DANIEL DANA, JR.,
No. 20 John-Street
WEDNESDAY, the tenth day of November, A. D. MDCCCLII, having been designated by the Senior Bishop of the Church in the United States, as the day for the Consecration of the Rev. Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright, D.D., D.C.L. Oxon., as Provisional Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of New-York, the Services were held in Trinity Church, in the City of New-York.
At an early hour, the building--except the portion reserved for the Clergy, the Lay Delegates to the last Annual Diocesan Convention, and the Teachers and Pupils of Trinity School--was filled to its utmost capacity.
At eleven o'clock the Procession entered by the South Vestry door, in reverse order. The Students of the General Theological Seminary led the way, and took their places in the North and South Aisles. Next followed the unofficiating Clergy, about two hundred and fifty in number, nearly all in surplices, who proceeded to the upper end of the Nave. The seven officiating Deacons and the twelve officiating Priests then entered--the Deacons taking their places just below the Chancel steps, and the Priests occupying the stalls in the Choir. Finally the Provisional Bishop-elect entered, supported by two Presbyters, and followed by ten Bishops--the former taking position in the middle of the Choir, between the stalls, and the Bishops entering within the Chancel rails; where the Senior Bishop--the Bishop of Connecticut--took his place at the right of the Altar; the Lord Bishop of Montreal, at the left: the rest were arranged on either hand, in the order of their seniority--the Bishops of New-Jersey, Wisconsin and Iowa, Western New-York, Maryland, New-Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and the Assistant Bishop of Connecticut. These closed the immense array, a larger number of the Clergy, it is believed, than were ever before assembled in their [iii/iv] robes, on a similar occasion, on this continent. [*It is an interesting fact, illustrative of the growth of the Church in this country, that there was a larger number of Bishops and Clergy present on this occasion than were in the United States at the date of the Ordination of the Rev. Dr. Wainwright to the Priesthood. He was admitted to Priests' Orders in 1817, at which time we had but 8 Bishops and 253 Priests and Deacons.] The whole body of the Clergy remained standing until the Bishops had taken their places in the Chancel, and all knelt in silent devotion at the same moment.
Morning Prayer was said to the end of the Psalter by the Rev. Francis L. Hawks, D.D., LL.D., Rector of Calvary Church, New-York; the Eighth Selection of Psalms being the portion chosen. The First Lesson, (Isaiah lxii.) was read by the Rev. Francis Vinton, D.D., Rector of Grace Church, Brooklyn Heights; the Second Lesson, (Acts xx., from verse 17,) by the Rev. William I. Kip, D.D., Rector of St. Paul's Church, Albany. The rest of Morning Prayer, from the Apostles' Creed, was read by the Rev. Gregory T. Bedell, Rector of the Church of the Ascension, New-York.
The following verses of the 106th Selection from the Psalms in Metre were then sung to the tune of St. Ann's:
Arise, O Lord, and now possess
Thy constant place of rest;
Be that, not only with thy ark,
But with thy presence bless'd.
Clothe thou thy priests with righteousness,
Make thou thy saints rejoice;
And, for thy servant David's sake,
Hear thy Anointed's voice.
Fair Sion does, in God's esteem,
All other seats excel;
His place of everlasting rest,
Where he desires to dwell.
The Ante-Communion Office was said by the Bishop of Montreal, assisted in the Epistle (I Tim. iii. 1,) by the Bishop of Pennsylvania, and in the Gospel, (John xxi. 15,) by the Bishop of Maryland.
The following verses of the 99th Hymn were sung to the tune of the Old Hundredth Psalm:
[v] In lower forms, to bless our eyes,
Pastors from hence and Teachers rise;
Who, though with feebler rays they shine,
Still mark a long-extended line:
From Christ their varied gifts derive,
And, fed by him, their graces live;
Whilst, guarded by his potent hand,
Amidst the rage of hell they stand.
So shall the bright Succession run
Through all the courses of the sun;
Whilst unborn Churches, by their care,
Shall rise and flourish, large and fair.
The Rt. Rev, the Bishop of New-Hampshire was then conducted to the Pulpit, and preached the Sermon; which is herewith published at the special request of the Bishops present.
The Sermon being ended, the following verses of the 99th Selection of the Psalms were sung to the tune of Tiverton:
O, ever pray for Salem's peace;
For they shall prosperous be,
Thou holy city of our God,
Who bear true love to thee.
May peace within thy sacred walls
A constant guest be found;
With plenty and prosperity
Thy palaces be crowned.
For my dear brethren's sakes, and friends
No less than brethren dear,
I'll pray--May peace in Salem's towers
A constant guest appear.
The Provisional Bishop-elect was then presented to the Rt. Rev. the Presiding Bishop on this occasion by the Bishop of Indiana and the Assistant Bishop of Connecticut.
