S. T. D., LL. D.,
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS PRINTING HOUSE.
The calling of the roll awakens the memories of school days. It was a very commonplace affair then, and the absentees, who failed to answer to their names, caused scarcely a thought, since they came again on the morrow, and resumed their places. In the associations of later life, apart from transient assemblies and occasional gatherings, the calling of the roll assumes a very much more serious import. The list keeps shifting and altering, and the changes remind us painfully of the instability of human affairs. Men go and come, they move hither and thither, and we bear our losses with composure, when we know that our late comrades are elsewhere on the earth, sustaining similar relations to those, which they held with us, perchance in a larger and higher sphere of usefulness. But when the names are missed from the records of the living, because they have appeared above the graves of the departed, there comes, beside and beyond the grief and distress which death causes, a bitter pang, as we are thus helped, nay forced, to face the truth that the fate of others will soon be our own. That we too must drop out and be forgotten, save as less and less frequently, as years run on, our contemporaries, who survive, growing rapidly fewer and fewer, recall us to memory and generously exaggerate the little good that we have said or done. Such reflections are suggested as we gather from year to year in our Annual Synod, and steadily, each time without exception, miss from our ranks well-known forms and faces, and hear no longer the cordial greeting of familiar voices, which have been hushed in death since last we met. In human experience this is an oft told tale, but it is fresh for us, as it repeats itself [4/5] now in the case of a Priest and an eminent layman, who have gone out from us during the last twelve months.
The Rev. Ralph Byron Hoyt was the son of a clergyman. The straitened means of his parents denied him the advantages of a full classical and theological education. He was not a graduate in arts nor in theology. He sought to supply these defects, as far as practicable, by self-culture, and very largely he succeeded. Few men have labored more faithfully by systematic study and patient observation to improve their talents, than did the Rev. Mr. Hoyt. His sermons were carefully prepared and well delivered, and his preaching impressed his hearers with the conviction of his thorough sincerity and goodness of heart. Better than good sermons was his life. By the grace of God he made his walk and conversation a living example to win men to Christ. Among human instrumentalities, which help towards this result, he counted the influence and instruction of his mother as the greatest. He never tired of referring to her, and her memory inspired an excellent address, which he delivered on the Fourth of July, choosing for his theme, "The Culture, and Training of Children." Naturally his reverence and love for his mother drew out his affections very strongly towards children. For years he devoted all his leisure moments to the creation and development of a plan of Sunday School instruction, which he termed from the principle of competition, which characterized it, the "Agonistic-System." He undoubtedly was working on right principles, and the chief difficulties, which interfered with the practical success of his scheme, lay not in his methods, considered by themselves, but in the material with which he was forced to deal in this age and country, unruly children scarcely knowing restraint at home or abroad, and in the tendencies of the day and the spirit of our people, which are too impatient of results to allow time for thoroughness in any department of study or work.
The Rev. Mr. Hoyt was a most self-denying man. In [4/5] the prosecution of his missionary labors he always counted himself last. His Lord and Master was first, and all that appertained to Him. He stinted himself to that degree, that he passed hungry days that he might save enough to buy the alabaster box, and associate himself with the penitent Mary in filling the house, which Jesus honors with His presence, with the fragrance of his offerings, which had cost him something. The story of his privations is full of pathos, and when we add to this his heroism in maintaining his post of duty up to the extreme point of human endurance, against the ravages of an incurable disease, we can readily follow him with a well grounded faith to that better country, where his divine Master rewards him with His commendation and blesses him with His love. These traits of character, which eminently marked the Rev. Mr. Hoyt, as a minister of Christ, were equally conspicuous in the broader relations of life towards all with whom he was brought in contact. His immediate kinsfolk have reason to gratefully remember him for his noble, unselfish efforts to help them and save for them something from a property, which once promised to be productive. Friends near and remote, so far as he could serve them, were the recipients of his kindness.
It is more than a conjecture that he remained unmarried up to a comparatively late period of life, that he might be of greater use to others, in a measure dependent upon him, and more profitable to the ministry. At length he married, when he felt that he was free to do so, wisely and well. In a few short months, not ten, from his wedding day, he was summoned to his rest and to his reward. It was our great privilege to have him for our guest for a few weeks before his departure from earth, and we take comfort in knowing that we were able to minister to his necessities in the closing hours of his very humble, but useful and holy life.
Judge Samuel H. Treat, the layman, whom we miss from our deliberations for the first time since Springfield became a Diocese, and whose presence in the Conventions of [5/6] Illinois must date back nearly fifty years, was a native of New York State. He became a Churchman through the influence of his wife, and, as often happens in the case of those who do not, so to speak, inherit the Church, but are led to admit and accept its claims by reading and reflection, the Judge was a thorough Churchman, a Churchman from principle, and not from choice, or caprice, or accident. The natural bent of his mind and his legal studies predisposed him to examine authorities, and weigh evidence, before he reached conclusions, and hence he was not hasty in taking a step, but when he did, as might have been anticipated it was well considered, and he was firm and strong in his position. He saw clearly that the Church of Christ, if it be really His, must be rooted in history, and a history which reaches back to Him when He was here on earth; anything short of this would separate it from Him in time, and leave the interval, be it long or short, without His Church. He saw, moreover, that the Church, if in any sense it could be called the Kingdom of Christ, must have an organized government under Him, as the King; hence its ministry must be official, as representing the offices of the sovereign Head, and hence, as human life is limited to three score years and ten, or four score years, there must of necessity be in a polity administered by men a succession of officers to hand on and perpetuate the office. He knew, for the science of law taught him as much, that the perpetuity of government depends upon the continuity of the chief or presiding office, which is to the kingdom or state what the spinal chord is to the human body, the channel of vitality and of all the nervous activities; hence, in an empire there must be an imperial succession, in a kingdom a royal succession, in a republic a presidential succession, and in the Church an apostolical succession. These principles the Judge saw clearly and grasped firmly. In professional life he was advanced at a very early age to the bench, and passed into, the service of the judiciary of the United States more than [6/7] thirty years ago. As a judge he was highly respected and esteemed, and his opinions, as we are informed by those qualified to speak on the subject, reflect credit upon him for his ability and legal attainments. Few men were ever more reticent and secretive and undemonstrative than he. These qualities kept his friends at a distance. It was not that he repelled them, or was severe and morose--on the contrary, he was gentle and kind--but his few words, his staid and dignified manner, his indisposition to encourage intimacy, tended to isolate him, and to make him, especially since his wife's decease four years ago, an eminently lonely man, in the midst of a large city filled with his acquaintances and friends. It is much to be lamented that this was the case, for doubtless his secluded life, and his natural habit of procrastination, strengthened by advancing years and increasing infirmities, explain the fact that he left no will, and failed to set his worldly affairs in such order as might have been anticipated. Men of high position and few words are likely to leave behind them a legacy of terse, sententious remarks, which are long remembered and quoted. Judge Treat made his contribution, and probably a large one, in this way, if we could gather from his companions and friends the wise sayings, which they have heard drop from his lips and deemed worthy of preservation. One such we recall, and though it may not be original with him, he made it his by acting upon it as the rule of his official administration. Judge Treat was accustomed to close his Court on Good Friday, declaring, "that he would not share the bench as an associate with Pontius Pilate." All Springfield knew the Judge, and all Springfield will miss him; a larger circle too will take note of his absence with regret, the lawyers and others who frequented his Court. While health and strength permitted he was rarely away from his place in Church, and on the day before he died, not dreaming that death was so near, he begged that no eulogy should be permitted at his funeral, [7/8] saying that he deserved none, and that as a sinner he looked to Christ for mercy.
