WATERLOO PLACE, LONDON
Let my first thought be expressed in words of grateful praise to our Heavenly Father, for His mercy and grace, in having called me to the office which I now hold among you. It is an office of singular interest and importance. Before I entered upon it the chaplaincies of Northern and Central Europe were, to a great extent, isolated and separated from each other, and without any united organization. Nominally under the supervision of the See of London, you were, nevertheless, at that time, necessarily left to the occasional visits of different Bishops whom the Metropolitan could best procure for the holding of his Confirmations. But you had no Episcopal Visitations in any true and proper sense; no Bishop who was personally responsible for your supervision, and to whom you could look up as bound, by his official duty, to give you counsel, direction, and comfort, under a local knowledge of your situations and circumstances.
This state of things arose from an Order of Council in the reign of King Charles I., which ruled that all British subjects beyond the seas, not otherwise under any English Episcopal jurisdiction in foreign parts, should be considered as lying within the jurisdiction of the Bishop of London. Since that time the large number of Colonial Dioceses which have been created by the British Government have relieved the Metropolitan Bishop of his unmanageable charge. The scattered members of our fellow-countrymen in the south of Europe were in like manner detached from the London Diocese by the formation of what is called the Diocese of Gibraltar. And now the Northern and Central part of Europe is provided for by my own appointment as coadjutor Bishop, under commission from the Bishop of London.
 The year 1884 will, therefore, stand as a new point of departure in the history of your continental Church life. And here let me acknowledge how much I am indebted to you all for the very kind and loving welcome which you have invariably given me on my entrance into each, chaplaincy. Scattered throughout ten nations, and covering an area of about 800,000 English square miles, I have everywhere found you rejoicing that you have at length become knitted together into one bond of fellowship, and into true organic unity with the Church of your mother country. [Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Russia.] Long may it be so! That I may do my own part in this great work faithfully, let me ask you to pray on my behalf. Pray that I may always be kept diligent and humble; and that I may be made to abound more and more in every good word and work, to the enriching of your own souls with all spiritual blessings.
For the purpose of greater precision and clearness, I shall write what I have to say to you under separate divisions.
I. The Position of this Episcopate among Foreign Churches.
An impression prevails among a limited number of very scrupulous-minded Churchmen that the exercise of episcopal supervision over English congregations on the Continent is an interference with the rights and privileges of foreign Churches. If it were so, my position would be painful. I shall, therefore, say a few words at the commencement of my Pastoral, by way of showing that this opinion is not only unnecessarily sensitive, but absolutely baseless and visionary.
My arguments are grounded upon three plain and simple facts, each of which is indubitable and unanswerable. (a) This Episcopate can in no sense be called territorial. I make no pretensions to be the Bishop of a foreign diocese. There is, consequently, no invasion of authority over ground claimed by foreign Bishops; and it is simply an unmeaning use of words to call me a usurper of the rights and privileges of others. (b) There is nothing aggressive, even in spirit, belonging to this Episcopate. If the Bishop of London had commissioned me to go through your chaplaincies as a [2/3] propagandist on behalf of the Church of England, the allegation now contended against would be fair. But every one knows that this is not the case. So far from it, I always caution you to avoid proselytism; for, while we receive the rights of liberty in foreign nations, nothing could be more improper than to use them for that purpose. You live as English communities in different countries, and naturally desire to worship after the manner of your fathers, according to the rites and discipline of your own Church. Beyond .that, you have no ecclesiastical standing-ground; and the moment you become aggressive--by attempting to persuade either Roman Catholics, or Lutherans, or members of the Greek Church to join our own body,--that moment the raison d'etre of your Church life, in those countries becomes lost. (c) If an English Bishop were not to exercise this supervision over you, it is quite certain that no foreign Bishop would attempt the task. Who could conceive such an idea? It therefore comes to this: that if the Church in England does not supply the supervision, she must leave her scattered children neglected and uncared for. To say, then, that under such circumstances we are interfering with the privileges of foreign Churches, seems to be making a statement which those Churches themselves would be the very first to disavow.
II. The Origin and still Undeveloped Construction of this New Episcopate.
It had for some time been felt that the condition of the continental chaplaincies in Northern and Central Europe, without the supervision of some Bishop who could devote his whole time and energies to the work, was very injurious to their interests. So deep, indeed, was this feeling, that previous to my appointment it had not only become the subject of open correspondence in our Church newspapers, but, as you all know, there had been an active combination on the part of some energetic Chaplains for the purpose of carrying it into effect. While these negotiations, however, were pending, the Colonial and Continental Society, urged by the same anxious desire, stepped forward with an offer to the late Bishop of London, promising to pay all travelling expenses, as well as [3/4] any reasonable income, if he would appoint a coadjutor with as little delay as possible. I need not inform you that the lot fell upon myself. Nor do I require to add, that, after the 1 lamented decease of the late Bishop, I was recommissioned in the same office by his successor, the Right Reverend Dr. Temple, otherwise I should not be writing the present Pastoral.
I had not been long in this work before I realized the slender basis on which it rested, and the necessity of its more solid organization. There appeared to me to be an impermanence about it which might, under very possible conditions, bring it to a sudden termination. Assuming, for example, that my own health gave way, I felt that there might be very serious difficulty in securing a successor who could afford to take up my work on the small sum of £150 a year, which I now receive from the Society. [This was no want of liberality on the part of the Society. I stipulated for that income of my own free-will, not wishing to be an unnecessary burden upon its resources.] There was also the further possibility of contingencies arising, in connection with a fresh appointment, which might induce the society to withdraw its payments. Nor was it beyond the reach of conjecture that, at some future time, a Bishop of London might arise who would revoke this whole arrangement, and once more take the work entirely into his own hands. Besides which, it did not seem to me to be fitting, from an ecclesiastical point of view, that a Bishop who has had the direction of the Continental Clergy placed under his care, should be liable to the charge of remaining wholly dependent on a society which mainly represents one school of Church thought. Under these circumstances I brought the matter before the attention of the Society, and requested them to consider whether it would not be desirable to form an independent and central committee, consisting of representatives of its own body, of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, and of the Bishop of London on behalf of the independent chaplaincies, for the purpose of creating a Chaplaincy Bishopric Fund. To this plan of action the Society assented with a noble and generous-hearted alacrity. A central committee was accordingly formed, of which the [4/5] Bishop of London is president. It consists of five gentlemen nominated by the late Bishop Jackson, and confirmed by the present Bishop, to represent the independent chaplaincies; of three others to represent the S. P. G. chaplaincies; and of six more to represent those of the C. and C. Society,--these numbers being exactly analogous to the various chaplaincies held under each of the foregoing parties.
Contemporaneously with this movement, another has been set on foot for the purpose of organizing a similar work in Europe; it being left an open question whether contributions be given to an endowment, or to a sustentation fund. This work has been entrusted to the Revs. T. H. Gill, of Paris, and C. Faulkner, of Croix, as Honorary Secretaries; and to others as representatives of Scandinavia, Germ any, Russia, Switzerland, Belgium, and Holland.
You will see, from the foregoing statement, that if this new Episcopate is to be fully developed, if it is to be constituted on a really strong foundation beyond the danger of any impermanency, it behoves all those who wish it well, both in England and on the Continent, to work harmoniously and energetically. It is not in my own interest that I urge this; for, in all probability, by the time that a suitable provision has been made for it, I shall have passed away. Yet if I only succeed in thus founding the Bishopric on a firm basis for the benefit of my successors, and your own, I shall feel that I have achieved the crowning success of my life.