The Presiding Bishop demanded the Testimonials of the Provisional Bishop elect. Whereupon the Testimonial from the Diocesan Convention was brought up by two Deacons. It is a document about twelve feet long, by nearly three feet wide, splendidly illuminated [v/vi] in gold and colors, and signed by 157 of the Clerical Members of the Convention, and 172 Lay Delegates, representing 147 parishes. It was mounted on rollers of black walnut, and bound with crimson silk. On being brought up, it was received by the Rev. Benjamin I. Haight, D.D., Secretary of the Convention. He delivered it to the Presiding Bishop; at whose requisition it was unrolled by the Deacons, and read by the Rev. Secretary; after which, it was rolled up and laid upon the Altar. The Presiding Bishop having called for the Testimonials from the Standing Committees, they were read by the Rev. William E. Eigenbrodt, M. A., Assistant Secretary of the Convention; and were then laid likewise upon the Altar. The Presiding Bishop then announced that he had received the consent of a majority of the Bishops to the Consecration. The promise of conformity was then made by the Provisional Bishop elect. The call to prayer was made by the Missionary Bishop of Wisconsin and Iowa; who, on account of the feebleness of the Presiding Bishop, said all of the Service appointed by the Rubric for the latter, except the Sentence of Consecration. The Litany was then said by the Bishop of New-Jersey. The questions to the Provisional Bishop elect were propounded by the Missionary Bishop of Wisconsin and Iowa. After the conclusion of these, the rest of the Episcopal habit was brought out from the Vestry-room by two Deacons, and delivered to the Rev. William Creighton, D.D., Rector of Christ Church, Tarrytown, and the Rev. Edward Y. Higbee, D.D., an Assistant Minister of Trinity Church, New-York, as the attending Presbyters, who assisted in robing the Provisional Bishop elect. He then knelt; the Presiding Bishop stood before him, the other Bishops gathered round him, and the Veni, Creator Spiritus, was said over him responsively. The Presiding Bishop then laid hands upon his head; the Bishops of Montreal, New-Jersey, Wisconsin and Iowa, Western New-York, Maryland, New-Hampshire, and Pennsylvania, all uniting with him in the act. As the solemn form of words was pronounced, the kneeling Priest received the Holy Ghost for the office and work of a Bishop in the Church of God. On rising, the Provisional Bishop entered the Chancel, and took his place along with his brother Bishops.
The Communion Office was then proceeded with; the Offertory sentences being said by the Bishop of Western New-York. The Alms were collected by seven Deacons, by them poured into the large silver gilt Alms Bason, held by the Rev. Dr. Haight, who then delivered it to the Bishop of Western New-York; and by him it was reverently, laid upon the Altar. The offerings, amounting to about four hundred dollars, were given, according to previous notice, to the Nashotah Theological School.
[vii] The elements were brought from the Prothesis by the Rev. John H. Hobart, one of the Clergy of Trinity Church, New-York; and were laid upon the Altar by the Bishop of Western New-York, who proceeded with the Office as far as the Trisagion, which was sung. The Prayer of Address and the Consecration Prayer were said by the Bishop of Montreal. The Holy Eucharist was administered by all the Bishops to the Clergy; and by the Rev. William Berrian, D.D., Rector of Trinity Church, New-York, the Rev. John McVickar, D.D., Professor in Columbia College, New-York, the Rev. Samuel Seabury, D.D., Rector of the Church of the Annunciation, New-York, and the Rev. Robert B. Van Kleeck, D.D., Rector of St. Paul's Church, Troy, to the Laity; more than five hundred, in all, receiving of the consecrated elements.
The Post Communion Office was begun by the Bishop of Western New-York. The Gloria in Excelsis was sung. The last prayer for the Provisional Bishop and the final Benediction were pronounced by the Bishop of New-Jersey: the Presiding Bishop being compelled, by fatigue and feebleness, to leave before the conclusion of the Holy Office.
After the Service, the Letter of Consecration, [*See note A] engrossed on parchment, highly illuminated in gold and colors, and with an elaborate initial letter filled with appropriate designs--was signed, in the vestry-room, by all the Bishops present. Their seals were also affixed thereto in due form.
The music was under the direction of Edward Hodges, Mus. Doc. The Te Deum and Jubilate were from the service of Jackson in E. The psalm and hymn tunes were good old Church tunes that every body knew; and every body joined in the singing of them. Such full-volumed, loud-resounding praise has seldom been heard in this country. The Trisagion and Gloria in Excelsis were from Dr. Hodges's own service in F. The choir of Trinity was on this day strongly reinforced from other city choirs.
The arrangements of the whole service were admirably managed, and not the slightest mischance occurred to mar the solemn order and deep significance of the whole. Dense as was the crowd, the whole service was conducted with the most perfect order; and, at the most solemn moments, with silence so deep that it might almost be felt.
[viii] But the crowning incident of the day was the presence and participation of the Lord Bishop of Montreal, the Rt. Rev. Francis Fulford, D.D., who was accompanied by the Rev. Dr. Leach, his Chaplain.
This forms a marked epoch in the history of the Reformed Church of Christ. Invited to be present and participate in the solemnities of this day, as one of the chief Pastors of the flock of Christ in a sister Church, with which we are united by the closest ties, by the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese, acting with the concurrence of the senior Bishop of the American Church--in the spirit of Catholic love and unity, he accepted the invitation, and came among us in his official character. The design of the invitation, which was given to the several Bishops of the Church of England in the immediately adjacent North American Provinces, was to reciprocate in some small degree the kind courtesy recently extended to the Church of the United States by the Mother Church, and to give to the world another evidence of the vitality of that communion which exists between the several branches of the Reformed Catholic Church. The Bishops of Quebec, Toronto, and Fredericton were severally prevented by imperative duties at home from attending. [*See note B] Fortunately, the Bishop of Montreal was able to leave his Diocese. The place assigned him in the Chancel was at the left of the Altar, next in rank to the Presiding Bishop. He consecrated the Holy Eucharist, he united with the senior seven of the Bishops present in the laying on of hands on the candidate for the Episcopate, and joined with them in the Letter of Consecration. The world has witnessed no such acts of Catholic intercommunion among the Reformed Churches since the eventful period when the yoke of Rome was thrown off. And, added to the many deeply interesting circumstances by which the late Jubilee year was marked, especially the visit of two of our Bishops to the Church of England, and their cordial reception by the Prelates, Clergy, and Laity of our ancient Mother, they speak a voice full of comfort and hope to all who are looking for redemption in Jerusalem.
