The Resolutions of the Faculty, Students, Alumni and Trustees of Nashotah House, and of the Clergy present at the Burial,
Although, at the last, Dr. Cole's passing from earth was sudden, it had been painfully evident to those who knew him well and loved him, that his strength and physical powers had for some time been declining. About three years ago, he was taken in his classroom with violent pain in the chest, which was of so poignant a character, that he reached his house only with great difficulty. To some of us who heard him describe his symptoms, and from the evident shaking his system received from that attack, we feared it might have been "angina pectoris." The physicians pronounced his malady to be an affection of the pneumo-gastric nerve, and the alarm and apprehension somewhat subsided. Occasional returns of the pain, however, occurred from time to time, and at such moments motion was almost impossible to him, while his face bore that peculiar look of distress and anxiety which is incident to certain heart troubles. The Doctor never betrayed any great apprehension or any anxiety. He at all times had much of the old Roman in his nature, and his bravery and self-possession were always peculiarly conspicuous in times of illness and suffering. We all saw, however, that his constitution was shaken to its very centre, while his slow step and quickened breathing, and the marked recurrences of unusual weakness, made it very certain that we should not have him with us long.
A late visit to the East, extending over more than a year, seemed to have revived and strengthened him, although in his private letters he spoke much of the weariness he felt night after night, when returning from his often fruitless visits to men of wealth in the [3/4] great cities, whom he had called upon to secure endowment for the "House" he loved so well. He came back to take up his old burdens and to carry them courageously, simply saying "It has not pleased the Lord to endow Nashotah." From the time of his return he devoted himself, with all and more than his old spirit, to the work of perfecting the devotional life of the House. The celebrations of the Holy Eucharist were increased, the ceremonial was perfected (in a yet simple fashion), the students of the Seminary were properly habited for their choir duties, the daily procession to and from the choir was established, and things in general seemed to be approaching their climax of order and finish.
During the last vacation the choir of the chapel was enlarged, the doors relaid in hard wood, the walls freshly tinted, and we returned to a practically new Nashotah, in its order and trimness, when "Michael," the great bell, woke the echoes on the opening day of the term. A new class had entered, larger in number than for many years past. The opening day was a very joyful one, and had been preceded by an unusual Nashotah event at the opening of a new term--a Presidential reception. We all rejoice now that the new men, with the older students, had an opportunity to break bread with the President in his always hospitable house.
On the Saturday after the opening, the Doctor had been engaged in the preparation of a written sermon, which was to contain, as he said to Mrs. Cole, "a message" which he had "for the students." At the time of Evening Prayer he started for the chapel, but without an overcoat. On his way through the campus he felt chilled, and on entering Bishop White Hall, went to the room of a Middle Class man, Mr. Crittenton, and asked him to give him his arm to the chapel. He complained of extreme weakness; yet courageously, in his lion-hearted way, went on, stopping, however, at one point on the road, withdrawing his hand from his pupil's arm, straightening himself up in his soldierly way, and asking, in his deep voice, "Do I look pale?" Then he resumed his walk and said the evening office as usual.
On Sunday morning he was still unwell, but completed his sermon, went to the chapel at the usual time, preached and celebrated. [4/5] There was little indication of illness in his manner or appearance at the time of Divine service. His manner seemed a little more rigid than usual, doubtless from his effort to steady himself. His sermon was a very striking one and possessed of a singular ring that thrilled many who listened to it with strange apprehensions. It was an urgent appeal to the men to live up to the rule of the House, and of their Seminary obligations, and to ennoble the Seminary by a studied conformity to duty. He recalled the old motto of the House, "To the rescue," and urged it, and all that it suggested, as the key-note of Seminary endeavor. One very dear to the Doctor remarked that she had a conviction that it was his last sermon.
At the conclusion of his sermon, the Doctor went to the Altar for his last Celebration, and at the end of the service, the students saw him for the last time until they bore him to his burial. He never left his house after that final act of his Priesthood; after the final blessing with which he took leave of his beloved chapel and students. In the evening of that Sunday he was not so well. On Monday it was announced that he was ill; on Tuesday, that his ailment was typhoid fever. For several days and nights he was delirious and restless. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, before the end came, his delirium had abated, and on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings he had attended to some details of business, having his letters read him and giving orders respecting them. His old time pleasantry did not desert him in his hours of returning consciousness. On Wednesday morning, after having six or seven letters read him, he said to his wife, "In this disease, my dear, there is always some waste of the tissue of the brain. The proper way to repair waste is to take exercise. I have now taken my exercise, and shall go to sleep."
For a few days it had been noticed that the Doctor's pulse was not regular, that its action was intermittent. This symptom caused considerable anxiety. At last, at 5 A. M. on Thursday, it was thought certain that he was sinking. Prof. Riley, being in residence at Bishop White Hall, was sent for, and on arriving a few moments later, saw that the Doctor was probably dying. It seemed, however, just possible that he might be passing through the crisis [5/6] of his disease. His condition for a while seemed to fluctuate. The prayers for the dying were not for a while said. At length, as 6 o'clock was approaching, it was evident that there was no hope. The last prayers then began to be said, and were recited with some intervals between them. At a longer interval than usual the Doctor said, "Pray for me." (His consciousness during his last hours was complete, although his articulation was imperfect.)
It had been doubtful whether the Blessed Sacrament could safely be administered to him. The Doctor, being asked whether he could receive, answered decidedly, "Yes!" It was the great happiness of his friends then about his bedside to see him receive once more that Divine Sacrament he had been so devoted to, and to receive It with him. There were present Mrs. and Miss Cole, Rev. Mr. Pray, the Doctor's Deacon and parochial assistant; Miss Berford, his secretary and librarian; Miss Seymour, his faithful friend and nurse, and toward the end of the Office, his attached physician, Dr. Leusthrom. Rev. Dr. Kemper arrived as soon as possible after he had been summoned. On approaching the bed and asking, "Do you know me, Dr. Cole?" the Doctor's eyes opened with a bright look of recognition and he said, "Yes, Dr. Kemper; I have been sleeping a little; I cannot talk much." Dr. Kemper then kindly and affectionately said a word of blessing and adieu, and proceeded to the chapel to take the usual Thursday morning Celebration. Dr. Adams, meantime, had been summoned, and arrived at the first moment possible to him, and had the sad consolation of offering the Commendatory Prayer of the Prayer Book for his old time classmate and colleague. Dr. Cole also recognized him.
