THE CHRISTIAN MINISTRY.
LATE RECTOR OF ST. STEPHEN'S, PHILADELPHIA.
IT is hardly necessary to say that the whole of this sermon was not delivered from the pulpit. In some instances what was but outlined when it was preached is here filled out; but even so, it is impossible within the limits of a sermon to condense a rich biography. What I have written must be regarded as but a contribution to the memory of its distinguished subject: rather, as an illustration of a precious text of Scripture, by comparing it with his ministry. It was preached in St. Stephen's Church, on Sunday the Fourth after Easter and the Festival of St. Mark, 1880. On this occasion the preacher was assisted in the services by the Reverend John Kerfoot Lewis, who had been the friend and faithful associate of Dr. Rudder, and who was in temporary charge of the congregation. And it gave no little pleasure to all who were present to see, also, taking part in the services, the worthy Dean of Chester, Dr. Howson, then on a visit to our American Church, in which he has always shown an affectionate interest.
A. C. C.
ST. LUKE'S DAY, 1881.
THIS MAN WAS INSTRUCTED IN THE WAY OF THE LORD; AND, BEING FERVENT IN THE SPIRIT, HE SPAKE AND TAUGHT DILIGENTLY THE THINGS OF THE LORD. ACTS xviii. 25.
WHEN God is speaking it is well for man to keep silence. When the bolt fell so suddenly and your beloved pastor was snatched away as in a moment, there was something better than eloquence in what was instinctively done. You met as beforetime in this house of prayer; you cast your burthen upon the Lord, and you worshipped Him who is wise in all his ways and holy in all his works. But there was no sermon; my reverend brother in charge shrunk from ascending to the vacant pulpit; he refrained even from good words; he said nothing save what the church had put into his mouth for the day; he was speechless, for he "saw that your grief was very great."
But now three profitable months have passed and Lent has blossomed into Easter-tide, and the Lord has given us beauty for ashes, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. We rejoice in Him who liveth forever and ever, and with whom they live who have fallen asleep in Jesus. And it is in harmony with this grand reality of our holy religion that I come now to speak of your late rector, and to indicate the sources of consolation which are afforded by the Gospel in view of his faithful ministry. It is not to re-open wounds and to make them bleed afresh, therefore, that I venture to speak. Others have preceded me in words appropriate to recent affliction; it is my duty to direct your [5/6] sobered sorrows to such profitable uses as he would have coveted for you all. I would not that he should die in vain, in any sense: rather, by God's grace, I would see his death made the spring of new life to his people. And this may be, if sorrowing not as without hope, you turn all your regrets back into your own bosom, by practical inquiry as to your responsibilities for such a ministry as his; for the light, out of God's holy word, which he made to shine about you; for his persuasive appeals; for his tender rebukes; for his devotion to your souls; for the great gifts which he consecrated to your service as a steward of the common Master. While I endeavor to aid you in this effort, may the Blessed Comforter commend my words to your consciences and your hearts!
It is now, even to a day and an hour, three months complete since my beloved brother stood where I now stand, and gave you his last message from the Lord. That day was a double feast. It was the first Sunday of the Pre-Lenten season, and it was the Festival of the Conversion of St. Paul, that great doctor of the Gentiles, whom he delighted to study and to expound. In the full vigor of his life and ministry, who that saw and heard him would have imagined that it was the last time: that the very next Sunday this pulpit, veiled with mourning-weeds, should be voiceless and vacant? His subject was the guileless manhood of him who saw heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man. In the spirit of his entire stewardship as a preacher, he enforced the principle of Nathanael's conversion to Christ, which he showed to be a personal coming to the personal Word of God. He pressed with singular felicity the invitation--"Come and see." Once again that day he exhorted you in his Master's name, and then his plow stood still in the furrow. His work in the Lord's husbandry was done. Though he knew it not, could not have suspected it, he had, for the last time, [6/7] "spoken and taught diligently the things of the Lord." With what solemnity we should mark the close of every day's work, and specially of every Sunday in the courts of the Lord's house, when we are thus admonished of what a day may bring forth.
For the long period of fifty-and-six years you have had only three rectors: all were men of note, and I must be pardoned a passing reference to your second rector, because in my earlier ministry I found him an elder brother, one who not infrequently invited me to be his guest, and encouraged me as a counsellor and friend. But he of whom I am now speaking was not second in merit, nor in achievement, to either of his predecessors; and among his brethren in the whole church he was a leader and a man of mark. Because he was eminently a preacher, I have chosen the text; and not less because the manner of his preaching and its whole spirit are described therein. Like Apollos, he was an eloquent man, but his eloquence was not derived from mere words pleasing to the ear, and enticing to the fancy. The might of Holy Scripture was reflected in his pulpit power, and "being fervent in spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord." Such was his reputation as a Christian priest and pastor. I may safely rely upon you who enjoyed the benefit of such a ministry, to respond inwardly, as it were saying--"Ah! yes, and how much more intimately we knew him than he who speaks to us, and how much more abundantly we can testify that this witness is true."
Upon the text I pause only to remark that it is a portrait of the man of God, who is specially "apt to teach." First of all, he must himself be well instructed in the way of the Lord; and, next, to this knowledge must be added fervency of spirit; that glow of love to Christ which alone can kindle such love to sinners and to all men as may interpret Christ, for whom He died, and lead them to embrace His cross.
Then again diligence is requisite to the success even of such a [7/8] spirit; a thorough devotion of the whole life and manhood to this one thing. And yet again the Christian preacher must not be the mere orator, however diligent; he must teach as well as speak; he must bring forth out of the treasures of the Scriptures "things new and old." And, teaching must not be oral merely, it cannot be; he must teach by his example and manner of life; he must not only "allure to brighter worlds," by words of winning and persuasive invitation, but in his walk and conversation he must "lead the way." If, as I believe in a good degree such as poor human nature permits, this fair ideal was realized in the character and work of your late pastor, you have in the text his inspired eulogy, which, we may humbly trust, will be that of his Master in the day of account.
With this glance at the instructive text, I ask you to bear it in mind, as I proceed to speak of my departed brother (1) with reference to his early history, (2) his mature life and stewardship, and (3) his position and influence in the Church at large. Lastly (4), I shall endeavor to impress you, under God, with a deep sense of your responsibility to Him for having blessed you with such a man for your minister and shepherd.
