From The Works of the Rt. Rev. Charles C. Grafton (Volume 8),
edited by B. Talbot Rogers, New York: Longmans, Green, 1914, pp. 327-350
A CONSECRATION SERMON
THE LIVING TEMPLE OF CHRIST'S CHURCH AND THE TWO WITNESSES OF
THE WORD WRITTEN AND THE SACRAMENTS
Preached at the Consecration of Dr. Nicholson as Bishop of Milwaukee. Printed (1899) at the request of the Vestry of St. Mark's, Philadelphia.
"And the angel stood, saying, Rise and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
"And I will give power unto my two witnesses and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and three-score days, clothed in sackcloth.
"These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks, standing before the God of the earth. REV. xi. i, 3, 4.
OUR Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God, as God consubstantial with the Father, as man one of us, uniting the two perfect natures in the Person of the Eternal Word;at once the Atonement and the At-one-Maker, who, on behalf of humanity, by His cross and Passion, removed the barrier which man's unacknowledged and unrepented disobedience interposed between the action of God's free love towards His creature, and reconciled God and man: who, as our Redeemer, refusing ever, as the condition of our deliverance, the aid of His divine nature, tempted in all points like unto ourselves, fought out the battle of humanity against sin, Satan and death, bought us at the cost of His own sufferings, and by His victory changed the consequences of sin unto means of our advancement towards God: who, as our mediator, joining in Himself the uncreated and the created natures together, became the living Bridge-way through which redeemed humanity, by the operations of His threefold office as Prophet, Priest, and King, might pass from nature to grace, and from grace to glory, and become incorporated with the divine Life: Jesus Christ, in all the radiant beauty of His ascended manhood, abides in the midst of His Church, which is His living temple. For He has but one body and one abiding place. He is ever at the right hand of power, the center of the new spiritual organism. Heaven is where He is, and where He is, is heaven.
He abides in the midst. And round about Him are gathered those in the ecstatic joy of glory, in the purificative advancements of Paradise, in the militant struggle of wayfarers; and, as their Light and Life, He is evermore making them more abundantly partakers of Himself according to their capacity, and carries on the work of the new creation which He began.
He began it in the deep counsels of eternity when He measured the predestinated gifts decreed through incorporation with the Incarnate One, and responded in the bosom of the Godhead, "Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God." He began it in time, when, conceived by the Holy Ghost and born of the Blessed and Ever-Virgin Mary, He entered at His baptism on His threefold Messianic office as Prophet, Priest, and King, and began to gather others into union with Himself.
First, from out the followers whom love had drawn together, He drew some into a more intimate union and called them from discipleship to apostle-ship. Gradually He associated them with His three offices and commissioned and finally consecrated them.
During His public life, when He, the Light of the World, was preeminently exercising His prophetical office, so strikingly illustrated by the shining glory of the Transfiguration, He gave unto the twelve "to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven"; "to tell the vision," and bade them "go and preach."
Next, in the dread hours of His Passion, when He had entered into His suffering life and the dark shadows of Calvary lay thick about Him, with solemn symbolic actions He laid aside His garments in token of the emptying Himself of His glory, and took a towel, symbolizing our humanity, and girded Himself therewith, and in the water He had poured out, He washed and wiped the feet of those who were henceforth to tread His temple courts as His priests, l and commanded them to make that Memorial of Calvary which was to show forth His death until His coming again, saying, ''Offer this for a memorial of Me."
When in royal might He stood before them in the power of His victory over death and hell, then as the Victor-King breathing on them, He gave them authority to admit men to the new kingdom by baptism and to minister the sovereign's power of pardon, saying, "Whosesoever sins ye remit they are remitted." They were still further made sharers in His kingly power. They were empowered to send others as they themselves had been sent. As my Father hath sent Me, with power to send others, so send I you. All mission and jurisdiction was theirs. They were to sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Thus He gradually gathered them into union with His threefold office as Prophet, Priest, and King.
