Project Canterbury

The Story of W. J. E. Bennett
Founder of S. Barnabas', Pimlico and Vicar of Froome-Selwood
And of His Part in the Oxford Church Movement of the Nineteenth Century.

By F. Bennett, M.A.
Formerly Rector of Farleigh, Surrey.

New York, London, Bombay and Calcutta: Longmans, 1909.

Chapter V. Consecration of S. Barnabas'

So, amid difficulty and enthusiasm, amid calumny and patience, amid prejudice and labour, arrived the day of the consecration of S. Barnabas', the pioneer church alike of the Catholic Movement and of the evangelization of the masses in the London slums. On Tuesday, June 11, the bells from the spire announced the day. Soon the streets, as well as the church, were crowded with the poor for whom it was built and with the rich who had for the most part provided it.

The place of meeting for the clergy was the schoolroom on the north side of the church. They numbered seventy. The choir was made up of those of S. Barnabas' and S. Paul's, Knightsbridge, with the "Children of the Chapel Royal" and some from Westminster Abbey. The procession, starting from the quadrangle of the school, passed along the street through the crowd to the west door of the church, and this procession was repeated each day throughout the Octave till the crowds made it impossible. [The writer may perhaps be pardoned for adding that watching this procession is one of the earliest recollections of his childhood.] "Let God arise "was sung by the alternate voices of men and boys to the stirring mediaeval melody set for it in the "Psalter Noted." We have since become habituated to such things, but we can easily imagine that, at a time when no such scene had been witnessed by any of those present, the effect on those who listened within the church to the gradually approaching sounds was, as they remember it, thrilling. The thoughts of those who thus waited are so well described in a little book written (I know not by whom) at the time, that it would be wrong not to give its words.

"Many hearts beat with expectation and with awe and solemnity excited by the beauty of the House prepared for God; whispers of admiration and reverence alone broke the stillness. They mused as they saw--how different from their wont--not the rich only pouring in, but the poor; not pew doors fencing off and dividing, but joining and giving common space to all; no rich to be in this blessed sanctuary but those rich in good works; no poor but those poor in spirit who come to worship in the earnestness of faith.

"They mused as they saw, far from the usual wont, but strictly according to the early Christian use, the sexes separate; so that no thoughts of earthly custom should intrude, but each in its peculiar sanctity should worship, free from thoughts of earth and only looking upward to the choir of angels."

All commonplace enough nowadays; but to estimate Mr. Bennett's work we must see these things (as we have been trying to "do) with the eyes of his contemporaries, in order to realize the originality of his ideas and his labour as a "pioneer."

After the usual ceremonies--the petition for consecration and the signing of the necessary deeds--the procession passed round the aisles and up the nave singing the psalm, "Lift up your heads," and the Bishop continued with the Prayers of Dedication. Thomas Helmore, of the Chapel Royal, sang the Mattins. The Holy Communion service was also choral, the music being by Tallis and Aldrich, and so great an innovation was it to have a Celebration at such a time, that the Parish Choir of the date "rejoices to say that the Holy Communion was administered at this Consecration!" The Bishop, of course, preached.

Then there was a feast for poor and rich in the schoolroom, "two hundred of the poor closely joining with many of the highest and the noblest in the land," among others, the Bishops of London and Salisbury (Denison), Archdeacon Manning, Earl Nelson, who still survives, Lord John Manners, and Lord Feilding.

In the evening Archdeacon Manning, hereafter to be Archbishop and Cardinal, preached one of those exquisitely worded sermons which he gave us while yet in the Church of England: "Sacrifice of self the proof of love." It is full of his favourite analysis of the life of the soul. Here is a characteristic passage--

"As in our daily works we make the light of Heaven our own by the gift of sight which receives and appropriates the universal brightness of the sun, so we must believe as an object of faith, and say, each one, 'He loved me and gave Himself for me! Easy to say, but hard to realize those simple words. It is easier to believe that by His omnipotence God created the world than that God loves us. For creation is a simple problem of the intellect. We can all say the world is not eternal, for then the world would be God; neither did it make itself, for that is a contradiction; therefore it had a Maker. So far intellect masters without a doubt; but that God all holy should love a soul all sin, this clashes with the consciousness of our own unworthiness. Nevertheless, it is an object of faith, and by faith to be received.

