From The Works of the Rt. Rev. Charles C. Grafton (Volume 4),
edited by B. Talbot Rogers, New York: Longmans, Green, 1914, pp. 21-53
A Journey Godward
of a Servant of Jesus Christ
My Dear Friends:YOU have asked me to leave you some account of my life. One's life is divided into two partsthe inner life and the outward life. I have greatly hesitated in giving the facts about the latter, lest it should mislead any respecting the former.
My inner life has been simply one, through many spiritual trials, temptations, and failures, of a stumbling on towards God. It overwhelms me with shame and humiliation when I think of it. It is only by clinging to the infinite mercies of the merciful Lord that I am kept out of despair. It looks to me like a failure; such a ghastly failure that I am afraid to write anything about this outward life. But I will try to do so, as far as practical.
I became seriously interested in the Church through attending the Church of the Advent, Boston, and was present at its first opening in Green Street. I had known Dr. Croswell a little in my childhood, when he was rector of Christ Church, and remember his taking me in his arms and blessing me. An illness of my eyes, which kept me from other work, enabled me to attend the services frequently. What we think a misfortune turns thus to a blessing. I had long been battling with the ordinary problems of life, when, through my own failures, I was led to Confirmation.
While at the Church of the Advent, a powerful influence came over me. One (lay, on seeing Dr. Croswell pass up the aisle to his place in the chancel, I heard, as it were, a Voice saying unto me as I looked at him: "And why shouldn't you be a priest? " I took no steps at the time, but the impression remained with me.
Along with Dr. Oliver and a few others, I became interested in the founding of St. Botolph's parish in Boston, which was to be of decided high church tendencies and Tractarian teaching. It had not sufficient support to be continued, but subsequently in the hall, Emmanuel Church carried on a Mission Sunday School.
After this I went to Harvard, and entered the Law School, where I remained for some three years.
I got a valuable piece of advice from Langdell, who was afterwards the great Dean. I had been taken into the Coke Club, a small one of about eight members. Langdell was one, the two Choates (one of whom was afterwards Ambassador), Chandler (afterwards Senator for New Hampshire), Carter (afterwards the leader at the New York bar), Shattuck (afterwards a noted lawyer in Boston), and, I believe, Felton (afterwards of sonic note in California). I think they took me in on account of a plea I made when I had the wrong side of a moot case to defend. But Langdell, in his greatness, was always very kind to me, and gave me work on Parsons "Book of Contracts," which I did under him. Anxious fully to investigate subjects given me, I had run out right and left on all sorts of subjects involving legal possibilities. Langdell struck them all out and said: "Grafton, learn to keep on the high road and beaten track. You might live a lifetime imagining legal questions, and practise a lifetime without one of them coming up. Keep on the beaten highway." This advice helped me, in my Church's position, to keep the Faith as established by the Church's decisions, and not to bother with the vagaries and speculations of schismatics. I grasped the principles which ever afterwards guided me in my religious faith. Believing there was an Intelligent and Will Energy that made the Cosmos what it was, it was but proper that a revelation should be made to us. If no such Energy existed, the world was a frightful nightmare; and, if no revelation were made to us, the universe was immoral.
This revelation had been made through the material universe, in the mind and conscience of man, through more enlightened seers and philosophers in all ages, by Hebrew prophets and, gradually developing, had culminated in the person of Christ. Dr. Walker, the president of Harvard, a Unitarian of the Arian school, preached a strong sermon proving the divinity of Christ. The question, he said, was not whether Christ was the greatest of men, but whether He was a mere man or no. He proved Christ did not belong to the class of man, for He was free, as no other known man was, from the prejudices of His age, country, and race; and His sinless character also differentiated Him from others, and He stood alone, unique and unapproachable. His truthful character compelled acceptance of His claim that He had had a previous existence, saying "Before Abraham was, I am"; that He "had come down from Heaven," and in some deep mystery He "and the Father were one." It was much the same line that in after years I heard Liddon take in his Bampton Lectures on "The Divinity of Christ."
For my own part, I felt that everyone needed, especially myself, in religious matters, a teacher, an example, a guide. If I recalled aright the old story, Socrates, meeting one day Alcibiades, on his way to the Temple, put to him, after his manner, many perplexing problems; and when Alcibiades in despair, said to his great teacher: " How then shall we know these things? " the great pagan philosopher replied, "Someone must come and teach us." Has He not, in Christ?
I was bidden by a friend to take up Comte's philosophy. I asked, "What sort of life did lie lead?" "Well," was the reply, "he did not live with his wife." I did not think it worth while to try to do one thousand pages of stiff reading, along with my legal studies, and come out like the founder of this school. So my first great principle was to accept Christ as my teacher. When the world can produce somebody wiser or of a deeper spiritual insight, it will be time to reconsider this position. But I took the great Master as my master, and surrendering myself to Him, believed in Him and all He said, because He said it.
The other principle, and what made me a practical churchman, was this: If Christ was the special teacher sent from Heaven, He could not so imperfectly have taught His doctrine as that the larger number of His followers would be led into error.
