Chapter XV. Intercourse with the Church in the United States--Extracts from Sermons--Notes from the Annals
THE Diocese of Fredericton adjoins that of Maine, United States. Between the bishops and clergy of the sister Dioceses the warmest and most brotherly intercourse has always existed. These fraternal relations began in the days of the saintly Bishop Burgess, the first Bishop of Maine, for whom the Bishop of Fredericton entertained the highest regard.
It was the custom of Bishop Burgess, when he made his annual visitation to the eastern part of his Diocese, to pass over to the British Provinces, where he made the acquaintance of many of the English clergy. Referring to one of these visits, the Bishop of Fredericton penned the following communication:
I had the happiness of a short visit from my esteemed friend and brother in pastoral work, in June, 1863. I need say little on the personal pleasure we derived from that too brief sojourn with us. His conversation, always instructive and charming, was enlivened by racy anecdotes, and touches of genuine humour, which added to its cheerfulness without detracting from the solid sense which characterized all he said. To this was added a modesty and unaffected simplicity, which sat well on one whose learning and ability were unbounded. He kindly delivered an address at the anniversary of our Diocesan Church Society. In the simplest style, without any effort or desire to win applause; in weighty and well-chosen words, he urged upon us the duty of missionary work, and rebuked the unfaithfulness and coldness of heart with which such efforts were often met, and the excuses made, for withholding what was justly due.
I may add that the Bishop spoke with the ease and fluency of a practised extemporaneous speaker: his sentences were uttered with as much deliberation as if he had been reading from a manuscript. Long will that brief visit be remembered, and great has been the sorrow of many among us, that we shall never on earth listen to his voice again. [Memoir of Bishop Burgess, page 356.]
The regard and affection expressed for the first Bishop of Maine were fully extended to his successor, Bishop Neely. The Bishop of Fredericton was present, and took a prominent part in the services at the consecration of the Cathedral at Portland, Maine, in 1871. Along an extended border line the missionary work was, in many instances, greatly advanced by the services of the clergy from both Dioceses without regard to the boundary.
Bishop Medley, on several occasions, visited New York, and other principal cities in the United States, at the triennial meetings of the General Convention. It is quite safe to say that no Prelate from abroad was more cordially welcomed by the representatives of the American Church. This is, perhaps, the more remarkable, as, from his manner, habits, and early training, there was a strong contrast between the Bishop of Fredericton and his brother bishops and leading churchmen in the United States. His marked abilities, his plain, but impressive, sermons and addresses, his earnest teaching in accordance with the doctrines of the Church, were highly appreciated. American churchmen, are very practical. They will not endure cant or pedantry. Among them, too, is wholly wanting that intolerance which so often, in former years, was arrayed in opposition to the Bishop in his own Diocese. They have, indeed, many varied bodies of professing Christians, of whom little is known in Canada. But they are free from that folly which watches for the errors of Rome, under a cross on the altar, or a surpliced choir.
The principles and teaching of the Bishop were in accord with those which, in years past, have been set forth in those Dioceses in America which have made the greatest advance. Among the laity that represent the Church in their conventions will be found men well versed in the teaching of primitive times. Many such, by their very study, have been led from various religious bodies into the communion of the Church.
As early as the year 1851, the Bishop of Fredericton visited the City, of Boston. At that time it was "the day of small things" with the Church of the Advent. Those who originated the movement connected with the establishing of that church had to contend with many difficulties and much opposition. Many of its supporters were far from being in favour with the ruling powers in the Diocese. The years that have passed have wrought a wonderful change. At the present day there is no church or parish in the Diocese of Massachusetts stronger or more influential than the Church of the Advent. The older members of that church to this day speak with grateful remembrance of the kindness and sympathy manifested towards them in their early struggles by the Bishop of Fredericton.
The following sermon was preached by the Bishop on the occasion referred to:
"So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God."--ST. MARK xvi. 19.
In these few and simple words does the Evangelist, after his manner, describe the greatest event which ever happened in the world,--the source of all blessings to the company of believers here and hereafter. What angelic hosts accompanied him as he went up, what songs of love and adoration met him in the air, and entered with him into heaven, the mind may imagine, but the record is not preserved. Yet, as the angelic host were present when he "emptied himself" to be born of a woman, and as two at least of the number watched the place where the Lord lay, we may without presumption gather, that they ascended with Him into glory, and "awoke to joy" the spirits of the blest, who had long waited for the great Deliverer's coming.