In close connection with this, was the interesting coincidence, that the splendid silver gilt Alms Bason--presented to our Bishops in Oxford, by members of the University, for the American Church--was on this day used for the first time. It was placed, with the offerings, on the Altar, by the Bishop of Western New-York, one of the two American Bishops to whom it was given; and the occasion of this its first use was the consecration of the Rev. Dr. [viii/ix] Wainwright, who accompanied, or rather preceded, the two Bishops on their mission of Brotherhood.
This Alms Bason is truly a magnificent work of art. It is of silver gilt, and is twenty-one inches in diameter. In a heavy frame-work, adorned with raised foliage and fruitage, it contains a chased medallion of the Adoration of the Magi; which, for its boldness of execution and exquisite finish of detail, was not unworthy to be the gift of one national Church to another.
The skies of Tuesday were dark and lowering, and the cold November rain came down drearily. On Wednesday morning the sun rose bright and clear, and a more brilliant day this season has not seen. In the Church, and from the Chancel, the coup d'ceil was unsurpassed. The dense mass of the congregation--so large a portion being surpliced Clergy--was as unusual in its character as in its numbers. The responses--so large a portion being men--were like the roar of many waters, and at times had almost the roll of distant thunder. The sunlight streamed through the stained windows, and scattered the most brilliant hues among the dark masses of the congregation. The effects of the light in the Chancel were almost magical. At times a light flying cloud obscured the sun; and then passing away, the tinted radiance again came down on Bishop and Priest, and again the holy vessels on the Altar flashed afar.
Thus passed a Consecration, the most remarkable in many respects that the Western World has yet seen. May its results be as auspicious as this glorious commencement would seem to promise!
BE it known unto you by these Presents, that we, Thomas Church Brownell, D.D., LL.D., by the Grace of God Bishop of Connecticut; Francis, by the Grace of God Lord Bishop of Montreal; George Washington Doane, D.D., LL.D., by the Grace of God Bishop of New-Jersey; Jackson Kemper, D.D., by the Grace of God Missionary Bishop of Iowa, Minnesota, &c.; William Heathcote De Lancey, D.D., LL.D., by the Grace of God Bishop of Western New-York; William Rollinson Whittingham, D.D., by the Grace of God Bishop of Maryland; Carlton Chase, D.D., by the Grace of God Bishop of New-Hampshire; Alonzo Potter, D.D., LL.D, by the Grace of God Bishop of Pennsylvania; George Upfold, D.D., by the Grace of God Bishop of Indiana; and John Williams, D.D., by the Grace of God Assistant Bishop of Connecticut, under the protection of Almighty God, in Trinity Church, in the city of New-York, on the Wednesday after the twenty-second Sunday after Trinity, being the tenth day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-two, did then and there, in the presence of a congregation of the Clergy and Laity of the Diocese, according to the due and prescribed Order of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, and in conformity with the Canons thereof, consecrate our beloved in CHRIST, Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright, D.D., D.C.L. Oxon., an Assistant Minister of Trinity Church, in the city of New-York, of whose sufficiency in good learning, soundness in the Faith, and purity of manners, we were fully ascertained, into the sacred Office of a Bishop in the Church of God, he having been duly elected Provisional Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of New-York.
[xii] In testimony whereof, we have hereunto set our hands and seals, in Trinity Church, in the city of New-York, on the day, and in the year herein above written.
[L.S.] T. C. BROWNELL, BISHOP OF CONNECTICUT.
[L.S.] G. W. DOANE, D.D., LL.D., BISHOP OF NEW-
[L.S.] JACKSON KEMPER, D.D., MISS. BISHOP OF
IOWA, MINNESOTA, &C.
[L.S.] WILLIAM HEATHCOTE DE LANCEY,
BISHOP OF WESTERN NEW-YORK,
[L.S.] WILLIAM ROLLINSON WHITTINGHAM,
BISHOP OF MARYLAND.
[L.S.] CARLTON CHASE, D.D., BISHOP OF NEW-
[L.S.] A. POTTER, BISHOP OF PENNSYLVANIA.
[L.S.] F. MONTREAL.
[L.S.] GEORGE UPFOLD, BISHOP OF INDIANA.
[L.S.] JOHN WILLIAMS, EPIS. COAD. CONN.
The following letters were received in answer to the invitations of the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese:
QUEBEC, 5th November, 1852.
I am gratified and honored by the invitation received through yourself, to attend the approaching Consecration of the Provisional Bishop of the Diocese of New-York, and I am very sensible of the kind manner in which the request has been made to me. My interest in the occasion, and the satisfaction which I should enjoy in the visit, are both heightened by my personal knowledge of Dr. Wainwright and of Dr. Berrian, (whose tender of hospitality I thankfully appreciate,) and by the memory of many friendly attentions experienced at their hands in 1825. But as I did not receive your letter until this morning, and Sunday intervenes before the day of Consecration; and as I am greatly pressed at this moment, by occupations which can hardly be suffered to lie over for a future day, I am very apprehensive that I shall find it impossible to make my arrangements so as to enable me to profit by the favor designed for me.
I fervently pray God to bless the work, and to shed down upon the new Bishop the abundant spirit of wisdom and of love, that he may exercise his thorny and trying office to the glory of his Master, and the good of the Church in these difficult times.
Rev, and dear Sir,
Your very faithful and humble servant,
G. J. QUEBEC
THE REVEREND BENJAMIN I. HAIGHT,
Secretary Standing Committee, &c.
[xiv] TORONTO, 6th November, 1852.