I once, subsequently in my life, put this in the form of a dilemma to that sweet and lovely character, Professor Peabody. We were conversing on religious matters, and I said: "Here are two facts we must both admit to be facts: God sought to teach the world the religion that there was but one God, through the Hebrew nation. When the people fell into the sin of idolatry like the heathen, God severely punished them. When they came back from their Babylonish captivity, they became free from this sin. The world has been taught through the Jew. Man may give up a belief in God, but the world will not go back to the gods many of the hills and plains. This great truth has been implanted in the race, that there is only one God, and to worship any other as God is a soul-destroying sin. The other fact is that four-fifths of all Christians have given divine honors to Christ and worshipped Him. How then can Christ be a teacher sent from God, as in some degree Unitarians claim? We cannot suppose that God, having delivered mankind from the sin of idolatry, through revelation to the Jew, should send a teacher who should lead His followers into this sin. If Christ be not a divine person, to pay Him divine honors is idolatrous. Either He is what four-fifths of His disciples claim Him to be, or He is no teacher in whom we can trust as sent with a divine authority. The result and effect of His teaching shows what He intended to teach."
When I put this dilemma to dear Dr. Peabody, he said: "But if you believe all this, you must believe a great deal." "Certainly," I said, "the result of His teaching shows what He meant to teach, and I not only believe in His Deity, but in the Blessed Trinity, the Incarnation, the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist."
It was at this time that I experienced a deeper religious conviction. (I had always believed in the Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament, and I used to walk in from Cambridge and keep my fasting Communion, and what would now be called a rather strict Lent.) I had the question before me what I should do with my life, and I had a battle with myself whether I should give myself to politics or to religion. I was warned by a good Episcopal clergyman that the Church was stereotyped, and that it could not possibly be altered, and was in a deadly low condition. It was difficult to get much literature on the subject. We could not get Church books in Boston of a very decided Church character. I remember importing Dr. Pusey's devotional book, "Paradise of the Christian Soul," to the curiosity of my English relatives in London, who wondered what a young man wanted with such a book. A few able Roman priests gave me Roman books to readMilner's "End of Religious Controversy," Wiseman's "Lectures," Moehler's "Symbolism," Ives' "Trials of a Mind." Bishop Southgate helped me to see that the true viewpoint of the Church was from Jerusalem. Jerusalem was the Mother Church. Rome, by its claim to supremacy, had made a rent in Christendom. It was not the source of unity, but the primal cause of schism. I realized also that our chief loyalty was to the one Catholic Church Christ had made, rather than to any one of the divisions the sins of man had made. When, years after, Newman put forth his "Apologia," it seemed to me that he had never grasped the idea of the Catholic Church, and no wonder he fell away. He had been a low churchman, then a high churchman, and then invented a via media of his own, and, finally, tried to cover his secession by a doctrine of development, which many Romans rejected and which equally defended Protestantism.
My studies led me to believe that the low church position in the Church did not do justice to the Prayer Book. For example, in the Baptismal Office it was declared of every child baptized that he was regenerated. The low churchman explained this as merely a hope based on the faith of the sponsor. But in the office for the Private Baptism of Infants, they were declared to be regenerated, and no sponsors were required. If our Lord's Presence in the Eucharist were not effected by the consecration of the elements, why were the Consecrated Elements which remained after the Communion ordered to be so reverently consumed? Why, if Episcopal ordination were not necessary, were we not schismatical in not admitting sectarian ministers to officiate at our altars? I became fully convinced of the validity of our orders and sacraments, and that our Church was indeed a true branch of the Catholic Church. It had also under its English ornaments-rubric a right to the ancient vestments, lights, and altar ritual. I realized the Catholicity of our position and our sacramental gifts, and the siii involved in leaving the Church for Rome. I remember subsequently passing a night in Trinity Church in New York in devotion, and sincerely praying God that I might be taken away during the coming year, even by railroad accident, rather than live on and proclaim, as I felt it my duty to do, the Catholicity of our Church, if it were not true.
There were few, if any, Catholic churchmen. I remember asking Father Prescott, at this time, in the early fifties, whether he supposed there were any other Tractarians than ourselves in America. Bishop Ives had gone over to Rome as had some others in Maryland, and it looked as if few were left. I believed in the Church and I said: "Though I shall not see her recover her heritage of doctrine and ritual in my day, it is well for a man to give up his life in an endeavor to bring a revival of the Church to pass. It is a greater work to free the Church than it is even to free the slave. For my own poor part, I will throw my hat into the ring and do what I can in the fight."
It was at this time that, under the grace of God, I determined to give myself up wholly to Christ and His service. In the presence of so great a fact as God's becoming Incarnate, I felt there was nothing that I could hold back from Him. I therefore determined to live for Him, and for Him alone; to forgo marriage and family; to consecrate whatever I might have of means or ability to His service; and to live upon such an amount as alone would be necessary to cover the expenses of food, raiment, and shelter. However imperfectly I may have fulfilled my consecration, I have never regretted it.
