May it please this reverend Court—I approach the performance of the duty to which I have been assigned by the presenters in this case, with a very serious sense of my responsibility. Whether justly or not, whatever I shall say will be to some extent imputed to the authorities of the Church, who are supposed to have charge of this presentment; but as I think that would not be right, I hope, that if in the remarks which I may make in the course of my argument there should be anything which is unjust to them or to the cause, it will be laid to my personal inefficiency fairly to present the case for them.
It is not so interesting a duty—the one which I have to perform—as that which has fallen to my friends upon the other side. I feel it incumbent upon me to speak the words of truth and soberness. It was allowable for them, in the performance of their professional duty, to indulge in flights of imagination, and misrepresent the case before the Court; to make their arguments have a bearing beyond the tribunal sitting here, and to act upon popular opinion outside. That, I suppose, and I think I will be able to show, was the intent of this respondent, in daring this prosecution. I think it will appear from his conduct in this case, and the manner in which it has been brought before the public, that he belongs to that Puritan party in the Church, ever restless until they either make or break. (Applause.) I say that I feel it incumbent upon me to speak here the words of truth and soberness, and I therefore consider it my first duty to call the attention of the Court again to the actual charge upon which this respondent is brought here for trial, and to show how it has been represented by the counsel upon the other side, who, I have every reason to believe, correctly represent the client who employs them; because I hold in my hand two sermons which were preached by him, and which correspond in their tone exactly with the defense which has been made here.
On Saturday last, the able advocate from the Diocese of New Jersey (Mr. Parker), who has so fully presented the case for the respondent, upon the law and the canons, prefaced his remarks with a particular statement of the charge, and his argument all through went upon the basis, to use his own expression, that that was "the kernel of the case." His statements ranged themselves all around it, and his long, labored, and able speech furnished the staple of the Sunday reading of many hi our community. I quote his words: "The charge," says he, "is, that being a minister of the Gospel, he preached the Gospel." Is that true? That question I put to whoever may hear my voice or take an interest in this discussion. Is that true? Suppose the reverend respondent in this case had appeared in a court of justice in which my learned friend from New Jersey was engaged in defending a criminal according to the civil law, and, carried away by that zeal which teaches him to preach the Gospel in season and out of season, and upon every occasion, had insisted upon getting up and addressing to the magistrates there discharging their functions an eloquent sermon, and the police should put him out, would he be put out for preaching the Gospel? Suppose he had got up to-day and interrupted the very eloquent remarks of my friend who has just closed, upon the ground that a burst of zeal had come upon him and he saw a "Providence opening," and he must preach the Gospel; would this Court have listened to him? or if they had refused to do so, would it be because they did not want to hear the Gospel preached? Now, there is good sense in all things, and there is also nonsense in a great many things; and we may as well, at this point, try to get at the true kernel of this matter, in order that we may arrive at an intelligent conclusion.
One of the reverend witnesses examined here, said that upon one occasion he was in the Parish of Christ Church, New Brunswick, and married two persons there, having first applied for the consent of the rector of that church. Suppose a question had arisen about the propriety or the impropriety of getting that consent, or suppose that consent had been refused, would a true statement of the case be that the Rector of Christ Church was opposed to Holy Matrimony? The same reverend gentleman said that upon another occasion he baptized an infant in that parish without: asking the consent of the rector; and he said, giving his construction of the canon, that if the rector of that church had baptized that child without his consent, it would have been a violation of this canon. But was the Rector of St. George's, therefore, opposed to the ordinance of Baptism? Let me ask my learned and able friend from New Jersey, who opened the discussion for the defense, if upon returning to his home that day, after the conclusion of his eloquent speech here, he had met some friend newly arrived from abroad, who had heard about his professional engagement in this case, and had asked him, "What is all this about, what has this reverend clergyman been charged with?" Would my learned friend have answered, "He has been charged with preaching the everlasting Gospel? "If he did, I think his friend would say, "Oh, yes; I understand that. I understand your professional rhetoric, but what was the fact—tell me just what the charge really is?" To such a question would my friend repeat the answer, "lie has been charged by the authorities of the Church with preaching the everlasting Gospel, and has been brought up for trial for that offense." (Laughter.) Now, In whom was the complaint made under which this presentment arose? It was made by two divines of New Jersey, two Doctors of Divinity, one of them the Rev. Alfred Stubbs, for something like twenty-seven years Rector of Christ Church, a man who has sons in the ministry; and the other, the Rev. Dr. Boggs, who went, I believe, from this diocese, and who has charge of the Free Church there, a church which is open to rich and poor alike, and dependent for its support and success upon the good will of those to whom the Gospel is preached. These are the gentlemen making the complaint. It was then presented to the Bishop of New Jersey, and by him considered to be a sufficient case to be referred to the authorities of New York, where this reverend respondent is canonically amenable in the first instance, for any breach of church discipline or law. The charge comes before the ecclesiastical authorities of this diocese. It takes the usual course, and is referred to a committee of three clergymen and two laymen, one of these laymen a parishioner of St. George's, and both, I believe, communicants of the Church. The presentment is brought before the ecclesiastical authorities of this diocese. The selection of a court, to consist of five clergymen (because the accused is entitled to a trial by his peers), is offered to him from a list of twelve, but he declines to make a selection. The Bishop of the diocese then makes a selection for him of five out of those twelve, to constitute the court. Before this court so constituted we come simply to ascertain the facts in the case, and to apply the law. May it please the Court, if this statement, that this respondent is arraigned here for preaching the Gospel is not a true statement—considering by whom this presentment has been made, and the stages by which the case has reached this point, if this is not a true statement, what is it? Is it not a calumny? I sec but one answer to that question.
I am now to consider what the charge is, as I have already considered what it is not. The charge is for violating a canon of the Church in force since its organization (I do not speak simply of the organization of the Protestant Episcopal Church), the object of which is, by the division of labor and the harmonious arrangement of tire work of various persons, all charged with preaching the gospel, to carry on most effectively the Church's work of evangelizing the world. The object of this canon is to protect the ministers of the same Church, receiving their commissions from the same source, against interference with each other's work, ft is to secure harmony and concord among brethren, as St. Paul and St. Barnabas secured harmony and concord, who, when they could not agree in occupying the same field of labor, separated, and each took his own. It is, therefore, a canon which deserves to be guarded and cherished by the Church, in view of its antiquity and its object; and so far as the idea of the older canons is adopted and set forth in the laws of our own Church, its spirit and meaning are so plain that no one need ever violate it, unless with intent or a malicious purpose. It is a canon so consonant to reason and good sense, that something like it, though not always in its exact language, exists in all churches having a government more extensive than that of a purely congregational form. It existed in the Roman Church before the Bishop of Rome undertook to exercise that very extensive authority which he now claims, and which seems something like that claimed by this respondent, the right to do whatever he pleases everywhere throughout the world. Because of the existence of this overriding Papal power in the Roman Church, this canon for the protection of individual presbyters, as well as of the independence of bishops, has become substantially obsolete in that Church, but it still exists in full force as between the clergy themselves, as I may perhaps have occasion to show. Something like it exists in the Presbyterian Church. Each presbyter, under their polity, is confined in his duties to the presbytery of which he is a member. As I read their discipline, a licentiate, before he receives holy orders, has authority to preach simply in places designated by the presbytery. He cannot be ordained until some congregation is ready to receive him; and after he has been ordained he must not remove from one presbytery to another without the consent of both parties, the one which he leaves and the one to which he goes. I asked the witness, the Rev. Dr. Tiffany, in reference to the Methodist discipline in that respect; and he answered that he could point to no canon on the subject, but "It was expected," I quote his own language, "that every man will attend to his own business in his own place." That is the language of the gentleman who was in the pulpit, although he could hardly be said to have "occupied it," the day that this respondent officiated in St. James' Church, New Brunswick, and who is now pastor of that congregation. Dr. Tiffany's language seems to be a sort of echo of a passage from the First Epistle of St. Peter, "But let no one of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evil-doer, or as a busybody in other men's matters."
I am informed by the commentators that the original Greek of which this is the English rendering, means episcopizing—-playing bishop in another's diocese (laughter), and its equivalent was expressed by our translators by the phrase, "Being a busybody in other men's matters."
But leaving what may seem far-fetched or obscure, let us take a few steps across the centuries. I shall try not to weary the Court with citations, but wish to show the antiquity of this regulation. I quote now the 15th canon of the Council of Nice, still held, I believe, in reverent estimation even by that portion of the Church represented by this respondent—"For the taking away the custom which prevails in some places contrary to canon, it is decreed, on account of disturbances and disputes that have occurred, that neither bishop, priest, nor deacon, remove from city to city; and that if any one, after the decree of the holy and great synod attempt it, all the proceedings in this case shall be null, and the party shall be restored to the church in which he was ordained."
The next canon, the 10th, is to the same effect: "No priest, deacon, nor any belonging to the clergy, ought to be received in another church, if, having left their own church, they go thither inconsiderately, without the fear of God, and regard to the canon of the church, etc."
So also is the second canon of the Council of Constantinople: "Let not bishops go out of their diocese to churches out of their bounds, nor bring confusion on the churches," etc.
The 8th canon of the Council of Ephesus mentions a complaint made by certain bishops of "an act which has been introduced contrary to the laws of the Church and the canons of the Fathers, and which affects the liberty of all;" and proceeds, "Wherefore since evils which affect the community require more attention, inasmuch as they cause greater hurt .... none of the most religious bishops shall invade any other province," etc., "that the canons of the Fathers may not be transgressed, nor the pride of secular dominion be privily introduced under the appearance of a sacred office," etc.
The 5th canon of the Council of Chalcedon is to the same effect. The 6th provides that "No man is to be ordained at large, neither presbyter nor deacon .... but whoever is ordained must be appointed particularly to some charge," etc. The 20th declares that the clergy "are not to be allowed to be appointed to the church of another city, but are to be contented with that in which they have been first counted worthy to minister."