REV. AND DEAR SIR,
I should have been much delighted in accepting the kind invitation of the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese of New-York, to be present at the Consecration of the Rev. Jonathan M. Wainwright; not only from my earnest desire to manifest the truly Christian feeling which happily exists between our Church and that of the United States, but also to show my high regard for a very old and valued friend, in whose elevation to the Episcopate I take a warm interest. But unfortunately I have a meeting of my Clergy and Laity on the same day, (10th inst.,) summoned so long ago as the 6th ult., to take into consideration a matter deeply affecting the Diocese, and which cannot be prudently delayed.
I am sorry that it should have so happened, because it deprives me of a gratification which would have been so very agreeable to me; but I must submit, though I fear not without a stronger feeling of disappointment than may be altogether right.
Accept my best thanks for the very kind manner in which you have made your communication, and believe me, with much esteem,
THE REV. B. I. HAIGHT, D.D.,
&c., &c., &c.,
FREDERICTON, November 8, 1852.
RT. REV. AND DEAR BROTHER,
Though the time will not allow of my being present in person with you on the most solemn and eventful day of your life, I hope to be with you in spirit and in love. May the "Fountain of all Wisdom" liberally grant to you all that spiritual counsel and strength, which in so difficult a post you will need. If your trials abound, may your consolations exceed them; and by your bright example, may you be a comfort to such as I am, who often faint and grow weary under the pressure of manifold anxieties. I need not tell you how sincerely I should have rejoiced to he with you in New-York, and how heartily I am one with your branch of our common Church. But being unavoidably prevented, you will, I am sure, believe in the sincerity of my good will.
I congratulate the Church in New-York on this auspicious event, and wishing you every blessing,
Your affectionate brother in Christ,
Rt. Rev. DR. WAINWRIGHT.
[xv] MONTREAL, November 4, 1852.
I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter conveying to me an invitation from the Ecclesiastical Authority in the Diocese of New-York, to be present at the Consecration of the Provisional Bishop of that Diocese, on Wednesday, the 10th of November.
In reply, I beg to inform you that I am deeply grateful for this mark of attention, so far as it is intended for me personally; but still more so as showing the interest and affection with which that branch of the Church to which I belong is regarded by our brethren in the United States. It will be with extreme satisfaction that I shall hope to avail myself of the privilege of being present at the services in Trinity Church, on Wednesday next.
Your faithful and obedient servant,
REV. B. I. HAIGHT, D.D.
The latter clause of this verse is the announcement and the record of a doctrine which the Apostle says is of the greatest importance to mankind,--worthy to be received by all in the fullest and strongest sense of acceptation,--worthy, not only to stand beyond denial as truth, but to be embraced by the heart, and loved, and cherished, and reverenced as the great doctrine of light and life to lost men. In this brief sentence we have the comprehensive SAYING of revealed religion. It is the ultimate and perfect formula for expressing and revealing the mercies of God in the blessed work of redemption. "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." It is that true and precious treasure which was said by the holy Apostle to be had by the ministers of Christ in earthen vessels,--which, by his ministers, of all orders and functions, is still held as a sacred trust, in the same manner and for [1/2] the same glorious ends. This is the central element of that message which the Apostles were commanded to carry to men over all the earth. It is the great "saying" of redeeming love, the pot of spiritual manna, the matter delivered in charge with the Apostolical commission.
Another is now needed to take part in this ministry and Apostleship. And this day our feet stand, and our knees bend, and our voices are raised, in these courts of the blessed Trinity, for the purpose of consecrating and charging another overseer in the glorious work of preaching salvation by Jesus Christ. In connection with a solemnity like this, it cannot, as I judge, be inappropriate to employ the hour of instruction and meditation on a subject adapted to give higher life to our views of the dignity and the responsibilities of the sacred office. To an illustration, then, of this "faithful saying," let me ask your attention.
The part of the text now chiefly in view is an affirmation of what we may justly consider to be the peculiarity and characteristic feature of the Gospel. It is the revelation of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Son of man, as the Saviour of sinners. This is the grand peculiarity of the Gospel,--"God manifest in the flesh"--the eternal Word of Truth becoming incarnate in order to do for guilty men what written law, and the voice of instruction, and the communication of thought from mind to mind, could not do. Jesus Christ [2/3] came into the world to give himself to men, and not instruction,--or rather, to give instruction only so far as the peculiar nature of his work made it necessary that he should add, by revelation and exposition, to the treasures of wisdom and knowledge already within the reach of men. He came himself, because not the wise counsels of patriarchs, nor the righteous decrees of judges, nor the sovereign authority of kings, nor the inspired lessons of prophets, could restore man, guilty and polluted, to the love of holiness and to the favor of God. In accordance with this great Gospel principle the power of God is shown in the salvation of men. On this is built Christ's Church; and the Church's mission, honored and blessed, and rewarded, beyond the possible conception and gratitude of man, is to embody and propagate this glorious principle; and her ministry has solemn charge to preserve the treasure, and to carry it into all dark lands, and into all the abodes of ignorance and sin; and to deliver it ever as a message from God, and "a faithful saying, worthy of all acceptation."
It will clearly conduce to a more useful way of viewing this important subject, if we consider what are the constituent parts of the work or system of operations, by which Christ accomplishes the glorious object of his mission. What has he done--and what is he doing--and what remains, according to the covenant, to be done for the salvation [3/4] of men? Here is a field, of whose wonderful things no mortal can be ignorant, and yet be safe. Under the wise leading of a faithful ministry every soul must enter, and explore, and appropriate.