Leaving the Diocese of Springfield, and we thank God that we are not compelled to linger longer in making mention of our dead, we must speak of two beyond our jurisdiction, who have passed from earth not long ago, and who deserve recognition at our hands. The Rev. Dr. George W. Dean, Chancellor of the Diocese of Albany, and Alumni Professor of the Evidences of Christianity in the General Theological Seminary was once a Presbyter of the undivided Diocese of Illinois. In 1874, when representing the Parish of Freeport in the Convention held in that year in Chicago, he nominated your Bishop to fill the vacancy then recently created by the death of the Rt. Rev. Dr. Whitehouse. Dr. Dean's nominee was elected Bishop of Illinois by a majority of seven on the part of the clergy and seven on the part of the laity, and, after an interval of less than four years, he was allowed to take possession of three-fifths of the original territorial jurisdiction, to which he was chosen, and became, as he now remains, the Bishop of Springfield. The Rev. Dr. Dean was a remarkable man. We knew him as a student in Columbia College, when he led a recluse life in a dark, dingy room in an antiquated building in New Street, New York City. Little did the lawyers and brokers and bankers, who occupied offices all around him, dream that there was one among them, a pale-faced youth with black hair and spare form, who was as busy with the material of the past, as they were with that of the present, and that, while they were eagerly striving after the acquisition of gold, he was even more eagerly seeking to gain and store away the treasures of learning. His student life was eminently lonely, one might almost say, dismal. The quarter where he lodged, Wall Street and its vicinity, was crowded by day; it was deserted by night. The lawyers, brokers, bankers took their departure, when the sun went down, to their happy homes and cheerful friends, and left the student to himself and his [8/9] books. The day with its throngs brought no sympathy to him. What community of feeling could there be between Aeschylus and the price of stocks, and the equations of Analytical Geometry and the uproar of the Board of Brokers? Even the necessary meals brought little to relieve the loneliness of that isolated life. Two, a scanty breakfast and an equally scanty supper, were prepared and eaten in that solitary chamber; the third, about midday, was taken at a neighboring restaurant. His few associations with the living came from his class-mates and his pupils, since he was forced to teach in order to defray his expenses while he studied. In due time he graduated with high honor from College, and, passing through the General Theological Seminary, was ordained Deacon and Priest by the Bishop of New York. It was our happiness to have the young clergyman assigned to us, as a helper, in the work of organizing and building up St. Stephen's College, Annandale, N. Y. We passed a year together in the prosecution of our labors, and a profitable year it was. We lived together in the closest intimacy, and outside of our parochial and school duties we read together as a recreation in the evening the dramas of Sophocles and several of the comedies of Aristophanes. The field then was too limited to retain him beyond his Diaconate, and he passed to other spheres of usefulness until he reached the highly honorable posts which he held at the time of his lamented death--the Chancellorship of the Diocese of Albany, and the Alumni Professorship of the Evidences of Christianity in the General Theological Seminary, New York.
The Rev. Dr. Dean was a scholar of great and varied attainments. His reading had been enormous and his memory was very retentive, and well disciplined. He was, we may say, a living encyclopaedia. Few subjects could be mentioned with which he was not familiar, and upon which he could not pour forth floods of information. While his learning was so vast and varied, it must also be stated that [9/10] as a scholar he was exquisitely accurate. Quality in his case was not sacrificed to quantity; on the contrary, as he went on accumulating his treasures and increasing their amount, he seemed to sharpen and intensify the faculty of mastering what he learned and knowing it thoroughly. A word of still higher praise remains to be said of the Rev. Dr. Dean than that he was an eminent scholar; he was a faithful Priest and a devoted servant of his divine Master. We sincerely sympathize with the Bishop of Albany in the great loss which he has sustained. The place made vacant by Dr. Dean cannot easily be filled.
While our Diocese did not fall heir to any of the noble benefactions of Miss Wolfe, still her example is ours, and we ought with grateful hearts to thank God for it. It is so rare to find the wealthy--indeed, we may say, those in any condition of life--adequately remembering God in their wills, putting Him first and before all others in their list of heirs, and giving Him at least a tenth of their estates, that when one like Miss Wolfe comes before the public eye, tithing her great wealth for the benefit of her fellow-men and the glory of her Maker, and Redeemer, and Sanctifier, attention ought to be called to her, and all who own that they love God and desire to serve Him and honor Him, ought to be bidden to copy her example. It is worth a great deal to us; it is over and above her splendid gifts in money, and buildings, and land; it is a bequest, which she left to us, without naming it in her will; it is the legacy of an upright and well-spent life, a holy death, and a conscientious disposition of her worldly goods after death. Her wealth was enormous, and the proportion of it which she devised for the benefit of others to the glory of God, is, large, but better than the gift is the giver, more valuable than the costly endowments and generous donations is the example in life and in death of Catharine Lorillard Wolfe.