And then, He who had thus united them to Himself did one thing more: He consecrated them. From out His own human nature, where It dwelt, into theirs He sent the Holy Spirit. There is a sound as of a rushing mighty wind, the tongues of fire glisten in the air, the Spirit vivifies, the body. The Head and all its members are made one. The living Temple is formed. The Spirit comes as a Person, and comes to abide. By the Spirit's action without, men hearing Christ's message are drawn to the organism in which Christ and the Spirit dwell. Prevenient grace still moves upon the whole face of humanity as it did of old upon the waters. But He dwells within the spiritual organism of His Church and endows it with eternity. Any Hand by baptism can take the wanderer in. Through His indwelling all the members of the body are sanctified. By it the apostles are empowered and made "able" ministers of the Word. They are enabled to perform all those prophetical, priestly, and kingly functions Christ commissioned them to do. Theirs is something more than an office. They have become living spiritual agencies. They stretch forth His hand to heal.1 They make articulate His voice to teach. As they gather others in any degree into fellowship with their order, to that extent they make them partakers of the offices of Christ, and they become spiritual instrumentalities through which He acts, building the Temple into its many mansions and filling it with the Light and Life and Love of God.
First, some are gathered with prayer and laying-on of hands into fellowship, especially with their prophetical office, and the order of deacons is formed. The genesis of the office is discoverable in Acts v. 6, 10, where "the young men" referred to are not simply young men, but officials of the Church, as the Greek article suggests. They were probably performing among the Jewish Christians the same duties arising out of the community of goods, as the seven deacons were ordained to render the Gentile widows. But that the duties of the latter were something more than that of laymen or almoners, is clear from the apostolic requirement that they should be men full of the Holy Ghost, and from their ordination by prayer and imposition of hands. They are found in Philippi and in Ephesus, where the community of goods did not exist. The spiritual character of their work is seen in the case of the deacon Stephen. They can preach and baptize. They can officially do nothing more.
Then, as local needs require, the apostles ordain them "overseers" or "elders" in every church. God, in the formation of the Church, uses both Jewish and Gentile ideas and expressions. These, as "overseers," partake in the apostles' power of government, in the local administration of discipline, as "elders" are gathered into union with the apostles' priestly functions.
Then is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah applying the sacerdotal title of priest to the Christian ministry. The apostles give the name of presbyter to the order, not as being taken from the synagogue (for the elder of the synagogue, by virtue of his office, did neither sing, nor preach, nor pray), but from Christ, our elder Brother. The name declares that the temporary, substituted order of the Jewish priesthood has passed away and the true priesthood who could offer "better sacrifices than these" has come.
It has fuller spiritual powers than the old possessed. Did the Jewish priest exercise ecclesiastical rule? To the Christian priest it is said, "Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Had the Jewish priest the power of reconciliation and excommunication? To the Christian priesthood was given the ministry of reconciliation, that whosesoever sins they remit they are remitted, whosesoever sins they retain they are retained. Could the Jewish priest stand with his censer between the living and the dead and stay the plague? "Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith shall save the sick." Was the Jewish priest to offer sacrifice? "We have an altar," and there make the memorial of Calvary and offer it to God.
So the second order is formed.
Then, finally, the highest order of the ministry arose. The church at Jerusalem, the mother of all churches established by the ordering of the Holy Ghost, with its priests and local bishop, St. James, becomes the God-given model which the Church at large followed.
Sundry graces, gifts, and abilities did Christ indeed bestow on His Church. These were of three general kinds, viz. governmentilluminationministration. First, government, summed up in the Apostles; secondarily, illumination, its highest expression being found in the prophets; thirdly, ministration in the various ways of teachers, evangelists, pastors.