And even the disciples, by a miracle of mercy, cast all their griefs and doubt away, and "returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God." Now were the Scriptures opened to their minds. Their hearts were full of wonder and of love. They were ready to preach the word in season, and to suffer for the truth's sake, welcoming reproach and shame, if, at the last, they might "shine as the sun in the kingdom of their Father."
And should not some portion of their joy be felt by ourselves? We are not "men of Galilee, gazing up into heaven," after our ascended Saviour. But are we not, as they were, "fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God?" Are we not baptized Christians, the redeemed of the Lord? Are not the same Scriptures before us? Are not the same truths our birthright? Is not the same hope of salvation made known to us? What blessing has the lapse of eighteen centuries quenched or diminished? Nay, in one respect, we have more cause for joy than they; for surely our Lord's second Advent is drawing nearer. Every Ascension Day brings us nearer to that glorious era, when Ascension and Advent shall be one, when Christ shall be no longer "absent from us in the body," but present as the Lord; when the new Jerusalem shall be seen descending from above, Christ's redeemed celestial bride, a blessed and a countless throng, containing in that vast and ever-increasing multitude, some, at least, whom we have known and loved on earth, and about to receive some (Oh! that it might be all) of this present congregation. [How little did we anticipate that your blessed pastor would be the first to follow in this train!] But let us now pass on to consider, in the explanation of this passage, what are the blessings connected with our Lord's Ascension.
I. The Ascension of our Lord was the great witness to his innocence and righteousness. He alone had fulfilled the law, he alone could ascend to the Father. This our Lord had declared, when he said, "when the spirit of truth is come," that is of my righteousness, He shall convince the world of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no mare." By this event, all the accusations of the wicked were proved to be fake. "It is God that justifieth, who is he that condemneth?" The Father had accepted his sacrifice, had acknowledged his merit, and had placed in his hands as man, and as mediator, the kingdom of heaven and earth. This enables us to understand, why our Lord's ascension into glory is described as the reward of his sufferings. "He humbled himself unto death, even the death of the cross, therefore, also, hath God highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name," and this was done, "to the glory of God the Father." We are not to infer, that it was not done to the glory of God the Son also; for our Saviour says, "all things that the Father hath are mine;" he requires that "all men should honour the Son even as they honour the Father; "and they honour the Father with worship and adoration as the supreme God. Nay, St. John assures us, that Christ is "the true God," and St. Paul, that he is "God above all, blessed for evermore," and that he is "before all things, and that by him all things were made." But inasmuch as the Father, as Father, has a glory which the Son, as Son, has not; and as the Son, as man, is glorified and exalted by his Father, as God, therefore the exaltation of the risen body of Christ, is "to the glory of God the Father," who sent him into the world. For even the Son, as man, is to be "subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all."
II. Our Lord's ascension was the way to his glory, as King and Judge of all mankind; it is thus that the Apostle describes him as "sitting at the Father's right hand, far above all principality and power." He was seen by St. Stephen standing, which is the posture of a combatant; but is commonly described as sitting, which is the posture of a judge. In the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Apostle speaks of him as reigning; and the Psalmist says, "the Lord is King, he sitteth between the cherubims," that is, on the seat of covenanted mercy; for the cherubims, in the Jewish temple, spread out their wings over the ark, and the mercy seat, the great emblems of our redemption.
All things in nature, providence and grace are subject to His will, are controlled by His power, are directed by His wisdom, are sustained by His love. Innumerable worlds, innumerable creatures in each world, gifted with various powers of life and intelligence, are all cared for by Him at the same instant. His mind comprehends, at a glance, the almost infinite proportions of the universe; and He is, virtually, and by control, present at once, in every part of it. The angels continually behold Him, "binding the sweet influences of Pleiades," and "clothing the grass of the field," "guiding Arcturus and his sons," and hearing the cry of the wild beast in the desert, and of the wailing infant at its birth, controlling the dark designs of the blaspheming legions of hell, and breathing comfort in the heart of the penitent, and giving strength to the walk of the believer. Yet the eternal Son sits on the throne of Heaven, clothed in human form, never forgetful of Bethlehem, of Mount Olivet, or of Calvary. Each separate saint in glory, each several pilgrim on earth, He knows by name. Their history, their difficulties, their fears, their sorrows, and their joys, are all His own. Oh, thought too great for utterance, too mighty almost for human contemplation!