Now these are the canons of the four general councils in the Church; the first, that of Nice, where the Nicene Creed, which is read in all our churches, was framed; and these four general councils have always been held in high estimation and reverence by the Church, and are expressly declared by the fathers of the English Reformation to be of authority in the interpretation of doctrine.
I now skip across to the English isle and come to the canons of the Council of Hertford, held in 673. The 3d canon of this council provides that "No bishop invade the parish of another, but be content with the government of the people committed to him."
The 5th, that "No clerk, leaving his own bishop, go up and down at his own pleasure," etc.
The 6th, that "Strange bishops and clerks be content with the hospitality that is freely offered to them, and lot not any of them exercise any priestly functions, without permission of the bishop in whose parish he is known to be."
I refer also to the 9th answer of Ecbright, Archbishop of York, A.D. 734, to the same effect, and to the 9th canon of Archbishop Cuthbert, A.D. 747. The 9th of the canons made in King Edgar's reign is, "That no priest interfere with another in anything that concerns his minister, or his parish, or his gildship, or in any of the things which belong to him."
It is fashionable, I know, to sneer at the past, as if laws that are old were not suited to the present age. This has been, if not directly urged, at least suggested here. Do my friends upon the other side consider how far that argument goes? Is not the Bible a thing of the past? There are those who are trying to destroy it. There are those who say that the revelations contained within its pages are not in keeping with the progress of the times. But I trust that those who are represented by the respondent here do not join in that feeling, and that there are many things in the past that they are willing to stand up for yet. If not, I think they had better take off their robes; their occupation's gone. This Bible, which we all love, did not, like the Palladium, fall from Heaven, a book complete in itself. The various books of the New Testament:, the four different lives of our Saviour written at different periods, the Acts of the Apostles, the letters addressed by Apostles to various churches, lastly, the Revelations of St. John the Divine, with years intervening between the composition of the first and of the last of these, books, these were all collected together and discriminated from documents that were spurious (which abounded at that time, as appears by the prefix to St. Luke's Gospel) by the care and diligence and loving affection of men who just preceded the bishops who sat in the Council of Nice. What kind of a gospel would this reverend respondent be preaching to-day, but for the labors of those who made these canons and were willing to be bound by them?
The learned gentleman who went over the history of our canon on Saturday, quoted, from Hoffman's Law of the Church, a letter of Pope Dionysius—and gave a very fair and accurate translation of it—which is precisely in keeping with these older canons. The successors of that Pope did, it is true, as I have intimated, themselves violate the territorial independence of the clergy which was intended to be secured by these canons. And this was one of the leading causes of that glorious Reformation which my friends on the other side stand up for. I have read you in English, from an accredited translation, these ancient canons of the church. I will read you now the canon of our Church which is alleged to have been violated. With the sound of these ancient canons, some of them 1500 years old, still in your ears, what do you think of this?
"No minister belonging to this church shall officiate, either by preaching, reading prayers, or otherwise, in the parish, or within the parochial cure, of another clergyman, unless he have received express permission for that purpose from the minister of the parish or cure," etc. It seems to me the harmonious line is complete.
Is there anything in the wisdom of our ancestors? Does our Church owe nothing to those who have gone before? Are we to set at nought, at the instance of every young man who chooses to go into the ministry with notions of his own, all the restraints of the past? This canon was made, to secure peace and concord among brethren in the ministry, by protecting the independence, of each within a certain recognized field of labor. It recognizes the benefit and necessity of that division of labor without which the best directed efforts lead only to confusion. No civil government can accomplish its purpose without such a division of labor, without assigning separate work to separate departments, and having for each department certain laws and regulations; and no church can do its work faithfully and successfully without similar laws. Suppose no arrangement made for a division of labor, and the preachers all huddled together in one place, feeling that that was their field of labor; what would become of the other fields? I need not go any further than this very case, to show that the violation of this canon prevented the preaching of the Gospel; for if the respondent had been at home, preaching in his own church, Dr. Tiffany would have been at home, preaching in his, and there would have been two sermons that day instead of one, unless they shall change their ground on the other side, and say that Dr. Tiffany would not have preached the Gospel, which would hardly do after the eloquent and touching description of the labors of the Methodists which has fallen from the lips of my friend who has just closed. We have a right to assume that Dr. Tiffany would have preached the Gospel if he had not been crowded out of his own church on that day, and that, if he had preached there, this respondent would not have done so. Therefore it took two clergymen to preach the, Gospel in one place on that day, when each might have preached in his own place. Suppose other ministers should think that the Church of the Holy Trinity, New-York, was the particular place where the Gospel ought to be preached by them, what would be the result? I have no doubt that would be a very attractive place to many a weary missionary now laboring in a distant field, not knowing one clay whether the next will find any broad in the parsonage for his children, and that he might think that church just the place for him to preach the Gospel. According to that construction of the canon by which my friends on the other side apply it to an exchange of pulpits, if this poor missionary could get a majority of the clergy in the city of New York to say he ought to be allowed to preach the Gospel in the Church of the Holy Trinity, he would have a right to do it.
But I don't think that the respondent here, with the "spirit" which has been attributed to him by my learned friend who last spoke, would submit to such a claim. To conclude this branch of the subject, is not the liberty of preaching the Gospel the liberty of all clergymen who have authority to preach, and not exclusively the liberty of this respondent? Has he the right to go roaming over the world preaching the Gospel to the disturbance of others who have an equal right with himself to preach it? If not, then he and they must come to some understanding between themselves as to how they will divide their labors. This understanding has been reached and confirmed by the unanimous voice of the Church from the beginning, and it is in effect that each man shall stay and labor, in his own place.
But again I refer to the time-honored formularies of our Church; to the very commission which was given to the respondent by the Bishop at the time when holy hands were laid upon him, and he received his authority, or at least (in the lowest view of it) the certification to the Church of his authority to minister at her altars. "Then the Bishop shall deliver unto every one of them, kneeling, the Bible into his hand, saying, Take thou authority to preach the Word of God, and to minister the holy Sacraments in the congregation where thou shalt be lawfully appointed thereunto." That is the authority of this respondent. If he has any other, it depends upon some inward call of which we know nothing; but this is his commission in the Protestant Episcopal Church.
We have shown by the evidence in this case that, at the time of the act complained of, this respondent was rector of the Church of the Holy Trinity in the city of New York. According to his report to the Convention, he had in his parish 225 families, comprising 1,000 individuals, besides a mission chapel. That was the field of labor assigned to him by the Church, and where he had authority to execute in the Church the functions of a minister. He could not have got his Priests' Orders without having some place wherein to minister. I need not refer to the canon on that subject, which provides that no bishop shall ordain a priest in this Church until he has a title—which means that he must either have a call from a congregation, or be a missionary under the ecclesiastical authority of the diocese to which he belongs, or in the employment of some missionary society recognized by the General Convention. Now, has this respondent nothing to do at home? Let us see. He can preach seven hundred and twenty times in the year. He may visit the poor within the circuit of whatever he may choose to call his parish. He is charged in the ordination office with the duty of making such visitations, and of administering the Sacraments. I don't know how others may feel, but if I had such a charge, I think I should not go further to look for additional responsibility. If this respondent has a serious sense of his responsibility for the thousand souls committed to his charge in the parish of Holy Trinity, besides those whom, according to his construction of the canon, he has no right to put upon his parish list, but who still have the claim upon him of a common humanity—if he has a sense of these responsibilities, and is satisfied that he has faithfully discharged all the duties which they involve, why, then, perhaps he has time to go over and evangelize New Jersey. (Laughter.) At the time of this alleged offense, he was no unattached priest. He had an opening at home for all his zeal, and if he felt that he could not preach to a large enough congregation, the "liberty of unlicensed printing" allowed him to preach to the world at large, or to as many as would read his productions. There is no canon in the Church, therefore, which infringes in any way the exercise of his faculty of preaching; so that he did not need to go, like a cuckoo, to another bird's nest. Has the respondent among his people no men given up to Mammon, no women devoted to fashion, no sinners, no sterile saints? Has he no practising to do, as well as preaching? I have listened to sermons for many years, but I begin to feel that the best preaching to me is a good example. I say that the respondent had work enough to do at home, and that there was no call for him to go to New Jersey. One reverend witness here said that he considered it his duty to preach wherever there was a "providence opened" to him. Well, there is a kind of religious language used at times which I desire to treat with respect, but of which, considering that I am responsible for a due use of my intellectual faculties, I do sometimes earnestly desire to know the meaning. I know that there is a certain class of persons in the world who look upon nearly everything that happens as a providence, and their's is no doubt a pious state of mind; but the difficulty is, that they are apt to select their providences, and not to take everything as a providence, but only such things as suit them. Now, I suppose the general order of a Church is a providence, in which most of its members are disposed to acquiesce. The existence of a canon of any kind in the Church is, I suppose, as much a providence as an invitation from Mr. Christopher Myers. (Laughter.) I should be disposed so to consider it; and I do not see how those who talk in this way about providences can consistently neglect all those great providences, which are certainly as binding upon them as their special providences can be upon us. I should consider the Ten Commandments, for instance, a providence in a certain sense, and no matter what my private wishes may be, I do not think that any invitation from anybody—though it, too, might be a providence—ought to induce me to break them. I say again, therefore, that I cannot see any particular cause for this respondent to go to New Jersey at that time. There certainly was no necessity of his going there to preach the Gospel, because the Gospel was already preached, or to be preached, there. There were two rectors in good standing in the Church to which the respondent belongs, and it appears in evidence that there was also a Presbyterian Church and a Dutch Reformed Church in that city; and it also appears that but for this respondent going there, the pulpit of the Methodist Church would have been supplied by a person duly invited to officiate.
The invitation to the respondent to preach in New Jersey was then no urgent call; it was altogether of a social and friendly character. There was not, if we are to use language with any common sense, any such thing as what Dr. Newton called a "Providential opening." I have shown that the respondent had a sufficiently large field of labor at home, and that there was no necessity, in his case, to look abroad for providences.
