I HAVE FOUGHT A GOOD FIGHT, I HAVE FINISHED MY COURSE, I HAVE KEPT THE FAITH: HENCEFORTH THERE IS LAID UP FOR ME A CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, WHICH THE LORD, THE RIGHTEOUS JUDGE, SHALL GIVE ME AT THAT DAY.--2 Tim. iv. 7, 8.
BY invitation of your Vestry and the desire of the family, I am here to speak to you of the decease of your late venerable Rector. When I reflect that my acquaintance with him does not date four years back, when I think of others whose knowledge of the man, and whose judgment of his character have been matured by the observation of a lifetime, any one of whom, standing here, would command the respect which age always inspires, and add a lustre to this occasion which one comparatively unknown cannot give, I wonder at the temerity which has permitted me to accept this duty and privilege. But the wishes of one, than whom none has sustained a heavier loss, have been to me only less sacred than a command from the lips of him who is gone; and so, with the feeling that, though others might wield an abler, none [5/6] could wield a fonder pen, I come to lay a simple chaplet on the bier of our departed.
It was not difficult for me, my friends, to select a text which should be appropriate to this death. There is only one that has suggested itself to my mind. "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day."
There is an air of confidence about these words, which, since they come from an holy Apostle, seems to us entirely justifiable; and I know how apt we are to hesitate in applying them to any other than an holy Apostle. But, my dear friends, this hesitation arises solely from the fact that we have departed far from the spirit of the theology of the early Church. It is indeed well to feel that one is an unprofitable servant, notwithstanding all he may have done for Christ. But because human infirmities mingle with human virtues, to doubt that the reward promised to fidelity and perseverance unto the end will be received, is to impeach God's love and to be mindless of the merits of a suffering Saviour. Such, at any rate, was not the spirit of Apostolic time. There was no feebleness of Christian assertion pervading [6/7] theology then, nor sentimental doubt harrassing religious consciousness. The Holy Sacraments were not merely signs of Christian men's profession, but also pledges vouchsafed by God in his Church to assure them of His good will towards them. There was a certain manliness of faith, quite in contrast with that vagueness and incertitude which marks much of the religious feeling and expression of to-day. Inspired with such faith, filled with the spirit of the robust theology of the time, St. Paul speaks the words of our text.
In the bibliolatry of Protestantism, the Apostolic character has become confused with the Apostolic inspiration, and so is exalted in our fancies into something preternatural. But a little consideration will teach us that the Twelve were men of like passions with ourselves. Because they were selected by our Lord to remodel his Church, because they were inspired to give us the truth, they were not lifted above the ordinary trials, weaknesses, temptations, and proneness to sin which are the common portion of man. Remember how Moses, notwithstanding his inspiration, wavered in faith and fell at Meribah; how the sweet singer of Israel, type of Christ, whose inspired words have formed the praises of all subsequent centuries, was [7/8] rebuked and punished for compassing the murder of Uriah; how St. Peter yielded at Antioch; how St. Mark deserted the high post of duty at Pamphylia; and the inspired St. Paul disputed with St. Barnabas till the contention grew so sharp that the two parted at Antioch. Besides, we all know that a man's judgments as to what is right are often better than his actions. And inspiration, though it may have directed to words of truth, did not exalt human character above its natural frailties. Indeed this very human aspect, under which even the Apostles are presented to us by Holy Writ, is by no means its least precious legacy. It is calculated to cheer the hope, and to teach us, that, if the standard of perfection is above our reach in this world, there is at least a standard of action which God will accept, and which has been attained by mortals exhibiting the very frailties under which we suffer. We should remember that man in all ages is very much the same, and that were our Saviour to come now and select twelve to follow Him, He would find and select from the same human nature which hung upon His words, which criticised His authority, which rallied around or fell away from Him in Palestine. We should remember that as their faith in Apostolic days was strong [8/9] and bracing, so their estimate of each other as men was healthy and stripped of all sentimentalism.
But the character of their work! It is true, my friends, that, in the exalted presence of the Apostolic labors, all other labors and results in God's Church seem of minor importance. Nevertheless, why may it not equally be said of many other earnest and faithful laborers departed, that each, in his several degree, hath fought the good fight, hath kept the faith, and that henceforth there is laid up for him a crown of righteousness? Surely when we contrast this parish as our beloved departed took it thirty-two years ago, with its strength, its standing, its influence, its magnificent endowments and its power to-day; when we think how manfully he contended in public and in private for the principles of God's Church; how the fire and impetuosity of his youth, toned down and regulated by constant prayer and sacrament, was at last mellowed under the grace of God into that sweetness and love which St. John so impressively urges; when we think how he stood preaching the truth as it is in Jesus from early manhood till a whole generation had fallen around him, and his own locks of jet had softened to a silver halo upon his brow, and how [9/10] at last, calling another to his aid lest the sheep he had gathered should be scattered, he fell, beloved and honored by men of every denomination, surely, I say, you who knew him well will look up with me to the Father who took him, and join with me in the comfortable words, "He hath indeed fought a good fight, he hath finished his course, he hath kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for him a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give him at that day."