1. The Reverend WILLIAM RUDDER, D.D., was born in Berbice, in British Guiana, on the 18th of February, 1828, though some uncertainty as to the year has always existed, because, to say nothing else, his baptism on the 22d of February in that year, which is duly recorded, would imply that he was christened before he was a week old, and this is a degree of fidelity to the rubric which is not frequently instanced, at least in the Colonial Churches. But let us trust that his birth "of Water and the Spirit" was indeed thus punctiliously obtained at the earliest convenient season, and that a life-long blessing was thereby secured from Him who "is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." When I first knew him, he was "the only son of [8/9] his mother, and she was a widow." She had brought him to this country to be educated, and Providence led her to the academic city of Hartford, where the reputation of its college and the state of society induced her to choose a home for herself, while superintending the youthful progress of a child who, very early, gave promise of a useful and eminent career. Of the two pastors who then laboured together in that city as parochial priests, I was the younger, and on every account the less worthy to be his counsellor, for my own inexperience was great. Happily for him his mother was a much esteemed parishioner of my elder brother in the ministry; a man of sound learning and of shining parts, as well as of exemplary piety, who afterwards became the first Bishop of Maine, and left a precious memory to the whole Church. It was this excellent pastor, Mr. Burgess, who first directed my attention to the mother and her son, remarking on the respectability of the family, and the great promise of the young man, then preparing for his college course. With that excellent lady and others of the family who sojourned in Hartford, I became somewhat intimate, and often remarked the cleverness and merit of the boy in whom their hearts were so bound up. My interest in him grew rapidly after he entered college, and especially when my occasional work in the college brought me into closer contact with his growing mind. For several successive years it fell to my lot to contribute to his instruction in the belles-lettres, and while he attended my lectures on English literature I conceived an attachment for him,, which was inspired by his juvenile enthusiasm in the pursuit of this ennobling study, and by his frank and confiding disposition. I was not so much older than he as to afflict him with an undue sense of superiority, and perhaps in this consisted the only advantage I possessed over his immediate pastor in drawing him out and communing with him on terms of familiarity. He was devoted to his [9/10] classical studies and to every department of knowledge that appeals to taste and to the imagination, but not so as to neglect exact science and the severer discipline of his mind. I fancied he would find his appropriate sphere in academic life, and I lived to see him among the foremost of those, who, on one occasion, were spoken of as worthy to be chosen to the presidency of his Alma Hater. I felt sure he was destined to magnetize other minds out of the electric fulness of his love for truth and for beauty, and of the resources he was multiplying in the cultivation of art and letters; but, perhaps I was faulty in not forecasting even then the more sacred influences he was born to exert in the blessed service of the altar. I gained a better estimate of his mental bent when, very unexpectedly, he confided in me so far as to ask my opinion of a poem of which, with all "the blushes of ingenuous shame," he confessed himself the author. I saw, at once, that it was far above the ordinary specimens of versification that are produced by young men at college, and hesitated not to add my name to those of others who had requested him to let it be printed, if not published. I am not a little proud of the fact that he loved me well enough in his young heart to dedicate to me this modest production of his early genius, with assurances of his regard greatly disproportioned to the very slight services I had been able to render him. In one of its stanzas he anticipates the end of all things and breaks forth with a fervency of spirit that betrayed the ripening piety of a predestined man of God, as in touching harmony with our thoughts this clay, he anticipated the glories of immortality. You shall judge whether I was wrong in encouraging the poetical impulses of his ardent nature, while you hear an extract from his poem in the following words:--
"Years have flown by. Old earth is known no more;
Sun, moon, and stars are all forever fled;
No longer clouds are heavy on the shore
Where wandered man the dying 'mid the dead.
All tears are dried, all groans forever sped,
All sorrow, death, and pain are passed away;
Dried is the sea, true type of conflicts dread;
The saints are full, nor need they more to pray,
The Lamb their all-in-all and heaven's eternal day."
It was in such rhythmic rapture that even then he could appropriate the glories that shall be revealed, and upon a fuller view of which we doubt not he has now opened his eyes. Forgive me if I love to linger upon those days of promise, for I am sure they richly illustrate the truth that "the boy is father of the man;" and then it is among such boys that we ought to seek recruits for the service of God, in the noblest of all callings the ministry of the blessed Gospel. Besides, almost my only qualification to be his eulogist is derived from my exceptional knowledge of his youth. Others, in later intimacies, more privileged than I, have already paid their loving tribute to a life and ministry of which they were closer observers, and hence more competent witnesses. I stand here to confirm the persuasion of the Catholic Church that the Lord has, in all ages, delighted to manifest himself on conditions of fidelity to his covenant, as the "father of the fatherless and the widow's God." It is my privilege to speak of his early surroundings as pure and lovely, and of good report. Sometimes we have called men to the priesthood who were too near akin to priests of the order of Jeroboam; but he was reared amid ennobling associations, and came of a generous stock. I knew the mother, who, like the Eunice of Scripture, imparted herself in the training of his earliest years to the heart and conscience of her son. And if I now speak, and I am sure I do, to [11/12] many Christian mothers, let me pause a moment to ask them whether they may not fail, like old Eli, to recognize the call of God, when a child of promise comes to them with tokens of inward consciousness that he has heard a mysterious voice? Why is it that mothers, who love Christ, so often covet not for their manliest sons the service of such a Master, and the work of arousing a torpid world to the riches of his Gospel and the glories of his kingdom? I grant that in our country and in these times, the calling of the Christian Priest is one of confessorship and sacrifice. In the most favourable position the faithful pastor has opportunities of following Christ as a bearer of the cross, and the mitre of the bishop is commonly a reminder of his Master's crown of thorns. But are the heroic virtues out of date, and would a true mother covet for her son a soldiership of mere parade; the knighthood of the carpet; the sword never drawn and the career undignified by wounds and hardships of the field? My departed brother was indeed favoured in his circumstances; he was the pastor of a loving people; he stood upon Zion's walls, in this watch-tower of strength and dignity, and many were the rewards that soothed his anxieties and inspired the renewed devotion of his grateful heart to the best of Masters. Yet he too had trials, and some experiences of the Master's warning, "I send you forth as lambs among wolves." But why should it be otherwise; and why should not you consecrate your sons to the service which he chose with all the passionate generosity of youth, and long before he could have promised himself the comparative luxury of the lot to which he was assigned? We are not all called to the glorious confessorship of missionary adventure. Not all are apostles; not all are forced to be winners of the martyr's crown; but let us thank God that every minister of Christ is called to great ventures of faith; to a passive surrender of self into the hands of Providence; and to a [12/13] splendid contempt, at the very outset, for what the sordid world admires most intemperately and covets with the most insatiable appetite. To young Rudder, pausing a moment before choosing his path in life, the worldly wise would have uttered many flattering words, and would have seduced him with apparent kindness to consider what prizes he must relinquish, and what gratifications he must forego in the hard work of the ministry. Perhaps his own natural instincts were not less seductive when they whispered what his gifts might gain for him, or when they alarmed him with just views of what every preacher of God's truth must expect in proportion to his fidelity, from the hostility of the human heart.
