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By that "Law" for which in the vision of the prophet the isles were to wait must be understood the revelation of love and mercy set forth to the world in the incarnation, sufferings, death, and exaltation of the Divine Redeemer, carried on in its progress towards completion, and rendered effectual to the individual soul, by the Holy Spirit in the Church. It implies at once the inward spiritual agency described by our Lord as a "kingdom within us," and what must ever be its outward expression and embodiment,--the kingdom of Christ visible here on earth, His Mystical Body, the blessed company of all faithful people, His Holy Catholic Church.
This is that new dispensation for which the Apostle Paul declared to the Romans "the whole creation was groaning and travailing in pain together." In all her supernatural aids, through all her sacramental gifts, the virtue of the great Mystery of the Incarnation is seen flowing into humanity, raising what was before base and defiled to become again sanctified and fit for the Master's use, worthy of Him who created it. So that in waiting for His Law the isles, that is, the whole Gentile world, were in very truth "waiting for the adoption," to wit, the "redemption of the body."
 And often has this waiting been illustrated in the history of the Church generally, and of our own in particular. The known readiness of King Ethelbert to hear the Gospel, no less than the sight of the Saxon boys in the market-place at Rome, seems to have moved Gregory the Great in sending Augustine over to evangelize the kingdom of Kent. In that of Northumbria, too, was there not an evident waiting for the Gospel message, who, before the arrival of Paulinus the Angles there rose up and destroyed their existing idols, their high-priest himself taking the lead, and asserting his belief that "the wooden images hitherto worshipped were no Gods at all," for that "there was only one Supreme Being dwelling in the heavens?"
The whole history of that far-distant group of islands with which we are concerned s an exemplification of the prediction, "The isles shall wait for His law."
After their discovery by Cook in 1778 sailors and traders seem frequently to have touched at their shores. These men, chiefly English or Americans, themselves of licentious and abandoned habits, coming in contact with a highly sensualized people, no doubt diffused among them a fearful amount of vice. At the same time such an intercourse could not be carried on without the natives growing in civilization and enlightenment. Two men, John Young and Isaac Davies, the former a Liverpool shipwright, fell into the hands of the chief of Hawaii--one who had an intense wish to raise his people to the level of those strangers who, he saw, were so far beyond himself in the power which superior knowledge always gives. They took up their permanent abode with him, and became his chief advisers. Dissatisfaction ere long sprung up in the mind of Kamehameha,--for that was the name of the chieftain,--with the then existing religious system, and when Vancouver, after repeated visits to the islands during several years, finally took leave of them in 1794, he begged the captain to procure teachers from England to instruct his people in the faith of Christ. That unhappily was not a missionary age. It was a time of unreality and spiritual deadness in the Church of England: "the love of many had waxed cold;" and it is not therefore to be wondered at, though sadly to be regretted, that such an opportunity was lost. Had it been seized, how different from the actual one might have been the religious history of the various achipelagoes of the Pacific! Instead of owing whatever of Christianity they do possess to communions we believe, to say the least, far less likely than our [4/5] own to deal successfully with the native character, they might have been among the most glorious trophies of our Church's conquests, and from this group as a centre might have penetrated into many a dark corner of that ocean--and even among the Indians of Vancouver's Island and British Columbia--the rays of the blessed Gospel of the Son of God! The request was renewed again when another English captain visited the islands in the years 1804-1806. [Captain Turnbull.] He describes the state of civilization which even then this old chief and his people were fast attaining, and the openings presented for the introduction of Christianity among them. That blessed gift was not to be obtained, however, from this country. After the death of Kamehameha, still in a state of heathenism and unbaptized we find his successor Rihoriho issued an edict abolishing idolatry and the old religion. This met with some opposition; a battle was fought, but victory proved on the side of the reforming party. And it was when the way had been thus remarkably prepared that some Congregationalist Missionaries visited them from the United States of America. They were not permitted to land till the king had assured himself by consultation with Mr. Young that they would speak of the same God and Saviour as the English missionaries, whom they had been in vain expecting for the quarter of a century, which had then elapsed since the petition made to Vancouver. Christianity under this form made rapid progress among the people. Rihoriho and his queen came over to England in the year 1823, and, it will be remembered, died in London. The accounts of his visit mention how the royal party attended the services of Westminster Abbey, with which they were much pleased. The music affected them a good deal, and they were impressed with veneration for the place." [Hulbert's Royal Biography, Memoirs of the Kings Kamehameha I. and II.] Was it not this which prompted the touching application he is stated to have made to King George the Fourth before his death, "I have to ask your Majesty to send missionaries to teach any people the Protestant religion as taught in the Church of England?" He probably longed to transplant in his own country some reproduction, however inadequate it might be, of the solemn and beautiful worship he had attended within these venerable walls.