HENRY WILLIAM DUCACHET was born on the 7th of February, 1797. He was of French descent. His early days were spent at Charleston, South Carolina; but at the age of ten, he was removed to this city and placed in a school at Mount Airy; an institution of considerable fame in former years and which stood in what is now the Twenty-second Ward of Philadelphia. His classical instructor was the late Professor Sanderson. As a boy he was full of life and popular among his playmates. His instincts for study developed so early, that rarely did he go upon the play-ground at this period of his life without a book in his pocket; and he was not infrequently to be seen leaving his companions and going away by himself to read or [10/11] study. At the age of seventeen he was graduated at what was then called Nassau Hall, now commonly known as Princeton College. On closing his academic career he went to New York, where he studied medicine with the celebrated Dr. Hosack; and four years afterwards took his degree of Doctor in Medicine at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the New York University. On the 14th day of November, 1817, at the age of twenty he was married by Bishop Hobart, of New York, to Ann D., the daughter of Thomas W, and Catharine Satterthwaite.
At first he selected the city of Baltimore for the field of his labors, and on moving there became an inmate of the Rev. Dr. Wyatt's home. His spirits and kindly disposition soon drew to him the warmest attachment of the whole family; and it was with deep regret that its members learned, some months afterwards, of his determination to relinquish Baltimore and enter upon the wider field of usefulness presented by the city of New York. He removed to the latter place in 1819, at the age of twenty-two, and at once commenced practice. Such were his natural gifts for the profession he had adopted, and so faithfully had he applied himself during the four years of his study, that his [11/12] prospect in life soon became highly encouraging. Papers, which he now began to contribute to the Medical Repository, were universally regarded as of value to the scientific world, and marked him as a medical writer of great promise. A translation of "The Prognostics of Hippocrates," which he shortly published, added to his reputation; and at last his professional success became certain and fortune lay before him. Among the many friends that gathered around him at this period of his life there were four whom he took to the warm embraces of his heart--Professor Henry J. Anderson, Mr. Baretto, Dr. William L. Johnson, and Mr. Coleman, the son of the editor of the Evening Post. These congenial spirits used to meet at St. John's Park; and walking under its trees or sitting upon its benches spend hours together in discussing the various topics of literature, science, politics, and philosophy, which interested them. At that time the Park had not been opened to the public. Its gates were locked, and it was kept for the private use of the residents in its vicinity. But at the hour of meeting, some one of the five would have borrowed a key, and entering and locking the gate behind them, they were comparatively safe from intrusion. Thus St. John's Park [12/13] became to them, like the groves of Plato, a kind of akadhmeia in whose shades they walked, mutually to teach and learn.
But while fame and high pecuniary success were thus before him, an incident occurred which changed the whole tenor of his life. How little do we know the importance sometimes of the merest trifles. It is easy for us when some great event happens to realize that God was in it. Even should some occurrence run out afterwards into marked changes or results, we can still easily and naturally connect it with the hand of God. But there are innumerable slight incidents, mere trifles,--the casual meeting of an acquaintance, the turning down one street rather than another, the stepping into one store rather than another, the deciding to go with a friend to a certain church or not to go,--that are flowing out every day, unknown to us, into most important results. In England a little gust of wind blows a piece of paper fluttering across a country road. A horse that is passing takes fright; the carriage is overturned, and the driver is borne seriously injured to a neighboring farm-house. He is tenderly nursed there by one, before a stranger, who becomes subsequently his wife. And had not that paper fluttered across the road, although [13/14] indeed America might have fought her revolution successfully, she never would have had her George Washington. In our eyes these trifles are mere nothings, but not so in God's. He binds them all up into a great network of antecedents and consequents. The trivial He can transform into the momentous. Thus sometimes even in these mere nothings, "God himself goeth by us and we see Him not." "He passeth on also but we perceive Him not." He passeth on, linking trifle to incident, and incident to occurrence and occurrence at last to important event.
Dr. Ducachet was at this time an attendant of St. George's Church, New York, of which he was a communicant. He had, however, heard the late Rev. Dr. Clay, of this city, several times, and had conceived a high opinion of his talents and Christian character. One Sunday it chanced that he attended the ministrations of Dr. Clay, as the latter was preaching a sermon, whose words and appeals were exactly adapted to touch the soul of the young physician as it had never been touched before. The soil was prepared for a certain seed only, and in the Providence of God that seed dropped upon it and took root. Listening to the call of Heaven, and at last heeding it, to the surprise [14/15] of many he threw up all the bright prospects before him--taste for medical pursuits, fame, fortune--to devote himself to the cause of his Master.