The calling of the roll in the House of Bishops is much more solemn than it is in the annual assemblies of clergy and [10/11] laity in the several Dioceses. The constituencies of these bodies change from year to year from various causes, other than those occasioned by death. Not so with the Bishops; their tenure of office is for life, and rarely do their places become vacant, save it be in consequence of their decease. Their meetings, too, are less frequent than the Diocesan Conventions, or Councils, or Synods. Sometimes three full years separate the sessions of the gathered Episcopate, and as mature age is one of the qualifications for admission to the office, it must of necessity result, that a considerable proportion of the whole number must always be far advanced beyond middle life, and some, a few at least, must be very old men. Hence it can scarcely happen now, when the number of Bishops has grown to over sixty, that the House can convene, as it separated when last it met, without a break or change in its personnel. The calling of the roll, therefore, tells by its omissions with an unmistakable significance of the ravages of death among the Bishops. Graded by seniority of consecration, advancement up the list from the bottom towards the top is like marching with solemn and measured step to one's grave. It is, of course, true, that the Bishops are not taken out of the world in the order of seniority; sometimes, not infrequently, the younger are cut down, and the older remain; but as the proverb, "The old must die, the young may," sums up the average of human experience, we may expect that the more aged Bishops will first be called and leave their places vacant. Not nine years have passed since we were consecrated, and our name stood last upon the list. Now twenty are below us, and sixteen, who preceded us, are gone. Of these sixteen, three have been called away since our last Annual Synod, and they are among the most aged and eminent of our body: The Rt. Rev. Dr. Horatio Potter, Bishop of New York; the Rt. Rev. Dr. William Mercer Green, Bishop of Mississippi, and the Rt. Rev. Dr. Alfred Lee, Bishop of Delaware and Presiding Bishop of the American Church. It becomes us to say a word of our deceased [11/12] Brethren, so venerable in years, and so distinguished in position and honors, and in the case of the late Bishop of New York, to indulge our personal affection in a more extended notice.
The late Bishop of Delaware, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Lee, died in his picturesque home on the banks of the river which gave name to the State and his Diocese, on Tuesday, the 12th of last month, (April). He was on the verge of four score years, the allotted term of human life, his next birth-day, September 9th, completing the measure, as he was born in 1807.
He was called at an unusually early age to the Episcopate in 1841, and sat as the first Bishop of his See for nearly six and forty years. When Dr. Lee was consecrated, Oct. 12th, 1841, there were but twenty Bishops in the Church in the United States; when he died there were sixty-five, and two Bishops-elect awaiting consecration, and two vacancies to be filled, in all sixty-nine. A wonderful growth, as he rose from the bottom of the list to the top, and saw the twenty (sink into the grave) who greeted him as their youngest Brother, "the baby Bishop," as the youngest Bishop is familiarly called, when he entered the House on his Consecration, since the General Convention was in session at the time in the city of New York, and he, therefore, immediately took his place among his Brethren; a wonderful growth, we say, has taken place, since Bishop Lee in 1841 saw twenty Bishops in advance of him, with none behind him, and in 1887 looked back upon sixty-four behind him, and he the first, the Presiding Bishop. The twenty had sunk into the grave, and he, the youngest, had become the oldest in office, and placed his Diocese, among the smallest in the American Church, in the same rank with Canterbury, and York, and Armagh, and Dublin, as a Primatial See, governing a Province, and virtually making its incumbent an Archbishop.
Bishop Lee was very far, almost as far as possible, from taking to himself titles and distinctions. In life and tastes he [12/13] was very simple and unostentatious. But the reality may exist without the name, and the American Church, as now constituted, is in fact one huge province, and the Bishop, who presides over it, is in effect an Archbishop. The contrasts show the growth, and we suggest them as illustrating in an interesting way the advance, which we, as a branch of God's Church, have made, during the episcopate of the late Presiding Bishop. The theological position of Bishop Lee was seriously affected, and permanently influenced by the experiences, which almost immediately fell upon him as he entered the Episcopate. The Tractarian excitement in England was on the increase, this country felt and was feeling more and more the shock. Rome had not yet put up the bars, which now shut out all but ultramontanists from her communion, eminent and godly men had gone and were going into the papal schism, alarm was felt on all sides and generated strife, bitterness, wrath, persecution. Good men and true caught the distemper, ecclesiastical trials were promoted, parties were formed, party lines were drawn, men were judged not by their lives and works, but by their affiliations, and the dismal lesson was learned of shutting persons out from preferment, not for any want of capacity or learning or intrinsic worth, but because they could not conscientiously pronounce the partisan shibboleths, nor bring themselves to accept the partisan beliefs, nor sustain the partisan methods. Those were evil days, and the air was infected with distrust, suspicion, strife, backbiting, slandering, malice, and it was next to impossible for any one to escape an unnatural heating, of his blood, if he did not actually take the fever. It speaks volumes for one's inner spiritual life and steadiness of head and goodness of heart, if he controlled himself when breathing such an atmosphere of noxious vapors, and moving in the midst of such disordered spirits and unruly tongues. Such praise, if not without qualification, must be accorded the late Presiding Bishop. He struggled against the prevailing influences of the locality where he lived, the effect of which was, [13/14] to render a man the blind slave of party, and while he did not escape a permanent impression from these earlier experiences of his episcopate, still he rose superior to the worse consequences of the theological malaria and secured and retained to the last the respect and esteem of all, as a good man, striving to do his duty.
The late Bishop Green, of Mississippi, was an older man in years than the Presiding Bishop, but he was consecrated nearly nine years later, in 1850. He was born in the last century, in 1798, and consequently was rapidly approaching his ninetieth year. His episcopate falls into two divisions, separated by the civil war, the first, full of prosperity and spiritual increase, the second, disastrous, with a Diocese desolate, and a people impoverished. No man could have borne his honors more meekly, or endured his misfortunes more bravely and patiently than the saintly Bishop of Mississippi. In the sack of Jackson his house was burned and his property, even his sermons, were ruthlessly destroyed. When first he came to the north, fresh from such severe experiences, it was our great privilege to represent the Bishop of New York, who was away from the city on a visitation, in extending to our Southern Father in God the best hospitality that we could afford, and, in seeking by assiduous attention to his wants and comforts, to make reparation for the hardships which he had suffered. Well do we recall his gratitude for our kindness, which seemed to us all too little for the dear old man, so gentle and tenderhearted, who had come to us through such great tribulation as that dreadful war had inflicted on him and his. Well do we recall the forgiving spirit with which he detailed the severity with which he had been treated, and the losses, which he had sustained. The remembrance is refreshing. It speaks of the grace of God manifest in a fellow-being, stripped of everything, like Job, with the results of his lifework scattered to the winds, smarting from recent and personal injuries, yet seeking to excuse those who had [14/15] wronged him, adding from time to time as he was relating his tragic story, the caution, "You know it is what we must expect in time of war; generals cannot always restrain their soldiers, and when men are maddened by pillage, they know not what they do." It might have been expected that we would have framed these excuses for our men, but no, he, the sufferer, was striving to moderate our righteous indignation, while we were simply listening to the recital of his sufferings. It needs not that we should go on. No one else could tell this incident in the good Bishop's life, and it shows at once his character. It reveals how closely he followed his divine Master, how Christ-like was the first Bishop of Mississippi.