May we not regard the series of applications which have reached our Church from these islands during seventy years or more, as a [5/6] significant commentary on the prophet's words, "The isles shall wait for Thy law?"
And now in more recent times, when the group has assumed an importance it had not before, when the developement of its productions with various forms of trade has collected in Honolulu a foreign population, when a system of national education has brought the Hawaiian into a comparatively advanced state of civilization, when, too, Christianity, in the form of Congregationalism or the Roman Church, has become nominally the religion of the islands, the cry for help has again reached our shores, and this time has not boon heard in vain.
The circumstances of the origin of the mission are too well known to need any detail of them on the present occasion. Nor need I remind you of several features in the work itself not without interest to the Church generally: how that we have here the first instance of our Reformed Church being invited by an independent sovereign to plant itself in his dominions; how, too, by the formation of this new diocese the only link is supplied which was wanting to make the girdle of her influence encircle the globe. By that of Melanesia in the South, and that of Honolulu in the North Pacific, the space between Bishop Selwyn's province of New Zealand and the diocese of Bishop Hills in Columbia is bridged over, and we may fain hope that in many an isle of that vast ocean, but yesterday, perhaps, the home of savages and cannibals, the voice of our Zion shall be heard on high, and there, as here, she shall speak in accents that bring hope, and trust, and peace, and joy, to untold thousands. Happy shall I be should it be my lot to meet in some central isle of the Pacific my brother, the Bishop of Melanesia; happy if there we may hold refreshing intercourse on the progress of our great work, and kneeling down on the sea-shore together, offer up a prayer for God's blessing on our efforts for the extension of His kingdom.
It is, however, rather on the nature and objects of the work to be done, than on its general aspects I ought now to dwell.
First, then, as regards the native population. We shall have to remind them of those Divine truths, which have been hitherto sadly overlooked in that system of Christianity most familiar to them that by His Incarnation the Son of God has made Himself one with them, entered into all their sufferings, temptations, and joys that in Him all manly, all tender graces combine; that the more they grow [6/7] into His image, the purer, the braver the truer, the more loving will they become; that religion was never designed to make their innocent pleasures the less; [NOTE] that it is compatible with the free indulgence in all manly and athletic exercises, being not designed to crush their natural instincts, nor to form as unhappily all admit it has hitherto done, a sort of crust around and external to their daily life, but rather to work with those instincts and hallow that daily life that the bodies of baptized Christians are become temples of the Holy Ghost, and that "whoso dwelleth the temple of God him shall God destroy;" that He is honoured by the consecration of all that is [7/8] beautiful, in nature and art, to the worship of the sanctuary that it is as we seek to realize Him in all the duly appointed channels of grace, we may expect to hold communion with the Father and Son through the Spirit. By the blessing of God on the inculcation of these principles and by giving them practical effect in the organization and discipline of the Church, we may hope for the elevation of the native races to a higher and purer ideal of their manhood. All who visit the islands bear testimony to the sad want of moral purity among them, no doubt in part due to the licentiousness of European and American sailors and others. In touching accents the King lately complained to his Legislature, "Our acts are vain unless we can stay the wasting hand that is destroying our people. I feel a heavy responsibility in this matter"--accordingly he has encouraged by all the means in his power the institution of boarding schools for the education of native girls, taking them from home at an early age and raising them by the training of the ladies to a higher appreciation of their dignity as women. The Sisters of the Sacred Heart have opened such schools in connexion with the Roman Church, and defective will be our machinery if no similar provision is made by us for furthering the same object. It is to me a matter of thankfulness that there are in our party going out, those who, having devoted the best part of their lives to labours of this kind, are eminently fitted to organize and superintend such institutions. How deeply the King feels the want of this agency appears from his speech at the last opening of his Legislature "I regret that there has been little progress in the education and moral training of females. This subject ought to be considered paramount to any other in considering the educational necessities of the people. I therefore hope that this Legislature will devise some means for more fully carrying out my views expressed in my address upon this subject to the last Legislature and in connexion therewith, I cannot forego the opportunity, as the head of this nation, to express my acknowledgments and appreciation of the services already rendered to this cause either by individual or organizations."