He imparted his determination to the late Bishop Hobart, of New York, and in June, 1822, he was admitted by the latter as a candidate for Holy Orders. But meanwhile, before the time for his ordination, the young physician, while pronouncing a eulogy on the occasion of the death of his friend, Dr. Dykeman, broke forth under the warmth and trueness of his love and the impetuosity of his temperament, in what his Bishop regarded as an intemperate and uncalled for attack upon one who had in the opinion of the speaker sought to traduce the character of his beloved and deceased friend. The result was that Bishop Hobart refused to ordain him, struck his name from the list of candidates, and gave canonical notice of such action to all his brother Bishops. Dr. Duchachet then applied for orders to Bishop Griswold, of what was at that time known as the Eastern Diocese. Thereupon a correspondence ensued between the latter and Bishop Hobart. Bishop Griswold testifies that the young applicant came to him highly and abundantly recommended." And in a letter to Bishop Hobart, he says, "His published [15/16] eulogy is reprehensible, but is not in my judgment" (and in his subsequent address to his Convention he says, "not in the judgment of the Standing Committee) sufficient to debar him from the sacred ministry." Bishop Hobart took the ground not only that the facts of young Ducachet's case warranted the action he had taken in declining to ordain him, but that, moreover, no one Bishop had the right in such a case to reverse the decision or sit in judgment upon the acts of a brother Bishop. However, in the end Bishop Griswold admitted Dr. Ducachet as a candidate, and on the meeting of the Convention of the Eastern Diocese, spoke thus in his annual address, viz.: "I desire also it may be distinctly and very carefully understood, that in thus receiving him as a candidate, there is not intended and ought not to be implied any manner of censure or disapprobation of what was done by the Ecclesiastical authority of the other Diocese. The highly respectable Bishop who presides there undoubtedly did what he conscientiously believed the honor of the Church and the cause of religion required; and very possibly has acted a wiser part than myself. This case is becoming public and well known. * * * If in anything I have done wrong I can by such misconduct injure no [16/17] character but my own. There may be reasons for refusing a man orders in one Diocese which are not of equal weight in another. And that men should differ in judgment is one of the most common things in life. * * * I am not called nor am I authorized to judge of the principles or character or official conduct of another Bishop. My part in this business is not to decide whether Mr. Ducachet ought to have been ordained in another Diocese, but whether he may with propriety be received as a candidate in this."
But merely to be admitted as a candidate for orders, is not, as is well known, to be ordained. And so the question was not as yet put at rest. It was still, in due time, to be decided whether he was to be ordained or again refused ordination and at the hands of Bishop Griswold.
The case involved vital principles. It was the first of like nature that had occurred in the American Church. It was calculated to have a highly important influence in deciding on the one hand the rights, and on the other the relative dependence of Bishops or of Dioceses upon each other. On the one hand was "the golden chain of brotherhood among our Bishops to be broken," or on the other were the prerogatives of any one Bishop to be yielded up and merged [17/18] in the common will of all. In this case there were also involved the sacred rights of an individual. As it thus became evident how many important principles were entangled in the case, the question, which as I have said was still at issue, widened out far beyond what any personal interest in the candidate himself warranted, till at last the whole church was agitated with a deep and wide-spread feeling. The venerable presiding Bishop, the Rt. Rev. William White, prepared a carefully drawn opinion, in which he inclined to the views of Bishop Hobart. Pamphlets and articles in periodical publications, some anonymous and others with their authors' name attached appeared on both sides of the question. But meanwhile as the excitement increased, the wise and calm Bishop Griswold, "with his clear and thorough insight" into the case, stood firm. As the time drew near for the ordination, private letters, written in various temper and on both sides, some of them anonymous, poured in upon him.
Common friends now sought to bring about a reconciliation between Dr. Ducachet and the gentleman whom he had censured so severely. But when this real nucleus of the difficulty had been reached, to show how unimportant a matter (at least in the eyes of the [18/19] party supposed to be most aggrieved) it was, that had rolled on and gathered to itself vast and agitating questions of church polity, I give his reply to two common friends of Dr. Ducachet and himself, who called upon him to learn on what terms a reconciliation could be effected. He said "that he sincerely wished Dr. Ducachet every success in his new profession; that he should feel extremely sorry if the occurrence should either retard his advancement or affect his usefulness; `Indeed,' said he, `I do not think it ought. What Dr. Ducachet said in his address is not of sufficient moment to produce such a result.' " On the two friends asking him what apology would satisfy him, he promptly said, "that he did not wish for any at all, nor did he think the case required it. Believing Dr. Ducachet to be altogether innocent of any malicious intention, he had ever disclaimed any apology from him. All he had wished, at first, was to ascertain the source of the information on which his attack was founded, but even this he was willing to pass by." And he concluded with good wishes for Dr. Ducachet's happiness and prosperity.
But though this comparatively small but prolific mother of the dissension thus disappeared from the scene as 'soon as touched, the [19/20] dissension itself still continued to rage. During this whole period, so trying to the feelings of young Ducachet, the celebrated Dr. Samuel Farmer Jarvis, and that godly divine, the Rev. Dr. James Milnor, were among his warmest friends.