At that time the anti-slavery question was strongly in evidence, and Mrs. Stowe's book was written. A study of the law problems involved led me, from a legal point of view, to believe that the slave's relation, as established by law as a "thing," was inconsistent with his duty as "a man" to his Creator. I wrote a pamphlet on the subject, which Wendell Phillips, who had taken an interest in me, thought worthy of publishing. I was not originally an Abolitionist, but I became, by the legal study of the slave question, much drawn to Phillips. The nobleness and self-sacrifice of his character much interested me. But I began to feel, and eventually felt, that I could do more good for humanity by going into the Church than into politics. I felt, however, that I could never write a sermon. I knew what speaking from a brief was, but the sermons I heard were full of words I did not understand. I did not feel that I had the literary ability to write them. Then my clergyman, the Rev. Father Prescott, told me that if God intended me to be a third-rate clergyman, rather than a first-class lawyer, my duty was to enter the ministry rather than to seek the other profession. One must seek first to know one's vocation, and then trust God and follow it. It was thus, partly under his influence, that I had the courage to offer myself to Bishop Whittingham, of Maryland, as a candidate for Holy Orders.
Bishop Whittingham received me very kindly, but made a strict examination as to my motives in seeking Holy Orders. He gave me a homily on the poverty which might ensue if I entered the ministry. If I had to starve, I was not to blame him.
I remember an amusing incident at this time. I was a young man in society life in Boston, and though I had never indulged much in the habit of smoking, I took out a cigar and offered it to the Bishop. I never forgot his answer and look. "I can't imagine," he said, "an Apostle smoking." I thought at the time the logic was imperfect, as I could not imagine an Apostle doingmany things we are obliged to do now. Nevertheless, the words, and the injunction from that saintly man, settled in my heart, and I soon concluded that it would be better for me as a priest, if I were to do priestly work for God, to give up such a habit.
I was much beset by relatives and friends not to take Holy Orders. They made very large offers of worldly success and emolument and fortune if I would not do so. But I felt that the Church needed lives of sacrifice, and that man could never give more to God than God could give to him.
I remained in Maryland under Bishop Whittingham for about ten years. I began during the slavery times. I remember my first six months were spent in a deserted rectory, where I practically camped out, and had twenty-six dollars for my first six months' stipend. The arrangement of the church, which was not uncommon, was after this fashion: there was a door from the vestry at the east end, through which one passed to the desk from which the service was said and the sermon preached. Below it was the Communion table. The two were surrounded by a semi-circular rail. It was anything but Churchly. I was curate to a very saintly man, Dr. Rich. I had often to walk miles to one of our missions. We did not have overmuch in the way of food, and we used to warm over what was sent in for our Sunday meals.
I was asked by a clerical friend who had gained the approval of the Bishop, to take up settlement work in a poor district in Baltimore. This, I believe, was the first settlement work ever done in our Church in America. We lived amongst the poor and opened our house to them. We had a chapel, a co-operative store, and various other appliances for city missionary work. I had charge also of a small colored mission. Here I remained with the Bishop's approval, as I was then a Deacon, and I looked up to him as Newman looked up to his Bishop. I never rang his doorbell without saying a prayer, and never left his presence without kneeling down and asking his blessing. He directed my studies and was very kind to me. But he was always on his guard, after the troubles he had been through with sone romancers, against ritual. We didn't have much, to be sure; but on one occasion I remember his coming to the mission when I had given up my surplice to a visiting clergyman, who, I believe, was afterwards Bishop Doane, and the one I wore was a little short. It came down to about the ankles. The good Bishop called me aside after the service and requested that I would wear longer surplices. I did not state the circumstances, but I told him I would do so. He did not object to our having a black cross at the end of our stoles, but did object to a fringe on them.
There are two incidents in connection with Bishop Whittingham that I remember so well and which will serve, perhaps, to reveal his own holy life. On one occasion I said to him: "Is it proper for one who is a priest to do menial work, as I think in religious orders one must do?" "Dear Grafton," he said, "I've always reserved to myself the duty of blacking my own boots. I want to do some menial work." In reference to the same subject I remember getting into a stagecoach, when we were going to travel some twenty-eight miles over a rough and hilly road, and I said, "Dear Bishop, you have taken the worst seat in the coach." Well, Grafton," replied he, somebody must take it." I constantly learned lessons of denial and self-sacrifice from him.