Now let me come to the facts of the case; and here I want to be somewhat minute and in exact accordance with the evidence. The respondent arrived at New Brunswick, it would appear, upon a postponed invitation, on Saturday afternoon. His coming had been heralded by the faithful member of his congregation (who was President of the board of trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church) and the New Brunswick paper of the Wednesday previous had announced that a Fifth Avenue clergyman from New York would grace St. James's Church on the following Sunday. Dr. Tiffany, however, who then had charge of a congregation in Chicago, and had received from the authorities of this Methodist church, from all the five trustees, an invitation to become the pastor, to take effect in October, had agreed for the month of July, which he had at his disposal, to supply the pulpit of St. James's Church. He arrived from his long journey on the same day, and possibly by the same train with this respondent. Immediately upon his arrival, some one informed him that there was likely to be some little conflict—that Mr. Tyng, of New York, had been advertised to fill the pulpit of that church on the succeeding Sunday. Dr. Tiffany at once went across the river to see Mr. Tyng, and, says he, "As far as I had the right to do so, I put the church at his disposal for the next day, for such service as he might see fit to hold." What did Mr. Tyng do? I inquired of Dr. Tiffany whether Mr. Tyng did not then inform him that he had received an objection from the rectors of his own Church to his officiating in New Brunswick. The doctor said he did. Did Mr. Tyng avail himself of that opportunity—that providence that was opened to him—to be as magnanimous to his brethren in the ministry as Dr. Tiffany was to him? Was not that an opportunity for him to retreat gracefully, and to show that spirit of Christian courtesy which has been so sneered at by the counsel on the other side, as though it had no place in the character of a Christian minister? Can any one give any reason why he did not avail himself of this opportunity, except that he was determined to brave out this thing, to thrust himself before the public gaze as a martyr, and, in a measure, to bring disunion and ruin upon his Church? That was the secret of it—that party spirit which overrides all other considerations, which plays with the texts of the Gospel, and which, for its own ill-considered purposes, sets at naught all considerations of Christian courtesy and common propriety.
But it is said by my friend upon the other side that these gentlemen, the rectors of New Brunswick, instead of writing him a letter, ought to have called upon him and labored with him; that he had too much spirit to notice a letter; that he was not going to be put down in his liberty of prophesying; that there was a great principle involved, overriding all other considerations. Now, I will tell you what that "principle" is. It is contained in the solemn "Declaration" made by these very men who, some of them, have come here to testify, and it is, that the ministers in the Protestant Episcopal Church, who do not preach the Low Church Gospel, do not preach the Gospel of Christ, and that their office, their standing in the ministry, their existence, may be ignored, because they do not preach what those men call the Gospel of Christ. That is the principle, and here it is in the document signed by Richard Newton, D.D., a witness here; John Cotton Smith, D.D., a witness hero; Herman Dyer, D.D., a witness here; E. H. Canfield, D.D., a witness here; Stephen H. Tyng, Sr., D.D., a witness here; Stephen H. Tyng, Jr., the respondent here; all declaring to the world that certain ministers of the Protestant Episcopal Church do not preach the Gospel of Christ. Now, do they mean that? Not to do them injustice, I read their own language:
"We feel compelled to affirm that in many of the pulpits of our Church another gospel is preached which is not the Gospel of Christ. The church needs to be awakened to its peril. A paramount duty is imposed upon our clergy and our missionary organizations to see that, so far as they are able, the pure Word of God shall be preached everywhere in our land. We cannot yield this liberty and obligation to any claim of territorial jurisdiction, and we hereby express our sympathy with the resistance which is made, in this respect, to the attempted enforcement of false constructions of canonical law."
Now, if they are right in that they are justified. But I ask, what is the Gospel that is preached in these other churches? There are very serious things in Holy Writ on that subject. He who does not preach the Gospel of Christ preaches the Gospel of antichrist. Do these gentlemen mean to say that of those who do not agree with them? Will they receive ordination from the hands of a bishop holding these same views, and then turn round and charge him with preaching the Gospel of antichrist? Will they receive the communion from the hands of these same ministers, and yet charge them with preaching the Gospel of antichrist? Will they meet them in conventions and treat them as brethren, and still charge that they preach the Gospel of antichrist? The men who signed this declaration do not know what they are saying. (Laughter.) The only ground upon which they can be pardoned is, that they are densely ignorant of what their language means. (Laughter, and expressions of approval and disapproval.)
The CHAIRMAN. These demonstrations of applause, or of non-agreement with the counsel in his argument or in his language, must be stopped.
Mr. NASH. Now, if in this case there had been no opening for retreat—if this respondent had said to his reverend brethren: "This congregation is without a pastor, and notice has been very extensively given that I am to preach. I do not like to disappoint them; I do not intend to infringe upon your rights; I understand your construction of the canon, and, as I am in your parish, perhaps I ought to acquiesce in it, as I trust you would acquiesce in mine if you were in my parish. Overlook this occasion, and nothing more shall come of it." If he had said this, this charge would never have been presented. And I think that is about what the reverend respondent here ought to have said, and what, if he ever preaches to his own people upon such topics, he probably would say to them by way of instruction. I do not think, at all events, that there would have been anything in that inconsistent with the Gospel. To be sure, it would have been a little bit of professional politeness, but I don't think there was any strong overruling "providence" in the case that made professional politeness out of place. The essence of courtesy is the Golden Rule of our Lord, enforced over and over again in the Epistles of St. Peter and St. Paul—indeed, the Epistles are full of it. Be gentle; be courteous. But it is said, on the other side, that the same spirit of courtesy should have actuated the rectors of Christ Church and the Church of St. John the Evangelist; to which I agree. If this respondent had made a single word of explanation, it should have been gladly received. I offered to give in evidence, for the purpose of showing how this affair originated, a correspondence which had taken place previously between Dr. McClintock, and Bishop Odenheimer, and Dr. Stubbs, Rector of Christ Church, in reference to supplying this Church of St. James with Episcopal services. That was excluded upon the ground, I suppose, that no offer was made to connect this respondent with it, and, therefore, his cause should not be prejudiced by letting it in. It would have been an explanation of the conduct of Dr. Stubbs and Dr. Boggs in this matter; but they are not on trial here, and I suppose that the general doctrine contended for by the counsel upon the other side, that in all cases of doubt, when there is no evidence to the contrary, the law imputes the best motives to whatever action a person may feel bound to take, ought to apply to them. I may say, however, that there was a peculiar situation of things at New Brunswick which may throw some light on their course.
Mr. PARKER. If you desire to use that evidence, and will admit what is the fact, that the Rev. Mr. Tyng knew nothing whatever about it, you can read the correspondence now.
MB. NASH. I do not care to read it. I can with propriety make all the allusions to it that I need to make. It is already in evidence, from the parochial reports made to the New Jersey Convention, that Dr. Boggs was at that time the minister in charge of a new free Episcopal church. It was a struggling enterprise. It was a free church, and in that, at least, should commend itself to the sympathies of all good men. It was an attempt to give the ministrations of our Church to all without distinction of class. This church was in a suburban part of the city. It had been founded by the rector of Christ Church a few years before, and it was sustained by him from Christ Church until it had lately been made an independent organization, and Dr. Boggs had been called to be its rector. I do not know whether, according to this Declaration which I have just read, it would be the duty of the gentlemen who signed it to crush out that enterprise or not. I think it would upon the construction which this paper fairly bears. I think the signers of the Declaration might feel that they were doing God service by any sort of affiliation with other denominations in New Brunswick which would break down that free church on their theory that the Gospel was not preached in it. One of the reverend signers, however, testified that in his judgment, when such is the purpose of an intrusion into another parish, it is the basest kind of intrusion—if I recollect his language correctly. Now, let us look a moment at the Church of St. James. It belonged to what is called the Methodist Episcopal Church. That Church retains many customs of the Episcopal Church and uses large portions of its Liturgy, and there is inherent in it a large portion of the spirit of the Church from which it took its origin—for it went out from the Church of England, and John Wesley, its founder, was a devout priest of the English Church. Well, this Church of St. James, at that time without a pastor, was a sort of semi-Episcopal Church. It was not the old-fashioned Methodist church which comes to one's mind when a Methodist church is spoken of—a plain, barn-like building, painted white, without bell or steeple, or any such thing; but it was, as Dr. Tiffany describes it, one of the finest church edifices in the State of New Jersey, Gothic or Norman in its architecture, with stained-glass windows, and attractive in many of those things which have an influence in drawing indifferent persons within the walls of a sacred edifice. Such means of attracting the attention and attendance of the indifferent are now used, I believe, by all. It is not considered particularly ritualistic to make a church attractive, to make its music pleasing, or to adopt any innocent means of tempting those who care nothing for religion to hear occasionally the word of God.
Apart from this, St. James's Church had as President of its board of trustees a gentleman calling himself an Episcopalian—I say calling himself an Episcopalian, because when a man appears in two different characters it is difficult to say which is his real one. This gentleman was baptized in the Episcopal Church, but he had never been a communicant. In the winter time he was an Episcopalian, and in the summer time he was a Methodist. (Laughter.) He was a member of this respondent's congregation to such an extent that the respondent deemed that he had a right to follow him and his family into another diocese, and in that diocese he was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. It is not for me to settle his status. I leave that for the Court. He had given $18,000 to that Methodist place of worship, and, of course, was interested to that extent in the success of the enterprise. This money, thus devoted to the support of Methodism, would have been very acceptable to this little, free Episcopal Church. The people that St. James's Church was drawing away would have helped to support that free church, and we often hear that those "who wait at the altar are partakers with the altar." At any rate, in this country, where no church is entitled to receive any aid except from those who choose to give it, it is evident that the success of any enterprise of Church extension depends upon the support and good will of the laity.
I have nothing to say in reference to the clergymen connected with that Methodist Episcopal Church of St. James except what is to their honor. Dr. McClintock's conduct throughout the whole transaction was straightforward, and no fault can be found, so far as I know, with anything that either he or Dr. Tiffany has done or said in this matter. Although not bound by the laws of our Church, they seem to have recognized in every stage of this transaction, from first to last, the ordinary claims of courtesy. Dr. McClintock's project of supplying the pulpit of St. James's Church with Episcopal services had been given up, as Dr. Stubbs supposed; and therefore he was very much surprised to find that the reverend respondent in this case was about to contribute his mite, whether wittingly or unwittingly, to renew a scheme so detrimental to the free Chapel of St. John the Evangelist.