Concerning the gifts under the two latter heads: gifts of prophecy, inspiration, discerning of mysteries; gifts of teaching, exhortation, guidance; gifts of healing, miracles, speaking with tongues; these, it must be noted, exercised alike by laity and clergy, express graces and gifts, not ranks of the ministry. These latter, summed up in the Apostleship, to whom alone all the powers of government were primarily committed, are only three. The highest is that which contains the two others in itself, and to which the name of apostle, and now exclusively bishop, is given. For when local troubles arose, as at Corinth,1 and death was fast closing in on the apostles and there was need for the preservation of that order in its completeness, to whom alone the command of propagating the ministry is recorded to have been given; then the apostles gathered others, by prayer and laying-on of hands, into the full participation of their own powers of government and ordination, and so perpetuated the apostolate as the living order through which Christ the eternal Prophet, Priest, and King acts in the formation of the new creation. The apostolate is a permanent instrumentality. Its members change as the years pass, just as the atoms of the wave sweeping towards the shore change, and the wave yet retains her form. So the order abides as a living agency. And each new bishopour brother who is to be consecrated to-dayis brought into union with the Lord and His offices, not by a grace which has percolated through nineteen centuries, as water in some Italian garden descends from fountain to fountain, but by as proximate an agency and as immediately as at the consecration at Antioch, or as Timothy by the hands of St. Paul.
The Spirit lives within this apostolic order and unites it to Christ. He brings all things to remembrance, "whatsoever ye have heard of Me." The Apostles' Creed contains but the words of Christ Himself. He uttered them. Moreover, the Spirit leads the Apostles into all truth. By Him they understand the many things Christ declared He could not once say. They see how the reception of the Magi and Greeks in the temple, and the Syro-Phoenician woman, declared the breaking down of the barriers between Jew and Gentile; how the accepted title of Lamb of God contained the atoning vicarious efficacy of Calvary; how the Church and its threefold ministry should be ordered; how the Christian worship should be made like unto the choral symbolic liturgical worship of heaven, where the High Priest was seen standing in His sacred vestments, and there was the angel with his censer, and the lights were ever burning before the throne. The Spirit never leaves them. The temple and altar, and them that worshiped therein, were capable of measurement. They were not like the unorganized multitude, formless, creedless, undisciplined, without the court. The temple, the altar and its priesthood and the worshipers, have strength of form and organization, and the beauty of order. So the apostles organize the Church, set in order its worship, establish its discipline. They protect the faith by forms of sound words, by establishing customs and traditions, by writing of four histories of the Lord's life, by annals of the apostles' labors, by epistles to the churches. The three great apostles, St. Peter, St. Paul, St. John, succeed each other in leadership and do each a special work. The first, the Rock-man, lays foundations. The second extends the faith to the Gentiles. The third, the beloved disciple, surviving all, is the special vehicle of communication between the ascended Lord and His Body the Church. He receives from the angel's hand the book of prophecy and eats it. To him the care of the Virgin Mother is committed. He rules over the churches and establishes the episcopate.
The Spirit abides with the order. The order bears witness to the "faith received" in councils, and disperses the mists of heresy by new definitions. When the human element would assuredly by force or fraud go astray, the Providence of God protects the Church by overruling her divisions, to the preservation of her infallibility.
The ages roll on, and the order exists, and Christ's never silent Voice utters itself through the creeds and liturgies, and Christendom's common consent. It reveals Christ Himself in the midst of His temple, by the altar and its priesthood worshiped, and as being the Life and Light of His worshipers. It comes to us with the emphasis of a continued utterance of nineteen centuries of Christian experience. It comes to us with all the authority with which the Master taught upon the Mount, and with all the pathetic tenderness with which He welcomed sinners.
As His organ the Church declares the Catholic faith, and as we act on it, it becomes more and more approved by the reason, welcomed by the conscience, is verified by a continuously enlarging experience, brings us into contact with a dearly, supremely beloved Person, and the Gospel, the dear Gospel of our salvation, is found not to be a creed, but a life, a light and revelation within us, a well of water springing up to eternal life, a union with God Himself.
"And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and three-score days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth."
