AND 78, NEW BOND STREET.
EXETER: WALLIS. COLCHESTER: BENHAM.
Fredericton, September, 1847.
Since writing the following Charge to the Clergy of New Brunswick, considerable progress has been made in the erection of the Cathedral. The external walls of the nave and aisles are completed, and this summer, during my absence in England, the large west window has been put up, and the permanent nave roof added. It is still absolutely needful to finish the aisle roofs, which will cost £500, and to proceed with the choir. A sufficient sum has been kindly given to enable me to proceed, but not enough to bring the work to completion. I still want at least £1500 more for that purpose, though the internal work will after that have to be done. It must never be forgotten that the price of labour is three or four times as dear as in England.
I rejoice to be able to add, that I take out with me three candidates for holy orders, besides books sufficient to lay the foundation of a Cathedral Library.
Exeter, August 23, 1848.
MY REVEREND BRETHREN,
WITHIN the memory of living men, it was thought fit to assign the spiritual care of members of our Church in five vast Provinces, the first in size equal to France, the second to Britain, the third to Ireland, the fourth to Scotland, and the fifth to Greece, containing nearly 380,000 square miles, and separated from each other by vast and stormy seas, to one solitary, unsupported Bishop. The continued existence of our Church under such a system is little less than miraculous, and I see in it a hopeful sign of its vitality and progress. The son of the first Bishop of North America, my venerated predecessor, has lived to see this unwieldy Diocese divided into five separated Sees; and I have to-day the happiness of meeting for the first time, in my Cathedral Church, a larger number of Clergy than have been ever before assembled at any one time in this Province.
In selecting topics for my Address, I do not consider that it would be conducive to our mutual good, that I should enter at length into that wide field of polemical theology, where the most ignorant are always the most confident, and where it is easier to discover a partizan than to find a judge.
The Clergy of this Province do not, I believe, need from me any admonitions on the danger of deserting the Church to which they are attached by their conscientious convictions and recorded vows: over others I have no jurisdiction, and I am not disposed to be "a busy-body in other men's matters."
But I deem it worse than needless to plunge into controversy with those who are without the limits of our communion, or with others out of my jurisdiction, when by many of the professed members of our Church the duties of a holy life are neglected, and when multitudes entertain no other notion of "CHRIST'S Church militant here on earth," than that it is something, they know not what, imported from the mother country, sustained by its liberality, and intended to make them comfortable in their minds, and to release them from all ordinary obligations imposed on the members of incorporated societies.
Our great business seems to me to be, to teach men, not to study controversy, but to study holiness: to manifest their Christianity and their Churchmanship, not by hollow sounding words, but by solid and fruitful actions; and to confute or convince their real or supposed antagonists by a more virtuous and practical kind of religion, and by a humbler walk with God.
 You will not, I am sure, understand by such expressions, that I would abandon, by an unholy compromise, any part of the faith of the English Church: but I am convinced that the chief use of our meeting together on these high and solemn occasions is to "stir up the gift that is in us" by remembrance of our ordinary, and because they are ordinary, our sometimes neglected duties. I would therefore call your attention to the importance of a review of our true position, as Ministers of Religion, as Pastors of a true branch of the Catholic Church, and as placed by the Providence of God in this Province, at this particular time.
There are certain periods in the life of most men, when, by an unexpected incident, by deep affliction, or by the working of the gracious SPIRIT upon their hearts, they are led to take a deeper view of their own state before God, and of their prospects for eternity. And as the excitement into which the civilized world is thrown at this time is very unfavourable to such reflection, it becomes us to make the most of our present meeting for that holy end.
We meet here indeed with cheerfulness, to cement old friendships, and to rejoice in the society of new labourers in the gospel field; yet how much is there to chasten our joy, and fill our hearts with trembling. On us is laid the heavy, yet self-imposed burden of being "ministers of CHRIST, and stewards of the mysteries of God."
All that is required of Christian pastors by the Church of which we are Minister's, all that is implied in the direction, "to teach and to premonish, to feed and to provide for the Lord's family," all the necessary vigilance and circumspection, discipline and self-control, purity of motive and integrity of heart, burning zeal and untiring steadiness, ripe and cultivated knowledge, daily study, nice discrimination, elevated tone of action, calm contemplation, subdued demeanour, meekness and lowliness of mind, heavenly conversation, and deadness to the calls of pampered appetite and degrading lust; in fine, that angelic life which he who would make men angels in heaven should strive to lead on earth, is required of us. The very day and hour on which we took those vows, and listened to the awful words of our Church in imposing them, and the spirit in which we took them, and in which we have up to this day fulfilled them, is present to that Holy One, to Whom we must soon give our dread account. Can we then without fear and sadness pass over the events of these, to us, momentous years? I am not now dwelling on those fouler crimes which expose the clerical order to just and overwhelming reproach, and which a primitive discipline must prevent or punish, but I speak of those sins of omission into which the indolent frequently fall, and by which even the moat sedulously faithful are [6/7] at times surprised. And if the remembrance of sins of omission weighed heavily on the dying moments of the profoundly learned, diligent, and heavenly-minded Archbishop Ussher, how painfully sensible ought we to be of our faults in this particular! Which of us can say that the theory of our Church in regard to pastoral duties has been, to the full, exemplified in our own practice? Where is the Clergyman so deplorably ignorant, or so intolerably vain, as to imagine, that his own life or labours area perfect copy of the exhortation to Priests in the Ordination Service? How sad it is to reflect, that some souls may have been led astray into heresy or schism, whom a kind word from us might have stayed; some blinded spirits have passed into eternity, whose blood may be required at our hands! How often have we been content with the ordinary routine of Sunday duty! How often has the ingratitude or churlishness of man paralyzed our exertions, and we have "persuaded men, and not GOD!" How often has the worldly spirit which we deplore or censure in our flocks, crept in upon ourselves, and rendered all our discourses unimpressive and nugatory! We "watch for men's souls." "It will be work enough," says the holy Bishop Wilson, "for every man to give account of himself; but to stand charged, and be accountable for many others, who can think of it without trembling?" W e can indeed easily perceive the evils which abound among our flocks; and we wonder that they listen to our discourses, and continue unimproved. But may not a counterpart of their sins be sometimes detected in ourselves? Do we not read and expound the Holy Scriptures to others without that stamp of reverend piety, that indubitable seal of holiness which impresses where it cannot persuade? If men saw in our order universally, an entire self-denial, a fervent and unshrinking zeal, a thorough love for the ordinances and discipline of our Church, and a perfect union of mind and action, could they remain so worldly, so self-indulgent, so disunited as they are? If all the Bishops and Clergy of our Church were "perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment," and if that mind were "the mind of CHRIST," we should have more hearts with us, and our adversaries would have less power. The disorderly spirits among the multitude appeal to similar passions raging among ourselves; and while we creep and grovel on earth, we fail to "point to heaven, and lead the way."
Our reformation then must begin at home. To cure our flocks of schism we must heal our own disorders. We must banish that frightful party spirit, that minute exclusiveness, which refuses the hand of fellowship to those who have signed the same articles, own the same creeds, and are built on the same foundation with ourselves. The odious cries of High-Churchman and [7/8] Low-Churchman, with other mote offensive names, must not be heard in our mouths, lest our own weapons be turned against ourselves. We should take our tone of doctrine and practice, not from low interested writers, but, next to the pure fountain of Scripture, from the manly expositions of the master-spirits of the English Church. There must be about ourselves that genuine heartiness, that honest simplicity which no man can mistake, and which will persuade more forcibly than the most elegant diction, the most impressive delivery.
Our profession should be our life, our love, our joy, our first thought in the morning, our last prayer at night, the object of our fondest hopes, of our unwearied intercessions, of our daily toil.
In carrying these purposes into effect, our great aim should be a faithful compliance with the spirit, and wherever charity and discretion will permit, with the literal injunctions of the Book of Common Prayer; believing, as well we may, that, as it was framed by holier, so it was revised and corrected by wiser men than ourselves: and that no man's folly is more manifest than his, who sets up his own private judgment against the tried wisdom of the whole Body, to which he belongs. I will conclude this first part of my address by suggesting one or two points for consideration which appear to me especially useful at the present time.
1. It is peculiarly important that all Clergymen, and I especially direct my remarks to the younger portion of my brethren, should be frugal, temperate, and even self-denying in their personal habits. This duty, at all seasons incumbent on us, is strengthened by the necessities of the times, the frequent calls of charity, and the desirableness of showing to those who themselves live hardly, that we can "endure hardness, as good soldiers of Jesus CHRIST." A Clergyman known to be luxurious and extravagant in his dress, or household expenses, affected in his manner, and aiming at something more than usual by way of display, can never obtain from people who are 'often poor, that respect and attachment which are desirable; and if he run into debt to supply himself with such superfluities, he not only ceases to be useful, he becomes positively mischievous. The greatest care and caution are requisite to enable a Clergyman to live on a comparatively scanty income, a portion of which is in all probability unpaid; yet he is expected to meet his engagements as punctually as if he himself were paid in due season. Yet we must consider that our bodily trials are few, compared with those of the original Missionaries in the Province, who often walked in deep snow and over miserable road-tracks from house to house, and scarcely ever enjoyed the luxury of a wagon.
2. In order to the effectual discharge of our duties, we should cultivate a grace in which most Christians are lamentably [8/9] deficient, moral courage. It is obvious that an age of fierce and fiery zeal would be more favourable to the development of this grace, than our own refined, scientific, self-indulgent age. The world, however, is not really more in love with truth, because it has ceased to persecute it. A universal relaxation of all tests and bonds has followed the decay of persecution. The State has abandoned the ancient theory of an Establishment, (which may be defined to be the active support of what is believed to be the Truth, because it is true, with toleration, but without support, to what is conceived to be error,) and has substituted the general recognition of all Christian Communities according to their numbers and their influence, by what is termed a Paternal Government; that is, I suppose, a government, which, on grounds of necessity or expediency, recognizes the religion of all the Queen's subjects, without reference to the truth or error of any. The different sects in the nominally Christian world have, in consequence, assumed a definite and sustained position, and have completed their organization agreeably to their own views. Men of the highest literary and scientific attainments are now found among professors of different faiths, mix together, and frequently support each other in the extension of their respective religious theories, while intermarriages are continually formed among all these different parties. We must add to all these elements of confusion the extraordinary influence of the public press, which aims not merely to reflect, but to lead the public mind. No check, no limit is imposed on its anonymous conductors. An infamous system of anonymous slander is in all civilized countries permitted; and, on the empty sophism, that public characters are public property, we find men's principles anonymously accused, and their lives anonymously traduced; the writers half unveiling their disguise, so as to allow themselves to be known to fame, yet artfully concealing their names, that they may escape detection and exposure. Shall we then cease to wonder that men are deficient in moral courage? We rather marvel that there should be any thing left to defend, any distinct system of faith, any, positive convictions of the danger of "error in religion, or viciousness of life."
