Project Canterbury


The Memorial to Dr. Pusey


A Sanctifying Purpose the Secret
of Success




ON S. MARK'S DAY, 1883






Together with a Letter by the Rev. H. P. Liddon, D.D.
and Certain Regulations adopted by the Memorial Committee











This Sermon,





R. F. W.



"A little one shall become a thousand; and a small one a strong nation: the Lord will hasten it in his time. "--Isa. lx. 22.

THERE is a very remarkable difference to be observed between the tone and character of the prophecies in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, as bearing on the onward progress and fortunes of the Church. In the Old Testament the tone and character of the prophecies is jubilant and triumphant. They describe in glowing and uplifting words a work of deliverance, of renewal, of advance, of victory. It may suffice to give a few instances by way of illustration, but they abound specially in the later chapters of the Prophet Isaiah.

"The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." [Isa. xi. 9; Hab. ii. 14.]

"Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the Lord hath comforted His people, and will have mercy upon His afflicted." [Isa. xlix. 13.]

"As the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth so the Lord will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations." [Isa. lxi. 11.]

"All thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children." [Isa. liv. 13.]

"Thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles." [Isa. liv. 3.]

[6] "My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee." [Isa. liv. 10]

"Kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers." [Isa. ix. 22.]

"A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in his time." [Isa. xlix. 23.]

"No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of Me, saith the Lord." [Isa. liv. 17.]

"The nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish . . . the sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the Lord; The Zion of the Holy One of Israel." [Isa. ix. 12-14.]

Contrast with these the warning prophecies of the New Testament--

"Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?" [Luke xviii. 8.]

"Because iniquity shall abound, the love of [the] many shall wax cold." [Matt. xxiv. 12.]

"Whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service." [John xvi. 2.]

"Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved." [Matt. xxiv. 22.]

"We are made as the filth of the earth, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day." [1 Cor. iv. 13.]

"Then shall that wicked [lawless one] be revealed, .. . whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness." [2 Thess. ii. 8-10.]

"This is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world." [John iv. 3.]

"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come." [2 Tim. iii. i.]

[7] "There shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable [destructive] heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them." [2 Pet. ii. 1.]

"The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine." [2 Tim. iv. 3.]

"There shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming?" [2 Pet. iii. 3, 4.]

"Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." [2 Tim. iii. 13. ]

Thus, whilst the old prophecies speak so brightly and confidently of deliverance, of renewal, of advance, and of victory, the later prophecies, on the very threshold of the work, and after its promulgation and beginning, describe decline, disappointment, corruption, failure.

On this diversity of tone it may be observed in general, that the older prophecies describe what would be the unbroken onward progress of the Church, if the instruments for carrying out the Divine purpose were true and faithful; while the prophecies of the New Testament describe what in fact would be the case, through the unfaithfulness and imperfections of those to whom the work is committed, and also through the wiles of the evil one, and opposition of men to the truth. In those prophecies of the Old Testament we have unfolded God's gracious and loving purposes for His redeemed, viewed apart from the imperfections and resistance of man, as in science you treat of forces in the abstract, apart from calculation of resistances; whilst the New Testament prophecies prepare us for the perverse action of the free-will of man, to which God's gracious offer is submitted.

But whether as regards individuals engaged in carrying on God's work, or as regards the Church at large, the prophecies both of the Old and New Testaments have this feature in common, that God's purposes must undoubtedly prevail. No untoward circumstances from without can turn back the final issue. As regards the Church, "the gates of hell shall not prevail against her." [Matt. xvi. 18.] Her great Head goes forth "conquering and to conquer," and His abiding presence shall be with her [7/8] unto the end of the world. As regards individuals, there is the assurance, "He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." [Matt. xxiv. 13.] "Be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." [I Cor. xv. 58.] Even where there is a removing of the candlestick, a darkening of the light once granted, as in the case of the seven Asiatic or the Churches of Africa, yet for each faithful one a way of safety and escape is promised. With the warning of searching trial and coming judgment, there is a promise of reward to each individual member of those several Churches, who shall persevere and abide faithful. "He that overcometh" shall lack neither deliverance nor reward. And the assurance is emphasized by the words, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches," either immediately preceding or immediately following the assurance, as if for special encouragement and comfort of every faithful soul even in the darkest and most trying times. [Rev. ii. 7, 11, 17, 26, 27, 28; iii 5, 12, 21.] Whatever the strength of opposition, however untoward the surrounding circumstances, however weak and unworthy the instruments, yet the truth of prophecy shall surely hold.