No doubt the abilities and endowments of Dr. Rudder would have commanded the prizes of ambition had he chosen the world's ways, as. the theatre of his career. Very early in life might he have earned that sort of independence which manly natures prize, if not that substantial wealth which is so largely dispensed to gifted men in other pursuits. Tn this. city of Penn, where the traditional sectarianism reproaches the clergy as "hirelings," and in a land where almost everything is basely dragged down to the estimate of its commercial values, it ought not to be forgotten how much these "hirelings" sacrifice for the privilege of serving the holiest interests of others, and of upholding the whole fabric of society, in the support of that Christian morality on which law and order must rely as their only sure foundations. Of one who was labouring in a position, not unlike that which is afforded by this parish of St. Stephen's, a large-hearted parishioner, who was an eminent jurist, once said in my hearing, "my pastor lays down at least ten thousand dollars every year for the love of our souls, and the privilege of serving his Master." And thus he proved it: "Our rector is a man of fine culture, and upon whose education large means have been expended; his gifts [13/14] are exceptional, his knowledge of men is large, his perseverance, patience and power to work are equal to those of any lawyer in this city. I count him my own superior in all these particulars; but allow that he is no more than my equal in other respects, as he is in years and in his hereditary social standing. Now, I command an annual income at least three times as great as his, and I am already wealthy, while he is poor. The excess of my annual receipts over his are the worldly measure of what he contributes every year to the church, at the altar of which he sacrifices all his gifts, and his whole life, in order to enrich us and our families with better treasures than those of gold and silver." I need only remind you how justly this line of liberal thought might have been applied to one so admirably endowed as Dr. Rudder.
Every Christian minister of even average abilities makes similar sacrifices. There is a certain mastery of men and influence with the masses which strong men covet; and this also must be given up by him who for Christ's sake makes himself the "servant of servants." What would otherwise be gain to him, he must cast away; he must count all things but loss for Him who for our sakes became so poor. Yet never was there a true minister of Christ who failed to find in his glorious calling unspeakably glorious compensations; and such sacrifices are no more to be thought of in the career of Christ's soldiers, than the base reckonings of the miser are to be accounted of by the hero who devotes himself to his country in some trying crisis of her progress or of her very existence. And so I come back to my appeal to mothers, would you, or would you not, encourage in your sons heroic virtues and the lofty disposition that makes good men the world's benefactors? Such was the disposition of young Rudder, when first I knew him. All that intoxicates less noble spirits in their youth with ardor for the prizes of the world, [14/15] must have presented itself to him. The perils of an unselfish life, as they are viewed by the ignoble and the cowardly, cannot have escaped his attention; they must have been urged upon his notice by well-meaning but mistaken friendship. The infinite compensations, the unspeakable blessings which come with the experience of him who lives not unto himself and who makes self-denial the practical law of life, cannot be anticipated; they are not imaginable while yet the young man is dazzled by the glitter of the world and looks at life with panting ambition and unfaltering hopes. And so I press a too little considered claim upon human gratitude and love, in pointing you to that crisis in life when young Rudder dashed down the cup of worldly enchantment, and girded up his loins for a life of inevitable conflict and of unrequited sacrifices, "looking unto Jesus." It is too much the habit of our countrymen to lavish praise extravagantly upon the self-made man, who is often such only because he is supremely selfish; but, without detracting from others, I think quite as much credit is due to the generous youth nurtured tenderly and flattered into life by hosts of friends who assure him that the world has nothing too good for his possession if he will but take what is before him; who with all the disadvantages, I say, of premature prosperity, can deliberately estimate it at its real value, and reject it as a delusion. Such a crisis came to him who enriched you with the maturest fruits of his heart and mind. Such was the noble choice of my friend, who made his life and manhood a tribute to the truth, to his love for his fellowmen, and to the claims upon all mankind of the world's Redeemer and Lord.
He was graduated at Trinity College, Hartford, in 1848, and then I suppose his mind was fully made up as to his duty and work in the world. At the Seminary, in New York, he honourably fulfilled his three years of preparation; and in 1851 he [15/16] was admitted to his diaconate by his loving father in God, Bishop Brownell, of Connecticut. It was his happiness, during his seminary course, to receive many tender and considerate counsels from the tongue and the pen of his pastor, Dr. Burgess, whose letters to his young brother are a lasting testimony to the regard he entertained for his mind and character.
Of his earlier ministries on Long Island, in Albany, and in New York, I have only time to mention that they were an admirable preparation for that "full proof of his ministry" which he was to make in your service. There is one point, however, on which I am qualified to speak from my personal knowledge of Calvary Church, in New York, where for a time he became an assistant to the brilliant Dr. Hawks. It is not always good for youthful merit to be matched unequally with a man of exceptionally great abilities, in the fulness of his strength, and in the full blaze of a shining reputation. To risk the bare possibility of being charged with a spirit of rivalry is perilous in such cases; to fall below one's self in affected humility, or to exhibit chagrin when odious comparisons are made, is, on the other hand, quite as obviously unfortunate. Under a conspicuously popular rector, the curate's task is generally assigned to respectable mediocrity. But young Rudder could not read the Service without being recognized as a youth of the brightest promise; and even at the side of his incomparably eloquent chief, he never ministered unacceptably to the congregation. The people of "Calvary" reckoned themselves happy, indeed, in the services of two such men, and when the younger ascended the pulpit he uniformly commanded the attention, and satisfied every reasonable exaction, even of those who had come to church to hear their rector; the man to whom, at that time, was universally conceded the highest reputation for the eloquence of the pulpit.