About this time I was called to the founding of a mission of the Epiphany at Washington under Dr. Pine. This had a great many social and other attractions. I told the Bishop that if he wished me to go there, I would do so. But I shrank as a young man from the dangers or attractions of the social life in Washington, and the difficulty I felt about establishing the system of free sittings, which I believed in, and a weekly Eucharist. It was by his permission that I declined the offer. Subsequently I was called to be an assistant at St. Paul's Church, Baltimore. Again I went to my Bishop about it. He said to me: "It is the heart of the diocese; I can't ask you to go to it, but if you will go, you can save it. I will give you my blessing." So I went. . This church was the mother church of the city, and was under the charge of the venerable rector, Dr. Wyatt, who had been its rector for nigh fifty years. His clerical life went back to the early part of the nineteenth century, and he was intimately conversant with all its history. He was for a number of years president of the House of Deputies. He had been a prominent candidate for the Bishopric of Maryland. One can never forget his gentlemanly and scholarly bearing. It was his custom in his early days to come to church in small clothes and silk stockings. He told me it was considered bad etiquette to go into the pulpit in boots. He wore a silk gown through the streets. His manner was extremely dignified, and his sermons were couched in Addisonian English. He wore gloves in the pulpit, with one finger cut so as to turn the pages over. He felt it unclerical and undignified to speak extemporaneously. He was most courteous in his bearing and reverent in his performances. By contact with him I learned much of the foundation and the history of our Church in America. I shall always be grateful for the way in which he treated me for the five years I was with him, as his dear son; and he hoped I would succeed him. He was a pattern of punctuality in regard to the Church service. "If," he said, "you are only a minute late and there are sixty persons on a week day present, you have lost for them an hour's time."
One day I was complaining as to the treatment he was receiving from some of his parishioners, and he checked me, saying, "Charles, God bears with us and we must bear with our people."
He always reserved a large portion of the precious Blood of the Holy Sacrament, He did this in a most reverent manner. He said be had reasons for doing this in the prevention of irreverence in its consumption. He placed it in a large glass receptacle, which was silver mounted and locked. This was always placed in an ambry, or small closet, locked, in the wall of the vestry. Of course, as a curate, I conformed to my rector's custom. I was told that this was a custom of Dr. Craik, at Louisville, who was a high churchman. But having a. question about it, I conferred with a friend of mine, the Rev. Dr. Hawkes, who, I knew, was a canonist and a low churchman; and Dr. Hawkes gave me opinion that the rector was quite right and was following out a received custom of our Church in doing so.
I remained at St. Paul's Church for about five years, and during the prolonged illness of Dr. Wyatt, about one and a half years, had charge of it. It was a never forgotten period of my life. The congregation was trained in the principles of the Prayer Book and the influence of daily prayer', and weekly or more often Communion, and I have never known a holier body of instructed churchmen.
During my stay at St. Paul's I was called to the rectorship of St. Peter's, Philadelphia; made vacant by the election of Dr. Odenheimer to the Bishopric of New Jersey. He was a very warm friend and persistently urged me to accept St. Peter's. The committee offered me what was then a large salary, three thousand dollars, and possible preferment. It was a very attractive offer to a young man. But I felt that God had called me to the work at St. Paul's, and that without very decided reasons I ought not to leave it. The rector was an old man and confined to his bed, and the parish was not in such a good financial condition as formerly. I gave up a considerable portion of my own stipend, in order that the old rector should be comfortable.
This was a most trying political time. I had felt it my duty as a clergyman of the church to read the pastorals which Bishop Whittingham, who was a most decided Unionist, put forth. They were couched in very trenchant language, and with quotations from the homilies on the sin and wickedness of rebellion. During the illness of the rector, when I was forced to read them, I can well remember the way the pew doors were slammed and the people left during their delivery. A number of Confederate Church people loved me for my ministrations, but when a vacancy occurred in the rectorship the people naturally chose a Southerner to succeed Dr. Wyatt.
For some length of time I had felt a drawing towards the religious life. The Roman Church had these orders, and if our priesthood and sacraments were valid, why should they not produce the same fruits? The lives of the saints and of the founders of religious orders grew upon me. I began, wisely or not, a life of more strictness and devotion to our Lord. Dear Dr. Wyatt asked me if I would not like a Communion in the week, and I gained from him the establishment of one at St. Paul's. I began to confer with persons who, I felt, were drawn to a higher and more devotional life. A few began to say that if I would start such an order they would join me. I placed the whole matter before Bishop Whittingham. He was one with me in the desirability of having such a religious order in our Church. We had a number of conferences on the subject. After dear Dr. Wyatt had passed away, I again went to my Bishop. "Am I not free now," I said, "to give myself up to the religious life?" He said: "I would gladly give up all the surroundings here in my house thus to live with God." He felt, as I did, that this alone would be the salvation of our Church. He gave me his blessing and told me he agreed with me that, as I was now free to give myself up to the religious life, the best thing would be for me to go to England to study up the subject.
Before going to England, along with Father Prescott, I determined to keep a retreat. As we expected to deal with the poor, we had partly in view the idea of finding out upon how small a sum it was possible to live. Chiefly, I wanted to keep a few weeks in the way of preparation for the religious life. We found an empty old shack of a building on the southern coast of Fire Island, Long Island, near the lighthouse, which we hired for the purpose. It was in December and quite cold weather. We went over in a small boat from the mainland, taking a mattress and some bedding and some few provisions for food. These were of the simplest kind. We took some meal, molasses, potatoes, ham, and a few other things. We had a good sized room to live in, with a large open fireplace. When it was cold we had to surround it with a wall of matting to keep the warmth in. We cut up our own wood and did our own work. Father Prescott was the cook. We had a rule for our offices, and got up for the night offices at 2 A.M. There was a small spring nearby of fresh water. We spent the morning in study and prayer, and I made the Meditations out of "Manresa." We translated out of the "Sarum Portiforium" the services for St. Thomas' Day and kept it as a festival.
