DANIEL DANA, JR.
No. 637 Broadway.
The following Sermon was preached at the special request of Bishop Wainwright. When it was ascertained that the proposed Ordination would bring together a larger number of Candidates for the Holy Ministry than had ever been ordained upon a single occasion in the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States, the Bishop deemed it a favorable opportunity to add one more to those social ties, of a religions nature, which have recently been drawing together, in so happy a manner, and with such happy results, two Churches standing to each other in the near relation of mother and daughter. He therefore addressed the Senior Bishop of the Colonial Church of England on this continent upon the subject, and requested him on this ground, as well as on the score of the friendly relations that have subsisted between them for a quarter of a century, to be present, and take part in the ordination services. To this request the Bishop of Quebec most readily assented, and made arrangements for a temporary absence from his Diocese. His visit to New-York was a source of much satisfaction to friends whom he had formerly known here, and to others of (he clergy and laity, who gladly embraced the opportunity to become personally acquainted with one whose faithful and successful services in the Colonial Church, both as Archdeacon and Bishop, had long commanded their high respect.
The following account of the Services on this occasion is taken mainly from the Church Journal:--
A Special Ordination was held last Sunday morning, (July 2,) by the Provisional Bishop of New-York, in Trinity Church, at which eighteen were ordained Deacons, and three Deacons were made Priests;--a [3/4] greater number than were ever before ordained in this country at any one time.
The procession, headed by the Sexton with his staff, entered from the Vestry precisely at half past ten o'clock. The twenty-one Candidates in Surplices went first, occupying seal sin the Nave, near the Chancel; they were followed by twelve Priests, who occupied the stalls in the Choir; and four Bishops closed the procession: Bishop Wainwright taking the right at the Altar, supported by the Bishop of Indiana, and the Bishop of Quebec the left, supported by the Bishop of Tennessee. Among the Priests were the Rev. Mr. Nicholls, Principal of Bishop's College, Lennoxville, Chaplain of the Bishop of Quebec, and the Rev. Dr. Hellmuth, late Professor of Hebrew in the same, who is, unfortunately, compelled to go abroad for his health. Professors Turner, Haight, Johnson, and Mahan, of the General Theological Seminary, were also present among the same.
Morning Prayer was said by the Rev. Mr. Syle, Missionary to China and the Rev. Dr. Berrian: the Lessons being read by the Rev. Dr. Hellmuth and the Rev. Mr. Nicholls. The Sermon was preached, by special invitation, by the Bishop of Quebec, from St. John, xii., 27.
This earnest, faithful and beautiful Discourse being ended, the Candidates for the Diaconate and Priesthood were successively presented to the Bishop by the Rev. Dr. Haight, (except Mr. Morton, a candidate for the Diaconate, who was presented by the Rev. Evan M. Johnson.) and, being commended to the prayers of the congregation, the Litany, with special suffrages, was said by the Bishop of Indiana. The Bishop of Tennessee followed with the ante-Communion Office, to the end of the Epistle. . The following were then ordained Deacons, being all Alumni of the Seminary, except the last two:--
J. H. Hobart Brown, Edmund Cooper, William B. Edson, A. M.; J. Sebastian B. Hodges, A. B.; John R. Livingston, Jr., A. M.; Nicholas F. Ludlum, A. B.; Stevens Parker, A. B.; William E. Phillips, A. B.; William P. Ray, A. B.; Thomas Richey, John E. C. Smedes, A. B.; Cyrus F. Knight, Walter A. Sterling, A. B.; Julius Henry Waterbury, A. B.; Merritt H. Wellman, A. B.; Treadwell Walden, James Morton, Jr., and James Starr Clark. The Rev. Mr. Livingston read the Gospel.
The following Deacons were raised to the Priesthood, the Rev. Dr. Hellmuth and the Rev. Mr. Nicholls joining in the laying on or the hands of the Presbytery:--
 The Rev. William H. Carter, A. B.; the Rev. Augustus Vallete Clarkson, A. M.: and the Rev. Edward M. Pecke, M. A., Alumni of the Seminary.
Bishop Wainwright then proceeded with the Offertory. Great numbers remained to the Communion, the Provisional Bishop being assisted in the Office by the Bishops of Tennessee and Indiana, and in the distribution by others of the clergy.