Within a month after the consecration of the Rt. Rev. Horatio Potter, as Provisional Bishop of New York, he admitted us to the Diaconate on the 17th of December 1854, the anniversary of the consecration of Archbishop Parker in 1559. In the following September, Bishop Potter ordained us to the Priesthood, and on the Feast of St. Barnabas, 1878, in Trinity Church, New York, he, with nine others assisting, consecrated us to the Episcopate. Our ministerial life, therefore, in all its grades is derived from him. He was the only Bishop whom we ever had over us in the Lord, until we were called ourselves to take the weighty charge of the over-sight of a Diocese. Nearly nine years have separated us from his paternal care and love, and now we are called upon to mourn his death. In his departure a great deal has gone out from this world for us. He was to us in a very emphatic sense, "the Bishop," and while we admit the personal element in this feeling, still we claim that his life and administration amply justify his occupying the place naturally assigned him by our reverence and affection. The Church in this country owes more to Bishop Horatio Potter under God, than has ever yet been told, or will probably ever be known. He was called to preside over the imperial Diocese in our Church in [15/16] perilous times. The preceding decade had been marked by events, which entered, like iron, into men's souls, and stirred their passions deeply, often maddened them with rage. New York was the territory on which the fiercest theological battles had been fought, and the most distressing exhibitions of partisan malignity had been displayed.
The Cary ordination, and the Onderdonk trial had driven men asunder into hostile camps, and while all were not made foes, still the miasma of religious controversy seemed to rest like a cloud upon almost all intellects and distill poison into almost all hearts. Few, very few, escaped the dire effects of the evil temper of the time. The domestic hearth, the social circle, the Sunday School, the pulpit, nay the chancel and the altar were invaded by the vile spirit of partisan malignity and hate. Among the few, who passed through the storm and yet seemed scarcely to have been touched by it, was the then Rev. Dr. Horatio Potter. He was not insensible to the issues at stake, nor was he indifferent as to the results. He formed his judgments, and he lived and learned as days passed, but he kept himself by the help of God from the strife of tongues. He was aided in this course by his temperament and character. He was naturally calm and cautious; he was not easily excited, nor drawn aside from the even tenor of his way. Twice he was abroad during the heat of the conflict, and the needed rest from severe parochial labor enabled him to gain a more comprehensive view of men and affairs, than if he had remained at home all the time shut up in the narrow sphere of a provincial city, feeding intellectually upon the inflamed religious literature of the day. God seemed to have prepared him for his post and work by natural gifts, and to have trained him thus prepared by so ordering the conditions and circumstances of his life as to qualify him with exquisite fitness for the extremely delicate and arduous duties and responsibilities, which he was destined to assume, when he became Provisional Bishop of New York, in 1854. His Quaker [16/17] parentage with the peculiar excellencies inherited from that stock; his singularly pure and upright boyhood and youth, passed amid rural scenes and occupations; the comparatively late period at which he pursued his academic and theological studies, enabling him in consequence more thoroughly to appreciate and appropriate the value of what he learned; his experience as a teacher in imparting knowledge, as well as in gaining it; his sojourn for many years, as Rector of St. Peter's Church, Albany, in the capital of the great state where he came familiarly and habitually in contact with the brightest and best men of the age and country--these things entered as elements into the training which he had received, when he was called upon to take up the pastoral staff which Bishop Wainwright had laid down, just two months and one day before. The abnormal condition of affairs in the Diocese of New York, when Dr. Potter and his Predecessor were consecrated is indicated by the title, "Provisional Bishop," which they bore. This was occasioned by the trial and indefinite suspension of Bishop B. T. Onderdonk, in the early-part of the year 1845. As the canons then stood, although the Bishop was rendered incapable of performing any episcopal duty, no permanent relief could be afforded the Diocese by the election of an assistant or coadjutor Bishop. It was not until 1850 that a canon was enacted to meet the exigencies of this special case, and, under the provisions of this legislation, the Rev. Dr. Wm. Creighton was chosen Provisional Bishop, the name by which the Bishop elected under these peculiar circumstances was known, and declined; in the following year the Rev. Dr. Wainwright was selected and accepted and was duly consecrated. His episcopate, full of labors and abundant in promise, was very brief. In less than two years he was dead, and the Rev. Dr. Horatio Potter was chosen to succeed by the Diocesan Convention, which met, in its annual session, a few days after the decease of Bishop. Wainwright. He was duly consecrated in Trinity Church, New York, on the 22d of November, 1854. Bishop Wainwright [17/18] had not been afforded time to set things in order and clear the way for systematic work and administration, before he was called to his account. More than seven years had passed between the suspension of Onderdonk and the consecration of Wainwright, and during that long interval the Diocese was without episcopal oversight. A well ordered family in a state of peace and charity may safely be left for a time without parental control, but, when the household is in wild disorder, and child is at enmity with child, it is extremely hazardous to remove the head, and take away the authority which usually governs and restrains.