Now, I ask, what it is to those who are not theologians nor familiar with Church doctrine and discipline, what is it to the world at large which makes a church an Episcopal church? They do not always see the bishop there, and it is not that. They know, to be sure, that there is a bishop somewhere, but it is not that which in their eyes makes a church Episcopal. Nor is it the stained-glass windows, or the Gothic architecture; for these, though more common in Episcopal churches, are in other churches also. It is not entirely the different style of music, although there may to the initiated, be a difference in that. It is the liturgical worship which strikes the minds of most persons, rather than the doctrines or polity which, upon careful examination, are found to distinguish the Episcopal Church from other bodies. And it was the Episcopal form of worship that they were simulating in that Church of St. James. By a liturgical service, though mutilated, they were conveying the impression to the community of New Brunswick that this was about as good an Episcopal Church as that of Dr. Boggs; and if they could clinch that characteristic of it by having the services of a regular and well-known Protestant Episcopal minister "from Fifth Avenue, New York," what more was necessary?
I think I have said enough to show that the course which these reverend gentlemen took in the matter was not without justification, especially as the respondent made no answer to the letter which they sent him, offered no apology or explanation, but went on with his head in the air, as though there were no such persons in the ministry as the rector of Christ Church or the rector of St. John the Evangelist. What could they do other than what they did under such circumstances? They did nothing except to follow literally the course pointed out by the canons of the Church, as has been detailed here. They appealed to a law of the Church, a law recognized by all parties, and which has been in the Church from the beginning. For doing that, they are charged with persecuting an innocent "martyr!"
Now, what should they have done? Acquiesce, submit? Perhaps it is the duty of those who preach the Gospel, always to submit. Let us see if that has always been the rule in such cases.
Two or three years ago, in 1865, I think, there were proceedings going on in this diocese which many of the clergy considered irregular, and at which they felt aggrieved. I do not need to state now what they were; but the bishop of the diocese, as the administrator of its affairs, and in the exercise of what he considered to be his prerogative and his duty, issued a pastoral upon the subject, mild in temper, courteous in tone, giving no names, mentioning no instances, but simply in an admonitory way calling the attention of his clergy generally to the regulations of the Church in reference to certain subjects. One would not suppose, ordinarily, that that would be considered as any very great stretch of Episcopal prerogative. Four clergymen, however, (all of them have been witnesses here on the part of the defense,) at once rushed into print, and, intimating to the bishop that he had exceeded his authority, circulated their replies broadcast over the land. They snubbed the bishop with the canons. This is the language of one of them: "By section 10, canon 13, title 1, the bishop is recommended to deliver a charge to the clergy of his diocese, at least once in three years, and also from time to time to address to the people of his diocese pastoral letters on some points of Christian doctrine, worship, or manners." He then goes on to say, "This is neither a charge delivered to the clergy nor a pastoral addressed to the people. If the bishop desired to give advice or suggest a warning to the 'few who he hoped had acted hastily,' it could easily have been done in private; and any friendly counsel thus given would have been welcomed and allowed to have its due influence; but the document before us is obviously of another character. So all understand it, and so it was doubtless intended it should be regarded. It judges of facts, it renders a verdict, it interprets the canons, it passes sentences of judgment—it does all this officially, without any legal inquiry as to the facts, without notice to the accused, without any canonical authority to do, or pretend to do, a single one of these things;" and the paper goes on to state the provisions of the canon which prescribe the bishop's duty if a minister be accused. (Review, etc., by E. H. Canfield, p. 4.) Dr. Canfield here tosses the canons in the bishop's face, saying in effect: "If we have done anything wrong, why don't you try us according to law? As for giving us advice in this way, we won't submit to it."
The Rev. Dr. Tyng, on the first page of his reply, quotes the same canons, and intimates that the bishop's paper was extra-canonical, and that he had exceeded the authority of his office.
This is how these gentlemen treat what they regard as an unwarrantable interference on the part of the bishop.
Now, what could be done to please this respondent? This plain case comes to this diocese from the Bishop of New Jersey? It is presented to the Standing Committee, (the bishop of this diocese being then in Europe,) and the requirements of the canon all followed. The accused is informed of the charge, but takes no notice of it. If nothing is done with the charge, at the expiration of three months it will be the duty of the Bishop of New Jersey to see that it is prosecuted there; and so the committee to whom it was referred, finding the facts alleged, to be true, and believing that those facts constitute a violation of the canon, present the matter in the form of a plain, naked statement of facts, that on such a day this accused, within the city of New Brunswick, and within the parochial cure of the rector of Christ Church and the rector of the Church of St. John the Evangelist, preached without the consent of those ministers. It would seem that this was not so serious a thing that it might not be arranged; but it was a great thing to make capital out of, and we have seen how it has been used.
I stop here a moment to notice the very impertinent letter, which a person calling himself Jay Cooke has addressed to each member of this Court, I believe, and which forms a part of the record in this case. The letter appears to have been written in Philadelphia, and therefore, I suppose, the writer felt himself entirely at liberty to say impudent things of the Bishop of New York, and so he writes thus: "If I understand it, Bishop Potter does not hesitate to enter the walls of St. Alban's, recognizing the Romish practices enacted there by confirming a class."
Now, did that man know what he was writing about or not? If he did not, the simplest thing that he could have done would have been to keep quiet. Has he a right, because he has made his millions in selling government bonds, to lecture the authorities of the Church in regard to their duties. Does simony prevail to the extent that any man who is wealthy may think that he can dictate the conclusions to which a Court like this shall cornel It is proper that I should say a word or two on this subject, because of the ignorance that prevails in some quarters in reference to a bishop's duty. The bishop of a diocese is not an ecclesiastical prosecutor, who is to go about to spy out offences against the rules or canons of the Church. The bishop is ultimately to be the judge in all cases of ecclesiastical proceedings within his diocese; and it is a duty that he owes to the Church, as well as to all the parties concerned, that he should keep himself free from deciding in advance, either the facts or the law in any case. There is no church in the world in which the parochial clergy have a greater sense of their own independence than the Protestant Episcopal Church; and they do not expect their bishop to be on the watch to make complaints about them. He enters their churches on his regular visitations; and if he finds nothing to condemn, he should be satisfied. If any three presbyters make a complaint, it is his duty to notice it. If such a complaint be made against the parties officiating in St. Alban's, with proper specifications, I think I may safely pledge the American Church Union, to which my friend has referred, to stand by the authorities of the diocese and the decision of the Church upon this subject. We mean to sustain the discipline of the Church; but we do not mean to take up every paragraph that may appear, and make it the ground for a presentment.
A word or two more about St. Alban's. I should like to have the gentlemen who had the declaration, which was signed by twenty-eight bishops, distributed at the door of St. Alban's, among the people as they came out, tell me what law applies to the ceremonial of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States under which a presentment can be made. We have the views in print of two of the most eminent canonists in this country, (one of them now gone to his rest—may he sleep in peace!) who were divided in opinion how far the English law on the subject of rites and ceremonies applies to this Church; and if they could not agree, who is to decide? But suppose the English law does apply, then what is the law in England? Accept the English law governing rites and ceremonies, and you are more at sea than ever.
Now, whether this should be the subject of legislation by the Church is a question. But why will ignorant men write for the newspapers about it, and complain that the Bishop of New York does not proceed against those who officiate at St. Alban's? If the Bishop of New York should refuse to confirm at St. Alban's a class of children, who had been properly instructed, because he did not like some things that were going on there, he would, it seems to me, fail in duty. If he goes there, and sees anything amiss, and gives a friendly, a fatherly, a godly warning to those in charge, and they refuse to heed it, upon the ground of their independence———
Mr. FULLERTON. But has he given the warning?
Mr. NASH. What the Bishop of New York has done in the way of giving private admonition, I know not. It is no man's business but his own. He receives his office from a source to which alone he is accountable for the manner in which he exercises it, I must beg pardon of the Court for the time I have spent apart from the real question at issue; but when the counsel for the defense have avoided that question, and have given us five or six hours of ingenious and eloquent argumentation upon matters foreign to the case, I feel that I should be doing injustice to those for whom I act here, and to all who have the true interests of the Church at heart, if I did not make some attempt to expose the inconsistencies and exaggerations which have been brought into the case, and the unjust aspersions and calumnies for which the defense has been made the pretext.
I may be pardoned, I suppose, for saying now a word about the manner of this defense. I will take it for granted that, in putting himself into the hands of counsel, this reverend respondent means to stand by their action, and that they have not misconstrued his desires or done any thing not in accordance with them. We spent, I think, three days in taking testimony, and no one could well take a more technical course than this respondent has done, in contesting the facts which were alleged and to be proved. I do not dispute his right to do so; but I am considering how far that kind of defense is consistent with the attitude of a "glorious martyr." There was nothing in these three days' testimony that could not have been managed by stipulation between counsel in five minutes. Whether they thought that by making the duties of the presenters and of the Court (who fill here a thankless office) as arduous as possible, they could check any future attempt to enforce the discipline of the Church, or whether they thought that the longer this trial was protracted the greater opportunity there would be for exciting the public mind about it, is not important. I have an abiding faith not only in the heathen maxim, that Truth is mighty and will prevail, but also in the promise of her Head, that He will be with His Church to the end of the world; and that all strifes, all dissensions, all troubles will be overruled, and good come out of what seems evil.
But the defense have appealed here in their canonical rights; and, therefore, I come now to a consideration of their canonical obligations.
Counsel have argued that the act of the respondent being only an occasional act, was not an "officiating."
But "officiate" means a single act as well as a series of acts. It means both or either, as the case may be. Several canons have been cited upon the other side, where the word was used in the latter sense.