The day was cloudless. The congregation was crowded to the full-many standing in the alleys throughout the service. The music was all that could be desired--except as to quantity, the length of the services precluding any addition. The service was Hodges in D., and was given with full effect. In the chanting and psalmody the great body of men's voices below added greatly to the effect. The Gloria in Excelsis in the Communion Office was sung without the Organ. It was, throughout, such a day's service as not only fills the hearts of Churchmen here with joy; but stirs the feelings yet more deeply, by beholding those among us whose very presence and participation in these sacred offices adds another shining thread to that golden bond of Unity, which with ever-growing-brilliancy and strength binds the ever-multiplying branches of the Holy Catholic Church together in One.
The Request to the Bishop of Quebec for the publication of his Sermon, and his Lordship's Answer, will be found in the following pages.
My Dear Bishop:--
I thank you most cordially for your ready assent to my request in preaching the Sermon at the Ordination held by me in Trinity Church on Sunday last, and I now ask the further favor that you will allow it to be published. The interest of the occasion, great in itself, was much heightened by your presence and participation in the services. I am sure that our brethren, the Bishops of Tennessee and Indiana, and not only they, but also all the clergy present, together with the candidates ordained, and the whole congregation, would gladly unite with me in this request, had they the opportunity to do so.
The evidences, my dear Bishop, are many and clear that there is an earnest and growing desire on the part of our Church for more frequent intercommunication between ourselves and our sister Church, planted by our common Mother on this continent, and we fully believe that this desire is reciprocated by you.
This intercommunication tends to the promotion of even a higher and holier purpose, now stirring the hearts and engaging the daily and devout prayers of multitudes of the faithful everywhere--the restoration of the visible unity of the Church, on the simple and uncorrupted platform of "the faith once delivered to the saints."
While we pray for this, and doubt not, but earnestly believe that in God's own good time it will be accomplished, we take great comfort in every manifestation of Catholic unity and love, and with grateful thanks to the Great Head of the Church [7/8] for it, we look upon the recent one as a cheering earnest of better things to come.
I am, dear Bishop, most truly,
Your Friend and Brother,
Jona. M. Wainwright.
The Rt. Rev.
The Lord Bishop of Quebec.
New-York, July 4th, 1854.
New-York, July 5, 1854.
We cordially concur in the request of our Rt. Rev. Brother, the Provisional Bishop of New-York, to have a copy of your Ordination Sermon, preached at Trinity Church on last Sunday, for publication. And we desire furthermore to express our hearty concurrence in the sentiments which he has conveyed to you, of a desire to draw closer together the bonds of Christian union and brotherly love, by intercommunication between the members every where of Christ's body--the Church. Very truly and faithfully,
Your affectionate Friends and Brethren,
Jas. H. Otey.
To the Rt. Rev.
The Lord Bishop of Quebec.
New-York, 6 July, 1854.
My Dear and Rt. Rev. Brethren:--
I cannot feel myself at liberty to decline compliance with your kindly expressed desire for the publication of my Sermon: for I did not come here to follow my own judgment in a matter of this nature, but yours. My Sermon exhibits nothing recondite, and has no ambitious pretensions of any kind--but I [8/9] do not know that it is an objection to it, if it is even liable to be called commonplace.
The manner in which I respond to the sentiments which you have expressed respecting the intercourse and mutual affectionate recognition of our two branches of the Church, appears in the Sermon itself. I will only add here, that the great kindness which I and the companions of my way have experienced, as well from our Right Reverend host as from brethren who are his fellow-workers, of different grades in the Holy Ministry, has served to lend an additional warmth to those sentiments, before most cordially entertained.
I venture to use this opportunity for mentioning that I owe acknowledgments also in another and different quarter, for the signification of a desire that my Sermon should appear in print. It was preached first on the preceding Sunday, (of course, with the omission of passages having a local application in New-York,) in St. George's Church, Lennoxville, in my own Diocese, at an ordination of two Deacons, prepared for Holy Orders at Bishop's College, established in that place. The clergy who assisted in the service judged it with sufficient indulgence to prompt a desire on their part that it should be published, and the two gentlemen ordained made a separate request to the same effect. My acquiescence was made, subject to the condition that I might first make use of it in fulfilling my engagement at New-York. God only grant that its effect may in any measure answer the expectations which, in the different instances here noticed, suggested the application. I am, my dear Bishops,
Very sincerely, your affectionate Brother,
G. J. Quebec.
To the Right Reverend
The Provisional Bishop of New-York.