III. Distinction between the Permanent and the Summer and Winter Chaplaincies.
It would not be right for me to issue this Pastoral, without saying a few preliminary words about the difficulty which I find in paying attention to the summer and winter chaplaincies, as distinguished from those which are permanent. [The utmost I can promise is to visit any which need my services for the dedication of a new Church.] The former, I grant, are more numerous; yet, as a matter of episcopal care and superintendence, these chaplaincies are practically unmanageable. For, in the first place, they are almost entirely in the hands of Clergy who change their [5/6] ministries from month to month. I can, therefore, only call them a series of discontinuing continuities, with which, in all matters of episcopal supervision, it is not only difficult, but almost impossible to deal. Besides which, they would of themselves occupy the best part of a whole year in visitation, leaving me but very scant time for attending to the permanent chaplaincies. Indeed, I should in that case never be able to favour them more than about once every four years. Yet our permanent chaplaincies have, undoubtedly, the first claim upon a Bishop's attention. For it is here that Confirmations need to be held either annually or biennally; whereas, in the other chaplaincies, no Confirmations are needed at all. Then, again, these are just the places where our English brethren, separated permanently from their own country, appeal to us for sympathy and counsel with pathetic earnestness. In chaplaincies like these, the annual or biennial visit of a Bishop represents supervision of a truly fatherly character, and of a really business-like, practical nature, in which discipline can be sustained, and continuous influence can be exerted; while in the rest of the chaplaincies everything is shifting and changing, and nothing can be dealt with satisfactorily.
I feel it due to my brethren, both of the clergy and laity, who spend a few summer or winter months in the fashionable resorts of Northern and Central Europe, to account in this manner for my absence from them. Let them be assured that it is not through any disregard or neglect; but simply through a conscientious conviction that I am wanted elsewhere. All such continental visitors have their homes and churches in England; but those among whom I am called to labour, and the responsibility for whose spiritual welfare presses so heavily upon me, are cut off from such blessings, and therefore reasonably claim my best service.
IV. Altered Relationship of the S.P.G. to the Continental Chaplaincies.
During the year 1884, after having traversed a considerable part of Northern and Central Europe, and realized the necessity which exists for increased pecuniary support from England among many of the poorer chaplaincies, I resolved to address [6/7] myself to the Standing Committee of the Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts, with a view to see how far it might be possible to induce that Society to reconsider its responsibilities in connection with them. I accordingly drafted the following Memorandum on the subject, which I was kindly permitted to read, and which was afterwards ordered to be printed.
Memorandum on the Continental Chaplaincies.
"I venture to address you upon a topic to which, in my judgment, your attention cannot hitherto have been adequately directed. I refer to the large number of British subjects scattered throughout Europe in small colonies; not a few of whom are ministered to by Church of England Chaplains with incomes so insufficient that they become hampered by worldly cares, which are greatly to the detriment of their usefulness.
"Although I am now only speaking of the chaplaincies which have been placed under myself in Northern and Central Europe, yet I doubt not the same state of things must exist in Southern Europe also; and, therefore, I beg you to give this subject your very best consideration.
"I believe I am right when I say that, according to the allotment of your annual grants, the total sum assigned to Europe (North, Central, and South) amounts but to £200, notwithstanding that you possess an annual revenue of about £100,000. I respectfully submit that this sum is utterly disproportioned, not only to the necessities of the case, but to the sums of money which are allotted to other quarters of the world; and that the grave question, as to whether this £200 per annum should not be largely augmented, ought at once to be debated and determined.
"I am sensible of the difficulties which surround this proposal.
"It may be urged that 'The income of the Society is already pledged to annual grants for the colonies and for heathen lands, from which it is impossible to recede.'
"I admit it. Nor would I desire to take away one penny from such grants; for I too well remember how invaluable were my own, while superintending your Missions in British [7/8] Burma, as Bishop of Rangoon. But is there no alternative? May I not suggest that, without any diminution of these missionary supplies, you might take the opportunity (as colonial grants are from time to time withdrawn) of placing certain accretions therefrom to the credit of British wants in Europe, instead of allowing those wants to be left out of view, and bestowing all such accretions of income upon other quarters of the world?
"Or, again, it may be urged that 'Many members of the Society would oppose such a course, upon the ground of British residents in European countries being better able to provide for their own Church wants than heathen converts in missionary countries.'
"I know there is a widespread feeling of this kind; and the allegation would be valid, if all our continental chaplaincies were confined to rich communities of British residents, or to spots where wealthy tourists congregate for a few months during special seasons of the year. My appeal to you, however, has nothing to do with such places. It is wholly confined to those permanent chaplaincies in which our countrymen are few and poor, and where they live as settlers from year to year, almost entirely dependent for their Church privileges upon what is provided for them by ourselves.
"The extent to which this state of things exists is little understood in England; and on that account it can never be too frequently or publicly brought forward. Were it properly insisted upon, none of your constituents would urge the objection. If such objectors could but visit places like Elberfeld or Rummelsberg, where there are scarcely any British residents except artisans--or seaport towns like St. Malo, or Dunkirk, where the British population is chiefly made up of sailors, and their uninfluential compeers; or cities like Leipzig, Frankfort, and even Berlin, which, though large, have but few English residents beyond those who are intermarried with Germans, together with poor governesses, and students of music, painting, and medicine; or a variety of other places, in which there are merely schools for English children whose parents pay nothing to the support of the Chaplains, together with a few families having small incomes who only seek the Continent for economy, and for cheap [8/9] foreign education. If your objectors could only survey for themselves such colonies as these, they would soon cease their talk about communities of that kind supporting their own chaplaincies. It cannot be done. The consequence is, that unless our Chaplains in such places possess independent incomes, they are obliged to take pupils, and sometimes to go from house to house giving private lessons, at the expense of their pastoral functions; and afterwards, when pupils fail, they naturally drift into debt or despair.
"Under these circumstances, shall it be said that a Society like ours has no responsibility? How can that be, when the very constitution of its charter practically commits to its charge the spiritual oversight of all our fellow-countrymen scattered abroad in British ' factories and colonies'? I grant that our settlers in Europe do not come under the title of colonists in the technical sense of the term, i.e they do not live on ground which is British territory. But it would surely be a most illiberal and ungenerous interpretation of the word to exclude them from your fullest sympathy and assistance, when the State grants these things to them through her Majesty's ambassadors and consuls. Surely, if the mother country thus looks after their temporal interests, we are bound, by even higher considerations, to look after their spiritual and eternal welfare.
"Then what about the means for meeting this responsibility?
"About the beginning of next year you will be taking steps for a reapportionment of grants among your various fields of labour. Let me express a hope that, between this time and that, you will have been able to devise some method of granting to our European field, if not immediately, yet ultimately, the sum of £2000 per annum. I cannot but believe that, if you would consent to print this appeal, and allow it to be circulated by post with your monthly magazine and other papers, it would be one step, at least, toward bringing in additional contributions to your Continental Fund. Something must really be done. Otherwise you will never secure or retain Chaplains of sufficient standing to represent the Church of England throughout Europe as it ought to be represented. Nay, more. You may possibly lose some of [9/10] the best Chaplains you have; and even have, in certain places, the light of your candlestick extinguished, perhaps never to be relighted. Already Aix-la-Chapelle has sunk into a mere summer station, because the Chaplain feels unable to reside there among its few winter English inhabitants free from liability to debt. At Dantzig the chaplaincy has been vacated with no prospect of its continuance; since, unaided by external help, it can only produce an income of £30 a year. In Karlsruhe, where there are fifty young people and thirty adults belonging to us, the Chaplain writes to me saying that he will not be able to hold out much longer, seeing he only clears about £45 per annum.