After this there came a pause. The Doctor did not seem to suffer any acute pain, but was evidently restless and oppressed. His physician thought that condition might last for some hours. Under this probability, Prof. Riley withdrew for a few moments, having been in attendance for three hours. He left the room at fifteen minutes of eight. He had just said grace at the Refectory table, when a messenger summoned him to the Doctor's bedside. Hastening to the President's house and going at once to the Doctor's bed, to his distress and surprise it was announced to him that [6/7] the Doctor was dead. Mrs. Cole was just retiring from the room, and the Doctor's face had been covered. Giving his arm to Mrs. Cole, he waited upon her to her room, and then returned immediately to the bed where, as he thought, his friend and colleague lay dead. As he reached the bed, the cover having been laid back from the face, Doctor Cole drew one more breath, and in that instant the last words were said: "Go forth, Christian soul, from this world in the Name of GOD the FATHER, Who created thee, of JESUS CHRIST, the SON of the Living GOD, Who suffered for thee, of the HOLY SPIRIT Who is poured upon thee! May thy place be in peace and thy dwelling in Sion, through CHRIST our LORD." Mrs. Adams by this time had reached the President's house, and was full of helpfulness and sympathy in those trying moments.
Word was at once sent to the students, who had remained in the chapel, after the early Celebration, in prayers for the dying. They arranged at once that the bell should be tolled during the day, and until after the hour of Evening Prayer, the students, in turn, performing this duty. The day of the Doctor's death was one of the most beautiful of a week of perfect autumnal days. Those who know Nashotah can realize what the day was--the red autumn sun glorifying the foliage of crimson and gold, and the still lake reflecting the marvelous beauty of shore and forest.
Nature's aspect intimated
That a great man was dead."
And yet a great and heroic soul had passed from earth amid these scenes of beauty and blessed memories, and the work of a noble priest in the Church of God had ended. Until the time of the burial the daily offices were said without organ or music. During the same period there was a daily Celebration at 7 o'clock. The tokens of affection on the part of the students for the President were very touching during these days. It was a pleasure and a privilege to them to be allowed to share in any office or service connected with the dead.
The Doctor passing away on Thursday, the 15th, it was felt that no day could well be fixed for his funeral, which would admit of the presence of any considerable number of the Bishops or clergy, [7/8] earlier than Tuesday or Wednesday, the 20th or 21st. Wednesday was finally determined upon. The body was embalmed by Mr. Luick, of Oconomowoc, who throughout discharged all his duties as undertaker with the utmost kindness and consideration. The Doctor's body was carried to his parlor by six students, where it lay until Tuesday, the 20th. Then, at 11 A. M., it was taken in procession to the chapel, after a short office said, in presence of the family, by Rev. Dr. Adams.
As Dr. Cole had been a Trustee and most interested friend of S. John's Military Academy, at Delafield, the cadets asked the privilege of doing guard duty for as long a time as might be permitted them. This most proper tribute to the Doctor was gladly accepted, and a detachment of cadets joined the procession of the students, Faculty and Bishop of the Diocese on its way to Dr. Cole's, and marched with reversed arms on either side of the hearse as the Doctor's body was being taken to the chapel. On arriving, Prof. Riley, who had been appointed master of ceremonies by the Faculty, formally delivered the body to Capt. Arthur Yates, commandant of S. John's School, and to the cadets under his command, to be guarded by them until midnight. The guard at once was placed at the head and foot of the casket, being relieved every hour.
It was remarked by all persons who were privileged to look upon the Doctor's face in death, that to the last moment in which it was visible it retained the most lifelike and natural appearance, with the addition of a great peace which had settled down upon it. Death clothed him with a beauty which will remain in all minds like a silent benediction of GOD. The tired heart was at rest, and the face bespoke all its unutterable peace.
At midnight, the master of ceremonies, attended by all the seminarians, received the body from its military guard and conveyed it into the choir, where the coffin was finally closed and covered with the purple pall which had been laid over the body of de Koven in his death sleep, and had never since been used.
The interior of the beautiful chapel was entirely bare of mourning emblems, excepting the festoons of crape and white upon the seat of the President in the chancel.
 On Tuesday evening the Bishops of Missouri and Chicago arrived, the Bishop of the Diocese being on the ground. On the following morning, Wednesday, the Bishop of Springfield and numerous clergy and laity appeared. The funeral ceremonies began at 10 A. M., when a procession left the old chapel in the following order: Cross-bearer; Seminarians; Clergy in general; Alumni; Faculty of Racine College; Faculty of Nashotah House; Trustees; Bishops. On arriving, the sentences of the Burial Office were said by Bishop Robertson, and after the Anthem had been sung and the lesson read (by the Rev. Dr. Delafield, representing the Bishop of Indiana), the Office of the Holy Communion was celebrated by the Bishop of the Diocese, the Collect being the first in the Burial office, the Epistle, I. Thess. iv., 13th and following verses, and the Gospel, the first six verses of the fourteenth chapter of St. John. The Bishop of Chicago read the Epistle, and the Bishop of Missouri the Gospel. The Bishop of Springfield delivered the Cup to those within the chancel; the Rev. Prof. Riley administered to those at the rail, and also served. Throughout, the sound of the heavy bell came booming in like the sound of minute guns. In the pauses of the service the rustling leaves of the tall maples outside seemed chanting a parting hymn for the dead President whose care had nurtured them, and to whom, in turn, they had annually repaid the nourishment by feasts of gorgeous coloring on which his eyes had gazed for the last time. There were two celebrations on the morning of the burial, the first being taken by the Rector of Ripon, of the Diocese of Fond du Lac.
During the funeral services the Rev. Messrs. Van Deusen and Toll stood on each side of the coffin as a guard of honor, representing the alumni. The four oldest alumni present were the clerical pall-bearers (Rev. Dr. Keene and Rev. Messrs. Blow, Wright and Piper); the lay bearers being Messrs. Gurney, Ferguson, Humphrey and Hinckley.
At the close of the Communion service, the cadets, who had done guard duty at the entrances to chapel and chancel, formed and marched outside, where they stood at open order, arms reversed. They were followed by the students and clergy, in [9/10] procession, as on entering the chapel. Outside the chapel they halted and opened ranks for the passage of the pall-bearers, Messrs. David Ferguson, of Milwaukee, Richard Humphrey, of Nashotah, and Messrs. Hinckley and Gurney, of Summit. The casket was borne to the hearse by the following students: R. R. Upjohn, Charles R. D. Crittenton, Joseph Jameson, W.S.C. Agnew, E. C. Rowden, J. E. Curzon, R. Jefferson, C. H. Hartman.
