THE YOUNG CHURCHMAN Co.
[Transcriber's note: the Consecration took place, and the sermon was delivered, in the Chapel of St. Augustine at Sewanee, Tennessee on the Feast of St. James July 25, 1893.]
AS the following sermon has incurred in some quarters adverse criticism prior to its publication, 1 deem it but right and just to state that I alone am responsible for its allegations of fact. For its doctrinal positions, of course, as always, I submit myself to the judgment of the Church.
It must not be thought strange that such an epidemic of untruthfulness as the present, which prevails, should overtake our generation. There have been such seasons before, and Bishops, and Fathers, and Doctors have, in the past, taken even a more gloomy view of the moral condition of their age than I am forced to take of ours. St. Jerome cried out in his anguish that "the whole world was groaning with Arianism." St. Bernard deplored the degeneracy of his day in the most pathetic language. Writers of the English Church in the last century bemoan the sad condition of ecclesiastical affairs.
I lament more than words can express, the state of things which now confronts us, and which I am in duty bound to expose, and no one will be more sincerely relieved than I will be, if it can he conclusively shown that I am mistaken. Unhappily the proof is abundant on every hand that men have learned (an easy lesson when self-interest prompts) to play fast and loose with truth, and by ingenious interpretations to get rid of promises, vows and even oaths.
When I say that such tergiversations from moral rectitude may occur without the consciousness of wrong doing, I am simply asserting that the spirit of the age educates men, and fills them with its infection, and reconciles them to its all-prevailing tendencies and temper, and their moral sense is dulled, and sometimes almost killed.
We have seen, within the last few years, men in high places of trust proclaiming tenets apparently inconsistent with the standards of their professed faith, and striving to retain their status of accredited teachers of the bodies to which they belonged, while repudiating in effect the conditions on which they secured their positions. These men may have been right in the abstract as to what they proclaimed as true, and their systems wrong, but that was not the question; the real issue was this: was their teaching in any way reconcilable with the doctrines which they had pledged themselves to hold and teach? It was manifest to all impartial observers and critics that they were not, and yet these men, some of them at least, reasoned themselves into the conviction that their clever interpretations reconciled what was irreconcilable. Such has been the case in our own Church, as I am prepared to prove, and have already done so in publications, which have come forth from the press under my own name.
Our religious literature of the present day furnishes unhappily copious evidence of the truth of my allegation in volumes, which are on sale from booksellers' counters.
It is a thankless task to tell men unwelcome truths, either as individuals or communities. One is likely to invoke their curses, and perchance be honored, when popular rage is excited, with confessorship or even martyrdom.
These words are necessary for the present crisis, and other words are needed to warn men that infallibility does not come as the result of exalted position and popular favor; nor again do wealth and the laudation of the people secure any one from the just judgment of God. G. F. S.
Springfield, Ill., Sept. 25th, 1893.
TIME resolves many doubts, corrects many mistakes, reverses many conclusions, and makes slow but sure preparation for what must be when it shall come to an end itself, the last, the great, the final judgment by God Himself.
The sermon, which is now republished at the request of many, is a striking illustration of the truth of the above statement.
When the discourse first appeared in August, 1893, on the occasion of the consecration of the Rt. Rev. Dr. GAILOR, its positions as regards the disloyalty of very many members of our Church to her Creed and standards were confidently denied, and the author was subjected to bitter denunciation for daring to state what he believed to be absolutely true.
Two years have elapsed and the interval has added to the evidence, at that time before the public, proofs which more than substantiate every allegation which the preacher then made.
A philosophy absolutely contradictory of God's Word, of the Catholic faith and of the offices of our Prayer Book is made the basis of a theology which seems to comprehend and maintain all the heresies which the Church has ever known, and the men in the sacred ministry and out of it, who subscribe to such teaching, seek to defend and shelter themselves by debasing language, by putting new meanings into old words, and by adopting as their code of morals in the sphere at least of religion, principles which the secular press spontaneously characterize as "the ethics of highwaymen."
The contention which I have made from the beginning has been, and now is, that these men with the principles which they avow in philosophy and theology have no moral right to be in our ministry or communion any more than Sabellius, or Arius, or Apollinarius, or Nestorius, or Eutyches, or Honorius had, and these men we know were all cast out as heretics, and the ages ever since have confirmed the verdict which cast them out.
These men may be right in their philosophy and theology; I am not disposed to argue this abstract question, but I affirm without fear of successful contradiction that holding the positions which they do, our Church is no place for them, and they cannot enter our ministry without falsehood on their lips, nor our Episcopate without perjury on their souls.
The Prayer Book is in print and accessible to all; spread out before the eyes of every one are the doctrines, discipline and worship of the Church. Men may not agree as to the minute details of this teaching and prescribed practice, but as to the fundamental principles there can be no room for honest doubt.
No honest man can be a Unitarian in our Church.
No honest man can be an Apollinarian, or Nestorian, or Eutychian, or Monophosyte, or Menothelite and be in our Church.
No honest man can be a Pelagian and be in our Church.
No honest man can be a Congregationalist and be in our Church.
No honest man can be a Quaker and be in our Church. We are speaking of men who consciously hold these positions.
 Each of these men in his rightful place. The Unitarian among Unitarians; the Congregationalist among Congregationalists; the Pelagian among Pelagians; the Quaker among Quakers, may be honest, and demands and ought to receive our respect; but when these men with interpretations upon their lips, which in any other sphere of life would consign them to infamy, enter our Communion, or, being in it, are determined to remain, they deserve our reprobation as unworthy of the recognition of all decent people.
An example will serve to show as an object lesson the method adopted by such misguided persons to reconcile themselves to their anomalous and immoral position.
Ask an "Episcopal-Unitarian," for instance, whether he believes that Christ is really and truly God, and he will answer, "Yes, certainly, with all my heart." Ask him if he believes that Christ is of the same substance with the Father, and he will reply, "Yes, undoubtedly He is." Ask him again if he believes that Christ was conceived by the Holy Ghost, and born of the Virgin Mary, and he will respond, "Unquestionably I do." Now were one to stop here, all would seem to be well, but if the questioner goes on and inquires of the "Episcopal-Unitarian" whether he could assert the same of other human beings beside Christ, which he has affirmed of Him, and he would at once reply, "Yes, of every other human being all this is true, since humanity, in a sense, is of the same essence with the Eternal Father." "It is a question of degree," he would add, "not of difference of condition. Christ was, in the fullest sense, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God; but all men on different planes of elevation are Christs."
It must be seen that discussion with such a person is at an end. He has lost his moral bearings, and his sin is more a sin of the soul than of the intellect.
I invite the attention of all candid minds to a serious consideration of the sermon as an exposition of the polity of the Catholic Church as delivered to us by the Word of God, exhibited in the ages all along, and set forth in our Ordinal.
And further, I solicit the careful perusal of the notes and illustrations printed as an appendix to the sermon in proof of my indictment as to the laxity and disloyalty which prevail among us.
I feel sure that the public will recognize the merits of the issue which I have raised and still maintain, when they read and ponder the extracts from various authors, which I submit. There can be but one opinion as to their relation to the standards of our Church in Creed, Offices, Sacraments and Ordinal. They are either absolutely inconsistent with them, or they flatly contradict them.
GEORGE F. SEYMOUR.
Springfield, Ill., Sept. 20th, 1895.
"Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God."--1 Corinthians, iv., 1.
TO unite Heaven and our sinful earth is a divine achievement. They were joined in creation, but were divorced by the fall. Christ brought them together. He accomplished this by making a double journey. First, from the bosom of the Eternal Father to Bethlehem at His nativity, [* We use here and elsewhere the word nativity in the comprehensive sense of including conception as well as birth, the Annunciation as well as Christmas Day itself.] when He laid hold of our humanity in the womb of the Blessed Virgin, and joined it to Himself as a part, an indissoluble part, of His eternal Personality. Then from Calvary after three and thirty years passed in our mortal estate, He surrendered His soul to God who gave it, as He said on the Cross, "Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit," and died and returned as far as Paradise to the bosom of the Father, whence He had come on Christmas Day. But His blessed body was a corpse in Joseph's tomb. Without the body our humanity is not complete, made perfect; and no incomplete, imperfect thing can enter Heaven.
Christ came back again from Paradise on the third day, where He had been, as to His human soul, with the Father; and in the resurrection He took up His body from the grave, and by the power of the Holy Ghost He revived it, reanimated it with His spirit, changed it in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, into its glorified condition, of which He gave His chosen witnesses beforehand a glimpse in the transfiguration.
Thus again the Blessed Jesus came forth from the bosom of the Father in Paradise to the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, and by a second nativity was born from the womb of the grave. "Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee," is a prophetic declaration concerning our Lord fulfilled as truly in His resurrection at Easter, as it had been in His birth of the Virgin at Christmas. He lifted His body from the couch of death and filled it with the fulness of His human life; and our nature had its perfect consummation as He stood on the morning of the [5/6] first day in the garden, and revealed Himself to Saint Mary Magdalene. His second journey was now well nigh completed; only a single stage remained before He should return to Heaven; but for our sakes He lingered (shrouding His glory while He remained) that He might give those many infallible proofs of the resurrection, which would place it as an historical fact upon a foundation of evidence like adamant, that can not be shaken.
Then, when forty days were accomplished, and He had gone in and out before His Apostles and others, and had shown Himself alive to one and another, to two, to three, to seven, to ten, to eleven, to above five hundred at once, He fulfilled the promise, which He had announced to Saint Mary Magdalene in the garden, and ascended to Heaven; He returned to the bosom of the Father, whence He had originally come forth; but not as He had left did He return. He took back with Him human nature complete and perfect in body and soul, and placed it in His divine Person on the throne of God. He united Heaven and earth once more. "He came forth from the Father and came into the world, and again He left the world and returned to the Father." In His Person with the two natures joined, our Lord is for all time a living Jacob's ladder, reaching from earth to Heaven. He planted its foot on the earth in the manger at His nativity; He lifted it to Paradise from the cross at His death; He planted its foot again on the earth in the tomb at His resurrection, His second nativity; and He lifted its top to Heaven, even to the throne of the Father, in His ascension and session at the right hand of God. Henceforth were fulfilled unto men His wonderful words to Nathaniel, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, hereafter ye shall see Heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man" (St. John i., 51).
The Incarnation effects the union of earth and Heaven--it is the union of earth and Heaven. It is the coming down of Heaven to earth in the Person of the Eternal Son, and the lifting up of earth to Heaven in our human nature, taken by hypostatic union into His Godhead, so that He became and will forever remain the Son of Man, as well as the Son of God.
The birth of Christ into this world, and His going out by death to Paradise and by ascension into Heaven, open a door of access to God on high; they constitute the ladder let down from the great white throne to sinful man, with the angels ascending and descending on it, and the Lord God standing above it, and looking down in compassion and love upon His erring children (Gen. xxviii. 12).
[6/7] The Incarnation in its finality, reaching its completion of plan and perfection of purpose, is a grand series of gifts to man, not stopping until it includes and ends in the gift of God to us, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, the ever blessed Trinity.
Trace the history of the plan of redemption in the barest and briefest outline, and this fact will luminously appear, that in order to restore fallen man to the divine favor, and recover creation from the thraldom of Satan, so that there shall be new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness, the Eternal God gave us Himself, and with Himself "every good and perfect gift" necessary for our salvation.
The Eternal Father, the primary fountain of all life and love and joy and beneficence, gave us His Son to be our Saviour, to be "God with us," Emmanuel, to take us in our nature into Himself, by hypostatic union, and crown us with glory and honor in His kingdom above. "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (St. John, iii. 16).
This is the Eternal Father's Christmas gift to the world. It is the Father's gift, and yet the gift is not made without the concurrence of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. The Son stands ready to be given. "Lo, I come," He says, "(in the volume of the book it is written of Me) to do Thy will, O God" (Heb. x. 7). And when He comes into the world we affirm in the Creed that "He was conceived by the Holy Ghost." As He enters upon His ministry the Holy Ghost is seen descending like a dove and lighting upon Him (St. Matt. iii. 16), and the Father proclaims His gift in the acknowledgment, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." When our Lord pours forth His precious blood, and dies upon the cross for us, we are told that His full, perfect and sufficient sacrifice for the sins of all mankind was offered through the Eternal Spirit (Heb. ix. 14).
When the Eternal Son returned to the bosom of the Father, He gave us the Holy Ghost as His Pentecostal gift to the world, to abide with us forever. "It is expedient for you," Christ says, addressing His Apostles, "that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you" (St. John, xvi. 7). The Holy Ghost is called by St. Paul "the Spirit of the Son" (Gal. iv. 6), "the Spirit of Jesus Christ" (Philip. i. 19), and by St. Peter "the Spirit of Christ" (I St. Peter, i. 11).
Pentecost, then, our Whitsunday, is the day of the Son's giving, [7/8] as Christmas was of the Father's; and yet, as before, the blessed Spirit is not so exclusively the Son's gift that the Father and the Holy Ghost do not co-operate in the heavenly benefaction.
Our Lord tells us that He would pray to the Father to send His disciples another Comforter, and He assures us that the Father will send the Comforter in His name.
The Holy Ghost, like the Son, stands ready to come and work with man for his salvation, and this, His willingness to give and be given, is shown by the fact that it is sorrow to Him when the sinner resists His approaches, and hence we are importuned by the Apostle not "to grieve" the blessed Spirit.
The Holy Ghost came from Heaven at our Lord's baptism, in bodily form like a dove, and lighted upon Him, and He was filled with all the fulness of the Godhead, so that it is said by St. John that the Father "giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him" (St. John, iii. 34). Filled with the Holy Ghost, Jesus accomplished His ministry and offered Himself upon the cross, "and rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures."