This stream of human meanness and corruption, if you have any love for truth, for honour, and for religion, you must endeavour to stem. And you can only stem it by moral courage. It may sound strange in your ears, yet I feel it necessary to say it, be not ashamed to be real men; to state distinctly, though with sobriety and respect for others, your acknowledged convictions, and to set your seal to what you believe to be true; and let "mendax infamia" do its worst.
No man indeed gains much, even in the opinion of the world, [9/10] from a cowardly shrinking from the cross, which the profession and practice of the Gospel imposes. Though he may not be attacked with public and open slander, he will be met with the wink of contemptuous reproach, as one well known to be sailing in the same boat, only to be a little more sly.
Remember, that, if public characters are public property, much more should public accusers be public characters, or rather real characters. Shun therefore as a moral contamination the ignominy of anonymous censure; nay, it might be better generally to avoid the risk of anonymous defence. For you may sometimes wound, when you only mean to uphold.
Yet though we must be courageous, we are not bound to force unwelcome truth at all times on unwilling auditors. There is a way of stating truth, which, by its eagerness and impetuosity, raises up adversaries: and to be unable to distinguish between the things which are vital, and those which are accidental, and alterable, is mere blindness or obstinacy. No prevalence of custom can warrant a departure from "the faith once delivered to the Saints:" but habit and custom may render some evils more tolerable, than we could have supposed them to be: or we may with sorrow perceive, that we cannot "root up the tares, without rooting up also the wheat with them."
On this ground I have abstained hitherto from calling your attention to many irregularities which prevail in the Diocese, in reference to the manner of performing Divine Service, and the slovenly neglect with which Divine Offices are often treated.
The root of the matter lies much deeper than mere Rubrical exactness. Where a spirit of obedience to the Church exists as an ordinance of GOD, and a spirit of love to Divine things, there will be no great difficulty. We shall prefer GOD'S way to our own: and shall delight to honour Him, after the example set before us by Saints in the Old Testament and in the New. Our inquiry will not be, how much we may leave undone, but how much we can do. The Service of the Sanctuary will be "perfect freedom." Obedience to the Church will be our heart's joy. And till this spirit is attained, a minute and formal accuracy enforced upon the people, contrary to their convictions or them prejudices, may perhaps be "the letter that killeth, rather than the spirit that giveth life." Yet let us not mistake stubborn disobedience to the injunctions of our spiritual mother for spirituality. True spirituality is the spirit of JESUS; it is lowly obedience, "the fulfilment of righteousness," the compliance with godly ordinances, even when not absolutely needed, as by our LORD at His baptism. Neither a religion which is all form without spirit, nor a religion which is all spirit without form, can be intended for beings who are compounded of "body, and soul, and spirit," and [10/11] whose eternal happiness is incomplete without the reunion of the material with the immaterial substance. Religion may then be said to be in its highest exercise when the exactness and restraint of the form leads us to a more distinct practical belief of the saving truth conveyed by it, as through the glass we discern and dwell with distinctness on objects, which to the naked eye appear hazy and confused, though we are still at a great distance from them. But the multitude are ever in extremes. In an age when decent respect is paid to forms, they think of nothing else: now that the emptiness of the form without the spirit is discovered, they can do without them altogether.
One part of our wisdom as Ministers of Religion appears to consist in ascertaining in what direction the good sense of intelligent and educated men is tending. We must not confound the clamour of a few interested writers with the general feeling of our fellow-Christians, nor on the other hand must we forget that Christianity is as consistent with good sense as with truth. We speak the words of "truth and soberness:" and our positions must be built upon sound sense, and reasonable proofs, or mankind will reject them. I do not mean that we are to limit our doctrinal statements to the experience of mankind, (for this would be a reflection on revealed religion,) but that our practical conclusions should be adapted to the wants and capacities of our fellow-Christians in general.
It will be always desirable therefore for us to consult together, as far as possible, on any important line of action, and to act in concert with each other, after conference with the Bishop. This method, so desirable at all times, is more necessary now than ever: and to promote it, I purpose to divide the Diocese into seven Deaneries Rural. [Viz. Woodstock, Fredericton, Kingston, Saint John, Saint Andrew, Shediac, and Chatham.--See Note A.] I shall give instructions to the Dean Rural on the nature of his duties, but shall leave it to the Clergy of each Deanery to select the person they may deem best qualified for that office, the tenure of which I propose should be for three years. By this means all the social and lesser meetings of the Clergy may assume a more definite and useful form, and the bonds of our union may be knit more closely together; and such Deaneries may lay the foundation of Clerical Libraries for the use of the members.
I proceed now to offer some observations on duties of importance which belong to us as Ministers of what we believe to be an Apostolical branch of CHRIST'S Holy Catholic Church. I say what we believe to be; for I cannot suppose it to be necessary for me to prove to you, my Reverend Brethren, either the validity of our Orders, or the lawful succession of our Ministry. I would [11/12] only observe, that unless our Orders be valid, unless those who gave them to us had power to give them, our Ministerial acts must be invalidated; and unless our succession be lawful, I cannot understand in what sense the Church, in the Ordination Service, asserts that "it is evident unto all men diligently reading the Holy Scripture, and ancient authors, that from the Apostles' time there have been three orders of Ministers in CHRIST'S Church, Bishops, Priests, and Deacons." For the assertion would have no force, unless the persons who are to be ordained have some part in the succession. Would it not be worse than unmeaning, would it not be profane, at such a time, first to make the appeal to Scripture and primitive antiquity for the evidence for the three orders "from the Apostles' time," then, in conferring Ordination, to use the self-same words which our LORD used when He gave authority and commandment to His Apostles, if the Church meant to convey no truth by such words, if they were only a loose way of speaking, an empty ceremony; or if that very succession from the Apostles' time, to which the Prayer Book so pointedly refers, were a figment of Papal invention? The very least that could be said, would be, that, on this supposition, there is no book so calculated to mislead a confiding mind, as the Prayer Book; none which authorizes a more disingenuous concealment of its meaning, or which requires, for explanation, a more startling development. [See Note B.] Nor is it unworthy of notice, that one of the strongest arguments we have in a contest of argument with the Roman Catholic body, is the validity of our orders, and the truth of our succession. It is this which proves to us our right to an independent corporate existence. If our orders be invalidated, what warrant have we to teach, what assurance that our Lord will acknowledge the work of our Ministry, except as irregular acts, which He often sees fit to bless even with larger measures of grace than a more regular Ministry, but which there is no direct promise that He will bless? In consequence, all the great champions of our Church against the Papacy have insisted on this point. They held, that though reformed, we were still the English Church; that the rejection of the peculiar claims of the Bishop of Rome did not separate us from the bond of Catholic unity, and that the obstacles to a reunion of Christendom lay chiefly in the unlawful terms of communion sought to be imposed upon us, to which neither our duty to CHRIST, nor to His Church, would permit our submission. That the ground they took was the true ground, is evident, even from the unhappy defections to the Roman Church which have taken place in our own times. Those who have left our Communion have been induced to quit it, by being persuaded, that the Church of England, at the Reformation, [12/13] was guilty of an act of schism, and that, in consequence, our Orders and Ministerial acts are invalid. The theory of development since put forward to justify their secession, may rather be regarded as a bold and ingenious speculation to cover their retreat, than as a doctrine authorized, or indeed generally approved by the Roman Church; or if it be so, it is an abandonment on the part of that Church of her old ground of antiquity and tradition, and of the arguments used by her admitted champions in former ages. Bellarmine and Baronius would have scouted this new doctrine, as inconsistent with the dignity of the Apostolic See: though Petavius, Bishop Bull's opponent, might probably have admitted it. But if the true idea of Christianity were not formed until mediaeval times, it is difficult to see how any argument can be raised on the supposed supremacy of S. Peter, who must have been a mere tyro in the Christian faith; and if pursued to its legitimate conclusions, the doctrine may probably end in that rationalistic system, which, regarding Moses, Mahomet, and CHRIST with equal respect, as in their own day illuminators of the human race, waits for a still higher mission, which will change the whole nature of Christianity itself, and entirely abolish its mysterious and sacramental character.
But to return to our own practical duties. The first to which I desire especially to call your attention, is that of Public Prayer. I have observed with regret that the Churches in this Diocese are seldom open during the week for Prayer. Now, without wishing to press upon you duties which you might feel unequal to perform, it appears to me that there are few places in the Diocese, (none where any number of parishioners reside,) in which Prayers on the Litany days at least, and in many cases oftener, might not conveniently and most profitably be made.
The state of the Church and of the world demands more frequent intercession. The very life of the Church hangs upon it. Our people require it, and would in many instances be refreshed and comforted by it. The objection that few would attend, is met at once by the fact, that our LORD'S promise is given not to the many, but to the few: that the all-seeing presence of GOD should be our great inducement and reward: and that the prayers of two or three would not continue without a blessing. Not to say that others would probably by degrees be found to add to the "little flock;" and, if I must name a more humiliating reason, that we are almost the only body of Christians in the Province, whose Churches are shut up from one LORD'S day to another. Let me hope that those who have for some time past continued this good practice, will soon be no longer the exceptions, but that the rule will generally be observed among us. No idle distinctions of party can be a reason for the omission of [13/14] prayer and intercession. A custom enjoined in Scripture, sanctioned by our Saviour, followed by His Apostles, and for which ample provision is made by our Church, requires no recommendation from me, the most unworthy of its servants. [I am thankful to be able to strengthen myself by similar advice from the venerable Bishop of Toronto, in his late Charge. "Let us then, my brethren," says the Bishop, "take up the Book of Common Prayer, and ask our own hearts what it proposes for our guidance and direction in bringing home the various means of grace to the hearts and understandings of our people. The first thing commanded, is the use of the Morning and Evening Prayer daily throughout the year. Now this implies, that our Churches should be open twice every day; and accordingly, portions of the Old and New Testaments are allotted for each service, so that the most part of the Bible is to be read every year once, the New Testament three times, and the Psalms every month. We have reason to believe that for some time after the Reformation this order was regularly observed; and in large towns, even within the memory of many still living, some Churches were daily opened; and blessed be God, the practice is again gradually reviving. In this Diocese I hope to see in a short time some of our Churches open daily in our rising towns, wherever the number of the Clergy will admit of the regular performance of the duty, and in country places it should remind us of our Missionary character and that we ought to have appointments with our people on week days, in different parts of our Missions, as often as our strength will admit. Our Church is a prayerful Church; and not to follow her directions, as far as in us lies, is to rebel against her lawful authority, and to rob our people of their just inheritance, for the faithful exercise of daily prayer will doubtless bring down blessings on the land."]
Nothing has contributed to bring the Prayers of the Church into more general disuse, than a slovenly hurried manner of saying them. And I would earnestly entreat my younger Brethren in particular, to attend to this point. Slowness and distinctness of utterance, without drawling, so as to give every word its proper enunciation, yet not to lay undue emphasis on any, especially on the pronouns and particles, are essential to good reading. An affected tone, and a habit of dramatizing the Prayers and the Lessons, as if a play were being enacted, is especially offensive to good taste. Simplicity, reality, distinct enunciation, and a reverent manner, seem to me to include the leading characteristics of a good reader.