And the Right Reverends
The Bishops of Tennessee and Indiana.
If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor.
My Brethren--clerical and lay--I feel thankful (if my personal feelings ought to be allowed any expression) that I am here upon a happy and interesting occasion in the Church. I feel thankful to witness such a scene as this American Church can exhibit to-day--this Episcopal body, which, before the Revolution, wore an anomalous aspect, and of which men, at the close of that crisis, might have been ready to pronounce that its bones were dried and its hope was lost; but which soon, under the breath of the Divine blessing, came together in its scattered parts, rose to a new life, assumed its distinctive organization and legitimate coherence, and, by the same blessing from above, has thriven till it is full of healthy activity, and fit for great achievements and for far-extended conquests, under the banner of the Cross.
I feel, also, that every opportunity is to be prized, [11/12] that every circumstance is marked with blessing which, to whatever small extent, brings together in one, those two branches of our Apostolic Communion, which exist under different political circumstances, but are spiritually portions of the same whole, and are mutually endeared in the closest bonds of Christian fellowship. I feel that honor is done to me in the part which I am this day to fill; but, at the same time, there is great anxiety attaching to the object of doing justice to such an occasion:--not an anxiety for preserving, in all points, the credit of the Church in the public eye, (although, that, itself, is far from being unimportant to the interests of Religion,) but an anxiety for actually contributing1, by the will of God, to stir up that holy ardor and devoted earnestness of purpose in the recipients of Ordination, of which the fruit shall show hereafter that they have put their hands to the plough, never, never to look back. Give me, I beseech you, your prayers,--all stranger as I am among you,--not for my sake, but for the sake of these Candidates, now prepared to assume their different grades in the Holy Ministry; for the sake of the flocks to be intrusted to them; for the sake of the Church of Christ, for which He shed His blood,--that I may be permitted humbly but not ineffectually, to help in the work of this day.
My Brethren, we are all, whatever be our vocation in life--if we avow ourselves to be Christians--avowedly the servants of the living God. And God only grant that, in all the diversified, and too often absorbing engagements of this passing life,--in all the [12/13] commercial speculations and enterprises, in all the political competitions, in all the opportunities of professional advancement, in all the temptations to luxury and worldly display, which present themselves on every side, in a great, prosperous, and rapidly advancing country like this,--none of us who are here assembled, may forget the solemn declaration of the Saviour, that we cannot serve God and Mammon. God grant that, as His professed servants, whether we have received one talent, or five, or ten, none of us may forget that impending day, when the Lord will reckon with His servants--that day when the great separation which is to be made once and forever, will precisely be the separation between him that SERVETH GOD and him that SERVETH HIM NOT. O, God grant that it may be then our blessed portion, through Christ, to claim an interest of appropriation in the words, They shall be MINE, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels!
The servants of Christ are charged, we see, to follow Christ. And this we profess also to do. There are the followers of Mahomet, the followers of Confucius, the followers of this or that school of philosophy, or system of belief devised by man; we are the followers of Christ. With what fidelity of adherence, with what earnestness of purpose, with what reality of efficacious conviction, we are found to follow our Divine Master, it might be very important for many amongst us to ascertain, by faithfully probing our own hearts, and considering our ways. But, forbearing from the pursuit of any excursive inquiries of a more general [13/14] kind, in the application of our text, let us, in conformity and connection with the special solemnity of this day, consider the charge which it conveys in its application to the case of those who are the servants of the Most High in a peculiar and eminently sacred acceptation,--the servants of the sanctuary--the servants of the Lord, that stand in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God. The word which, with sufficient correctness, we render servant in our present text, is a word (as will be remembered by some among us) signifying, in its larger sense, a minister of any kind, a subordinate attendant and helper in any department of human life; and is the very word from which, in its more restricted application, the title of one of the standing orders in the Christian Ministry is formed.