On the day of His resurrection our Lord breathed upon His Apostles and said: "Receive ye the Holy Ghost; whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained" (St. John, xx. 22, 23). On the day of Pentecost, while the Apostles, with others, were waiting for the promise of the Father, in obedience to Jesus' command, "suddenly there came a sound from Heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost." (Acts ii. 2-4)
The Dove was given to Christ from the Father, and was Christ's, since he abode upon Him, and made Him "Christ," the Messiah, for thus He was anointed with the Holy Ghost and invested as the Son of Man with His three offices: to teach as Prophet, to offer the one offering as Priest, and to guide and rule and execute judgment as King.
The breath was Christ's; the atmosphere not of earth, but of the skies. After He was risen from the dead, our Lord, it would appear, breathed no longer the vital air which fills our nostrils, but the Holy Spirit, by whom He raised Himself from the dead.
The Spirit of God fills Heaven with life, as our air is the breath of life on earth. Our blessed Lord, as the Son of Man, [8/9] is the divine channel through which the Holy Ghost comes to earth and to men, and animates the Church, His body, and makes it alive with the life of God.
The rushing mighty wind and the cloven tongues like as of fire were Christ's, and completed His gift of the Holy Ghost to us.
The Dove, the symbol of peace, with its olive branch, coming over the waste of waters to the Ark, and descending on Him who, while He was baptized in the Jordan, actually sanctified water to the mystical washing away of sin, and made it fruitful through the Spirit in imparting the gift of the new birth; the Dove, the symbol of celestial love, with its gentleness and harmlessness, the opposite of the serpent, which cleaveth to the dust, and is full of malice, deceit and guile; the Dove, with its silver wings and its feathers like gold, to carry its good gifts with its presence all over the world, and strive to win earth to lift its gaze and its heart to God, as it follows the flight of the Heavenly messenger; the Dove is Christ's for our sakes, as Christ is the Head of the Church for our sakes, and as such receives the Spirit without measure for our sakes, that of His fulness, through sacraments and means of grace, we may all partake.
Now, this gift of the Holy Ghost, which Christ receives as the Son of Man, He bestows upon us in His breath breathed upon His Apostles on Easter Day, and His rushing mighty wind, and His cloven tongues like as of fire sent down from Heaven at Pentecost; the breath of the resurrection for the remission of sins; and the tongues like as of fire to carry the new life on the wings of the rushing mighty wind to every clime and race, and fill the whole world.
The Eternal Son is the Father's gift to man to be his Saviour, and He bestows the gift on Christmas Day, when Jesus Christ is born at Bethlehem. The Eternal Spirit is the Son's gift to man, to be the author and giver of His renewed life, and by sacramental union to make man one with Christ in His conflict and victory, and He bestows the gift on the day of Pentecost, when the one hundred and twenty were all filled with the Holy Ghost at Jerusalem.
The Holy Ghost, in His turn, gives us the ministry, and the Word, and the sacraments. Our Lord specifies these gifts, which the Spirit would bestow, in His charter of incorporation of the Apostolate, which the Blessed Spirit has preserved for us, word for word, in the closing verses of St. Matthew's Gospel (xxxviii, 18, etc).
 "All power," says our Lord as the Son of Man, "all power is given unto Me in Heaven and in earth." This power is the Holy Ghost filling Him as man with all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. "Go ye therefore," He continues, addressing the Apostles, "and make disciples of all nations." Here is the ministry in the corporate body to which He speaks. "Baptizing them," He goes on, "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." Here are the Word in teaching, and the sacraments in baptism, and all the other things, which He had enjoined upon His Apostles, preeminently the most solemn command issued in the upper chamber--"Do this;" "Take, eat;" "Drink ye all of it." And our Lord concludes by bringing out and setting before us their official character in the strongest light as grouped around Him. He says, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world," sealing and stamping their ministry by these words as official and not personal, as final and not temporary, lasting as long as time shall endure, and not to be superseded by other ministries of man's invention, and at man's pleasure and caprice.
These gifts of the Holy Spirit, the ministry, the Word, and the sacraments, bring the three Persons of the ever-blessed Trinity to us, and explain the words of our Lord addressed to Judas (not Iscariot), "If a man love Me, he will keep My words; and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him" (St. John, xiv., 23).
The sacred ministry, in its three orders, brings, by the operation of the Holy Ghost, Jesus Christ to us officially--the deacon, the prophetic office, as teaching; the presbyter, the priestly office, as showing the Lord's death till He come (i Cor., xi., 26), "in the breaking of the bread;" and the Bishop, the kingly office, as exercising jurisdiction in its broadest sense of guiding as well as ruling.
The sacraments, as official acts representing God as their author and their sanction, bring Christ to us personally; in Holy Baptism we "put on Christ," are made His members; in the Holy Eucharist "we dwell in Him, and He in us."
The Church, the Body of Christ, in yielding the fruits of the Spirit in words of truth and peace and love, and deeds of charity, brings Christ to us in His activities, speaking as mere man never spake, and going about doing good.
The Word, the gift of the Holy Ghost, "Who spake by the prophets," as all devout Christians profess to believe in the [10/11] Creed, implies, as the very nature of things compels, the priority of the ministry, since the prophets, the divine teachers, are inspired to communicate God's will to man, and they must be in existence ready to receive the heavenly message when it comes. The Word is inclusive of the Oracles of God, the Bible; the Creed of Christendom, the marrow of the Bible; and the teaching of the Church, proved by the warrant of Holy Scripture, and the analogy of the faith once delivered to the saints.
In its supreme sense, the Word carries us to the Eternal Son, the primary gift in the blessed series, which, like a golden chain of many links let down from Heaven, binds us to the throne of God, where sits the Son of Man, who ever liveth to intercede for us miserable sinners.
St. John uses the phrase, "the Word is God," to describe the Eternal Son, and herein he brings into view the Blessed Trinity, and suggests the relative place of Christ as the Mediator in the work of redemption.
"Word" is an articulate sound, which embodies thought. There can be no thought without a thinker, who is first; and there can be no word spoken without breath, which is third. First the thinker, then the thought, and then the breath, and by the union of the three in one we have "the word."
So the Son was from all eternity in the bosom of the Father, like the thought in the mind of the thinker. In the fulness of time God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, and He was conceived by the Holy Ghost, the eternal breath, and "the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth." (St. John, i.14).
Thus the Father, Son and Holy Ghost concur in giving us "the Word," our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and in this mysterious revelation of divine love we see our dear Lord's place in the plan of redemption, the second, intermediate. He is always between; "No man," says He, "cometh unto the Father but by Me." (St. John, xiv. 6).
He is between us and the fruition of all our blessings, and, if we will, between us and all our sins and woes; and hence we ask for the good things, and pray against the evil, through His blessed name.
Jesus Christ is the Word of God, and He fills the oracles of revelation with His presence by the breathing, the inspiration, of the Holy Ghost. The Law, like a school-master, brings us to Christ, and His testimony is the spirit of prophecy. The Gospel, like the river of Paradise, parts into four heads and carries Him [11/12] in its life-giving waters to the four quarters of the world. The Epistles draw out and apply His divine teaching. And the Revelation discloses the future, and exhibits Him as the triumphant King in His beauty, reigning in majesty and glory in that land, which now seems to us "very far off."
The sacred ministry and the blessed sacraments are Christ's, and the Holy Ghost proceeding from the Father and the Son gives us both as the gifts which reach us here, our heads, and hearts, and hands, and lips, and eyes, and ears, and lives, and puts us in possession of the highest blessings in foretaste now, and in full fruition of enjoyment hereafter forever in Heaven.
Our sketch in outline is complete. We have simply followed the sequences of the Christian year, and the obvious teaching of the Bible, and there is displayed before our eyes the infinite wealth of God's gifts to us, to ensure our salvation, and win us to Him by their exhibition of His boundless love for us.
Let us recount our treasures and proceed to the application which they suggest in connection with this day's most blessed service, the consecration of our brother beloved as a Bishop in the Church of God.
The human race was banished from the presence of God and the glory of His power, in consequence of sin, and was powerless to release itself from the dominion of evil, and return to its home.
In infinite love God opened a way for man's recovery, and provided the means for his restoration.
These means are a series of gifts which are bestowed by "the Father of lights," and bring Heaven down to earth, that they may lift earth up to Heaven.
The Father gives, in His Christmas gift to man, the Eternal Son.
The Son gives, in His Pentecostal gift to man, the Eternal Spirit.
And the Spirit gives, in His diversity of operations, the ministry, and the Word, and the sacraments; the ministry to bring the message of salvation to mankind, the teaching oral and written, the Word of God preached and read; the Word teaching and explaining God's will and commandments, and calling men to repentance and obedience, the acceptance of God's mercy through Christ in the reception of the blessed sacraments; the sacraments, expressly ordained by Christ, or implicitly enjoined by Him, as administered by the Holy Apostles, under the guidance of the Blessed Spirit, whom Christ sent to bring all things to their remembrance whatsoever He had commanded [12/13] them, and to direct them what to do and what to say; the sacraments, the channels of God's grace to bring men in the obedience of faith to Christ, that they might become "partakers of the divine nature."
And then, besides that diversity of gifts, which the Holy Ghost ministers in the one Body, the Church, into which we are all baptized, and wherein we dwell. The series runs in outline thus:
The Holy Ghost.
The Sacred Ministry.
The other gifts and administrations of the Holy Ghost.
This is the series of gifts bound up in the plan of redemption, and uniting Heaven to earth and earth to Heaven. The Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost in Heaven, and coming down to earth; and the ministry, Word, and sacraments, and means of grace on earth, and carrying those on earth, who prove themselves worthy, up to Heaven, and causing them to dwell with their Lord in glory.
Where is the point of contact, where the heavenly touches the earthly, and the earthly touches the heavenly, where the gifts from Heaven reach down and fill earthly things, and make them divine gifts, and join the two in one, so that the golden chain of gifts becomes continuous in its links, and binds the sinner, if he will, fast to the throne of God?
This point of contact is in the service of this day, the consecration of a Bishop in the Church of God. Here in this most solemn act and office the divine gifts from above are conveyed and entrusted to ordinary human agency, and thence flow out to men, and are dispensed in lower orders of the sacred ministry, in teaching, preaching, the sacraments and means of grace.
Look around all over the world and see the blessed ministries of the Gospel in the baptism of children, the religious training and culture of the young, the laying on of hands in confirmation, the solemnization of matrimony, the visitation of the sick, and the burial of the dead; in the public services, in prayer and praise and thanksgiving, culminating in the "showing the Lord's death till He come;" in ordinations of deacons and priests and functions of benediction and consecration; in assemblies of the faithful for the furtherance of the Gospel, or the maintenance of the faith. Look upon these things and such [13/14] as these as memories of the past in the first planting and spread of Christianity; in the adventurous missionaries of the primitive ages, rivaling in endurance and heroism the legions of Rome; in the great councils, which under God settled forever the essential verities of the faith, and left them as closed questions for the generations to come to inherit.
Look upon these things as the manifold realities of the present endowed with the splendid legacies of nineteen centuries, and holding in trust the sacred deposit of Almighty God of spiritual treasures for the future.
Look upon the Catholic Church in its memories and inheritances, in its possessions and activities and promises, and ask at what point, in what service or act, does all this originate? If these persons and things are hallowed, made sacred with heavenly virtue, where is the point, if it can be located, where the supernatural first invests the natural with its gifts and powers, which thence flow forth to accomplish all these wonders? The answer is, in the consecration of a Bishop.
He receives in the laying on of hands the fulness of the grace of orders. He is invested with the plentitude of official power.
A layman is more than a heathen; he is clothed in baptism and confirmation with a priestly and kingly dignity. A deacon is more than a layman; he is placed among the prophets, and authorized to execute subordinate ministries. A priest is more than a deacon; he is advanced to great nearness to his Lord and Master in breaking the bread, and blessing the chalice, and lifting up his hands in absolution and benediction. A Bishop is more than a priest; he passes into the rank of the Apostles; he is admitted into the company of those who heard our Lord say, addressing them as a body, a corporation, a solidarity, "All power is given unto Me in Heaven and in earth. Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." (St. Matt., xxviii., 18, etc).
Here is the precise point of contact between heavenly ministries and earthly. Here is the divine Lord, the Eternal Son sent by the Eternal Father, standing on the earth, clothed with our humanity, risen from the grave, perfected and ready to be glorified. Here He is, the Son of Man filled with the Eternal Spirit, bestowing upon Him all power in Heaven and earth. Here He is in virtue of this majestic prerogative representing the gifts of the Triune God, giving mission and jurisdiction [14/15] to men such as we are, and drawing them around Him as the nearest circle to Himself, the divine centre, the fountain of life and grace and salvation for all nations and throughout all time.
What is the function of this day but the repetition of the Lord's act in precise accordance with the terms of His commission?
The eleven, guided by the Holy Ghost, filled Judas' place with St. Matthias. That place, be it observed, was not a personal position, but an official dignity. Judas as a man, an individual, might well for the honor of our race be forever without a successor. Alas! he has not been. In every age he has had, and doubtless will have in the future, successors in falsehood, treachery and treason, who pass out of this world to their "own place" under the appalling marks of God's displeasure. It was Judas' office, something separate and distinct from Judas' person, which the blessed Matthias took by designation of the Holy Ghost.