"I cannot think that you will leave these poor sheep in the wilderness, without making a strong effort to assist them. We must not let thorn drift away from the Church of their fathers through any wilful negligence, or ignorance.
"In conclusion, allow me to say that, while I have full confidence in your willingness to listen to this appeal, I tremble lest you should fail to see how it presses upon your immediate attention. I therefore beseech you to make no delay in dealing with it. And may your Gracious Master guide you by His sovereign wisdom and power into some practical course of activity which shall alike meet all our past shortcomings, and abound to His own honour and glory."
After the reading of this Paper, it was resolved that the subject should be carefully considered. Indeed, it finally resulted in a complete alteration of the Society's relationship toward the continental chaplaincies generally. For, whereas, before this period, the chaplaincies had never been provided for as a direct portion of the Society's operations, but had simply been under the care of an outside committee (which committee, though affiliated to the Society, and meeting on its premises and receiving grants from it, was in no proper sense an integral part of the S.P.G. organization), they have now become directly incorporated into the Society's field of labour, and are as much under the charge of the Standing Committee as any of its stations are in India or the Colonies. In other words, my dear brethren, you may consider the Society as now having accepted the direct responsibility of looking after your unprovided interests; and I doubt not, that, [10/11] as soon as its funds will allow, without doing injustice to those places in other parts of the world in which it has already contracted engagements, it will, as far as possible, meet your necessities with a free and willing hand.
V. The Present Condition of the Permanent Chaplaincies.
You will naturally expect to have some report from me as to the condition of the various chaplaincies which I have visited.
(a) Without flattery I have no hesitation in saying that, upon the whole, they very favourably compare with our English parishes at home. A few of them, here and there, are feeble. But, for the most part they are as strong, and fairly prosperous, as the number and character of the British population of which they are composed can justify us in expecting them to be; while, with reference to administrative ability, not a few of them present examples of successful vigour which leave nothing to be desired.
(b) Some chaplaincies possess special interest from their historical associations. The chaplaincy of Geneva, for example, dates from the time of Calvin. Among the archives of that city is preserved a remarkable work called, "Le Livre des Anglais," referring to the establishment of the English Church there, A.D. 1555, with the names and numbers of English residents for five successive years. There is an entry also, A.D. 1652, of a request from the English then resident in Paris, that they might settle in Geneva and have a church for English services; which was granted them. Again, A.D. 1711, 1712, we read of more formal negotiations for an English church in the city, conducted through the then Bishop of Bristol; to which it was replied, " That they would see with pleasure the establishment of an English church in the city, and that divine service might be performed there in the same manner as in the parish churches in London." In the year 1816, we read also of a permanent Chaplain. The present English church was consecrated by the Bishop of Winchester in 1853. Thus the chaplaincy of Geneva may be said, in one form or another, to have existed for three hundred years. The city of Antwerp had an English [11/12] chaplaincy in the sixteenth century. It was held by Tyndall, the reformer, who ministered to the English merchants, and was afterwards martyred there. When at Gothenburg in Sweden, I found among the archives of the British Consulate, clear evidence of there having been an English ministry there for the last two hundred years. One manuscript book contained a subscription list of the English traders in that city, dated 1699, for the relief of the English poor. There had even been a secret congregation there in 1691. And when, in 1741, a royal mandate granted religious liberty, congregational collections commenced (1747); service having been held, with few interruptions, in Kjellving's house from 1762 to 1858. The present church was built in 1859. At Christiania, in Norway, there are evidences of English Christianity at a much earlier period. For, although the present church was only built in 1883, and was dedicated to the service of God by myself, yet the monks of the Cistercian Abbey at Kirkstead, Lincolnshire, founded an English Abbey on Hoved Island, on the Christiania Fiord, A.D. H47; and, in the sixth century, the Anglo-Saxon Konlinger sent out missionaries here to convert the Norwegian heathen. Again, Haakon, the first King of Norway, was baptized A.D. 925, and was educated under the influence of our own King, Athelstane; and Grainkill, Bishop of St. Olaf, was an Englishman. In Hamburg, the chaplaincy can be traced back to the reign of King James I. of England; when the Rev. Mr. Loe acted as "Chaplain to the merchant adventurers in Hamburg;" a book being still extant by him, called "Songs of Zion." At Rotterdam, the English church dates from the reign of Queen Anne, much of the money given for its erection coming from the Duke of Marlborough's army. It has had its vicissitudes, however, having been used both as a prison and a warehouse, during some of our foreign wars.
But I must not pursue these reminiscences too minutely. I chiefly name them, because many persons are under the impression that our foreign chaplaincies date only from the close of the French war in 1815. The truth is, that in all periods of our history, wherever English colonies have been formed for purposes of merchandise, there our Church has, in [12/13] some way or other, universally penetrated. This, indeed, seems to be the inherited religious instinct of our great Anglo-Saxon family. I did not investigate the subject when in Moscow; but, seeing that there was an English trading company formed in Russia as long back as the reign of Edward VI., I doubt not that evidence of a similar kind would be found there also. They are even traceable through our wars as well as our commerce. For, in the south of France, near Bayonne and Bordeaux, when making inquiry about certain buildings, I was told that they were old English churches, which had been built by our own people during the occupation of the country in the time of Edward the Black Prince.
Let me now turn, however, to subjects of more immediate interest.
(c) The present number of permanent chaplaincies under my charge is eighty-three, out of which I have paid visitations to seventy-nine, and to twelve twice over. [These chaplaincies used to be reckoned ninety in number. But four are really summer or winter chaplaincies; one has become extinct through want of funds for its support (Dantzig); and two, formerly licensed, are now being carried on irregularly without episcopal licenses.] My first route was to Paris (including three Chaplaincies), Versailles, Lille, Croix, Brussels (including three chaplaincies), Antwerp, Cologne, Coblenz, Cassel, Berlin, Dresden, Leipzig, Saxe Weimar, Saxe Gotha, Dusseldorf; Boulogne (including two chaplaincies), Avranches, Dinan, St. Servan, and St. Malo. This occupied from April 18 to June 12 (1884). My second route was to Gothenburg, Christiania, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Hanover, Frankfort, Homburg, Wiesbaden, Darmstadt, Heidelberg, Karlsruhe, Baden-Baden, Zurich, Berne, Neuchatel, Geneva, Lausanne, Vevay, Clarens, Montreux, Freiburg in Baden, Bonn, Spa, and Calais. This occupied from July 19 to October 16 (1884). My third route was to Warsaw, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vienna, Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfort, Darmstadt, and Wiesbaden. This occupied from January 12 to February 18 (1885). My fourth route was to Dunkirk, Paris, Versailles, Pau (including two chaplaincies), Biarritz, St. Jean de Luz, Arcachon, Bordeaux, Tours, Chantilly, Compiegne, Antwerp, Rotterdam, the Hague, Amsterdam, Brussels, Ostend, Bruges, Ghent, Lille, Croix, and [13/14] Boulogne. This occupied from April 1 to June 8 (1885). My fifth route is to be Havre, Dieppe (including two chaplaincies), Rouen, and Caen, occupying from July 31 to August 15 (1885). My next visitation, through Lyons into Switzerland and Germany, will commence in September next. The only places left unvisited up to December, will be Dinard, Riga, Memel, and Archangel.