III. But, further, our Lord's ascension into glory prepared the way for His intercession. The intercessory part of our Lord's priestly office is one of the most important parts of His mediatorial work. And it behoves us to have clear and distinct conceptions of it, as far as the Scriptures reveal it to us. He is represented, in the symbolic language of the Revelation, standing "as a lamb that had been slain," for His glorified body still bears the marks of His passion, and has an intercessory virtue in its very presence. For if, on earth, virtue went out from His body before He was glorified and healed all who had need of healing, much more do fresh springs of grace, and strength, and compassion, and pardon, issue from His body in heaven, of which His Church mystically forms a part.
When we reflect that we thus present our prayers and offerings through "the Lamb that was slain," to the Father, how joyfully do the Psalmist's words ring out in our ears, "Cast thy burden on the Lord, and he shall sustain thee;" "When my father and my mother forsake me, the Lord taketh me up;" "Though an host of men were set against me, yet shall not my heart be afraid;" "Thou hast ascended up on high, and hast received gifts for men!" We desire no better Intercessor--we ask for no more effectual pleader of our cause, than the great sacrifice for the sins of the world. He who laid down his own life to save ours, can want no stimulus from others to relieve and pity us. No name in earth or ill heaven can compare with His in tenderness; no name in earth or in heaven can vie with His in wisdom; no name in earth or in heaven can compete with His in power. There was indeed one on earth whom he honoured above all her sex, by condescending to call her by the sacred name of Mother. But whence came this endearing, this most wondrous name? Was it not from His original love? Was He not, as the Eternal Word, the fountain of all her purest thoughts and holiest joys? And if she were both "highly favoured," and "full of grace," was not that very grace God's undeserved goodness to His servant? How, then, can we for one moment imagine that this most worthy creature, who owes everything to her Creator's love, should be necessary to infuse fresh sympathy and affection into the heart of the Creator himself? We might, with more reason, ask the dewdrop, that trembles on the little leaf, to swell the multitudinous sea, or bestow its plenteousness,--on the assembled clouds of heaven. Nay, let all the angels and saints in glory combine together, and let there be added thereto all the grace that dwells in the inhabitants of the countless stars of the firmament, and all is but as a single drop of goodness, flowing out of the vast encircling tide of Christ's unmeasured, unexhausted, everlasting love.
So that the words "Put not your trust in princes, nor in any child of man," apply universally, and have no exception, even in the mother of our Lord and God, "blessed" and honoured though she be, "above all women," throughout all generations. We do not detract from her dignity, we rather preserve it, when we say, "There is but one Mediator between God and men;" one Intercessor, "the man Christ Jesus."
But, if Christ ever live to intercede, should not we also ever live to pray? Here, then, lies the practical use of daily public prayer. It is the gathering together of the faithful, to remind each other of Christ's intercession, to desire to reap the benefit of it, to enjoy the assurance of it. It may be said that this can be done at home as well as at church. But the same argument may be applied to the observance of the Lord's day. It may be said, "I can read the Bible at home as well as the clergyman can read it to me." Now, as far as reading the letters and syllables of the Bible, this is very true; but it is rarely found that those who absent themselves from church on the Lord's day spend their time in reading the Bible. Even so I question whether those who say that they do not require the prayers of the Church to remind them of Christ's intercession, spend their time in prayer at home. The truth is, they do not think common prayer of importance enough to lay themselves out for it, by using all practicable leisure times for its performance. If they felt that it was a blessing to their own souls, they would use it whenever their lawful business permitted. He who feels prayer to be a blessing, has something within him which renders it as impossible wholly to abstain from it as to abstain altogether from bodily food. There are times when food is not desired; but, in a healthy state, we cannot live without it. In like manner the soul wants daily food. This food is prayer; private prayer; social, or family prayer; public, or common prayer. So far from either of these duties clashing, they assist each other. They keep up the life of God in the soul of man. They remind us of a daily, hourly walk with God, and of the benefit of His presence, and watchful care over us. They begin the work of heavenly praise on earth. They put some check (alas! how faint and ineffectual a check) on the vortex of Mammon and dissipation of heart which surrounds us. They prepare the soul to take wing and fly away. Suppose we were to be seized with a stroke of paralysis, or of any sudden disease, where could we be found with so much comfort as on our knees in public prayer? We might be suddenly smitten so as never to recover our speech or hearing. Would not the very strength and purity of prayer lend wings to our enfeebled body, so that it might be said of us, though speechless, or incapable of hearing the word, "Behold, he prayeth."'