That office, the apostolic, the "bishoprick," as Scripture calls it (Acts i, 20), like the twelve wells of springing water, pours forth its streams of grace from God, and changes the wilderness into the garden of the Lord. That office was held by twelve in the original selection and appointment, and it was made by divine arrangement the perennial fountain to send forth and offer its manifold gifts and blessings to all mankind, and unto the end of the world. In the heavenly Jerusalem, the consummation in perfection of the Church militant on earth, the names of the twelve Apostles are in the foundation stones, and face three each the four points of the compass. They tell forever in their symbolic position in the heavenly city the story of the direction and comprehensiveness of their work, as the primary laborers in the spiritual harvest of their Lord on earth.
On their lines, the lines of the twelve Apostles, their successors in office follow, and carry the Gospel all over the world, and keep it as an ever-fresh and an ever-living reality to the end of time, so that the latest generation will enjoy its benediction of grace as truly as the first.
To change the figure, our Lord, "the Captain of our salvation," the Great Commander, hemmed in on all sides by His foes, threw His officers into a "hollow square," in military phrase, that He might face the adversary, come which way he might, and advance into the enemy's country in all directions, [15/16] and sweep over in His conquests the entire earth, East and West, and North and South.
These Apostles and the primitive Church guarded this office with exceeding great care. Their primary anxiety was for the protection of the faith, and with the provision which they made with this end in view they secured in the most ample way the integrity and perpetuity of their succession.
Their voice, that of the Apostles, is heard in the first canon, which bears their name; thus it reads: "Let a Bishop be consecrated by two or three Bishops." Their voice is heard again with the emphasis of the endorsement of the Universal Church at the very time and by the same assembly which affirmed the faith in the Godhead of Jesus Christ; it speaks in the fourth canon of Nicaea. Thus the Great Council affirms: "It is by all means proper that a Bishop should be appointed by all the Bishops in the province; but should this be difficult, either on account of urgent necessity or because of distance, three at least should meet together, and the suffrages being taken, those of the absent (Bishops) also being communicated in writing, then the consecration should be made. But in every province the ratification of what is done should be left to the Metropolitan."
In these canons we have embodied in law the mind of the Apostles of our Lord, and of the Church Catholic throughout the world. It is the witness of the same authority which gives us the Gospel with its institutions and the Faith. The polity of the Church, as described in the Preface to our Ordinal, rests upon precisely the same evidence as that which justifies us or any one in receiving the Bible as the Word of God, the Creed as the Faith once delivered to the saints, and the sacraments as ordained directly or implicitly by Christ.
Why, beloved brethren, should we bate our breath when we teach under the authority of the Church of God, and with her distinct and emphatic imprimatur? What have we to fear? And if there be terrors in the way, is that a reason for putting our hand upon our mouth, and deserting the cause of truth?
Never were the infidels and the unbelievers and the avowed heretics more blatant and outspoken and insolent; never were the faithful more faint-hearted and pusillanimous than they are to-day; and are we, who have, I trust, the courage of our convictions, to hold our peace and do nothing when the air is full of assaults upon the faith, the sacraments, the polity of the Church of God, and the Blessed Lord Himself?
Christ made His episcopate a solidarity; He organized the Apostles on the collegiate principle. He bound them together [16/17] in one body, by the bond of the Holy Ghost, to Himself as the centre. He commanded them to teach, preach, administer the sacraments, and govern as a corporation, in mutual association with each other, and absolute dependence upon Himself as the Sovereign Lord and Head of the Church.
This fundamental principle of the solidarity of the episcopate as established by our Blessed Lord when He incorporated under His charter the Apostles, on the eve of His ascension, as His earthly ministry, is embodied in the law which from the beginning has governed every fresh consecration.
What we are to see to-day in the solemn function, which is soon to follow, will make plain our meaning. One man appears alone before us in the presence of the congregation, and clad in official garb, kneels for the imposition of hands. He seems alone, but is he alone in the sense of acting upon his individual responsibility in coming, and is he left to himself in the exercise of his high and holy office? No. He comes with the suffrages of at least a majority of the Bishops of our Church, and they make themselves responsible by their written consent for his soundness in the faith and purity of life. He, on his part, binds himself by pledges and promises, and before the altar of his God in the most solemn manner he invokes the divine presence, and attests with the awful sanction of an oath his acceptance of, and consequent loyal conformity to the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Church. The eternal law, "thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain," the petition prescribed and enjoined by direct divine authority, "hallowed be Thy name," hold him as in a vise beneath the omniscient eye under the penalty of the threatened wrath of God if he be guilty of perjury. He comes with an oath upon his soul to take his share in the faithful discharge of duty among his brother Bishops with whom he is to labor as a colleague, and over his other brethren, clergy and laity, whom he is to serve as a Father in God, and when the awful act of consecration takes place, the divine official gifts from above come to the recipient, the earthen vessel which is to hold the heavenly treasure, by the hands of at least three Bishops, representing not only themselves, but through the Metropolitan (in our ease, Presiding Bishop), the solidarity of the episcopate.
Thus we see to-day what the mountain in Galilee witnessed during the great forty days, when Jesus organized His ministry in conferring upon His Apostles His plenary charter, and what the upper chamber exhibited when these Apostles were filled with the Holy Ghost for the office and work of their ministry in the Church of God.
 That mountain in Galilee shows us as in a picture the point of contact between the heavenly givers and gifts, the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, and the earthly recipients, the human instrumentalities.
The point of contact is our risen Lord standing as the Son of Man, having brought our nature from the womb of the Blessed. Virgin triumphantly through life and through the grave and gate of death, and crowned it with glory and honor in the resurrection, standing on the earth among men like ourselves, and granting to them a joint commission to act as His ambassadors, in His name and on His behalf to convey to our sinful race the blessings of the Spirit for their recovery from the power of Satan, and their restoration to the favor of God.
The upper chamber displays the investiture with office when the rushing mighty wind, and the tongues like as of fire, attested to ear and eye the presence of the Holy Ghost. So here to-day the Eternal Word speaks to our brother through His minister, and tries him and examines him and exacts from him an oath of fealty ere He admits him to a share in the joint commission, and then He invests him with authority and says: "Receive the Holy Ghost for the office and work of a Bishop in the Church of God, now committed unto thee by the imposition of our hands. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."
Human nature, body, mind, soul, flesh and spirit, human nature created a little lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor in the divine person of our Lord, joins Heaven and earth. As we may say, at the footstool of the throne of God, Christ begins the formation of His Church in the appointment of the highest order of His ministry with plenary power to continue their own order, and call into being subordinate orders of ministers and the laity. The ministry first, the laity afterwards; the ministry in the highest order, whose seed was in itself first; the lower orders of priests and deacons, whose seed is not in themselves, but are dependent, afterwards.
Here, then, in the solemn function of this day, we have displayed before our eyes the point where the divine passes into the human, where the supernatural lays hold of the natural, and makes it the fountain through which flow all the ordinary powers and gifts and graces purchased by Christ for the salvation of mankind. And in our brother beloved, soon to be made a Bishop, we behold the earth lifted up to touch the cloud as it descends from above, and the two are blended. In him preferred by unanimous choice of his diocese by both clergy and laity to [18/19] be their leader and Father in God, and coming with the approval of the canonical authorities, we see the earth rising to meet the sky, and in the service of consecration we see the sky coming down to touch the earth, and make it smoke with the presence of God, and the glory of His official power.
Henceforth our brother will bear about with him as long as he lives, and wherever he dwells, and whithersoever he goes, the treasures of the mysteries of God in their fulness, of which he has been put in charge and made a steward. The grandeur and awfulness of his position is at once apparent in the fact that the polity of the Church Catholic from the beginning recognizes him in his official character as competent to continue and hand on her organization in ministry and sacraments from the present to the future, while all the priests and deacons, and all the laity are unable to perpetuate the organic life of the Church beyond their own existence here on earth.
In other word, were all the Bishops throughout the world by some dreadful fatality to die in one day, and our brother alone were left, he would be competent in that event to consecrate other Bishops, and so continue the ministry; but if he with the rest were to be swept away, all the priests and deacons and laity upon earth surviving would be as the Church Catholic teaches and as our Preface to the Ordinal and Canons affirms, absolutely powerless to perpetuate her existence.
Would that every Bishop felt as one placed in such a unique position, the sole survivor of the universal episcopate, would feel, that the safety and very being of the Church of God rested entirely upon him. Then indeed the faith would be more carefully guarded, teaching and preaching would be more precise, accurate, definite and consistent, and discipline would be more faithfully and impartially and justly administered. Then, indeed, the Church would stand among men and be recognized as "the pillar and ground of the truth," and the upholder of righteousness.
With a view to promote, as far as I can, a state of things so earnestly to be desired, can I do less than to entreat you, my beloved brethren, first, to pray for our Bishops, that they may be strengthened with the might of God's Spirit in the inner man, to be holy in their lives and conversation, unworldly, valiant for the truth, brave, patient, and steadfast to the end; and secondly, to make or help to make them strong yourselves by maintaining and speaking out for the right, by seeking to create a wholesome public sentiment, and striving to cause your influence [19/20] to tell in every way, and be felt in every direction in upholding law and preserving order?
There must have been something radically wrong with the seven thousand of Israel in Elijah's day, who had not bowed the knee to Baal, since he was left so entirely to himself to maintain the cause of Jehovah, that he supposed that he was isolated, all alone, surrounded by God's enemies, who sought to take away his life, and hence in the anguish of his spirit, as he felt the iron entering into his soul, he prayed for death. The seven thousand, who secretly in their heart were faithful to God and His cause in that far-off time, seem to have lacked precisely the elements of character in which their timid successors in our own day appear to be deficient, courage and unselfishness. Had those apparently weak, pusillanimous adherents of Jehovah in Elijah's day, who concealed their convictions and their true position, been brave and generous, the prophet would not have made his pathetic complaint to God and entreated that he might die.
Beloved, let me beg you who hear, and others, perchance, who may read these words, not to imitate the timid, halfhearted, selfish followers of God in the evil days of the great prophet of Israel, and leave your clergy, and above all your Bishop, to bear his burden of witness for the faith and good morals all alone without support in action or even sympathy in word. Oh! rather have fellowship with those who, in apostolic times, in the house of Mary, the mother of Mark, prayed without ceasing for St. Peter when he was in prison and in chains expecting martyrdom at the hands of Herod, and exposed themselves at the risk of life to make known to him their sympathy and readiness to die in his defence.
From the people, the clergy, and my brother Bishops, I turn to you, my brother, with feelings which I fear will scarcely allow me to say to you unmoved, the words which I have prepared. Let me leave what is strictly personal to the last, that I may preserve the composure which is necessary in order to present a few suggestions relative to the discharge of your high duties and the guardianship of your sacred trusts, which may be helpful for the present evil days, which are upon us with the power of the prince of the darkness of this world.
First, my brother, you must be sternly, firmly and persistently loyal to your Master, in obedience to your oath, who has given you so weighty a charge as a share during your life in the custody of His Word and sacraments. He has made you a steward, in the highest sense, with others, of His mysteries, to [20/21] dispense them and watch over them, that you may hand them on as you received them (you cannot improve them) to those who are to come after you.
The dangers which threaten you in the form of temptations, to seduce you from your fidelity to truth and duty are many and potent. We have gone back in time to the experiences of other ages, and made them our own; and pre-eminently the special trials peculiar to the fourth and fifth and the fourteenth and two following centuries are combined against us at the close of the nineteenth.
We are called upon to endure much, and we should recognize our weakness and our peril, and cry mightily unto God for help.
The spirit of Arian times was untruthful. The distemper was widespread, and the power of its contagion rested chiefly upon two facts, its plausibility and the respectability of many of its victims. Its plea was charity and comprehensiveness, its bait was imperial favor and popularity, and its methods were evasion, sophistry, sharp practice, and blending truth with error in such proportion and with such skill that the error was accepted for the truth's sake.
Aside from the bad men who deliberately set themselves the task of misleading and deceiving, and made trickery and lying their occupation, there were many, very many, excellent men in the clergy and laity of those days, eminent for position and learning and worth, who unconsciously came under the power of this malign influence, and became a tower of strength to the cause of Satan in drawing others after them by the force of their example, and lending the weight of their names and characters to support and commend what was really vile and bad.
Brother, the same alarming state of things is before our eyes, and within our experience to-day. On every hand men repudiate strict adherence to truth; they explain away their pledges and promises, evade their oaths by sophistry, which they call interpretation, and are thoroughly crafty, cunning and deceitful. As in the age of Constantine and his sons and successors, so now Bishops, doctors, distinguished laymen, and ladies of wealth and position, without the faintest suspicion that they are victims of the prevailing epidemic, are down with the malady and marked with the plague spots. Charity, liberality, comprehensiveness, is the cry, as it was of yore, and the incentives to exertion in the mad race to break down divine metes and bounds, and remove ancient landmarks, which the Lord has set up, are popularity, preferment, and the greed for money. [21/22] Such views and practices and teaching are called "broad," and it is claimed that all who are in sympathy with them are men of brains, and in touch with the age, and have the secret of the future.
Be not disturbed, brother, by these claims and this vain boasting. We can afford to allow these unfortunate men the brains, since intellectual gifts in the event speak for themselves; and a mutual admiration society, which is constantly congratulating itself on its brains, and virtually proclaims that it possesses a monopoly of intelligence, and that wisdom will die with it, can do little harm save to itself by such repulsive self-conceit. "God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble." "The secret of the Lord," dear brother, "is with them that fear Him." They do not, they cannot, fear the Lord, who play fast and loose with truth, make light of vows and promises, and even of oaths, and treat the Creed of Christendom, and the laws of the Church with indifference and contempt. Such men may have the secret of the future, but they cannot have the secret of the Lord. Be not anxious, brother, about this secret of the future, and the being "in touch with the age." He that is true is in touch with God, and he that fears God has in his possession the secret of eternity. "Broad" is the word; be not covetous, my brother, to share it. Broad is not a term which can be applied to truth or morals. Truth is fixed, narrow, straight. Be it what kind of truth soever--mathematical, scientific, ethical, theological--truth moves along lines like the lightning train, and to swerve from the track is destruction.