Every intelligent and true-hearted student in the Holy Scriptures will readily see, that there is a propriety in reviewing the work of Christ in the salvation of men, as comprehending two departments ; the one of truth, the other of fact.
First, we have the cardinal doctrine of the Atonement; which is a work of mercy, not of grace, performed in favor of the sinner, wholly irrespective of any concurrence, or activity, or acceptance, or faith, on his part; a work, whose efficacy lies between the Son and the Father, and is perfect by itself, though it were never known, and never accepted, by any child of Adam. To this effect are the words of the Apostle: "God commendeth His love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us."
Secondly, we have the department of fact--or perhaps more correctly, of truth and fact together, because the facts illustrate and apply the truth--in which the inquirer's mind is drawn to consider what "mighty works" Christ performs in and concurrently with the souls of men. This includes the gifts and institutions, by which men are awakened, and convinced, and persuaded, and trained, [4/5] and sanctified, and made meet for the kingdom of Heaven.
To the statements which I shall make and the illustrations which I shall present under each of these general heads, I ask the attention of this congregation. The theme is worthy of the occasion. May the treatment prove not unprofitable!
First, of the Atonement. It is not my design to go into a theological discussion of this cardinal point of the Church system of Christian doctrine. I shall simply state it, and point out its place in the system.
Within the precincts of Eden--God, and his just sovereignty, and his holy and reasonable law being well known--the first purpose of sin was conceived and consummated. So sin entered the world, and by sin, death; and so the decree of death passed upon all the children of Adam. The God, who said, "Thou shalt surely die in the day of sin," unquestionably kept His word, and inflicted what he had threatened. This death consisted in the subjection of the earthly body, without benefit of the immortal principle within, to the law of dissolution, like other earthly products, and the subjection of the immortal principle itself to the brooding of horrors and fears and remorse, through the loss of that vital element of a holy and blessed existence, the Spirit of God. This last was, after [5/6] sin, man's great loss ; and this loss was essentially his death.
In such a state of things what could be done but let it alone to work out the long, dark problem of its dreadful destiny? Finite intelligences, no doubt, said "it must be so; there can be no remedy." But infinite Goodness and infinite Wisdom had counsels to unfold, which might well amaze the hosts of Heaven. In the midst of wrath the Eternal and Thrice-holy thought upon mercy. And then might be heard, verberating and reverberating through the realms of day, that voice of blessedness and peace, "LIVE, FOR I HAVE FOUND A RANSOM!" It was a voice which the angels knew;--for its tones of love had oft responded to their strains of praise;--the voice of God's own eternal Son. And the ransom was the humiliation and oblation of himself. The holiness of Jehovah must be displayed and vindicated and honored, or mercy and love could not be permitted to frame a dispensation for the relief and redemption of transgressors. Here must be laid the foundation of all measures for the recovery of man's race to holiness and happiness. And here it was laid. By his gracious intervention, and by his consenting to be made a sin-offering for man--himself sinless--and to have the iniquities of all laid upon himself, the Son made purchase of a peculiar people,--a people peculiar, because they were to be the product of a new process of grace and power. To take corruption and [6/7] transform it into incorruption; to apply to intelligent moral beings, who had become depraved and impure in their essential life, a process of regeneration, or indeed of re-creation, was a thing unheard of and unknown in all the realms of God.
If he wanted beings to praise him, and to show forth his glory, why not make them as he had made angels? Why conceive the astonishing purpose of redeeming to life and love and bliss, the cursed and the lost? There could be but one answer,--and we have it in words used by the Redeemer, while engaged in developing the plan of redemption--"Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight." Here was the "mystery of godliness" which the angels desired to look into.
Thus in a spiritual sense they who are saved by Christ, are a people brought again from the dead. And on the basis of the Atonement, the Holy Ghost, given back to be a potential presence in man, and, if accepted, to become again actually the principle of spiritual life, so operates for souls as to bring light out of darkness, life out of death.
Thus the Atonement is the first branch of the glorious work of redemption, the preliminary department, by which, before all active operations of saving grace, the great Jehovah showed that he could be just while justifying an enemy and a sinner believing in Jesus. In this manner he vindicated the holiness of his character and the perfection of his law. In this way Christ "redeemed [7/8] men from the curse of the law, being made a curse for them."
In this preliminary and fundamental part of the Saviour's work it appears that we have been "redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." Having begun thus in love and mercy, he has obtained the consent of justice and holiness to a further design of grace, by which the willing and repenting shall be redeemed from all corruption and iniquity. And thus we reach the other department of our subject.
On the foundation thus prepared stands the ladder of Jacob, the covenant of grace, for the escape and salvation of sinners. On this Christ has based the new and living way, by which, laying hold on the hope set before them, they may leave this valley of death and ascend to Heaven.
Through the Atonement the "faithful saying," as we have seen, is an utterance all abroad of glad tidings of salvation. Our inquiry now is, through what course and process Christ carries the sinner in order to fit him for his final salvation and resting-place? What are the measures actually taken and the things actually accomplished? And here, my brethren, we are entering on inquiries practically, deeply, and lastingly affecting the bosoms and the business of all Adam's children. I am trying now to show the pattern by which the ministry [8/9] must work in preparing and fitting souls for the kingdom of Heaven. If any one is so unhappy as not to know "what he must do to be saved," I trust he will hear an answer not altogether unapt, nor wide of the word of God.
"By the law," says an Apostle, "is the knowledge of sin." Hence the first object of Christ, as he went about Judea and Galilee, attracting attention to himself, by performing benevolent actions, was, to "convince men of sin," and to show the dark chambers of that sepulchre which sin had made for the souls of men. Wherever he went his speech was of lost souls, and of a way of salvation. In warning tones of love he sought to make men feel that this is a state even now dreadful for its pollution, and still more dreadful for its misery; but as to its future, enveloped in enduring and inconceivable horrors.