I ought, perhaps, to say a few words here upon the extreme difficulty of covering the whole ground systematically, and of always being found in each place at the exact time of the year when you would most be pleased to see me. This is an absolute impossibility, as any one of you would find, by experience, if he had to undertake the duty himself. I must, therefore, throw myself upon your kind indulgence, and beg you to believe that I will always, at least, try to do my best in order to suit your convenience. I can do no more.
(d) With regard to statistics, I must first thank you all for the full and prompt manner in which you have filled up the Chaplaincy Inquiry Returns which I issued. Upon the strength of these, I now give you the following interesting and valuable particulars.
1. I find that, without reckoning our sailors in foreign seaports, there is an average population of British and American residents in your chaplaincies to the number of about 34,000. This is quite independent of the short season chaplaincies; of which, as explained before, I am reluctantly compelled to take no account.
2. You have among you fifty-three well-built, permanent English churches; twenty-two of which are as elegant in structure, and as well furnished and decorated as any good churchman could desire; of the rest, fourteen chaplaincies use foreign churches, either lent or rented; and sixteen have rooms only for public worship. The latter, however, are arranged, as far as possible, so as to be in full keeping with the spirit of the Church of England.
3. From an analysis of the returns sent in to me, I find that in these chaplaincies, forty-seven have Celebration of [14/15] Holy Communion, weekly or more; nineteen, fortnightly; and sixteen, monthly. The total average number of communicants at each celebration appears to be about 1900; and the average attendance of congregations at divine service each Sunday, morning and evening, is about 20,000. These figures, however, can only have an approximate accuracy. [Presbyterian, American, and other congregations are omitted.]
4. I have held Confirmations in the following places throughout my four journeys, viz. Paris, Versailles, Lille, Croix, Brussels, Antwerp, the Hague, Amsterdam, Cologne, Bonn, Coblenz, Cassel, Hanover, Hamburg, Stockholm, Christiania, Berlin, Dresden, Leipzig, Saxe Gotha, Frankfort, Wiesbaden, Darmstadt, Baden-Baden, Stuttgart, Munich, Vienna, Warsaw, Moscow, Geneva, Lausanne, Vevay, Berne, Freiburg, Spa, Avranches, Dinan, St. Servan, St. Malo, Pau, Biarritz, Bordeaux, Tours, Chantilly, Compiegne, Dieppe. The total number of candidates was 672; consisting of 19r young men, and 481 young women. But, in not a few cases, there were only two candidates, and in several only one! At Stockholm, the only two candidates confirmed had travelled 200 miles for the purpose. Facts like these set forth the peculiar difficulties of continental Church life, and the need which exists for a constant and' active supervision of it At Moscow there had been no Confirmation for nine years. At Warsaw, Cassel, and other places no English Bishop had ever made an official visit of any kind whatever.
5. I am glad to say that in all the chaplaincies there is a general co-operation of the laity with the clergy, for the purposes of Church management; and although I find occasional misunderstandings between them, these are far too rare to be viewed as appreciably disturbing the real brotherhood of our people. Most chaplaincies have churchwardens, and some have Church committees, chosen from among their congregations; in my temporary association with whom I have almost invariably found proofs of the most hearty earnestness, both for the welfare of the chaplaincy, and the comfort of the Chaplain.
6. I am thankful to be able to report, as a proof of the pastoral care which is exhibited among you, that in forty places there are Church Lending Libraries, mostly with [15/16] depots also for Bibles and Prayer-books. One of these (Biarritz) contains moo volumes, in a room of spacious character, which might well be envied by our home clergy.
7. With regard to special provisions for religious ministrations among the young, it will not surprise you to hear that Sunday schools are, comparatively speaking, rare. How could it be otherwise, when, in so many chaplaincies, there are no children of the English poor, and other children are, for the most part, in boarding-schools? The places which have such institutions are only twenty-four in number, and these are generally held in the churches. A remarkable exception is to be found in Croix (France), where, through the Christian liberality of one English mill-owner, who employs many English workmen, a large building is used both as a week-day and Sunday school, and in which there are about 100 children. At Rummelsberg, near Berlin, where there are about twenty English families of workmen, there is also an afternoon Sunday school, carried on entirely by lay help.
But if Sunday schools are not available in most places, ether means of religious instruction are found. There are nine chaplaincies in which Children's sermons are preached; and twenty-eight in which weekly Bible classes are held, while some have made no returns.
8. It has been my object, as far as possible, to encourage a Missionary spirit among you; for I am of opinion that a kindling of this spirit in a congregation has the greatest tendency to promote its life and zeal for God's glory. I was sorry, however, to find from your returns, that so few of you appear to have interested your people in foreign missions. May I affectionately stir you up to it, and ask you at once to make a beginning? It is full of interest; it connects itself with history, geography, and the manners and customs of different nations; it is, above all, a field of thought which enlarges human. sympathy, and directs the mind to noble aspirations; and, to say nothing of its religious bearings, it furnishes useful and practical information which acts as a healthful tonic where so many are otherwise mentally weakened by a constant round of vapid reading, and of idle pleasures. Let me commend the work carried on at Pau and Biarritz, in this respect, where I found Church Missionary [16/17] meetings and lectures in vigorous action, and a lively interest in it plainly evidenced by great numbers.
9. I now come to Works of practical and social usefulness which are being carried on in our larger and more important chaplaincies; and although, in doing so, it may appear invidious to allude to some places without mentioning all, yet I trust that none of you will take silence as indicating forgetfulness. If I pass over places like Dresden, or Hamburg, for example, it must not be supposed that it is because there are no works of active Church usefulness being carried on there, but only because space forbids my speaking about everything.
Paris necessarily takes the first place. I do not speak of works, however, like those conducted by Miss de Broen in Belville, or by the Rev. J. MacAll, which lie altogether outside our own charge, although they deserve most honourable mention; but only of those which come within the immediate sphere of our own chaplaincies: And here I notice but two. First, in the Rue d'Agasseau chaplaincy I find a work which might well be imitated in Berlin and other large capitals, viz. separate mission centres for lay co-operation, in which a weekly visitation of English homes is organized, and where services are held in rooms for those who cannot well attend church. I remember that in May, 1884, I attended a workingmen and women's tea party in Montmartre, at which, though in the heart of Paris, I might well have imagined myself in a London schoolroom. Secondly, in the Christ Church, Neuilly chaplaincy, I find the Chaplain called upon to give his spiritual superintendence to Miss Leigh's Orphanage for Girls, to her British Workmen's Home, and to similar institutions of a very valuable kind in other parts of the city. I have myself, on two or three occasions, taken a personal share in these institutions, and feel satisfied of their great power for good. But there is no place in Europe which can compare with Paris for opportunities of English Church work; so that it would be unfair to expect any picture similar to this in other countries. Paris contains a standing population of about 10,000 English-speaking people. "You have only to shut your eyes in Paris," said a French writer in the Figaro newspaper a little while since, "to fancy yourself in London; [17/18] for you will hear nothing but chatter about 'five o'clocks,' and 'garden parties,' and 'gun clubs.' As for the races, it really makes no difference whether you are at Ascot or Longchamps; for the talk in either case is of 'rings' and 'paddocks,' ' canters and starters,' 'performance and winning posts." It is not so in Moscow or Warsaw, where English nurses and governesses are the chief objects of interest. Yet I found that, even there, much social good was being effected by the loving care with which the Chaplains and their wives exerted influence over these poor exiles from their motherland, in their seasons of unsettlement and sorrow.