Standing before the Incarnate Son of God, who in the spiritual organism of His temple, the Church, reveals Himself, and bearing their corroborating testimony to the Catholic faith, are the two witnesses of the Sacraments and the written Word.
Both are filled, like the candlesticks and the olive trees, with the oil of the Spirit's abiding presence, and through each, Christ, the Enlightener and Nourisher of the soul, communicates His light and life.
Consider first the witness of the Sacraments. They are at once: (i) Communications of His life; (2) Means of spiritual enlightenment; and (3) Witnesses of Himself.
All Sacraments and sacramentals, Holy Orders, confirmation, penance, matrimony, visitation of the sick, alike do this; but preeminently so, the two great Gospel Sacraments of baptism and the Holy Eucharist.
They are the instrumental life-givers. For Baptism is not, like the coronation service of a king, an acknowledgment of what the child already is. The child, truly indeed God's loved offspring by way of creation, is in Baptism translated into the new creation and incorporated into the Incarnate One and made His child. In the Eucharist, the elements are taken by the consecration out of the old material universe into the new spiritual one, and become identified with His human nature and are His Body and Blood. Zwingli says, They are empty signs and memorials only. Calvin says, Christ gives Himself concurrently with them. Christ says, they are My Body and Blood, and what the Word declares, that the Word makes them to be.
For Christ, the Incarnate Son of God, is to the new creation what God, "Creation's secret force," is to the old.
God (though transcending it) is immanent in nature. Christ the God-man is immanent in the newly forming creation. It rises, is forming, evolving, out of the old. It is the creation from which all sin and sorrow shall be banished, and perfected righteousness bring joyfulness, and where God's never-withering youth will make all things new. The laws of it are as simple as those of nature's oneness, and as complex and beautiful too. What is called "power" in the material universe is in the spiritual organism called "grace." What "force" is in the one, the Holy Spirit is in the other. What "matter" is in the first, Christ's body is to the second. He has, it must here be noted, but one body. The body he took of the Blessed Virgin is the same body that suffered, rose, and which He wears now. Conceived by the Spirit, endowed with the Spirit, it always was spiritually endowed. "The words" (to rhmata), those things which I have been speaking to you about, i.e. my Body and Blood, "they are spirit and they are life-giving. He restrained the exercise of their powers during His public ministry. But He walked on the sea, came through the closed doors, appeared to Saul in the roadway. Out from His body virtue, health, life, went forth. This spiritually endowed body, united to His omnipotent divine nature, is present and effectually operates in the spiritual organism of the Church wherever He wills it to be. It does not have to move, as ours does, to go from place to place. And as God's presence in the universe is by His own power, so is Christ's Body and Blood present to His Sacraments by His own act and not by the faith of those who discern them. Moreover, where His Body is, there is His whole human nature, and with it His divinity and, as uniting them, His Person.
Therefore, in reverence for so great gifts, the Church exhorts to fasting before Baptism, and so by pious custom receives the Blessed Sacrament of her Lord's body and blood, and ere she eats, bids us pause and worship, and draw nigh and kneel, and her acts of adoration, offered in acknowledgment of His loving act of condescension, are lawful as having for their object the adorable Person of the Incarnate Lord.
So likewise the Sacraments enlighten. By their external light the creed is seen to be the creed of Christ. Baptism with water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, declares the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity as the fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith. It manifests our sinful condition and the need of a washing away of sin. It reveals the necessity of our incorporation into Jesus Christ, who suffered, and was buried and rose again, that we might be buried with Him in baptism and in Him rise. The fewest words and simplest ceremonial possible of the Holy Eucharist reveals that the Word was made flesh. "This is My Body," said age after age at the altar, declares that He took our nature and never put it off. It evidences His offering on Calvary, where His Body was broken and His Blood outpoured. It bears witness to His triumphant resurrection, of our union with Himself, of the formation of the Church by our union with one another, of the communion of saints and the life everlasting.