The procession, to bear the remains to their last resting place in the quiet cemetery adjoining the mission, formed as follows: Assistant master of ceremonies, Rev. S. T. Smythe; Cross-bearer; Students of Nashotah House; Alumni; Faculty of Racine College; Faculty of Nashotah House; Trustees of Nashotah House; Bishops McLaren, Seymour, Robertson and Welles; hearse, with cadets with reversed arms as a guard of honor, and Pall-bearers; carriages containing Mrs. Dr. Cole, Miss Cole, Lucius Cole, L. Bowers, Miss K. Berford, Mrs. Dr. Adams, Miss VanDeusen, Racine; Rev. Mr. Pray, Mrs. Dr. Kemper, Mrs. Humphrey; Vestry of S. Sylvanus; Students of S. John's School; Citizens. The procession, as it wound its way through the mission grounds, presented a beautiful spectacle, the white robes of the students and clergy contrasting with the brilliant autumn coloring, in which, each tree seemed to vie for precedence with its neighbor.
Arriving at the grave, the sentences were read by Rev. Dr. Keene; the committal by Bishop Seymour, Bishop Welles closing the services.
To Dr. Adams, the old associate of the deceased President, was assigned the last duty of casting the earth upon the casket when the body was committed to the grave.
The Faculty of Nashotah reverently and lovingly place on record their sense of the grievous loss which has befallen themselves, the House and its students, the cause of education for the ministry, and the whole American Church, in the death of the Rev. Azel Dow Cole, D.D., for thirty-five years the honored and revered President of Nashotah House.
Accepting his office at a time when the outlook was most discouraging, he has for more than a generation, in good report and evil report, in prosperity and adversity, pursued the even tenor of his way, ever steadfast in faith, abounding in hope, continuing instant in prayer. None but those who have known him well can appreciate the heavy burden he has so long and so cheerfully borne,, in presiding over an institution which from the beginning has been a venture of faith, and whose only support has been the alms of the faithful.
A life devoted to this sacred work has been closed by a peaceful and holy death in the LORD, surrounded by loving colleagues and students, and cheered by the knowledge that the Master's blessing has never more richly poured out upon the object of his labors and love and prayers.
With tenderest sympathy for the bereaved family, we prayerfully commend them to the care and love of the Holy Comforter.
E. R. WELLES, Bishop of Wisconsin,
Acting President of Nashotah House.
LEWIS A. KEMPER, Sec'y of Faculty.
OCTOBER 16, 1886.
At a special meeting of the students of Nashotah House, held in the old chapel on this day, the following preamble and resolutions were adopted:
WHEREAS, In His all-wise Providence, it has pleased Almighty GOD to remove from our midst our beloved President, generous benefactor and warm friend, the Rev. Dr. A. D. Cole, whom we have loved as a father, honored as a theologian, obeyed as a master worthy of our loyal fidelity,--doing as our pastor all that we could desire, and by his lofty example of patience, steadfastness and self-denial inspiring us to like virtues;
Resolved, That we feel most keenly the loss indicted upon us by his departure to Paradise, and that we sympathize most deeply with the members of his family, so sadly bereaved;
Resolved, That in the death of the Rev. Dr. Cole, Nashotah House and the Church at large have lost a faithful priest, whose power and influence have been widely exerted and widely felt, and whose work has accomplished much for the glory of GOD and the conservation of the Faith in the American Church;
Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be signed by all the students of the seminary, and presented to Mrs. Cole as a token of our tender sympathy, and also that copies be sent to the Church papers.
CHARLES H. S. HARTMAN.
JOHN H. SELLERS,
SIDNEY T. SMYTHE,
W. J. CLARKE AGNEW,
ALEX. AUG. CAIRNS,
C. H. D. CRITTENTON,
JOHN O. FERRIS,
RICHARD R. UPJOHN,
JOHN E. CURZON,
RALPH T. JEFFERSON,
E. LASCELLES JENNER,
WM. H. MORRISON,
H. A. L. PEAHODY,
ED. C. M. ROWDEN,
R. B. WHIPPLE,
NASHOTAH HOUSE, Oct. 19, 1885.
 RESOLUTIONS OF THE ALUMNI PRESENT AT THE BURIAL.
Since it has pleased our Heavenly Father to give rest unto our beloved friend and brother, so many years the President and Rector of our Alma Mater, we pray Him to grant us grace ever to follow his saintly example of brave patience, self-denial, and unwearied toil for Christ and His Church.
May divine consolation soothe the sorrow of his afflicted family, and may we all at last with him be comforted with the rest that remaineth for the people of GOD.
THE ALUMNI OF NASHOTAH HOUSE,
MILWAUKEE, Nov. 19, 1885.
RESOLUTIONS OF THE TRUSTEES OF NASHOTAH HOUSE.
The Trustees of Nashotah House, at their first meeting after the death of its late President, desire to place on record their grateful appreciation of his entire devotion to the interests of the House for a period of thirty-five years.
Entering upon his work at Nashotah at a very critical period of her existence, he has carried on that work with unflagging energy, unwearied zeal, devout patience and a faith unparalleled we think in the history of Church work in this country.
The Trustees earnestly submit that the Church in the United States is greatly indebted to the Rev. Dr. Cole for his labors in promoting the education of young men for the ministry, in stimulating the offerings of the faithful, and in his noble example of unwearied trust throughout the eventful period of the history [13/14] of the Church which was comprised within the term of his official relation to Nashotah House.
GOD has granted rest to the good Doctor.
The Trustees extend their kindliest sympathy to the wife and children in their bereavement.
Your Committee beg to offer the following resolution:
Resolved, That the Executive Committee are hereby authorized to have printed a memorial volume of the late Dr. Cole, embracing the last sermon preached by him, the memorial sermon by the Bishop of Fond du Lac, and the various resolutions passed by the Trustees and Students in connection with his death.
R. F. SWEET, Chairman Committee.
RESOLUTIONS OF THE BISHOP WELLES' BROTHERHOOD.
The Bishop Welles Brotherhood record the great loss they have sustained in the death of their reverend friend and ardent supporter, the Rev. Azel Dow Cole, S.T.D., President of Nashotah House. An associate member of the Brotherhood, he took a lively interest in our publication of the Scholiast, ever giving us his warm encouragement, and ever ready to advise us in our difficulties. Grant him, O LORD, Eternal Rest, and may Light Perpetual shine upon him.
JOSEPH JAMESON, Superior.
C. H. LEMON, Deacon.
S. T. SMYTHE, Deacon.
H. H. WELLER, Priest and Chaplain
H. B. ST. GEORGE, Jr. Priest.
J. M. FRANCIS, Deacon.
E. S. WELLES.
[15 ] IN MEMORIAM.
ENTERED INTO THE REST OF PARADISE, AT NASHOTAH, OCT. 15,1885,
THE REV. AZEL D. COLE, S.T.D., PRESIDENT OF NASHOTAH HOUSE.
There is sorrow to-day in many a heart,
There are tears to-day that well and start
From eyes unaccustomed to weep.
For there by the side of Nashotah's lake,
Where the rippling waves still rise and break,
Where the granite Cross and the Chapel bell
All tell of the work he loved so well--
The Master has fallen asleep.