If any man serve me, let him follow me. Follow me, we all know, was the form in which the call to the Apostles was conveyed. The same call is addressed to us, under different circumstances, in our occupation of every separate grade in the Christian ministry. Carrying the commission of Christ, to execute His work upon earth, we follow in His own track. We are sent by Him, as He was sent by the Father. We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God (wonderful picture of condescending love!) did beseech men, by us: we pray them, IN CHRIST'S STEAD, be ye reconciled to God. We take the charge of souls. We call sinners to repentance. We warn them to flee from the wrath to come. We go forth to seek and to save that which was lost. We go forth with an unction from the Holy One,--not [14/15] such, indeed, as His who was anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows, and to whom the Spirit was not given by measure,--yet we go forth with an unction from the Holy One, to preach the Gospel to the poor, to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind. We gather and we feed the sheep of Christ. And as the good and great Shepherd gave His life for the sheep, so we who are His representatives and deputies, ought to stand prepared, if need were, to lay down our lives for the brethren.
These are the general views of our task, deliberately embraced and deeply laid to heart, with which we should enter and prosecute the Holy Ministry of the Gospel. But let us proceed to consider the charge of the text, that we should follow Christ in that particular aspect in which, according to language frequently used by St. Paul, it presents the idea of direct imitation. (In fact, in the passages from that Apostle to which I refer, a word denoting imitation would more literally render the original, than the word found in our translation, which denotes following.) Let us endeavor familiarly and practically to exemplify this imitation of our Master by us His ministers, under several specific heads. [See 1 Cor. iv. 16; xi. 1; Eph. v. 1; Phil. iii. 17; 1 Thcss. i. 6; ii. 14; 2 Thess. iii. 7, 9; Heb. vi. 13; xiii. 7. See also 1 Pet. iii. 13; 3 John 11.]
First, then, we, above all men, should so take His yoke upon us and learn of Him, as to imbibe His heavenly spirit of meekness and lowliness of heart--as to [15/16] manifest His temper of gentleness, and graciousness, and love: love which is the all-in-all of the Christian character, the test and touch-stone of true discipleship, established by Himself. O, how often do the very ministers of Religion, in their very maintenance of religious points, suffer themselves to be betrayed, into asperity of language and bitterness of feeling! How often, in this contentious and cavilling age, are they thrown off their guard, in dealing, possibly, with unfair and unscrupulous opponents, and led to render sarcasm for sarcasm, and retort provocation for provocation! How liable are they, in defending, perhaps, some venerable rule or usage--perhaps some important principle--perhaps some vital truth, which has been assailed, by appeals to popular prejudice, or made odious by misrepresentation, to forget the ingenuous simplicity of the Gospel, and the pattern of Him of whom it was an eminent characteristic, that no guile was found in His mouth! How liable to adopt a policy in dealing with their subject, a management of their cause, a recourse to phraseology, used for particular effect in this or that quarter, which savors but too strongly of the arts employed by worldly tacticians!
The servant, the follower of the Lord, engaged in the vocation of the Ministry, must not strive, but be patient towards all men, apt to teach, in meekness instructing them that oppose themselves. He should breathe abroad the spirit of charity and peace; and go forth to his work in that exercise of a ready condescension and generous compassion, of which we see so many [16/17] beautiful and touching instances in the narratives of the work of Christ upon earth. Look, for example, at the forlorn widow following her only son to the grave. When the Lord saw her, He had compassion. He felt the human emotion of pity: He does not stop there; He speaks words of kindness--He said unto her, Weep not: He does not content Himself with mere words; He proceeds at once to relieve her sorrow; He gives back her son alive to her arms. We cannot perform acts such as this; we are not lords of nature, who can call back the dead to life; nor have we, like the Apostles, any delegated power by which to perform miraculous works:--but we can soothe the mourner; we can cheer the desolate; we can pour balm into the wounded bosom; we can often procure relief to supply the wants of the bereaved, and cause the widow's heart to sing for joy. More than this--we can, as instruments in the hands of God, speak words which are life-giving words: we can, under the blessing of the Divine Spirit, so bring home to the heart of the sinner the appeal, Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light, that the spiritual renovation thus described as taking place within the man, shall lead to the literal resurrection of the body itself to eternal life. And with respect to the other point which we have touched upon--the guilelessness of the Lord Jesus Christ--His pure singleness of purpose--His lofty simplicity (for so it was, although the terms, in the ordinary and unchastened apprehension of men, may seem not to consort together)--His lofty simplicity of dealing--we ought carefully to [17/18] remember that the same stamp must be impressed upon our own administration of our office, whatever temptation may present itself to swerve a little here, and to accommodate our language or proceedings there, to the particular object to be gained--or in another quarter still, to escape some disadvantageous admission. We must, as our invariable, our inflexible rule, do nothing against the truth, but for the truth, and by manifestation of the truth, commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.