Morals are not to be measured by breadth. Morals are strict, or they must vanish away into the mystery of iniquity.
Be not covetous, brother, of the term " broad" in any association, "high broad," or "low broad," as descriptive of your theology, or your theological position; the word is to be dreaded and shunned in that connection. St. Paul gives us the sphere where we must covet breadth as the most excellent gift, namely, in the spirit with which we live and act and teach, for he bids us "speak the truth in love." The truth, fixed--the Gospel, God's revelation, concluded, completed: speak the truth, the matter confided to us as a trust, to keep, guard, hand on; speak this constantly, but always in the spirit of love, with that most excellent gift of charity, which must never fail.
Be not covetous, brother, of the badge "broad," as it is popularly applied to-day in making God's word, creeds, laws, canons, pledges, promises, vows, oaths--in a word, everything which has heretofore been supposed to bind an honorable man--[22/23] making them all of none effect by "interpretations" and "sharp practice." Let our cry be one of warning to all such as are likely to be caught by craft, ensnared by sophistry, or tempted by the guerdon which the world, in alliance with those who are disloyal to truth, holds out as a reward--popularity, place, position, gold: let our cry be in pity for all such, in dire alarm for their safety; let our cry be: "Halt, stop, listen to our Lord and Master." His words are these: "Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat; because strait is the gate and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (St. Matt. vii. 13, 14).
Secondly, my brother, the later mediaeval Bishops became secularized, and were, many of them, men of the world, and not always the most favorable types of that class. The reasons for this deplorable state of things are not far to seek. These Bishops were, in many instances, indeed as the rule, employed in public affairs, and became interested in diplomacy and politics, and their spiritual character in consequence was lowered, and they degraded God's Church in men's eyes by their unseemly life and conduct. When these high ecclesiastics were not so engaged in the service of the Sate, many of them had personal or diocesan schemes of their own in hand, for which they needed money, and in their solicitude for success they often compromised themselves and their principles and their holy trusts in their eager desire to court the favor of the rich and noble.
The first of these temptations, to shine as statesmen and diplomats, has passed away with the age, whose learned men were almost exclusively in Holy Orders; but the latter remains as powerful now as when it tempted Leo X. to issue his bull for the sale of indulgences to complete St. Peter's at Rome, or Luther and Melancthon to condone in Philip of Hesse the crimes of adultery and bigamy.
"The love of money," says the Apostle, "is the root of all evil," and the craving for popularity is its twin sister, because popular favor helps to gratify the craving for gold.
Here, beloved brother, in the midst of this great University as a reality in possession, and an anticipation in prospect, the temptation might naturally fall upon you to "sell indulgences" in the interest of buildings and endowments. The feeling might stealthily creep in upon you, as it undoubtedly has in instances not a few before our day, and at the present time, and assume some such shape as this if it found expression in words: "It [23/24] will be profitable for my diocese, and my plans, and myself last and least, to become all things to all men, that I may gain, not so much them, as theirs; to gain them, but as a means to an end, that I may through my friendship and influence get access to their wealth," and so you begin with Leo X., or Luther and Melancthon, to sell your indulgences, to deprave the faith, to pardon sin, and to condone vice and iniquity in the interest of your St. Peter's, be it what it may--personal advancement, a cathedral, a college, a hospital, or a university.
When you reach this deplorable condition, you begin to give pledges to society; you become a man of the world; you flatter yourself that you can serve both God and Mammon; you blow hot and cold; you deny the faith in act, while you commend it in word; you condone wickedness in high places, because it would be unpopular with St. John Baptist boldly to rebuke vice; you court the society of millionaires, and boast of your association with wealth and fashion as a claim for admiration; your breadth is such that while you have emancipated yourself, as you would have the world believe, from the beggarly elements of the Law and the institutions of the Gospel, still you condescend to say a generous word for them, and those who are still slaves to a literal obedience to Christ's commands, and a reverence for a venerable but worn-out past. Yes, you sell your indulgences to those who deny the faith in whole or in part; who break the laws of God and of Holy Church; who are in the Church, not because they are of it, but because it gives them prestige, and it is nice and just the thing to be an Episcopalian, and they hope to improve the Church, and lift it to their own level, when they have succeeded by sharp practice in persuading it to leave the Creed, the sacraments, the ministry and godly discipline as a dead shell, which the living creature abandons for a newer and better spiritual habitation.
No, brother, put all this far from you. Say to such feelings, if they ever stir your breast, "Get thee behind me, Satan." The Church of God is His creation, not man's. It has no article in its constitution providing for its amendment or repeal. Its institutions are not a subject for a Bishop's apology, or for his patronage and condescending approval. Such exhibitions fill one with disgust and horror.
Christ made the ordaining of His sacraments the most solemn acts of His ministry. He tied the one to His cross and the other to the footstool of His throne in Heaven on the eve of His ascension.
The Pentecostal, the first believers, we are expressly told, [24/25] were baptized, and continued steadfastly in the breaking of the bread. St. Paul, though miraculously called by Christ from Heaven, was nevertheless baptized, and he tells the Church of Corinth that the Creed is the marrow of the Gospel, and he quotes three of its articles.
The Church of God without institutions, without an organized ministry, without definite, dogmatic teaching, embodied in systematic arrangement and some form of sound words, would be like a body without bones and sinews; it would not be the Body of Christ, fitly compacted and joined together; it would be like a jelly fish, soft, flabby, shaky, unstable as water, ready to perish.
The institutions of the Gospel, the faith of the Gospel and the definite, dogmatic teaching of the New Testament, of which there is a great deal, are glorious, priceless possessions of the Church of the living God, and you, my dear brother, are called, by your consecration as a Bishop, to a joint trusteeship, with the rest of the episcopate, of these divine gifts, "the mysteries of God."
I need go no further in my words of exhortation and counsel, since your antecedents give more than the promise, they bring us the assurance, that you will be to your life's end a godly man, true, loyal, faithful.
Into your past I cannot look as far as others who are here to-day, but instructed by you, I can see the mother who watched over your childhood, and in consequence of the death of your father, when you were a mere boy, was called, in the allotment of God's providence, to fill the place to you of both parents. She lived to see your student life crowned with brilliant success, and you an honored priest in the Church of God.
That vision of maternal tenderness and solicitude and sympathy for her boy, making his life hers, and inspiring him with lofty aims, and a desire to do well, as much and more for her sake as his own, touches me deeply, since the like experience was my happiness in my boyhood and early manhood.
It was in our case, beloved brother, more than the ordinary intimacy of mother and son; it was in a sense the sharing one's life with another, and the consciousness that the deepest, the most absorbing interest was really felt as well as taken by the older life, whose years were well nigh gone, in the younger, whose years were largely in the future. It was the feeling that one is the centre of another's joy, the spring of another's hope, and the supreme object of another's love.
 Such was your happiness and mine, and the spell of a blessed mother's influence must forever rest upon us for good.
With your mother comes another into view, for now I see with my own eyes my early friend, my beloved classmate, my brother in the priesthood for more than a score of years, James de Koven.
Your mother sent you to de Koven, and to her and him, under God, we are indebted for what you have become and are to-day.
Association with de Koven was, and I say it with reverence, a means of grace. God seemed to have taken him from the font into His especial custody, and kept him pure and true and guileless, and made him a holy man. The Blessed Spirit dwelt in him largely, and from his life and conversation, and face and voice and manner, there came a light and benediction, which rested upon others with whom he came in contact, and, if they were worthy, remained.
You, my dear brother, probably more than any other of Racine's graduates, represent de Koven. You could not be adorned with a higher honor than thus to be associated with de Koven of blessed memory. It will be, it must be always, a restraint to hold you back from what is unworthy, an inspiration to fill you with lofty ideals of life, and a stimulus to urge you on to grander achievements in the path of duty.
From Racine the General Theological Seminary received you as a student, and I with others became your instructor. The story of your career there is best told in the recital of an incident which occurred at your graduation, and again brings your mother into association with her boy.
Just prior to your final examination your mother was taken very ill, and the report was that she was likely to die. With my advice and permission as Dean of the Seminary, you hastened to her bedside and were not able to return. As the statutes then stood, no one could receive the honors of the institution unless he actually passed in person the examinations. This, of course, you failed to do, and hence were shut out from the reception of your diploma, and the satisfaction of being an alumnus of the Seminary.
Such a case I felt demanded special interference, and could be urged upon the Trustees as an exceptional one, and accordingly in the full Board, at their annual meeting in 1879, I pleaded your cause; I urged that one of our best students, who had throughout his entire course given unqualified satisfaction to every Professor, and had just won the prize in Ecclesiastical [26/27] Greek, had, in duty to a dying mother, as was supposed, left the city, and failed in consequence to pass in person his final examinations, which the statutes made an imperative condition upon the Faculty in order to recommend anyone for a diploma. I begged, therefore, the Trustees, as a special favor, to confer upon you the honors of the institution. With unanimous voice my request was granted, and thus you wear those laurels, my dear brother, with the satisfaction of knowing that, by the merciful ordering of God's providence, they came to you, with the enconium of your Dean and Professors, and the actual approval by special vote of the whole body of Trustees at their annual meeting.
Your ministry here in your own and only diocese under your beloved Bishop, your only Bishop--my own experience again, since I was never out of the diocese of New York, prior to my consecration, and I never had but one Bishop, Dr. Horatio Potter, who ordained me Deacon, Priest, and Bishop--I was saying that your ministry here in Tennessee needs no words of commendation on this spot, in your home.
The unanimous voice of clergy and laity, in calling you to be the Coadjutor to their beloved and venerated Bishop, sets the seal of their approval in the most emphatic way to your ministry among them.
And now, dear brother, I bid you farewell as a Priest, to greet you ere long as a brother Bishop, with the kiss of fraternal salutation, and the invocation of God's blessing.
May the solemnities of this hour, the vows, the oath, the invocation of the Holy Ghost with the laying on of hands, have their consummation of blessedness in that day when the great Bishop of our souls, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, shall say to you, when you have given in your account, "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
THE statements and extracts, which are herewith submitted, I deem it to be my duty to publish, not only as my complete vindication for all that I said in my sermon, but also as a warning to the faithful against the teaching which prevails, and is upheld in certain quarters and by men unhappily in high positions of authority and influence.
When this sermon appeared in the summer of 1893, it provoked bitter animadversion from many, and flat denial as to its allegations from some. It will be seen by any one who is at the pains to read what follows, how completely the indictment presented by the sermon is proved.
I could not have been better served than I have been by those who have placed their evidence at my disposal in print, and from whose publications I make a few extracts.
Aside from this, it is the sad experience of our time that many, very many, who do not rush into print distress those who love truth and good morals by preaching and teaching from pulpits, and in Sunday Schools, and in private conversation doctrines absolutely inconsistent with the standards of our Church, which they have pledged themselves by vow and promise, and in some instances sealed with the sanction of an oath, that they accepted with all their heart and would loyally maintain.
I desire to say for myself that I have tried consistently to expose and resist immorality in the ethics of subscription, whether it manifested itself in assailing the "Catholic foundation," Holy Scripture and the Creed of Christendom, or the "Reformation Settlement," the conduct of public worship and the administration of the sacraments as "this Church hath received the same." The reason why I have addressed myself chiefly to the former class of assailants is simply because their assault is transcendently the more important and dangerous of the two. If they succeed our Church loses her candle-stick, is [28/29] practically destroyed, has no longer a name to live, ceases to be a part of the Body of Christ, which we call the "One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church." The other class in the very worst view of the case would, if successful, only subject our Church to abuses in doctrine and practice, from which, as we have once escaped, we could again free ourselves. A depraved man may reform, a dead man cannot raise himself to life. A branch of the Church of Christ, if it becomes corrupt, may return to its original purity; but if it be cut off from the vine, it must wither, and is fit only to be burned.
We proceed to our notes and illustrations, and first, we submit a paper issued by the "Massachusetts Church Union," which sets forth in well chosen words the false philosophy, on which is built the false theology, which seeks to undermine and destroy the Catholic faith as embodied in the Creed. This paper comes from men who are on the ground and are fully informed as to that about which they speak.
THE Committee to whom the accompanying resolution was referred, beg leave to report that they have made a few changes in the original form of the resolution for the sake of clearness in expression, and that they find the statements therein contained respecting modern theology fully supported by published writings which they have examined.
ROBERT CODMAN, Jr.,
RICHARD MIEUX BENSON,
HENRY A. PARKER.
This 21st day of June, 1895.
Resolved, That the Church Union put upon record and send to all its members this solemn warning against a subtle and destructive form of heresy now seeking to dominate this diocese, and call upon all, as loyal Churchmen, to do their duty and defend the ancient faith always taught by the Church.
First. A theory of the Son of God as a pantheistic Deity, dwelling in His creation as a soul within a body, is substituted for the Church's teaching that God is omnipresent, within and without, above and below, yet never confused with His own creation.
Second. A theory that the soul of man is con-substantial with God is substituted for the Church's teaching that man's whole being, material, mental and spiritual, is a finite creation, capable of receiving supernatural gifts, but not inherently possessing the Divine Nature.