We were getting along very well when one day a United States cutter anchored opposite our house, and presently a large number of marines and sailors surrounded our dwelling. The commanding officer told us we were suspected of being Confederates, and that he had come to arrest us. It seems our night lamps and our visits to the lighthouse had been noticed and had been reported to Washington, and it was supposed that we were in league with a Confederate boat, which was to land and destroy the lighthouse. Being a Unionist, I was rather glad to see the vigilance of the Government, but Father Prescott, who sympathized with the Confederates, did not take it so kindly. Our trunks and all we had were examined, but as I gave references to Dr. Dix and others in New York, the officer departed, leaving us in possession.
But as it drew near Christmas our connection with the mainland was cut off by the ice, and I feared our water supply would fail us; so we concluded we would, at the end of these weeks, finish our retreat and go home for Christmas. There was no way of getting to the mainland except by walking the whole length of Fire Island, along its sandy beach and stormy shore. But we heard that a number of miles away there was a bridge, by which we could make connection with the mainland. So after packing up our things and leaving them, we started on our walk.
During the early part of the day it was a very grand sight to see the great ocean waves breaking in on the shore, but as nightfall drew on we could see no bridge, and the peril of our situation began to dawn upon us. We knew that if we did not make some shelter we probably would not live through the night, so greatly exhausted by cold and fatigue had we become. So we held a council of war to consider what was to be done. The first thing for us was to say Compline. After doing so, hardly had we taken a few steps when we saw before us an opening in the sand hills, and I proposed going to the other side of this strip of land. No sooner had we turned in thither than we came to a fisherman's hut. It was the only habitation within miles east or west, one way or the other. You may imagine how surprised was the woman who came to the door on seeing us. Her husband, a fisherman and hunter, was away for the day, but she recognized our distress and took us in. I felt anew that it was God's Providence that had saved my life.
The next morning we tried to cross the bay over the ice, but it broke once or twice and we were unable to do so, so there was nothing to do but resume our journey on foot; and this we did. We could not believe that the bridge could be very far distant. But we walked and walked and walked, until the sun began to go down. Now I was indeed in great apprehension. But just as my heart was fainting we espied a little rail of what turned out to be the bridge, half hidden in the show and ice. We wended our way through it, and finally reached the mainland. There, from a neighboring farmhouse, we obtained a wagon and drove a few miles to a country hotel. Oh how good and reviving was that cheerful open fire, and how grateful the look of a comfortable bed to sleep on, instead of the cold sand on which I had expected to lie down.
Father Prescott soon prepared to retire. As he was getting into bed I said: "Father, aren't you going to say Compline with me?" "Oh," he said, with a laugh, " I said my Compline coming over in the wagon." Tired as I was, however, I felt I must say it, if all alone, for this second great act of God's mercy and deliverance. The next morning we got a train and went back to New York in time for Christmas.
In 1865, on my arrival in England, I was received and entertained by Dr. Pusey. He and the late Bishop of Brechin were much impressed with the fact of this American's call to the religious life. He called together, along with the Bishop, a meeting of about ten of the leading Catholics at All Saints', Margaret Street, to consider the matter. The Rev. Upton Richards took much interest in the effort. I had visited Brother Ignatius at Norwich, who had begun a Benedictine Monastery there, but was not drawn to unite with him. I got to know the Rev. S. W. O'Neil, a curate at Wantage, who had been thinking of the religious life, and some others. Among them was the Hon. Chas. Wood, now Lord Halifax. He honestly desired to unite with us. The question of his vocation and duty was submitted to the Bishop of Oxford and one other, who decided that for the good of the Church he ought to remain in the world. How wise this was, how well and nobly he has labored for the Catholic cause, the Church well knows. At this time some one asked O'Neil and myself if we knew the Rev. R. M. Benson. He was a student of Christ Church, Oxford, of high academical degree, of cultured scholarship and marked ability. We were led to go to him and ask if he would lead the enterprise of founding a religious order. He said he would if I would remain with him for some years in England. This hindered my plan of returning to America, but believing it was the providential drawing of God, I threw my lot in with the learned and saintly man. Bishop Wilberforce gave us his sympathy and co-operation.
During my five years stay in England I became the spiritual, director of a number of the larger sisterhoods. My connection with the various communities gave me a knowledge of their different characteristics. I assisted Bishop Forbes, of Brechin, and others in the formation of one. For a time I worked in the East of London, at St. Peter's, London Docks, taking, with Father O'Neil, Father Lowder's work, he having broken down with ill health. It was the crowded sailor district, some sixty thousand people, perhaps, assembled together, and where every other house was a brothel. I could look out of our windows every night and see a fight going on. But it was wonderful how much Lowder had done and what a number of persons had been rescued from vice; what a staunch and noble body of communicants had been developed. It was a grand proof of the vitality of the Catholic Faith, as expressed in our communion.