"Read it in all your lot; interpret it by all the movements of God's hand, all the vicissitudes and changes of life. All are the expression of the varying discipline of love. As you bow down over your sorrows you think them to be penal, sent in anger, signs of His departure. They are tokens of His nearness, pledges of His love. What one thing most surely tries you? That very thing is the trial you most need. What do you find hardest to endure? That is the necessary yoke which your self-love would never lay upon itself. Only trust His love with your whole* life and heart; in the sharpest and sorest trials trust Him most. Look back upon your life past; until now all has been well: all will be to the end."

And here is a passage which might well be written in letters of gold--

"We are fallen upon an age of controversy, and this wordy world can drown all testimony to the truth except only the witness of visible acts. Words are transient; but acts leave their token behind them. LIVE TRUTHS AND You NEED SELDOM SPEAK THEM."

Such an act, such a truth, was the building of S. Barnabas' Church and College. Truly he was then "great in the charm of a sweet-toned oratory," but those who knew those English sermons and afterwards listened to him as a Cardinal and an Archbishop--admire as they might that majestic presence--could only say of his now continuously controversial sermons, "What a falling off was there!"

An intimate acquaintance of Dr. Manning has often remarked to the writer that he saw a considerable resemblance to the Cardinal in Richmond's portrait pf Mr. Bennett.

Alas! controversy was certain to loom very largely in the sermons of the day, and it could not be kept out of the sermons of this "Octave." The Hampden and Gorham cases were the burning ones of the time, and especially the latter, which was the more recent. Both are almost forgotten, so that it is worth while just to note what they were. Hampden, though his obscure Bampton Lectures (which Gladstone said he did not understand!) had been censured as heterodox by the University of Oxford, was forced on the Diocese of Hereford by Lord John Russell in 1847, against the opposition of many of the clergy and bishops. Gorham, who had been presented to a living in the Diocese of Exeter, was refused institution by "Henry of Exeter" on the ground of his denying Baptismal Regeneration. He appealed to the Privy Council, which performed on his behalf one of the most amusing of its many theological exploits. It put into his mouth doctrines which neither he nor any one else ever held, and then acquitted these opinions of being contrary to the formularies of the Church of England. Gorham, though it is said he promptly repudiated the said imaginary doctrines, nevertheless got the living. The opinion of the Privy Council was supposed in those days to compromise the Church, and to imply that she did not teach the true doctrine of Baptism. This curious supposition sent many over to Rome; among them Manning, Dodsworth, Maskell, Badeley, R. J. Wilberforce, and Lord Feilding.

On the morning following the consecration, Wednesday, June 12, William Sewell spoke of "The Position of the Church." It is alike interesting and comforting to hear that the position, as to education at least, was sixty years ago much what it is now.

"No man can watch the signs of these times, no one measure the earthly power which God has given for a space to men with whom the very name and being of definite truth is as a dream, or hear the resolute, determined avowal of their desire to blot and blur out every trace of definite teaching from the hearts and minds of the young, in every place of education upon which they can lay their hands, in our village schools, ... no man can see all this and think that his happiness is to last if he is faithful to his trust.

"We cannot but declare God's truth to all," he says, adding, with a forecast of the Public Worship Bill of the future, "Punish us for it and we will submit--submit patiently, cheerfully, without a movement of resistance, striving to protect the hand that persecutes us from the indignation which it will arouse throughout the Empire--but PROCLAIM GOD'S TRUTH WE WILL."

Francis Paget was the preacher on the Wednesday evening. He was one of the authors of those many tales which were so effective in spreading the principles of the Movement. His subject was "The Church as the sojourner's Resting-place." He spoke of the church they were in--

"You have only to look around you and contrast the noisy levity and restless turmoil of the neighbouring streets with the holy calm and tranquillity of these sacred precincts, and that will be a sermon more impressive than any that can fall from human lips."

The contrast in that neighbourhood was much greater sixty years ago than it is now.

Then he gives us one more record of what was then hoped from this "new departure," as is our modern phrase.