At Boulogne there is a valuable institution, called the British Free School, which gives gratuitous education to poor children of British parentage, instituted 1885, and doing a noble work.
At Brussels there is a Girls' Institute adapted to the necessities of continental life; a movement which I commend most warmly to public attention and support.
At Wiesbaden I met with an admirable illustration of the manner in which it is possible to utilize English methods of Church organization in continental life; and it is one which, being unique among the chaplaincies, I venture to commend for imitation. This is a ladies' association of Church workers, called the Guild of St. Augustine of Canterbury. It consists of English and American women and girls resident in, or near Wiesbaden, under the direction of a warden (the Chaplain), a subwarden, secretary, and treasurer. Its object is (I) "To encourage members in leading a consistent life in the fulfilment of their baptismal vow; (2) to afford them such sympathy, help, and instruction as their age and circumstances may require; and (3) to bind together by the power of mutual intercession, and the strength of united effort, in a more earnest striving to live to the glory of God." Its rules, among other things, prescribe " daily Scripture reading, the due observance of Sunday, and the undertaking of some definite good work, such as--singing in the choir, assisting in the care of the church, working or collecting for home or foreign missions, visiting the sick, inducing others to go to church, and to become candidates for [18/19] Confirmation." The effect of it is most salutary in every way. When last at Wiesbaden I had the privilege of giving an address to this earnest company of Church workers; and realized, more than I can express, the precious privilege it afforded me of stimulating them to faith and good works, and of binding them together in true Church union.
Very different from this place is Chantilly, in France, where the social condition of the English residents is interwoven with the life of stable-boys, and horse-trainers for the racecourse. Here about moo racehorses are in constant training for the French. Unpromising, however, as such a state of things may appear, the Chaplain has successfully organized his work, and obtained considerable influence for good, by means of Bible classes, and other useful agencies. Such is a slight sketch of some of our varied experiences. If all were detailed, I should have rather to write a book, then to issue a pastoral. I mention these only, as possibly suggestive for your emulation; and I pray that you may be encouraged and energized by means of it.
10. I am thankful to be able to report a satisfactory account of the expansiveness of our Church work, as illustrated by the building and enlarging of churches. At Christiania, I opened and dedicated a beautiful new church in July, 1 884 At Moscow I consecrated a very fine church which, though costing £17,000, was entirely free from debt. This was in January, 1885. At the Rue d'Agasseau Church in Paris, I consecrated an elegant baptistry, and a new chancel, which made an addition to the building in every way worthy of our country. This was in May, 1884. In the same month I also dedicated a south transept to the Church of the Holy Trinity in Boulogne. And in May of this year I dedicated a large new church in Brussels, called Christ Church. In November of this year I go to consecrate or dedicate two new churches in Germany; one at Berlin, built by her Imperial Highness the Crown Princess, in commemoration of her silver wedding day; and another at Leipzig, the foundation stone of which I laid in May, 1884. A new church is being commenced at Copenhagen, which will, I trust, be consecrated next year. At Montreux, the church is being enlarged, and will be opened in September of this year. May it [19/20] please the Great Head of the Church, not only to make all these sanctuaries His own dwelling-place, but the birthplace of many souls unto life eternal.
11i. Our Seaport Chaplaincies, though included in the names of places already mentioned, have such peculiar characteristics of their own, that they need to be referred .to separately. They are twenty in number.
The British sailors who yearly enter these seaports amount to a total of 310,555. The probability is, however, that a considerable percentage of these figures may represent the same sailors twice or three times over within some of the ports. But if only one-third of them be taken as capable of separate enumeration, it makes a sum total of above 100,000 as an extra population requiring pastoral and episcopal supervision in Northern and Central Europe.
Within these various seaports fourteen chaplaincies have established Sailors' Institutes, Bethels, and Reading-rooms, and efforts are being made of the same sort in other places. All these are assisted with friendly aid by the various British consuls or vice-consuls who reside at these places, to whom my warmest thanks are due,--and particularly in Dantzig, where there is no resident Chaplain. In these institutes every facility is afforded to the sailors for instruction and amusement of a healthy character while they are ashore, for the purpose of preserving them from the dangerous temptations of dram shops and other debasing influences. In some ports they are also utilized for religious services. At Dunkirk I had myself the privilege of preaching to a number of sailors with marked effect; and I here take the opportunity of informing the Chaplains of such ports that I shall always be ready, when I visit them, of taking the same useful office. Besides this, it may be interesting to note the kind aid given to social gatherings, for the sailors' benefit, by our lay friends, as well as by the devoted labours of the Chaplains and their wives. I have found this to be the peculiar mark of some places, such as St. Malo, Havre, and Boulogne. Concerts, lectures, readings, etc., are here given for the sailors in such a way as not only to afford recreation, but to bind together the different classes of society, and to merge them into one body of [20/21] common brotherhood. This is, doubtless, done in other ports likewise. I only record the names of these places, because they have come more immediately before my notice.
VI. Fluctuations in the Chaplaincies.
Among the many interesting peculiarities of my episcopate I have been greatly struck with the fluctuating condition of some of the chaplaincies, arising from various causes,--such as the influence of foreign wars, the changing characteristics of British manufactures, the developments of revolutionary violence, the tastes of English travellers, and even the formation of new railway lines.
Let me give you a few illustrations of these changes. Before the Franco-German war, Boulogne at one time supported no fewer than four Chaplains. At that period there was a floating population in the place of about 5voo English. Since this war, the English residents have diminished to about 2000; and there are only two Chaplains in it. Again, at Compiegne, during the reign of Napoleon III., when the French Court resided there, and the emperor hunted in the splendid forests of that place, the English were so attracted to it that not only was a beautiful little church built there, but it was permanently endowed with an income of £200 a year. Now, however, while the church and its endowment remains, and an excellent Chaplain ministers there, it is with difficulty that the church is more than half filled. Similar fluctuations are traceable through the vigorous competition of foreign manufacturers on their own ground, by means of which our English manufacturing colonies are, in some places, sensibly diminishing. This is specially noteworthy in the lace trade of Calais, the silk trade of Lyons, the wool and cotton and flax trade in the north of France, and the iron works of Belgium and Germany. The same is true of our mercantile commerce in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Hamburg; where our English churches, now far too large for our congregations, were once well filled. At Antwerp, on the other hand, we are still holding our own; and the church, found to be too small for our requirements, is about to be rebuilt on another site, and of larger dimensions. Then, again, the English population in [21/22] Geneva has very sensibly diminished, notwithstanding the great advantages which that city presents for good education. This has mainly arisen from the fact that it has of late become the centre of revolutionary violence, and the stronghold of anarchical plots and feuds. But, on the other hand, Lausanne is as greatly increased, and may be looked upon as the centre of our English Church life in Switzerland. Montreux has, likewise, developed very wonderfully. But a change lately made in the railway system has so considerably altered Neuchatel, that, instead of being a permanent chaplaincy, there has been some danger of its dropping into a mere summer chaplaincy. This, indeed, has already taken place in Aix la Chapelle, which has, therefore, not been entered on my list of permanent chaplaincies. It ceased to be permanent last autumn. Dantzig has vanished altogether from view in our list, and may be regarded as an extinct volcano. Notwithstanding that an English church is there, and an endowment of £30 a year, yet, unless one of the Societies can come forward with a liberal grant in aid, our sailors, with the few English residents of that place, must be left without any spiritual provision. In contrast with this, Cassel in Germany, on account of its beautiful situation, and its very great educational advantages, seems rising into importance. While, to close this chequered narrative, I learn that there is a place in Russia, called Hughes ofska, in which as many as 400 English miners are at work without any Chaplain to attend to their spiritual wants. Such are our varied fluctuations.
