company of the preachers.
Perhaps this may be my last, as I am nearly the eldest of my day. I have been honoured with the ministry of our Saviour now nearly fifty-three years: God help me and receive my poor exertions, and forgive me for my dear Saviour's sake, in whom alone I desire to be found and to be complete in Him. May God bless you and your wife and children, and your Bishop, and bind us all up in the bundle of life for his dear Son's sake; so prayers, my dear Henry Budd,
Your affectionate father,
As a proof of the feeling entertained towards Mr. Budd by his brethren in the settlement, I may give the following address presented to him at the close of his last sermon, the day before he left the Red River, Jan. 5th, 1851.
We, your countrymen and friends, sincerely congratulating you as well on your present promotion as on the prospects which lie before you; and feeling anxious to express our sympathy on your behalf, cannot allow you to depart from us, now that you are about to enter into a field assigned to you as your ministerial charge, without accompanying you with some token of the sincerity of our feelings and good wishes.
We feel indeed that our offerings are but small when contrasted with the noble character of the cause to which we contribute our mite, and when compared with the vastness of the field in which you are called to labour. Humble trusting however that He, who did not overlook the "two mites," will be pleased to vouchsafe His blessing upon our humble efforts, we beg you, in His name to accept the following contributions, specially for your station of missionary labour. And should they tend in the least, to aid and facilitate your labours, in endeavouring to ameliorate the present wretched condition of our poor and benighted brethren, we shall feel ourselves more than amply rewarded.
With these we would add our humble but earnest prayers for you and your family for your safety and for [29/30] your success, and for better and brighter days to all around you.
Here follow the signatures, with their promised offerings of grain, clothing, and money, for his new station.
The ordination of the first native minister in Rupert's Land may recall to many the history of Eleazar Williams among the Oneidas. A sketch of it may be found in the history of the American Church, by Dr. Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford, pp. 348-360. It is there characterized as "full of that romance by which Indian life is so frequently distinguished." The account of his ordination is thus given in a Memoir of Bishop Hobart, published at New York, 1831, a book, I believe, now scarce.
"When the Bishop visited this interesting trive of Aborigines (the Oneidas) in the year 1826, he confirmed twenty-five of their number, and admitted their first lay-reader, Mr. Williams, to Deacons' Orders. In a discourse to them, fraught with spiritual tenderness, the Bishop, at every pause for the interpreter, called the assembled group 'My children.' After the Ordination service, several of the chiefs advanced, each placed his right hand on the right shoulder of the chief before him, the right hand of the foremost resting on the right shoulder of their minister. It was their characteristic and expressive sign of concord. A petition was then made to their 'Right Reverend Father' by a party of the natives, about to remove to the far distant region of Green-Bay; and they desired, with a grateful sense of [30/31] 'the blessings of' his 'watchful providence,' that he would extend to their remote region his pastoral care. The touching answer given to this solicitation, and the Bishop's glowing language to the duly ordained Indian Herald of the Cross, will occupy some of the most attractive pages in the mission-history of the New World."