IV. Christ's ascension was the means of procuring God's greatest gift to the Christian Church, the presence and indwelling of the Holy Ghost. Though the Holy Spirit was given to the saints in old time--for they spake by His inspiration, and all good things come from Him--yet we read that "the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified." Not only did the Holy Ghost descend on the Apostles at the day of Pentecost in a manner never known before, but his gifts were bestowed on all faithful Christians in greater fulness and abundance than on the Church after Christ's ascension. Great saints there were before the coming of Christ; but fewer, I suppose, than after His coming. And though the standard of perfection was higher, the number of those who approached it was greater. Few good men under the Old Testament dispensation seemed to have equalled Noah, Abraham, Job, or Daniel; but I imagine that St. Paul excelled them all, not only in the abundance, but in the perfection of his gifts.
What does the world owe, under God, to that one man? The greater part of the Christianity of Europe and America dates its commencement, in all probability, from the labours and writings of St. Paul. How precious a fruit was this of Christ's ascension! What joy must have run through the courts of heaven when the angels proclaimed that the relentless persecutor of the feeble Church in Judea was arrested, converted, baptized, and, by temporal blindness, had become the spiritual light of the world! But what angel in glory could have foreseen the whole illustrious result? Thus does the conquering king "ride meekly on," borne on the wings of righteousness and truth, while of successive generations of His willing captives the inspired poet sings, "with joy and gladness shall they be brought, and shall enter into the king's palace; instead of thy fathers thou shalt have children whom thou mayest make princes in all lands." "The redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Sion, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."
Finally, Christ's ascension is the proper proof of His present humanity, and the great pledge that He will return. Hence His Second Advent is called a "presence," a "manifestation," "an appearance," as of a body existing locally, and realty to come amongst us again. Two facts are undeniable. First, that the time of His return must be nearer than when the promise was given; and, secondly, that the state of the world, in its main features, grows continually more and more like the time when we are taught to look for His coining. The witness of the Gospel is more generally proclaimed. Knowledge is more widely spread. The means of salvation are placed within the reach of a large part of the world. Yet dark and troubled are the waters and the skies. A general agitation pervades every branch of the Church Catholic. Men sigh for unity, but cannot find it, or seek it in error. The love of the world grows more and more intense in the hearts of men. Belief in any distinct system of truth grows weaker, and multitudes realize nothing, believe nothing, love nothing, fear nothing. Mammon is the measure of everything, and frequently takes the place of right and wrong. Concession is considered the standard of wisdom, and every truth revealed in the Bible is willingly surrendered in turn to conciliate the good will of mankind. Parental authority is becoming the exception, not the rule. Governments are weak, and exist in many countries because nothing better or stronger can take their place. These are tokens that the "Lord draweth nigh;" and, though to predict the absolute nearness of this event would be a foolish presumption, to watch the various signs of His approach, and to rejoice with trembling, is the part of the liegemen of the Cross, the followers of an ascended Lord. One thing we know, for He has told us. When the proud scoffer cries, "Where is the promise of His coming?" then will the King of Glory return. When the world is locked in sleep, and dreams of everlasting continuance, then will the bolt be launched. When the carcase lies prostrate at the feet of Mammon and unbelief, then spring the avenging eagles forth. When the fourth watch of the night is come, the form of the Great Watcher is seen "walking upon billows," and the ship draws nigh to the eternal shore.