And far and wide through the Church's fold,
Will shepherds pause as the knell is tolled,
The sound with tears to greet.
And turning aside from their flocks to-day,
Look back through the years that have passed away,
To the days that distance can not fade,
When 'neath Nashotah's peaceful shade
They sat at the Master's feet.
And far and wide o'er the Church's field
Springs fruit untold, with its ceaseless yield
From seed that his hand has sown;
And not till the light of the Harvest Morn
Shall gladden the world with its golden dawn,
Will the boundless scope of that earnest life,
With its dauntless faith and its noble strife,
To reapers of earth be known.
Then bring not buds for his garland fair.
Nor flowers that fade--too fragile to bear
The burden and heat of the day;
But bring fresh sheaves of golden wheat,
Meet emblems true of the life complete,
And bind them close with autumn leaves,
Till rich and full the tale it weaves
Of the life that has passed away.
GRAHAMTON, KY. L.L.R.
St. Matthew, V., 14: A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
St. Matthew, VI., 33: Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.
Nashotah has entered upon her forty-fourth year. Though there is more to be seen here than in 1842, the real circumstances are very similar. It was a venture of faith then to begin. It is a like venture to-day to go on. The Lord in His mercy guided those beginning in 1842, almost on this very spot, to build. The same mercy has gathered us here to continue the good work. The Lord has watched over the work all these years. He will continue to do so if we are faithful to Him and to the past. The helm of the good ship has been in the hand of the Lord Jesus, so that one only course could be run. On that course Nashotah is running to-day. There have been not a few storms, terrible gales, no little thunder, not a few boisterous waves. Because the course has not been changed, the ship rides with the hand of the Lord still on the helm.
The times are also very similar. In 1842 a strange apathy pervaded the Church--a very respectable, attractive quiet. Good care was taken not to make anybody very uncomfortable. There were many useful demonstrations of the one Apostolic ministry, of the grace of regeneration in Holy Baptism, of the one Church, the one [16/17] Lord, the one Baptism, the one Faith. It was shown clearly that the Church of Christ ought to possess the land. The example of Him who had not where to lay His head, and of those His servants who counted not their lives dear to themselves, were extolled, pronounced worthy of imitation. All this and much more on paper. All frequently uttered. Any effort to act it out was deemed injudicious, causing too much excitement. Zeal was a good thing in the days of the Apostles--a good thing for the generations immediately after--but out of place in the nineteenth century.
Into this apathy came the Daily Prayer and the Weekly Eucharist of Nashotah--its missionary zeal, its effort to work for the Lord in simple confidence in Him. Apathy was compelled to give place to hearty approval or to hearty condemnation. There was not a little hearty condemnation. There was enough hearty approval to uphold the effort. The Lord opened hearts and hands to keep the venture from perishing. For a few years efforts to imitate Nashotah, and efforts to counteract her influence, kept things lively and healthful. Nashotah was a most useful fulcrum for every lever--her merits or her demerits were made available for the furtherance of many enterprises.
The condition of the Church to-day is analogous to that in 1842 Then there was great unwillingness to act out the truth. To-day there is great unwillingness to have any truth to act out. A legion of evils afflict the Body of Christ, all tending to unhappy results. Some say there is no personal God--only a power making for righteousness. Allied to this is the notion, too widespread, that science should be more studied than theology. Some declare that the Lord Jesus delivered no faith--to be kept by His Church through the ages. Some would have the Church do this or that, rather than use her old weapons of prayer, faith, and work. Culture is deemed by some of more consequence than Christ. Philosophy is valued more than the Gospel. Christianity is deemed a mere sentiment. The Bible is substituted for the Church, the pillar and ground of the truth. That great society, described by St. Paul as the witness of Him that filleth all in all, is despised. What that great society brings down to us from the beginning, must give place to the fancies of men. The Gospel narratives are [17/18] spoken of as the compositions of those who thought that their supposed Master ought to have raised the dead and healed the sick--ought to have delivered the discourses in the synagogue, in the temple, and to His disciples. The rising wave makes it possible for teachers to declare that the Twenty-second Psalm has no connection with Jesus, and that the Prophet Isaiah does not (in the fifty-third chapter) speak of Christ, but of himself or some other man. Indifference, near akin to a denial of the truth, pervades the Church to-day.
The founder of Nashotah, now in Paradise, inscribed on her seal, "To the Rescue." Nashotah, by the Lord's blessing, rescued the Church from the apathy of 1842. The Lord in His mercy may use the same instrumentality to rescue His Church from the indifference of 1885.
To this second rescue, brethren, I solicit your consecration of yourselves. Let us all work together, and then from this city set on an hill shall go forth light and warmth for the Church. Let us, brethren, unite in making Nashotah a model of order, study, and devotion. Our appointments are few. If every one give himself up to the prompt meeting of them all, it will contribute immensely to the power of Nashotah for good. Our appointments concern our meals, our recitations, and our Chapel services. Every one should be present promptly and join in the grace before every meal. Every one should be present promptly at every recitation, and never come to any recitation unprepared. Every one should be present and unite in every procession, without a failure to do so throughout the year. These are very easy requirements, and are made very easy indeed if we be moved by love for Christ and His Church.
Various considerations unite to support my entreaty. It is true manliness to do so. He is the true man who governs his life by honor and conscience. It is but yielding to the claims of honor for every one to meet all these appointments constantly. The conscience demands that we attend to all these duties with steadfast alacrity.
It is Christian to do so. Let us begin with the lower, and briefly ascend to the highest of these requirements. Prompt [18/19] attendance at meal times helps us to overcome our tendency to sloth. We are all baptized, and are under solemn vows to be Christ's faithful soldiers in the fight against the world, the flesh, and the devil. Sloth--whatever its form, whether of a little more slumber, or the being a few seconds behind the time, or the putting off of the doing a duty or wholly neglecting it, indifferent to consequences on our own character or on the welfare of others--is one of the works of the devil. He that yields in any degree to sloth, trifles with his own salvation. It should be our greatest happiness, by promptness to our meals, to make such needful renunciation of the devil and all his works. Deem it not a small matter. The Father in heaven, who notices the falling of a sparrow to the earth, notes all these things. He knows nothing as a mere trifle in our daily lives.
We pass on to promptness in attending the Recitation Room and preparation for our duty there. Our theological course, second to none in the land, claims every hour possible for study. It demands of you an interest in each item, making up the whole. A single absence often mars the good result of diligent study. One neglect of preparation frequently obscures for a lifetime the doctrine to be apprehended.