First, then, Christ must have attention. The poor and miserable, and blind and naked, must be made to lend a listening ear. He demands it, as if he should say, ' "Awake thou that sleepest!" Behold, O man, thou art "in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity!" The messenger of destruction hovers near to seal you for final doom. Stop, O thou transgressor of the law of thy God, and quicken thy feet in the pathway of a safe return! Learn of me, who came to seek and to save the lost.' Here and there the blessed angels, in their craving after the joy of witnessing the sighs and [9/10] tears of penitents, behold one, whom the warning startles and arrests. The foot of the wanderer lingers. The eye which had roved in pride and scorn, defying Heaven itself, is cast down thoughtfully to the earth. And soon he is heard feebly to cry, "Oh, I am vile." "I have sinned against Heaven."
There is no better word than conviction to denote such a state of mind. And this is the first good effect and positive product of the knowledge of sin. But here is no rising of the man from the dead, no translation of the moral affections, and no acceptance of the "faithful saying."
Nothing in nature, and no result in the laws of mind, can be more determinable than the next step. Having gained attention, and brought the offender to look upon himself with humbled, mortified, and fearful feeling, the Messenger of truth next demands repentance. For Jews and Gentiles all, this is the word of Christ, "Repent, that your sins may be forgiven:" and, "Except ye repent ye shall perish."
Here, then, is another step in the process of escape prescribed for every soul that has "lived without God in the world;" a step which Christ first requires the soul to take, and then by the grace of his Spirit helps it to take. Thus, when bidden, the man stretched forth the withered hand, because the power of Christ entered into the effort.
 Think not, that I mean to lay under unreasonable exaction your power of patient thought, by drawing out in this discourse the details of doctrinal theology. The heart of a learner I would not separate from the head; and I will state my views, which, I doubt not, are those universally entertained in the ministry of the Church, in a manner not inconsistent with this idea.
It will agreeably vary the form of our present meditations to suppose, that the "faithful saying" has struck deeply into the soul of a near and beloved friend, as the "one thing needful;" as such seen, but not felt. With interested affection you gaze, and watch for the language that is not spoken, and with pain you regard him as one, who, though possessed of the most amiable qualities as a brother and companion, has lived "without God in the world," only not an apostate, because he never acknowledged God. At length, through grace, your prayer is answered, and the counsels of your love bring you back most rich returns of joy.
"The Spirit in his power divine
Has cast his vaunting soul to earth."
And in the bitterness of his deep sorrows he seems to himself to have been a living death, or no better. Now the tones, which utter in his ears the "faithful saying," become sweet as the music of Heaven's immortal harps. Subdued, like [11/12] Saul of Tarsus, his heart sends up the like prayer, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" The proud, ungoverned spirit is broken; and he whose wilfulness had spurned duty, and trampled on truth whenever it crossed his wayward inclinations, and by the boldness of his wickedness "defied the armies of the living God," is subdued, and become as a little child. The ark of safety, guided by an unseen hand, floats near him; a hand is stretched out from within, faith grasps it, hope cheers the effort, he springs on board, and is received with joy by the heirs of salvation.
Let now your thoughts dwell a moment on the nature of the relief which your friend has obtained. Think not that with him memory has blotted out the past, and delivered over her record of sins to oblivion. Nothing like that. Never stood evil so clearly before his contemplation as now, nor ever was it so well understood. The truth is, he has yielded to that blessed Spirit, whose influences had been purchased for him by the atonement of Calvary; and which from the dawn of existence had been potentially present with him, though he knew it not, and often warned him, though he heard and heeded it not. Carrying out the merciful purpose of the Atonement, the Spirit has "taken away the stony heart out of his flesh, and given him an heart of flesh." And he seems to himself to have risen to a life of new [12/13] energies, and to a world of new objects and interests.
Now it is that the patient labours of the wise and faithful guide are rewarded; and his heart is warmed with holy fire as he pronounces the great "SAYING," and preaches the salvation of God.
But an important question, in the view of some persons, may here be made. Is no repentance admissible as genuine but in cases strongly marked and defined like this? By the supposition of a strong case--for strong cases leave least doubt--I have aimed to exhibit the principle of repentance, which must ever exist in some positive degree under the character of godly sorrow for sin. But there are, under the operation of the same principle, great variations in the outward expressions and manifestations of the internal transitions and feelings of men. While this is true ever of individuals, who have reached something like maturity of mind and character, before their acceptance of the "faithful saying," it is true in a stronger sense in the case of those with whom religion has been made, as it always should be, a part of education. God in his mercy has made such promises in connection with the institutions and appointed channels of grace, that if parents and teachers and Christian guardians do their duty, there will be found comparatively few instances of black and remorseless and unforgiven sin in manhood. The foundation of Christian character [13/14] will be laid, as with Timothy, the first Bishop of Ephesus, in the dawn of intelligence and of moral perception, in early childhood. And the growth in grace will be even and noiseless, attended neither with paroxysms of overwhelming anxiety, nor with emotions of irregular joy. Still there will be variations. But I am not now treating of Christian education and training. I am exhibiting the case of those, a very numerous body in nearly all the congregations of our country, who, unbaptized and neglected in childhood, come to years with no religious system whatever. I am showing how a person comes to accept the faithful saying, that "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners."
I proceed with the analysis.