For the benefit of my younger Brethren in the Ministry, I may also make a few remarks on Preaching.
That our flocks are often led to place an undue stress upon this part of our duty is obvious to us all. The corrupt heart of man always values most that which exalts or pleases self, which is most easily performed, and in the performance of which judgment is passed upon others. Preaching is liable to all these abuses. Mere hearing costs nothing: the hearer who admires or censures is, or fancies himself to be a judge, and though admonished or reproved, he enthrones himself in the critic's chair. Hence the undue preference of Sermons over Prayer: the contempt poured upon particular Preachers, the exaltation of others, whilst few are found who hear in silence, weep, rejoice, and pray. Yet though these evils every where abound, we should not act wisely in depreciating or in neglecting an ordinance of GOD.
"Preach the word," is the eternal command: and what must [14/15] be done in obedience to GOD ought to be done in the best possible manner. One of the great faults commonly found with Sermons is, that they are dull. Preachers do not sufficiently study variety and copiousness of information. They "bring" not "forth out of their treasures things new and old." Either they dwell on single points of doctrine in every Sermon, in almost the self-same words, or confine themselves to the same round of moral duties, or preach about nothing but the Church, or else they never mention it. If we take the Scripture for our guide in preaching, we shall find it otherwise. Continual variety is found in the Word of GOD. History and exhortation, precept and parable, sententious proverbs, simple narratives, holy and comforting doctrines, supported by weighty arguments, and followed by practical exhortations, are interspersed in rapid succession in its sacred pages. I would advise my younger Brethren not to confine themselves to single trite texts, divided into three regular parts, with the same kind of conclusion for all. It is useful often to expound a longer passage of Scripture, as for instance, a Parable, a Psalm, or one of the Gospels or Epistles of the day; and by following in the wake of the Church throughout the year, we are sure to obtain a variety of useful and interesting subjects. Thus the lives of the Saints, the sayings of our SAVIOUR, the Christian application of Jewish Psalms, the principal events in our Loss's life, the prophecies of His first, the signs of His second advent, the doctrines and duties contained in the Creed and the Commandments, Prayer and the Sacraments, the nature, constitution, and progress of the Church, will all in their turn furnish matter for instruction. Decies repetita placebit.
The style of Preaching is, in its degree, of as much importance as the matter. My meaning on this head cannot be so well expressed as in the words of Archbishop Secker. "The concern of a Parish Minister," says the Archbishop, "is, to make the lowest of his congregation apprehend the doctrine of salvation by Repentance, Faith, and Obedience, and to labour, that, when they know the way of life, they may walk in it. Smooth discourses, composed partly in fine words which they do not understand, partly in flowing sentences which they cannot follow to the end, leave them as ignorant and unreformed as ever, and lull them into a fatal security. Your expressions may be very common, without being low; yet employ the lowest, provided they are not ridiculous, rather than not be understood. Let your sentences and the parts of them be short where you can. Avoid rusticity and grossness in your style; yet be not too fond of smooth, and soft, and flowing language, but study to be nervous and expressive; and bear the censure of being unpolished, rather than uninfluencing."
 I venture to quote a few more remarks from the same judicious writer, on manner.
"Every man's voice and utterance belongs to himself alone; and it is vain to think of looking or talking like such or such a one. Therefore, preserve what is native to you: free it from adventitious faults: improve it if you can: but remember that you may deprave it by the endeavour; and certainly will, if you change it essentially. Speak to your people as you would undertake to inform or persuade a friend in a concern of great moment; only with more deliberation, more strength and energy in proportion to the numbers, and vary both your style and elocution, as in conversation you always do, suitably to your matter. For monotony soon deadens attention. It is worst, indeed, when uniformly unnatural, by degenerating into a kind of chant." To which I will add, that distinctness of utterance will both render your words certain to be heard, and will tend much more to fix the attention of your hearers, than loudness of sound.
I proceed to speak of another most important, but most sadly neglected part of Clerical duty, Public Catechising. It is remarkable that most of our best English divines have borne witness to the importance, and have at the same time complained of the neglect, of this most useful and Scriptural work, the disuse of which can, I fear, be set down to nothing but indolence, because it never seems to have been even unpopular. To gather the younger portion of the congregation together, and through them to instruct the elder, many of whom are too ill-informed to profit by Sermons, is surely the most effectual method of endeavouring to "turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers." I would very earnestly press upon you all the necessity, as well as add somewhat on the nature, of this duty.
The great ignorance of a vast number of Christians on the main points of faith and practice, as well as on the specific doctrines of their own Church, is the strongest argument that can be alleged in favour of Public Catechising. If the Clergy would only take the trouble to ascertain the real amount of knowledge, which the adult portion of their flocks possess on points of Christian doctrine, they would find it almost incredibly small, and extremely indistinct: and such persons are generally ashamed to confess how much they do not know, and unwilling or unable to give up the time to acquire what ought to be known. From Sermons ordinarily they carry away very little information: the little they understand they speedily forget; and the hearing of Sermons is more like a mechanical exercise, or a spiritual stimulant, which they take once a week, than an edifying means of [16/17] knowledge. But the instruction of the young revives the hearts of the old: what they do know is made more distinct: what they do not, is shown them without putting them to the blush: even the mistakes of the catechumen serve to correct their own; whilst the form of question and answer helps a weak memory to retain what, when uttered in a Sermon, is lost by the continuity of the discourse. Casual remarks on important subjects are better received and treasured up. Their homeliness pleases and attracts; and the simplicity which is adapted to the child, is found to come hoine to the heart of the aged man. Never is the Parish Priest more affectionately regarded by his flock,--never does he more closely tread in the steps of the good Shepherd, than when he familiarly, yet reverently, instructs the youth of his flock in the faith and duty of the Christian Religion. To a duty so plain, so pleasing, and so useful, what objection can be made but that of Incapacity, which is only another word for indolence? No Pastor who is competently instructed in the chief truths of the Christian Religion, and has taken pains to prove by Scripture the truths contained in the Church Catechism, need be at a loss for matter: and though a judicious method of catechising may be difficult of attainment, the difficulty is well worth mastering.
The time for such catechising is of course after the Second Lesson in the Morning or Evening Service; but the Evening Service will generally be found to be the most suitable, and the exercise need not exceed fifteen minutes. Where there is a Sunday School already formed, the materials are at hand: and thus there would always be a class preparing for Confirmation, and gradually taught the true meaning of that important rite. The responsibility of the neglecting this duty will not henceforth rest on your Bishop. [I gladly avail myself of a quotation from a letter lately addressed by a Prelate to whom the world is largely indebted, on the subject. "This last difficulty," viz., the indifference of parents to the moral and religious welfare of their children, says the Bishop of Lincoln, "It is your peculiar province to remove, by awakening them toe sense of the responsibility attaching to the parental character, and of the heinousness of the offence in not only neglecting the moral training of their offspring, but of perverting religion into an excuse for their neglect. It is the more Incumbent on us to labour in this department of ministerial duty, because it is to be feared that the erroneous notions entertained, the indifference and apathy exhibited by parents on this most important subject, are, partly at least traceable to our own neglect. We have not availed ourselves of the opportunities afforded us of forcing it upon their notice. We have allowed the public catechising of children, and the public administration of Baptism, to fall comparatively into disuse. On the latter point, I trust that a great improvement is gradually taking place, and that the practice of baptizing privately, excepting in cases of necessity, is becoming continually less common: but on the former, I fear that a comparison of the present state of things even with that which existed a century ago, (a time in which it is now the fashion to represent the Church as sunk in lethargy) would not prove very satisfactory. I have now lying before me a book of the date of 1738, containing the results or an inquiry instituted by the Bishop who then presided over the Diocese, from which it appears that the practice of catechising was almost universal. That the interests of religion have suffered its discontinuance cannot be doubted. Travellers concur in bearing testimony to the zeal and ability with which the Clergy in Roman Catholic countries discharge this part of their duty, and to the influence which they in consequence obtain over the minds of the rising generation: why should not the same beneficial consequence flow from the revival of the practice among ourselves?"--Bishop of Lincoln's Letter to his Clergy, 1847.]
I would now call your attention to another equally important [17/18] part of your duties--the visiting of the sick, and, "as far as need shall require, and occasion shall be given," of "the whole." Without this a Clergyman's duty is but half discharged. In Parishes where the people are collected in villages and towns, leas difficulty is presented, and in sickness, few, if any, neglect the services of their appointed Clergyman. The principal difficulty is to bring those who are in health to desire the visits of a Clergyman in his clerical capacity. All persons are glad to receive marks of attention and civility; and a cheerful hospitality is commonly to be met with in this Province; and it is our duty to pay our friends this mark of respect; but when the conversation goes no further than the weather or the crops, or is confined to observations upon persons, it is difficult to see that it is attended with permanent advantage to either party. Our real object in visiting each member of our flock should be, to express our sympathy in his sorrows or his joys, to promote his actual progress in the great preparation for the eternal world, his discharge of the daily duties of domestic life, his habit of constant communion with the Church, his real fitness for the awful presence of the Holy One Himself. Alas! on this errand too many of our parishioners seem not desirous to see us, nor willing to regard us as their spiritual friends, the guides and counsellors of their immortal souls.
In order therefore to profitable visiting, our own tone of mind must be elevated. We must not be the mere respectable members of society, the cheerful festive companions of the rich, or the mirthful, the judicious and sedulous men of business: ours is a higher employment, a loftier sphere of action. These, our friends and neighbours, are our fellow-sinners in a world of corruption, in a time of self-deceit and self-indulgence, in a place where the Church is weak, and the world is strong. Their blood will be required at our hands if we do not make some effort to rouse them from their apathy, their negligence, their sin. How many appear unfit to die! How many deprive themselves of the full enjoyment even of the ordinary means of grace! How few are in possession of that holy fear, that victorious faith, that peaceful love, by which "he that is born of GOD overcometh the world!" If we estimate the strength of our Church as a whole, by the number of those who "walk in the light as He is in the light, and have fellowship" (or communion) "one with another," and whom "the blood of Jesus CHRIST cleanseth from all sin," we may tremble while we say, "If the LORD of Hosts had not left unto us a very small remnant, we had been as Sodom, and had been like unto Gomorrah."