At last, after Dr. Ducachet had remained a candidate in Rhode Island for the term of one year, Bishop Griswold determined on his ordination. He purposed to hold the ordination simultaneously with the consecration of a new church in Leicester, Massachusetts. But here a new difficulty arose. A technical point was raised by the Standing Committee of Massachusetts. That body claimed that as "the Doctor had been admitted a candidate by the Committee in Rhode Island, they were the proper body to act in bringing his case to its issue." He had not a "title" in Rhode Island, that is, a call to a settlement in some parish within that State. And thus a delay of several months occurred. At length, however, Bishop Griswold, "after hearing all that could be said on either side, and after being charged with injustice and presumption by one class, and with hesitation and vacillancy by another, proceeded, with the consciousness that he was justly chargeable with neither the one nor the other," to admit the [20/21] Doctor to Deacon's orders. [Stone's Memoir of Griswold.] The ordination took place in St. Michael's Church, Bristol, Rhode Island, on the 15th day of August, 1824. The Bishop, in his annual address to the subsequent Convention of the Eastern Diocese, after alluding to the main objection that had been urged against his act of ordination, namely, that it might be viewed as an indirect censure upon Bishop Hobart, uses the following significant language, viz., "We might indeed add that, admitting the objection were correct and well founded, the apprehension that another might be censured would be no good reason for refusing to do justly."
But while all this agitation was abroad, what was the young man, who had listened to and obeyed (as far as he could) the call of God, what, I say, was he doing, and how was he bearing himself? He withdrew into quiet, and as the question, so momentous to himself, hung poised, inclining now one way and now the other, he remained perfectly satisfied to leave his case in the hands of his Rt. Rev. Father in God. Quiet, did I say? quiet so far as his fate was concerned, but not quiet so far as the cause of that Master was concerned to whom he had given himself. For from August, 1823, to that 15th day of August, 1824, when, as he knelt [21/22] under his Bishop's hands, he may be said to have triumphed over all his opponents, he was busy at St. Peter's Church, Salem, Massachusetts, performing all the functions of a pastor which church polity and law permitted to a lay reader. Sunday after Sunday he led the congregation in prayer, and dispensed to them, in the words of another, the blessed Gospel of peace. Day by day as his studies would permit he visited the flock in their homes, comforting the afflicted, cheering the souls of the sick, and pointing the aged to a land where there is no strife. Then, as ever since, one had but to know him, to love him; and the heart of the whole parish soon beat for him as the heart of one man. Mere lay reader as he was, they voted him a regular salary of $700, a sum nearly equal to the salary of any settled minister of the time in Salem. St. Peter's had been vacant some years, and had suffered very much from a variety of unfavorable circumstances which had greatly diminished its numbers and its means. But none of its Rectors had ever received a higher salary than that struggling congregation gave him in his capacity as lay reader. And, poor as they were, as soon as he was ordained they raised his salary to $800, and bestowed upon him costly and valuable presents much beyond their limited [22/23] ability. He labored faithfully at St. Peter's through his Diaconate, and on the 29th of September, 1825, (the Festival of St. Michael and all Angels,) he was ordained priest by Bishop Griswold in St. Paul's Church, Boston, during the sittings of the Annual Convention. A short time before this he had been unanimously called to the Rectorship of St. Peter's where he had been laboring, and had accepted.
On the very day of his admission to Priest's orders, he was invited to Norfolk, Virginia. And on the 4th of November of the same year (1824), was called as Rector of Christ Church in that city. He remained in Salem, however, till the 5th of the subsequent December, and then left for his new parish, officiating in Christ Church, Norfolk, for the first time on Sunday, Christmas Day, 1825. During the short period of his stay in Salem, in which he was in orders, his baptisms numbered fifty (seven being adults), his burials thirty-seven and his marriages five. It was his custom, moreover, often to go to the neighboring and quaint old town of Marblehead, where he held service in St. Michael's Church, which had been so long vacant that the parish was almost extinct. To one who remembers the prejudice existing at that day in Massachusetts against the Church, it is an [23/24] indication of Dr. Ducachet's efficiency and a proof of the wisdom of Bishop Griswold in ordaining him, that in less than a year he succeeded, even by such occasional services as he was able to render, in reviving the parish, and he was cheered at seeing, before he left Massachusetts for the South, the Rev. T. S. N. Mott called as its minister. Permit me to mention as an evidence of his zeal, that Dr. Ducachet's services at Marblehead were voluntarily entered upon and were entirely gratuitous. But his triumph is not yet complete as the sequel will show.
He commenced his labors at Christ Church, Norfolk, as I have said, in December, 1825. Here he rose steadily in influence and esteem. One who was a fellow laborer with him in Virginia at that time writes thus, (the writer alludes to the Diocesan Convention of Virginia, in the year 1828: "I did not reach Petersburg till the second or perhaps third day of the Convention. I repaired to the church; it was densely crowded; the aisles were filled with people standing; it was an afternoon service, and Dr. Ducachet was preaching on the subject of conversion. His hair was black; the brightness of his eye was unequalled,--I see it at this moment. His rich musical voice filled the house, and the fervor of his manner and [24/25] the spirituality of his teaching arrested unusual attention and won every heart. There had always been a jealous fear on the part of the leading minds of the clergy of Virginia in regard to Northern teachers; but the intercourse with the Rector of Christ Church, Norfolk, on this occasion dispelled every doubt."