New York was in no suitable condition to be deprived of its Father in God in 1845. The causes which led up to the trial and suspension of its Bishop had operated disastrously alike upon both the clergy and laity of the Diocese, and thrown them into a state of confusion and insubordination, calling for judicious supervision and direction at the very moment when they were to lose both, and that, too, for long years to come. The administration of the Standing Committee, supplemented by the occasional services of neighboring Bishops, called in for the purpose, was no adequate substitute for the oversight of its own Bishop, and in consequence the Diocese was in a sadly unsettled state when Bishop Wainwright and, after a brief interval, Bishop Potter were summoned to take the helm. Party lines were strongly and often sharply drawn; personal animosities were common; old feuds and hatreds still lingered. There was a sort of truce, a half-hour of silence, after the consecration, to see during the suspense of what disposition the new Bishop was, and what line he would take in the management of ecclesiastical affairs. It can readily be seen that had Bishop Potter been a man of war he would have had abundant cause for opening his campaign without delay. He could have had ecclesiastical trials without number; he could have set men to wrangle and dispute on all sides, and have invoked the evil spirits of contention, and bitterness, and suspicion, and given them free scope to [18/19] reign supreme. Nay, had he been an ordinary man, with the best intentions to subserve the cause of quiet and peace, he would have been inevitably drawn into controversy, and when once the flood gates had been lifted, he could not have controlled the consequences. But Bishop Potter was in many respects and especially as regards those which concerned the welfare of the Church, an extraordinary man. Few men, very few, could have done as he did. He went to work zealously and earnestly; he heard a great deal; he said little. He observed men, and weighed them very carefully in the balances. He was courteous and affable to all; he gave his confidence to few. He chose his counsellors wisely. He had his own convictions, and they were very clear and strong as to theological truth; but he never allowed them to warp him in the administration of his Diocese, or the dispensing of patronage. So anxious was he to be impartial, that he frequently seemed unjust to those who shared his opinions and sympathies, and partial to those who were conspicuously in opposition to his known views and policy. He strove earnestly for peace, and the things which make for peace. On general principles he was averse to litigation and trials, and in the chaotic condition of our judicial system, and the improbability, nay, we may say, the impossibility of reaching uniformity of decision upon any question touching doctrine, he foresaw that the result of such trials, save in rare and exceptional cases, would be productive of almost unmixed evil. Hence he set his face and used his influence steadily against them, and hence his long episcopate of more than thirty-two years witnessed only one ecclesiastical trial, that, namely, of the Rev. Dr. Stephen H. Tyng, Jr. This seeming exception, however, to the Bishop's known line of policy was in reality no exception, since the trial was forced upon the Diocese of New York from without, when the Bishop was absent, and was transferred to New York after the incipient steps had been taken elsewhere, and there was no resource but to proceed, as required by the canons, within the [19/20] jurisdiction where the accused clergyman resided. It was no secret that Bishop Potter deplored that trial, and could he have prevented it, he would undoubtedly have done so. This disinclination to encourage or allow ecclesiastical trials was not in any sense an indication of an insensibility to the necessity of discipline, and the importance of maintaining it. It was simply his conviction, that this method was not the wisest and best way of securing the desired end. By private correspondence, by personal interviews, by weighty words delicately dropped, by godly admonitions, by pastoral letters temperately written--by these and other means of a like kind he sought to influence and control those who were disposed to be refractory, and for the most part he succeeded. Few were the instances in which his counsels were disregarded, or his authority was defied. And when this occurred, as occasionally it did, such was the universal respect felt for the Bishop, and the confidence reposed in his fairness and impartiality, that local public sentiment compelled the disobedient to assume at least the appearance of decency and good behavior. The wisdom of his course has been most splendidly vindicated by the result. Gradually the old fires of controversy died down and went out. Combatants laid aside their arms. Time healed many wounds, and calmed many disturbed and heated spirits. Peace, good order, mutual confidence, resumed their sway, and the Diocese grew and prospered. It was divided into three, and in a little time the third was larger in every element of material greatness, except territory, than the original whole was, when the Bishop assumed the charge. Imagine, and it would not be difficult to find an original corresponding to the description, imagine a man of a different temper and disposition taking up the reins, when Bishop Wainwright dropped them. Imagine such a one entering upon his high and sacred office, resolved to trample under foot and crush out the opposition, which, though a minority, had been able by assistance from without, to throw the shadow of disgrace [20/21] upon the good name of New York. What frightful results would have followed! Such a line of policy would have commended itself to many as the course of right and justice. Opportunities were afforded by the score for taking it up, and when once begun, it would have provoked and created fresh opportunities for its continuance. There would, there could have been no end. Angry letters in the public prints on sacred subjects, rejoinders more angry still, inhibitions, presentments, trials, reprimands, suspensions, depositions, schisms, civil suits, criminal prosecutions, fines, perchance imprisonments, and, back of all this, the horrid riot of the worst passions of the human heart let loose and fanned in christian breasts to phrensy. Meanwhile the loss, church-work stopped or checked, the Holy Spirit grieved, perhaps quenched, the inner life impoverished, weakened, starved, precious souls alienated by polemics, seekers after God thwarted, and turned aside and kept out by stumbling blocks. Three and thirty years would have passed, and where would the Diocese of New York have been? Where would the Church in the United States have been in this year, 1887? The disastrous consequences of such a course would not have been limited to a single Diocese; they would have spread their baleful influence throughout the land. They would have dwarfed the Church's growth, have paralyzed her energies, and dried up her revenues. Would there have been any gains to balance these frightful evils, to have compensated for these enormous losses? None, so far as we can see, whatever. The trial of the younger Tyng, as he was familiarly called, fortunately affords the only example to gauge the relative results of the experiment. There may have been those, who were pleased with what they deemed a triumph of principle, and a vindication of the obligation of Canons by the finding of the Court, but we are persuaded that they were comparatively few at the time, and that there are scarcely any now. The great majority looked upon the whole proceeding as a huge and lamentable mistake. Fancy [21/22] this mistake repeated all along the line of Bishop Potter's administration, and then let one sit down and cast up the account of what the outcome would have been in the condition of the Diocese of New York, and of the Church in this country to-day, when his episcopate is at an end and his work on earth is done. Thank God, the late Bishop was not the man to make such mistakes. The easy thing, the ordinary thing, the thing which most men would have done, was to make them. The hard thing, the thing which cost nerve, resistence to pressure, an ear deaf to obloquy and abuse, was to sit still and hold one's hand and refuse to prosecute. This the Bishop persistently did from first to last, and the Church in America owes him a debt of gratitude for his heroic patience and forbearance and steadfastness. Scan Bishop Potter's administration in whatever direction one may, he sees the hand of the sagacious statesman, who can wisely forecast and devise for the future, and of the prudent overseer and executive, who knows how both to encourage and restrain, and can afford, if need be, to "hasten slowly." Extreme men on either side would have pursued a different line from Bishop Potter, but both would ordinarily admit, that, inasmuch as he did not do as they would have done, he did the next best thing in doing just what he did. Could there be higher praise than this? It implies vastly more than it says, and more than it means to say. It is a splendid encomium, and when it is paid to one, who was called upon to preside for so long a period over diverse and largely discordant elements, it reaches its maximum when said of Bishop Horatio Potter. It was not unusual