Now no man can impart to others that which he has not himself received. An ungodly Pastor may indeed be made the [18/19] instrument of good to others, by preaching truth: but to benefit his people by personal acquaintance, he must have the divine life in his own soul. He must be a man of meditation and prayer. And every year seems to make this work more difficult, and to put more temptations in our way to neglect it. The numerous channels of usefulness, the scattered population, the time occupied in visiting, are hindrances: the complex artificial way of living is a greater hindrance: our rapidity of communication and abundance of intelligence is a greater hindrance still. If we are always on the move, what time is left for communing with GOD? If we are always reading letters, pamphlets, and newspapers, what opportunity remains for quiet thought, patient study, grave meditation, silent prayer? A calm repose of mind, uplifted thoughts, desires that breathe the air of heaven, seem almost incompatible with this bustling, clamorous, imitative age, in which we live as it were in a kind of moral earthquake, rocking to and fro with continual change, dizzy with agitation and excitement, craving still for more. The ancient landmarks are in course of removal: the very sky and earth seem to reel before our eyes, as if we had just been landed from a long voyage. But though this may be our difficulty, we must not be conquered by it. Our blessed Master, when He had been all day long in the crowd, sought the freshness of the mountain air, the stillness and solitude of night, and poured out His soul unto the FATHER. He commanded His Disciples, when "there were many coming and going, and they had not leisure so much as to eat," to "retire into desert places, and rest awhile." It was necessary to their spiritual existence--and it is equally necessary to our own. To make our visits profitable, and our conversation such as "becometh the Gospel of CHRIST," we must come invigorated by secret prayer, and sustained and elevated by fellowship with the gracious Spirit of Truth. Thus furnished, our intercourse with our people will assume a holier character; even while we speak on ordinary subjects, we shall not speak in the spirit of the world, and a chastised and sober thoughtfulness will be diffused over our general conversation.
Such habits will supply us with the best answer to the question, how far a Clergyman may lawfully mix in the recreations and amusements of ordinary society: a question which can seldom be answered satisfactorily in the abstract, and which will admit of many modifications, according to circumstances. If, however, our spiritual intercourse with GOD be duly kept up, if the eye of our mind be single, we shall soon discover the point beyond which it is unsafe to proceed: and when our presence is made to countenance excess, extravagance, and idle dissipation, or when a large portion of our time is wasted, it is then clearly our duty to withdraw.
 There is another branch of this subject which requires more attention than has, I fear, been paid to it by the Clergy of our Church in general; I mean the study of Casuistical Divinity.
Cases of soul-sickness are as various in their nature, and require as great variety of treatment at the hands of a spiritual physician, as is demanded by bodily disorders. A few words of hasty prayer, and general topics of consolation derived from the freeness of GOD'S mercy, will not supply the wants of a burdened conscience, nor relieve one who has been engaged in complicated schemes of sin, or who has oppressed or defrauded his neighbour, or whose doctrinal views on important points are confused and entangled, or who is filled with delusive fears, and morbid fancies. It is only the empiric who boasts of one cure for all diseases. The works of Bishop Taylor and Bishop Sanderson will assist you in this matter: and I take this opportunity of urging on my younger brethren the necessity of continually adding to their stores of theological knowledge. He whose office requires him to teach, will soon exhaust himself, unless he is perpetually learning. And I entertain a sanguine hope, that the frequent meetings of the Clergy in their Rural Deaneries, by accustoming them to the consideration of definite subjects, and by the comparison of the practical experience of each in the discharge of pastoral duty, may be highly beneficial to us all. Thus we shall "give attendance to reading, to exhortation, and to doctrine."
But I will no longer detain your attention on such topics, however important. I must crave your indulgence a little longer, while I dwell on some matters which intimately concern us as Ministers of religion in this Province of New Brunswick.
No man who is placed in a situation of acknowledged difficulty, can be practically useful, who does not make himself muter of his real position. And however painful the discovery of that position may be, however it may clash with cherished theories, or jar upon the mind, he must not blind his eyes to the facts of the case. It will only tend to his disadvantage, if he cling tenaciously to what only exists on paper, and assume to exercise rights which can never be practically maintained. On the other hand, what is founded on truth, what is connected with CHRIST'S eternal word, will certainly endure, though it may seem to the world unpromising and unreal.
The position then which we have to realize is, that the relations of the Church to the world are very different from what they were even fifty years ago. Formerly, how defective soever the practice of the State might have been, there was but one religion admitted to be true by the State in England, and its dependencies; and that religion was the religion of the Church of which [20/21] we are members and Ministers. Places of honour, profit, and power, were bestowed almost exclusively on Members of our Church, especially in the Colonies. The parochial system established here, was founded on the theory of an Established Church, and in the more ancient Statutes of the Province the words "Established Church of England," are found; whilst we still continue to pray for His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor, that he may uphold "the true religion established among us," which it is needless to say, in the place in which those words are found, must mean the religion of the Church of England. To the great discredit of the State, however, this theory was only carried just so far as to put into places of honour and profit those who held it: and it stopped just at the point where it would have been of real advantage to the whole body of the people. Glebes were granted, which at that time were worth nothing: the country was divided into parishes; but where were the Clergy? Of what practical utility to the settlers was this shadowy division of a parish, containing in some cases, tens of thousands of acres, twenty, forty, and even sixty miles in length, without a Church, without a Clergyman, without a probability of having one or the other when they were wanted?
It may possibly be said, that the people might have obtained Clergy, had they been in earnest. Now the very reverse is the fact. They were in earnest to obtain Clergy, but they could not procure them. The Government of England, had it been really desirous to propagate the faith which it professed to be true,--I might rather say, had it not been judiciously blinded to its own interest, honour, and security, would have sent out with every Governor of a colony a Bishop, and two or three Clergy. Their salaries need not have been large, and they might have depended in part from the first on the offerings of the faithful in the places to which they were sent. The Bishop would have ordained Clergy as they were wanted, and these Clergy might have been supported at first by the State, in part, and in proportion as the Glebes became valuable, by the Glebes, and the people together. I do not hesitate to say, that if this course had been pursued in New Brunswick, not only would the members of the Church of England have been much more numerous than they are now, but the habits of the people would have been more orderly, their notions more enlightened, much more land would have been reclaimed, and brought into cultivation, and the Province would consequently be richer than it is at present. Had the Government acted on these simple principles of common justice, and of what was due even to their own professions, much might have been done. Instead of which, neither in the country which is now called the United States, nor anywhere else, was it possible [21/22] to get a Bishop sent out. [See Archbishop Secker's remarks quoted in the Bishop of London's Sermon on the Consecration of four Bishops in Westminster Abbey, p. 53 of No. 2. Colonial Church Chronicle, a valuable publication, which I recommend to the Clergy.] Self-denying men offered to come to America without any State assistance, but the offer was refused. It was deemed to be, "against His Majesty's interest." Bishops were looked on as likely to be incendiaries, and common disturbers, instead of what they really would have been, pillars of the connection between America and the mother country. All that was wanted was to make money, and get rid of troublesome people at home. But what became of them when they reached their destination, or what became of the spiritual interests of the Colonies themselves, nobody cared, so long as they paid their taxes, and gave no particular trouble. The consequences of this thoroughly selfish, thoroughly infidel policy, were such as might have been expected; and they have terminated, if indeed the end be yet come, in an entire alteration in the relations of the Church to the State at home and abroad: in some respects, by the blessing of GOD, for the better, in others no doubt for the worse. We may not deny that God has overruled the evil, so as to produce a partial, and a very important good. So long as the State clung to the Church as a mere worldly system, so long a great deal of evil was forced upon the Church by the connection. Low worldly views abounded everywhere. The Church of England seemed not only isolated from all Christendom, but exhausted at home. Her spiritual tone was low, her operations feeble, her Missions few. One only Society, the great Mother of all our Missions, existed, but elicited no sympathetic response from the Government nor from the people. A few zealous Churchmen performed the whole work of that Society, and for want of funds its energies were cramped. But though the Government was dead to a right sense of religious duty, the people of England became awakened through Gou's mercy to a strong sense of it. Within the Church of England and without, men began to feel that religion was a reality which they could not shake off if they would, and that it would have mastery over them. Still, no direction was given to this new and heaven-born impulse. It was left to find its own channel, and to shape its own course. The Church soon became unable to control it, and then very naturally it began to act against the Church, and to wrest its honour and respect from it, and to a considerable extent the result has been most disastrous. But though the Church is not, as she might have been, "the pillar and ground of the truth" to thousands who no longer own her authority, or share her blessings, though every Ministry finds its hands weakened by the contending energies of rival religionists, yet the latent energies of the Church herself [22/23] have been called forth. A distinct acknowledgment of her power has been made even by her foes. A proof has been given to the world that she is upheld not by human governments, but by GOD: that she lives not only in written documents, but has the true hidden life within her, which only her LORD could have bestowed upon her. At the same time the position of her Ministers in every part of the world is very embarrassing and anomalous. We cannot be said to belong to an Established Church, for there is nothing established.
Our Clergy have no State provision, our Churches are secured by no rates for their maintenance, the chief support we receive is from voluntary charity, the charity not of the people whom we serve, but of English friends. The State seems in no way more connected with us, than it is connected with the Roman Catholics, or the Presbyterians, or the Baptists, of the Province. We have no public acknowledgment that ours is the true religion. This kind of declaration is so unpopular, that it cannot safely be made, at least so it is considered. Something possibly of the odium of having been established, we may retain, but that the name is of any practical service to us I have never been able to discover.
How much longer can a great Empire like that of England, which openly dis-establishes the Church in all her Colonies, and loosens its hold upon the public mind, as far as the State by enactment can loosen it, expect to retain at home the advantages of social order which the State obviously gains from the connection? For that the Church is the gainer, seems to become more doubtful every day. Its spirituality is choked; its extension prohibited, or reluctantly yielded to public opinion; its natural progress impeded by a forced protection. When the government, as a government, acts on the belief that one religion is true, the Church thankfully embraces the protection of the State; but when the government adheres to no one religion as true, or which is the same thing, to all alike, the Church can only ask permission to act independently on her Master's commands, and carry out her own principles, which are certain to expand in due time.
But whatever may be the evils affecting our present position, they are not new to the world. Christianity at its origin, struggled with them in a much greater degree. Only it had then one great advantage which we have not. It was then embodied in one definite and acknowledged system which was matched against the world, and which suffered, bled, and prevailed. Now men of the world ask, Which is Christianity? Which is the true Bible? Which is the right Bishop? Which is the true Pastor? Which is the real thing? Or is there nothing [23/24] real after all? From this statement you will see that what orators at public meetings declaim upon with so much effect, the union of Christians in agreeing to differ, because they despair of agreement, is in reality not a good, but a very frightful practical evil, an evil certain to be made worse, if not incurable, by the commendations bestowed on it. It has produced a great deal of secret infidelity, and will produce, I fear, a great deal more. There is a vast body of persons, who live entirely out of what is called the religious world, who are intelligent, thoughtful people, very keenly watching all that is now going on around them, and very much dissatisfied with all sects and all parties. They see a great number of persons claiming not only to be Christians, but in this country to be separate Churches, all disunited, often at open variance, never communicating with each other, yet in possession of the same Scriptures, and appealing to them in support of their different and contrary systems with equal confidence. I fear the effect upon minds of this description is a very great indifference to all, an indifference amounting to contempt.
It may be said, perhaps, that such differences are of no moment, and are felt to be of no moment by the parties themselves. I confess this is to me incredible. No rational pious persons would form separate communions for what they believed to be trifles, not founded on their religious convictions. But where is the community to whom their religious peculiarities do not appear of moment? Of so great moment that they are often represented by them as the key-stones to a right understanding of the Scriptures, and of the whole Gospel scheme.