As an English Mission, it is hoped, we may render valuable aid to the cause of primary education in the islands. It is in contemplation to give a more industrial and practical character to the system pursued in the State Schools, and gradually to bring about a displacement of the Hawaiian for the English tongue throughout the [8/9] native population. How inadequate the old language is as a vehicle of thought or moral training appears from the fact that there are no words in it whereby to express hope, gratitude, or chastity. In the address, before quoted, the King says, "The importance of substituting English for Hawaiian schools I have already earnestly recommended and in again bringing the subject under your attention, I would touch upon a matter which I think of equal importance, and that is the raising the standard of elementary education in the Common Schools. This latter object may be secured by the institution of Normal Schools, as recommended by the President but combined with the teaching of the English as a general thing throughout the kingdom, it must place the object beyond a peradventure."
The foreigners centred there for the purposes of trade and agriculture, chiefly English and Americans, containing many professedly members of our Reformed Church or others who are willing to unite with her, though in the absence of any other alternative they have chosen, it may be, one or other of the extreme forms at present in the islands, will have to be tended and fed with Christ's holy Word and Sacraments. Especial attention must be paid to the spiritual wants of the sailors, who, during their stay in the ports visited, so often run into evil, through want of any interest being taken by those around them in their temporal or spiritual welfare.
Lastly, among the heathen islands we may operate from Honolulu as a base. There is no reason why we should not have a college, where the Hawaiians may be trained to go out as missionaries to Micronesia, including the Caroline and other groups towards Japan, as well as to Southern Polynesia. Their language physical temperament, and general similarity of race, would well qualify them for this work and that they are capable of it appears from the fact that the Congregationalists have sent out already six natives as missionaries into Micronesia. [See the religious periodical of the Congregationalists, published at Honolulu in 1860, called "The Friend."]
Such, Brethren, are the chief outlines of the task we are undertaking. I cannot hide the fact that its accomplishment seems beset with difficulties and perils. If this ground were wholly unoccupied, as it was when we were first invited to take possession of it in Christ's name, the case would be very different from what it actually is. It is hoped that the introduction of that pure and complete [9/10] developement of Divine truth it is our happiness as English Churchmen to enjoy, concentrating in its worship and teaching all that is good, and beautiful, and true, in the two extremes, without running into the excesses of either, may dispel some of those doubts, which systems, so antagonistic as those now at work there, must have created in their minds. It may be so but it may produce the contrary effect. And a vast responsibility devolves on those to whom is entrusted the direction of this sacred enterprise, to see that the former, and not the latter, be the result of their efforts. Nothing would shake all religious belief in the islands more effectually than for us to assume an attitude of hostility to those forms of Christianity with which they are now familiar. We must show the people how beneath the defects and corruptions of this or that communion there lies a substratum of truth in the admission of the great historic facts of the Creeds, which may well increase their faith in those facts, and lead to greater charity and forbearance in our treatment of those Articles of the Faith which are called in question. We are to speak the truth, but it must be in love and we are to give all who have been hitherto labouring with so much devotion and earnestness in their Master's cause, while we have been looking on with cold indifference, the credit they deserve. We must make it clear we do not go forth to ignore or override what has been done by others.
And this suggests another danger, that of seeking to proselytize. It is an admitted fact that a large number of the people are in active communion with none of the existing bodies, and among them we must seek to labour, not doubting that, as we thus exhibit and carry to them the Church's message in all fidelity, and zeal, and love, she will attract many others, whom she would effectually repel were she to assume a posture of unfriendliness or aggression. If we keep before our eyes the fact, that the great object of the mission is the salvation of the souls and bodies of those among whom we are going to labour, and not the numbers we can count as members of our communion, we may hope, by God's blessing, to escape this danger.