During this period I became a volunteer chaplain to a cholera hospital, in Shoreditch. Cholera had broken out and Miss Sellon had opened a free hospital. Dr. Pusey asked me to go there as a volunteer chaplain. He was going to take lodgings in the East of London, and asked me to be with him. It was a great privilege, which I gladly accepted. Dr. Pusey was wont to spend part of the day at the library of the British Museum. One day on returning to our dwelling he found he had lost the manuscript of his day's work. It was certainly very annoying and would in most persons have shown itself in some act of impatience; but on the discovery of his loss he calmly said: "Well, I take refuge in the words of Faber's hymn, 'I worship Thee, Sweet Will of God."' Nothing seemed to disturb the deep inward calm that reigned in his soul. In this he and that dear saint, Dr. Carter, were so much alike. It mattered not what they were doing, preparing for service or reading a newspaper, they were always with God.
It has been said by some that Dr. Pusey did not go along with the Ritualists. He may have thought that the introduction of "ritual" was not always wise in certain parishes. But he thoroughly believed in the Scriptural authority, the legality, and usefulness of the so-called Six Points. He used in chapels of the sisters the Eucharistic vestments, wafer breads, the mixed chalice, took the eastward position in celebrating, had lights on the altar, and had incense used during the Mass. I recall that I had the privilege of assisting him when he gave those wonderful "Eleven Addresses to the Companions of the love of Jesus." Every day I saw him vest and served him at the altar. At the time I took note of these details, and counted sixteen candles burning on the altar.
During the cholera season he was constant in his care and ministration to the sick, not only in the hospital but in their poor dwellings. His love for them in Christ, and excuses for their lives, and words of Gospel encouragement to them were most effective. In Pusey, God raised up for the Anglican Church a great saint, wonderful in his colossal learning, more wonderful in his deep humility and burning zeal for God.
The hospital was supported by Mr. Palmer, a director of the Bank of England. His gift of money, great as it was, did not equal the gift of his wifeallowing her to become a nurse under Miss Sellon. The hospital was in a rough neighborhood and there was nearby a large settlement of thieves. I remember going there one afternoon and hearing some one call out to me: "Don't be afraid; come on; we are all honest thieves down here."
It was just after Dr. Pusey had published his "Eirenicon," and he was being furiously attacked by Romans. I remember one morning after his reading a long argument against himself and his position, his putting his hands behind his back, as was his wont, and calmly saying: "It is only a question, 'What has the Church of God said?"' This revealed the perpetual attitude of his mind. With all his enormous learning, he ever submitted to authority with the humility of a little child.
I spent my days at the hospital. The Hon. Charles Wood was the honorable secretary and worked there daily. The nursing was done by the sisters. We had some very able physicians, with whom I became intimate. I was most interested in getting the poor and sick into the hospital, and used to go about in what we called our "cholera cab." On one occasion the Bishop of London, Dr. Tait, visited us. He was very gracious and kindly. He went through the wards, speaking to the patients. I heard he paid me one of the best compliments he could, when he learned that the Chaplain was an American, by saying: "I wish he was an Englishman."
I used to visit St. Margaret's Convent at East Grinstead, and became acquainted with Dr. Neale. It was said that he was the master of eighteen languages. He had the, blessing of being mobbed on one occasion, and of being persecuted by his Bishop. He was most felicitous in his application of Holy Scripture. The rector of the parish was a decided low churchman. His permission had to be obtained for the burial of the sisters and the orphan children in the churchyard. He objected to Dr. Neale's inserting any prayer for the dead on the tombstones. The Doctor asked him if he would object to any words taken from the Holy Scripture. He said No, he wouldn't object to anything taken out of the Bible. So Dr. Neale put on the headstone the inscription: "Let thy handmaiden find grace in thy sight." Over the graves of the children he put the words: "So the children went in and possessed the land" and "Let the little hills rejoice on every side." I was asked to take the chaplaincy of the Convent after his decease, but my Superior did not concur with the plan.
The Romans were very busy in their proselytizing. Manning was a past master as an ecclesiastical politician. His Life, as given by Purcell, is not so very edifying. He and his confreres were very skillful in insinuating doubts in the minds of devout Anglicans. "You cannot be saved," I know one of them to have said to a devout Anglican, "unless you have the true faith, and you have not true faith unless you believe what you do on the authority of the Church." She seemed to be much distressed in mind. I asked her if she then thought the Martyr Laud, or Bishop Andrewes, or saintly Keble were lost. She laughed, and this broke the spell.
Dr. Manning knew whom he could, by his personality, affect and whom it was best to leave alone. He was observed escorting the Rev. Mother Superior of Clewer, the Hon. Mrs. Monsell, through a Roman institution, and a former Anglican remarked to the Mother: "You and the Archbishop seem to be on very good terms." "Yes," she replied; "it is because he knows I am not a convertible article."