It is again supposed that by the division of Christendom, more good is effected on the whole; the divided bodies stimulating each other to greater efforts. There would be more reason in this, if their efforts were all directed to a common point: but when a vast deal of this energy is exerted against each other, and by that means wasted, so that the web which one spins by day, the other unravels by night, it does not appear that we gain anything by our "unhappy divisions." What satisfaction is it to learn that in one place Roman. Catholics have become Protestants, and in another Protestants have gone over to Rome; that here the Church has gained on the Wesleyans, and there the Baptists have prevailed over the Church, if the equilibrium of division be maintained on the whole, and good and pious men, on many of whom the Spirit of GOD has evidently descended, waste more than half their strength in undoing the good which others wish to do?
Nor is the evil much amended by many of the fundamental doctrines of the Gospel being held in common by all: for if any be denied, can there be, in the fulness of the Apostolic sense, [24/25] "one LORD, one faith, one baptism?" Where is this residuary Christianity sanctioned in the New Testament? Is not the "everlasting Gospel," a system fixed, limited, and determined; neither to be diminished nor enlarged by mankind? Can that be a satisfactory state, when particular bodies of Christians make their selection of the truths of Revelation, and their brethren, out of courtesy, agree not to press points of difference, which themselves, nevertheless, believe to be revealed? We may be thankful that many truths are held in common: but if they were held as they ought to be, our joint interest in them would unite us in Church-fellowship. Separation can never consist with a thorough discernment and holy love of religious truth.
Yet this sad division is not, in my view, the worst of our position as members of the Church in this Province. How fearful soever the evil I have been describing, we share it in common with all parts of the world. It is our common weakness, reproach, and punishment. There is, however, among many of the members of the Church in this Province, (and I am inclined to think that the evil is felt in other Provinces,) a surprising apathy, a want of conscious energy, without which nothing good or great can be accomplished, and a remarkable absence of public spirit. This may in some degree be imputed to the bad policy of the Mother Country. It arises also partly, without doubt, from the noble yet sadly-abused generosity of the Society for Propagating the Gospel, which did not insist from the first, that the people should do their part in maintaining a religion to which they professedly belong. Yet the voluntary system of support seems peculiarly liable to a capricious and fitful charity, which promises much more than it ever intends to perform. Whatever be the causes, the facts (though painful) are too notorious to be denied, and to conceal them is to render the evil fixed and permanent. It is evident that much is received, and little paid. There can be no doubt that on the whole the balance of wealth lies on the side of the Church of England, yet, after making every allowance, I greatly fear that its members, taken as a whole, contribute less to the steady and continued maintenance of their own religion than the members of other religious communities. In several parts of the Province, which it might be invidious to name, a large number of Churchmen, it is well known, do nothing for the support of the Church, or next to nothing. A few individuals give very liberally; and all that is done, to their honour be it spoken, is done by them, and they are called upon to give again and again. Yet those who do nothing are often very well able to afford to give, but always have an excuse read: in truth, they feel little interest in religion, and they know that England is ready to help them, and they forget the fearful account which [25/26] they will soon have to give. So great is their ignorance, that they obviously regard the funds of the venerable Society for the Propagation of the Gospel as a kind of patrimonial inheritance laid up for themselves and their children, of which they are robbed, when it is not granted to them, forgetting that they are only pensioners on its bounty, that it receives no support now from Parliament, and that every body of Christians is bound to contribute to the maintenance of their own Clergy, and the support of their own charitable institutions.
It would indeed be only an act of justice as well as gratitude to that noble Society, the nurse of all our Missions, that this Province, which has received so largely from its funds, should occasionally, if not statedly, render it pecuniary assistance in return. I am persuaded, that by many it is still regarded as a kind of government fund to which it is wholly unnecessary to contribute.
For though the Mother Country has her own duty to fulfil, nothing is more clear, than that, as long as we are wholly dependent on the charity of others, we shall never effectually maintain and propagate our own faith. And do we esteem that faith so lightly, as to consider it a matter of small importance whether it be upheld or no? Are not they who remain in a Church without supporting it, even more guilty than they who leave it? I am unable at present to propose any general remedy with a hope of its being adopted. The only true remedy seems to me to be an assessment upon the property of Churchmen, for the support of their own religion. The burden would then be felt most by those who are most able to bear it, and the charitable efforts of individuals would be applied in aid of poor, and really destitute places.
It would be at the same time very ungrateful to deny that an increasing disposition to co-operate for the good of the Church has been manifested for some time past in many quarters, and that the liberal sums contributed to the Church Society, are, it is to be hoped, an earnest, that a better spirit is beginning to arise. [See Note C.] And in saying what I deem it my duty to say on this point, I must not be understood to reflect on individuals, nor to deny a measure of willing co-operation; but to speak of the united efforts of the whole body of Churchmen, which I consider to be very far below what might easily be accomplished, and would be accomplished, if men were as eager to practise religion, as they are to dispute about it; or if their gifts were made on a systematic system of charity, and in any degree corresponding to what they lavish on themselves. And I take this opportunity of respectfully, but earnestly saying to my lay brethren, the merchants, shipowners, and landed proprietors of the Province, that [26/27] it is their bounden duty, on gospel principles; to make some permanent provision for the Church in the place where their fortunes are made, or their estates lie, out of the property which GOD, not their own might and power, has given them. Let them forgive me for reminding them, that "GOD is not mocked; but that whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."
The root of the evil no doubt lies in that hollow worldliness, which makes men prefer the acquisition of wealth to the salvation of their souls. Indifferent to their own salvation, they care even less for the good of others. They are not properly Church-members, though they may be Church-goers. They abstain from the Holy Communion, deeming themselves unfit to receive it, and perhaps justly; yet they take no pains to become better and holier. Our justly is full of such broken reeds, who, when we lean upon them, pierce us through and through with empty promises, never made good to those who have depended on their fulfilment. A vast train of sins follows closely on this unholy state of mind. Parental discipline is wholly relaxed, so that little children become their own masters at a very early age, with the ignorance of children, and the cunning of men. Early indulgence as children induces habits of greediness in after years. Excess in eating and drinking, and an inordinate love of pampering the appetite, "making provision for the flesh," reign without check among us. Even at mid-day festive parties are held, in which the use of an inordinate quantity of wine is encouraged, and among both the younger and older members of society strong drink in immoderate quantities is continually used. Among some, a great want of honour is observable in the ordinary transactions of life. In the remote districts a frightful irreverence in all divine offices is observable. Had it not been for the generous gifts of the two great Societies at home, there would often be neither Communion Table, nor Font, nor Vessels for the Holy Communion, nor a Linen Cloth, nor Books for the Offices. Even at present, in some places, the Vessels I have been compelled to use in administering the LORD'S Supper would not be used in any decent parlour in the Province. The Canon which requires a Font of Stone is neglected in the great majority of parishes; nor is there even a Font of any durable material. Such are the results of leaving every man to do "that which is right in his own eyes." Man, the creature, despises his Creator, and pays Him less reverence than he exacts from his fellow sinners to himself.
Yet lest I should seem to discover no bright spots in our horizon, I thankfully acknowledge that there are those whose reverential love seems ever ripening; who are found daily in the temple, blessing and praising GOD; are never absent from the Heavenly Board; whose hand never grows weary in charity; nor does their love evaporate in words. Were CHRIST again on earth, [27/28] these faithful souls would pour the spikenard on His sacred head, would anoint His body for the burial, would treasure up His holy sayings, would follow Him, and minister to Him of their substance. O that GOD would give us to see more of this blessed spirit: that He would root out heartless doubt, and hollow suspicion, and grovelling deceit from among us: that He would give us truly to believe that there is a GOD, a heaven, a hell, a future state of retribution, that He would teach us to make our Prayer Books real books of prayer; our houses, houses of prayer; and would make our hearts His home: that He would grant to all who bear the Church's name, to be honest Churchmen and consistent Christians!
Some portion of the lesser negligences referred to, is possibly to be attributed to the want of a liberal education, and to the unhappy restrictions placed on English literature. These, however, we may hope to see eventually removed; and when the Schoolmaster is better paid, and better educated, many prejudices will of themselves die away. The Church of England has nothing to fear from the spread of sound knowledge and a liberal education. The illustrious names which grace her annals were the best educated men of their time, and the wider and more comprehensive the range of thought, the less ground has she of apprehension for the result.
Having now considered some of the dangers and evils which beset us, suffer me to point out the path which it seems our duty to pursue.
How unspeakably important, my brethren, is the choice we make of our line of thought and action. What awful consequences may depend on the activity or the indolence, the courage or the cowardice of this generation of Clergy. Our office is to be the regenerators of Society in its infancy. Every thing depends on our steps. A low, worldly, selfish tone of mind, sinking our high calling to the level of a common trade, and viewing all things only in regard to the opinion of the world, will produce an amount of evil incalculable. To regenerate others we must ourselves be regenerated. Our whole hearts must be in our work. If we see men around us idle, we must be first and foremost in action: if they are covetous, we must be liberal: if they are self-indulgent, we must be not only moderate and temperate, but self-denying: if they are hollow and scheming, we must be simple and unselfish: our purposes must be higher, our aim loftier, our life more exactly correct, more scrupulously guarded. At the same time we must carefully watch against an air of fanciful caprice, or an assumption of authority which belongs not to our calling. Even an overstrained appearance of sanctity has the effect of unreality. We must be able to give a reason for all we say and for all we do; lest men imagine that we are [28/29] deficient in common sense, and confound our religious earnestness with a blind enthusiasm. We must be indifferent to the accusations and superior to the trammels of party: esteeming all to be our friends who agree with us in an honest and faithful maintenance of the doctrines and discipline of our Church: not counting grains and weighing scruples, while faith and honesty and justice are neglected. Our first business must be to persuade all men, even our enemies, of our sincerity: our next to be ready to learn something from everybody, and turn everything to account. In matters of lesser moment, let us lean to the merciful side, yet let us never be afraid to go right through with any great Christian principle. Rules and circumstances may vary with the lapse of time; but good principles are the seed, which, if it die, "abideth not alone," but revives and buds, and blossoms, and brings forth fruit when it is least expected, and is indestructible and everlasting.
Let us remember that, though we have truth, we have not numbers on our side in this Province: it becomes us therefore to be "modest and humble in our ministration," not speaking of other bodies of Christians with a bitterness which will do us no good, and the Church all possible harm; but letting them see that we respect their zeal and honour their piety, though we believe our own system to be truer and more effectual for good. Hasty anathemas and execrations upon those who cling to the faith of their parents or ancestors, are neither worthy of the Christian Minister, nor serviceable to him. The anathema is a two-edged sword, a weapon only to be wielded by an Apostle or a Council; and if the weight of ecclesiastical censure is to fall upon any, it should rather be on the notorious profligate, drunkard, or worshipper of mammon, our own body, than on, as we deem them, mistaken, but sincere and zealous persons without it.