"This college, with its church, its schools, its home for a body of clergy, is an admirable work; admirable in conception and execution, admirable as an evidence of what zeal and steadfastness may, with God's blessing, effect; better still, as an example and encouragement to the wavering and desponding; best of all, as an inroad made into the kingdom of Satan for the purpose of winning souls back to Christ, and as being, what under God I believe it will eventually be found to be, the clue to that most perplexing of all problems, how to construct a machinery which shall meet the spiritual wants of the teeming population of our large cities and re-christianize--(O shame and misery that such a thing should be said!)--re-christianize the heathen masses of a Christian country."

It was not a simple matter like the restoration of an old church. "The work done here was to be, so to speak, a creation."

Next, on Thursday morning, came John Keble, "On the danger of passing by Christ," as the Priest and the Levite had done in the parable. So, he thought, had we been doing when "the sufferers by the wayside may be counted not by tens or by hundreds but by thousands--thousands of immortal souls and bodies wasting away in misery and sin. And this is the condition generally of the great towns and thickly peopled places of our land. Each one of us sees on each side of the way millions such as our Lord describes fallen among thieves, beset and plundered by the world, the flesh, and the Devil, stripped of their raiment, of that heavenly righteousness which, if baptized in their infancy, Christ had given them.

"The effort which is now being made in this place is but one we trust among many to bring unto God thousands of souls which have hitherto been passed by."

Henry Wilberforce, hereafter, like Manning, to desert the Church for Rome, was the speaker that evening. "Offerings for Christ's sake." He alluded, of course, to the offerings through which S. Barnabas' had been built, but there were, he said, other offerings to make.

"I. Offer to Him (the giving up of) your sins; let this first sacrifice cleanse and purify all others which you make for Him. II. Offer to Him your will. III. Offer to Him your self-esteem. IV. Offer to Him your money."

On the Friday morning the sermon was by the Bishop of Oxford, S. Wilberforce. There is no record of his sermon.

In the evening of Friday C. E. Kennaway discussed the "Socialism of the Early Church." As the sermon has been quoted as in favour of Socialism, it is worth while to say that his view of the community of goods in the early Christian Church is that it was not intended to be permanent.

"I. It is not now necessary. II. It is not according to the tenor of Scripture. III. It is not expedient, nay, it is quite the reverse; for what are the incentives to exertion? Surely they are the duties which are imposed by God through the relations of society."

There would be, he thinks, no sharpening of our faculties; no object for work; worse still, no learning of generosity, no exercise of virtue, no improvement of grace. Men would be

"lulled into a dreamy and brute-like enjoyment of the satisfactions of the lower nature, and all the motives of self-denial and labour for the good of others and our own moral exaltation would be taken away."

It is curious here also to observe that Socialism seems to have been as much in men's thoughts sixty years ago as it is now.

On the Saturday morning J. M. Neale's sermon was "The Church's extremity, her Lord's opportunity," on the text, "Except these abide in the ship ye cannot be saved." The Gorham case filled his thoughts.

"This is a day of trouble and rebuke and blasphemy. . . . In our present danger, driven up and down in an Adria of troubles, neither the sun of God's grace nor the star of His Saints for many days appearing, we resemble the crew of that ship in which an Apostle was nevertheless found."

But we must not desert the ship.

"We also are falling into a place where two seas meet--the sea of heresy and the sea of tyrannical power. What shall we say, then, to those who choose this time for leaving us? They may go conscientiously indeed, but will they have no account to render, not for themselves only, but for weakening our hands and discouraging our hearts?"

On that evening F. H. Bennett, brother of the "Perpetual Curate," preached on "The Christian's place of refuge and true home on earth." His text was, "There shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge and for a covert from storm and rain." Isaiah, he tells us, is here prophetically describing one of the offices of Christ's Church: to be a place of refuge from the troubles of the world.

"You may know, brethren, perhaps, what it is when tried by the secret unkindness of false friends or the open opposition of men among whom you would fain dwell peaceably, or the cruel opposition of those for whom you would gladly 'spend and be spent' (at least, we the ministers of Christ for the most part well know it); you may know what it is then to have a quiet peaceful home whither you may partake yourselves in confidence, where you may surely find ready at your call kind and sympathizing and loving hearts; you may know what it is, when oppressed by power wielded unjustly, to have a mighty friend and guardian to whom you may go, hiding yourselves under the shadow of his wings; you may know perhaps what it is (for so all earthly things may serve faintly to symbolize the things of the spirit) when storm and tempest have been beating on your brow, or the fierce heat of the midday sun has scorched you at your labour, to have a covert opportunely prepared under which you may stand securely, or a shadow into whose coolness the heat cannot penetrate. This, and much more than this, is Christ's Holy Church and Christ in His Church to the wearied, the poor, the wayworn, the afflicted, the harassed, the perplexed."