The meekness, however, the simplicity, the poverty of spirit which ought to be transfused from the mind which was in Christ Jesus into that of His ministers, would be greatly misunderstood, if it were conceived of as something incompatible with that discerning-judgment of men and things, and that practical wisdom which in Him were supremely eminent, and which, in our humble measure and degree, should be carefully cultivated in us who carry His commission. My servant shall deal prudently, is a characteristic stroke in the prophetic delineations of the Messiah. In the exercise of His ministry, recorded in the Gospels, we see, in many instances, how wary and how wise He was; how He forbore to commit Himself to His enemies, because He knew what was in man; with what an admirable sagacity He confounded their malice, upon repeated occasions, when they had laid snares to entangle Him in His talk; with what skill of adaptation He dealt out His divine instructions, according to the capacity and more or less prepared condition of the recipient; with [18/19] what correctness of calculation He knew the conjuncture, and seized the opportune moment for manifestations of Himself and His power, in other circumstances withheld or reserved; with what plenitude, in short, of experimental proof, He sustained the character by which we find Him described, that in Him were hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
The wisdom of the serpent, we well know, is what He charges us to combine with the harmlessness of the dove. Alas! for our deficiencies in this, as well as in other points of our duty! Indiscreet zeal, defeating its own object--unconsidered projects, of which the failure retards the work committed to us--impatient and heedless obtrusion of debated topics, upon occasions demanding the most/ careful preservation of peace--prominence given to certain favorite objects of our own, distasteful to others, whose good-will it is important to conciliate--want of accommodation to the circumstances of the time, or to the habits, the tempers, the prejudices of men--how much detriment is often done by these causes to the progress of Religion, and the interests of immortal souls! It is a great point of discriminative wisdom, and we see it to be much insisted upon in the word of God, to know what spiritual diet is suited to this or that human subject, according to his state of Christian advancement, and in proportion to the developments of Faith, in his inner man. To check and regulate the ardor of particular temperaments--to stimulate the backwardness of others--to correct, sometimes, the inflated self-sufficiency of religious sciolists, [19/20] in Sunday-school teaching, for example, or other departments of the work of the Church, without risking the loss of their service or crushing their own spiritual life--to make our delicate and measured approaches where men estranged from holiness, haughty in spirit devoted to the world, perhaps inured to irreligion and vice, are under some visitation from the hand of God, of which we hope to make advantage, through His mercy, for the recovery of their souls--to recommend in the eyes of men unfavorably prepossessed, the offices, the system, the organization, the venerable claims of our Apostolic Church, without either offending their feelings on the one side, or compromising an iota of our own principles on the other:--these may be instanced as among the points of difficulty which you my beloved brethren, who now assume your ministry may be liable to encounter, and to deal successfully with which, demands a watchfulness of eye and nicety of hand which God alone, the author of every good and perfect gift, can qualify us to exercise. And thankful indeed may we be, in such a charge, that if we ask of Him the wisdom which we lack, He giveth liberally, and upbraideth not.
Now, in order to the attainment and improvement of this necessary wisdom, we must, in conjunction with our prayers to God, diligently lay up all stores within our reach, of profitable knowledge, that we may be scribes instructed unto the kingdom of Heaven, able to bring out of our treasure, things new and old; and above all, my brethren, above all, we must continually [20/21] familiarize ourselves with the written word of God. It is thence, we know, that the man of God--a term which, in the language of Scripture, exclusively describes a Minister of Religion,--must be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works,--prepared in his private soul, for the exercise of all Christian graces,--prepared abroad for every department of his holy labors. And certainly, it is upon this rock of Scripture that we must rest our edifice, if we would follow, if we would imitate the blessed Redeemer of the world. It is written,--It is written again--It is written in your law,--these are His own appeals to make good His own case, when He is assailed by the Prince of Darkness, in the memorable scene of His temptation, or when He is engaged in detecting the sophistry and unmasking the hypocrisy of Pharisees and Scribes. Alas! it has been too well seen in the Christian Church, as well as in the Jewish, that warnings are needed against a substitution, creeping on from age to age, of human imposition and human devices, for the unchanging authority of that blessed word of God, of which the Church is appointed to be the "witness and keeper," in order that she may be the free and faithful dispenser. Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition: In vain do ye worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men--these are awful declarations from the lips of Christ, abundantly applicable to that state of things in the Christian Church which it was provided by the fathers of the English Reformation, specially in the sixth of our Thirty-nine [21/22] Articles of Religion, and in the form of the Ordination of Priests, both standing unaltered in your American Prayer Book, that we, in our Ministry, should utterly repudiate and renounce.