to hear good, earnest people, on the whole friendly to the late Bishop of New York, in a kindly way deplore his faults, and say, "O! if Bishop Potter had only a little more backbone, he would check that abuse;" or, "If he would only be a little more prompt in action, how much better it would be." We are not disposed to deny that our venerable Father in God had faults, and probably the very faults of which these excellent [22/23] people complained, but such faults as these, admitting them to be faults, were overruled for the benefit of the Diocese. The "let alone" policy was precisely the treatment which the patient required, and the wise Bishop knew it. We recall many an instance when impatience was manifested by deeds as well as words towards the Bishop, for his inaction and want of push and decision in dealing with matters, and he would say to us, "Wait a little, this evil will cure itself, and these very people will commend me for not doing the thing which now they wish me to do." And so it generally came about. The event justified his wisdom. His alleged faults, therefore, which, at other times and under other circumstances, might have proved injurious, were made subservient, to strengthen a line of policy, which brought the greatest possible number of blessings, with the fewest evils to New York and the Church in the United States. To one occupying a commanding position, moving amid conflicting interests, responsible for many duties, and wielding great influence, reserve in manner and in speech is a necessity. It may, of course, be carried too far, and we shall not be surprised if some assert, that Bishop Potter was too reserved. To us it never seemed so, and if it were true, the excess was on the right side. Better for him, better for the Diocese, better for the Church was too much reserve rather than too little. Better it was to shut out the familiar approach of even good men, rather than to surrender oneself unreservedly into the hands of the mixed multitude, and become a prey to gossip, slander, and perhaps even worse evils. The wise reserve of Bishop Potter was largely natural, but over and above this, his position and his caution led him to withdraw himself from others, at times, in speech and manner still further than nature would have prompted. But if any inferred from this that Bishop Potter was not keenly alive to the best sympathies of our nature, they were greatly mistaken. The great and good Bishop honored us with more than his friendship. We knew him probably better [23/24] than almost all outside of his own family circle. After we came to New York to reside, our official relations brought us much together. In the summer, when our duties as Professor did not detain us, we were accustomed to accompany the Bishop on his visitations into the country, to relieve him, as far as we could, of the burden of preaching and of other labors which it was within our power to perform. We refer to these associations, so delightful in themselves and now so sacred in memory, simply as our warrant for venturing to approach so closely and speak with authority of the Bishop's life and character. He had a warm, tender heart, full of sympathy. He abounded in good deeds, done in a simple, unaffected way. We have acted as his almoner often, and concealed him from the view of those whom he was befriending. To the clergy in distress, whether from poverty, or worse, from sin, he was truly a Father in God. He never appeared to greater advantage than when he was dealing with the latter class. He was so magnanimous and so paternal. He seemed instinctively to distinguish the old incorrigible offender, from the brother overtaken in a fault, and to say and do the right thing in both cases. He was very tender of the reputation of the young, and especially of young men looking forward to the ministry. If they got wrong notions in their heads and were charged with heresy, or became involved in trouble in any way, he would say, "Don't make any black record against them, unless you are compelled to do so. It is cruel to put a blot on a young man's name, let it be the last resource." It needs not that we should speak of the Bishop's intellectual ability. He must take rank among the very ablest in our American Episcopate. His talents were rather solid than brilliant, but they were of the first order of excellence. He had read largely and the best authors, and he remembered well. He wrote the choicest English, pure, simple, clear as crystal. His matter was always weighty, he spoke or wrote because he had something to communicate, and it was well worth [24/25] one's while to attend to what fell from his lips or pen, since he would always be amply repaid. The Bishop would have made an admirable judge. He would have ranked with Marshall, Story, Kent. His mind was eminently judicial, and exhibited in the strongest way some of the best traits which qualify one for sitting on the bench. His mental eye was far-seeing. He saw clearly the things at which he looked. There was no film of prejudice or passion to blind, or mist of outside persuasion or influence to obscure. These were not allowed. He saw comprehensively; he took in the entire grouping of the landscape, and while he instantly seized the point at issue, or the immediate matter in hand, he grasped as well the environment, which must also be considered in order to reach a truly just conclusion, one that will bear the test of time, and, so to speak, wear well. Among congenial friends the late Bishop of New York was a charming companion. He was far from being insensible to humor. His wit was not of the low, rude sort, but elevated, pure, and all the more genuine and enjoyable, because it was refined and chaste. We doubt whether any one ever heard the Bishop say a word, or utter a jest, which could not, with entire propriety, have been listened to by ears the most delicate and polite. He enjoyed a joke, and what is very rare, he did not rule out the enjoyment, even when the joke was at his own expense. He had a large fund of anecdote, and his stories always had a point, and usually were the vehicles of imparting valuable instruction.
Before his health failed, and the duties of his great Diocese were felt in consequence as an ever increasing burden, it was his delight to spend a few hours each week, for a longer or shorter period, as his visitations would allow, with the students of the General Theological Seminary, giving them lectures on the practical duties of the sacred ministry and the pastoral office. It was not our privilege to hear them, but we have abundant testimony from those who were present, that they could scarcely be excelled for matter [25/26] and manner. He had simply an outline before him, and he poured forth in a familiar, fatherly way from his rich stores of experience and observation counsel and advice, principles to guide, and cautions to restrain in dealing with men and things in parochial and missionary life. His illustrations were copious and varied, and were largely drawn from his own personal recollections of the past. He did not hesitate to speak of his own awkwardness and crudeness in his early ministry, and of his mistakes in later years as warnings to his youthful auditors. We allude to this fact as a proof of his humility, his genuiness. After he became Bishop and it was our privilege to know him, and in a measure to be honored with his esteem and confidence, personal affliction was largely his portion; death entered his household as a familiar visitor and bore away his children, and then his wife. But three were left as the solace and the comfort of his old age. He bore his griefs as a christian, a strong, robust christian should, bravely and nobly. The breast heaved, the head was bowed, the eye was moist, but the spirit was resigned and the lips uttered as the sincere expression of the heart's submission, "Thy will be done," and he went about his many duties, and took up his heavy burden of responsibility as of yore, save that there was less of this world in his life, and thoughts, and speech, and more of the next. Years at length told upon him, it was the wonder of most that they had not told upon him long before; when first he entered the Episcopate, it was the general feeling that Bishop Potter, with his spare form and apparently fragile health, could not long withstand the wear and tear of the great and then distracted Diocese of New York. And from year to year as we met in our annual conventions, we separated with the apprehension that we had seen the last of our beloved Bishop. To some extent he shared himself in this uncertainty as to his tenure of life. His earlier addresses contain repeated allusions to his having death present to his mind as a not unexpected event to him. [26/27] Yet God spared him for the Church's good, and as time went on, and peace succeeded war, and under his wise, judicious, comprehensive administration, party spirit was forced to hide its head, and confidence and charity resumed their sway, he seemed to grow stronger, and have a better heart and mind to labor. Then we began to hope that his years would be prolonged far beyond the four score, and so God willed. When we entered the Episcopate, we felt that we might indirectly help to prolong our Bishop's life by putting ourselves at his disposal for work in the remoter parts of his Diocese, during what is usually termed "vacation," in the-hot months of July and August.