In the complex character of the population, we may see another ground for the exercise of prudence and caution. An adaptation of the formularies and system of the Church to the feelings and requirements of any one element may prove very unsuitable and mischievous in the instance of another.
In the national jealousies, too, which usually prevail in a centre of [10/11] resort such as this--one owing its independence to the forbearance and protection of its more powerful neighbours,--we have reason for care and circumspection.
But if the difficulties to be apprehended are great so too are our encouragements. "Not by power or might, but my Spirit, saith our God." And to the end of time the promise given by our Lord to his Apostles shall be true in the instance of their successors, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." There are also considerations subordinate to this. The interest felt by the present very intelligent, high-principled, and even accomplished King in the realization of an English episcopate, the clinging on the part of the islanders from the first to England as the country to supply them with a religion they could trust, the co-operation of the English and many of the American residents in preparing for the reception of the mission, the baptism of the Prince of Hawaii, our own beloved Queen standing, by proxy, as the sponsor, with which ceremony the Church will, so to speak, be inaugurated--these are all hopeful signs. [The "Polynesian" of April 19th last describes a meeting which took place for this object in the Court House, the King taking a part in the proceedings. A committee was formed to obtain donations for the Cathedral and Mission Funds, and nearly £1,000 was promised to the former object.] When, too, I consider the warm sympathy and support extended to the Mission by my countrymen and fellow-churchmen during the months that have elapsed since my consecration,--shown by their liberal contributions no less than in the hearty prayers they have ever been ready to offer for its success,--there is indeed reason "to be of good cheer and take courage." For those loving tokens of interest and sympathy how can I ever be grateful enough?
And now, on the eve of departure with those brethren who have thrown in their lot with me, and are devoting themselves to this arduous enterprise, I have to ask you, on their behalf as well as my own, a continuance of your Christian sympathy and your prayers. You will follow with interest and, when such help may be needed, further with your alms the work of building up the walls of our Zion, as it progresses, in these central isles of the Pacific. You will remember us in your private devotions, your litanies and common prayers, among those that travel by land or by water, that they who go forth to "sow the seed of eternal life beside all waters" may be safe in the Everlasting Arms but especially that they may be [11/12] endued with "the Spirit of power, of love, and of a sound mind," that the great work, they are engaged in may not be marred by human corruption or by the infirmity of those to whom it is committed, that many an islander of the Pacific, now waiting for Christ's law in grateful adoration for benefits received from this mission of our Church, may hereafter rise up and call Her Blessed.
The want of this teaching is described in the following extract from the "Polynesian Gazette," Honolulu, April 26th, 1862:--
"BONFIRE--On Monday evening last, a number of the German residents, in commemoration of an ancient custom in their "Vaterland," which they were prevented by rain on the evening of Easter Sunday last from performing, lit a large and splendid bonfire, preceded by rockets and fireworks, on one of the spurs of Punchbowl Hill.
We would like to see several of the good ancient continental customs revived here, upon great festival occasions. Surely religion is not all psalm-singing and gloom. While the heavy of heart and the unforgiven are welcome to groan and lament that over their souls no gladness and light have arisen, yet we would like to see merriment and rejoicing, in those whose spirits are so attuned, exhibit themselves especially on those great Christian occasions so eminently calculated to invite the mind to joy, thanksgiving, and gladness, such as Christmas Day, Easter Sunday, and Ascension Day. We notice that this land is said to have been converted to Christianity, and yet the most remarkable events in the life of the Founder of that faith are not commemorated by the people are, on the contrary, studiously ignored by their teachers, who thus forego one of the greatest elements of rendering that religion national as well as rational, ingrafting it upon the customs of the people from earliest childhood, rich in many bright memories from the morning of life, to which the soul may look back and gather fresh courage from them, when rocked by the tempest and prostrate by woe, and which, in all ages, have softened the manners and opened the heart, by the intermingling of all classes for one common object, and that a lofty and holy one. But independently of religious festivals, why should not a properly national one of domestic origin be revived or instituted? We would like to see Borne of the old-world secular festivals introduced, such as "May Day" for instance, to be celebrated with national sports, jubilee, and bonfires through every village and hamlet in the country. Were this properly taken in hand, it could not fail of the best results. As it now is, the nation, as such, has no festival either religious or social, but gropes in the ashes of the past for some stray ember of a half-forgotten "mele,'' which it chaunts with fear and trembling, lest its sound may provoke the ban of the preacher or the rebuke of religious martinet.