In subdivision 2 of section 11 of canon 13, title I, it is used in the former: "To enable the bishop, who may be rector of a church, to make his official visitation, it shall be the duty of the clergy .... to officiate for him in the performance of his parochial duties," etc.
Now, clearly the word "officiate" here means to officiate occasionally; it may be, one Sunday only.
The word is also used in the single sense in sub. 2 of section 2 of canon 6, and also in section 1 of canon 10 of title I.
But I need not go to the canons for this. One of the most important witnesses on the part of the defense (although in another place I think he holds the contrary) says that he officiated in New Brunswick on one occasion, marrying a couple there, and that he asked the consent of the Rector of Christ Church; and in the same testimony he says, that if the Rector of Christ Church had baptized a certain child—the child of a member of his church in New York, temporarily residing in New Brunswick—without his consent, that act would have been a violation of the canon in question. How would that act have been a violation of the canon, unless it were an officiating? But this point, it seems to me, is too plain, and I will not dwell longer upon it.
Now, if one act constitutes officiating, why, then, of course, other things being out of the way, the preaching one day in New Brunswick was an officiating, within the meaning of the canon; but if preaching on one Sunday does not constitute an officiating, then will my friends upon the other side say how many such acts would?
Suppose that the reverend gentlemen who have signed this declaration, which they all "stand by," chose to go, one after another, and officiate in St. James's Methodist Episcopal Church in New Brunswick, would that be a violation of the canon by any one of them, or by them all? Of course, they could not be tried together; because, in order to try them in that way, you would have to make out a conspiracy to officiate, and there is no such thing known under our canon laws. Officiating is made uncanonical under certain circumstances; but each offender is to be punished for his own sins, and not for those of others. What I have said disposes of the question of officiating.
Now I come to another matter, which has been made a puzzle of by the counsel upon the other side—the exchange of pulpits between ministers of the Church. The counsel interpreted the admission which we made, as to the usage on this point, as an admission that all the clergy of the Church have been guilty of violating this canon from time immemorial. But the true view of the canon shows that it does not apply to the church edifice, and so does not affect exchange of pulpits; for church canons, like other laws, must be construed in reference to the evils they were made to prevent, and the rights that needed to be secured.
The "parish or parochial cure" named in this canon means the territory outside of the church edifice, and not the church edifice itself. The inclosure of so many feet square, with its pulpit, its communion-table or altar, its chancel, its pews, needs no protection from the canons of the Church. The law of the land protects it. "No person shall willfully disturb, interrupt, or disquiet any assemblage of people met for religious worship .... by rude or indecent behavior, or by making a noise, either within the place of worship or so near it as to disturb the order and solemnity of the meeting."
This is the law that protects a minister within his church and pulpit; and it has been frequently enforced in this State. I cite it from the Revised Statutes, vol. I, p. 674 (marginal paging). The same law has existed from the earliest legislation in our State, and it is a re-enactment in this country of a statute of William and Mary.
There can be no doubt that this construction of the canon, which applies it to the territory outside the church, is the correct one; for, take the case which has been so often presented to this Court, the case of several churches in one city, or other civil division, without any separation by parish lines between them, as is the case in the city of New York. It is most triumphantly asked of Dr. Stubbs: "Did you not ever preach in any church in the city of New York, without the consent of a majority of the rectors in the city?" Of course he has done so, and the invitation of the minister in charge was a sufficient authority. But suppose he applied for and received the consent of a majority of the rectors in the city of New York, would this have allowed him to preach in the pulpit in which he did preach, without the consent of the minister of that church? If it was necessary to get the consent of a majority of the rectors of the city in order to preach in that church, then that consent would give permission to preach without the consent of its minister.
But that is an absurd construction of the canon, which was never intended to apply to a minister's own church edifice, nor, consequently, to preach in it by consent. He does not need any canon to protect him there. What he needs is a canon to protect him in the territory around that edifice—in his parish—where the law of the land does not protect him.
This, I think, gets rid of the difficulty which has been thrown around the construction of this canon.
And does not a clergyman need such a protection for himself and for his flock residing around his church? The ordinary presumption, of course, should be, that every minister of our Church preaches the Gospel as understood by the Church; and, therefore, that a minister going into another parish to preach, would preach the Gospel in that parish. But it has been solemnly declared, in the Declaration signed by the reverend respondent in this case, that many ministers do not preach the Gospel. If that be the case, and just so far as that is the case, the presumption that this reverend respondent preached the Gospel in St. James's Church, on that Sunday loses force; because, if one clergyman of the Church fails to preach the Gospel, and preaches something else, surely another may; and if we once depart from the legal presumption that all clergymen of the Church preach the Gospel, then we don't know where we are—we don't know who are those that do, or who are those that do not. Assuming, however, that it is the desire of the Church to have the Gospel preached everywhere, as distinguished from what is not the Gospel, she appoints her ministers, each in his parish, to do it.
But who is to decide as to the doctrine preached? Is the law to be considered as violated or not, according to what the accused preaches? There is nothing to that effect in it. Or is it not to be construed as simply confining such minister to his own limits, with his own responsibilities for his preaching? I so hold, and say, therefore, that this canon, which protects a minister in a certain territory, which is, ordinarily, the territory or sphere of his personal influence—the territory or circuit within which people attend his church—is a wise canon, calculated to preserve the peace and harmony of the Church; and the construction I have given it is not only a reasonable construction, but it is the only construction that is needed to be given to it, and the one that is carried out by that portion of subdivision 2 which defines what a parish is: "Parochial boundaries shall be the limits, as now fixed by law, of any village, town, or township, incorporated borough, city," etc.
Any corporate municipal body, any political division which has fixed limits, constitutes the parish, and its limits are the limits of the parish. But for that provision there might be difficulty in determining whether a man's church edifice was not the boundary of his parish; but as a different definition is given to a parish boundary, the church-edifice definition must be dropped out of view.
I think the Court wilt find, upon a careful examination of the canon in view of the mischief which was to be prevented, and the need of legislation to prevent it—and for this rule of constructing the canon I adopt the argument of my friend upon the other side, who spoke on Saturday [Mr. Parker]—that this is the true, legitimate, and proper meaning of this canon; and that the parish or parochial cure of any minister of the Church is the space or territory outside of and around his church edifice, within the boundaries of the city or town in which his church is. If those boundaries are too large for one parish, the law of the church provides for a division of the territory by the incorporation of another parish, and facilitates, in this way, the growth of the Church; and I think the Court will find, on comparing the canon on the same subject—relating to the division of parishes, and the organization of new parishes out of existing parishes—that the construction for which I contend is harmonious throughout.
A difficulty has been suggested in reference to the application of the canon to a minister's parishioners living over the boundaries of his parish. Now, I cannot agree with the view taken by Rev. Dr. Tyng, that in the summer season, when his large and fashionable congregation is scattered to the four quarters of the globe, almost, his parish expands accordingly. If he were to follow his parishioners, he might have to follow some of them up the Nile, perhaps some into the city of Home; and how he would exercise his parochial rights in such places, and under such circumstances, it is a little difficult for me to see. However, to a certain extent, the view is true—that the term parochial cure may have a larger and more liberal interpretation than the word parish. The term parochial cure docs seem to imply the families who belong to the congregation of the minister; and undoubtedly a fair and liberal interpretation of the canon requires that a minister who is pastor of a flock may minister to its members, to a certain extent, (in their residences., for instance,) outside of his parish limits. For instance, to take one of the illustrations used upon the other side: Dr. Stubbs had a parishioner living across the river from New Brunswick, in the township of Piscataqua; that parishioner might belong to the territorial parish of another clergyman; but Dr. Stubbs might be permitted, without violation of the canon, to go across the, river and administer to him such services as a private Christian might require of his pastor. But the fact that one of his parishioners lived across the river certainly would not give him a right to go over there and hire a school-house, and there preach to another congregation. Ministerial service consists partly in preaching; but the office of preacher, as I understand it, is to be exercised in the congregation—it supposes a congregation.. The canon requires that at such services Morning Prayer shall be used, according to the Prayer-Book. It supposes an assembly of people in a public place of worship, where all may come; but to go to a private house to administer any of the rites of the Church, is not preaching—docs not presume the existence of any congregation, and does not justify the assembling in a public place of a congregation, under color of ministering to an individual or family.
Now, if this be so, then this curious attempt on the part of this respondent to make Christopher Meyer's residence in Piscataqua an authority for his preaching in New Brunswick, is as ridiculous as it is evasive.
The case is not before the Court for any adjudication upon this point; but looking at this canon with a desire to get at its true meaning, I am disposed to concede that such private services as a pastor is required to perform for members of his own flock—such as marrying, baptizing, or visiting the sick—are entirely lawful for a minister to perform outside of his parish limits; and that it would have been lawful for this respondent to have visited the family of Mr. Meyer in Piscataqua and performed for them any of those private ministrations, and that he could not have been lawfully complained of by any one for so doing. I think the parochial cure does extend in that way beyond the territorial boundaries of the parish. But what did the respondent do at Mr. Meyer's? He is not charged in the presentment with anything done there, with saying family prayers, for instance—although I have never understood that that was peculiarly a ministerial function—rather that of every head of a household. He did not solemnize holy matrimony there. He did not baptize any member of that household. So far as the evidence goes, it docs not appear that his visit had an official, or any other than a social character; and if he had performed there any official act which would have been his excuse under this canon, I think he certainly would have proved it. What he really did, not in that parish of Mr. Meyer, but in Now Brunswick, was to preach publicly to as large a congregation as a general and conspicuous advertisement in a newspaper would bring together; and now to claim that because there were in that congregation eleven persons, the members of Mr. Meyer's family, and four or five others who belonged to the respondent's church in New York, he was entitled, according to the usage of the Church, to go and preach there is, I think, to claim a little too much.