Our highest duty is the worship of the Holy, blessed and glorious Jehovah, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three persons and one God. Our morning and evening prayer, and our frequent celebration of the Holy Communion, crown the edifice of our duties here. Our daily worship is our daily life. We thus teach and admonish one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. The accessories our Heavenly Father permits us to have, give us opportunities to "worship in the beauty of holiness," while the Holy Communion gives us spiritual food and lifts us up to their company and their songs of praise, who continually cry, "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts."
The complete abandon of yourselves to these duties of promptness, prayer, and praise will raise you to an increasing new life in Christ. You will thus add to your prayer, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven"--daily obedience. The requirements of the institution are parts of that law your Father in Heaven has [19/20] placed around you. His Providence has thus given you a frame upon which to work out the fulness of the Christian character." He gives you hero room to deny yourselves--a road to bring you daily nearer God.
Great, beyond words fully to describe, is the blessing of such self-surrender, to Nashotah. It will be known all through the Church that there is one Theological Seminary where all the students are in earnest, prompt in all things, constant in their studies, unceasing in their prayers. This peculiarity will be a great attraction. There are many earnest souls among the young men of the Church weary of indifference and longing for a really devout life--for a shelter for a time from the denials of the day--that they may contemplate Catholic truth in the fulness of her power, and thus be prepared to go forth to teach the Gospel of Christ by word and by deed--its the Apostles taught it, as Ignatius, Polycarp, and Irenaeus held it and died for it. If Athanasius could come for a time to the Church in America, he might miss some things here of great value in his judgment, but nowhere else could he feel more at home.
The more earnest and constant we are the more surely the powers of the world to come will be on our side. That great cloud of witnesses spoken of by St. Paul, will be near us. Angels sent forth to minister to the heirs of salvation will be encamped around us. The hosts Elisha saw will be about us.
These benefits to Nashotah will be fraught with blessings to the whole Church in our land. The light from this city will be no uncertain light. It will be a positive ray among dubious glimmerings.
Alas! brethren, how far short of anything adequate to the example of Jesus and the truths He taught are these exhortations. When we think of the love of God in giving His Son for us--of the value of our souls purchased by the Blood of Jesus--of the terrible nature of our sins, how utterly short of what they should be are my entreaties that you seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. I see in you, brethren, the forlorn hope of the Church, and I cry out to you, "Once more to the breach, my dear friends, once more."
My dear brethren of the Clergy and Laity:
We may picture to ourselves, if we please, the Church's ritual year as ordered after the fashion of a vast cathedral. Eastward is the Holy of Holies. From Advent to Trinitytide the Church repeats the story of the Incarnation of her Lord, and of His one, full, sufficient atonement and satisfaction for the sins of the world. Through the Christmas windows flash in the bright radiance of the Day-Spring from on high. We see the simple shepherds and the white-robed choir and hear the song of love and peace. Good Friday shows the awful altar, stern, sombre, sorrowful, but quickly lighted up with Easter glories, when the wood whereon the Saviour hung bursts into beauteous foliage, and Christ risen from the dead becomes the first fruits of them that slept. Ascension Day brings us to the lofty throne of the Great Bishop and Shepherd of our Souls, from which He stretches to the eternal Father his nail-pierced hands in all-prevailing intercession, and lifts them over His ransomed people in boundless benediction. Over all the Whitsun Feast sheds its many-tinted light of grace and holiness, and breathes the peace that passeth understanding. Led down the succeeding months, again and again we are called to note the bright memorials of Apostles, and Evangelists, and the Holy Angels. Last of all, as in the West, and over the great gate of [21/22] time which opens out to eternity, the Church sets up the Feast of All Saints, to gather into one their sunset splendors.
As the innumerable company of the faithful pass on to their rest, all unconsciously to themselves, they cast back again over the Church on earth the rich, ripened, mellowed lustre of their holy lives. Millions have lived who, like St. Paul, were bold to confess the Son of the Living GOD; who, like St. John, were constant in love and patient in tribulation; and who, like all the Apostles and Evangelists, were preachers of truth and ministers of grace, were martyrs in will or deed. Millions have lived walking in their Master's steps, glorifying the true GOD in word and act, showing compassion to His poor, cheering widows, sheltering orphans, comforting the sick and friendless. These have made the Church of GOD amiable even in the eyes of wicked men. These, in fact, have wrested the world from the dominion of Satan and sin. Philosophy and art could invest the outside of human society with apparellings beautiful to the eye, but powerless to change the selfish heart of man or to guide his conscience. The polish of the ancient statues and their grace of form imparted neither tenderness to the hard marble nor infused blood into its veins. Sensuality, injustice, cruelty dominated the human race in its most refined and elegant conditions. It was given to obscure Apostles, enlightened with a wisdom not of this world; to priests, who offered themselves living sacrifices to GOD; to deacons, humbling themselves to serve the tables of the poor; to men and women bravely meeting daily labors and cares, and showing themselves wise fathers and unselfish mothers; to young men and women, overcoming the lusts of the flesh and living temperately, chastely and honestly among the dissolute and profane; to little children, obedient to their parents in the Lord; to servants and slaves, submissive gladly to the Master of Angels and men, it was given to these lowly Saints to win the earth for their GOD. It is to them, under GOD, that we owe to-day the comparative purity of the social life in which we have part, our enjoyment of wise and equitable laws, the ordinary protection of our lives and of the fruits of our toil, and, in brief, our liberty to learn and to do our Master's will.
Surely, it is impossible to duly estimate the debt we owe [22/23] departed saints for their faith, their courage and their love. Hence, we linger in the sunset glow of the All Saints' Feast, and are reluctant to turn our hearts and minds away. While the season lasts, in some rapid retrospect we attempt to recall the noble deeds of those prophets and worthies who "through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of aliens, had trials of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover, of bonds and imprisonment, were stoned, were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword; of those that wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, were destitute, afflicted, tormented"; of the heroic Bishops that, like the Good Shepherd Himself, laid down their lives for the flock; of the truthful doctors that insisted upon handing down, pure and undented, the faith once delivered to the Saints; of the self-denying missionaries that ventured through burning heat, or bitter cold, to carry to heathen tribes the knowledge and grace of God. Of all these we have had some thought, however brief, and for all these we have offered our Lord some word of thanksgiving. No doubt each of us has dwelt lovingly on the memory of some holy person with whom his own life has been more closely linked. Tears have filled our eyes while with our lips we have uttered thanksgivings as we have meditated on the beautiful characters of our parents, of our brothers and sisters, of our venerated pastors, teachers, and trusted friends. For their good examples we glorify GOD. With new emphasis we repeat to ourselves St. Paul's words and say: Wherefore, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.