But the splendor of the interior illumination is surpassingly greater. Filled with the divine light of sacramental grace, the reason not only believes, but the spirit sees and lives and rejoices in God its Saviour. Christ is not a Christ on paper, or a Christ in history, or a Christ in a far-distant heaven, but a Christ, God of God, and Light of light, within one.
The Sacraments are witnesses. Science can demonstrate no more certainly any of its hypotheses concerning the existence of any force or operation of matter by its test of verified experiment, than by the experience of millions of Christians in the Catholic Church is demonstrated the reality of the real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament, the operations of the Spirit, and the indwelling within us of Christ. This life of Christ in the Church is the most potent evidence to those without, in the formless, creedless, worldly, unmeasured court, that the Church is a living, spiritual, divinely-formed organism. By her recognized meeting of the needs and longings of the human heart; by solving, as naught else can do, life's sphinx-like problems; by delivering man from his despondencies and gloomy pessimisms; by presenting a satisfying end to his noblest aspirations; by bringing his body under the control of his reason and subordinating his reason to his higher spiritual nature, and that to God; by freeing him from sin's great burden, and the painfulness of the law's restraint; by making him free to obey the informing spirit of righteousness within him; by the hope which it inspires towards all men, as it sees in them the possibilities of Christ's re-creating grace; by the transformations it has wrought in heathen nations as they have been brought under its influence; by the love which binds, in spite of outward divisions, the household of faith in one; by the indomitable zeal which inspires its missionaries, and the grace which makes its martyrs sing in the flames; by the illustrious sanctity of its religious orders, the supernatural lives of its saints, and the joyous consciousness which fills her children of their union with God, the Church, filled with sacramental life, bears witness to the world.
Oh! on this solemn day, as we feel the Spirit's power and realize as Churchmen the responsibility to be living witnesses of the sacramental life, and the heart glows with Christ's love, let us one and all break forth in earnest, heart-felt, entire self-consecration and declare ourselveshenceforth and foreverconsecrated to holiness, consecrated to the Lord.
Turn we next to the other great witness, the written Word.
Hushed be the disputers of this world, the sound of human reasonings, the wranglings of critics, the contentions of schools; "The Scripture cannot be broken." Hushed be the bewilderments, the agitations, the fears of troubled hearts; "The Word of God endureth forever." "The engrafted Word is able to save your souls."
Put we off our shoes from off our feet and veil we our faces, and let us put our hands to our mouths and our mouths in the dust, before the profound mystery of God's written Word.
Inspiration! What is it? In the natural order it is a quickening of man's natural faculties to the highest development of genius. In the new creation it is, moreover, the subordination of the human element to the divine.
In the compilation of His Word, God uses throughout the ages many men, with widely diverse talents, for separate and manifold purposes, with reference to their own time, and that which is to come; and the degree and purpose of their inspiration varies according to their respective duties.
The Spirit moves some to write, as He did the Prophets and Psalmists; or to compile out of existing histories, traditions, literature, as He did Moses; or to present supplementary facts as respecting Old Testament accounts, as did the Apostles; or to interpolate explanations like the death of Moses, or those in the revision at the time of Ezra. He uses the writer's characteristic habit of mind and forms of expression: Persian forms in later prophets, rabbinical arguments in the Pauline epistles, Platonic phraseology in St. John.
Even their forgetfulness or omission of facts, as in the case of Melchizedek's parents, or the writer's way of apprehending natural phenomena, or their partial apprehension of His revelation, are made subordinate to His purposes.
He speaks inwardly to those who have grown into special union with Him, and, by its own self-evidencing power, they know it to be the Word of the Lord. He reveals His mind at times in dreams or visions, or in ecstasy, which they who receive them know to be not of nature's ordering. They are caught up, whether in the body or out of the body they cannot tell, and hear His voice; or, as in the case of St. John, the Lord Himself, abiding in the midst of His Church, carries on and completes the revelation through His Apostle, and not as the fruit of meditation only upon past utterances, but as the outcome of his intercourse with the ascended Lord, St. John writes the Gospel of the Ascension.