And since this is true of the Church because God is in her, it applies also to the churches in which we worship. He is specially present in them, which thought leads us to the following interesting passage:--

"If you realize this truth you will see the meaning of all that is done here, you will understand and appreciate the beauty and power of the ordinances and ceremonies of the Church which will be here observed, the force of that peculiarly suppliant tone in which your prayers will be here offered up--the Church's tone of earnest entreaty'--the suitableness of that careful attention which is here shown that all may be done reverently, 'decently, and in order.' You will feel that as it was no unmeet expenditure of money which has been lavished so freely and willingly in beautifying this place and making it 'exceeding magnifical'; so it is no unmeet expenditure of labour and anxious thought which will be as freely and gladly lavished, God willing, in rendering its holy services such as will awaken and keep alive the true spirit of warm-hearted devotion; such as will come home directly to the loving soul and let each simple worshipper depart awestruck yet comforted, humbled yet rejoicing; whispering perhaps to himself in solemn thankfulness, as one has been heard to say, 'This is indeed the house of God.'"

The last words allude to the exclamation of a stranger as he left the church after joining in one of the Octave services, and wonderfully illustrate the difference between S. Barnabas' and the usual church of that day.

On the Sunday morning within the Octave the "Perpetual Curate" himself preached: "The people warned."

God, he tells us, has always made His communications to the world--warned it--by MEN--men selected and appointed for the purpose; and he describes the dangers of those messengers in a passage well worthy of the remembrance of those who now occupy that position.

"Thus you hear the Scriptures speak:--Describing carelessness: 'His watchmen are blind; they are all ignorant; they are all dumb dogs; they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.' Describing collusion with the people: 'A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land. The prophets prophesy falsely and the priests bear rule by their means, and My people love to have it so--and what will ye do in the end thereof?' Describing collusion with sin: 'They have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, saying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace.' Describing the necessity of not being afraid: 'And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words; though briars and thorns be with thee and thou dost dwell among scorpions, be not afraid of their words nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious people.' Describing the sin of soft, ambiguous, and clouded expressions, whereby virtue and vice, right and wrong, are not set forth to the people with precision: 'Her priests have violated My law, and have profaned My holy things; they have put no difference between the holy and the profane, neither have they showed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from My sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.' Describing a covetous and mercenary disposition: 'The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets divine for money; yet will they lean upon the Lord, and say, Is not the Lord among us?' Describing the punishment of those who fail in the performance of their commission, as in the text: 'If the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet and the people be not warned; if the sword come and take away any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand!"

His next "warning" is as to the state of London; then, he wonders whether there was a larger proportion of "righteous" in London than the ten out of the inhabitants of Sodom who would have been sufficient to save that city.

Another "warning" is as to the usurpations of the State in matters of doctrine. He complains of the Privy Council as an incompetent Court to settle doctrine.

"Unbelievers may sit in judgment on questions of doctrine in the Church of Christ, and saints be taught their creed by infidels."

Lastly, he describes the privileges which those who were priests at S. Barnabas' had in living under the very shadow of the church's roof, and asks their prayers that they, the watchmen, may be equal to the responsibility.

"Pray that we may be as beautiful within as this house where we serve is beautiful without.

"What is forced upon our minds while we look around us here? Of what are all these beautiful things, which you, the rich, have given us, the types and memorials? We look upon the screen separating the sanctuary from the nave--the one the place of worship for the people, the other for the ministers of God. This separation reminds us that we are no longer what we were that we have taken upon ourselves special vows, entering the Holy of Holies, pledged to serve the living GOD, ever close by and with Him, in His very presence--woe be to us if we fulfil them not! We look upon that crown of light" (he alludes to the "corona") "shining forth in its glory. This crown reminds us of the martyr's glory as a crown, and asks whether we, should we be called upon, would be ready and willing for the martyr's crown, in suffering unto death for our Master's Kingdom? We look upon those windows of harmonious colour, full of Scripture illustration, and each of them asks of us a question. In the west, God's law and the Prophets--are we ready to preach that law and live in it? In the east, the passion of our Lord--are we ready to join in that passion, to be crucified to the world and the world crucified to us? In the north, Christ's wonderful works--are we ready to realize His great power and glory in those works? In the south, His beautiful teaching, such teaching as never mere man could have devised--are we ready to take up that teaching, pursue it, explain it in our sermons, follow it in our lives?"