We are also to be the educators as well as regenerators of Society. He who preaches to his flock, who catechises in public, who instructs the youth in the daily and Sunday School, is a continual educator, though not by profession a schoolmaster; and he educates not for time only, but for eternity. The mixed state of religious faith and feeling presents almost insuperable difficulties to the training of the young in this Province; and it is to be feared that those who receive only a secular education, will never be rightly instructed on the subject of religion. Public catechising will help you much in this subject; and it would be highly desirable that every Clergyman should have private classes for instruction before Confirmation. You should on no account give admission to that holy rite without careful and repeated instruction, and without a persuasion that the persons who are to be confirmed, have at least a serious sense of the nature of their [29/30] engagements, and are not living in known sin. Even more than this would be desirable if it could be always attained.
It is a source of thankfulness to my own mind, that of the 1241 young persons whom I have confirmed, none have presented themselves whose conduct has not been at the time of Confirmation serious and devout, and that many have afterwards partaken of the Holy Communion. It must be your care, my Reverend Brethren, to watch over them, that they be not carried away by the snares of the devil in after life.
But it is not enough for the Clergy to attempt to educate. To do their work well, they ought to be the best educated men in the Province, the best informed in all general history, as well as on theological subjects, and the most in advance of the public mind. A mere smattering of Latin and Greek, a hurried reading of Tomline's Elements, and Burnet on the Articles, with a few volumes of skeletons of Sermons, will never make the man who is to mould the public mind. There are abundant subjects of thought on which these common-places will never give us any information. How necessary it is just now that we should know something of the whole controversy between Roman Catholicism on the one hand, and Puritanism on the other, and seize the independent yet Catholic tone of our great English divines. But a Clergyman's theology is not all his education. If he has any ear for music, he should know something of it, that he' may be able to direct the service of GPD in one of its most important parts,--the work of praise,--and rescue it from its present state of degradation. The building and restoration of the fabric of his Church is almost hopeless, unless he has some knowledge of architecture. What are the best plans that can be devised in the hands of an ignorant Clergyman? He falls helpless into the hands of some rude mechanic, whose superior practical knowledge makes him hopelessly conceited, and as the Clergyman can teach him nothing which he does not already know, he will listen to no advice, he ruins every plan, misunderstands every direction, and adopts just so much of the original design as to make the result more unsightly than it would have been if no attempt had been made to do better. [It will seem almost incredibly ludicrous to our English friends, that a high-pitched roof, which even nature teaches must shoot off the snow, is deemed objectionable, as mysteriously prone to Romanism. At this rate, the flat roof of a Greek Pagan temple must be perfectly Christian.] A musical ear may be unattainable, but a knowledge of architectural propriety is open to all who will take the trouble to gain it. I deem it right, however, to prevent misconstruction, to state my sentiments more fully on this point. An Englishman, accustomed to the magnificent temples of his father-land, may be supposed to require more than the circumstances of the country will bear, and to be desirous of [30/31] sumptuous buildings which are beyond the means of poor settlers. This is not the principle which I advocate. The true principle which should guide man in the adoration of his Maker, (and all Church architecture is to be employed in that view,) is that each man should give back to GOD the best of what GOD has given to him. This would necessarily lead to great variety in Churches, agreeably to the unequal distribution of the gifts of Providence. There would be sumptuous Churches, where men are rich: there would be plain Churches, where men are poor. But whether a Church be sumptuous or plain, it should be so built as to subserve the proper end of Divine worship, which is not to assemble men together for their own bodily comfort: but to bring them "to acknowledge their sins before GOD, to set forth His most worthy praise, to hear His most holy word, and to ask those things which are requisite and necessary, as well for the body as the soul." United prayer and praise, the administration of the Holy Sacraments, and the hearing of GOD'S holy word, are the purposes for the right performance of which Churches are built, and to which their several parts should be subservient, agreeably to such methods and customs as are sanctioned by our Prayer Book. And when the Prayer Book is silent, custom should have its proper place: by which I understand not a variable custom of twenty or thirty years' standing, imported from a neighbouring country, or borrowed from Dissenters, and not uniform in two parishes of the Province, but a general custom prevailing in the land to which we are indebted for our monarchy and our religion, provided always that such custom be not inconvenient in itself, or evidently subversive of the plain meaning of the Prayer Book. No express form of architecture is divinely given: yet one can see no reason for going to pagan Greece and idolatrous Rome for our models, when we can find better in Christian England, in a thousand varied but beautiful forms. The parish Church of our father-land has been found convenient and suitable for the worship of millions of Churchmen for many centuries, and though in most instances built before the Reformation, was thankfully adopted by our Reformers. Why should it not be good enough for us? When a traveller visits an English village, he does not inquire, which is the parish Church? The building tells its own tale. "The stone doth cry out of the wall, and the beam of the timber doth answer it." Here I profess I never know which is the Church till I am told: for all buildings for religious purposes are of the same character: nor is there ordinarily any outward or visible sign that they belong to Christians. But not to dwell too long on this point, let me speak of what is more important than even outward form--internal arrangement. A Church assembles Christian worshippers for humble confession [31/32] of sins, devout prayer, and joyful praise, and it is "a house of prayer" we are told, "for all people," intended to hold "the LORD'S family." It should be arranged so that all may kneel, kneel together in one act of united worship. The seats should therefore face one way. It should be so constructed as to admit of an easy transmission of sound. The Prayer Book further requires a desk for the Minister (without prescribing the form) for saying the Prayers, a pulpit, a chancel, in which (by the custom of centuries) is placed the LORD'S Table, so as to be seen of all, and in which the Communicants should assemble, and the Clergy should have seats. Further, a font of durable material for the due administration of Baptism, should be placed near the entrance of the Church; vessels of silver, if possible, for the administration of the LORD'S Supper, a Linen Cloth, and Office Books. These seem the least which a due regard to decency, order, and the directions of the Church would provide, leaving all sumptuousness out of the question. [Bloxam's Manual of Gothic Architecture will supply a great deal of useful Information, is inexpensive, and on the list of the S. P. C. K. I also strongly recommend Brandon's Parish Churches, Timber Roofs, and Analysis of Gothic Architecture, published by Ball, Fleet Street, London.--See Note D.]
We are also the ministers unto the people in holy offices, the stewards of the Sacraments of GOD. I can give you no better rule than this: realize the presence of Gore in the Church, and speak as if you spake to GOD. This will elevate, chasten, sanctify all we do. Nothing will be too good, too holy, too precious for the place where GOD is: no demeanour too reverent or too humble. This spirit carried into all the offices of the Church, will chasten the joy of the marriage feast, and soothe the sorrows of the grave.
One instance of gross irreverence prevails so generally in this Province, that I have abstained from positively forbidding it, lest people should be led to insist on its continuance; hoping that time and reflection, and reason may cure the evil. I allude to the practice of marrying in private houses. In truth, all the directions of our Church respecting this service, become almost a mockery in a private house, and no person who has any reverential and endearing associations connected with the house of GOD, can desire that so solemn a rite (typical of heavenly espousals) should be, I will not say celebrated, but desecrated in any other place. I can only entreat you to exhort and persuade without ceasing, to a different line of conduct, though I do not advise you to refuse wholly to perform the service under such circumstances.
There is less to remark on the subject of Baptism, as I think the Church is more fully recognized as the proper place for the celebration of that Holy Sacrament, and in most Churches it is performed (as it should be) after the Second Lesson.
 A question has been raised in this Diocese with regard to the rebaptization of infants which have been baptized by Ministers whose orders the Church does not consider regular, and with re d to the burial of infants so baptized.
Nothing can be clearer than the intention of the Rubric, that the lawful, i. e. lawfully ordained Minister should be the baptizer: but when the infant has been immersed in water, or water has been poured upon it, in the name of the Holy Trinity, especially in cases of sickness, or in the absence of the lawful Minister, it appears to me to be the opinion of the Church, as far as it can be collected from the Conference at Hampton Court, and the sentiments of her greatest Divines, and since that time, that such baptism should stand, and that whether sufficient or not for all the purposes for which Baptism was instituted, it is at all events so far ecclesiastically valid, that it should not be repeated. And if so far valid, I presume, agreeably to the Canon, the child should be buried in the usual form.
I must frankly confess, for myself, that I never could see the argument in favour of the full sufficiency of such baptism fairly made out from Scripture; nor could I ever thoroughly satisfy myself with the reasoning of the great Hooker on this point: but where the Scripture has not conclusively determined, where the stream of authority (in the Christian Church especially) runs that way, and where, though some high names in our own Church are found against the validity, the preponderating number is on the other side, I think we ought to defer to such authority, and not to press our own private notions against the general feeling of the Church. "Mercy is to be preferred to sacrifice," though principle is not to give way to expediency. The infant can have done no actual wrong; and therefore the most charitable view, in my judgment, is the best; and the necessity of the case is a sufficient justification. But the Clergy should take care that they give no occasion for the doubt by unnecessary delay. I have only to add the expression of an earnest hope, that you will take care, for the more solemn administration of Baptism, and the LORD'S Supper, that a font of stone, if possible, or at least of some durable material, (not a mere basin,) be provided, and decent vessels, if possible of silver, for the Communion, in every Church.
The Burial Service would be more correctly and decently performed if the order generally observed in the Mother Country were adhered to. The corpse is met at the door of the Church, or near it, by the Clergyman, in his Surplice, which is the universally received dress for saying the Church Prayers; and so much of the Service as is appointed to be read in the Church, is read, and no more, and the Clergyman wears the same dress at the grave, as he is still engaged in prayer. The preaching of [33/34] Funeral Sermons on every occasion is unnecessary; but if they are preached, I strongly disapprove of delivering them in private houses, when a Church is to be found in the neighbourhood. The evil likely to result from preaching a Funeral Sermon at every burial, is the upholding one of the tenets of Universalism, that, as CHRIST died for all men, therefore all men will be saved. This wicked heresy prevails to a great extent in our borders.
It would also tend to the comfort of the sick, and to move the sympathy of the congregation, if the names of those who desire our prayers were read before the Prayer for all conditions of men in the Evening, and before the Litany in the Morning Service.
And this seems the proper place to add a few words on what more especially concerns myself. The line which I have marked out for myself since my arrival, has been adapted to the principal wants of the Province. First, it has been my aim to fill up the vacancies and augment the number of the Clergy. In eighty-six parishes I found only thirty Clergy. The number is now forty-four, with seventy Churches, often at considerable distance from each other, under their care. Twelve Churches already consecrated, were, at that time, without any regular service. Of these, eight have regular, and one occasional, service. Four new Missions have been opened. Twelve Churches have been consecrated, and in almost every instance provision is made for a service every LORD'S Day. In all the new Churches the seats are free. And I have not heard in any case of inconveniences arising from this custom, which was justly sanctioned by my venerated predecessor. Numbers in all the towns are still excluded from Church-fellowship by the innovation of selling pews by auction, which the more I consider it, the more unscriptural and unchristian I perceive it to be, calculated to promote what has been called class-legislation, and to alienate the affections of many valuable members of our Church; and which I am therefore bound, as a matter of duty, to discountenance by every means in my power. In fact, if there be one thing more opposed than another to that Gospel, which cries, "Ho, every one that thirsteth," it is the supposed right of the wealthy to build and divide Churches among themselves and their families, without reference to the poor. Where would the blessed Apostles, who sold all that they had to follow CHRIST, find a seat in such Churches? How frightful is the thought that St. Peter, St. Paul, and St. John, might, as a matter of right, find the doors shut against them, and be forced to retire without communicating?