And thus we see, looking to their lives and acts, no discouragements affect the conduct of those engaged in the first promulgation of the gospel. Though themselves uttering warnings of failure and of the approach of increasingly "perilous times," though themselves under much tribulation and perplexity, yet their whole bearing, whether in present conduct or in provision for the future of the Church, is that of men sure of the result sooner or later; sure that their cause, as being the cause of God, must prevail; sure as regards themselves, if they continue faithful and true, that God will never leave them nor forsake them. Underlying present loss and failure is a full confidence of victory and triumph in the end. Thus the New Testament prophecies, though warnings of great and imminent peril, are not the utterance of despondency or expectation of failure. They in no way contradict the confidence of the prophet declaring the message of God: "So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My [8/9] mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." [Isa. lv. 11.]

Now, this is to be regarded as a general principle--a law in God's government of the world. It declares that His purpose never fails. What in His unsearchable counsels He has determined must certainly be fulfilled. It may be not according to our anticipations or according to its early promise. It may be that those who might have been honoured instruments for carrying on and advancing these designs turn away from what they might have accomplished, and miss the noble part they might have wrought. Nevertheless, God's purpose stands fixed. In that there can be no failure. And this, which is a great general law, has its application to particular cases. Even as regards individuals, it has its sure accomplishment, except where the human instrument is untrue to the divine purpose in its employment. There cannot be failure, however it may appear in immediate result.

See to what this points as a principle of action, as a remedy and strength against the rude shocks of disappointment and the wearing trials of real life. What is it that the human mind shrinks from and is depressed by as regards its schemes and purposes in life? What does the natural principle of emulation, the principatus appetitio, which the heathen philosopher pronounced an implanted principle in man's nature,--what does it specially dread? Failure. Or, to rise higher, what does every generous mind, every mind that sets noble aims and ends before it, and desires to promote them,--what does it shrink from? Failure. What does it crave for? Success: to accomplish some work for good and leave a mark beyond the limit of its own brief day. So the heathen poet desired to leave behind some more lasting memorial than a mural tablet or a lofty cenotaph; something which should defy both winds and rains and the lapse of years; some token that he should not altogether die; some memorial that should live. These were heathen aspirations.

But carry this thought on, and interpret it by what has come to us by Divine revelation. What is this craving? In other words, what does it betoken but man's need of a [9/10] sanctifying purpose in life, in order to fulfil the end of his being?--of a purpose which can raise him above failure, can satisfy his noblest aspirations, can sustain and cheer under every reverse of fortune or present disappointment? Where, then, and in what will this be found? Surely in a life which sets before it, and patiently and perseveringly follows out, these two great aims and ends--the glory of God and the present and future welfare of his fellow-man.

And, observe, these aims are separate from, and independent of, immediate visible results. To those who receive in faith our Lord and Judge's own description of the proceedings of the great judgment, and who therefore thankfully accept, though with awe and wonder, the assurance, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me,"--to such it is no figure of speech to speak of a work of imperishable renown, unknown in its greatness to the doer, and that receives not the witness of men, a work which, nevertheless, will one day have the witness of God, declaring its greatness and pronouncing its reward. [Matt. xxv. 45.] To the humblest among us this sanctifying purpose, this high aim of life, is set before us, and with it, in the promised aid of the Holy Spirit, large and ample means for carrying it out and accomplishing the will of God as well for our own as for others' welfare. For he, who rescues the ignorant and the helpless from the dangers of ignorance and the consequent dangers of sin, he who relieves the distresses and consoles the afflictions of his suffering brethren, from the love of God and desire to promote His glory, he is accomplishing God's work for them and for himself. Is there any one so humble in mind, in station, and opportunities, that may not bear part in this? Or is there any so exalted and so rich in opportunities, that this purpose may not employ all the very best and highest gifts, whether of nature or of grace? With most, indeed, the work will be unmarked except in the case of a greatly gifted and distinguished few; and even in the case of those few, with small appreciation of the noble character of the work they achieve or of the still nobler character of their reward. But what matter, though the course of most will not attract attention, but be humble and soon forgotten? If [10/11] you set forth in the strength of this sanctifying purpose, and in the light of faith and love, you may return to your lowly dwelling at the close of each day, forgotten by all but Him, though you may have held communion with but one brother man more lowly than yourself. Yet He who knoweth all things may know that you have endeavoured to heal the broken-hearted, to instruct the ignorant, to make the vile man liberal, and to promote God's glory by preparing another soul for the rest and peace of heaven.