Third. The Incarnation of the Historic Christ, instead of being the humiliation of the con-substantial Son of God coming forth from the Glory of the Father, as the expression of His love for man, is regarded as a glorious exhibition [29/30] of indwelling Deity identified with all humanity, so that the humanity of which we all partake by natural birth, is described as being in itself the Only-begotten of the Father.
Fourth. This indwelling Deity, said to be constitutionally and organically related to all men, is described as the real, the present, the living, the essential Christ, and is thus substituted for Christ Jesus who came in the flesh, the Conqueror of Satan, the source of all grace, and the personal object of devotion and worship to all His saints in Heaven and on earth.
Fifth. This modern theology is so read into the Creed and formularies of the Church as to retain, after a fashion, the outward shell by way of quieting the conscience, but to pervert and destroy the real meaning in which the same were originally framed and have ever been received by the Church.
Resolved further, That, before this resolution is sent to the members of the Union, it be referred to a committee of three clergymen appointed by the Chair, with full power to revise, or modify the same, that it may receive their approval, as a true and fair statement, so far as it goes, of the principles of modern theology advocated by the published writings of those leading clergy in this diocese who teach them.
Action was taken upon the foregoing resolution at a meeting of the Massachusetts Church Union, held in Boston, May 20th, 1895. It is now printed in accordance with the directions of the Union.
On the same line and from a different quarter comes the same testimony. I present two extracts from a masterly paper, which appears in the Presbyterian and Reformed Review for July, 1895, entitled "Phillips Brooks as a Theologian," by the Rev. John Fox, D.D., of Brooklyn, N. Y. We commend this paper as worthy of more than mere perusal, it deserves study.
The author says, page 408: "A good title for his (Bishop Brooks') collected works would be, 'The Gospel according to Schleirmacher translated into English by F. D. Maurice, with some assistance from S. T. Coleridge and others, and now freely adapted to American use by Phillips Brooks.' Not indeed that the 'New Theology' currently so called in America, has any valid claim to its title. The fundamental postulate of Bishop Brooks as to the person of Christ is at least as old as Apollinaris. 'The mind of Christ,' he (Apollinaris) said in effect, 'is at once divine and human;' the Logos is at once the express image of God and the prototype of humanity. This appears to be what he meant when he said that the humanity of Christ was eternal.--The theological conceptions now so plausibly announced as new have been advanced in various guises with similar confidence many times since Apollinaris' day. The sober judgment of the Church has rejected them, when their true nature and final consequences have been presented."
Again the same writer says, page 410, speaking of the debasing of technical theological language, a common practice in our day, as follows: "The school of Schleirmacher is a large and influential one, exhibiting many and various variations from the original type, but recognizable in them all as bearing the impress of his master mind. One of the chief difficulties in understanding it lies in the inveterate propensity of many of its advocates for seizing [30/31] the old orthodox phrases, and using them in a new sense without any sufficient advertisement of the change--a process of theological counterfeiting being stealthily carried on by which well-known terms and expressions with a definite historical sense, the current coin of the realm of thought, are debased by foreign alloy, and still made to pass as genuine. The Creeds are thus 'filled with new meanings,' (so they put it); that is, made to mean what they do not mean."
Now I present a statement, which is often made in different forms but amounting to the same thing, by different persons, from the pen of the Rev. Wm. Short, and printed in Church News, the Diocesan paper of Missouri, St. Louis, Mo., May, 1895, page 172: "The fact is that the articles of the Creed are not cast iron moulds into which just so much truth was once put, and then sealed up to remain the same unchanged and unchangeable forever. They are rather symbols for each age to fill in with the largest, fullest truth which God's progressive purposes reveal. As long as men grow there can be no such thing as fixedness of interpretation of any truth."
The writer is very rash, and confuses the two domains of knowledge, revelation and science. The one is God's realm, the other is man's. The first, God has completed, and He alone can, so to speak, open it for addition or readjustment; the second, is the sphere of human progress, and is in the very nature of things incomplete, and must, it would seem, so remain forever.
The articles of the Creed relate to Him "Who is the same yesterday, to-day and forever," and with the permanent needs of our fallen race, "the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting."
What a wild conception it seems to be of the Creeds, that they are a set of vessels, which one age fills with one thing and another with another; now they contain water, and now vinegar, and now milk, and now wine; but the vessels remain the same all the time, and the labels are not altered to advertise the unwary that poison has been substituted for the wholesome meat of the Gospel; so the Creeds are made to teach whatever one pleases, every heresy and folly under the sun; but the great concern is about the words, they must be preserved intact, while their meaning is constantly changing, as one of our Bishops expresses it: "I want you," addressing young men about to be ordained, "I want you to appreciate this fully that the institutions of the Church, the Creeds, ministry and Scriptures stand as the bulwarks of the faith; we cannot let one of them go. But I want you to appreciate the liberty with which the Church has made us free of interpreting these symbols [31/32] in the light of Christ Himself, and of His continual revelations to men." Where has the Church thus made us free, and given us promise of continual revelations from God to men? Nowhere.
Our Lord gives us repeated warnings on this very point. "Neither do men," He says, "put new wine into old bottles, else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out and the bottles perish; but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved." (St. Matt. ix. 17).
The Eastern Bishop and the Western Presbyter seem to be both alike anxious about the old bottles and the labels, and not to care so much about the new wine, since as they imply every year will bring a fresh vintage and an improved supply, and the new wine of any one year or generation will not be worth much. But our Lord tells the Bishop and the Presbyter and, through them, all who sympathize with them, that notwithstanding their anxiety, on their terms, "the old bottles," the labels cannot be preserved. The old Creeds, evacuated of their original and orthodox sense, and filled with Pantheism, Sabellianism, Episcopalian-Unitarianism, and in turn every heresy, which the newest man or the newest woman may invent, cannot stand. They must, and under such circumstances they ought to, perish.
Bishop Colenso, of Natal, South Africa, was convicted of heresy for denying the fundamental verities of the Christian Faith, and was deposed by the spiritual authority over him. The story is a very long and a very sad one. A great deal of it is told in the interesting biography of the late Archbishop Tait. Notwithstanding his frightful heresies, and his disloyalty to truth and honor in insisting upon remaining in the Church when he had avowedly ceased to believe as she requires, Colenso had his sympathizers in England, and among them were Dr. Thirlwall, Bishop of St. David's, and Dr. A. P. Stanley, Dean of Westminster.
In the conference of Bishops held in 1867, under Archbishop Longley, through the influence mainly of the Bishop of St. David's, the Colenso case was practically ignored, although it was precisely the subject matter for the assembled Episcopate of the Anglican Communion to deal with. A courageous Bishop of our Church (Hopkins) did introduce it, but the Bishop of St. David's insisted that the Archbishop should adhere to some private understanding which had been entered into between them before the meeting of the conference, and the subject was dropped.
 Even this slight allusion to the "persecuted" Colenso, as his friends regarded him, irritated the Venerable Dean of Westminster, and he visited his wrath upon the Bishops of the Anglican Communion by refusing them the use of the Abbey for their closing service. I state these facts as a preface to the extracts which follow.
"When Stanley courageously shut the doors of the Church at Westminster to the assembled Bishops of the first Pan-Anglican Synod, he was acting within his prerogatives. They wished for some elaborate service or function in order to magnify the event which had brought them together from the United States and the Colonies. He did not take this step without reason. His motive was the conviction that they had perverted the mission for which they came together by attacking the unfortunate Colenso, the absent defenceless man; that in doing so they were narrowing the rightful liberty of the clergy, and that the Abbey, as a great national sanctuary, was not the place to identify with such a triumph." The Rev. Dr. A.V. G. Allen, Professor, etc., Cambridge, Mass., in the New World, Vol. iii. p. 144.
In the New York Tribune of October 17th, 1894, the Rev. Dr. Wm. R. Huntington writes as follows:
"Sir: In your editorial columns this morning you intimate surprise that the 'Broad Church Party' in the Episcopal Church should have taken no notice of attacks publicly made upon it from various quarters, and more especially two Bishops, whose names you give. The reason is not far to seek. It is the old story of the Danish historian's chapter upon the snakes of Iceland. 'There are no snakes in Iceland.' Neither in the Church of England, nor yet in the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States does there exist, or has there ever existed such a party as the Broad Church Party. Upon this point, which I am well aware will be disputed, but which cannot be effectually gainsaid no one is better entitled to a hearing than the late Bishop of St. David's (Thirlwall), perhaps the most luminous intellect that the English Episcopate of this century can show. Writing in reply to the aspersions of a certain Dr. Littledale, aspersions similar to those which have recently been showered upon clergymen of the purest integrity and keenest sense of honor, simply because of their unwillingness to see the Church, which they have sworn to serve, commit itself to theological and ecclesiastical Bourbonism, Connop Thirlwall well said."
Then follows an extract from Bishop Thirlwall's works. After this Dr. Huntington resumes and says:
"Four and twenty years have made no substantial difference in the situation as here sketched. Now, as then, there are in both of the great historical divisions of Anglicanism men who claim the liberty of thinking for themselves with no limitations other than those which the Catholic Creeds impose. When these limits are clearly seen to have been overpassed, whether in the direction of Papalism or Liberalism, no man of honor, whatever his theological label may happen to be, will wait for the decisions of a Church court to point out to him his proper path."
The significance of these extracts is obvious; Bishop Thirlwall's position is well known as the devoted friend and champion of Colenso, and Dean Stanley was not far behind him.
 My objection to Colenso is, that after he had abandoned his faith in the Catholic Creeds and the divine Scriptures, he continued to minister at the Church's altars, and to exact of men in ordination a series of promises and vows, which he himself had repudiated. His erroneous views might have been his dire misfortune, and had he renounced the ministry I would have respected him; but his insisting upon remaining in the exercise of the Episcopal office, drawing his salary, and taking part in sacred functions, which he no longer valued was his fault, his own most grievous fault, and I am heartily sorry that Thirlwall, with his brilliant intellect, and Stanley, with his great abilities and lovely character, and our American Professor, with his large influence and varied learning, should be drawn to a man who lived for many years and died in the unenviable position of Colenso.
The courtly Rector of Grace Church, New York, asserts that "there are no snakes in Iceland." It maybe true that there are no such reptiles in that happy island, but there are men in our ministry who display themselves as disloyal to their vows by their writings, provided words are to have their current and accepted meaning, and what these writers in substance say be understood to convey their meaning.
The Rev. Dr. Huntington seems to hold that it is aspersing a man's character to adduce his own words and acts in proof of what one alleges in regard to his beliefs and practice. I may be very obtuse as to what aspersion means, but in the sense in which I understand the word I have never consciously been guilty of the act. Presently when I shall adduce a passage from the Rev. Doctor's writings to show that even under the very slight limitations, which he admits bind him as a Presbyter of the Church, namely, the Catholic Creeds, he implicitly denies one of the articles of the Creed, or qualifies it in such a way as to render it nugatory, I trust he will not think, much less say, that I am aspersing him. I am doing no such thing; I am quoting in good faith from an acknowledged writing of the author, which he has published and put on sale. I am doing so for the purpose of proving a fact which he denies, that "there are snakes in Iceland."
But before I come to this quotation I desire to ask with all seriousness are there no other limitations which restrain a Presbyter in our Church "than those which the Catholic Creeds impose?"
Does the Rector of Grace Church repudiate the vows and [34/35] promises which he made when he was ordered deacon and priest? Have these voluntarily assumed obligations no binding force upon him to-day? I ask the question because there are many who take this very ground in bold defiance of authority, which I do not think the learned Doctor really meant to take. As regards the kindly play with "Bourbonism," it is not new; it was used by my brother of Albany, of the Bishop of Maryland and myself. I accept what was meant if not for an aspersion, at all events scarcely for a compliment, I accept it gladly in the connection in which it is used as an association, which brings honor; honor which I covet as more than I deserve. A Bourbon, it is said, "never learns anything." As regards God's field of knowledge, revelation, He seems to have closed the door, and until He opens it I can learn no more. Revelation comes to us when and as God wills. I do not seek information from the new prophets in Germany, England, or America; nor do I surrender my dear old Bible at the behest of the newest and highest criticism. A second trait is ascribed to a Bourbon, he "never forgets anything." Here, again, I trust I may be like him. I pray that I may not forget the first principles of the doctrine of Christ as learned at my mother's knee; my catechism as taught me by my faithful pastor in my childhood, and my ordination vows as made three times successively in my manhood. Yes, in this sense, I am a Bourbon, and I wish with all my heart that my brother of Grace Church, and all the clergy and laity were, with these limitations, Bourbons also.
I pass now to a quotation from the above eminent writer, which seems to show that he is not held as to his belief by the limitations of the Catholic Creeds even as they have been historically understood. In a volume of sermons entitled The Causes of the Soul, New York, Dutton & Co., 1891, p. 356, we read as follows:
"The grave the place of resurrection? God forbid that such a thought should for a moment find lodgment in any Christian mind. Why, some of earth's best and bravest have no graves, and never had. Of others besides Moses, the servant of God, might it be written that no man knoweth their sepulchre unto this day.
Think you it happens thus with what God plants in the seed-plot of eternal life? No! He has better care for his elect than that. The soul is the essential thing. It is there that the true secret of personal identity resides. We may safely trust God to give it a body as it shall please Him, and to every soul a body rightly expressive of itself. Does it follow that kindly care of the places where the bodies of the dead are laid is superfluous and blame worthy? Not at all. Even the cast-off garment of the soul has a sanctity beyond all common clay.--Therefore let us respect old usages and common customs [35/36] and the old ways, but let us not make Golgotha our temple, nor think of any local grave as a place out of which life shall come. It was the image of the earthy that there was laid. Look elsewhere if you would catch a vision of the image of the heavenly."