Lady Herbert was also a prominent figure in this work of making proselytes to Rome. She brought her social position to bear upon those in a lower society position than her own. She gained some influence in a branch house of St. Margaret's at Hackney, where I used to visit. The Mother Superior had formerly been a Roman Catholic, and the Chaplain had become Romanized, but by God's grace I was enabled so to put their duty before the sisters that about half of them determined to remain loyal to the Church. Among these was Sister Louisa Mary, who afterwards came to Boston and for many years was the Superior of St. Margaret's there. Another, Mother Kate, established a noble work in the East End. The Bishop of London sent his blessing to the loyal sisters and personally thanked me. Father Mackonochie was asked to be the new chaplain, but he hesitated about taking it without the Bishop of London's assent, as the Blessed Sacrament was reserved in the chapel. It is a testimony to the loyalty of Mackonochie, and to the true breadth and liberality of the Bishop, that Mackonochie submitted his case to the Bishop, and the Bishop allowed him to accept the chaplaincy.
By God's grace, when in England, I kept many from falling away to Rome. I got to know the arts by which Roman proselytes sought to inject doubts into pious souls.
It was my privilege to help some of the clergy, among them Father O'Neil, to be delivered from their attack of Romanism. Father O'Neil had settled the matter and announced his intention of going to Rome, and had gone to be with the Jesuit Fathers. I did not feel equal to meeting him intellectually. He was a Cambridge honor man, remarkable for his mathematical accuracy and logic. All I could do was to pray. I spent a whole night in prayer for him. Afterwards he wrote that he wanted to come here to get some things he had left behind at Oxford. He came and stayed on for about a week, probing me, during this time, with all sorts of questions and problems. I seemed to have made no impression. At last, at the end of the week, he turned to me and said: What, then, would you advise me to do?" I said: "Remain at your post where God has put you." He settled the question then. We went down to the Jesuit House, near Windsor, together, and he took leave of the Father. We then went over to Clewer, and he saw Father Carter and made his confession. I remember well that Sunday, for the Gospel told of the resurrection of the young man from death. O'Neil became a noble missionary and laid down life for God in India.
During my stay in England there arose a great agitation and controversy on matters of RituaL The Tractarian Movement had begun at Oxford and among scholars. It appealed especially to the intellectual and the devout. It made rapid headway among the clergy and upper classes. To some extent through its philanthropies it reached, in a degree, the poorer and working class. But it had not become a general movement touching all conditions of man. It would have remained scholarly and academical if the Ritual development had not taken place. Gradually it came to the front. It was not merely through the ear, but through the eye, that the people were to be taught. Moreover, what the devout had learned of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist was bound to show itself in outward worship. The leaders of the new development began by introducing preaching in the surplice in place of the black silk gownreading the prayer for Christ's Church militant. They said the black gown was only an academical garment and the surplice was a priestly one, and as they preached as priests, and not merely as collegians, the surplice was the proper vestment. But the change led not merely to wordy opposition, but to riots, which in St. George's in the East End, continued for weeks. Other changes were made and the Eucharistic vestments and altar lights were introduced.
The Tractarians had always prided themselves that for all they did they had the Prayer Book for their authority. In respect to the ceremonial they appealed to the ornaments-rubric that stood at the beginning of Morning Prayer. It authorized the use of the vestments and lights and other ornaments that were in use by authority of Parliament in the second year of the reign of King Edward VI. The Ritualists said these were the legal vestments, and they stood on the law. The way they put their cause was extremely and needlessly irritative to the low churchmen. If this were the law, they were guilty in not obeying it and had got to fight for their inherited liberty as for their life. I said to some of the Ritual leaders: "You are making a mistake in thus pressing your case; the courts, when the matter gets before them, will not sustain you." But they replied that it was law and the judges will have to uphold it. My reply was that, the world over, courts of last resort allow themselves to be governed by policy and politics, and they will in this case. And so they did. But God overruled the Privy Council's decision by delivering the English Catholics from that dependence on the State authority which has been the Church's harm. A readjustment of the relation of Church and State is necessary, so I held, if the Church is to recover its Catholic heritage.
My time in England being over, I was called, chiefly through Dr. Shattuck, to take charge of the Church of the Advent, Boston. This was with my Superior's permission. The arrival of the monks, as they were called, made a great impression. Assisted by such able men as Dr. Hall, the present Bishop of Vermont, Dr. Osborne, Bishop of Springfield, and Dr. Gardner, who was afterwards President of Nashotah, the young and brilliant preacher, Father Coggeshall, along with others, we built up a great parish. At the Clergy House, Staniford Street, we kept up our daily rule of religious fife.