It is a well-known saying of an ancient father of the Church, that--in the Bible God speaks to us, and in prayer we speak to Him;--and it affords a simple and striking exhibition of two great means of our devotional intercourse with the Father, brought home to us in all their reality and force. In prayer, then, in reverential prayer, approaching the throne of glory through the Son and by the Spirit, we actually SPEAK TO GOD. And have not they who are appointed to conduct, in public, the devotions of their fellow-men, an example in the person of their divine Master, of thus drawing near, in private, constantly and earnestly, to hold communion with the Father and to pour out their hearts before Him, alike in supplication for themselves and intercession for others--pleading fervently for their flocks and for the Church at large?--Can they be said to be followers of Christ in their Ministry, if they do not cultivate, in private, heavenly affections and spiritual exercises?--What?--to be followers of Christ, of whom we read, that rising up a great while before day, He went into a solitary place to pray;--of whom we read, upon another occasion, immediately before He chose His twelve Apostles, that He continued all night in prayer to God;--of whom we are told that in the days of His flesh and in the hour of His sorrow--(and the hour of our sorrows in life will come, and sorrow will be our portion [22/23] forever, if we have no sorrow for our own sins, and no trembling anxiety for our charge,)--in the days of His flesh, then, and in the hour of His sorrow, He offered up prayers and supplications, with strong crying and tears, unto Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared?--Or peruse only and ponder upon--we are well persuaded of you, brethren, though we thus speak, that you have often done so,--that most beautiful and affecting intercessory address, than which there is nothing in the compass of Scripture of deeper and more tender interest, which occupies the whole of the 17th chapter in the Gospel of St. John. Let us learn there how the followers of Christ, to whom He has delegated the task to feed His sheep, should feel and pray for their charge.
But Christ has also set us the example of exactness in the public worship of God, and zeal for the house of prayer and dutiful conformity to spiritual observance, whether of divine, or, if agreeable to the divine will, of human institution. It is, indeed, in my apprehension, strange, and sad as well as strange, that, with such an example before their eyes, men should be found among us--and good men, too--who actually think it an evidence of enlightened piety and Spiritual Religion to denounce all earnest concern for the external dignity and honor of the sanctuary--to depreciate the value and efficacy of religious ordinances--to disparage a frequent attendance upon the stated services and solemnities of the Church, and to discountenance every endeavor to preserve and perpetuate in its integrity, the orderly [23/24] system and ample devotional provision laid down in the Prayer-Book. We behold our blessed Saviour constant in His attendance on the temple services: we see Him roused to a holy movement of indignation at the dishonor done, by the sons of traffic, to His Father's house; we find the words of the Psalmist applied to Him, The zeal of Thine house hath eaten me up: we observe that He was present at the winter feast of dedication in the temple, which was appointed by man. We may notice Him, accepting and approving, upon different occasions, and in different forms, conventional demonstrations of homage and costly offerings, reverentially rendered to Himself. We discern the lesson which lays down in general terms, and as a standing principle in Religion, when He insists upon submission to the baptism of John: Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Looking at all this, and more, which might be adduced from the New Testament, in all fair and natural construction-- not in that forced--I was almost going to say that affected spirituality of construction applied to all cases which, while it flatters men with a fictitious superiority of religious discernment, is not unapt to play dangerously with the word of God,--we surely cannot be wrong in loving and honoring the Sanctuary and all its services, and moulding, so far as depends upon our care, the faithful children of the Church, to the same affectionate and dutiful spirit. God forbid that we should contend vehemently about minute details, or that we should rest in a round of outward performances, and [24/25] mistake the mere punctilious performance for the Religion of the heart and life! God grant that we may ever worship the Father in spirit and in truth, and as believers who are renewed in knowledge, after the image of Him that created us! But it would be happy for us and our people if, in these very points, we could reach the standard of Christian excellence attained by the venerable men who compiled our Liturgy and framed our observances--or who, in succeeding times, have stood forth to vindicate and explain them, and have served God, in a sedulous use of them, day by day, with gladness of heart. [The most distinguished of our Protestant champions will be found fully to support the views here exhibited. See Note, at the end.]