It is not necessary for us, in this case, (and, therefore, the testimony which it was supposed bore on that point was properly excluded) to establish any intent on the part of the respondent to wrong his brethren in the ministry, in order to make out the offense charged in the presentment. There is no intent charged in the presentment, and there has been no effort on the part of the presenters to prove such intent. And yet the absence of any proof upon that subject is urged as a reason why the case is not made out! If the canon was innocently violated, if there had merely been a mistake committed, undoubtedly an honest intent would be a great excuse. But it should not be required of a minister whose rights have boon invaded, that he should show, in order to be entitled to the protection of the canon, that his brother in the ministry who wantonly and in disregard of due notice and warning, invades his right, has some ulterior end in view. We cannot tell what men's purposes are except by their acts. All that we could show here was that this respondent had disregarded the fair and courteous notice given to him that the service he was advertised to hold in St. James's Methodist Episcopal Church would be considered by the rectors of New Brunswick as an intrusion upon their rights.
But it is said—and I now approach the last suggestion I have to make in reference to the construction of the canon—it is said that because the act complained of was in the church of another denomination, it is not embraced by the canon; and in order to sustain this point, an idea of jurisdiction is taken from municipal law, and imported into the case.
Now, jurisdiction properly means the right to exercise certain prerogatives or functions within certain territorial districts. The jurisdiction of the local courts of the city of New York is confined to the city of New York—that is their jurisdiction. But in any community where the civil law does not enforce the regulations of ecclesiastical bodies, it is quite clear that the idea of jurisdiction can not properly be taken into view, except in and among the members of the particular body itself. They may create jurisdiction as between themselves, as they have done, as the Protestant Episcopal Church has done ever since its existence in this country. The jurisdiction of a bishop is a territorial jurisdiction. The jurisdiction of the Bishop of New Jersey is over the whole State of Now Jersey. But it will be said on the other side, "Has he any jurisdiction over the Methodists, the Presbyterians, or the Roman Catholics in that State?" Why, no; none at all according to the civil law. But as against all other bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church he has an exclusive jurisdiction over the State of New Jersey; and it would be just as much a violation of the canonical law of the Church for a bishop from any other diocese, without the consent of the Bishop of New Jersey, to go within the territorial limits of that State and perform Episcopal acts, as it would be of the civil law if the Protestant Episcopal Church were the creed of the land, and its rights were defined by State or Federal legislation. The law of the Church is binding upon the members of the Church—not, of course, upon those who are not members of it; and the jurisdiction of its bishops is, as between themselves, as exclusive as if the Church were the recognized creed of the civil law. And just so in reference to parish limits. No minister of this Church in New Brunswick has any right to impose his views, his modes of worship, or his preaching, upon any persons who will not hear him. He has no right to go into a Presbyterian Church, for he has no jurisdiction there, in the sense of legal power. He has no right to go into the Court-House of New Brunswick and preach, if the public authorities do not permit him. He has no right to go through the territorial limits of his parish and force his preaching upon any, whether they be Methodists, Presbyterians, or what not. But as against his brethren in the same ministry who have agreed to be bound by the same rules and regulations as he, who, with him, have agreed to the parceling out of these territorial jurisdictions between themselves, his rights are exclusive, and they can not be destroyed or disregarded because another denomination has built a place of worship in some one spot in his parish.
The gentleman who closed the argument upon the other side spoke of the exclusiveness of our Church in arrogating to itself peculiar privileges and rights above other denominations, and he seemed to argue, that, therefore the respondent was authorized to violate or ignore any canon or regulation which may stand in the way of fellowship with other denominations. I had not intended to say anything upon that subject; but perhaps I ought not to omit to notice it, because it has been made the ground for a good deal of misrepresentation of the motives of those who have in charge this presentment, and who are conducting it, as they believe, strictly according to the laws and regulations of the Church. I contend that there is no body of Christians in the United States more liberal toward other bodies than the Protestant Episcopal Church, even as represented, if you please, by the most extreme "High Church" party within it; I use the term because it has been introduced by my friends upon the other side. The legislation of the Church shows this to be, so; and it is the legislation of the Church that is to be resorted to rather than the practice of individuals. There is no minister, or licentiate even, (that is, a person simply licensed to preach,) of any denomination of Christians in this land who can not, if he have the proper moral and religious character, and is free from blame in his own denomination, become a minister of the Protestant Episcopal Church upon six months' probation. That is the law of the church. If the party to which the respondent belongs wishes to have a majority in this diocese or in any other part of the Church, why don't they bring in their friends from the other denominations with whom they desire to be in fellowship? There are enough of them, as the counsel has shown—Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, and others'—to swamp the Episcopal Church, if they will only come in. In six months they can come in, and in due time, can have seats in the Convention and make such canons as they please. Six months' probation is all that is required for the first orders; and every minister of a congregation, no matter what his original denomination, is entitled to a seat in the Convention, and to a voice in making our laws, and in the election of our bishops. Is there, anything exclusive about that? But they say, you do not recognize the validity of orders which are not episcopal in their origin. "Well, who has a right to recognize or not recognize such orders? I ask any intelligent man whether anything that the Church can do, anything that any individual clergyman may do, can change the fact? It does not depend upon what we say or do, whether orders obtained from any other source than the bishops are valid or not in the Church. Suppose we should go to work and legislate through a general convention as broadly as any body could desire, and declare that it is the voice of this Church that all orders, no matter how obtained are valid orders of ministry, would that help the ease? If they were not really so, would our saying so help the case? Can we make or unmake the Church of God according to the voice of the predominant majority of the moment? Men have their different views, undoubtedly; but every man is bound to hold to the truth as he finds it, and not to charge exclusiveness upon those who, reading the facts of history, come to certain conclusions about the organization of the Church of God. For others holding a different view to charge these with being uncharitable or exclusive because they follow the truth as it appears to them, seems to be absurd. I ask if there is anywhere, in any part of the Church, a stronger yearning for unity among all Christians throughout the world than among those thus charged with being exclusive? Their desire is for unity with all who can stand upon the Nicene creed. That is the unity for which the Church longs—unity with the living and with the dead, unity with the Church which first met in the upper chamber at Jerusalem, unity with all branches of that Church throughout the world. That is the feeling which fills the Christian heart and which is embodied in the creed, "I believe in the Holy Catholic Church," not "I believe in the Protestant Episcopal Church"—you don't find that in the creed; The Church holds out the hand of fellowship to all; gives them the most liberal invitation, saying to them, Come if you will, and be ministers at her altars; take to yourselves parishes and teach the people; vote for our bishops, legislate in our councils, and be brethren with us in all the offices of this holy ministry. But do not ask us to give up what we believe, perhaps incorrectly, perhaps without sufficient warrant, but still what we believe essential to the Church. If one of our own youth desires to become a minister in the Church in which he has been brought up, in which he has learned his catechism and his creed, been confirmed and lived an exemplary and pious life, the Church requires the full qualifications as to education, classical and otherwise. He passes through his novitiate, and, after he has been a candidate for orders, usually for throe years, he is admitted to the first order of deacon. Ordinarily he serves in that order for three years before he is admitted into the order of priests. That is the law of the Church in reference to her own children; and yet, in reference to all who, having been licensed or ordained in other denominations, desire to enter her ministry, all that she requires is that their grounds for leaving the denominations to which they have been attached shall not be such as are unfavorable to their moral and religious character, and that, after a brief novitiate of six months, they shall pass an examination on those peculiarities which distinguish the Protestant Episcopal Church from other bodies. After that short probation, they may be admitted upon a parity with those of her own children who have been brought up under her teachings and who have spent from three to six years in special preparation. I can see nothing exclusive or illiberal in this; but if there is any thing in the attitude of our Church toward other religious bodies which is not believed by those who minister at her altars to be consistent with Christian charity, I certainly think that any change in her attitude ought to be the result of consultation in her councils, and of regular canonical enactments by her authorities. Her position, as settled in her canons, is clear and distinct. Any minister of another body who has had Episcopal ordination, as distinguished from ordination by a Presbytery or from none at all, may be received into our Church after a short probation without re-ordination. But any minister from another body who has not had Episcopal ordination, though he may be received into the Church upon the same liberal terms, must be re-ordained, as the Church always requires Episcopal ordination, and does not recognize the validity of any other. Such are the canons. I don't know any party in the Church that is responsible for them. It has been the settled policy of the Church from its beginning in this country. I do not know of any attempt having been made to repeal it; and, if I read aright the position of the gentlemen on the other side, they in other places acquiesce in its propriety. Says Dr. John Cotton Smith, in his answer to the bishop's pastoral, (p. 5,) "I hold it (the Episcopal constitution) to be essential to the well-being of the Church. I have no expectation that there will ever be any real or structural union in the Church of Christ except upon the basis of Apostolic Episcopacy." How is it that this is not exclusive or uncharitable? Dr. Smith continues: "So far from sympathizing with denominationalism and the sect spirit among Christians, I have always contended against them, and striven especially that our Church should not descend from her catholic position to that of a denomination or sect."
I ask nothing better than that. What, then, do these gentlemen mean who agitate for what they do not want, for the sake of creating prejudices against those with whom they differ?
I asked one of the other reverend witnesses a question based upon a statement in this same pamphlet of replies to the bishop—one of them who was styled one of the Patriarchs of the Church, by the counsel on the other side—but there seemed to be, among these witnesses for the respondent, a tendency to flinch from the facts. I quote from Rev. Dr. Tyng's pamphlet, (p. 19,) who says to the bishop: "I do not think a general mingling of the ministrations of the different denominations of Christians would be wise or likely to be effectual. I fear, with you, that such efforts will tend to disorder and confusion rather than to peace and harmony." I ask nothing better than that. Why will they not live up to it? Why preach forever and never practice?
[Rev. Dr. TYNG. "I do try to live up to it."]
When he was asked, as a witness, whether that was correct, he reversed the whole order, and thought it would be very useful "to carry our excellent forms of worship" among other denominations, and gain them from "their irregular relations over to the Church." Well, I don't think that Dr. Tiffany understood the efforts of this respondent exactly in that light.
As a matter of Christian courtesy, if a minister of the Protestant Episcopal Church accepts an invitation to preach in a Presbyterian or a Methodist or a Baptist pulpit, and preaches there the peculiar doctrines of his own Church, unless it is distinctly understood beforehand that he is to do so, I am inclined to think that it would be ground of just complaint; a minister of the Episcopal Church officiating for such a congregation is naturally expected to adopt, to some degree at least, their forms of worship.