I had brought over some of St. Margaret's sisters. My old friend, Mrs. Tyler, had taken charge of the Children's Hospital, and through her influence the care of it was put in charge of the sisters. Of course their chosen life of consecration attracted attention. The hospital, a beautiful philanthropic work, had been started by Unitarians. Seeing how well the work was being done by the sisters, a Unitarian lady said: "Why do not some of our people take up such a life and do this work?" "We cannot get them," was the reply. "Then these churchwoman must have some source of grace we have not got." The Sisterhood of St. Margaret's developed, and the work was more and more successful.
On the coming of Bishop Paddock as Bishop of the diocese, he felt it his duty to make inquiries concerning the ritual of the Church of the Advent. It was given out that he desired to repress it. On conference with him, I stated that if he would take the responsibility in writing, and give it out to the public that any of the ceremonial was illegal, I should obey his order or else resign the parish. He stated that he did not hold that the Eucharistic colored vestments, or the eastward position, or wafer bread, or lights on the altar were illegal (they were sub judice), but that there were other matters, such as lay servers, he deemed were so. I conformed to his ruling, and we were always on harmonious terms.
During my rectorship an incident occurred which, though unknown to the people, was of much interest to me. There was a terrible outbreak of yellow fever at Memphis and a call for assistance. I sent one of our sisters thither and prepared to go myself. Knowing that, naturally, I should be much opposed, I quietly left the city, packed up, and waited the result of my application to Bishop Quintard. I thought it would be fatal to me; nevertheless, one could not lay down one's life more nobly than in carrying, as I purposed to do, the Blessed Sacrament from house to house in the stricken district to sick and dying. I remember the strange feeling that I had when I contemplated that in a few weeks my work on earth might be over; but when my letter came from Bishop Quintard I was greatly disappointed. He decidedly refused to accept my services or to let me come. He said that certainly it would be fatal for me to enter the diseased district; I should die in a short time. This I knew; but his refusal lost me the privilege of laying down my life for Christ.
The work at the Advent continued to grow, when a question arose between the Cowley House at Philadelphia and the mother house in Oxford. During the sixteen years, only three Americans had become professed, though there had been a large number of aspirants. A difficulty had arisen in respect to our relation to our American Bishops. Bishop, Whittingham said we were under a Superior who was not a member of our American Church. He had allowed Father Prescott, who was in charge of a parish in Philadelphia, to come into Maryland and hear the confession of an ill person who was under his care; but he would give no further permission, nor allow the Society to enter the diocese for that purpose. To this Father Prescott had agreed. It was Father Prescott's statement to me that the English Superior wrote that members of the Society should go there. He could not send them without breaking his word to Bishop Whittingham. Father Prescott then appealed to me as to what he should do. I suggested that we appeal to the English Superior now to give us the Constitution so long promised, when there should be twelve professed Fathers in the Society. The request was not acted on. It resulted in an honorable release of the Ainerican members, with permission to form an American Order. Steps were taken for the formation of one, and a Constitution was drawn up in 1882, and submitted to, and obtained the formal, written approval of, the Bishops of Milwaukee, Fond du Lac, and Indiana, and subsequently of Bishop Paddock of Massachusetts. Doubtless there were some misunderstandings on all sides; and I have felt that if I had been a holier man, my purpose would have been better understood, and the rupture might have been avoided. God, however, overruled it all to good, and a most loving spirit now obtains between all the present and the former members of the Society. It has been a most wonderful triumph of Divine charity and grace. The Cowley Fathers took the old church in Bowdoin Street, and I, remaining Rector of the parish, took the new one, which had lately been built.
Both parishes prospered greatly. At the new Church of the Advent my communicant list, after a few years, went up from two hundred and fifty to six hundred. The development was greatly aided by the work of the Sisters of the Holy Nativity. My experience of the religious life in England had led me to see that there was need of a sisterhood somewhat different from those already established, and so I founded this one, which would not take charge of institutions like schools, hospitals, orphanages and the like, but would give themselves especially to the development of the spiritual life, to devotion, to making known the Faith, to preparing persons for the Sacraments, aiding in missions, and the extension of the spiritual kingdom. God blessed me by these earnest and devout workers.
When I perceived that the congregations were large, indeed the church crammed, the parish expenses all met, everything at its highest possible success, then I felt I could resign the work into other hands. My heart was full of missionary enterprise and a desire to go out as a mission priest and preach in other places. And so it was with a heart full of gratitude to God for the success. He had given me that I resigned the rectorship of the Advent, took my sisterhood to Providence, and shortly after that was called to the Episcopate.
My consecration took place on St. Mark's Day, 1889, at the Cathedral in Fond du Lac. I chose this place because, however dear to me were my old parishioners at the Advent, I wished to identify myself with the diocese to which I had been called. My consecrators were the Rt. Rev. Dr. McLaren, Bishop of Chicago; the Rt. Rev. Dr. Alexander Burgess, Bishop of Quincy; the Rt. Rev. Dr. Seymour, Bishop of Springfield; the Rt. Rev. Dr. Knickerbacker, Bishop of Indiana; the Rt. Rev. Dr. Gilbert, Bishop Coadjutor of Minnesota; and the Rt. Rev. Dr. Knight, Bishop of Milwaukee.
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