2. Of his maturer mind and work you know more than I do; [16/17] but I can speak of him as he impressed those at a distance, and who saw him in the reflection of his character exhibited in the growth and influence of St. Stephen's. He became your rector in December, 1863, while as yet the land trembled under the agitations of civil strife, and all things, even in the Church, were, for a time, unsettled and disturbed. Not long before, I had heard, from his predecessor who was then sensible of his failing powers, a most serious lament over the decline of his parish. He. confessed his anxiety as to its future; its position was growing less and less approachable from the homes of the people, removing one after another to the more open and eligible sites of the city, and leaving this sacred spot, more and more, islanded amid the tides of traffic, and cut off from social centres. Indeed, the number of registered parishioners at that time fell short of an hundred, and when Dr. Rudder accepted the task of restoration, he confessed, in a letter of which I have seen a copy, his alarm at its critical position and the difficulties in the way of remedy. "I am very far, indeed," he says, "from being sanguine as to the result." But, in one year from that date, under the blessing of God, every seat in St. Stephen's was occupied; from distant sections of the city families came back to the church so hallowed and endeared, and many strangers were added to the parochial list. And from that day to the last of his ministry the same interest was kept up. You gave him no fickle admiration, nor were his first successes those of mere personal attraction, which draw a transient crowd of starers with itching ears. His labours were. such as secured enduring influence; and for sixteen years, with unflagging devotion, have his people thronged these courts and responded to his appeals for co-operation in good works. These walls, indeed, are not entirely those which enclosed his earlier congregation; the place became too strait for the multitudes that desired to profit by the teachings of such a pastor, [17/18] and breaking forth on the right hand and on the left, like Zion of old, St. Stephen's has enlarged her tent, "lengthening her cords and strengthening her stakes." In the midst of usefulness so marked, and with an influence daily augmenting, came the Master's call. After an illness of but three days, on the 29th of January last, he literally fell asleep. "Even so, them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him."
I cannot attribute such a lasting work exclusively to the preacher: he must have been also a pastor. "The words of the wise" may be "as goads and nails," but for edification, they must be given by a shepherd, as well as "from the One Shepherd." The eloquent. orator is known far and wide, and is, of course, the architect of his own reputation; but this is not the edifying of the church, under the great Master Builder. And to return to the former figure of Inspiration, it is the preaching of the true pastor only that is of permanent value to the flock of Christ. Oh! the mistake of that vain man who, because he draws the multitude to hear "a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice," imagines that he is doing the Good Shepherd's work. The pastor who studies the hearts and minds of his people; who "knows the sheep by name," and shares their confidence; who learns much from books, but more from contact with souls in all their wants and trials, and fears, and hopes--in their sufferings and sorrows: this is the preacher whose words come from the heart, and go to the heart, and return not to him void. But consider what all this implies in the life of one like your late rector. He must have time for study, and meditation, and writing, and for preparation by prayer and communion with God. He is a man of taste, and cannot forego some intellectual excursions into fresh fields of thought and of literary enjoyment. He is a man of influence, and cannot escape some entangling alliances of society, nor the correspondences and general work [18/19] which are forced upon him by the church at large. With all this comes the wearing routine of pastoral care, and the painful spur of claims from the sick and suffering, the poor and the solitary, who have no helpers. No man of letters naturally covets such work. It proves its own reward, but it must be under sheer constraint of duty. It is a burden and a yoke; Christ only, and the love of Christ only, can make the yoke easy and the burden light. Here, then, I trust, I reach the deepest sources of your gratitude and love. As I refer to his pastoral labour, I awaken associations and recollections, and a heartfelt gratitude; and my words are impoverished by the affluence of your experiences. You know more than I do of his goings in and out among you. Some of you recall, as I speak, many of the most sacred moments in the histories of your souls; he knew you in the holiest intimacies as a counsellor and a spiritual guide. He shared the suavities of your home life; his was a partnership of your trials and your joys, your griefs, and your delights. He knew you in the chamber of suffering; he ministered the wholesome medicines of Christ-like reproof to your spiritual diseases; he consoled your beloved ones in the hour when heart and flesh failed; he brought Christ, the good physician, in the balm of his healing sacrament; he taught you to love the bitter cup which Jesus bade you taste in discipline and chastisement; he enabled you to discover the gate of life, even in the opening of the repulsive grave. If, as I believe, in all this he was faithful, then, be it remembered, this is his highest merit and his chiefest praise. It is comparatively easy for the scholar and the natural speaker to do the pulpit task; but it is the function of the pastor that proves his heart, and at the same time enriches it. Nay, more; it is by being a true pastor that the Christian priest comes to reflect most faithfully the glory of his Master; of Him who "spake as never man spake," but whose darling attribute is that which he put forward [19/20] in the tender words, "I am the Good Shepherd; the Good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep."
Upon another point, I wish I had more time to dwell; the attention he gave to reading, to study, to thought. Before he ventured to teach the things of the Lord to you, he took care to be filled with them in his own mind and heart. The church exacts learning of her priesthood, and you should exact it personally, by encouraging it, by stimulating it, by rewarding it, by honouring it, and "esteeming very highly for their work's sake," those who carry learning with them into your homes, as well as into their pulpits. A learned clergy exalts any people; as a superficial, idling, talking, tattling, managing, intriguing clergy degrades, inevitably, everything it touches. "Like priest like people;" yes, and "like people like priest." Where the popular demand is for show and for sensation, what marvel if foplings are found in the pulpit, and mere machines of pantomime at the altar? To all such, the love of sacred studies which animated all his conversation and his public utterances, made your rector's example a dignified rebuke. He was everywhere recognized as a "well-learned man," and one worthy to be called to the highest ministries of the church.