So favorable, indeed, was the impression made by the Doctor, that the Diocese of Virginia at once honored him by sending him as one of its delegates to the General Convention. He first took his seat as a member of that body at its session in 1829. At its session of 1832 his career was most brilliant. The Rt. Rev. Philander Chase had resigned his See and removed from his Diocese of Ohio. And it was at the latter session of the General Convention that this highly important case came up for adjudication. The discussion on both sides was warm and able. But none took a more prominent and influential part in it than the young delegate from Virginia. His speeches were indeed pronounced to be those which, more than others, brought the subject to a decision. He assumed the ground of the right of a Bishop to resign. He disengaged the question from all side issues, which, in the course of the debate had become so involved with it as partially to obscure it, [25/26] lucidly presented the real principle at stake, and in a speech of an hour and a half long, in which he riveted the attention of the house,--a speech in which sallies of wit played from among its staider and profounder thought,--by a mass of evidence rolling on as wave upon wave--evidence showing great and surprising erudition in history and ecclesiastical law for one so young, he triumphantly maintained his point against older and more experienced debaters, and even in opposition to previous decisions of the House of Bishops itself. Indeed Dr. Ducachet at that time settled the previously mooted question of the right of a Bishop to resign his See. He had not been idle among his books at Norfolk.
Among those who rose to reply was the late Bishop Delancy, of Western New York. He questioned the accuracy of one of the Doctor's quotations from St. Clemens Romanus;--a quotation that had an important bearing upon the argument. He himself translated from St. Clement, and rallied the Doctor not a little upon his alleged mistake, quite to the amusement of the opposition members in the House. The Doctor returned to the conflict, and very briskly but with much courtesy utterly discomfited and silenced his antagonist. Indeed he [26/27] showed himself through all, by his learning, his wit and his logic, to be a most ready and adroit debater and a very dangerous antagonist on the floor of the House.
In presenting a view of his mental qualities, the playfulness of his mind which was so prominent a characteristic cannot perhaps properly, even from this place, be passed by in silence. Permit me, then, with this brief allusion to read to you a short extract from his reply to Dr. Delancy. "A great deal has been said," he remarked, "about the anomalous and inadmissible character of a Bishop at large, which the resigned Bishop must necessarily be, should the General Convention agree to the consecration of the proposed Bishop elect. That there ought not to be 'Bishops at large' in the Church, in this country at least, I am ready to grant, and I hope that measures may be at once taken to prevent the existence of any such characters in future among us. Indeed I am utterly opposed to rambling ecclesiastics of every grade; and heartily wish that some such laws as existed in the ancient church against the bakantiboi were in force now to restrain the roving propensities of itinerant clerks. And then the 'runagates' would 'continue in scarceness.' It is certainly not desirable to have among us 'Bishops at large.'"
 It was about this period of his career that the hour of the Doctor's full triumph came. Bishop Hobart was now no more. But on some such occasion as the above, after listening to Dr. Ducachet with an uncommon feeling of admiration for his eloquence and ability, that distinguished and manly prelate arose and stated that "it was well known to all present that seven years previously he had resisted the ordination of the Doctor. He desired then and there to acknowledge that he had been mistaken; that his act had been an error; and he begged to record his high regard for the Doctor as a Christian gentleman and a faithful minister, and his admiration for his character and labors in behalf of the Church. And he desired moreover to recall whatever he might have said or done to his disparagement." Could anything have been at once more noble and more touching!
As an indication of the Doctor's instinctive self-respect and powers of self-restraint, I may mention that previous to all this, a Mr. Howell, a minister of the Baptist denomination, in Norfolk, had several times ineffectually sought through the public press to involve the Doctor in theological controversy, and that at last he issued a brochure, displaying a marvellous combination of conceit and its twin ignorance, and [28/29] couched in exceedingly irritating terms. The pamphlet was a pretended critique on a pastoral letter which Dr. Ducachet had issued to his flock on the subject of "Sponsors in Baptism." Nothing but a perusal of the pamphlet can give you, my friends, any realization of how strong must have been the temptation for the Doctor to have exposed his antagonist's ignorance and plagiarisms, particularly when we consider that a vital doctrine of the Church had been assailed, that nearly the whole community of Norfolk had read the attack, and that in all probability many of them might have been led into or confirmed in error of doctrine were it left unanswered. But not a word issued from the Rectory of Christ Church. When it was evident that the Doctor had decided to remain in the dignity of silence, a single shot was discharged by a layman of the parish, which tore down the assailant's arguments, exploded his pretensions to knowledge, effectually silenced him and broke up his influence in the city.