In view of our past sorrows and joys, and of those that may yet be in our portion to taste, we understand why the Church demands that each of us, when he confesses his faith in the Holy Trinity, should recognize the fulness of the joy and strength of that faith, and as undoubtingly as he avers, I believe in GOD, the Father Almighty; I believe in Jesus Christ, His Son; I believe in the Holy Ghost, to add the glad confession, "I believe in the [23/24] Communion of Saints." I believe that GOD the Father hath so loved the world that He has sent His only begotten Son into the world that He may give to all His children the Spirit of eternal holiness and life. I believe that the Son of GOD is the living vine of whom each Christian man, whether in the visible world or out of it, is a living branch. I believe that all that are one in Him are one in each other. I believe that in Him there is a spiritual unity of His members and children that nothing can weaken or break. I believe that in Him there is endless vigor, unfailing love, peace profound. I believe that in Him there is fellowship with the Father and the Holy Ghost, with angels and archangels, and all the hosts of heaven, with the spirits of just men made perfect, and with all the faithful on earth. I believe in a brotherhood and home never disturbed or ruptured by death. I believe in a communion of faith and worship, of prayer and praise, by spirits departed and by spirits in the flesh. I believe in the Communion of Saints.
You well know, my dear brethren, beloved professors and students of Nashotah House, and members of St. Sylvanus' Parish, why to-day I lead your thoughts to this most comfortable doctrine of the Communion of Saints. GOD, most merciful and wise, has taken away your Head and Pastor, and Brother and Friend. Your hearts are sorely wounded. But it would be unjust to the earnest teachings of those venerated lips, so lately made mute, if I addressed you as other than believing souls, whose sorrows are lightened and tempered by a knowledge of revealed truth and a confident hope of the life beyond the grave. Invited by the Faculty of Nashotah House to preach a sermon in memory of our departed President, here where he was wont to serve and teach, I have hardly known how to accept a duty which I can discharge very inadequately, or how to decline a task so honorable and proper to be performed. I feel sure, however, that nothing more gladdened the heart of our revered brother than the belief that he was a member of the Holy Catholic Church; that all unworthy, he had a place in the Communion of Saints, and that, out of sight and hearing, would still be one with his earthly companions and friends in the body of his Lord, and receive and give such spiritual blessings as may be possible through such divine relationships. What [24/25] his wise and loving intercession for us may be we know not. For him we say, Let light perpetual shine upon him. Give him, O Lord, Thy peace.
A brief statement of the chief events in the life of the late President of Nashotah House, is all that can be attempted at the present time. Azel Dow Cole was born in Sterling, Connecticut, December 1, 1818. Neither of his parents was identified with the Church, his father being in religious faith a Congregationalist, and his mother a devout and intelligent Methodist. At the age of ten years he was sent to Plainfield Academy, of which John H. Witter, LL.D., was principal. Dr. Witter was, in his day, a tutor of high renown, and entrusted by gentlemen in various parts of the country with the education of their sons. It was the opinion of Dr. Cole that he owed very much to the mental and moral training of this able and thorough man.
In 1835 young Mr. Cole entered Brown University, of which the famous Dr. Francis Wayland was president, being sufficiently prepared to enter the sophomore class. One of his classmates states, that at his first recitation in mathematics he went immediately to the front rank, which he afterwards easily maintained, no one thinking of disputing the position with him.
It is noteworthy that his mother, fearing that he might be influenced to become a Churchman if he should be educated at Hobart College, in which a scholarship was offered him, chose to bear the cost of sending him to an institution the tendencies of which were, in an opposite direction. But the young man formed an intimacy with Alexander Burgess, the present Bishop of Quincy, and was invited by him to attend the ministrations of the Rev. Alexander H. Vinton, D.D., rector of Grace Church, Providence, Rhode Island. He soon saw clearly his duty to GOD, and was baptized and presented for Holy Confirmation by Dr. Vinton. In 1838, having graduated from Brown University, he was matriculated at the General Theological Seminary, New York, having among his classmates the present Bishops of Western New York and Quincy, and William Adams, James Lloyd Breck and John Henry Hobart, the founders of Nashotah House. Having graduated from the Seminary in 1841, he was, on July 22d of the same year, made deacon, in the old Grace Church, Providence, Rhode Island, by the Right [25/26] Reverend Dr. Griswold. In November, 1841, he was called to the rectorship of St. James' Church, Woonsocket, R.I., and entered upon the duties thereof, being ordained priest in the same church, by Bishop Griswold, in December, 1842. April 19, 1843, he married Miss Betsey Perry Bowers, daughter of Captain Perry Bowers, of Pomfret, Connecticut. Having spent nearly four years in his first charge, the Rev. Mr. Cole became rector of St. Luke's Church, Kalamazoo, Michigan, July 18, 1845. Here also he passed four years, accepting the rectorship of St. Luke's Church, Racine, Wisconsin, in December, 1849. His rectorship at Racine covered the period of only nine months. In May, 1850, he was elected President of Nashotah House, and on the 1st of September following, assumed the great responsibilities of that office and entered upon his life work. For thirty-five years his labor was incessant for the development, support and strengthening of the institution confided to his care. In season and out of season Nashotah's interests were uppermost in his thoughts, the subject of his prayers, his conversation, his plans and his toils. His example continually enforced the precepts of missionary diligence which he enjoined upon the younger members of the House. Besides filling the pastorship of St. Sylvanus' Church, which for all these years has demanded his presence here each Sunday morning, for three years he officiated each Sunday afternoon at Oconomowoc, succeeding the Rev. Dr. Adams as rector of Zion Church. He aided and encouraged Mr. John Fryer in building the Church of the Holy Innocents, Nashotah Station. For some time he served the Church of St. John Chrysostom, Delafield, and also the Parish at North Lake. For many years Hartland received his fostering care. He established also a Mission at St. Mary's, Waterville, where he finally built a beautiful stone church. The little church in Summit was also in his hands. Nothing gave him more genuine delight than to exercise his holy ministry in these weak places, especially in giving them, as frequently us possible, the Holy Eucharist. Certainly toils like these would quickly have broken down a man of less ardent zeal or physical and spiritual vigor, than were granted to the Rev. Dr. Cole. But these were only supplemental to his care of the manifold and harassing business of a great educational institution like Nashotah. [26/27] They speak with no uncertain sound of his willingness to spend and to be spent in the service of his Divine Master.
To perfect this record, it is necessary that we note also that many other demands were made on the sympathy, wisdom and courage of this laborious servant of the Church, in addition to those that were so willingly recognized in connection with Nashotah House and the missionary field to which it is central. The Standing Committee of the Diocese, and numberless minor committees, the Board of Missions, the General Convention, Racine College, the Cathedral, all received at different times the interested attention of Dr. Cole. It was a recognition of his sterling qualities that he was nominated by many of his brethren for the Episcopate made vacant by the death of Bishop Armitage, and although not elected, he ever wielded a personal influence in the councils of the diocese, not exceeded perhaps by that of any other priest. It was a token that his scholarly merits were not undiscerned by educated men, that in 1852 he received the degree of D.D., from Norwich University, Vermont, and in 1883 the degree of S.T.D., from his Alma Mater, Brown University.