Pre-eminently, Dr. Rudder was the preacher. It was his natural gift, and he carried it to a high degree of perfection, by exercise and culture. His was not the mere sounding brass of the rhetorician; the tinkling cymbal of the pulpit actor; he aimed to be, what he realized so well, one of "those masters of assemblies," of whom the ancient Preacher speaks as pricking the conscience with goads, and fastening convictions as with nails, by pastoral words, given primarily from the great Shepherd and Bishop of souls. He was not a mere essayist, the framer of polished sentences and epigrammatic points; much less was he the barren declaimer, panting for applause and posturing for effect. [20/21] It was his effort, as I know, to feed you with the finest of the wheat; and if, like the hind of Naphtali, he often charmed your fancy, "giving goodly words," as with a graceful bound from coverts where the hidden beauty had been unsuspected, it was nature, not artifice, that prompted the surprise. Fie did not forget, indeed, that the preacher must "seek to find out acceptable words;" but it was not his way to bring forth the purple patch tacked on for sensation; he strove to make his diction, like the clothing of the king's daughter, wrought gold in warp and woof, and fragrant, as with the savour of spices, or of the ointment poured forth on Jesus' head. I admired the chaste simplicity of his style; the delicacy with which he occasionally accepted the graces of ornament, and the severity with which, when occasion required, he could put them away, even as Saul's armor was rejected by David. It is this, more especially, however, that warms my heart with gratitude to my departed brother: his fidelity to Christ first, last and without end, as the preacher's theme. I am heart-sick when I survey the condition of the popular pulpit in my beloved country. To see nominal ministers of Christ turning away from the gospel, with its ever-inexhaustible wealth and variety of attraction, and with its never-failing satisfactions for the human heart in its wretchedness, and seeking to provide entertainment rather than reproof instruction and edification for the starving souls of men. Alas! how degrading to the character of the professed man of God, how insulting to the Master! To see such men coming before the public and posturing as religious acrobats, or at least catering to a depraved appetite for emotion and novelty, as mere lecturers and essayists! To see them seeking their themes from the last telegraphic announcements, the deaths of singing men or singing women, the agitations of the political world, or even the fluctuations of the market, and the petty excitements of the crowd! Dr. Rudder found nothing outworn in [21/22] the truths, the miracles of illumination, the Apocalypse of immortality which the Scriptures offer to the minds and hearts of men. Rather, he believed that the poverty of the popular mind in its ignorance of the Holy Scriptures is the real source of its distaste for them. Hence, he laboured to bring forth out of their treasures things new and old, old and new. Thus he formed the minds and tastes of his people to the highest and purest standard. In a city where able ministers of Christ have abounded, he maintained a reputation for pulpit power which none surpassed. Others were distinguished for excellences of their own; his specialty, it seems to me, was that which the text so marvellously sums up in its description of Apollos: he was the well-instructed man of God who taught others the Scriptures, and who had the faculty of making Scripture so attractive as to whet the spiritual appetite, even in satisfying it. To be "mighty in the Scriptures" was his aim; and he was also "an eloquent man;" his eloquence was that of solid argument and sound speech, such as "ministers grace unto the hearers." It is not always that gifts so entirely free from meretricious glitter as were those of Dr. Rudder, command the degree of popular appreciation which fell to his lot, but, even he was daily growing upon the public estimation, and. had by no means reached the highest success of which he was capable. His influence had already expanded, in fine proportions, but unflagging exertions were daily rendering more useful and more conspicuous those powers with which the Master had fitted him for His service. "Of such powers," said a layman of great distinction, "of such powers as are genuine and truly great, the popular estimate is always defective; to second-rate men, our countrymen usually award the highest distinctions; they are keyed to respond to what is glaring and demonstrative; of powers that are transcendent they are poor judges; they have no abstract standard of merit, and their index of what is to [22/23] be applauded is too commonly that of success with an unthinking and uneducated multitude." This sounds severe. Is successful charlatanism indeed so common in the popular pulpit? One fears it must be true. But the success of your pastor was a masterly success; it owed nothing to effect with the vulgar; it was the preaching of the Gospel, and I trust it was with the "demonstration of the Spirit," and therefore with power. I think I may venture to say that such was the judgment of his bishop, from whom I have heard words of high appreciation, that evidently came from the heart. God grant that when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, such also shall be His approval as he bestows the pastor's amaranthine crown and calls the faithful servant to be his joint-heir in the glory of the Father.
3. But though I have already exceeded the limits of time usually accorded to a sermon, your interest in my subject justifies me in not omitting the reference I proposed to his work and influence in the Church at large. The estimate of his brethren of this diocese was repeatedly expressed by their votes, in sending him to our great Triennial Councils; and in those councils he had already risen to a commanding place. Indeed, I have heard from competent judges, a strong expression that unless called to the House of Bishops, he would soon sway the deliberations of the House of Deputies, as a leader of the best thought and largest spirit. "I know not," said a prominent member of that house, "who can just fill his place, now that he is so prematurely taken from us; not a few depended upon his acknowledged abilities and high conservative principles to save us from threatening evil, and to rally to concentrated effort all the nobler and more real forces of the Church represented on that floor."
At any time, such would be high praise, but, reflect what it implies in times like ours. The tides and currents of opinion, in these days, have swept many a fine intellect upon the shoals; [23/24] and the storms and tempests of the same period have dashed many a full freighted mind upon the rocks. In England, I feel as if our times were indeed "the hour and power of darkness," though not less conspicuously the hour of noble struggles for truth, and earnest longings for righteousness. It is when the Church wakes up from sleep, that the arch-enemy and deceiver discharges more fiercely his fiery darts; it is then that he desires to have those who "seem to be pillars;" it is then that he "sifts as wheat," those who have been foremost in professions of faith and fidelity. Our times will be recollected by posterity as a period disgraced by reaction against the great Catholic Reformation of the English Church; a reaction which alike impeaches the morals and the intellectual powers of those who have betrayed her to her inveterate foes. Even standard-bearers have fainted; familiar friends whom the Church had trusted and who did eat of her bread, have lifted their heel against her. At the very moment when the noblest spirits of Europe have awakened to the true character of the Anglican Church, as the best representative of Catholic antiquity now left in the world; in this very hour of her opportunity, for which her martyrs and confessors prayed so earnestly amid blazing fagots, and in the shadow of their prisons; I say, in such a moment when fidelity on the part of English learning and English piety to the grand examples of the past, would enable her to go forth into all the world with a converting power like that of the apostolic ages; just now, we live to see a surrender the most ignoble of old Anglican principles, alike to out-worn assumptions of the Vatican and to that treachery of the scientific mind which is conspicuous for its indifference to the Gospel and its utter hostility to the Crucified. So seductive have been these influences that we often find their prominent victims among men of taste, or men of real scientific attainment. The test has been of principle, as against [24/25] an appeal to sentiment, to aesthetic culture, to the love of art, to a fancy for the antique, and to morbid sensibility, or a credulous interest in factitious claims of Catholicity; or, on the other hand, as against specious theories of the physical world and the pretext of emancipated intellect, a daring scorn of Christianity, as if it were superannuated and only worthy to perish. It is vain to deny that many fine minds have become a prey to one or the other of these Antichrists. Applause has often rewarded the traitor, and contumely has, even more frequently, been the trial of faithful stewards. Even in our own Church, brethren once beloved have yielded to influences such as these, and placed themselves, here or there, where their vows to Christ, in the communion of this Church, prove they have no right to be.