On the death of the Rev. Benjamin Allen, Dr. Ducachet was called to supply his place as Rector of St. Paul's Church, in this city, but declined to accept. Afterwards, on the 16th October, 1834, he was called to succeed the Rev. Dr. Montgomery, the first Rector of this [29/30] Parish; and accepted the post, which he so long and so ably filled. Of this period of his life one who knew him well writes as follows, viz.: "The popularity of Dr. Ducachet in Norfolk and throughout Virginia is not surprising. His warmth of manner, his genial heartiness, his conversational powers, his skill in repartee and sallies of wit, made him irresistible, especially with the younger clergy, and always attractive in social life. In the most intelligent circles he held rank with the most accomplished and best informed. The most worldly felt that he would have adorned any public station had not his heart led him irresistibly to the work of the ministry. And all the clergy who knew him intimately will admit that while he did not spare the professional shortcomings and personal peculiarities of his brethren in the Church, yet no man in the Church threw a greater charm around the great lights of her history than he did. He reverenced our noble Bishops while living, and cherished their sacred memories when dead, and succeeded in investing our ministerial profession with a poetic charm that, in my experience, was not equalled in any other instance. The very last day I spent with him, I told him of this peculiarity. He seemed pleased with my uttering such a sentiment, and asked me to [30/31] explain myself. I tried to give some illustrations, but told him I might fail in attempting to explain a most distinct and delightful impression. While resident myself in Richmond, the visits of Dr. Ducachet were occasions of great joy to us all. Wherever he preached crowds rushed for admission to the churches. The venerable Bishop Moore consulted him in regard to any and every vexed question of canonical law, and in cases of parochial difficulty. His opinions he gave most cheerfully, sometimes coming up to Richmond from Norfolk, by the Bishop's request, for personal intercourse. He was always prompt, impartial, and just. 'I wonder what Dr. Ducachet thinks,' was a common suggestion of the dear old Bishop's kind and cautious heart. It would be difficult to conceive of a ministry more attractive and successful than was Dr. Ducachet's at this period of his life. He was at the head of a large, wealthy and generous-hearted congregation. His position in the whole Diocese was most creditable and honorable. His home was bright and cheerful; his hospitality large, but free from display or ostentation; and his strict attention to his clerical duties was exemplary and remarkable." [The Rev. Edward W. Peet, D.D.]
 Dr. Ducachet left Norfolk for Philadelphia on the 27th of November, 1834. He officiated in this chancel for the first time as your Rector on Advent Sunday, November 3oth, and was instituted by Bishop White and Assistant Bishop Onderdonk on the 11th of December, 1834. His previous life had but prepared him to enter upon his work here and conduct it with the success whose appreciation and whose praise are in all the churches. To this parish he came in the flower and strength of his manhood. He gave you his best years--those years of his life when the powers of man are at their full development. And as at last his energy began to wane with advancing years, he gave you instead the precious wisdom which age only can have availed to gather, and the genial kindly influence which only a spirit, long touched and mellowed with the grace of God, can shed. When he could no longer be your strong brother, he became what is perhaps dearer and more sacred, your venerable and kindly father. How shall I speak of what he has done for you these thirty-two years. You know it all better than I can tell you.
During his earlier ministries among you he devoted much attention to Ecclesiastical History, and had besides made considerable [32/33] progress in the preparation of a thorough and complete Church Dictionary. But the cares of the parish as it grew in pecuniary strength interrupted his labors in this direction and centred them upon what will perhaps be a more enduring work, and one quite as acceptable to that Saviour who said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God."
On the 14th of July, 1837, he received his degree of Doctor of Divinity from the University of Pennsylvania. At one time, when the finances of St. Stephen's were in a straightened condition, he insisted upon relinquishing, and did relinquish $500, a considerable fraction of his salary at that time for five years in favor of the debts of the church, thereby embarrassing himself not a little. Besides all the rest that he had accomplished, it was the counsel of his benevolent heart that led to the foundation and the rich endowment of your Orphan Asylum. What other single parish in the whole land has such a magnificent trust? That which towns of large size only attempt; that which only combinations of churches elsewhere have availed to effect; that which Trinity Church, New York, with all her wealth, has never, I believe, as yet dreamed of accomplishing, that this single [33/34] parish has done. To have conceived of and to have been the moving cause of such a work would have been enough, had he done nothing else, to mark the life of Dr. Ducachet as the life of no ordinary Rector. Generation after generation, while they remember with gratitude her whose name the Orphans' Home so justly bears, shall arise and call him blessed.
The latter part of his life was mainly devoted to settling upon a firm basis the work which he had accomplished in the Parish during the many years in which his vigor had lasted, and to the erection and thorough organization of the Orphans' Home.