Finally, my brethren, let it be, our aim--viewing at large our vocation in the Holy Ministry--to follow Christ, in the surrender of ourselves to the work of God upon earth, and our untiring devotedness of labor in the cause. Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead! The claim upon us to show care for the burial of the dead, is a claim most fully recognized in Scripture, and it can present no stronger case than that in which the remains of a father are concerned. But when Christ demands our service, there is no earthly claim--none--which can be suffered to come in competition with that call. In this sense--in the event) and upon the supposition of a conflict of the two claims--where our closest earthly interests, or dearest earthly attachments, are at stake, he that forsaketh not all that he hath, cannot be the disciple of Christ; he that hateth [25/26] not father, mother, wife, children, brethren, sisters--yea, and his own life also--cannot be the disciple of Christ. If any man come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. If any man SERVE me, let him FOLLOW me. As the servants of Christ, we must imitate the service which He, the Lord of Glory, who took upon Him the form of a servant, discharged Himself. I am among you, He reminds the disciples, as he that serveth. We must cheerfully and unreservedly dedicate and declare ourselves as the servants of our people, for Jesus' sake, whom we preach to them, and whom I trust we set forth distinctly, in His unclouded brightness, as the sole hope of sinful man. We must make His maxim ours, who pleased not Himself; we must, tread in the steps of Him who went about doing good, and heeding all that were oppressed of the devil; who was charged with being beside Himself in the earnestness of His zeal and love; whose meat and drink it was to do the will of Him that sent Him, and to finish His work. We must not too hastily abandon a discouraging field of labor, nor shrink from painful exercises of duty, nor be unwilling to encounter, if need be--for example, in the rougher sort of missionary work--fatigue, discomfort, and privation (things to which some of the Anglican Bishops in the Colonies, as well as some of your own, are certainly not strangers), nor must we be ready to throw up our charge if we meet, in some quarters, with an ill return, and are exposed to misconstruction and annoyance, but must rather consider Him who endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself lest we be wearied and faint in our minds.
And are we disheartened at such a picture of things, which, perhaps, with many blessings, and by the side of circumstances of a more cheering character, may be incidental to our task? Will parents be impelled to utter the sentiment--We can mark out a far more comfortable way of life for any of our children, and one which will yield a more tangible return for our expenditure in their behalf, than if we seek to direct their minds to the profession of a clergyman? Will any aspirant to the Ministry permit the thought to enter his mind, that he begins to repent of his choice? Will any who has been prepared, and brought up to the point of presenting himself to receive his sacred commission, be prompted to say, I did not take all this into my calculation? Will any who are harnessed, and carry their weapons for the sacred warfare, once think of turning themselves back in the day of battle? O! no--never--let not such a supposition come near us--let it not be heard of by friend or foe--Tell it not in Gath, publish, it not in the streets of Askelon, if ever so unworthy a sentiment should be breathed. Think of the claims of Christ upon you. Think, in all its length, and breadth, and depth, and height, in time and throughout eternity, of the work to which He calls you--the rescue of souls from Satan--the production, on earth, of the peaceable fruits of righteousness--the bringing of many sons and daughters to glory, for which He uses your hands. Think of His [27/28] presence with you, and the reality of His promise, taken in its home-felt force,--Where I am, there also shall my servant be. You are with Him here upon earth, and He with you, if, as surely ought to be seen, at least in his Ministers, your conversation is now in heaven. You are come already to Mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and the innumerable company of Angels, and the general assembly and Church of the first-born, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus, the Mediator of the new covenant. To these you belong, or of these you constitute a part already, by anticipation; and, in the day of your full and final reward, in the ultimate accomplishment of the assurance, If any man serve me, him will my Father honor, the glorious words will greet you at the gate of Heaven, Well done, good and faithful servant: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. The subjects of grace whom you have won to Christ, will be so many gems of immortal radiance in your crown of rejoicing. You may have struggles, you may have sadness, in this world of sin and strife: you may struggle with the remnants of sin in yourselves, and be sad in the feeling of your own deficiencies, while in the flesh, besides your warfare with the sins of the world around you; but the day of your deliverance and recompense will arrive, nor is it far. No, it is not far to the other world. Yet a little while, and He that shall come, will come. And His reward is with Him. Then they that turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars forever [28/29] and ever. And if such a thing could be supposed as that, by the faithful labor of a whole life, we could turn but one, would it not be enough to have our human share in the effect declared to us--with the consciousness of having instrumentally produced that effect--that there is joy in the presence of the ANGELS OF GOD OVER ONE SINNER THAT REPENTETH?