Now, I love and honour my departed brother, because in this day of blasphemy and rebuke, he allowed nobody to mistake his position. He placed himself just where this Church has called all her sons to place themselves; on the old Catholic rock, and in the grand fortress of a Catholic Reformation. He was not ashamed to be a churchman of the school of Hooker, and yet to work lovingly with those of the more uncompromising school of the great Caroline divines, men equally loyal to our standards, and faithful to Christ. And all the more, because he was imaginative, and sensitive to everything that appeals to taste, I admire him for keeping his tastes subject to reason, and his moral sense. I am thankful for the testimony he uniformly bore to Scriptural orthodoxy as the Catholic orthodoxy, and for the firm front with which he opposed himself to novelties which have dwarfed the power of this grand American church of White and Seabury to mould the present generation of Americans, and to meet the wants of future generations with accumulated resources, material, intellectual, and spiritual. Let us be sure of this: that American thinkers will not be influenced by those who, [25/26] if they could, would reproduce the Middle Ages. Alike those who must be won from unbelief, and those whose faith needs to be rooted and grounded in the apostolic testimony and the historical church, must be approached by men thoroughly identified with the principles everywhere known as those of this church, and profoundly sympathizing with its free spirit, and its uncompromising hostility to Rome. Of such men, Dr. Rudder was eminently an example. Hence, his influence with men; hence the confidence of churchmen generally, which he so largely enjoyed; and hence, in a good degree, his well-earned reputation for a brave heart, a healthy brain, and the ability to forecast the utter failure of any attempt--no matter by whom directed--to put back the Christian progress of the human race; to swaddle it again in the bands of superstition, or to subject it to a despotism not less hateful than that of the papacy, the assumed infallibility of "Science, falsely so called."
Honour to his manliness, honour to his common-sense, honour to his integrity for the stand he took and maintained against all compromise of his relations to a reformed church, and to the Master who bids us, by his apostle, to "contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints." I admire his steadfastness, for we have seen even strong men made weak, and brave men made moral cowards by the seductive influences and the mad upbraidings of the hour. No such weakling was your pastor. He has borne his testimony openly, and with fearless indifference to any echoes, save those of an approving conscience; and to you, he has given, as he was sworn to do, nothing but the Catholic faith of a pure gospel, "as this church hath received the same."
4. It only remains, then, to ask you, with reference to your responsibilities for such a ministry, have you all obeyed the [26/27] precept--"Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only." Your pastor's abilities moved many of you to be hearers, but God only can make you doers; and that, with reverence be it said, Omnipotence itself can only accomplish as working with your own freewill. If my departed brother faithfully taught and admonished you, there his responsibility ended; he could do no more. There begins your own dread account. Have you robbed him of the great reward of presenting you to the Master at last, as seals to his ministry, and a crown of rejoicing? It is surprising to observe the identity of the human heart, in all ages, and the similarity of its action, in like circumstances, with reference to divine truth. To praise the preacher, and yet to reject his message, has been the habit of mankind under all dispensations. It is instructive to note this, as illustrated by the ancient prophet, with dramatic effect and beauty. "Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people are talking against thee by walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another--saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord. And they come unto thee .... and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. And to! thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not." Are these reproaches applicable to any of you? "Take heed what ye hear," says the Master, and he adds--"Take heed how ye hear." You have obeyed the one text in hearkening to him who brought you nothing but the true doctrine of Christ; have you obeyed the other, in receiving the seed of the word, "into honest and good hearts, that bring forth fruit with patience?" That word, ingrafted, is able to save your souls. Are you, then, wise unto salvation, through the gospel [27/28] that has been dispensed unto you? How beautiful is the imagery of Scripture when it sets before us the faithful pastor, "bringing his sheaves with him." Here is the true reward of pastoral fidelity--a harvest of precious souls, the hundred-fold for the sower brought home to the Master's garner. Reflect, it is yet in your power to multiply such trophies; to enrich him, forever, with such prizes, wrested from "the strong-man armed," and made the jewels of his own, because of his Redeemer's crown.
This, then, is the true test of a successful ministry; the ultimate increase which it brings to the Redeemer's kingdom here and in eternity. It is sad, in view of such a standard, to recognize the fact that many gifted preachers, so far as man can estimate, have been eloquent in vain. Where are their living epistles, "known and read of all men, and written in hearts," such as those to which St. Paul could appeal when men asked for his "letters of commendation." How often fervent piety and devotion to the work have made men of the one talent or the two richer in the end than those who began with the five; have turned back the reproach of barrenness and made "the gleaning of the grapes of Abi-Ezer better than the vintage of Ephraim." Alas! for the Lord's husbandry, when the foremost tillers make but ill returns in the harvest; "as he that gathered ears in the valley of Rephaim;" or, as he that can only point to a few "gleaning grapes;" or to "the shaking of an olive tree, two or three berries in the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in the outmost fruitful branches thereof." To all appearance your departed pastor's record is widely different; but it is yours to ensure, by the ultimate product of your faith and piety, his enduring and abundant reward. I covet for St. Stephen's a growing and permanent prosperity, the monument of his gathering with Christ and scattering not. Be still compact and knit together in the faith, as Christ's disciples, not man's, and this shall turn to his [28/29] brightest and most lasting renown. But above all, personally and individually, accept his last words "Come and see." Come to the Saviour anew, or come for the first time. Make answer to that last voice of his, that earnest, tender invitation, like those old Samaritans of Sychar, from practical experience of devotion to the personal Christ:--"Now we believe, not because of thy saying, for we have heard him ourselves and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world."
Unto whom, our blessed Redeemer, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed forever, be all glory on earth and in heaven. Amen.
APPENDIX. REV. WILLIAM RUDDER, D.D.
THE REV. WILLIAM RUDDER was born in Berbice, British Guiana, on the 18th of February, about the year 1828, the exact date not being known, and was baptized February 22, 1828, in the Parish of Amsterdam, by the Rev. Stephen Isaacson.
He was graduated from Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, in 1848.
He was ordained Deacon by Bishop Brownell in Christ Church, Hartford, April 6, 1851, and ordained Priest by Bishop Chase in Emmanuel Church, New York, March 7, 1852.
His first parish was St. Paul's, Flatbush, Long Island; of which he had charge for seven years.
He was Rector of St. Paul's, Albany, for nearly five years, and Rector of St. Stephen's, Philadelphia, for more than fourteen years--from December, 1865--having acted with the late Rev. Dr. Ducachet, the former Rector of the last-named parish, as assistant minister thereof for two years previous to that date. He died in Philadelphia on the 29th of January, 1880, after an illness of three days.