Let us now draw one practical conclusion from what has been said. Those who would ascend to "meet the Lord in the air" must walk with the Lord on earth. Let us walk with Him, then, in our daily devotions, "lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting," hoping for His protection, trusting in His providence, and expecting His mercy. Let us walk with Him when the bell calls us to public prayer, "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together," as the manner of too many is. Let us walk with Him in our leisure hours, lifting up secret ejaculations, in the open field, at the morning dawn, at even-tide, and in the silence of the night. Let us walk with Him in hours of business, when His awful presence seems out of sight, when lying and dishonesty stalk abroad, when temptation is pressing, and snares close round our path. Let us walk with Him in our recreation and mirth, never suffering our cheerfulness to sink into license, but remembering that it is "God who giveth us all things richly to enjoy," and that "every creature of God is to be received with thanksgiving." Let us walk with Him in time of trouble, when men accuse us falsely, when pains and losses come upon us as an armed man, when our eye is dim, and our memory gone, and our natural force abated. Then shall we walk with Him when death is nigh, and the awful tokens of our decay shall bring His presence more sensibly near, and our sick bed shall be the presence chamber of the King of Kings; and, as the cords give way that bind this mortal body to the earthly shore, the soul shall stretch out her hands to embrace the heavenly. Then shall we know that the ark of God bears us up, that the Lord himself hath shut us in, that His rod and staff comfort our steps, that our prayers are all answered, and our voyage past, and the long wished for land in sight; that the false tongues that assailed us have done their worst, and the devil that tempted us has lost his power. One short, decisive, bitter struggle more, and lo! heaven opens, and Christ, "with all His shining train," surrounds us, and we pass out of this gloomy valley into the cairn and peaceful region of Eternal Day. Amen.
In October, 1853, the Bishop visited New York. He preached before the Houses of Convention and at the ordination of the Bishops of North and South Carolina. Thirty bishops were present. The sermon was printed at the request of the House of Bishops. The text was taken from 2 Timothy i. 6, 7. The following are extracts from this sermon:
We are apt to dwell so frequently on St. Paul's noble championship of justification by faith, that we forget the manifold graces which dwelt in this wonderful man. Yet it is good to point out each trait of nobleness; his burning love, his surprising wisdom, his unexampled tenderness, his ready self-sacrifice, his accuracy in the choice of words, his masterly arrangement of his subject, his judicious commendation, his no less weighty censures, his indifference to stripes, to imprisonment, and to death. Thus viewing' his character on every side, let us exclaim with reverence and humility, "what hath God wrought!"
It seems to have been one part of St. Paul's peculiar trial, that he stood nearly alone, when he most required support. He entered the proud imperial city of Rome, a forlorn and aged man; in chains and needing sympathy; weak in body, worn with toil; borne down by clamorous injustice.... The trial was for life or death, and the judge was Nero. The spirit of fear seized some, the spirit of worldliness infected others.... Now one fancies that one sees through the veil of that fatherly kindness with which St. Paul addresses Timothy, an apprehension that this good and holy man might be a little timorous and yielding. He bids him to remember his ordination vows and graces. It is no disparagement to Timothy to suppose he might be less firm and courageous than St. Paul. Who is not? Perhaps we are not so courageous as Timothy.
All moral and religious qualities are the gift of God. Whether it be courage, love or wisdom, all is grace. From the corrupt fountain of the natural heart no good thing flows. "He prevents us, that we may have a good will." He works in us, when we have that will: pardoning, sanctifying, preserving grace, all is His; for His is the kingdom, the power and the glory. If this be so in the case of ordinary Christians, how much more forcibly must it apply to those who are appointed to teach others; to feed, to premonish the Lord's family, to seek out Christ's sheep out of this naughty world, to nurse, to govern and guide the Church. Every qualification of which they stand in need, is to be found out of themselves; it is to be sought as His gift, His special gift, who alone can qualify them for their work, and make them successful in it. The Apostle plainly declares that there is a special gift granted to faithful and believing clergymen at their ordination, and to be expected by them in answer to prayer.