I submit that this passage shows that the restraint of the Catholic Creeds sits very lightly upon the learned and eloquent Rector of Grace Church. The old bottle still stands in its place in the Creed. "I believe in the resurrection of the body," or as he is obliged to say when he visits the sick, "the resurrection of the flesh," the old bottle still stands in its place and he reads and recites the label, but he has poured new contents into it. He has filled it with the latest, highest, best, newest truth.
I am not embarrassed with the question in the resurrection any more than I am in the Holy Eucharist; "how?" I am simply concerned with the "what?" The Church Catholic no more accepts the theory of the divorce of the resurrection from the present human body than she does the metaphysics of transubstantiation. To separate the future glorified body from the present poor, weak, mortal body is to separate the harvest from the seed sown, and defeat the very essence of St. Paul's illustration. It is to separate the risen body of our Lord, with its nail marks and its wound, from the body on the Cross. It is to deny that this mortal shall put on immortality.
Resurrection cannot be intelligently predicated of different things. One cannot say that it is a rising again when one man lies down and another gets up.
All that I contend for is that the resurrection of the body compels the acknowledgment that this corruptible, mortal body is the basis out of which will come the glorious body like unto Christ's risen body, and with which we shall be clothed in our eternal home, just as the beautiful, graceful stalk of wheat, bearing its product of multiplied grains, springs from the single grain which was dropped in the fruitful soil and died and is risen again. This is St. Paul's simile.
It matters not whether men have graves or not, whether they are burned as martyrs, or eaten by cannibals, or whether matter circulates more rapidly than we think or know, God will take care of that as He does of a thousand other things which puzzle us now in this world. We are not concerned about the questions, "how are the dead raised up, and with what body do they come?" What we do crave to know is, what will be raised from the dead, and God tells us, and we make answer in [36/37] the Catholic Creed as instructed by Him: "I believe in the resurrection of the body," or as in the visitation of the sick, "in the resurrection of the flesh."
Much as I respect the Rector of Grace Church, and recognize his eminent services for our Communion, I am not willing even at the risk of offending him to be robbed of an element of faith which is indissolubly connected with almost all the other articles of the Creed.
To deny the resurrection of the body is to deny Christ's resurrection, to overthrow the Gospel of the resurrection, to strike at Christian morals and the judgment of the last great day.
These are questions of more than life or death to me; their roots are in God's Word, God's Church, the eternity which awaits us all. "There are snakes in Iceland."
I ask any one who will take the trouble to read the extracts which follow, to answer the question whether they can be in any legitimate way made to harmonize with our Bible and our Book of Common Prayer?
I cannot believe that any large number of men and women, professing and calling themselves decent people, not to say Christians, can subscribe to the ethics of Haweis, which are echoed on this side of the Atlantic by the Dean of the Theological School at Cambridge, Mass., and their followers, and the philosophy and theology of Parks, Eaton, Allen and their school.
"There are two facts. Intelligent men constantly refuse to take Holy Orders. Intelligent men constantly refuse to attend Church. The reasons are obvious and related. They stare one in the face, and they dovetail.
Intelligent men won't sit in the pew because intelligent men won't stand in the pulpit. 'I will not take Holy Orders,' says the clever, conscientious, even religious-minded man, 'because the formularies as they stand do not express my religious convictions. I doubt my power of being able to bring them into any kind of harmony with these convictions. If I could I doubt whether I should be allowed to do soMeanwhile I should have to say what I don't believe, and therefore I can't go into the Church.' 'I don't sit in the pew,' says the intelligent layman, 'because what I hear in Church is obsolete, trivial--often to my mind senseless.' " The Broad Church, or What is Coming, by the Rev. W. R. Haweis, p. 23.
"The Broad Church feels the need of bringing the Anglican Church into harmony with nineteenth century thought and feeling. It does not believe that the theology of Constantine in the fourth century was any more final than the settlement of Henry VIII. in the sixteenth. It desires to bring doctrine to the [37/38] test of living thought, re-stating its substance in terms of present knowledge--it is radicalWhat is the Broad Church method? Reform from within. There are two ways of reforming a system or person. You can go outside and attack. That means revolution; it is the destructive methodThe other way is to mould and modify from within, getting gradually rid of the false or the obsolete, and developing new life around all such true and living germs as can be found in every dogma and in every CreedOver every Creed and formulary is written this motto: 'It was true--it is true--it is no longer true,' which, being interpreted is, 'once such and such a dogma--the Trinity, or the Incarnation, a verbally inspired Bible, an infallible Church; once such dogmas were the best attainable expressions of certain truths.' 'It was true.' Now we can discern the essential truth that lies at the basis of each one of the old puzzling statements, that essential something is destined to last on in a changed form, transformed. 'It is true.' But we may find better ways of expressing it. The form of sound words, once so helpful and adequate, is now obsolete or seen to be erroneous, as who should say 'the sun rises'--a perfectly sound statement of what appears to take place--'but it is no longer true.' " Haweis, ibid., p. 28.
"Is it too much to expect that a Church that can do so much out of deference to modern opinions, and can carry so rapidly such reforms from within, will some day follow Dr. Hessey's suggestion (Bampton Lectures on Sunday) and give us simple alternative forms for the sacraments? May I add, an expurgated Bible, selected Psalms, one credal statement simpler and briefer, additional and qualifying, and liberating rubrics sanctioning a more elastic conduct of the services." Haweis as before, p. 23.
"The Broad Church clergyman is often asked: 'Does not your teaching violate the terms of your clerical subscription?' You undertook to believe and teach certain doctrines which you now call in questionNow to assent to a formulary is not to give adherence of belief to all its statements, any more than a member of Parliament's assent to the British Constitution implies his agreement with all its parts. We do not even profess a belief in any doctrine or doctrines whatsoever. We merely declare that we believe the doctrines of the Church are agreeable to the Word of God. By the Word of God most clergy and laity would, I suppose, understand the Bible. Well, it is a very light matter to believe that the doctrines of the Church can be proved by Scripture texts, if that is all that is wanted, since every Christian sect in and outside the Church can do as much as that--for notoriously all claim Scripture texts in favor of their particular tenets, orthodox and unorthodox. After Bishop Harold Browne, on the Thirty-nine Articles, or Pearson, on the Creed, it is difficult to conceive of any theological proposition that could not be proved to be agreeable to the Word of God with a like vigor and rigor." Haweis as before, pp. 37, 38.
"Fealty to the administrationThe Broad Church always obey their Bishops. 'You don't keep the law of the Church,' is a common but idle taunt; the reply is, 'of course we don't--who does?'All parties, therefore, freely and unrebukeably neglect or break the law of the Church. Fealty to that is no longer possible. The rule, therefore, must now be fealty to the administration. Not what is illegal [sic] but what is enforced or authoritatively enjoined in each particular case--that we are bound to obey--and only [38/39] that. In a word, we bow to the administration of the Church. If we can do this conscientiously we, as Broad Church clergy, remain in the Church; if we cannot we must go. But in all cases we lay the onus of turning us out upon the administration; we are not going out as long as we are allowed to work for the Church. Reform her from within." Haweis as before, pp.38-40.
"But when we come to fealty to truth, the Broad Church can triumph easily over High and LowGive a Broad Churchman even the dogma of the Infallibility of the Pope, and he will be delighted to handle it sympathetically and tenderly...And if a Broad Churchman can do so much, and can glory in doing so much for an exploded Roman dogma...it will be a light thing for him to take up the dogmas of the Reformed Church, Inspiration of the Bible, Justification by Faith, the Trinity and the Divinity of the Lord Jesus, and show his fealty to the essential truths, which lie embedded in every one of these dogmas." Haweis as before, pp. 40-42.
"And now the Creeds of the Church. Are they true? The Creeds are so many attempts to state certain things, which are undoubtedly true; but whilst the spirit of each credal clause, that which its expression or dogma aimed at may be true, the letter or form of expression of any credal clause may be imperfect or untrue. For instance, take the credal clause, '1 believe in the resurrection of the body.' The essence or spirit of that clause is a belief in the survival of the soul under fitting conditions of self-manifestation, or even incarnation. That is the essence which gave the words, 'I believe in the resurrection of the body,' their value, and that is true; but the sort of physical resurrection which those who penned these words dreamed of...that is not true." Haweis as before, p. 46.
The learned Rector of Grace Church, New York, echoes this teaching in his sermon, from which I gave an extract above. I remark as before, God never, so far as we know, divorces the harvest from the seed sown, and I boldly proclaim: "What God hath joined together let no man, however eminent he may be or influential, seek to put asunder." The resurrection has its basis in this body, in this flesh, just as the harvest gathered by the reaper has its basis, its foundation, in the grain buried in the soil by the sower. This I boldly affirm is the teaching of God's most Holy Word and the Catholic Church. This teaching seems to me to be gainsaid, contradicted, by our transatlantic and home teachers.
"Is the doctrine of the Trinity true? And to this the answer according to our present method is--"YES AND No.' First, let us take the No. The Athanasian Creed, for instance, let us say, is absolutely unconvincing or unintelligible in its propositions, and preposterous in its denunciations; so does it seem now to the average lay mind...Ask concerning the doctrine of the Trinity even as it comes before us in the Thirty-nine Articles. Is it true? And again the answer seems to be, No!...But whilst repudiating the present fitness [39/40] of such past expressional letters--which have once been alive, but are now dead--we ask, is the doctrine of the Trinity, in its essence and spirit, true? We answer, Yes. Of the Athanasian Creed, and of the first Article, it may be written, 'These were true; they are no longer true--as concerning the verity they both strive to formulate--it must be written, 'It is true.'...So Trinity in Unity is in God a diversity of manifestation or function combined with a unity of life and purpose.
First, our conception of God is vague and indefinite. Creative force pervading, correlating, co-ordinating all things everywhere. This is the All-Father, the First Person. But the instant we think more closely, our only definite conception proves insensibly anthropomorphic. All power, wisdom, intelligence, love, is, in some sort, human, manifested and transferred to God, but still human in nature and thought; and thus the Ideal Man, the God under limitations of humanity steps forth. This would be so in the order of thought were there no figure of Jesus in history. We cannot but--we always have made God in our own image--God the Son, or the Second Person. But in prayer and worship He is apprehended as a Spirit only, in communion, in sympathy with ours; then He is God the Holy Ghost, or the Third Person. God the Vague, God the Definite, God the Immanent, that is the inexorable order of thought, and that is the eternal doctrine of the Trinity in Unity." Haweis, pp. 57-60.
I pass now to quotations from the Rev. Dr. Leighton Parks, a pupil, and representative in his teaching, of Bishop Brooks. I make quotations from a volume of sermons entitled The Winning of the Soul, and other sermons, by Leighton Parks, Rector of Emmanuel Church, Boston, 1893, and dedicated to the memory of Phillips Brooks:
"Is it not true, my friends...if God is incarnating himself in the life of every one of us, then the Divine life must, in the order of that incarnation, subject itself to the laws and conditions of human life, one of which is time? We might as well ask why, if in Jesus dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, He did not when He lay in His mother's arms a little child, speak as a man, work miracles with those baby fingers, and convert the world by the shining out of the Divine effulgence from His infant face. It was because it was a true Incarnation. It was not an Avatur, a sudden descent of God into some particular vessel of mankind, in order that the divine power might for a moment be seen, startling and terrifying humanity. No, it was an Incarnation, a participation in human life by the Divine life, and it expanded as Jesus 'increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.' Now, if the Incarnation of Jesus required time to work out to the full the meaning of God in man, how much more so must it be so with you and me?" pp. 8, 9.
"If the story of the Gospel be true, we can understand why Christ laid such emphasis upon patience. 'In your patience ye shall win your souls'--because all that the soul has to do for its salvation is to rest patiently in the midst of the perplexities, and sorrows, and trials of life, and allow the Spirit of God to incarnate itself in it, according to its capacity to receive it." Parks, as before, p. 7.
"Until we hear that word which will be the announcement of no outward reward, but simply the acknowledgment of the life that has won itself: 'Well done good and faithful servant; you have endured to the end and are saved. [40/41] To him that overcometh will I give to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with my Father in his throne.' " Parks, as before, p. 13.
"We talk sometimes as if baptism created a relationship between the soul of the unconscious babe and the eternal God. Indeed, by some, the service of our Church is thought to lend color to this theory. But it is a hasty conclusion at variance with the Evangelical character of our Church. In the Catechism the child is taught that in baptism it is made 'the child of God.'...The child is made the child of God because it is His child, and were it not so nothing that man can do--no, nothing that God could do--could establish that relationship which has always existed, or never can exist. For to say that man is the child of God does not mean that sometimes God is pleased with this or that man, or that some six thousand years ago God created man in his own image. It meant far more than that. It is the assertion that God is not an isolated Being, but that wherever God was there existed in Him that which is essentially human, partially manifested in many men, perfectly manifested in the man Christ Jesus. If this be true, then it follows that if any member of humanity is a child of God every member is also...No act of man can cast man from the Church, unless he can destroy his humanity. For what is the Church? It is that ideal humanity on which God looks--that ideal humanity which lives in perpetual communion with God--whose meat and drink is to do God's will." Parks, as before, pp.65-67.
"The babe of Mary knew no more of God than any little child that was born this morning. But it loved Mary, and it believed in Joseph, and it smiled on Simeon and Anna, and rejoiced the hearts of the shepherds. Not because it was different from other children, but because it was like them a dear little baby, who trusted them that loved him." Parks, as before, p. 79.--A Christmas sermon.