RESOLUTIONS OF THE VESTRY OF ST. STEPHEN'S CHURCH, PHILADELPHIA.
AT a meeting of the Vestry of St. Stephen's Church, held February 2, 1880, the following preamble and resolutions were adopted, and ordered to be published:
Whereas, The Vestry of St. Stephen's Church have learned with inexpressible sorrow of the untimely loss of their Rector, REV. WILLIAM RUDDER, D.D., who was endeared to them by close personal and official bonds; and
Whereas, As teacher, counsellor, and friend, he has left on all within the sphere of his influence an ineffaceable impression; and
 Whereas, This Vestry, for themselves and in the name of those they represent, desire to record officially their esteem for him, their attachment to his memory, and their sense of the loss sustained by his friends, the Church, and the community; therefore, be it now
Resolved, That the sudden severance of ties which for sixteen years have united DR. RUDDER to this parish, has overwhelmed with grief those to whom be has so faithfully ministered, who now, in deep sorrow, extend their sincerest condolence to the bereaved widow, and to those under his paternal guardianship.
Resolved, That the loss to the parish of St. Stephen, and to the church in general, cannot be over-stated. Endowed with lofty intellectual power, an inimitable fluency of expression and faculty of cogent reasoning, with all the oratorical attributes, and an impressiveness of manner once observed never to be forgotten, DR. RUDDER joined therewith the treasures of great erudition and the fervor of profound conviction, and his expositions of divine truth were therefore strikingly clear and forcible. Conservative in his instincts, rigid in adherence to his views of church polity, and with the courage of his opinions, strict in construction of law, and always denouncing undue license, fearless in debate, a champion of his colleagues in church councils, yet willing to compromise where no principle was to be sacrificed, he illustrated in his person the high ideal of the duty of life, which is, in his own noble English phrase, "to be strong, to be brave, to be just, to be true, to love liberty, and yet to love law, to love law and yet to love liberty."
Resolved, That in all the relations of life DR. RUDDER commanded respect and admiration in his pastoral and personal ministration to the afflicted, the sick, and the dying, and in his benevolence to the unfortunate; in his connection with the various organizations of the Church; in his public consideration of dangers threatening the State; in the administration of the affairs of the orphanage attached to St. Stephen's, where the orphans have lost a friend, and the Burd Asylum its official head; in his culture, brilliant wit, and geniality of manner, admirable social qualities, which made him everywhere a welcome guest.
Resolved, That in assurance of the profound sympathy of St. Stephen's Vestry and congregation with the widow and family of their late Rector, and commending them to those higher consolations by which he was accustomed to assuage affliction and distress, a copy of the foregoing preamble [31/32] and resolutions, duly attested, be sent to them by the Secretary of the Vestry.
Resolved, That appropriate emblems of mourning be placed in the church, and a copy of the preamble and resolutions be published in the church and secular newspapers.
Secretary of the Vestry.
FEBRUARY 3, 1880.
MINUTE OF THE PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CLERGY OF PHILADELPHIA.
A meeting of the Protestant Episcopal clergy of Philadelphia was held Tuesday, February 3, at the Episcopal Rooms, No. 708 Walnut Street, to take appropriate action upon the death of the late REV. DR. RUDDER. There was a full attendance of the clergy, and in the absence of the Right Rev. Bishop Stevens, the chair was occupied by the Rev. Dr. Henry J. Morton, rector of St. James's Church, the Rev. Dr. Childs officiating as Secretary.
The Rev. Dr. Foggo, rector of Christ Church, presented the following minute, which was adopted.
It having pleased Almighty God in His wise providence to call hence from the midst of his pastoral labors, and in the height of his greatest usefulness, the REV. WILLIAM RUDDER, D.D., rector of St. Stephen's Church, his surviving associates in the sacred ministry desire to record their sense of the great loss which the Church, both in this diocese and throughout the land, has sustained in his death; of their appreciation of his faithful work as a minister of Christ, and his distinguished services in the councils of the Church; of their thankfulness for his good example of steadfastness in the faith and zealous interest in the cause of missions.
They recall with pleasure the remarkable qualifications for eminence and usefulness in his sacred calling possessed by their departed brother, his strong and brilliant intellect, his sound learning, his thorough culture, his love of study, his capacity for patient thought, his glowing imagination, his refined taste, his eloquence in speech--all these, sanctified by the grace of God, and consecrated to the Master's service, combined to place him--where all must acknowledge him justly to belong--among the foremost of the clergy of the Church.
 For sixteen years he filled his distinguished position as pastor of St. Stephen's parish, with an ever-increasing hold upon the affections of his congregation. He gave them always of his best, the rich results of faithful study of the Word of God, of wide reading and profound thought.
Never was he more fervent and spiritual in his instructions; never, in the estimation of his hearers, did he rise to lofter heights of eloquence; never did he seem more forgetful of self and absorbed in the message he was delivering than on the last Sunday of his life, when already suffering from the inroads of the disease which, in three short days, was to terminate his mortal existence.
They recognize with grateful hearts the example of heroic devotion to duty and triumph over physical pain, and the gracious ordering of that merciful Providence which permitted him to end his labors only with his life.
Those whose privilege it was to be admitted to the inner circle of his friendship will never forget the charm of his conversation, his intense love of all that was beautiful in nature and art, the warmth and generosity of his attachments, and his ready sympathy with sorrow and distress.
His brethren, while lamenting their own loss in his removal, desire, with this imperfect tribute to his memory, to offer the assurance of their warmest sympathy to his bereaved family and sorrowing congregation.
After the reading of the minutes, able and touching tributes were offered upon the life and labors of DR. RUDDER by the Rev. Dr. J. W. Claxton, the Rev. Dr. I. B. Lundy, the Rev. Dr. J. K. Lewis, and the Rev. Dr. E. A. Foggo.
MEMORIAL OF THE GENERAL CONVENTION OF THE PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
AT the session of 1880 of the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church, held in New York, Hon. Isaac Hazelhurst, a lay delegate from the Diocese of Pennsylvania, submitted the following memorial in reference to the late Dr. Rudder, rector of St. Stephen's Church, in the city of Philadelphia:
The Protestant Episcopal Church, at its last triennial congress in this city, saw the leaders of its two parties in debate; both men of distinguished place in their several communities and eminent throughout the whole catholic [33/34] commonwealth; alike gifted with extraordinary power to make effectual the result of profound study and reflection and effective the ornamentation of rich and vivid imaginations; each an apologist--one rarely fitted to present his subject with all the grace and virtue to which his life of privacy and contemplation had recommended it; the other, expert in various polite accomplishments, singularly gifted to urge its importance upon men forestalled by the claims a public life makes on the attention.