Now, does the result of this intermingling of services answer the expectation of these gentlemen? When they go in that way to other churches, do they bring over the congregations and the ministers of those churches? Is that the result? I do not think it is. It was said by some one—I believe of the unfortunate Colenso, Bishop of Natal—that he had been sent out a missionary to convert the Zulus, but that, by mistake, the Zulus had converted him. [Laughter.]
By way of further illustration, I may allude to the remark of a political friend, who, when Secretary Seward was going around the country with President Johnson, was asked whether he thought Secretary Seward could, consistently with his former position in the Republican party, accompany President Johnson on that tour, and give him the sanction of his presence? The answer of the gentleman was: "Oh! he is going along to prevent the President from getting into the Democratic party." (Laughter.) I imagine a like result usually follows these attempts to convert other denominations by going into their churches that followed Mr. Seward's efforts to save the President. No! congregations are not converted in that way.
Yet now, when, after the turmoil of our civil war, men were wearied of what was called political preaching, of whatever kind; when all eyes seemed to be turning to the order and harmony of the Episcopal Church, which had survived, unbroken, all these civil struggles—a Church where the Gospel was preached according to the four Evangelists; where the strifes of the world were, to a great extent, kept out of the pulpit, and men found peace and comfort; when there was evidently a longing for her services apparent among many of the religious bodies in our land, and a feeling of kindness and affection toward her—what do we see? We see a large body within her communion taking every occasion to disparage her ministry and to mutilate her services, and making a boast of doing so. In view of this fact, I say that if there is any determined position that should be taken by the authorities of our Church, it is that no individual minister shall have the right to commit the Church at large to any particular attitude in reference to the clergy of other denominations, and that, if any change be necessary, it should be the subject of legislation in our general councils, and be there settled. And if the proposition shall be made to enlarge this canon so that a minister of our Church may officiate in the Church of a minister of another religious body, without being considered guilty of a violation of the canon, I will propose, for the benefit of our friends on the other side, an amendment which will settle the matter. After the end of this first section I suggest that they move the addition of these words: "Provided, however, that nothing herein contained shall be construed as prohibiting any minister from so officiating in the church edifices of the following denominations of Christians, on the invitation of the minister or trustees of any church thereof, to wit: Congregationalists, Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists, Moravian, German Reformed, Lutheran, Quaker, Roman Catholic, Unitarian, Universalist, or Swedenborgian."
This collection I take from a very respectable Presbyterian writer, Baird's Religion in America. He classes the different bodies, and gives a great many more than I have given here. And if a ministration in the church edifice of another denomination of Christians is to be construed as an exception to the operation of this canon, it is desirable to know what bodies of Christians are to create the exception. Is it to be made at the whim or caprice of any individual minister? May a minister select what he considers "eminently respectable" churches in which to officiate? May he go, without violating this canon, (supposing that otherwise he is within its purview,) and officiate in a Unitarian Church? He may say, and say truly, that the Unitarian Church is a very respectable body. It has produced some very eminent Christians. I need hardly mention the saintly Channing of Boston, to say nothing of other eminent men who have belonged to that church. If we are to take the ground that every religious body which produces men of pious life and character may be adjudged by the opinion or caprice of any individual minister in our Church to have regular orders, and a valid ministry, where are we? Of all the prominent bodies of Christians in this country, it may be truly said that they have produced men of eminent piety and holiness of life. I suppose that the city of Boston at one time had three as eminent, devout, and holy men, in three churches of very diverse creeds, as could well be found in any one place—Bishop Griswold of the Protestant Episcopal Church, Archbishop Cheverus of the Roman Catholic Church, and Dr. Channing of the Unitarians. Is the truth of the Gospel to depend upon the personal holiness or virtue of individual men? Undoubtedly there will come a time, but it is yet far distant, when we shall see truth and goodness together as One; but in this lower world we find many men holding the truth intellectually who are destitute of Christian piety, and a great many others having many Christian virtues who hold very defective and erroneous beliefs. No Church, how. ever, that does not believe in itself, can do much toward evangelizing the world. No body of men who are indifferent to the very essentials of the Church to which they belong, can ever impress those essentials upon the minds of others. Therefore it is necessary that every body of Christians should have a firm faith in its own standards, should believe in its own dogmas, and should have confidence in its own orders. Its own ministers should stand by their flag, whatever it may be, and only as they do so will they produce any effect upon the world. Otherwise Christianity is only natural religion; it degenerates into Deism or deliquesces into mere literature. If a man has no positive dogma, no belief in any of the truths of the Gospel, no loyalty and love to his Church, he can do little to advance its cause.
I have departed from the line of my argument to vindicate the Church from this opprobrium of exclusiveness. To hold fast to the truth as a man believes it is entirely consistent with the most large-hearted Christian charity, and if these gentlemen who seem to be desirous (because their efforts seem to tend that way) of creating divisions in the Protestant Episcopal Church, and casting opprobrium upon those with whom they do not agree, do it in the hope of currying favor with other bodies around them, I think they are woefully mistaken. The counsel upon the other side took occasion to allude to that affair at Philadelphia. What a sight that was! A bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church going into that conclave to receive their certificate of his orthodoxy, they in effect saying to him, "We do really believe now that you have some truth in your Church;" one of them going so far as to say that he had no sort of doubt that if the sermons of the bishop of Ohio were all collected together, the Gospel would be found to be preached in all of them! No! gentlemen will gain nothing by efforts of this kind. There are those in the other denominations who look on with anxiety at these disputes and strifes in the Episcopal Church. There are others, more partisan in their feelings, who look on with hope, thinking that they see our Church brought to its fall; but let me say that none of these other denominations will receive to their bosoms those whose parricidal hands are seeking to accomplish that fall.
I go back now to the construction of this canon, and to conclude all I have to say in reference to its immediate provisions.
The point was taken upon the other side that no single act, even though it might appear to be a violation of the letter of this canon, could be considered a violation of its spirit, because the object and purpose of the canon was to prevent building up rival congregations. Well, you can not have rivalry of that kind built up without a beginning. How long does it take to build up a rival congregation by these intrusive services? Are you to wait until the end is attained, until the rival congregation is built up, before you can charge a violation of the canon? If an effort of that kind is to be stopped, it must be in the beginning. I come, therefore, to this conclusion, that if this act of the respondent in this case was not a violation of this canon, it cannot be violated by any act short of a breach of the peace, by going into another man's church and turning him out of his pulpit.
That was the construction of Rev. Dr. Tyng—that a man's parish consisted of his pulpit merely, and of the dwelling-houses of his congregation, and that anywhere else he had no right under the canons of the Church. There is no danger of getting any very large congregation in a private house, and therefore, it is impossible under Dr. Tyng's construction of the canon, that it should be violated except by going into another minister's church and disturbing the worship there. As I have said before, we did not need a canon to prevent that; the law of the land prevents it.
In giving my construction of the canon, I cut loose the basis of the argument which was rested on usage. No witness pretended to testify here that it was the usage of ministers of our Church to preach within the territorial limits of other men's parishes against their express prohibition. I think that all of those who did testify here to usage were gentlemen who had previously signed this Declaration, agreeing to stand by the respondent in this case, and they testified accordingly. I think I may fairly say that they did not testify candidly on this subject of usage, with the exception, perhaps, of Dr. Muhlenberg—that saint who might break all the canons of the Church, and, as in the case of the oath sworn by Uncle Toby, "the recording angel would drop a tear upon the page and blot it out forever." (Applause.) Dr. Muhlenberg testified candidly, but only as to his individual practice, and there is nothing in his testimony which hurts the case of the presenters.
In reference to this matter of preaching, it may be that there is room in the Church for a different class of ministers from any we now have—an order sometimes called Evangelists. That question has been presented on several different occasions at the General Convention, and the House of Bishops has been, I believe, very strongly against a change. There was a petition in 1865, I think, by prominent men of all schools of opinion in the Church, for the establishment of such an order. In the Roman Church they have something of that kind. The great trouble, in a community like ours, restive under all restraints, is the regulation of a body of men whose gifts are peculiarly in the line of preaching. They are apt to be carried away by their zeal or by other influences, and sometimes to become fanatical, and they are always, from the nature of their peculiar gifts, impatient of control. I suppose there never was a more eloquent preacher in the Scotch Church than Edward Irving, upon whose eloquence crowds in London so often hung in wrapt attention, but we all know his fate. Fashion deserted him. He degenerated into a mere fanatic; then came the speaking in unknown tongues, and he died brokenhearted, perhaps a lunatic. There is something in popular incense that is terribly inebriating. At all events, whatever the reason may be, the Church has hitherto declined to depart from the regular order of her ministry—diocesan bishops, parochial ministers, and missionaries connected with some particular society or organization and having definite fields of labor. The Paulists in the Roman Catholic Church in this city, who are chiefly, I believe, persons who were originally in the Presbyterian and other denominations, have been very successful in this matter of evangelizing. But they are under strict? regulations. "The missionaries (I read from the Life of Father Baker) are invited by the pastor of the parish with the sanction of the bishop of the diocese from whom they receive jurisdiction." They hold meetings which are in the nature of revivals. They reach "by enthusiasm and excitement a large class of persons who are ordinarily indifferent to all the claims of the Gospel. They begin in the early morning and continue the services during the day. When the men have gone to their daily duties, the missionaries devote themselves to catechising and instructing the children and to hearing confessions, and in the evening there is generally a passionate exhortation from some of their most celebrated preachers. They do their work while they are about it. They do not preach a sermon and then take the next train.
But all changes that may be desirable in our organization, all efforts to increase the efficiency of the Church, judicious in plan, and promising to be effectual, would, I have no doubt, receive from all parties in the Church cordial support. Is not this the best way to go to work? If there is anything defective in our organization, is it not better to make the required changes under the law and through the law, rather than by breaking the law?