For ourselves we would say in passing, not by way of boasting but simply as a matter of justice to ourselves, that we have never yet taken but one vacation since we were ordained three and thirty years ago, and that was when we went to Europe for a three months' trip. But to resume, the Bishop gladly and thankfully, accepted our services, and for a series of years we lifted a portion of his burden from his shoulders and bore it gladly ourselves. This was done by us for love of him, our Bishop, and, with the hope besides that thus we might benefit New York and the Church in our land, by helping with the blessing of God to prolong the valuable life of the Rt. Rev. Horatio Potter. It is our consolation to believe that we were enabled to do this, and to give relief in many ways to our beloved Father in God.
But at last the crisis came. Suddenly severe and acute disease interrupted his labors in the spring of 1883. He was never permitted to resume them. God did not take him at once out of this world, but withdrew him from active duty and the public gaze, and secluded him in the retirement and rest of his earthly home for a season, as the lovely preparation for his going within the veil to be with Christ in, Paradise.
We may not rudely draw aside the curtain, which screens the aged Bishop, meekly waiting for his Master's [27/28] call to go, from view. Yet thus much we may say, since we were among the favored few, who were granted access to the sacred chamber, that it was a scene of unearthly beauty. The venerable Bishop with faculties well preserved, with faith clearer and stronger, with devotion quickened into a brighter glow, and the love of God intensified, the venerable Bishop, we say, who was in possession of the loftiest honor, which man can hold, from whom the world was passing, and who had dismissed the world except in so far as love and duty required. He, the central figure, lying on his snowy couch, with fresh flowers near by, and choice authors, and his favorite selections in papers and magazines from the literature of the day. And then the second figure, whose filial love, so strong, so tender, so true, whose sacred ministries found partial and feeble expression in the things which met the eye, and hid themselves in a thousand things, which sight cannot discover, nor speech reveal. The coming now and then each day of other loved ones to greet the parent's eye and hear the parent's blessing. And still another, the only son, not present in person, but by letter there, clasped in his father's hand. The letter, we have seen it held aloft with pride by the feeble arm, the token of the absent one's remembrance, and doubtless filled with expressions of his love. These are but the elements of the picture, we dare not combine them, or give them shade and coloring. Even if it were lawful for us so to do, it would be beyond our power. The imagination of each one must do the rest, and we are persuaded, that where the imagination works upon these materials, illumined by the holy memories of home, and inspired by the passions of reverence and love, the result will be a nearer approach to the blessed scene of the great and good Bishop's sacred chamber of patient waiting for his Lord's summons, than our poor words could describe. The end came at last; it was passing from one haven of rest and peace to another, from the ministry of loving children and friends to the [28/29] ministry of the blessed angels. The new year on earth to us was the new year to him in Paradise. We are content, not with our wretched tribute to his memory, but with the noble and useful life which God helped and permitted. Horatio Potter to live, and the peaceful and holy death with which He crowned that life. "Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift."
But you may ask, Brethren, the Diocese may ask, why devote much the larger part of your address to us, with a sketch of the life and services of the late Bishop of New-York? You put to us the very question, which we wish you to ask, because our answer contains the instruction and the warning, which we deem it to be of supreme importance at this time to give. We shall strive to be brief, and we trust we shall not be obscure nor fail to make ourselves understood.
The life and episcopate of the late Bishop of New York read to us from their many pages just the lesson which we need for these days and the future which is opening out before us. He being dead yet speaketh, and he speaketh from a past which, in all the essentials of its character, is likely to repeat itself in the year now passing, and the years that are to come. His course, now almost universally admitted to have been so eminently wise and judicious, commends itself to us for our imitation. Hence I have striven to sketch it, and hold it up before you, and I trust, to a wider field of view even than our Diocese for imitation. The tendencies of the day and the voices of many, who make themselves heard, are in the opposite direction to the Bishop's wise conservatism. War, blood, scalps is the cry. Let us pause before we listen to the call of such as use this language, and inquire of what spirit they are. Let us remember two things. First, that there will always be extreme men on every line of human thought, or passion, or action; and, secondly, that there are always men, whose meat and drink, it is to stir up strife. Look at these two facts in human experience for a [29/30] moment, and their consideration may moderate our alarm on the one hand and qualify our action on the other. Eating and drinking and sleeping are necessities of our physical nature, but there are those who do these things to excess. They are extreme men, they are gluttons, and drunkards, and sluggards. The affections of the human heart are among the most beneficent gifts with which our Creator has endowed us, yet in their exercise there always have been, and there always will be, those who pass the boundaries of natural law and go to extremes. In the regions of abstract thought there are divergencies, which divide men and place them in reference to their estimate of God and revelation and grace and works at different stand-points of observation and inference, and here, as everywhere else, there are extreme men, who push their conclusions, drawn, at the best, from partial premises, as far as possible in their own direction. We must be prepared, therefore, for extreme men, for an outside row in every field of theory and practice. But we should be worse than foolish, if we cut down the outside row, in the hope that we would then be forever rid of it. Alas, we would have it still, and continue to have it until we had destroyed our harvest. We are not saying, or meaning to say, that there are not excesses which ought not to be restrained and brought under, or defects, which ought not to be supplied. But we are saying, and we mean to say, that there are other methods of dealing with the outside row, than by cutting it down. There are other fruits more acceptable for Bishops and Priests and christians of any degree, to bring to God, than blood and scalps. There are other methods of correcting evils than those persistently urged in certain quarters, scolding, abuse, hard words, cruel deeds, trials, suspensions, depositions, in a word the faggot and the axe, the cutting down the outside row. The late Bishop of New York used those methods, and for the most part he succeeded, and when he did not, at the moment, gain the end, forbearance [30/31] and patience and unwearied kindness, ultimately triumphed, in nearly every instance.