This outline of the more conspicuous incidents in the life of Dr. Cole gives us, however, no satisfactory view of the, man, the priest, the President of Nashotah. In this presence it is hardly necessary to say that our late venerated chief was by no means an ordinary person. We have seen him here of late, like one of the old oaks still standing about this chapel, shorn of the charming exuberance that belongs to early youth, tempest beaten and scarred, but majestic still in sturdy strength and independence. He was a man upon whom other men almost involuntarily leaned, and whom they instinctively trusted. We are not surprised to read in a letter of Dr. Breck, written to his sister in 1850, this reference to his successor: "But whilst I am going away from Nashotah, it is made less painful by reason of the excellent man, the Rev. Azel D. Cole, that is expected to become its head next week--a man in whom we all have the greatest confidence, and with whom I have had the most intimate acquaintance for years." Or this further statement, made in a communication to Miss Edwards, in June of the same year: "But what of Nashotah? Thank GOD, [27/28] here also I can take courage. The Rev. A. D. Cole was elected unanimously President of Nashotah House, and he has accepted. The next question is, who is Mr. Cole? I am happy in knowing and in being able to tell you. He is a Connecticut born and bred man. To this you will not object. He was three years a classmate of the founders of Nashotah House, in the General Theological Seminary; an intimate friend of Brother Adams. Besides, in his ministry he has displayed great zeal, devotion and industry, united to a practical turn of mind. He has a long head, that is clearness and foresight, so that I truly look for greater things in the second stage of Nashotah than in its first. All this is full of great promise to the Church." What the new President thought of his position he has clearly stated in the address that he made in Nashotah Chapel on the twenty-fifth anniversary of his coming into residence. "The other memory of that first year," he says, "is the strangeness of the change from ordinary parochial work to the new and peculiar task of caring for the great interests so unexpectedly entrusted to me. In the parish there was some prospect of daily support; here there was nothing for the morrow. Not only myself and family thus situated, but also my brother professor and his household, and the fourteen students; the daily bread for us all to come by the daily mail. And if the gifts of the Church did not come to me, whose fault would it be? You well know, beloved, that when one builds upon another man's foundation he is most peculiarly situated. If he build successfully it is not to his credit; success is the natural result of the foundation laid. If he fail, the blame is wholly his--an aggravated blame, because he has not only missed of success, but also brought ruin upon the well matured plans of his predecessor. I very soon saw this feature of my position. The only possible good result to any amount of exertion would be the bare escape from blame, so far as man and this world are concerned. At the same time I was utterly helpless, except as the Lord in His mercy might aid me. My only comfort and support were in the divine promise: 'Put thou thy trust in the Lord, and be doing good; dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.' How can I sufficiently honor that Lord in whom I trusted? How can I adequately glorify His Name, who [28/29] that first year and all the years since has blessed and prospered Nashotah? Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy Name give the praise; for Thy loving mercy and for Thy truth's sake."
The secret of Dr. Cole's strength of character is here revealed. Men found him steadfast and strong because he himself trusted in the mighty GOD. It was to this confidence in GOD that he owed his equipoise of temper, his steadiness of purpose, his patience under disappointment, his humility, cheerfulness, hopefulness and boldness.
He would have belied the State which gave him birth if he had lacked that shrewd penetration of character that is more nearly allied to the wisdom of the serpent than to the innocence of the dove. If tradition be true, the quaint sharp wit which voiced itself in Dr. Cole in epigrams, often exceedingly clever, was honestly his by inheritance, as it was his mother's possession before him. He was not quick in giving his confidence to men, unless, perhaps, to candidates for Holy Orders, in whom he always saw something admirable and whom he loved with all his soul. But when he trusted a friend he trusted him fully. His temperament was really ardent. It was natural to him to put his principles into practice. He was never content with theorizing, but wished to do and be as he believed to be true and right. Such a nature could easily have developed into the character of an extremist. It chafed under repression. Reverence for the voice of the Church, clear recognition of the noble qualities of men that differed from him, tender-heartedness as to the anxieties, the necessities, the griefs of others seemed to balance, restrain and soften his opinions and to guide his acts, he would press the measures that he thought wise to the furthest point possible, but if overruled or defeated, bear the disappointment patiently, as coming from a wisdom and power greater than that of man. Certainly the men that differed from him, and they were not a few--because every positive character arrays against itself more or less of antagonism--certainly the men that differed from him always respected his manliness and his truthfulness.
Dr. Cole was fond of method and order in connection with things spiritual and secular. Hence, he was accurate in little [29/30] things pertaining to ordinary business and to the service of the Sanctuary. He was very observant of the courtesies of refined life, too much neglected in these days of hurry and matter of fact. But with all the punctiliousness, carefulness of detail, and frugality that marked the Doctor's relations with men and things, there was no wavering of his aims nor over-prudence. He had an unlimited faith in the future of Nashotah, and drew so boldly on it us sometimes to frighten others that could not see in the future all that he discerned. Nashotah, in his judgment, was an embodiment of Church thought and life, and he was unwilling that it should present to the world anything that even seemed mean, petty or ungenerous. It delighted him to welcome to these beautiful grounds Churchmen from all quarters of the land, strangers visiting the neighborhood, and especially the Alumni of the House. The cost of such hospitable, entertainment he never doubted would come with other similar expenses from the Giver of the daily bread. You all know how strong a hold he had on the esteem and affection of the people in this neighborhood. The recognition of his integrity, sincerity and benevolence was universal. He was, morally, a tower of strength to the community, and the loss to it by his death is really great.
I may not say much of the sweet and holy relations that he ever maintained with his family. A loving and devoted husband, a wise and tender father, he has left to those that were nearest and dearest to him the memory of an exalted and noble life that will grow more and more precious to them as they discover how rare and joyous such a legacy is.