I feel very thankful that the Chapel which has been built in this city has been the means of leading persons to attend our services who were systematically excluded from them, the frequent prayers therein are a comfort to many followers of a crucified [34/35] LORD, and it is filled on the LORD'S Day with orderly and attentive worshippers, which alone would amply justify the expense of its erection, and is the only answer I shall give to the idle calumnies which have been so unjustly and industriously circulated respecting it.
It has also been my aim to raise the standard of acquirement among the Clergy, by a stricter and more extended examination of the Candidates for Ordination in the branches of theological knowledge and pastoral duty. From the great want of Clergy, I have not thought it necessary, in every instance, to require a Collegiate Degree: and in so doing, I have only followed the steps of some of my honoured brethren in the Mother Country, who occasionally ordain literates. But as the number of Clergy more nearly approaches the limit which the wants of the Diocese, or a prudent regard to the means of maintaining its Ministers, will put to it, I shall be less likely to relax the ordinary role. Assistance is still kindly given by the venerable Society to Divinity Students at King's College, whose circumstances require it: and by a different arrangement of the sum allowed, I have been enabled to extend the benefit to young men, after taking their degree, until their Ordination.
It has also been my aim to raise the general standard of reverential feeling, and holy self-denying action, in the service of GOD (with the secondary and subordinate purpose of encouraging useful arts and sciences,) by building a new Cathedral. And though the effort may appear, to those who have never seen such a structure, a little beyond the means or desires of the present generation, there is nothing, as far as I can see, unpractical in the design. The building is not larger than the wants of the population around it require, and though more expensive at present than a wooden building, it is more decent and more lasting. [In the case of the ordinary Parish Churches, however, wooden Churches are really more expensive than stone buildings. In twenty years they cost as much in painting and continual repairs. In sixty or seventy years they grow old, and hasten to decay. But the universal question is, what has posterity done for me? What will posterity think of such selfishness?] He who objects to lay out on GOD'S House a sum, which, in its proportion, he never fails to lavish on his own, has forgotten (as many of us seem to have forgotten) the truths of his Bible. The Old Testament would inform of the sums munificently spent, with the Divine approbation, on the first Temple; and the New would remind him who was the objector to a poor woman's "wasting" thirty pounds in ointment for our LORD'S head, and what kind of countenance the objector met with from our SAVIOUR.
If nothing is ever attempted in a new country which surpasses its first rude and simple, though well-meant efforts; or if nothing is ever to be begun till we have funds for its immediate completion, [35/36] there is an end at once to all progress in human affairs, and we must be everlastingly consigned to a dull and standard mediocrity. Where are these mountainous difficulties when a railroad is talked of? Then nothing is too gigantic for our efforts; hills are to be tunnelled, valleys spanned, rivers bridged, a six months' winter with its snow-drifts is to be defied, nature and art are pressed into the service, and thousands are to be lavished in a day. But when the House of Gott is to be builded, adorned with all the endearing associations of our father-land, upholding order and religion, resounding with our mighty Maker's praise, then we begin to hear of vast and unusual waste, and of its never being completed, from the lips of a self-seeking, self-deceiving generation.
The Norman structure was as superior to the Saxon, as was the stone-building of the Saxon to the building of wattles or rough slabs of wood which preceded it: and later erections reduced even the early Norman to comparative insignificance. Remembering, then, a thousand glorious temples of my native land, which rejoice the hearts of the poor who flock to them, of the Priests who minister in them; and conscious of the singleness of my own intentions, I commit these humble efforts to time, to posterity; and to GOD. I might indeed have expected what I have not received, some small share of co-operation from all classes of Churchmen in the Province, in a work intended to recall to men's minds the dearest and the highest associations of their fatherland. The question of place has no doubt interfered to a considerable extent in preventing such co-operation; but it would have been felt in the same manner, if not the same extent, had any other place been selected. The local feeling of the Province damps, if not extinguishes, all generous public spirit; and to save themselves the expense of a pound, some would destroy or injure a city. Though, therefore, there are strong reasons, which I take leave to say I never overlooked, for building the Cathedral at Saint John, yet seeing that Fredericton was fixed on as my residence by Her Majesty's Letters Patent, that it is the most central
For in the Province, the seat of Government, and of the College for the education of Youth,--seeing that no such site as that which was offered to me with the good will and approbation of nineteen-twentieths of the community could be obtained elsewhere, and that the union of a Cathedral with a Parish Church is found in other Colonies, in Ireland, and in Wales, and partially in England, [As at Quebec, Antigua, Barbados, S. Asaph, Bangor, Lisburn, Dromore, and other places.] and that there were a sufficient number of Churchmen, even at present, to fill the building which I propose to erect, and that the pressing wants of Saint John for more Church room (which I have made every effort to supply) could be met as well [36/37] by an additional Church of sufficient size, though not a Cathedral Church, and that injury would be inflicted not only on the Province generally, but on the city of Saint John itself by the injury of Fredericton, I made the choice after much deliberation; and though it might have been wished that no deliberation had been required, I do not repent of it. Others may think differently; but it must be remembered that, if ever the Province, at some distant day, should become, what every well-wisher to its prosperity must wish it to become, one Bishop would not be equal to the task imposed on him, and then other plans could be carried into effect. at those who come after me will little know with what accumulated difficulties I have had to contend, and bow few seem to sympathize with any work which looks beyond the absolute necessities of the present generation. It is however only an act of common justice to thank those benefactors who have warmly and generously supported me in this good work, nor shall I be withheld, even in an address to my Clergy, from adding a tribute of respect to others, from whom I am unhappily separated in Church fellowship, who from a general regard to religion, and an honest pride in the place of their birth, or their adoption, have tendered to me liberal offers of assistance, and have most honourably fulfilled their engagements. Cum tails sis, utinam noster esses.
Of the prospects of the Church of England, whether in this Province or in the Mother Country, it is not necessary, perhaps not desirable, to say much. Conjectures and anticipations, easily made, are generally coloured by the complexion of the prophet's own mind, his sanguine or gloomy disposition. Yet as far as I can discern, the danger to be apprehended is not from the Roman Catholic body, nor from the Protestant Dissenters, but from the money-loving, self-indulgent, infidel spirit prevalent among all bodies. There are multitudes, who, if they could speak out, would prefer a form of religion less distinct on points of faith than the Creed of any religious body in existence, a way of life decently faithless, respectably selfish, and thoroughly godless at heart. By such persons (and they are many) every effort for Church-improvement, and Church-extension, spiritually or materially, will be thwarted and obstructed to the uttermost of their power. They will league themselves at a pinch with the honest opponents of the Church of England, while they profess to be its members: they will be ready to strip it of all the honour and respect with which the piety of former ages has invested it, provided they can guard against its spiritual influence, and paralyze its efforts for the real conversion of mankind, by the deadening shackles of a compromising policy. That double intention, however, they will not be able to realize; in proportion as the world forsakes the Church, her Master will befriend her: her spiritual life will [37/38] increase, her true sons will assume a bolder and more apostolic tone, and the fulness of their words will be warranted by the stricter holiness of their lives. I hold it to be not by any means an improbable supposition, that those who affect an universal toleration, should come to be only intolerant of truth, and should attempt to persecute what we know they are unable to destroy. But in such an emergency, I should entertain great hopes that our ranks would be largely recruited from reflecting Roman Catholics and moderate and pious Dissenters, to whom the Church of England would no longer appear as a Parliamentary sect, or as a body well endowed but without spiritual life, but as the strongest real bulwark against insidious heresy, or overpowering infidelity. But come what will, we know our part: and we know our Master: and we know the faithful saying which He has given us in times of difficulty and danger--"If we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him; if we suffer we shall also reign with Him; if we deny Him He also will deny us."
As regards ourselves, one thing seems certain, that, humanly speaking, very much more than we seem to imagine depends on the energy and truthfulness of the Churchmen of this Province, even in this generation. England may dole out to us her money, but our real strength and prosperity must come from within. If we are disposed to tamper with religion, to deal with it as if it were a system of traffic,--as if we neither realized nor believed the doctrines of our Church, nor were desirous of practising the duties which it enjoins, and only cared to find all manner of fault with every thing which earnest-minded men are doing, then I see not what good can come of it. Hollow hearts and sinful lives will make a Church that is rotten at the core, and "whose breaking cometh suddenly, at an instant." Then it had been better a Bishop had never been sent out: nay, far better that those who thus deal with the Church had never been born. But if our hearts be true, and our eye single, we shall not suffer from our present poverty, we shall grow and increase. Then it will be said of us, "I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, but thou art rich: fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." Alas! who can look on all that is passing around us, on the unknown future, and on the fearful alternative, without fear and trembling? "O LORD, revive Thy work in the midst of the years: in wrath remember mercy."
I have now brought before you such thoughts on the duties of a Christian Pastor as have appeared to me to be both necessary and profitable at this time. And though I am sensible how [38/39] unworthy they are of the great subject, how inadequate even to express my own deep and growing convictions, I feel assured, and I trust that you also are persuaded, that such a course is far preferable to engaging in the mazes of interminable dispute. I am sick at heart of controversy on trifles; and on great points your minds as well as mine are, I hope, made up. I see that those who delight to agitate and inflame the public mind on disputed questions, neither grow in grace, nor benefit their fellow-creatures, and only hinder the good which others attempt to do. If there are any who affect to believe that I am not sincerely labouring to do the work of the Church of England in this Province, but that I have other designs in the back-ground, they are welcome to their opinion. I have accepted an office which nothing but a desire to work for the Church of England would have induced me to accept, and which, if it were not from the same paramount considerations of duty and affection, I would not retain one hour. But if what is done does not move men to take a more liberal and charitable view, nothing that is said will effect it. We shall soon stand before another tribunal, where it will be impossible any longer to conceal names, motives, and actions.
To you, my Reverend Brethren, I may speak in another manner. I claim your indulgence both on the present occasion and on all others, for inadvertencies and negligences, from which the most diligent and persevering are not wholly exempt. The same indulgence I am prepared to extend to others: but this must not be mistaken for a corrupt allowance of sin, a blind indifference to Clerical misconduct. Such instances it is my bounden duty not to overlook: it is due to my office, to your own respectability, it is necessary for the maintenance of the Church in its integrity, that discipline should be enforced. A Church whose Pastors preach what they do not endeavour to practice, and who records on paper what she does not aim to perform, is a pretended truth, and a real lie: rejected by GOD, and despised by men.