On that evening William Gresley considered "The commission of God's ministers with reference to present times." His point was that they must preach the whole gospel, however some parts may be out of fashion at any time.

Robert Eden, Mr. Bennett's old school and college friend, who was in the following year made Bishop of Moray and Ross, spoke on the Monday morning on "The sin and danger of faithlessness and impatience in the present crisis of the Church." His sermon is an admirable dissuasive from leaving the Church of England for Rome. "The disease and the sin of the Church of England is the prostration of her discipline." He quotes "the powerful and truthful words of a modern writer," who after convincingly defending the Church of England, "went over," and then tried in vain to refute himself.

That evening W. Upton Richards, afterwards of All Saints', Margaret Street, spoke of "The danger of riches," a very suitable subject for a very large portion of the audience. Next morning the preacher was Dr. W. H. Mill, Regius Professor of Hebrew at Cambridge: "Church restoration in times of difficulty." He drew his lesson from the work of Nehemiah.

Finally, in the evening of that the last day of the memorable Octave, Dr. Pusey, Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford, wound up the series of sermons with one most characteristic of his learning and his love: "God withdraws in loving-kindness also."

The Song of Songs supplied his text, "My Beloved had withdrawn Himself, and was gone." The troubles about Hampden and Gorham which had come on the Church were like the Beloved withdrawing Himself in the Song. Contemporary events seem to all of us much greater than they really are, and we almost smile to hear that the Gorham judgment, "even though this heavy judgment is not yet the judgment of the Church," was a "stunning blow." How few of us in these days have even heard of it! Still fewer of Dr. Hampden and the heresy of his Bampton Lectures! But the great Doctor's advice remains good for all time--

"What, then, is to be done? What did the bride do? Opened her heart wherein she had closed it, sought her Lord in the streets and lanes of the city, unheeding, though the keepers of the city beat her, redoubling her cries, because the Lord seemed not to hear her."

Then he applies to ourselves this conduct of the bride--

"Let us each look wherein we may have been the cause of this evil. Let us seek out our Lord as He has been sought here" (at S. Barnabas'), "in the streets and lanes of our cities, where His members lie neglected to perish in their sins. Let us at least save one soul, our own. Yet we cannot save our own if we be careless of our brethren's. Above all, part with nothing thou hast ever believed as truth, ever hoped to do, ever done to the service of God, or (ever done) to become, by His grace, more pleasing in His sight.

"Let us not doubt Him who has healed us; let us not distrust Him who has fed us; let us not lose hope in Him who has called us; but the more man fails us the more let us cleave to God. Were He not with us, we could not even long for Him. Were He not present, we could not even mourn His absence. Were He not in our hearts, we could not even feel that our hearts were cold.

"And if for thyself or the Church 'the waters enter into thy soul and thine eyes fail for looking upward,' remember how His eyes were glazed on the cross for thee, remember His mysterious cry, 'My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?' Remember how in that hour He, for thy sake, and as an example to thee in bearing that deepest suffering, withheld from His soul the consolations of the Godhead with which it was personally united, and allowed not the streams of His everlasting joy, with which He gladdened all the heavenly hosts, to come down upon His mind; how at that hour He, amid all the weight of human sin and weakness and misery, was bearing thine own; and so unite thine own anew with His; cry to Him too, 'My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?' and the merits of His Passion shall encompass thee and His Blood shall cleanse thee; and while thou so cleavest to Him, neither 'life, nor death, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers,' yea, not that very faintness of thine own heart, 'shall separate thee from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.'"

The crowd was so great on this last evening, on account of the great desire to hear Dr. Pusey's sermon, that Mr. Bennett and Dr. Pusey, at the end of the procession, became separated from the rest, and had to get to their places in the chancel through the vestry door. "Carriage after carriage was obliged to drive away without being able to set down their occupants." Some of the crowd, aggrieved that they could not get in, and suspecting a preference for the rich, became somewhat threatening, but Mr. Bennett went to the door and explained that there was absolutely no such preference. On this the murmurs subsided.