Few they are whose gifts and graces and opportunities are such as to leave a great name behind them--a great name, I mean, in the kingdom of Christ on earth. And probably of those few a chief characteristic would be how little they aimed at such distinction, how little this thought came before them in the work of their lives, how unworthy they would have deemed themselves of it, and perhaps how little they would have welcomed it. Their hearts and minds rose higher. Their hearts' desire was to do God's work as best they could; personal considerations assumed a lower place. Little, I would venture to say, did John Keble aim at posthumous fame. Still less did it ever cross his mind what those who loved and revered his memory would be stirred to do; thereby, so far as in them lay, bringing to pass God's promise by the mouth of His prophet: "Unto him will I give in Mine house and within My walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters." [Isa. lvi. 5.] That thus the college called after his name should become a place and home of spiritual growth and strength to many a son who shall go forth from her walls; so that in years to come it may be said, "This and that man [i.e. all one by one] was nurtured in her." [Ps. lxxxvii. 4.]

And now to-day you are invited to couple another name with his of one who, more prominent in his ecclesiastical position, and more actively engaged in controversy, and more of a leader, was yet wont to describe John Keble as the master from whom he learned, and as the prime mover in that stirring in the Church which, by God's mercy, has effected so much for the maintenance of Catholic truth and for quickening the spiritual life and energies of her members.

And here it might be sufficient simply to mention that [11/12] your offerings to-day will be given to the Dr. Pusey Memorial Fund, as probably those now present are acquainted with the purposes to which we hope the fund will be applied. But some words of a distinguished member of the Oratory in France, in which he sets forth the aims and objects of that society, describe so exactly and so fully the work which we earnestly desire this Memorial Fund may promote, that I cannot forbear quoting them, although to many here the passage may be already known.

"To wrestle against the errors which assail faith, by seizing their own weapons and turning them against themselves; to set against a false, exclusive, self-seeking science, the most loyally true, the most liberal, the most disinterested learning; never to allow the enemy to pitch his tents and take possession of any point of human intelligence, but, apostlelike, to send forth missionaries into every branch of science, shedding upon all the light of revelation, and constraining all to promote the advance of Christ's kingdom to accept this permanent struggle under whatever changing circumstances may arise in different periods and different stages of civilization; to become all things to all men, in order to win every mind to the faith, every heart to the love, of Jesus Christ; and, as a necessary consequence, to do battle one while on the platform of Holy Scripture and Biblical exegesis, another while on that of philosophy, history, or natural science; or again, if need be, to track the winding evolutions of modern thought, refusing to allow antichristian science to confiscate the domain of social and political science, and monopolize it on behalf of reason, as revolting against faith; and to this end, unremittingly, never discouraged, never wearied, to go on blending prayer with study, sanctifying labour by meditation; spreading out to reach all wants and reducing the discordant notes of mere human learning to the great harmony of the One glorious Gospel of Christ;--such is the course which, in his far-seeing solicitude for the interests of truth, St. Philip Neri laid down for the members of the Oratory amidst the impassioned strifes of the sixteenth century." [Quoted from "Revival of Priestly Life in the Seventeenth Century in France," pp. 39.]