When a man abandons the Catholic Faith (the writer of the above paragraph seems to have done so) it is instructive and full of warning to see as in this instance what awaits him. Dr. Parks asserts that our Lord as an infant, was not different from other children, and yet he declares that "He loved Mary, and believed in Joseph, and smiled on Simeon and Anna." These are astounding things to relate of a new-born babe. They are not found in the Holy Gospels; they are told by a Presbyter of the nineteenth century, who, by his ordination vow, is compelled to say that he believes that Christ was "conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary."
"The story of Easter is that the faith, and hope, and love of Jesus Christ were justified by the resurrection from the dead. And if you ask me what that means I cannot tell you, and no man can tell you what it means. Only this: that on that Sunday those men that had laid that broken body away knew, as well as you and I know that we see one another; that the presence that was among them was the presence of Jesus Christ...And if you ask how is it, then, that we do not see those now who have gone away, I do not know what to answer you...For myself my answer is this: that I [41/42] believe the reason is that those we love have not yet risen into that perfect life, which God is leading them to more and more in that other world, as he led them more and more in this." Parks, as before, pp. 172, 173.
When one has read this, he asks in amazement, does the writer believe in any honest and legitimate sense in the "resurrection of the body," or its equivalent, "of the flesh;" in the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day from the dead; and in the Gospel of the resurrection which embraces the last Chapters of the four Evangelists?
"As to the origin of the Episcopate, the Protestant Episcopal Church has no doctrine whatever. It is stated incidentally in the Preface to the Ordinal 'that it is evident unto all men diligently reading Holy Scripture and ancient authors, that from the Apostles' time there have been the three orders of the ministry in Christ's Church;' but if this were a statement of doctrine, the doctrine could not be considered essential, because it requires for its proof a knowledge not only of Holy Scripture, but of 'ancient authors,' and all such doctrines are excluded from essentials by the Sixth Article of Religion." Rev. Dr. Wm. Kirkus, in the New World, Vol. iii. p. 270.
Is the Preface to the Ordinal an incidental statement? The Christian Ministry was in the necessity of the case a matter to be developed practically outside of Scripture, and beyond the chronological limits of Scripture by those to whom the New Testament Scriptures were primarily addressed, and their immediate successors, and hence "Ancient Authors" are adduced naturally and properly to illustrate the meaning of Scripture, and to show what the first believers understood Scripture to mean. The same remark applies with varying force, but still applies to the doctrine of the Ever Blessed Trinity, the Baptism of infants, Confirmation, and other matters of belief and practice. It is to be noted that the class of men to whom Dr. Kirkus belongs discount the Thirty-nine Articles when this formulary is adduced against them as an antidote to their gross Pelagianism, but now one of their number appeals, as I think vainly, to the Sixth Article, to help him disparage and lower in men's minds the authority of the Polity of our Church.
"This doctrine of divine humanity first taught by Herder and Lessing was, in reality, the resurrection of the humanism, which, springing up in the age of the renaissance, had been suppressed in the conflicts of the Catholic Reaction. Now it was returning, purified, as it were, by trial, to become the motive of modern literature, of modern philosophy, of modern theology. In [42/43] Germany it had been represented by Kant and Schleiermacher, and by Neander also, as the method of historical research and interpretation. Out of it had been born what we know as Transcendentalism, which, with all its absurdities, never obscured the essential truth that man sees directly and immediately the truth of spiritual relations, and that humanity has in itself a divine warrant of faith and practice." Prof. A.V. G. Allen, in the New World, Vol. iii. p. 138.
"We believe that Christ redeemed the world, not by suffering a penalty that except for Him man must have borne, but first by revealing in his own divine human nature the fact of God's enshrinement in the universe and in the soul of man; and second by realizing in history, once for all the perfect union of divine and human...The death from which he saved man was the spiritual blight of sordidness and sensuality and false beliefs. The salvation He wrought was the liberation of the God consciousness in man from the slavery of sense...The sacrifice of the cross not only typifies, but is the tide-mark of that eternal sacrifice of the lower to the higher through which the universe and the soul of man struggle ever upward toward perfection. The word salvation is as often on our lips to-day as ever, but we mean now by salvation not deliverance from fiery tortures in the life to come, but the gradually increasing perfection of our natures in all worlds where we may be. We speak of the atonement of Christ, but we mean by that...the revelation of the light and freedom of the obedient soul which came through Christ...We hold that in his divinity every one, however defective his philosophy may be, who loving reason and goodness and faith seeks the liberation of his own soul from sin truly believes." The Heart of the Creeds. Historical Religion in the Light of Modern Thought by the Rev. Arthur W. H. Eaton. Second edition; Putnams, 1889. This Book is dedicated to the Author's Mother and the late Rev. Elisha Mulford, D.D., until his death Professor in the Cambridge, Mass. Theological School. pp. 55-57.
"No form of this substitution doctrine could possibly satisfy the minds of the best thinkers...and the question kept recurring how spiritual wrong could be atoned by physical suffering or as a heathen sacrifice by the mere shedding of blood? Or how the sufferings of Christ for a few brief hours could by any possibility be regarded as an equivalent for unending ages of torture too dreadful to be imagined for the whole race in the life to come? Yet this in one form or another was the doctrine that was almost universally preached and professedly believed in New England until about a half a century ago, when a large body of thinking men, under the name of Unitarians, rose in revolt against it, and the popular creeds and unphilosophical doctrines of Trinity, Divinity of Christ, and Heaven and Hell connected with it." Eaton, as above pp. 54, 55.
"We have in God three persons or characters, back of and revealing itself through each of which is the Divine Personality, the Infinite Intelligence. Back of the Silence is God, back of the Speech is God, back of the Power is God." Eaton, as before, p. 74.
"The cause of the breach between Unitarians and Trinitarians is no longer what it once was--a radical conception of the difference of divine things, for both have grown wiser and more enlightened in half a century, and both may now, if they will, worship with the same venerable forms, and express their faith by the same time-honored symbols." Eaton, as before, p. 80.
"As in the Old Testament writings, the true significance of these Epistles and Gospels was not at first obscured by superstitious reverence of any sort, but as happened in later ages with the Hebrew writings, and as indeed has [43/44] happened with the Bibles of all faiths, there came a time in the history of Christianity when what was written, as most books are, with simple integrity and true purpose, and with common desire to impart to others truth that men had received, came to be regarded as given supernaturally by God...Let us frankly confess that we find in the Bible mistaken opinions, inconsistencies, contradictory statements, and inaccuracies of various sorts...We know that some of the Psalms contain false and cruel sentiments." Eaton, as above, pp. 96,97.
"The Lord's Supper originated as naturally and simply as baptism...We can never know all that was passing in Jesus' mind--how much regard He felt for the venerable Passover ritual He was so scrupulously observing, nor how clearly He foresaw the establishment of a religion looking to Him as its founder, which should supersede the Hebrew faith. We can never be certain how widely He hoped or expected His parting request [sic] should be observed...With the enlightened Christian teachers of Alexandria, as with us, the bread and wine on the altar were simply as our Prayer Book calls them, 'God's gifts and creatures of bread and wine.'...The body of Christ was moral truth as displayed in His character, and the blood of Christ was love or charity." Eaton as before, pp. 143-147.
"Heaven and Hell are states of the soul, not places of arbitrary reward and punishment. Jesus taught nothing concerning the objective conditions of the life beyond." Eaton as before, p. 184.
"Human nature was transformed by the fall...not in the way commonly imagined...They (our first parents) passed beyond the brute and took their places as sovereign citizens in the republic of spirits." Dr. McConnell, "Sons of God," sermon 1, p. 4.
"One who reads the Gospels for himself, and puts aside all traditional notions about 'original sin, total depravity' and such figments of the schools will see, etc." McConnell, as before, p. 153.
"That the theory of the fall, both in itself and in its consequences is entirely untenable would seem to be evident from merely stating it." McConnell, as before, p. 247.
"The dogma (of the fall) is no longer held on the authority of Augustine, or rejected with Pelagius; it has simply fallen out of sight in consequence of its intrinsic unworthiness, and essential immorality." McConnell, as before, p. 247.
"Men literally share in the nature of God, as a child shares in the nature of its father." McConnell, as above, p. 4.
"Doctrines like...the substitutional theory of the atonement find no one now to say a good word for them." McConnell, as before, p. 221.
"The authority of the Christian Church is not that of an oracle. The Church is not a monarchy, but a republic. Its rulers rule not by any right divine, but by the election of the people. The Church, like the State, does not come down out of the clouds upon the earth, but it grows up out of the ground--the earth, which the Lord God created...Its creeds are not divine revelations let down out of the skies. They are human expressions of the divine mysteries. They are the result not of miracle, but of study, speculation, controversy...They were passed by a majority of votes in the councils of very human men. They are not infallible, they are altogether [44/45] fallible. They are not final forms of faith, but ever growing forums of faith, tenacious of the outward moulds, but changing their interpretation, in such a recreative age as this, so as to be in spirit new growths." Church and Creed, Rev. Dr. R. Heber Newton, pp. 29, 30.
The statements of this extract flatly contradict our Blessed Lord and the Church. Christ nowhere calls His Church a republic, but a kingdom, and He is the King. The New Testament nowhere countenances the idea which the author alleges to be his belief, that the Church is born of the ground and comes from beneath. God has cursed the ground; and our Lord, when He denounces the Scribes and Pharisees, associates what is from beneath in the sphere of the spiritual with the devil. He claims to come from above, and the Church is His Body. The Church, of which Dr. Newton is a Presbyter, claims throughout in her Ordinal, and the offices which her ministers are to execute, that her Bishops, Priests and Deacons are invested by the Holy Ghost with an office, and that they minister in holy things by His authority and power. We do not say that Dr. Newton is in error in his teaching, we merely affirm that it is in absolute conflict with God's Word and the standards of our Church.
The Creeds were not adopted or approved by a majority of votes, as a bill is passed by our Legislature or Congress, but they were accepted and signed as embodying the faith which the several churches, represented by the Bishops, had held from the beginning. The Creeds are not the expression of the opinions of men, but substantially "the form of sound words," which the Apostle Paul bids us hold fast, and from which he quotes (I. Cor. xv. 4): "I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures." There are "closed questions" in the Church as she teaches and these are found in her Creeds, and the sense in which they have been held in all ages.
"The declaration which this constitution provides that her clergy shall subscribe thus reads: 'I do solemnly engage to conform to the doctrines and worship of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States.' These doctrines are set forth in the creeds, which form our Church's only standards of faith. This body of belief and this alone is the doctrine, which each presbyter in his ordination vows promises to minister: 'As the Lord hath commanded and as this Church hath received the same--from the Ancient Church Universal.'...As Dr. McConnell quaintly observes. 'The last revision of the Prayer Book provides for their (the Thirty-nine Articles) being bound up next to its cover; the next will probably bind them outside." Ibid, pp. 49, 50.
"The affirmations of the Nicene Creed form the only bounden belief of the clergy." Ibid, p. 65.
 The " doctrines and worship" of the Church cover the entire dogmatic teaching of our Book of Common Prayer, and no man may put the limit where he pleases and say, the Nicene Creed I accept and nothing more. He is bound to accept the whole by his ordination vows, and if a Bishop, by his Episcopal oath. The Articles, it is true, are next to the cover of our Prayer Book and have a special title page, but, thank God, they are not yet outside the cover, and their title page emphasizes their presence.
I regret profoundly that any man, who has passed the ordeal of the ordinal voluntarily, be it observed signing the Declaration and answering the searching questions put to him when he was made deacon and priest, and doing these things after years of deliberation, I regret I say profoundly that any man could be found who would say that he was bound only by "the affirmations of the Nicene Creed." It is inexpressibly sad because it is manifest to any one who reads his Prayer Book that it is not true.
And now we pass to see what this Presbyter of the Church makes of the Creed. He and the school of which he is a distinguished representative claim that they are bound only by the creed, and then they go on to make the creed mean just what they please. The creed in its articles is a set of old bottles, and they empty them of their original contents, and fill them with their own mixtures of heresy and false philosophy, and serve these decoctions up to admiring crowds, who are only too ready to receive what is new.
"The marvel of our creed is that the new meanings prove to be but the unfoldings of the oldest of all its meanings, which the greatest of the Nicene Fathers themselves had in mind when they framed the creed as a theistic cosmology, a Christian moral philosophy, a mystic symbol of the Infinite and Eternal Energy 'in which we live and move and have our being;' of whom we can still think as did they of old, and thus frame our threefold thought of God. The Father calling all things into being, Himself remaining in His essence unknown and unknowable; the Son dwelling within the universe; the Reason making it rational; its Intelligence, Life and Law, revealing as The Word the thoughts of the Father, so that we can know God--educating, redeeming, reconciling all things unto Himself. The Holy Ghost urging creation onward and upward into ever higher life, the energy of evolution inbreathing humanity with spirituality, inspiring goodness, sanctifying 'me and all the people of God.' " Ibid, pp. 172, 173.
This teaching seems to be Sabellianism. It shows us too what we may expect will be the restraint of the creed when a man may absolutely disregard the universally accepted meaning of words and bend them to his purpose to teach whatever he chooses.
 The Rev. Dr. Leighton Parks claims and seems to be accorded the honor of representing his great master, Bishop Brooks. I submit a little of what he says, which received the endorsement of his brethren in high authority in Massachusetts:
"God cannot he thought of as existing apart from the universe. God cannot be spoken of except in terms of humanity...Between Him and us there is a community of nature, so that you never can know what man is until you see Him filled with God, nor can you know what God is till you see Him filling man." Rev. Dr. Leighton Parks--Theology of Phillips Brooks, pp.11,12.