It has been thought worth while thus to detail these sermons, because they include most of the prominent and representative men of the party at that time. They show us how they viewed the events of their time; what they expected and hoped from the Movement, and particularly what they hoped from the work of S. Barnabas' and of its children that were to be; what were the matters which then occupied the minds of the party of restoration.

There was no scheme in them as a series, but each took the subject which he preferred, without consultation with others or with Mr. Bennett. They were collected by him into a volume, with a preface which is most touching, for when he wrote it it is evident that the troubles had already begun. The only omissions from the collection were those of the two Bishops, who with characteristic timidity and caution refused to allow their names and sermons to be inserted with the others.

Two minor points are worth noting with respect to them: (i) Like almost all other sermons of those days, they were delivered from MS.--and, we may add, were doubtless none the worse for that; (2) they were much longer than the usual sermon of the present day. The average length of time which they must have taken to preach could not have been less than from fifty minutes to an hour. Dr. Neale's is the shortest, and would have taken at least thirty minutes. Mr. Bennett could scarcely have delivered his (he spoke, like all other wise preachers and speakers, somewhat deliberately) in less than seventy-five minutes, and Dr. Pusey, whose sermon is the longest, must have occupied quite an hour and twenty minutes in preaching his.

"'Great was the company of the preachers'--no lukewarm hearts, no fainting spirits then" Mr. Bennett says sadly afterwards, "but full of zeal and gladness they preached the Word of God to our people, as they were severally moved, in the great emergencies of our perilous times.

"No one," he remarks, in his preface to the volume, "who might look at S. Barnabas' Church--its whole tone and character; the whole of its general aspect and preparation; its rood screen surmounted by the great cross, its sedilia, credence, piscina, altar lights, altar cross, elaborate painting, diapering, and every other kind of decoration--no one could look on this, and then, going on a few days further, could look at another beautiful church, S. Stephen's, Westminster, built and endowed by a single individual, [Miss, afterwards Lady, Burdett Coutts] equally enriched and ornamented, equally set forth in beauty of diapering and painted glass and other ornaments--no one could look at this singular combination of two churches, closely situated and at one time consecrated, but would at once see that the principle of objective teaching was now fairly recognized by the English Church; and that henceforward the age of white-washed walls and plaster of Paris had for ever departed. No one seeing all this could ever more hereafter censure him who pursued forms and ceremonial usages to their justified and proper extent, making them, as the Church of course would have them, the means of promoting among men the beauty of holiness, the sanctity of worship, and the unity of faith.

"For myself" (so he concludes this preface), "were a hundred years to pass--even as the work of our Octave passed, in one continued sweet adoration of GOD--the memory of that holy week would meet with no diminution of delight. The solemn chant, 'Let GOD arise, and let His enemies be scattered,' the long procession of the choir and priests, headed by the Bishop; [This piece of correct English ritual is worth noticing] the crowding of the people, some of curiosity, some of fear, some of love; the swelling organ, taking up the joyful responses of the people in the choral harmony of Eucharistic praise; the Catholic hymn, Coelestis Urbs Jerusalem, sung by the whole congregation, night after night, in one continued note of religious joy,--all these as points of sweet remembrance, still linger in the mind. And then throughout the week, day by day, so many kneeling at the altar, which they had with patient alms-deeds contributed to raise; so many there, in humble thanksgiving, receiving of the Spirit of God, His blessing on their work. And then, to crown all, the poor joyfully meeting with the rich; and Dives cheerfully sitting down to meat with Lazarus; and Belgrave Square literally coming down to the lanes and alleys of the poor and joining with them in common festival. All this at last, after seven years' thought and four years labour--once a dream of the possible, now the realization of long-formed hopes--all this would have been enough to say that no better end could have happened to him who writes these lines than then, in the perfection of that joy--before the troublous times had come and the dark shadows which now appear on the horizon had set in--before the tide of popular favour and the love of a vain multitude had turned--before the Church had begun to deny herself and to forget her own; before this--even then--it had been better, even for all, as well as for himself, that God (if such had been His will) had taken him to his rest."

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