By His inspiration the Spirit of truth guards the writer's essential inerrancy. Each book and prophet adds something to a growing outline which Christ and the Church fill full, and so proves for the whole a unity of design. Writers at different times and on different themes give the explanatory key-thoughts to the difficulties in other books and so testify to the Spirit's modifying and controlling action. Little by little, though the writers are all unconscious of it, do they, beneath their primal meaning, tell in typical language the story and work of Christ which grows with perfect symmetry and completeness of structure from Genesis to Revelation, and so demonstrates the writers to have been under the guidance of an intelligence other than their own.
The written Word self-evidences its own inspiration. True, there are difficulties within it, but it would not be God's Word if there were not. True, it records miracles, but miracles are but a manifestation in the natural order of the laws of the new creation. Belonging to it the Word exacts reverence as a shrine of God. The endeavor by criticism to extort its meaning, as if it were like any other literature, is to bring out of its mouth of fire the punishment of spiritual paralysis. Written by the Spirit, it can be understood only by those living in the power of sacramental grace. Written by the Spirit, it means all the Spirit, abiding in the Catholic Church, reveals it to mean. Recognized by reason, it further proves itself to the believer, by the inexhaustible fertility of its meaning, the treasures of its spiritual wisdom, the comfort of its promises, to be the organ of the mind of God. From its pages an unbeliever might not be able to construct the Catholic faith, but given that faith, the Word is construable in accordance with it. The Scripture is a corroborative witness along with the Sacraments to the faith revealed by the Church.
Like God, clouds of darkness encircle it. It begins with the mystery of creation and ends with that of glory. The law and Gospel lie between; and through the glory-mists of the two mighty mysteries of creation and glory, and the histories of the two dispensations, the light of revelation shines forth, focused in one person, who pervades it all, who explains it all, who is the light of it all, the Person of Jesus Christ.
Right reverend and dear fathers, and you, dear brothers in our common priesthood, ye know full well that the great conflict draws to its close. History is but the record of the never-ceasing contest between the Church and the world. The Church, because she is the Bride of Christ, must in her collective entity repeat the life of her Lord. She must be betrayed, rejected, crucified, ere she passes to her risen life. A time there now is when the Apostles are divided, and St. John alone is by the cross, and the daughters of Jerusalem weep. A time there will be, perhaps it is now, when the world rejoicing believes she has put the two witnesses to death. They prophesied in outer garments of sackcloth, calling men to repentance, and the world hates them. She has dragged them out into the street of her city, the city of Sodom and Egypt and apostate Jerusalem, and jeered at them, and ridiculed them, and insulted them, and gloated over them as dead. They tormented her conscience, but now they have no power; to her they are lifeless, but because she is dead.
The world goes on progressing towards the rise of that despotic power of the final Anti-Christ, who, in the name of material progress and social science, promises to achieve by force what only grace can do, and who will make war upon the saints.
Oh, the coming terror and the woe! Oh, the trials of that coming century of blood! Already the second beast ariseth out of the earth. A worldwide modern civilization takes the place of the Roman. It hath all the power of the first beast. It doeth great wonders. It brings down fire from heaven and works mighty miracles of power. None can advance to profit or honor but they must first receive its sign in the hand or forehead, and be branded as its slave, to think as it thinks and work as it bids.
The world and the apostate Christianity, rejecting the Trinity, the Incarnation, the deity of Christ, His vicarious atonement, His resurrection in the flesh, His Church and altar, and priesthood, and Sacraments, and inspired Word, grows more boastful and triumphant.