Meanwhile he had been a leading and active member of the Standing Committee of this Diocese, a Trustee of the General Theological Seminary, the Secretary of the Diocesan Convention, and a delegate for several terms to the General Convention, from Pennsylvania. His wisdom in counsel is evidenced by the frequency with which Bishop Moore, of Virginia, and afterwards the late Bishop Potter, of this Diocese, consulted him in ecclesiastical matters, and the high value those prelates are known to have placed on his judgment. And his philanthropy is evidenced moreover not only in the part he took as a member of the [34/35] Masonic fraternity, but also as a member of the Society for the Relief of Widows and Orphans of Clergymen, of the Bishop White Prayer Book Society, of the Church Hospital, and of the Society for the Advancement of Christianity in Pennsylvania. Indeed, in the benevolence of his heart, it was his intention to leave his library to the Berkeley Divinity School, and devote a portion of his property to the Home for Disabled Clergymen. He had already made arrangements for the preparation of his will; but in the Providence of God, doubtless for some wise purpose, these noble designs above-mentioned were frustrated by his sudden summons unto rest.
Placed as I am here, it is a source of much regret to me that I am unable to speak of his qualities as a preacher. It was only my privilege to listen to him on one occasion. Nor have I been able to procure any printed discourses from his pen. Indeed it is doubtful whether any one of his sermons has ever been sent to the press. When spoken to (as he often was) on the subject of permitting some discourse to be printed, he was accustomed to say, Wait till after I am gone."
He had gathered a library of considerable size, comprising many rare and valuable volumes, [35/36] which lined the walls and crowded the centre of his study. His ever hospitable welcome--to that now affecting scene of his labors, who that has experienced it can ever forget?
On the evening of Wednesday, the 13th of December ultimo, after family devotions, which he led with a more than common tenderness and fervor--for he was unusually moved, even to tears--he retired to his study to pen a letter to Bishop Odenheimer, expressive of the pain he had felt in learning of the accident that had lately befallen that prelate, and of his sympathy in his sufferings. The letter lay sealed and directed upon his desk. It was the last act of the courtesy and kindness of your venerable and beloved Rector. He knew his liability to sudden departure, and for two years he seems to have been withdrawing from the world. Lately he was called upon to part for a while with his only and beloved son. In the dispensation of God there is no perfection without the discipline of pain and sorrow. Other means may in part prepare the spirit for heaven, but it is sorrow only, my friends, that can go down and reach the depths of our being with softening and ripening effect. Thou didst not take thy servant, Oh Father, till thou hadst touched and finished him with thine angel of sorrow. On [36/37] Thanksgiving evening, speaking of the manner of his death to a friend, he said he hoped to die suddenly, either in his study or in his chancel. In one short week his wish was accomplished.
On Monday afternoon, December 18th, he was reverently laid by the side of his only son, in St. Stephen's churchyard; the Rt. Rev. the Bishop of Pennsylvania and the Rt. Rev. the Bishop of New York with others reading the service. I need not dwell upon the many testimonials which the press universally of Philadelphia and New York bore to his character as a Christian and his worth as a man; nor upon the action of his brethren, the clergy, assembled to do honor to his memory on the announcement of his death; nor upon the scene of that thronged funeral; nor upon the resolutions of the "Society for the advancement of Christianity;" nor most touching of all upon the resolutions adopted by the bereaved orphans who had been under his tender care.
I have detained you long. I know that to you who loved him, I need offer no apology. Nor would you feel that I had accomplished, even imperfectly, the melancholy duty and privilege to which you have called me, did I close without at least a few brief words upon points in his character not yet touched.
 A cultivated scholar, he never offended the sensibilities of any by an ostentatious display of his learning. Full of a vitality and vividness, which never encroached upon that native dignity by which he commanded the respect of all, he kept his joyousness almost to the last. The urbane christian gentleman in all his intercourse with the high and with the low, the genial companion, long and cherished will be the memory, of his active step, his cheerful greeting, his pleasant smiles, the wit and "racy flavor of his ready speech," and the "overflowing fullness of his hospitality." How many differences have been healed, how many stormy scenes in your Conventions have been calmed by his admirable temper and tact! He was much oftener at the humble abodes of the poor and the destitute than many even of his near friends realized. But he never spoke of his charities. He had learned the lesson well from Him, who, when he had cleansed the leper, said, "See thou tell no man." No, it has only been since his death that the grateful ones have come up from unexpected quarters round about, with tears in their eyes, to tell of his deeds, as the only tribute they could bring to the memory of their benefactor. Ah, Christ's poor, with their coarse warm shawls and old-time bonnets are a fairer [38/39] wreath for the coffin than all the exotics of the garden.
We are so formed by nature, my friends, that the man who is ardent in his friendships is apt to be equally strong in his animosities. It is the work of grace to leave the former in all their beautiful natural action, nay even to sanctify them, but constantly to check the latter till at length they are subdued. In his ardent nature the grace of God had so gradually and at last effectually done its work, that the feeling he seemed to bear towards those who might seek to injure him or give him pain, was that of patience, forgiveness, and something at least akin to love. At times he would even quietly take that course towards them, which the Scriptures tell us is calculated to heap coals of fire on their head.