Both have passed away. The places of honor and renown that were known as theirs know them no more. They have been crowned together in the Temple of silence and reconciliation," and the Church of their love and obligation is without the benefit of their wise counselling or the praise of their holy living. It is because they were alike excellent and admirable that I may speak of one without seeming to withhold from the other any measure of the praise that is his meed. Considerations more important than my concern at the loss of a familiar friend will excuse me for delaying the business of the convention for a moment to speak of DR. WILLLAM RUDDER.
Even in this distinguished presence, before the most ancient and dignified episcopacy on earth, where he was known in great part only by his professional prominence in its deliberations, and where it was impossible that even the half could be known of his personal power and worthiness, the mention of his name excites strong emotion. No one of those who met or heard him here denied aught to the intellectual supremacy of the man or called in question his right to a foremost place among the most gifted and influential of the presbyters. A man of indomitable will and indefatigable courage, with all the excellences that mark a great leader, and all the pleasant arts that keep intact a large following, his profound convictions needed no allies other than his marvellous arrangement of the subject and his surpassing felicity of expression. His propositions were arguments in themselves, and when elaborated by fit and graceful illustrations, or presented in the becoming dress of some lively conception, not more often compelled assent than aroused enthusiasm. In no man was ever more entirely separated a jealous and honorable ambition from any care or solicitude about himself. It was nothing that a delighted audience heard him gladly. It was still less that the applause of what numbers greeted him. His cause was first and last. It was enough that men were paying it allegiance and rallying to its defence. With all the deference and submission that [34/35] cultivated and gentle natures feel for whatever is entitled to respect by age or to receive love and favor from association, he still made much of his personal accountability "in things pertaining to God." It was with no design to destroy or misplace the ancient landmarks or to confound the tradition of his Apostolic ministry that he acted upon the necessity for their candid examination in order to their fall acceptance by choosing them for the frequent subjects of his most instructive and elaborate expositions. Himself a teacher he was alive with zeal to learn, that, as a witness he could testify of things that he had "both seen and heard." As a preacher his method consisted in the strict subordination of everything to the greatest perspicuity of statement; his manner was full of a conscious and dignified responsibility, and his lips of grace.
But what weighed upon his heart was the present fear of a divided Church. He looked with apprehension upon the formation of two parties, and anticipated in an agony their inevitable collision. Loyal in his very heart of hearts he could not understand disloyalty. He had lived in the faith of his fathers as in a home, and it was to be razed by the hands of children before his eyes. In mercy and in time the Angel of Death came and closed them.
It is yet impossible to realize his loss. I doubt if it can be ever realized to the extent to which it will continue to be felt.
"Past and to come seem best; things present worst."
But it is still true that, in the diocese where his death was nothing less than a calamity, the consideration of his faithful ministry,°liis friendly offices of kindness, his near sympathy with trouble, and his close intimacy with any sorrow cannot fail to recommend his people again to the disposition of the "Wise Master Builder," who has called the workman from his work. And to that cure of souls where he ministered by the example of a blameless life and a becoming conversation--the community at large--the consolation must be, that such men of faith and virtue do live from time to time, and that at all times faith and virtue are alike excellent.
 IN MEMORIAM.
On the festival of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, Monday, February 2, 1880, the REV. WILLIAM RUDDER, D.D., was buried from St. Stephen's church, Philadelphia. The occasion was no ordinary one. This grand preacher of the Gospel of Christ's love had deeply impressed himself upon our city. His death, as the public prints gave evidence, and as, not the conversation only, but the stricken faces also, of people everywhere testified, was recognized as a public calamity. The shock of the suddenness of his death was like some dreadful, all-reaching, and all-concerning catastrophe. Dying early on Thursday morning, he had preached twice the Sunday before, with all his wonted power and fascination, to crowded congregations. Through seventeen years, despite constant grievous physical ills, he had grown in his power as a preacher, till his greatness seemed like that of a very prophet of old. The clergy, both of our own and of other Churches, sought as often as they could to hear him, and no service was without their presence.
The sittings of the church were rarely sufficient for the numbers that pressed to listen to his sermons; and it was usual for scores of people to stand through all the service rather than fail to hear him. Among all these were people, too, of all ecclesiastical connections. Never did man more truly preach Christ. This was the secret of his power. He was intensely real in preaching, and despised artificialities. Simple and profound, loving and direct, sweet and grand, persuasive and warning, tender and faithful, learned, fluent, and majestic, he was accounted by hosts preeminently the man of God's own sending to their souls.
Never can any who attended the morning service of Sunday, the day before the funeral, forget the supreme manifestation of sorrow that pervaded the congregation gathered in the church so many years presided over by him. An inexpressible grief marked every countenance; tears flowed silently down the cheeks of strong men; every heart was overborne with the burden of the affliction. The music, ordinarily so bright, fell into the lowest and most plaintive of strains. A brief address sought only to be one voice, where indeed all might have joined, to say, "We are sore afflicted," "The Lord hath taken away." Easter never gave a larger attendance at the Holy Communion. The day passed at the last with the singing of words, never perhaps more keenly realized in all their meaning, "Lead, kindly light, amid the encircling gloom." The next day a multitude, that [36/37] filled all the church, gathered to join in the sad and simple pageant of the funeral. The clergy in full numbers, the most eminent in position and talent of our citizens, a great number of every degree, crowding the street without as well as the seats and aisles within, waited in stillness that could be felt upon the service of the burial.
A single cross of white flowers, the offering of the chief mourner, lay upon the casket containing the dead. Other flowers in sacred designs, which devoted gratitude would send, despite the cautioning request that they should not be sent, told of the love that gave them, and in themselves spoke of the dear lessons of hope which, even in such sorrow, cheer the heart of the Christian. There, where he had so often officiated on like occasions for others, sentences, anthem, lesson, and dirge were had for him. Then he was borne from the building his work had made so beautiful to his grave.
The words committing his body to the ground were said. The "voice from heaven" came as from the bright blue overhead and fell upon the heart, as it had been the echo of some far away triumph hymn, "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord: even so saith the Spirit, for they rest--they rest from their labors." He lived, he labored, he did good to men in the name of Christ; he has his exceeding great reward.
J. K. L.