VII. English Education in Northern and Central Europe.
Four nations seem chiefly to divide this work between them, viz. France, Germany, Belgium and Switzerland; and, as far as I can discover from your answers to my inquiries, you appear to me to have a very fair amount of ministerial influence over the schools in which our English children are instructed in those countries. I find that in France, you report sixty-one schools as containing English children under your religious instruction; in Germany you have sixty-six; in Switzerland you have thirty-one; and in Belgium fifty-eight. It is a particularly encouraging fact that one church in [22/23] Brussels, the Church of the Resurrection, numbers as many as thirty-six schools in its own congregation. The importance of such influence can never be overrated.
The number of schools containing English boarders who are, for various reasons, excluded from your religious teaching is, I am glad to say, small; but if English parents at home enforced this obligation as they ought, there need be no such cases. And here, though I am not primarily addressing English parents, let me say a word or two in the hope that these lines may reach the eyes of those who too often send their boys and girls to be educated abroad in a spirit of complete religious indifference. I believe that this indifference arises far more from worldly thoughtlessness, than from any direct infidelity. Where the latter is the case, argument becomes hopeless. On the former supposition, however, it may be possible to secure attention. Some such parents (as I know from the clearest evidence) have only discovered their mistake when too late, having had bitterly to repent by finding their children returned to them either in the faith of Romanism, or in the mazes of open scepticism. [There is one large convent school near Louvain, where there are English girls belonging to our own Church, none of whom attend any English service, nor is any Chaplain allowed to visit them.] What I wish, therefore, to press upon such parents is, that they should carefully select schools in towns which possess English Chaplains. And, in doing this, let them not be guided by advertisements which represent a school as near to some English chaplaincy; for I have known this statement made when the school has been situated ten, or even twenty miles distant from the nearest English Chaplain. The best course for any careful parent to adopt is, to communicate with the advertiser, explicitly demanding the name and place of the nearest Chaplain; and then to write to that Chaplain himself, and inquire into the circumstances, especially asking whether children placed in such a school would be able to attend his services, and receive instruction in religious truth. It is only by this method that parents can effectually guard their children from danger. But, alas! there are multitudes of persons in England, who are completely ignorant of the existence of our widely extended chaplaincy work on the [23/24] Continent, and of the valuable means which they thus have at their disposal in the selection of proper schools. The truth is, there are many schools abroad where our English youth are as safe as they would be in their own country. But they are seldom found from advertisements. Direct communication with the Chaplains is the only practical method by which such places of education are capable of being discovered. Let those who would be wise see to it.
VIII. The Chaplain's Tenure of his Licence.
This is an important subject, and one which, I am aware, occupies some of your minds with anxious thought. There is, from some cause or other, a latent apprehension that your tenure of licence is uncertain; that it may be arbitrarily withdrawn for reasons which would be insufficient in England; and that by this means even the tenure of a continental chaplaincy itself lacks the security of a parish benefice in our own country. It may be well, therefore, if I send you a message for the purpose of explaining how matters stand, and of giving you some assurance upon this subject. The message I send is very brief. Fear not. It is true that you have no legal rights such as those have who possess benefices in England, unless it be in Belgium, where the Chaplains are under the distinct protection of the State. But you must bear in mind that you derive your licences from the Bishop of London; and that no body of men, whether local committees, or church societies, have any power to revoke them. They may, of course, in case of any serious misunderstanding with you, stop their grants in aid; but they cannot remove you from office, unless you have foolishly bound yourselves by private agreement with your patrons that they may do so. In all other cases, the whole decision rests with the Bishop of London; and you may be sure that, except for heresy, or for moral delinquency, you are perfectly safe in his hands. I cannot, therefore, see that you have any cause to fear the security of your licences. You are governed episcopally by the same laws of equity as the clergy are in England; and I do not think you can ask for more.
 IX. Our Church Conferences.
Perhaps nothing has proved a more marked or gratifying feature of my episcopate among you than the institution of Church Conferences in different centres and for different countries. I commenced them under a conviction that they would accomplish three results: (1) Union and confederation of the chaplaincies; (2) Development of general Church life; and (3) Personal brotherhood among the Chaplains. I feel satisfied that they have not failed in any one of these objects. Many of you have thus had an opportunity of comparing notes with one another in your experience of different places; you have also been enabled to exchange thoughts between somewhat opposite side, of Church opinion in free and unfettered debate; and, in doing so, you have learned lessons of toleration, moderation, and mutual respect. Our first three assemblings were only tentative; being merely for the clergy, and that in private. Lille was the original centre in which we tried the experiment, and it furnished me with such encouragement, that I afterwards organized two other conferences of the same kind during the summer of 1884. One was in Darmstadt, and the other in Lausanne. These were equally harmonious and successful; indeed, it was felt by all engaged in them that it had already begun to put new life into the chaplaincies, and was like the dawn of a fresh era in their history. With results so cheering, therefore, I fell back upon my brethren in Lille and Croix, and asked them if they would be kind enough to assist me in organizing a conference for the following year at Paris. This, as you know, was undertaken on a larger scale. It was no longer to be for the clergy alone, but for the laity also; and instead of being held privately, it was resolved to have our discussion in the still more healthful atmosphere of public meetings. Invitations were accordingly issued to all the Chaplains of France and Belgium, and the conference was appointed for two clear days--reporters and representatives of the press being admitted. On this occasion thirty-five Chaplains came together, two of whom travelled more than five hundred miles to be present; while the room was also fairly filled with [25/26] English laity resident in Paris. And here let me acknowledge how greatly indebted we were to our Paris friends for their hospitality during these two eventful days.
So far, as to the work already accomplished. But there is more to follow. In November next I hope to meet the Chaplains of Germany at Dresden for a large united conference of the same kind. And, again, in Paris, next year at Whitsuntide, we are once more to assemble for the purpose. Thus a great movement for good has been vigorously initiated, which I trust may prove of the greatest possible service. May it be as an anvil on which we shall be enabled to hammer out all our continental difficulties; and as a storehouse in which we may gather all the fruits and harvests of our mutual experiences for the common good.
X. Institution of Church Record Books.
Let me now call your attention to another method which I have introduced amongst you for the purpose of assisting toward the due organization of this new episcopate. I refer to the opening of Church Record Books in the various places of my visitation. These books are to be preserved for the entries of successive episcopal visitations, in order that they may furnish an historical outline of the chaplaincy from this period for the benefit of all future Bishops and Chaplains. Between these entries, however, it will always be permissible for the Chaplains to make entries of their own, as records of any remarkable or noteworthy facts which they may deem desirable for the perusal of the Bishop on his next visitation; care being always taken to mark the date of such entry, and to sign it with the Chaplain's autograph for the purpose of its due authentication. Without a plan of this kind it appears to me that there would be a sad want of cohesion between the supervision of successive Bishops. No successor would have the least notion of what his predecessor had either thought or done. Whereas, by such means, all the successive Bishops and Chaplains will be enabled to see at a glance the past history of each place.