Amidst this knowledge of sin and salvation, this conviction of sin, and repentance therefor, is there present no faith? Does the person begin with learning something, and wake to conviction, and bend his knees in godly sorrow, and lay himself in repentance at the feet of mercy, without faith, without any faith? What, then, was the impulsion and overmastering thought, which brought him down to this humiliation? Was it fear? Faith is one of the elements of fear, and is itself the precise measure of the sufferings of the fearful. Men fear because they believe there is reason for alarm. It is not possible to exercise true repentance for sin, without at the same time and [14/15] to the same extent believing the Christian doctrine concerning sin. Still it is not that faith which works by love, but rather the faith which works by conviction and repentance. Faith, in the mind, is comparatively weak and unfruitful until it has the submission and the humility of repentance, and can appropriate those vital joys of peace and hope which religion ministers to her children. Hence, in none of the preliminary stages of the process under consideration is faith simple and perfect. Its perfection is to be sought for in the life of the obedient man. As the Apostle says, "By works is faith made perfect."
Now, what is this faith? My text furnishes an answer clear and beautiful, and every way adapted to our present purpose. Faith, as an act or exercise of the soul, is an accepting of the doctrine of salvation by the Lord Jesus Christ. "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." The whole matter is addressed to our faith; and by faith we accept of it, as containing a pledge of the power of God unto the present forgiveness of sins, and unto the complete salvation of the soul hereafter.
And here to a most important consideration I solicit your special attention.
Men are called to an acceptance, not only of true and "faithful sayings" concerning the forgiveness of sins and the happiness of the kingdom of [15/16] Heaven, but to an acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ himself. "Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ," not the cold opinions which result from reading and hearing, not the printed sheets of divine instruction, but the spirit and vitality and holiness of Him, who "came into the world to save sinners." Thus faith has a charge beyond the acceptance of knowledge and of any verbal communications whatever. We have such commands as these: "Believe in God." "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ." Men are called to an acceptance of the Atonement, the Christ crucified of the Gospel; they are called to an acceptance of the influences of the Spirit; they are called to an acceptance of the doctrine of guilt and misery; they are called to an acceptance of pardon on repentance; they are called to an acceptance of a rich and beautiful and effective system of means and institutions, designed in wisdom and mercy to sanctify them and build them up in the divine life, to the end that Christ may "present them faultless before the throne of his Father."
We have now arrived, my Brethren, at an important stage in this exhibition of the Gospel salvation. They who have "made their calling and election sure" thus far, and have thus far been rightly "ordained unto eternal life," will "go onward to perfection," not by repeated births and new revolutions, but by a faithful use of the means [16/17] and privileges of grace. Henceforth is training: unhappily late begun, but better infinitely than never. Henceforth all is growth and fruit. If the principles described "be in us and abound, they make us, that we be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of Christ." The system announced in the "faithful saying" does not abandon the souls of men as soon as they have humbled themselves in the sight of God, and can be pronounced converted, nor send them away to finish life in solitary contemplation. We are introduced now to the social character of our blessed religion. We have seen its power in first impressions, and primary changes in the minds of men as individuals. We have seen how sinners are brought to hunger for the bread and thirst for the water of life. But give your attention to an important consideration:
The soul thus blessed and favoured is not permitted to take its quickening loaf, and its vessel of living water, and go away to enjoy them in solitude and silence. The subject of grace must be entered as a disciple, and must show a true discipleship through the SOCIAL character of religion. He is called to become an inmate of a new household, a member of a new community. Believers are "baptized into one body," and "are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another." Hence the Church. And hence, for the purpose of carrying out the glorious design of a [17/18] Church thus conceived, Christ said to the Apostles, "I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me," words equivalent to what he said immediately before his ascension into Heaven, "As my Father hath sent me so send I you." " Go, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; and lo, I am with you alway." Again, "He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me."
Here is the Apostolic commission--a commission which, in essence and in form, now exists through transmission by succession and the perpetual promise of grace--to preach that "faithful saying," the Gospel of salvation, to apply "the washing of regeneration," to embody the disciples of Christ as a Church, to administer the Holy Supper, and to organize a visible government for his visible kingdom.
Here, then, we have an important branch of the second part of Christ's great work in the salvation of men; and we identify that spiritual body so often referred to in the New Testament under the name of the Church, as in this case, "The Lord added to the Church daily such as should be saved." This is that "spiritual house," which is "the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
Now, "for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the [18/19] body of Christ," this Church, by his own appointment, has a ministry, sacraments, an ordinance of divine service or worship, and a discipline. At first, authority was concentrated in the college or body of the Apostles, to whom Christ said, "As my Father hath sent me, so send I you." But, for the purpose of securing the most efficient means of unity, and of a healthy, stable, and regulated spiritual progress, and acting under a monition from the Holy Ghost, they very soon called to their aid the subordinate grades of Elders or Presbyters, and Deacons, to whom they imparted authority to minister in certain departments of holy things, themselves exercising an episcopate or superintendency of the whole, ministers and people. When the Apostles were called away to receive their crowns of glory, the persons who succeeded them, as to the portion of their authority designed to be continued in the Church, were commonly called Bishops. And this order now sustains the ancient relation. The great principle of the institution was, and is, that the work of Christ for the salvation of men will be more effectually carried on, the sense of responsibility in the ministry be maintained in greater activity, the wayward and irregular fancies of individuals, leading to heresy, discord and schism, more easily checked and controlled; and the whole body be more "fitly joined together and compacted unto the edifying of itself in love," by the appointment of different orders [19/20] for the work of the Gospel ministry. In the preface to our Ordinal we have this declaration of our Church: "It is evident to all men, diligently reading Holy Scripture and ancient authors, that from the Apostles' time there have been these orders of ministers in Christ's Church, Bishops, Priests and Deacons." Thus it is viewed by seven-eighths of the Christian world.