The bare recital of the regular work voluntarily undertaken by Dr. Cole suggests his estimation of the grandeur and importance of his priestly office. With him a perfunctionary rendering of his holy duties was an impossibility. He knew the priesthood not as a profession, but as an order and life. It was his desire to tread closely in the footsteps of his holy Saviour, and to feed the flock committed to his charge. To win souls for GOD, to unite them to the Second Adam in Holy Baptism, to feed them with the Heavenly Food of the Blessed Eucharist, was his profoundest joy. Rejecting the prejudices and traditions of his own youth, it was difficult [30/31] for him to understand the tardiness of Churchmen in pressing the claims of Christ's Kingdom on the attention of the men of the age, and their cowardice in using all that belonged to their heritage. The multiplication of dioceses by those that believed in Apostolic ministration seemed to him very slow. He could see no reason why, in an age of wealth and refinement of taste, the palaces of the Lord should not everywhere he "exceedingly magnifical." He believed that GOD met His people in His Holy places and in His own ordinances. He loved the House of GOD. Every hour in its courts was an hour near paradise and heaven. Hence, when traveling, he would search for a celebration of the Holy Communion, and, without regard to his own convenience, thankfully seek the presence and peace of his Saviour. I have myself met him repeatedly, in eastern cities, at hours and places to which nothing but genuine heartfelt devotion could have drawn him. You will testify, dear brethren of St. Sylvanus' Parish, how faithfully and willingly he manifested to you the whole counsel of GOD, and broke among you the bread of life. You have reason to sorrow that you will see his face no more. Yet may I not add, At the last day you will be his crown of rejoicing?
If you will go back in thought thirty-five years and contrast Nashotah House as it is to-day with what it was then, you will agree with me, I am sure, that President Cole's administration has borne solid results of great value now and for the, time to come, There is a period in the development of holy works which demands great ventures of faith, heroic self-denials, enthusiasm which nothing in dim nor daunt. But it is as much the Church's duty to keep as to win, to repair as to build, to nourish as to beget. The story of this House opens a new chapter in the spiritual experience of the, Church in this country. It proves that there is deep down in the hearts of our clergy faith as keen, devotion as intense, self-sacrifice as complete as marked the early days of Christianity. It proves that our Lord takes note, as of old, of the faith, the labors, the necessities of His Saints, and prospers His work in their hands. Considering the time and circumstances of the founding of this House, we can not think but that it was nothing but the love of GOD that constrained the little band of [31/32] missionaries to plant here in the wilderness a fortress of the faith. It cost them much. It meant for each and every one of them frugality, self-restraint, poverty, hardship, lonesomeness, misrepresentation, and loss of friendship. They did what they meant to do. And the Church is proud of her heroic sons.
But President Cole saw that it belonged to him to plead with the Church to make this House a lasting foundation for theological education and missionary training. He appealed to the Church both for daily bread and for an endowment that would provide for the continuance of the work of this House when its early history should be obscured, and when other labors should demand the prompt and generous assistance hitherto granted Nashotah. With characteristic persistency he pressed his plea, and not in vain. The temporary buildings have given place, little by little, to edifices permanent, capacious and comely. One professorship has been endowed in full, and good progress made to provision for another. Days of bitter trial have come now and again to the House--times of panic, of business distress, of civil war and ecclesiastical dissension. And this could not be otherwise. The Church is in the world and must share in its infirmities and vicissitudes. But day ever conquers the night. Righteousness, truth, love in the end must be triumphant. Times of distress soften men's hearts, discussion settles opinions and clears the truth, and oven personal antagonisms which spring up among the best and holiest of men, more easily, perhaps, among earnest and intense natures than among those that merely play at living, disappear as the great white throne comes into sight, and men feel that they must forgive and love to be forgiven and blessed.
It is a cause of thankfulness that President Cole was spared to see the probable success of his most cherished plans. The indebtedness of this House, accrued in times of difficulty, is steadily crumbling; the buildings are mostly in excellent repair; the Holy place cleansed and beautified, the service enriched, old friendships revived, students increasing in numbers and zealous to serve the Church wisely and well, peace and harmony in all departments of the House. Probably the last few weeks of the President's life were among the happiest of his experience here. And so he fell asleep in the LORD, and rested from his labors.
 I can easily imagine, honored members of the Faculty, especially you that have labored with Dr. Cole these many years of difficulty, that the departure from this life of your President is a solemn and trying event. You have taken sweet counsel with each other and with him for the upbuilding of the Kingdom of GOD. You have advised with each other as to the common work. Now and then, for a while, you have borne each other's burdens. Your President more than once has led you on to new labors, and cheered and strengthened you. Now he leads you, and leads us all, not to a new work, but to a new rest; not to a wilderness, but to Paradise: to a House of GOD not built with hands, the home of all His Saints. There, indeed, is the seat of knowledge. There we shall behold the Logos, the very wisdom of GOD, and our souls shall rejoice.
But what shall I say of President Cole as the Father of this Household, the adviser, guide and friend of these sons of the Church. My dear young brethren, most of you have known the late President only as he was passing under the shadow of death and touched already with physical infirmity. But how considerate you found him of your needs, how desirous to promote your comfort, how jealous of your good name, how ambitious that as good men, good scholars, good priests, you should prove that Nashotah House was true to the duty she had undertaken to fulfil with you, and that you should be thoroughly ready for the holy work before you. It would not be true to say that Dr. Cole never made mistakes, never misunderstood men, was never unjust or impatient. Perfection is not given to man this side of Paradise. But the heart of the late Head of Nashotah House was rarely at fault, because it was fixed on GOD. You do not know the anxieties that are connected with the management, in this generation, of an institution like this. It is not necessary that you should feel them, because you are yet the Church's wards. But Dr. Cole felt them and he knew what to do with them. Pre-eminently he was a man of faith and prayer. That you may be like him in these respects, I will mention a late incident in his life. This last summer there was a period of more than usual difficulty. But at last relief came in GOD'S own way. President Cole was seen to go [33/34] to his study and to write carefully, in that tremulous hand that had become familiar to some of us, these words, in which, I think, you read his inmost soul:
"O most mighty and gracious GOD, Thy mercy is over all Thy works, but has been in a special manner extended towards Nashotah in this wonderful relief. We bless and magnify Thy glorious Name; and beseech Thee to make us truly sensible of the greatness of this Thy mercy. Give us hearts always ready to express our thankfulness, not only by words, but also by our lives, in being more obedient to Thy Holy Commandments. Continue, we beseech Thee, this Thy goodness to us, and enable us to serve Thee in holiness and righteousness all the days of our life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.
"O Almighty GOD, the Ruler of the thoughts and hearts of all men, we bless and magnify Thy great and glorious Name for this great relief. Give Thy grace to the authorities of Nashotah House, that they may wisely improve this great mercy to the setting forth of Thy Glory, to the advancement of Thy Gospel, to the building up in all lands of thy Holy Church, and to the good of all our race. Bestow upon us all, O Thou giver of every good gift, that true thankfulness of an humble, holy and obedient walking before Thee all our days, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, to Whom, with Thee and the Holy Ghost, as for all Thy mercies so for this great blessing be all glory, world without end.
I am at no pains, beloved, to elaborate my estimate of a character such as that which has gone from us. Surely "he was a good man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost." When I think of Bishops Kemper and Armitage, of Drs. Breck, de Koven, Lance and Cole, I am profoundly glad that the Church has taught me to say,