Again, there are now, as there were in the Psalmist's days, men, whose occupation it seems to be, "to stir up strife all the day long." They are the habitual accusers of their brethren. They never seem happy unless they have some tale to tell of the folly or the ignorance, or the wickedness, of some one else. To judge from their conversation and their writings, one would conclude that total depravity reigned supreme in the hearts and lives of all who disagreed with them on religious topics, while perfection marked the steps of all who took sweet counsel with them. There are certain schemes of theology which seem to predispose their votaries to narrowness, to generate within them vindictiveness towards all who differ from them. It may be that these theological systems are merely responsible for attracting such unhappy spirits to embrace them, and not for the rancor and evil tempers, which they display. The fact, however, remains, that this class of men are always finding fault, always carping at their neighbors, always assuming that they are right and every one, who fails to agree with them, must be wrong, and if for no better reason still for this, that he does not agree with them. These men will argue, but it is a foregone conclusion that they must win the day, for as soon as argument goes against them, they drop argument, like the Scribes and Pharisees, and seize the stones; their favorite weapons are bitter words, ungenerous suspicions, the assertion of inferences, drawn from these suspicions, as positive, undoubted truths. Their zeal for what they persuade themselves is truth, blinds their eyes to everything save its assertion, and hence they think they are doing God service, as did some of old, when they are actually killing the followers of Christ, killing them, not with axe and sword, but with intolerance and lieing and slander. The spirit is the same, though the weapons are perforce changed, and it needs but to give them the power and the old weapons would [31/32] come back, and be employed as of yore. Witness the imprisonments in England, and the threats uttered by many in this country, that constitutional provisions will be disregarded, and revolution will be attempted, if they are out-voted and defeated in a lawful way. It is the old story over again. It repeats itself for the hundredth time since the Reformation. There are the same cries, the same accusations, the same stock arguments, the same panic fears, the same appeals to passion and to prejudice, the same striving to make the most of excitement and drive matters to extremity. They invoke the strong arm of repression, and urge fiery spirits to prosecute their Brethren, and in case wise, forbearing Fathers interpose to stay their phrensy, then they cry, prosecute and try and kill the Fathers. Now, of course, this picture is not a pleasant one to survey, and we fain would look away at other and more peaceful and pleasant scenes, but we cannot, as our brethren force themselves upon our view, and insist upon our hearing their cry for scalps and blood. The practical question arises, what are we to do? And, again, the example of the great, long-suffering Bishop of New York suggests-the reply: Be patient, be forbearing. Look on the other side, and you will see, that as they have been brought up and trained and taught, they can easily persuade themselves that they are more than justified in all that they say and do. Indeed, there is little to be done in so far as these perturbed spirits are concerned, bent upon making as much mischief out of a little capital as possible. Remonstrance will not reach them, reasoning will not convince them, good words will not mollify them. They are on the war-path, and scalps and blood they will, they must have. In so far as they are concerned, our strength is to sit still until this tyranny be overpast. To pray the good Lord to give them a better mind and to seek, to the extent of our ability, to do them good. We may strengthen ourselves with the conviction, that noise and din and uproar, are no measure of power, and that the great heart of the Church is averse to their [32/33] spirit and methods. We may console ourselves with the assurance, given us over and over again, in God's blessed word, that while those who stir up strife do an immense amount of mischief, God overrules the wrath of man and makes it praise Him. We have reason to deplore the excesses of some, and the neglects and defects of others, but let us remember that they are the few on either side, and that perhaps gentle, loving treatment will win the most of these few extreme men to wiser and better ways. The remainder will forfeit the confidence and support of all sober minded, sensible men of their own school of thought and practice, and they will lose all appreciable influence, except as a salutary warning to such as might otherwise have coveted and sought their notoriety, had they not seen their fate. There has been excess, no doubt, in times past, and there is at present in bold, unguarded statements as to doctrine, and in individualisms, and follies in ritual; this should be checked, and it is to be hoped that the paternal counsel and godly judgment of Bishops will be sufficient for the occasion, and will remedy the evil.
On the other hand there are those, who ignore the historic Church in the clear and well defined teaching of her offices and articles, and seek to read into them a meaning unknown to primitive antiquity, borrowed confessedly from heretics and schismatics, and at best simply the private
opinions of Bishops and doctors. These men avow that their sympathies are without the Church and not within, and in consequence they betray her at every turn, they bid defiance to rubrics and laugh at canons, and regard Bishops, unless they agree in theology with them, as not even a necessary evil, but an unnecessary incumbrance and imposition. Here, as in the former case, let patience have her perfect work. In one and a very important, respect this class of cases is more difficult to deal with than the former, because while the extremist on the side of excess overleaps the law of the Church, in the last resort he must, on his own principles, [33/34] admit the divine authority of Bishops, and if he refuse to submit, he rules himself out of court. On the other hand, his brother extremist begins with repudiating subordination to any power, save his own individual will. There is, therefore, no authority external to himself, that can reach him.
But here, as in the former case, we deprecate ecclesiastical trials, as in themselves a great evil, and as in our case, with our extremely defective and vicious judicial system, likely to prove vastly worse than miserable failures. Where doctrine is involved, unless the issue be the denial of one of the fundamental verities of the faith, formulated in the Creed, the result of a trial must be valueless, it can settle nothing definitively. We can readily imagine a clergyman tried and convicted and deposed, for teaching in one Diocese, what would be endorsed and upheld by another. It is not worth while to discuss this anomalous state of things, it is important to mention it in order to justify the position which we take, that trials for heresy, unless the alleged heresy contradicts one of the articles of the Creed, ought not to be permitted, until a supreme Appellate Court, composed of Bishops, is created, whose rulings will bind the whole Church in the United States.
Brethren, these are evil days. Let us pray for peace, and do our best to promote it. Let us examine our ways and our doings, and whenever we find anything amiss, let us correct it, and if need require, let us make reparation for our mistakes. Our great work is to win souls to Christ in the Church's way, and with the grace ministered through the word and sacraments to edify them, and nurture them; let us not put stumbling blocks, of our own manufacture, in their paths to obstruct their coming, and mar our success. Let us teach and explain, and if need be, postpone what is perfectly lawful and right and what we desire, for a reasonable time at least, until we have afforded every opportunity for the ignorant to be enlightened, and the prejudiced to be convinced.
 Our Diocese is yielding her fruits of increase. Were it not that our neighboring great cities of Chicago and St. Louis kept constantly skimming our milk and carrying away the cream, we would exhibit much more rapid advance in all the elements of material progress. As it is, with all our tremendous drawbacks, we are growing, planting ourselves on solid and firm foundations. This is the work of our faithful clergy and laity, blessed by Almighty God, Who alone can give the increase. The details of our work in the Diocese and elsewhere will be found in the Appendix.
We must linger a moment to express our sympathy with our dear Brother of Chicago, whom we regard with the highest respect and most affectionate interest, in the serious indisposition, which has withdrawn him for a time from his Diocese. We trust and pray that this temporary cessation from arduous labor will restore him to robust and permanent health, so that he may return to his home next autumn to cheer us with his presence, aid us with his wise counsel, and strengthen us with his manly courage and intrepid will.
Pray for us, Brethren, that we may have grace given us to know what to do, and strength and power to enable us to do it.