However he might in his firm adherence to the principles of the Church have differed from members of the denominations, he was remarkable in commanding their respect and being on terms of kindly courtesy with them all. Not long after his death, a Romanist of this city bore the following testimony to his bravery, his nobleness and self-sacrificing nature. "Dr. Ducachet," he writes, "was respected and beloved by the Catholics as well as the Protestants. We [39/40] honor his memory and mourn him as though he had been one of us, for we can never forget his noble conduct and his kindness at the trying time of the mobbing of our churches some years ago. Dr. Ducachet came in person, in the midst of the infuriated mob--through the whole of it,--to our Bishop (Kenrick), and urged him to come to his (the Doctor's) house, and there remain until the fury had passed. He was also very urgent to take the Sisters of Charity who were then in the Orphan Asylum near the church, and give them the protection and hospitalities of his house, with as many of the orphans as could be accommodated. It was not a mere formal courtesy; but he remained some time pressing and urging the matter with a warmth of manner, and a solicitude that told plainly of its sincerity. We can never forget it."
In presence of the awful verities of the spiritual realm, both the revealed and the unrevealed, he was meek and reverent. He was listening one evening in silence to two young men who were discussing a theological point, and each of whom were indulging in quite positive assertions touching the facts of the spiritual world. At length one of them turned and confidently appealed to him for his opinion in the matter. "I will answer you," was his reply, [40/41] "after the manner of that wise man, Bishop Griswold. Do you find anything revealed in God's Word touching the point?" "I believe there is nothing particularly revealed there," was the answer. "Well, then, my dear young friends, would it not be wiser for you to keep silent, when God himself has not seen fit to speak?"
Nor should I fail to allude to that element which was so prominent in his character, namely, his patriotism; nor to mention his love to the orphans at the Home, his tender care of them, and how his presence always gladdened the whole household. His blessing of the national banner, as it was about to be borne to the war by one of our regiments, is described as being one of the grandest bursts of eloquence ever uttered. Under that flag of his love the corner-stone of the Asylum was laid; it remained waving above the rising walls, and over the roof of the building when completed, till the times of alarm during the invasion of this State by Lee's army, when through some accident it fell. As soon as the Doctor heard of this he went out to the Asylum and ordered it up, saying that it was his request that that flag should wave there over the children whatever might happen.
When the news of the surrender of [41/42] Richmond reached the Asylum, the children rang all the bells, and with the permission of the Matron gathered all the employees of the house, even to the porter, into the large parlor; one of the eldest girls then went to the piano and played, while every voice sang "The StarSpangled Banner" and other national songs. When the Doctor heard of it, he listened with the greatest interest, and then with eyes filled with tears and raising his hand he said, "Thank God! those dear children are giving proof of the training I have endeavored to give them--God first--their country next. It does my heart good to hear of this." On the Fourth of July last, he went to the Asylum carrying a large supply of fireworks and other articles calculated to amuse the children. In the afternoon he requested that the little ones be gathered together, saying, "I intend to have an appropriate service in the Chapel and to read the Declaration of Independence, for I am determined that those dear children shall hear it for the first time from my lips, that they may never forget it." A procession was formed, which, led by the Doctor, moved through the corridor to the Chapel, every voice singing "My country, 'tis of thee." The Doctor then read appropriate Collects from the chancel, explained the meaning [42/43] of the Fourth of July, and, (in such simple language that the smallest child could understand) the document he was about to read. He then in the most emphatic manner read the Declaration of Independence. After which he gave the Blessing of Peace, and, all forming in procession again moved away, singing at his request "The Star-Spangled Banner."
On the Sunday previous to his falling asleep in Jesus, the subject of his address to the children was "the uncertainty of life." He took for his text, "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He hath visited and redeemed his people." He dwelt in very simple but very earnest language on the necessity of a preparation for the coming of that Saviour, spoke of the hundreds who were passing from this world every moment, and how many had gone while he was addressing them, and closed by saying, "Who can tell who will be the next among those here assembled that will be taken;--perhaps it may be myself."
When his death was announced at the Asylum by one who had assembled the children in the School Room for the purpose of imparting to them the sad intelligence, the scene was most distressing. The little ones broke forth into one long wail. It seemed out of any one's [43/44] power to soothe or comfort them. After a delay of some ten minutes it was suggested that the children had better retire and separate. Some little ones were conducted down into the play-room that they might be diverted from their grief; but the same wail continued there, and indeed wherever any of the children were gathered together, until at last he who had borne the sad intelligence could endure it no longer, and was compelled to go away in order to get relief from the sound of that touching and heartfelt grief.
My task is done. There is another home the sacredness of whose sorrow I will not invade. They have their comforter in Jesus.
He who is departed hath but gone from one part of his flock to another. There were tears here--but there have been greetings there. So live, beloved, that all may be gathered to him at last, who hath fought the good fight, who hath finished his course, who hath kept the faith.
Now unto the God of Peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the Great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, be glory, power and praise throughout ages of ages. AMEN.