"Such were our reflections on seeing the bonfire on Monday last, and we turned away in sadness."
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THIS striking conversation of the Apostle Peter with the Saviour has a manifest hearing on the subject I have this day to bring under your notice. For while it sets forth in the strongest light those two aspects of the Christian character--the spirit of love and the spirit of self sacrifice--it singles out as the highest form of their expression the work of diffusing the Gospel among our fellow men: "Feed my sheep."
There is a variation in the form of the thrice repeated question, "Lovest thou me," which we cannot possibly ascribe to accident, and which if we would draw out the whole meaning of the passage must not he passed over.
The first two questions have for the word "lovest" one used throughout the New Testament to express that reverential love, which fixes itself on high graces of character, whether in God or man. It is set forth in numerous passages as the grand mark of God's true children and the crown of every virtue. For instance, in that beautiful description of charity given by St. Paul in I. Cor. xii. Ch. Whereas the third "Lovest thou" denotes less of a reasoning and more of an impulsive personal affection. Now to the ears of the [15/16] penitent Apostle the question, as first put, sounds too cold, not permitting him to approach the Saviour so near as he fain would; he therefore substituted in his answer the term expressing a more intimate, personal affection, and in this sense replies, "I love thee." The second time the question is proposed in the same cautious terms as at the first, and Peter again replaces the colder by the stronger word. The third time, however, lie is successful, for Jesus does then use the term which Peter longed to hear as alone expressing all that was in his heart and, he exclaims, " Lord, thou knowest all things Thou knowest that I love Thee."
I think, brethren, there is a great lesson in all this on which we should do well to ponder. Strong feelings, impassioned language in our personal devotions to Christ ought not to be the first things aimed at. They may coexist and in ardent natures often do with a state of conduct in relation to our fellow men, anything but pleasing to God. Hence the many grievous scandals even in those professing an inward experience of a very high character. They begin at the wrong end. The love of God if it be genuine scriptural love must be founded on a love of his character as manifested in his Son, a love which will lead the subject of it himself to become a pure and charitable, a just and truth loving man. Nothing is worthy the name which does not shape itself into obedience, for "he that hath my commandments and keepeth them he it is that loveth me." When we have realised this ideal of Christian charity, leavening our daily lives, making us ever purer, truer, gentler beings, our love will, no doubt, more and more kindle into a flame. As our eyes are opened to discern the "King in his beauty," as we ourselves partake more and more of the mind of Christ, the stronger, the more intimate will1 be the love which unites us to him, till at last "neither length, nor breadth, nor height, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Let us now proceed to the charge imposed on St. Peter by the Lord as the test of his love. We cannot doubt it was given to him specially to show that he had not forfeited the apostolic office by the denial of his Saviour. There is nothing to justify the notion of some exclusive prerogative accorded to him alone. On the Saviour's first appearance after His Resurrection to the assembled eleven, He imparted to them in the same form and words, the commission he had before given St. Peter alone "Whosoever sins ye remit, they are [16/17] remitted," etc. And even if it was not so no links can be traced by which to connect such supremacy with Rome. For there is no evidence he was ever there at all, until the visit which ended in his martyrdom, when Eusebius states that he and St. Paul appointed Linus to be the first Bishop of that city. He is called "the Apostle of the Circumcision," while Rome was the head of the Gentile world. If his presiding dyer any church had involved the clothing of that church with any such primacy over other churches, it would surely have been rather that of Antioch, where from Scripture and other testimony we know for certain he lived and preached some years. It is plain the other Apostles interpreted this injunction given to their penitent brother as equally binding on themselves, while its fulfillment was to be the result of a power working mightily within them--I mean the love of Christ. And so the event proved. Strong in the strength which he had imparted, now their highest ambition was to spend and be spent for their Saviour. From India to the isles of the then distant west, even our own then barbarous isle of Britain, they made known the Gospel of His grace. Now a cold, calculating policy would never have achieved complete and rapid results like these. Without the fire of Divine love burning in their souls with an intensity far beyond our poor imaginings, their message would have been but as "the sounding brass, as the tinkling cymbal." The heralds of God's perfect charity, they were living types themselves of that self sacrifice which is at once its essence and its law but in the commission thus given to St. Peter and in him to the other Apostles, there are two aspects of the pastoral office presented to our view. The first time it is "Feed my lambs," the second "Tend or govern my sheep;" the third time it is again "Feed"--and that too in the instance of the sheep, the mature members of Christ's flock. As if to show whatever Godly discipline and ecclesiastical regimen may be added thereto, the feeding of them with God's Holy Word and Sacraments is the grand object, the beginning and the end of the Apostolic ministry.