The grand qualification named by the Apostle is equally needed--a loving, tender, affectionate spirit. What is more wonderful in the character of our Lord than the union of hatred of sin with love for the sinner? Now we find Him, with stern severity, scourging the merchandizes out of the Temple, denouncing the Scribes as whited sepulchres, "looking round about on them with anger--grieved for the hardness of their hearts"--even saying to St. Peter, "get thee behind me, satan, for thou art an offence unto me," and again we hear Him sweetly inviting weary sinners to their rest, drying the tears of the weeping penitent, praying for His murderers, and 'owning the repentant thief as His companion in Paradise.
...Courage without love is harsh and forbidding. It loves to wound, rather than to heal. It speaks not only severely, but unkindly. It sees all the evil in men, and acknowledges none of the good. It is bold in denunciation of sin, but makes no allowance for the infirmities of the sinner. It might be a want of love that made St. Peter's boldness degenerate into cowardice. Therefore seek to unite boldness and affection. Sternly oppose sin; firmly uphold the spirit of the cross; but seek to win souls also. Learn to distinguish between the ignorant and the vicious; the ill-instructed and the obstinate sinner. An unquenchable love for the immortal soul, "like a lively flame and burning torch, will force its way upwards, and securely carry you through all." [Thomas a Kempis.]
And now, my dear and honoured brethren, whom I am permitted to address on this most solemn occasion, what can I, a feeble, sinful brother, say to you worthy of the dignity of the subject, worthy of the occasion which has called us together? My heart is full; full of sympathy and affection for you all; for you especially, brethren, who are this day to receive this most awful, this most blessed gift.
Oh! that the prayers here offered in godly unity and concord, may descend on both branches of the Anglican Church, in rich and abundant blessing! May the mass of ignorance, heathenism and crime which surrounds us, fall before the victorious banner of the Cross! May the blessed truths recovered at our Reformation penetrate every bosom, and reach other shores! May our Liturgy, preserved through many fiery trials, form a link for communion with churches of the East and Northern Europe! ... May we become less bitter, suspicious and irritable; less vainglorious in our speech and action, esteeming the praise of men less, and the praise of God more.
And as for you, this day, to be called to the arduous work of the episcopate, may a double portion of the gifts mentioned in the text be poured upon you! May you be men of high unflinching courage! Never may you betray the interests of the Church you have sworn to defend! Never may you court popularity by the surrender of the truths entrusted to you! May unquenchable love for the souls for whom Christ died urge you on continually, nerve you with patience for the conflict, and bless you with increasing success! May a crucified Saviour be both your hope and pattern, the subject of your discourses, your "worship, and the lifter up of your heads," the joy of your hearts, and your exceeding great reward! As life wears silently away, as the hands now laid upon you grow feeble, and the tongues that now cheer you to your high course lie silent in the tomb, may other eyes behold you with undiminished energy, and increasing love and wisdom, pressing firmly on; and may our arms be permitted to embrace you in the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen and Amen.
During his stay in New York, the Bishop was hospitably entertained by the Rev. Dr. Haight, at whose house he stayed. He attended daily at the Chapel of the Seminary, and once addressed the students. He was admitted to a place in the House of Bishops and in the Lower House at the sittings of the convention, and received every possible mark of kindness. He was also present at the solemn deposition of Bishop Ives, of North Carolina, for leaving his post of duty and abandoning us to join the Church of Rome.
Under date October 10th, 1877, the Bishop records in the Annals of the Diocese some facts connected with a later visit:
The Bishop, with Canon Medley, left Fredericton for Boston to attend the Convention of the American Church. They were most hospitably received by Mr. and Mrs. Rice, and the Bishop found a beauty welcome from the House of Bishops, and clerical and lay deputies. Fifty bishops were in session. It was a remarkably harmonious session. The Bishop met many old friends. He was present and took part in the service at the institution of the Rev. I. Allen, at the Church of the Messiah. Rev. Dr. Dix, of Trinity church, New York, preached an admirable sermon.
On Wednesday, the 17th October, after bidding farewell to the House of Bishops, the Bishop, with the Rev. Canon Medley, proceeded to Portland, Me. They were hospitably entertained by Bishop Neely, and on St. Luke's Day, the Bishop assisted in the service of the consecration of St. Luke's Cathedral, Canon Medley intoning the prayers with the Rev. Dr. Hodges, of Baltimore. Nine bishops and upwards of fifty clergy were present. The debt of $35,000 on the Cathedral had been entirely paid off this year. It was a joyful day.