It has been charged that this particular canon has a party bearing. I am surprised at that charge. I can not see how it is so. The canon was enacted in the Church long before the parties that now exist in it had any existence. It comes down from the early past; and its general tendency being to protect the independence and rights of every minister in the Church, no matter to what school or shade of opinion he belongs, I do not sec how it can be said to be a canon made in the interests of any party. If it seems to wear a party look now, it is only because a certain party insists upon violating it. Suppose during my summer vacation I should be with my family members of a decidedly Low Church parish; I should consider myself an unworthy Churchman, if, while occupying that position, I should, under color of inviting any clergyman from New York or elsewhere, whom I chose to entertain hospitably, set on foot other services, or in any way sow distrust between that minister and his parishioners. I do not see why all persons and parties in the Church can not live by this law. It is a good law. It exacts of no one anything more than Christian charity and ordinary courtesy would exact. I have shown that it is a mistake to suppose that it limits or restrains in any way the liberty of preaching. I think I have shown that to violate it in order to carry out some other end—the affiliation, for instance, with other religious bodies—is not only a perversion of the ministerial office and an interference with the rights of ministers of the Church, but is putting the Church itself in a false attitude. We have, perhaps, in this community, a larger number of religious bodies than there are in almost any other country in the world. All the disjecta membra of the Church, which came from the struggles of the Reformation, have found a home here. We are here from England, from Ireland, from Scotland, from Germany, from nearly every part of the civilized world. Here we all stand upon the same footing before the law. Under the law of the land our Church has no rights superior to those of any other religious body. All these bodies have their own organizations and their own views of the best means of advancing the Gospel and the interests of their own bodies. Can not we live in peace, each following its own way in the confidence that it is the best way; and not make our whole struggle for the cause of the great Head of the Church a constant internecine warfare among ourselves. I picture the ark of God floating upon the waves of this troubled world, and those who are within it striving to save from the weltering sea about them the souls of many who ought to be within that ark. I sec its banner high aloft—the crucified Saviour. What-more do I see? I see men on board whose work is the salvation of souls, quarreling with each other at the expense of a ruined world. What more do I see? I thought I saw as in a dream—God grant it may not be true—but I thought I saw some within that ark who were trying to scuttle it!
The learned counsel upon the other side, who closed the argument, made, what I thought was a threat. He seemed to dare, this Court to administer the discipline of the Church; he seemed to prophesy—I don't know whether he meant it as a threat or not—that this respondent would not submit to discipline. Perhaps I do him injustice, but I understood him to prophesy great calamities to the Church if the respondent should be convicted; and the victory was declared in advance to be a defeat, if a victory should be obtained.
Now an example has been given of ecclesiastical discipline in this country which I think ought to be held as a precedent by all concerned. I do not mean to rake among dying embers; but there was a case of discipline in this diocese which has not yet passed from the recollection of those present, and to which it may not be improper for me to refer. For sixteen long years, a man who had worn the highest honors of the Church in this country, went about these streets on his daily way to the house of prayer, stripped of all his dignities. There were friends who told him that his sentence was illegal, that the canons had been violated, and that all he had to do was to insist upon his legal rights; but he did not follow their advice. His liberty of preaching was restrained; his right of ordaining ministers, of laying on hands in confirmation was suspended; and he who had presided in the councils of this diocese, went to his grave a private Christian, after sixteen years of obedience to the discipline of the Church, without murmur or complaint. It would not become me to say that that discipline was owing entirely to any partisan feeling in the Church. There were those who thought so—perhaps carried away by the excitement of the times—but it is well known that the management of the case, its initiation, and its conduct from the beginning to the close,, were in the hands of those who are represented, to a great extent, in the party which now objects to all ecclesiastical discipline. Just "before receiving his sentence, that defendant prayed that it might not alienate from the episcopal body "the confidence of the Church, and plunge her into irretrievable distraction." I think the prayer was heard. Whatever of party spirit entered into the prosecution spent its force there. Its victory, to use the language of my friend, was its defeat. It came up a great, swelling wave, threatening to submerge the Church itself, but it broke into drift and foam along the shore, and the Church stood as a rock, stronger than ever in the affections of her devoted children, and so stands to-day. The Church can inflict discipline and not be ruined, if she does it in the fear of God, and for, as her sole end, the good of her clergy and people.
Now, there is nothing in this case (God be thanked) which affects the character or usefulness of this respondent, or which will prevent his being an honor to his Church. Greater men than he have submitted to discipline and have left names which are sweet in the recollections of the Church. What may be the effect in this case I can not know, nor do I anticipate the result of the trial. I do not labor here for victory. I do not ask for any finding of this respondent guilty unless the Court are clear in the conviction, that, by the true construction of this canon, the act which he performed, against protest, was a violation of the canon. If so, I take it for granted that they will do their duty according to their consciences, and leave the rest to God. That is the way of acting which is brought home to every one of us in his daily life. We have to find out what is right and do it; leaving the consequences to take care of themselves.
As to the religious bodies around us, I think one thing at least is sure, that nothing is to be gained in respect to them by departing from our own Church principles, or our own Church laws. In this connection I do not think it out of place to allude to the resolution put forth by the council of bishops at Lambeth, including one of the bishops of the party to which this respondent belongs. "We bishops of Christ's Holy Catholic Church, in visible communion with the United Church of England and Ireland, professing the faith delivered to us in Holy Scripture, maintained by the primitive Church, and by the Fathers of the English Reformation, .... do here solemnly record our conviction that unity will be most effectually promoted by maintaining the faith in its purity and integrity—as taught in the Holy Scriptures, held by the primitive Church, summed up in the creeds, and affirmed by the undisputed General Councils—and by drawing each of us closer to our common Lord, by giving ourselves to much prayer and intercession, by the cultivation of a spirit of charity, and a love of the Lord's appearing."
That is so theologically, according to the doctrines of the Gospel. That is so even mathematically—draw near to the centre and all will become one. But let bodies at the circumference, instead of trying to draw near to the centre, give way to distractions and quarrels among themselves, and the result will be that they will fly off in tangents or run in all sorts of eccentric courses. We may never see the Christian world united again in one body, but it is the hope of every Christian heart and the prayer of our Church in many of her offices. We shall find the perfect shape of truth only at "her Master's second coming," (to use the fine language of Milton;) "He shall bring together every joint and member, and shall mould them into an immortal feature of loveliness and perfection."
I think I ought not to omit to notice, before I close, the allusion (not quite in keeping, I think, with the general dignity of this case) which has been made to a book of prayer said to be published under the auspices of the rector of Trinity Church. The counsel upon the other side read a prayer from that book in memory of the dead. I do not think there is any one who has had' a near friend gone before him who can hesitate long about using that prayer, whatever his creed is. Any man who can use the prayer for the Church militant in our Communion Office, where we bless God's holy name, for all his servants departed this life in his faith and fear, and beseech him to give us grace so to follow their good examples, that with them we may be partakers of his heavenly kingdom, can, I think, use the prayer the counsel has read.
There is another prayer that I must read in this connection from the Burial of the Dead—a prayer that has come, to us from the Reformation:
"Almighty God, with whom do live the spirits of those who depart hence in the Lord, and with whom the souls of the faithful, after they are delivered from the burden of the flesh, are in joy and felicity, we give thee hearty thanks for the good examples of all those thy servants, who, having finished their course in faith, do now rest from their labors. And we beseech thee that we, with all those who are departed in the true faith of thy holy name, may have our perfect consummation and bliss, both in body and soul, in thy eternal and everlasting glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."
Mr. FULLERTON. If you want to compare the two prayers, Mr. Nash, here is the one that I read.
Mr. NASH. I listened to it when you read it. So much for these prayers.
Now, I think it is about time that our clergy who are so strenuous about the liberty of preaching should also have some regard to the quality of the preaching. The future that awaits the Christian Church is full of doubt, is full of peril. It is not simply any one form of the Christian faith, any one denomination of Christians, any one body calling itself a Church, it is not simply Protestantism, it is not simply Romanism—it is Christianity itself that is at stake. And I say again, it is time that the clergy of our Church girded up their loins, polished their armor, arid prepared themselves for the battle that is coming. Are they prepared to combat the skepticism of the day, the "scientific" infidelity which, under the name of Positivism, knows nothing, recognizes nothing, outside of the domain of science? Are they prepared to combat that materialism which believes in nothing spiritual, which ranks the Church no higher than a club, and the sacraments as no more than remembrances; which denies the miracles of the Gospel and the divinity of our Lord1? Are they prepared to stand by the Scriptures and to sustain their claims as the true records of the life of our Saviour upon earth, and of the writings and teachings of his Apostles? Why are men at strife with each other because some think they can do this same work that all are pledged to do, in a way which they deem more effectual than another? All have full liberty to work in their own way. But because there are some who think that the Church which her Lord founded upon earth possesses something of the mysteriousness of his own body, as he himself called it, that there is healing and virtue in its very garments, and therefore love it and think of it with reverence and awe, they are nicknamed as Sacerdotalists, and it is charged that they do not preach the Gospel! Is there to be no room in the Protestant Episcopal Church for such men as George Herbert, or as Bishop Ken, whose Evening Hymn rolls round the world? Do the signers of the Declaration mean to break this Church into pieces, or drive off all those who will not stand upon the narrow platform of their pale and shadowy theology? We do not mean to be driven off. They claim their rights in this Church and we claim ours. When I say "we," I do not speak—I have no right to speak—for any one connected with this case. I speak of the school of opinion in the Church—the party in the Church if you choose—with whom I sympathize, and I say that we do not mean to be driven off. We claim that there shall be a Church where the creed of Nice can be held without submitting to the domination of the Pope. We claim that in this Church we have a right to hold the faith of the Apostles and of the early fathers prior to the division of the Church, and that we cannot be driven out because we hold that faith. But we are ready to join hands with all, to spread the truth of the Gospel and to defend its claims against error of all kinds; and, above all, to carry forward the banner of the Church against the impiety, the wickedness, the indifference, the perplexity, the scientific falsehood of the day, against all enemies of the Church's faith throughout this land. (Applause.)