Let us bless God that while in that church, with which those here present are connected or may be supposed most warmly to sympathize, we have an organisation for the shepherding of her members truly scriptural, yea, even to minute detail; she gives at the same time the chief place to the setting forth of that truth "which is able to make us wise unto salvation through faith in Christ Jesus."
 An offshoot of that Church planted in Britain, most probably by St. Paul, strengthened by the arrival of Augustine and the Scotch missionaries from Iona, adorned by saints and theologians, purified at the Reformation, a church which has over-shadowed with her goodly branches not only that land but its vast colonies and dependencies, as well as the United States, which in the last century received their Episcopal succession from the See of Canterbury--this church we now bring to plant among you.
Would that we had done this eighty years ago when first invited to come here by Captain Vancouver in 1794, at the instance of your great chieftain Kamehameha I. The ground was then wholly unoccupied. Thousands might have been rescued during the years of neglect which elapsed afterwards--before Christianity was introduced--from misery, vice and premature decay. I cannot defend my fellow Christians at home for neglecting the touching appeal which then reached us, "Come over and help us." It was a time of sad, spiritual deadness and unbelief in the Church, and the "love of many had waxed cold"--it was a time, too, when men's minds were taken up with the great events then transpiring on the continent of Europe. Of the past, I dare not speak. Enough is it for us that the cry for help which then was passed by unheeded, again reached our shores, and this time was not heard in vain. England's people, with the consent of England's Queen, have at last sent you a Bishop and Clergy to give you in all its completeness the Church your own Kings have longed to have during seventy years or more. They have sent, too, such material help as may be required to sustain and strengthen it until it shall "take root and fill the land."
And we come in all love and good will to those who have been labouring here before us. However much we may conscientiously differ from them, we desire not to ignore the work which they have done to the best of their ability, nor withhold from them the credit they deserve. In turn we claim the same consideration and forbearance. There is the more need to ask this because in many important points our Church differs from the sects professing Protestant Christianity no less than from the Roman. Church. And consequently there will be parts in her worship and teaching, which will seem strange to those who are only familiar with the former. At the Reformation she avoided the two extremes of a slavish adhesion to the existing order on the one hand1 and of irreverence for Catholic antiquity [18/19] and practice on the other. Accordingly in her preface to the Book of Common Prayer it is expressly stated that its compilers sought to be guided by Holy Scripture as "interpreted by the ancient Fathers," implying by that term those chiefly of the first five centuries--the purest ages of the church. The Liturgy was not composed for the first time at the Reformation. It contains the ancient Collects, Litanies, Hymns and Communion Office which were in the Roman Breviary and Missal, translated into the vernacular and cleansed of the errors which had crept into them during the middle ages. Yes! we utter the same venerable forms wherein Christians nave breathed their aspirations to the Throne of Grace--probably since the times of the Apostles, certainly during fourteen centuries. She holds that the Sacraments are not bare symbols and figures of spiritual truths, but that they "are outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace," by and in them "given to us," when administered by the hands of Christ's duly appointed ministers. She teaches parents to bring their infants to be admitted into the Christian covenant by Holy Baptism, wherein they are declared to be "made members of Christ, children of God and inheritors of the Kingdom of Heaven." But they are reminded that all this will be of no avail unless they are endeavouring to fulfill their parts of the covenant by renouncing the world, the flesh and the Devil, believing the articles of the Christian Faith and endeavouring to do their duty in that state of life to which they have been called. On arriving at years of discretion the baptized are invited to the Holy Rite of Confirmation, that they may not only "ratify and confirm their Christian obligations," but be strengthened by a new gift of the Holy Spirit imparted to them "by the imposition of hands." This rite is designed to serve as an initiation into full communion with the Church--when the devout recipient may approach the Blessed Sacrament of Christ's Body and Blood, which in the language of the Catechism "are verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful in the Lord's Supper." She deems this the highest act of Christian worship and as an intimation that she would have it accompanied with externals to impress the senses as well as the heart--she directs in her 24th Canon that it be celebrated in every Cathedral with special vestments to be worn by the clergy.