Do the powers of heaven seem to be shaken? Do the stars fall? Does the sign of the cross of persecution begin to appear? Then lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh. As the world waxes evil the Church becomes purified. She feels the nearer presence of her Lord's approach. She has all along known He would be true to His word. She discerns His footsteps. She feels a glow as the cloud which hides Him begins to fade. Her heart quickens and her pulses beat. The witnesses are seen, full of the resurrection and ascended life, upon their feet. Ere the great final world's earthquake, as many behold they will repent and give glory to God. The Church already kindles with the missionary zeal as of another Pentecost. She waits but to break forth in the fulness of the revealed glory of the new creation into the song of Moses and the Lamb.
Blessed is it, dear and Right Reverend Fathers, and you, priests of the altar, and all ye members of Christ by baptism, anointed as kings and priests unto God, to live in such times as thesetimes when you can bear witness by your lives to the Catholic faith, when you can do great things for Christ and His Church.Naught else, ye know, is so entirely worth the doing. Naught else will stand when He appeareth.Times when some of you may win the crown of martyrdomwhen all of you may become saints.
A great cloud of witnesses surrounds us. Angels and saints, apostles, prophets, martyrs, confessors, doctors, religious, are looking on. Those, like St. Simon and St. Jude, whom we are bound on this day especially to honor; those who have won their crowns by martyrdom; those who have illuminated the Church by their doctrine, or enriched it by their alms and labors; those who have, on beds of pain or hidden trials, filled up the measure of Christ's sufferings; those who have taught, as mothers or consecrated sisters, the faith to little children; and one with the multitudinous and the sainted host as they long and wait, Andrewes, and Laud, and Ken, and Sherlock, and Keble, and Pusey,White and Kemper, and Seabury, praise and plead responsively to the mighty impulse of the exulting throb of joy in the heart of Jesus as His appearing draws nigh.
Respond we also to that divine impulse. Recognize the apocalyptic warning. Redeem the time. Come ye out from the world. Be ye separated from it. Living in it, be no longer of it. Break with the past. Forget the things which are behind. Rise up to a nobler, higher, God-inspired life. Be men for God, be men of God. By one bold action come to Him who can make all things new. Answer the love that from the cross invites by a love that trusts. He who knows thee, loves thee, and thou canst trust that love. Give all, and thou shalt find all. Consecrate your time, your talents, your means, your hearts, your all to Jesus. Let heaven's courts ring anew this day with joyous hosannas over returning penitents and advancing saints, and be ye consecrated from henceforth and foreverconsecrated unto holinessconsecrated unto the Lord.
And now, dear and much loved friendyou who are to receive your special consecration and be gathered into the fulness of the apostolic orderwhat shall I say? Rather I should sit at your feet and be taught by you. We have known each other so intimately and so long, I cannot trust myself to speak as I would. But out of the gratitude of my heart, I thank God for what He has done and what He purposes for the Church through you. All that I might say, your congregation here of St. Mark's, which will always be so dear to you, would feel insufficient to express their love. You have been to them so true a pastor that you are their ideal one. The true spiritual bond will not be broken. They will follow you with their sympathy, keep step with you in your work, aid you by their cooperation. You will meet, for I know and love Wisconsin, with an open-hearted, active, and loyal support from your clergy and laity. The spirit of self-consecration, which has made "Jesus only" the life within you, will make you and your apostolate fruitful for Him.
May God give you richly all gifts of government: the discerning of spirits, wisdom and far-sightedness, the strength of hopefulness, the patience of faith. May He choose Himself some token of His love and give it you out of the immeasurable fulness of His own desires and out of the boundless resources of His grace. May He restore you all the grace which by any fault or neglect thou hast ever lost and restore them to thee this day sevenfold. Gathered into Him, He will do His work through thee and fulfil His mind. Others may say of you, and say truly, when you have passed to the nearer vision, he indeed built wisely, labored faithfully, had a zeal for souls, he was just to all, we always knew where to find him, he was the father to his clergy and they treated him as sons, he did nobly, he fought a good fight. Let it be yours, as you see the dear Master's all-loving eye, to be able to say: O Lord, a sinner, most unworthy of all, saved only by the infinite merits of Thy precious blood; as Thy apostle by Thy grace, "I have kept the faith."