We have, then, a Church or body of Christian disciples, and a ministry. Into the one the penitent believer is bound to seek admission through a Baptism of water administered by the other. Here is an important step in the process of salvation, according to the terms involved in "the faithful saying." And in this manner the individual in the case before described, becomes "a member of Christ, a child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven." Having now "by Baptism put on Christ," and being "religiously and devoutly disposed," he is bound also to receive "the most comfortable Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ." We hold, that by the merciful intent of the great Redeemer, every person has a right to the enjoyment of these ordinances on a devout profession of repentance for his sins and of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, provided his life gives reasonable evidence of his being neither insincere nor self-deceived in that profession.
To all, then, who solicit the benefit of these channels of grace, we are accustomed to address [20/21] the language of the Church. 'Examine yourselves, whether you truly repent of your sins, steadfastly purposing to lead a new and holy life. And consider, whether you have a lively faith in God's mercy, through Christ, with a thankful remembrance of his death, and a clear consciousness that you are in charity with all men.' And we add, with joyous assurance, that they who follow this counsel with earnest hearts and thoughtful minds, constantly watching and praying, showing all good fidelity, and by a life of holy obedience, "adorning the doctrine of God, our Saviour, in all things," will find in the end that, according to promise, "an entrance will be administered to them abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of Christ."
Such, beloved Brethren, is the conclusion of the whole matter.
To every candid mind I now put a question, important at any time, but specially interesting in connection with the solemnities of this day. In this analysis of the soul's recovery to God and happiness, is there anything which can be safely dropped from the commission-work of the ambassador of Christ? Among these many truths and duties, are there any which can be left out of our system without periling the salvation of souls? Any, to which we may venture on applying that oft and ignorantly-used epithet of non-essential? Who is authorized to say, that any truth, or any command, or any institution of Christ--not [21/22] given with express reserve by himself--is not essential to salvation? If Christ has said, " Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall in nowise enter into the kingdom of Heaven," let no one be content with his natural benevolence or his cultivated morality. Let no one hold in low esteem the doctrines of the atonement, of conviction of sin, of repentance, of faith, of free pardon through Christ's intercession, or of the work of grace by the Spirit, in every step of progress made by the soul towards salvation and Heaven. If Christ has instituted a Church, let no one presume that he lives under the approbation of that Shepherd and Bishop of souls, or has a right to hope for his gracious word of acceptance in the end, while he stands afar oft and makes light of its privileges, and disregards the ends for which the glorious institution was designed. If he has appointed an unchangeable Priesthood beginning with Apostles, and authorizing them to bring into the work subordinate helpers, and to convey the divine commission along, under promise of his presence to the end of the world, it cannot be right, it cannot be safe, to depart from that ministry, or change that Priesthood. Let no one flatter himself with the delusive idea, that "the faithful saying" will long survive and be faithfully preached, or that Gospel doctrines can long be saved, after the wreck of Gospel institutions. Christ intended the one for the preservation of the other. Do not [22/23] imagine that faith and love and piety can live on in vigor and purity, when the permanent institutions of the Gospel have fallen into desuetude and contempt. Such a thing cannot be. Let it satisfy us, that thus, and not otherwise, it has pleased him to set in order his Church, to propagate his truth, and to govern his people. If "it is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners," let our hearts grow warm with gratitude's most holy fires. Let his way of salvation be our way; his truth our truth, and his life our life.
But, my Brethren, since religion is not a system of private thought and faith and feeling alone, but a system of social being and of sympathetic activity and fruition, let me remind you all, Bishops, Priests, Deacons, and lay Brethren, that you have received at the hands of Christ a stewardship for the souls of your fellow-men. Salvation was not purchased for you alone. Not you alone are the sinners for whom Christ died. They are in your midst and all around you. Lift up your eyes and behold the fields white unto the harvest. Let preachers more earnestly preach, and let all more fervently pray for the peace of Zion, and for the enlargement of the Redeemer's kingdom. Let each one adopt the noble resolution of the prophet, and say, "For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, [23/24] and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth."
And now, my Brother, long and most truly beloved and honored, whom we are about to charge with the highest and most responsible functions pertaining to the ministry of reconciliation, a few words. A friend of more than thirty years cannot stand in this sacred place, and make this humble endeavor, and look on these preparations for the greatest of the Church's solemnities, without emotions which it is delightful to indulge and not easy to control.
Most happy am I to be here to-day, and to share in those acts, which, under grace, are to invest you, my Brother, with the authority of a Bishop in the Church of God. Allow me to stir in your mind the expectation of great cares and great labours. Before you is a work of vast responsibilities and of almost immeasurable magnitude. I can say this to you, as one who has seen the field, and knows something of its extent, its needs, and its promise. I can also assure you, that the warm greetings of the great heart of the Church await your entrance into the field, and that you will everywhere find heads, hearts and hands ready to cheer your hours of toil, and to sustain you in the glorious work to which your life and your powers are to be consecrated.
Be of good courage, then; and while you show [24/25] diligence to meet the duties peculiar to your high office, remember that you are more bound than ever to be true to your commission as a preacher of "the unsearchable riches of Christ." Let a high estimation of the "FAITHFUL SAYING" give character to all your efforts. In your account let nothing stand above that blessed assurance, that "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." "Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also." May the remaining years of your life be years of eminent usefulness! Through your labours and your prayers may quietness, peace and love abound among all Christian people! And when the King of saints shall call his ambassador home, may this be your reception: "WELL DONE, THOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT, ENTER THOU INTO THE JOY OF THY LORD."