In the great duty of maintaining the doctrines, and upholding the discipline of the Prayer Book, we shall all, I hope, be united: and if our union in these vital matters be sincere, the differences which in so wide a range of thought must occur, will be of lesser moment. Let us learn to act together: mutually to confer, mutually to instruct and comfort each other. Though additions have been made to our number, we are even now a small, and for the work we have to perform, an insufficient body. But our actions are not the less keenly watched, and carefully noted down. It becomes us therefore to be tolerant on matters of speculative opinion; and in action to be prompt, compact, and united. Our influence will then be felt; and even our opinions cannot [39/40] safely be disregarded. Especially let us seek to win the affections, as well as to conciliate the respect of our lay brethren. They are equally with ourselves, members of CHRIST'S Body, though not placed in the same peculiar relation to our common Head, and are at all times most valuable co-operators in every work of Christian charity. To some of them no thanks that we can pay are too great for the services they have already rendered to the Church, for the cheerfulness with which they have been given, with a happy mixture of discretion and of zeal.
May a far larger number imitate their good example: and if I am not permitted to see it, may some worthier Bishop be gladdened with the sight of a numerous, exemplary, and united Clergy, earnestly labouring with unwearied zeal to promote the temporal and spiritual well-being of flocks who more than recompense their pious toil by an affectionate respect, a heavenly conversation, and a faith that "worketh by love."
"The revival of Rural Deaneries affords the means of organisation immediately connected with the Church, and, as it were, incorporated in its general system. The establishment of associations, corresponding with those ecclesiastical divisions, which might bring the Clergy together at stated times, and afford opportunities of personal intercourse and consultation on matters of interest to the Church, such as the administration of their Parishes, the conduct of Schools for the Poor, the relief of Clergymen disabled by infirmity, and their Widows and Orphans, has been recommended by high authorities in the Church, and, under good regulation, would, I believe, be exceedingly useful. It would give me pleasure to see them established in this Diocese."--The Archbishop of Canterbury's Charge, 1844.--His Grace adds a seasonable caution on the necessity of avoiding subjects of fruitless dispute, of making the meetings of the Clergy as practical as possible, and that "no publication of proceedings be allowed. The emanation of public resolutions or acts from such meetings would lead to the disturbance of order in the Church, and too probably multiply, instead of healing divisions."
On a subject so much gainsaid I deem it not superfluous to add a short Note, showing the judgment of two Bishops of the English Church, separated from each other by the Interval of a century, one of whom took an active part in compiling the Prayer Book, the other was equally zealous in defending and revising it, and was the author of one of its most excellent prayers: Archbishop Cranmer and Bishop Sanderson. The Archbishop's judgment is the more remarkable, because, at an earlier period, he had seemed inclinable to more loose and Erastian opinions, and because this judgment preceded, only by one year, the Preface to the Ordination Service to which I have above referred. In his Catechism of 1548, he says: "Wherefore, good children, to the intent you may steadfastly believe all things which GOD by His Ministers doth teach and promise unto you, and so be saved by your faith, learn diligently, I pray you, by what words our LORD Jesus CHRIST gave this commission and commandment to His Ministers, and rehearse them here, word for word, that so you may print them in your memories, and recite them the better when you come home. The words of Comer be these--'Our LORD Jesus breathed on His Apostles, and said, Receive the Holy Ghost: whose sins ye forgive, they are forgiven unto them; and whose sins you reserve, they are reserved.' Now, good children, that you may the better understand these words of our SAVIOUR CHRIST, you shall know that our LORD JESUS CHRIST, when He began to preach, He did call and choose His twelve Apostles; and afterwards, besides those twelve, He sent forth three-score and ten Disciples, and gave them authority to preach the Gospel. And a little before His Death and Passion He made His prayer to His heavenly FATHER for them, and for all those that should believe through their preaching, as it is declared in the Gospel of Saint John. Now it is not to be doubted but that CHRIST'S prayer was heard of His heavenly [41/42] FATHER; wherefore it followeth, that as many as believed the preaching of CHRIST'S Disciples were as surely saved as if they had beard and believed CHRIST'S Himself. And after CHRIST'S Ascension the Apostles gave authority to other godly and holy men to minister GOD'S word, and chiefly in those places where there were Christian men already, which lacked preachers, and the Apostles themselves could not longer abide with them; for the Apostles did walk abroad into divers parts of the world, and did study to plant the Gospel in many places. Wherefore when they found godly men, and meet to preach Gone word, they laid their hands upon them, and gave them the HOLY GHOST, as they themselves received of CHRIST the same HOLY GHOST to execute their office. And they that were so ordained were indeed, and also were called, the Ministers of God, as the Apostles themselves were, as Saint Paul saith unto Timothy. And so the ministration of Cultist's word (which our LORD JESUS CHRIST Himself did first institute) was derived from the Apostles unto others after them, by imposition of hands and giving the HOLY GHOST, from the Apostles' time to our own days. And this was the consecration, orders, and unction of the Apostles, whereby they at the beginning made Bishops and Priests, and this shall continue in the Church unto the world's end."
The words of Bishop Sanderson are these:--"Sufficient it is for the justification of the Church of England in the constitution and government thereof, that it is (as certainly it is) of Divine right in the latter and larger signification: that is to say, of Apostolical institution and approbation, exercised by the Apostles themselves, and by other persons in their times, appointed and enabled thereunto by them, according to the will of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, and by virtue of the commission they bad received from Him. Which besides that, it is clear from evident texts of Scripture, and from the testimony of as ancient and authentic records as the world hath any to show for the attesting of any other part of ecclesiastical story; it is also in truth a part of the established Doctrine of the Church of England: evidently deduced out of sundry passages in the Book of Consecration, (which Book is approved in the Articles of Religion, Art. 36, confirmed by Act of Parliament, and subscribed unto by all persons that have heretofore taken Orders in the Church, or Degrees in the University;) and hath been constantly and uniformly maintained by our best writers, and by all the sober, orderly, and orthodox sons of this Church. The point hath been so abundantly proved by sundry learned men, and cleared from the exceptions of Novelists; that more need not be said for the satisfaction of any intelligent man, that will but first take the pains to read the Books, and then suffer himself to be master of his own reason. Only I could wish, that they who plead so eagerly for the Jus Divinum of the Lord's Day, and yet reject (not without some scorn) the Jus Divinum of Episcopacy, would ask their own hearts (dealing impartially therein) whether it be any apparent difference in the nature of the things themselves, or in the strength of those reasons that have been brought for either, that leadeth them to have such different judgements thereof; or rather some prejudice's conceit of their own; which having formerly fancied to themselves even as they stood affected to parties, the same affections still abiding, they cannot easily lay aside. Which partiality (for I am loath to call it perverseness) of spirit, is by so much the more inexcusable in this particular; by how much Episcopal government seemeth to be grounded upon Scripture texts of greater pregnancy and clearness, and attested by a fuller consent of antiquity to have been uniformly and universally throughout the whole Christian world, than the LORD'S Day hath hitherto been shown to be."--Sanderson's Tract on Episcopacy, 18-22.
The following extract from His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury's Charge (1844) may appropriately close this note:--"In speaking thus of the Church of Divine appointment, I do not deny the existence of virtue, or piety, or hope of salvation out of its pale. But as all revelation proceeds from our [42/43] ever-blessed LORD, I can hardly be wrong in the persuasion, that He Who brought down the word of GOD and the gifts of the SPIRIT from above, has also devised the most effectual means of transmitting these inestimable treasures to all generations. Those who view the matter in this light, will readily grant that it would imply a want of faith, as well as of obedience, to seek elsewhere for the means of grace, than in the sanctuary which the Lord hath built--hath built, as He Himself hath declared, 'on a rock,' and hath assured its perpetuity to the end of the world."
Abstract of the Grants of the Church Society from its commencement to the present time.
For Books in ten years £1188 16 4
For building or enlarging Churches in ten years 1331 13 4
For expenses of Travelling Missionaries the last five years 308 4 4
For Resident Missionaries, 1846 and 1847 650 0 0
For Special Missionary Visits, 1846 65 0 0
For Parsonage Houses, 1847 140 0 0
Total £3,683 14 0
The Clergy will forgive me for adding a few words on a subject, the difficulties of which are no doubt felt by themselves. When a Church is to be built, an architect is seldom to be found, and almost every one is ignorant of the best form, dimensions, and arrangement of the fabric. The difficulties are generally increased by a want of means. There is no deficiency in materials. New Brunswick abounds with excellent granite, sand stone, and free stone, and of course wood is always to be had in abundance. I should strongly urge on the Clergy the desirableness of building low walls of rubble stone, wherever stone is near, and a mason can be procured. In spite of the apparent cheapness of wood, it requires continual paint, it is liable to frequent rot, and it will only last a very limited time. If the expense of stone windows be too great, as may frequently be the case, wooden windows, sanded over, might be inserted as a make-shift, to last until they could be taken out on their decaying, and could be replaced, when means are found, with stone. Then the expense of rebuilding would be saved. Some little decoration in the shape of the windows could then be provided at a small additional outlay. The walls need not be more than 18, 16, or 14, or in very small Churches 12 feet high above the ground. The roof should, in this climate especially, be steep, not less, at all events not much less, than equilateral in pitch, which will look better, wear better, and will prevent any lodgement and ponding back of snow. As little plaster as possible to the roof should be allowed, for plaster is the worst, and wood one of the best conductors of sound.
The Early Decorated, or Middle-Pointed, is the best style for building, as being one of the simplest, the most chaste and perfect of all the styles. In stone buildings, the usual proportions of ancient churches are, in churches without aisles, that the nave and chancel together are in length three times at least the width of the nave. When there are two side aisles, the length of the nave is usually 11 times the whole width of nave and aisles, and the length of the whole church is 3 times or 21 times its width. The aisles are generally [43/44] 5 times as long as they are wide. The height of churches varies, but they are at least as high as they are wide; when very small, the height is often twice the width. If the tower stand at the west end of the nave, which is not necessary where there are no aisles, it should be as wide as the nave, or it may stand at the end of an aisle. Cross Churches are very pleasing in effect when small, and the arms nearly equal, but cannot be recommended as large churches. The Cathedral is the only exception, which is, with very few exceptions, cruciform. The windows usually made in this country are at least twice, often three times larger than is necessary, making the church hotter in summer by excess of light, and colder in winter, not only by draughts, but by cold from the glass. Few side-lights need be wider than 18 inches or 2 feet, nor, if the window be double, with a mullion between, need it contain more than 3 or 4 feet of glass. If the nave be of proper proportion, a tie beam as low as the eaves is not always required, and the timbers, though rough, should still be seen. The usual proportion (40 by 28) is therefore nearly the worst that could be devised, especially when filled with broad flaring vulgar windows. The roof is generally fiat, and loaded with snow. It may be observed, that the proportions of the ancient parish church were, in the main, those of the first Temple, divinely given, viz. 90 feet in length by 30 in width, and 45 in height. [See 1 Kings vi. 2; 1 Chron. xxviii. 11, 12; 2 Chron. iii. 3.] May we not suppose that it would be at least as wise to copy such a pattern as to copy the pattern of 1786?