 XI. Sympathy between the English and Americans on the Continent.
It has been a source of sincere gratification to me during my continental journeys to see the cordial and affectionate intercourse which subsists between our own countrymen and our American brethren. This is only as it should be; for, though separated by the Atlantic Ocean, we are one great family, and our ties ought never to be broken. It is made manifest not only by the title of Anglo-American Church being adopted in some of our chaplaincies, but by public prayer being everywhere offered, during Church Service, on behalf of "The President of the United States," as well as for our own "Queen and the Royal Family." I wish, however, to take this opportunity of commending to all the Chaplains some further proof of British sympathy with the American people. It may be considered by some of you as the introduction of a novelty; yet, when I have explained it, I trust fiat no false principle of conservatism will prevent its adoption,--I refer to a practice which has been taken by the Episcopal Church of America of holding an annual service, called "Thanksgiving Day," and which answers to our own English custom of holding "Harvest Festival Thanksgivings." This service is deservedly popular in the United States, and has a special form of prayer provided for it in the American Liturgy. It is generally held in November, and is a great bond of union among that people, wherever they are scattered on the earth, reminding them of their home and country, and stimulating them alike to patriotism and piety. What I ask, therefore, is, that as so many of our American brethren are associated with you in your various chaplaincies, you should in future gratify their feelings by holding a "Thanksgiving Day" for this purpose, some time during the month of November. By this means also you will no less be putting yourselves into harmony with your own Church at home; for there is now scarcely a parish in England where Harvest Festivals are not observed. I am sure you will appreciate my motive in making this request. Forms of Harvest Festival Services are easily procurable from England, through the S.P.C.K. [27/28] (Northumberland Avenue, Charing Cross); in using which you would only require some slight modification, suggested to you by the American Liturgy, in order to give the day which you select for this observance a method of sweet and holy fellowship in our international brotherhood.
XII. Friendliness of Feeling toward the Old Catholics.
While speaking thus of my American brethren, I cannot but go forward, in the same spirit of love, to say a few words concerning those who have been excommunicated by the Church of Rome for their denial of the dogma of papal infallibility. The Old Catholic party, as they have rightly called themselves, appear to me to claim much consideration from the Church of England; much more than, in many ways, they receive from us. There is still, no doubt, a considerable interval between us in relation both to doctrine and ritual; but, for all that, inasmuch as this movement is a great step toward the reunion of Christians, it ought not to be left without a distinct recognition of our sympathy; especially since there are very good grounds for believing that, in the midst of the divisions of Christendom, the English Church is pointed to by the hand of Providence as a most fitting mediator on behalf of peace and unity. Let me remind you that the Old Catholics are doing all they can to abolish some of the most repulsive doctrines and practices of the Church of Rome,--such as the enforced celibacy of the clergy, the administering of the Holy Communion to the laity in one kind, the use of prayers in Latin, etc. They are fighting the same battle, in fact, which we ourselves fought in England, when we first began to resist papal tyranny. Under these circumstances, wherever I have visited chaplaincies in which Old Catholic congregations are found, I have endeavoured to make myself friendly. Thus, both at Coblenz and Zurich, I felt pleasure in seeing Old Catholic priests present at my Confirmation services. In Bonn I had the gratification of an interview with Bishop Reinkens. And I have only now, within the last two days, given the Chaplain at Berne permission to conduct his English services in the Old Catholic church, [28/29] which has been most kindly lent to him gratuitously by Bishop Herzog of that city. It is hard, perhaps, to say what ought to be done in Austria, where the difficulties of friendly union with this body are political, in consequence of the direct hostility of the government to its very existence. I must, therefore, recommend the 'Chaplain of Vienna to exercise the greatest caution and wisdom in his conduct; and by no means to compromise that spirit of just neutrality which is ever due from foreign guests like ourselves, in respect to any of the constituted laws of a country in which we are permitted to sojourn.
XIII. Need of Moderated Churchmanship in our Chaplaincies.
In what I am now about to write, I assume that there is a practical standard of good Church usage which is fairly open to no criticism, except from the representatives of extreme opinions on either side. Chaplaincies, therefore, which are conducted according to this usage, offend very few persons. Being moderated by a wise discretion which equally avoids either excess or deficiency in proper Church ritual, they provide a method of worship in which the greatest number can unite on ,terms of happy concord. I invariably find that in such chaplaincies we have the most well-ordered and the most contented communities. Is not this natural? Suppose, for example, that in one place there are no early celebrations of the Lord's Supper. Would it not be natural for those who, in their own country, have always been accustomed to such a service, that they should be dissatisfied, and feel robbed of a legitimate Church privilege? On the other hand, suppose that in some place lighted candles were placed on the holy table. Would it not be natural for those who regard this as forbidden by the law of the English Church, that they should feel it hard if the only church within their reach was a place where their consciences must be perpetually wounded? Why should we offend these brethren either on the one side or the other? You should bear in mind that you are placed in trust of your charges for the benefit of the general community, and not to please the idiosyncrasies [29/30] of a few. It becomes your duty, therefore, to avoid all extremes, and to conduct your ministry for the benefit of the largest number whom you can influence.
On the other hand, let me say to the laity that, on their side, they should be large-minded, and tolerant; not expecting everything, wherever they go, to be always exactly squared to their own line of tastes or prejudices. The spirit of Diotrephes should appear neither in the priesthood, nor among the people. How many secret heart-burnings, and open Church quarrels would be avoided, if, instead of criticising external forms, we were more solely intent upon spiritual worship! In reference to divergencies in outward things, of which we so often make too much, there is one text which constantly impresses me: "The Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." (I Sam. xvi. 7.) Look to your own hearts, my lay brethren, and see if they be all pure within, before you judge the heart of your Chaplain by the posture of his body, or by the characteristics of his Church ceremonial. If the inner life of both be right before God, there will be the spirit of self-abnegation in each, and a mutual desire to please one another in all well doing. As far as possible, I bid you to make no unnecessary divisions by reason of things non-essential; to bear and forbear one with another; and so to let every one please his neighbour for good unto edification. If you will only listen to these gentle words of admonition, they will make you all the happier and the better.
XIV. Cautions with reference to Continental Sundays.
I am sometimes asked in England this question: "How is it that so many of our countrymen and countrywomen violate the traditions of their own national character, and do things abroad which are so contrary to their habits when at home?" This question chiefly bears upon the violation of the sanctity of the Lord's day; and therefore I put it to all whom it may concern in that shape: "Why is it, my brothers and sisters, that you commit so many breaches in the observance of the Lord's day while you are living on the Continent, when you would be ashamed to do such things [30/31] in England?" Two answers may be given to this inquiry. The one is direct and bold; the other indirect and evasive.
You (I) may tell me with a spirit of careless indifference, that you only refrain from pursuing the same course in England, because you have not there the opportunity. There are no horse races, nor theatres, nor concert-rooms on Sundays in our own country; and therefore you could not give yourselves up to such pleasures. But is it really true that many of you would do so, if you could? That it is the case with some, I have no doubt; for there are those who are ever ready to own without a blush that they have neither faith nor religious-mindedness. On such I can hope to make no impression. But it is not so with all. There must surely be many among this giddy throng in whom the passion for pleasure simply overruns and chokes the calmer feelings of right principle, disabling its powers of action. You are so carried away by the love of excitement, and the thirst after novelties, that you cannot give yourselves time to think. If any of you read these lines, will you now stop for a few moments to reflect? Is there no higher law to honour, than your own self-will? Is there no God and Father in heaven, to' Whose love you owe life and health and all you possess; and to Whom the surrender of your heart, in rest from worldly amusements for at least one day out of seven, would be a noble sacrifice of homage, and worthy of your immortal nature? Can these ruptures between your consciences and your Eternal Judge be viewed without dismay when you meditate upon them? I ask you to stand still and think. When you have run your race, and the eternal day of rest has set in, will not the recollection of these forbidden pleasures palsy your souls with fear, and make you tremble under a consciousness that they have robbed you of your true rest in the Lord Jesus?