Through all the ever varying scenes of this life--in trouble and in joy she follows her children with her heavenly consolations, her [19/20] prayers and benedictions, until that body which in this life she had taught them to regard as "the Temple of the Holy Ghost" is committed to the earth in hope of the resurrection to life eternal.
In all this her principle is "do not wait till you are converted by some sudden, irresistible impulse, but regard yourself as already by baptism grafted into Christ's Church and bound to crucify daily the old man, with his evil deeds, and able to do so by the strength already imparted to you from above. It is this gradual formation of Christian character at which she aims--a process going on from Baptism till Death. It enters into all her teaching and formularies. So with regard to Church discipline. All whose consciences are burdened with sin she requests in her exhortation to the Communion to come to the minister and open their grief, that they may "receive the benefit of absolution together with ghostly counsel and advice."
Regarding her children as having bodies as well as souls, senses to be exercised for good or evil, she sanctions the consecration of all that is beautiful in nature and art to the service of the sanctuary. Her old Cathedral worship has consequently been retained in all its splendour. The peal of the organ as it rebounds along the vaulted roof, the stained glass window, the painted altar piece, the furniture for the Holy Table, these have received her high approval and are found not only in her Cathedrals but many of her other churches. Except as accessories and aids to devotion, or as offerings of love to Christ--the ointment poured out--we value them not. If we are to address our worship to them, if they shut out Christ from our eyes, away with them! I am persuaded there are some natures to whom a ritual is more acceptable, more necessary than to others and such I believe to be the case with the natives of these islands. Let then such of you as lean to a more purely subjective and mental worship remember this, and be willing to sacrifice something of their own individual preferences for the good of the whole body.
Regard in this light our humble attempts to adorn God's service and temple. We have as yet only a very poor building. But it is a Cathedral, for it is the seat of a Bishop of Christ's Holy Catholic Church.
Once more. We do not regard religion as a system of frames and feelings merely, separate from common life. It is to leaven and hallow all the instincts of our nature, not to override and crush them. It is therefore not a business of one day in seven--Sunday--often [20/21] called, I think most falsely and mischievously the Sabbath for the Church provides "an order of prayer to be said daily throughout the year." She wishes the daily sacrifice to be offered. And she has appointed the observance of fast and festival each in its due course. On her Christmas, her Easter, her Ascension Tide, she would have all rejoice not only in the temple but in innocent mirth and healthful recreation. He who was present at the marriage of Cana in Galilee and turned the water into wine designs to unite with us--if we drive him not away by impurity and sin--in our social and festal gatherings, no less than in our seasons of sorrow and bereavement, Surely Christianity is not all sourness, all taboo! God would have us use thankfully and in moderation all the gifts He has given us, not abstain from them altogether. This is true self restraint, this real temperance.
Such are some of the leading features in that Church system we come to establish among the people of these islands. We come not unasked, and we come seconded by the prayers and alms of Christ's faithful people in the country we have left. Oh! pray that though we are "sowing in tears"--in the first outburst of a nation's grief for the loss of the princely boy so untimely removed to the bright world above--we may yet "reap in joy," that they who go about "weeping and bearing good seed," may "come again with joy bringing their sheaves with them."