There are those, I am well aware, who would listen with [12/13] a sort of compassionate smile at the thought of a society with such aims growing up within the pale of the Church of England; who think that great and self-denying aims and ends may not be reached in a communion that lacks the strict rules of societies in the Church of Rome. There are those who would justify the smile, as if such a scheme could be but a Utopian dream. But yet, if, as we trust, the Church of England has in the good providence of God a great part to play in upholding His truth, in vindicating the mysteries of the faith of Christ, in setting forth how true philosophy and Christian dogma may go forward hand-in-hand, each in a sphere of its own, yet each so converging towards the other, that, in the highest and truest sense, philosophy and religion are but different aspects of the same idea; and more, so that philosophy and revelation, philosophy and the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, should be shown to be in no necessary antagonism;--I say, if, as we trust, the Church of England has an office to discharge in bringing these apparently discordant forces into harmonious co-operation, then we need not draw back from a great attempt because the beginnings are necessarily small, the issues necessarily uncertain. There have been records, in sacred as well as in profane history, of the walls of cities, which were to become great centres of power and of world-wide influence, whilst in building being in one instance contemptuously leapt over, in the other described as that which, if even a fox should go up, he would break it down. Nevertheless, these walls were built, and the one city became the great capital of the then known world, and the other Jerusalem, the city of God. It is not well to "despise the day of small things." [Zech. iv. 10.] Therefore let us arise and build. The purpose aimed at is noble, and the cause, we trust, the cause of God. Instead, therefore, of being put back because such a scheme rises towards that description which I have read you--a description which almost takes away one's breath--let it rather make each long to bring at least one stone to be built into the wall. Let us be thankful that God, in His mercy towards us, has raised up among us one whose name is worthy to be the foundation and centre of such a design; and let us not allow the opportunity to slip of founding [13/14] an institution, which, taking its start from his honoured name, may become, by the blessing and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, a barrier against assaults upon His truth, and a safeguard to the souls of many.

Thus the names of the two friends may still in years to come be associated together in the promotion, by different means, of a kindred result--the one for training, the other for confirming and strengthening, the sons of the Church of England in her doctrine and discipline. "Lovely and pleasant in their lives, in their deaths they would not be divided." Each institution, which bears the name of the one or of the other, would have for its aim to uphold the religious character of the university they loved so well, which bears inscribed on her banner--

"Dominus illuminatio mea."

Certain Regulations

Adopted at a meeting of the Executive Committee of


Held April 27, 1883.

I.--Dr. Pusey's Library shall be placed under the care of two or more Librarians Residentiary, one of whom shall be the Principal, and shall have the general control of the internal order of the Institution.

II.--They shall be elected by and, as hereinafter provided, be subject to the Governing Body, which shall consist of the eight Trustees, the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and Secretaries of the Executive Committee, together with the Treasurer of the Fund.

III.--Vacancies in the Governing Body shall be filled up by the Executive Committee after due notice.

IV.--Each Residentiary shall be elected for five years, and shall be re-eligible for the like term, but shall not be re-elected on more than two occasions unless the Governing Body, at a Meeting duly convened, shall be unanimously of opinion that he should be again re-elected.

V.--The Governing Body may, at a Meeting duly convened, remove any Residentiary from his Office during his tenure of it, unless one-third of the Governing Body shall dissent Provided that no Residentiary shall be so removed until he shall have had opportunity of showing reason why he should not be removed.

VI.--The Principal (and if more than two Residentiaries be appointed, the major part) shall be in Priest's Orders at the time of election.

VII.--All Residentiaries shall be unmarried, and on marriage shall, ipso facto, vacate their Office.

VIII.--The Residentiaries shall reside in the rooms assigned to them at least from the commencement of full Term in October till the end of full Term in the summer, with the exception, if they shall so think fit, of three weeks in January, and of a week from the Wednesday after Easter.

[16] IX.--The Residentiaries shall receive such salary as the Governing Body shall determine.

X.--The Residentiaries shall employ themselves in theological and spiritual work, and at least one course of Public Lectures, free of charge, shall be given every Term by one of them, and the Governing Body shall be satisfied by the Principal that any Residentiary who does not Lecture is, if not disabled by illness, fully engaged in work appertaining to his Office.

XI.--These Regulations may be varied or repealed by the Executive Committee at any Meeting of which one month's notice, together with notice of the intended variation or repeal, shall have been duly given to each member.

Project Canterbury