The following extract from Chillingworth sustains the views set forth on pages 23-25.
"For what, if our devotion towards God out of a desire, that He should be worshipped as in spirit and in truth in the first place, so also in the beauty of holiness? What, if out of fear that too much simplicity and nakedness in the public service of God, may beget in the ordinary sort of men a dull and stupid irreverence; and out of hope that the outward state and glory of it, being well disposed, and wisely moderated, may engender, quicken, increase, and nourish the inward reverence, respect and devotion, which is due unto God's sovereign majesty and power? What, if out of a persuasion and desire that papists may be won over to us the sooner, by the removing of this scandal out of their way; and out of an holy jealousy, that the weaker sort of Protestants might be the easier seduced to them by the magnificence and pomp of their Church service, in case it were not removed? I say, what, if out of these considerations the governors of our Church, more of late than formerly, have set themselves to adorn and beautify the places where God's honor dwells, and to make them as heaven-like as they can with earthly ornaments? Is this a sign that they are warping towards popery? Is this devotion in the Church of England an argument that she is coming over to the Church of Rome? Sir Edwin Sandys, I presume, every man will grant, had no inclination that way; yet he, forty years since, highly commended this part of devotion in papists, and makes no scruple [30/31] of proposing it to the imitation of Protestants; little thinking that they who would follow his counsel, and endeavor to take away this disparagement of Protestants, and this glorying of papists, should have been censured for it, as making way, and inclining to popery. His words to this purpose are excellent words; and because they show plainly that what is now practised was approved by zealous Protestants so long ago, I will here set them down. This one thing I cannot but highly commend in that sort and order; they spare nothing which cost can perform in enriching, or skill in adorning, the temple of God, or to set out His service, with the greatest pomp and magnificence that can be devised. And although, for the most part, much baseness and childishness is predominant in the masters and contrivers of their ceremonies, yet this outward state and glory, being well disposed, do then gender, quicken, increase, and nourish the inward reverence, respect and devotion which is clue unto sovereign majesty and power. And although I am not ignorant that many men, well reputed, have embraced the thrifty opinion of that disciple, who thought all to be wasted that was bestowed on Christ, in that sort, and that it were much better bestowed on the poor, (yet with an eye, perhaps, that themselves would be his quarter-almoners;) notwithstanding, I must confess, it will never sink into my heart, that in proportion of reason, the allowance for furnishing out of the service of God, should be measured by the scant and strict rule of mere necessity, (a proportion so low, that nature to other most bountiful, in matter of necessity hath not failed, no not the most ignoble creatures of the world;) and that for ourselves no measure of heaping, but the most we can get; no rule of expense, but to the utmost pomp we list: or that God Himself had so enriched the lower parts of the world with such wonderful varieties of beauty and glory, that they might serve only to the pampering of mortal man in his pride, and that in the service of the high Creator, Lord and Giver, (the outward glory of whose higher palace may appear by the very lamps that we see so far off burning gloriously in it,) only the simpler, baser, [31/32] cheaper, less noble, less beautiful, less glorious things should be employed: especially seeing, as in princes' courts, so in the service of God also, this outward state and glory, being well disposed, doth (as I have said) engender, quicken, increase, and nourish, the inward reverence, respect, and devotion which is due to so sovereign majesty and power; which those whom the use thereof cannot persuade into, would easily, by the want of it, be brought to confess. For which cause I crave leave to be excused by them herein, if in zeal to the common Lord of all, I choose rather to commend the virtue of an enemy, than to flatter the vice and imbecility of a friend."--The Religion of Protestants, the Preface, § 22, 23.
These remarks were not written, as would appear from an examination of dates, by Sir Edwin Sandys, Archbishop of York, although he was a strenuous Protestant, and a sufferer in the cause, but by his, son, Sir Edwin, author of a work of which the title was, "Europae Speculum; or, a View or Survey of the State of Religion in the Western Parts of the World: wherein the Roman Religion, and the Pregnant Policies of the Church of Rome to support the same, are notably displayed."