The next answer which may be given to my question is rather indirect and evasive than explicit; but it is undeniably true. You may tell me (2) that you are only influenced by foreign customs, and the irresistible infection of surrounding habits; that you acknowledge it is not quite the right thing to do; indeed, that it is completely inconsistent with the spirit of your own English home life; but that, when you are abroad, the trial is too great to be looked upon as singular. [31/32] My reply is: Let other nations pursue what customs they may please. We do not wish to judge or condemn their opinions and habits. But, as English Christians, let us be true to ourselves, and not be led away because we have not sufficient manliness of character to resist the charge of singularity. My own opinion is, that you would be more respected on the Continent for standing faithful to the religious convictions of your own country; and that, in spite of a little banter about insular prejudices, you would be much more honoured for your national consistency, than you now are for your easy compliance. with these foreign fascinations.
XV. Farewell Counsels to the Clergy.
Before I bring this pastoral to a conclusion, I have still a few words to say--words which, in the fullest sense, I shall write from the heart to the heart.
I have now gone in and out among you for eighteen months, during which period our relationship has been more close and brotherly than is usually the case between a Bishop and his Clergy. This has arisen from the circumstance that I have no dwelling of my own among you, and that I have had to wander over the vast fields in which you live, as one who has needed shelter in strange countries. But for the enormous network of European railways, my course would have been impossible. Indeed, my path has been made by this triumph of modern civilization. Yet it has been no less made by your own loving-kindness and hospitality; for wherever I have travelled you have received me as your guest, and made me happy. In my intercourse with you, one after the other, I have learned to know your domestic joys and sorrows; I can now reckon you more as personal friends than as official Clergy, because you have made yourselves dear to me in the unreserved affection of your own hearths and homes.
Without this intimate method of relationship I could never have realized your exact position; its difficulties and frequently delicate duties; its anxious cares and often worrying correspondence; its many-sided characteristics and incessant occupations. The idea in England used to be, that [32/33] any man, provided he were but moral and respectable, would do for a continental chaplaincy. I have learned, however, from observation, that your office requires a number of important qualifications, and my only wonder is that so many of you possess them. Let me impress upon you what I mean; for, by naming these qualifications you may be induced to cultivate them the more earnestly. I have already spoken of the necessity of ordering your Church ministrations in a spirit of wise moderation and tolerant charity. I shall be adding what is equally important when I mention the following elements of character which are required, in my judgment, to make a truly successful Chaplain.
First, you need to exercise personal influence over others. This is to be done by tact and judicious methods of individual treatment; especially in peace-making and breaking up, as far as possible, social cliques and parties. I need scarcely say that manners which are either cold and .reserved, or brusque and sharp, and a temperament that is either vacillating or domineering, will be fatal to your full success; for there is perhaps no place in the whole world where, within so small a space, such a variety of different characters and dispositions have to be dealt with, and where such dangers exist of giving unintentional offence, as in one of our English-speaking communities upon the Continent.
A second requirement, which interlaces itself with the former, is that of conversational readiness. Natural to some, this may be cultivated by all. It is certainly a great qualification for the attainment of personal influence. If you wish to bring people together, and to put them at ease with one another, it will be well to take the lead in conversation by asking questions, or by starting subjects of thought which are calculated to draw out their sympathy, and excite their immediate interest. The young want cheerfulness and vivacity; the older need the same method, but it should be mingled with intellectual freshness and practical common sense. These may seem very trite observations, yet they are useful hints. A Chaplain who is silent when he ought to talk, or dull and heavy when he does, may be respected for his solid worth; but he will never have that power among his flock which another gains, who is ever on the watch to be lively [33/34] and agreeable, and conversational, in the manner I have just indicated.
But the subject of watchfulness brings me to a third and more important element of usefulness. Remember, it is possible to be lively and agreeable in your social circles at the expense of Ministerial Consistency. Continental chaplaincies contain large numbers of persons who cannot find, as they might in England, any useful employment for their time; and who, therefore, give themselves up to a constant round of amusement and pleasure-taking. Now, as it is quite possible for you to be drawn in by this stream, and so to run the risk of becoming worldly and unspiritual, allow me to say that you need, in this respect, great watchfulness and prayer. Stand like "watchmen on the walls of Zion." You are called of God to preach the doctrine of self-control and self-abnegation; you have to teach your flocks that those who are "lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God," are in a state of spiritual decay, if not of spiritual death. How can you do this unless you preserve a separate standing-ground for yourselves? Without it you could have neither heart nor conscience to proclaim a truth which would be practically falsified by your own conduct. Do not misunderstand me, my reverend brethren. I am not accusing you; but I warn you, and especially the younger. These temptations of the world are very ensnaring; they creep in upon our hearts by slow and insidious marches. If you wish to be consistent, you must be strong. While, always acting within the limits of a wise moderation, you show yourselves ready to enter into the innocent recreations and enjoyments of life, you must, nevertheless, draw some clear line of demarcation between the rights of Christian liberty and the too indulgent license of worldly conformity. In this way you will illustrate to all around you the character of the true man of God; and the success of your ministry will be all the greater, because, in the long run, it will be sure to command respect.
The last and crowning point of my friendly counsels, refers to Personal piety, and its bearing upon your work in the pulpit. Real consecration of heart to the Lord, and a close walk day by day with Him, will be sure to tell upon the [34/35] preparation and delivery of your sermons; for it is this, and this alone, which can give you any deep earnestness of purpose in winning souls to Christ. And here I have a very distinct message to you with reference to the whole spirit of preaching. What should be the one aim of a preacher? He has but twenty minutes, or a few minutes more, at his disposal, and they are very precious. What if he should occupy them in a dry moral essay, or in the recital of a parable or miracle, or some piece of Scripture history, in which he only restates in his own words (though it may be with a few amplifications) what everybody in the church knows perfectly well beforehand? Has the opportunity been properly taken advantage of? Has the time been profitably employed? What I wish to impress upon you is, that a sermon becomes a mass of words lost when it fails in the one great object of touching the heart and the conscience. Yet, how many sermons are heard, which travel through the doctrines of the Creed, and right round the circle of Scripture history, without a single appeal to the conscience or anatomy of Christian experience, or any dealing with the difficulties and temptations of the inner life! Again, let me say that I am not making the least allusion to yourselves; for, alas! I never have the privilege of hearing you. But I am jealous for your honour and usefulness, and feel it my duty, as your Bishop, to exhort. For my own part, I always feel a sermon thrown away, if I cannot come down from the pulpit conscious that I have lifted up Christ as the Saviour, and testified of the Holy Spirit as the Comforter; if I cannot retain a hope that souls have been led into the very presence of their reconciled Father. Suffer me to plead with you, then, on this great subject. Always deal directly with those central truths of Christianity which have power to awaken the careless, comfort the afflicted, and restore the backsliding, and which meet the anxious and struggling hearts of your people in reference to their eternal wants. Avoid speculative or mere descriptive discourses, which may gratify the mind, but which cannot touch the heart. My one great desire, as Bishop among you, is to awaken a higher spiritual life wherever I go; and I feel sure that if these few words of mine deepen that life in your own souls, and if it be echoed lovingly to others [35/36] from your own pulpits, my mission will have been abundantly blessed.
May the grace of Christ, and the power of the Holy Ghost, be ever more and more your portion.
Your affectionate Brother,
J. H. TITCOMB.
12, Holland Park Gardens, London, W.