"I once heard him (Bishop Brooks) preach a great sermon on the text, 'Who is he that overcometh the world? Even he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God.' The essence of it was this: Why will belief that Jesus was the Son of God enable a man to overcome the world? Well, first, who only has overcome the world? Jesus. Who only has absolutely believed that Jesus was the Son of God? Again Jesus. No man has believed that as He did, and the source of His power was hid in that faith. How will my faith that Jesus is the Son of God enable me to overcome the world? Because if I participate in Jesus' faith in Himself, I shall participate in Jesus' knowledge that every man is a Son of God, and when that takes possession of me my enemies are seen to be weak, the shows of life are seen to be ephemeral, the sorrows but for a moment. My essential humanity of which Jesus partook is begotten of the Father...It has been said even by those who knew and loved him that Brooks made no original contribution to theology. Is not this thought a contribution? For centuries the Church had been reading the Bible and insisting that the words of the Gospel concerning our Lord's Sonship be taken literally, and has often found it difficult to walk on the narrow cord that divided Sabellianism from Tri-theism; but what great theologian since St. Paul and St. John has insisted that the expressions in the epistles concerning the sonship of men to God be taken just as literally?" The Theology of Phillips Brooks, pp. 15, 16.
This seems to be Pantheism. Can not God be thought of apart from the universe?
"But it will be said man is not a child of God by 'nature.' Now that is true if by 'nature' you mean custom, the habit of his life, in which sense St. Paul used the word; but if by 'nature' you mean essential substance, which is the way the word is used in the theology of the incarnation, then man is by 'nature,' in virtue of his essential humanity, made in the image of God and partakes of the life of the Eternal Word. So that there is a sense in which the words of the Nicene Creed apply to humanity, 'God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, of one substance with the Father.' "
This statement seems to be Pantheism, pure and simple. If humanity is of one substance with the Father, then humanity must be eternal, and share in all the other attributes of the Eternal Father, omniscience, omnipotence and infinity in every direction of its being.
"Now if his be true, and without it I do not believe the doctrine of the Incarnation can be justified, or at least can have any vital meaning for us, then it follows that every human being is a member of the Church, and that the supreme work of that portion of the human race, which is conscious of this [47/48] truth and therefore is technically called the Church, is to make it known to all the world." The Theology of Phillips Brooks, pp. 28, 29.
"The possibility of the Incarnation, because the soul of man is consubstantial with God; the naturalness of it, because God is love, were, in Brooks' mind, the foci about which the great curve of the divine life swept." Ibid. p. 21.
Is the soul of man consubstantial, of one substance with God? Is that doctrine honestly tenable by any one who accepts the Christian religion? If man is consubstantial with the Father he was never created. He has existed always.
"I believe, then, that Brooks laid hold of the truth, which it was impossible, in that day, for either Athanasius or the Arians to apprehend, and that he has made a contribution to theology which we have not begun to appreciate. In one of the last theological talks I had with him, he said, with much solemnity, 'I feel more and more that the Divinity of Jesus can only be understood in the light of John's words, 'If He called them gods to whom the Word of God came, how say ye, thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the Son of God?' Our divinity interprets His, His, the perfection of God in man, reveals ours." Ibid. p. 21.
"From this conception of the Church as being to the world what the soul is to the body, followed his teaching concerning the ministry. Every man, who felt himself called by God to make known to others God's love and salvation, was ipso facto, consecrated to that work." Ibid. p. 29.
The essay from which the above extracts are taken received this endorsement:
"To the Rev. Leighton Parks, D.D.,
"DEAR MR. PARKS:--We listened with great interest to your essay before the Southern Convocation of Massachusetts on the "Theology of Phillips Brooks," and believing that the paper should be put into a form, which will give it a prominent place among the memorials of the late Bishop, we ask you to permit its publication." Signed by William Lawrence and eight others.
In this connection, in justice to Dr. Parks, to show how truly he reflects the teaching of his Friend, and Father in God, I submit a single extract from the Bishop's sermons, which gives in a few words his theory of the Church of Christ, and of the Gospel system
"I can not think, I will not think about the Christian Church as if it were a selection out of humanity. In its idea it is humanity. The hard, iron-faced man, whom I meet upon the street; the degraded, sad-faced man, who goes to prison; the weak, silly-faced man, who haunts society; the discouraged, sad-faced man, who drags the chain of drudgery, they are all members of the Church, members of Christ, children of God, heirs of the Kingdom of Heaven. Their birth made them so. Their baptism declared the truth, which their birth made true. It is impossible to estimate their lives aright unless we give this truth concerning them the first importance." Bishop Brooks, Twenty Sermons, p. 46.
Our Blessed Lord calls His Church Ecclesia, "a selection," and the teaching embraced in this passage is in hopeless conflict with the teaching of our Book of Common Prayer.
 Bishop Lawrence, of Massachusetts, is reported in the Boston Journal June 21, 1894, as saying in his sermon, preached the day before on the occasion of the ordination of seventeen young men to the diaconate, as follows:
1. "Therefore he drew the conclusion that the ministers of God must interpret in a measure for themselves, and said on this point: 'Jesus is the same yesterday, to-day and forever. But man's interpretations of Jesus change from day to day. They become fuller, larger and more spiritual with every revelation of Himself in the experience of man. Therefore, while the creeds stand and the fundamental articles of faith stand, while also, I repeat, that every minister of the Church must accept them loyally and gladly--they are his only hope in life--yet also will I say that it is the duty and privilege of every minister of the Church to interpret these articles of faith in the light of truth that Christ is continually giving to the Church in the history and experiences of men."
1. The language as reported is inexact, but still the meaning is plain; it is in effect that the creeds, and catechism, and offices, and articles and ordinal, are like so much putty in the hands of the individual clergyman to be moulded and shaped as his inner consciousness, supposed to be illumined by new light from day to day from Christ, may suggest. The office of the Church of God is absolutely ignored, and it is assumed that the individual must always be right.
The Bishop goes on as follows:
2. "So true and so generally accepted is this that one may say that there is not a Bishop or priest in the Church who does not interpret some article of the faith with a different emphasis or proposition or in a different light from that which he did twenty-five years ago, and who will probably change in his interpretation in the years to come."
2. For one we repudiate this allegation as untrue. We accept the fundamental verities of the faith as we do the axioms of mathematics. "Two plus two make four" is the same for us to-day that the proposition was when we sat as a school boy at our desk. The homoousion of the Son with the Father is the same that it was when we first learned the creed. It shuts out Arianism for every honest man just as truly now as it did in A. D. 325, and it must ever do so. This statement implies no stagnation as regards all legitimate lines of human knowledge, if we are true to ourselves we must learn and make progress; but in our own sphere, not God's, we cannot add to revelation.
The Bishop proceeds:
3. "Aye, I will go further and say that there are Bishops in the Church to-day holding interpretations of articles of the faith which, if they had held and expressed them fifty years ago, would have shut them out from ordination."
3. We hope for the sake of the Church and the Bishops that this allegation is a mistake. Possibly the Bishop of Massachusetts may be able to furnish the public with the names of the [49/50] Bishops obnoxious to his charge, and the specific interpretation which would have been condemned fifty years ago, but not now.
The Bishop next explains thus:
4. "Does that suggest that they are disloyal to the Church and her creed? On the contrary it gives evidence of their loyalty--that they are so bound to the fundamental truths of the creeds and so loyal to the Church that they will bring to the Church every living truth that comes to them--evince it with the newer and higher interpretation, hold the living Christ within the Church."
4. This statement goes upon the double assumption that the individual clergyman is, in any given case, always wiser than the Church of which he is a minister; and secondly, that the new interpretation is always "a living truth," higher and better than all that has gone before, and that there is no probability, nay, possibility, that the supposed theological discoverer may be wrong, and that his illumination may come from below and not from above.
Once more the Bishop adds:
5. "What a fossil the Church would be if the contrary were the truth--if there were nothing for the Church, the ministry and the people to do but to assent to the exact interpretation of the exact language of the creeds as they were first written, even granted an antiquarian who could be an accepted authority on the subject.
"Pardon me if I seem to trifle. I do not that. It is too serious a subject for that."
5. We deny that the possession of the fixed, unalterable truth of revelation, as formulated in the creeds and interpreted by the undisputed General Councils, and as embodied in the Holy Scriptures and applied in our Book of Common Prayer, makes the Church "a fossil." On the contrary, it is her rock foundation on which her stability depends. Were the Bishop of Massachusetts' allegations true, the Church would be like the house built upon the sand, which our Lord describes, which fell when "the winds blew and the floods came, and great was the fall thereof." One has only to read the selections quoted above from Prof. Allen, Dr. Parks, Dr. Newton and Mr. Eaton, to see to what havens we would come in morals and theology, with the Ten Commandments, the Bible and the Creeds in our hands, when interpreted by these discoverers in the fields of ethics and revelation. I conclude my extracts from the Bishop's sermon with the following:
6. "I want you to appreciate this fully, that the institutions of the Church, the Creeds, ministry and Scriptures stand as the bulwarks of the faith; we can not let one of them go. But I want you to appreciate the liberty with which [50/51] the Church has made us free of interpretating these symbols in the light of Christ Himself and of his continual revelations to men."
What does this mean? Where has the Church made us free in the manner suggested by the Bishop? The old bottles with their labels are to be guarded with scrupulous care, but the precious contents which Christ and His Church put into them are to be poured out by the novices of to-day, and their own discoveries in philosophy and theology, which the Bishop dignifies with the title "revelations," are to be poured in.
With this quotation I cease. I might go on, since the material is abundant, but if any one still doubts the truth of my allegations, nothing will convince him, and it would be needless to bring more witnesses into court. A man may deny that there are "snakes in Iceland," because he is not sufficiently acquainted with natural history to know a snake when he sees one, or his sympathy with the snake may be so profound and hearty that in his eyes the snake is lovely, harmless, and useful, indeed has lost its generic character, and should be called "a dove," or he may have failed to make himself sufficiently acquainted with Iceland by observation and reading to affirm a universal negative and so speaks rashly.
The champions of this school of thought have always pursued the same course in their strategy and tactics. In the fourth age as now:
First. They denied as long as they could that there was any heresy.
Second. They made light of the whole matter and charged upon their opponents, who were seeking to defend the faith, that they were "heresy hunters," and trying to magnify into importance the merest trifles.
Third. They played the game of hide and seek with their statements. When they apprehended that their words would involve them in trouble, they denied that they had used them; they sought to conceal them; they tried to explain them away; they made other assertions contradictory of the former, and by the last device endeavored to impose upon the orthodox with the impression that they were sound in the faith.
Fourth. They professed a profound and passionate love of peace, and seemed to be painfully disturbed when those who were loyal to our Lord, horrified by their frightful blasphemies, strove to call them to account and put some restraint upon their irreverence and wickedness. How strange, how bewildering it seems! Are we living in those far off times? In spirit they are here, and the same characters, using the same strategy, acting [51/52] in the same way, and posing in the same attitudes, are before our eyes.
A luminous charge delivered by the Bishop of Fond du Lac, at his last annual council, deals with this subject, "Modern Broad Church Theology," in a most masterly way. It would be well for our Church if every member had a copy in his hands and made its pages a matter of conscientious study.
The Bishop correctly describes the system as "shallow and irrational, as in direct opposition to the great Gospel facts and to Catholic theology, which is the interpretation of them." "This broad theology," the Bishop says, "does not require these Gospel facts." "This is the doctrine," he states with truth, "which is being taught in our theological schools, which is being backed up by rich corporations and wealthy Churches, and is now dominant in a number of eastern dioceses."
We have thus a philosophy advanced and held by many, and among the many are those in high position and commanding great and far reaching influence in our Church; a philosophy which teaches that all men are a part of God, and that all men are incarnations of God, and that Jesus Christ in His incarnation differs from us in degree only, and not in manner or kind, and hence that there is no necessity of insisting upon the Saviour's "conception by the Holy Ghost, and birth of the Virgin Mary," or His working miracles, or His bodily resurrection. These issues are matters of indifference, and one may admit them or deny them without feeling the slightest compunction of conscience, as to his fealty to the vows and promises of the priesthood, or the oath of the Episcopate.
The ideal Christ is all one need concern himself about, and hence the historic Christ retires into a place of relative insignificance, and these questions about His miraculous birth, and supernatural doings and agony, and death, and resurrection, are not worthy of the consideration of the enlightened, liberal Christian. The consequences which follow the rejection of the Virgin birth of our Lord, and His resurrection in the body on the third day, as to the value of the Holy Gospels, and the frightful inference which the mind must draw as to the character of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, and our adorable Lord Himself, these votaries of the new philosophy and new theology treat as trifles.
They are satisfied that they are incarnations of God themselves by natural birth; that they are fully able to climb to heaven without any vicarious atonement, and that they need no Saviour; and indeed they need no God, since they are each [52/53] a part of the aggregate humanity, which is consubstantial with the Eternal Father, that they are, each one, what the old creed asserted as true only of the Eternal Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
The lurid light of these reflections illumines the case of the students in a theological school, who denied in effect the Gospel story of the birth of Christ and received the honors of the institution and the shelter of the Bishop's protection, and were within a year admitted to Holy Orders. The light of these reflections brings into most unenviable view a large number, a majority of the clergy and laity of a great diocese as witnesses to the truth of the charge of my sermon that the taint of heresy has corrupted many of our noblest and our best, because with a meaning that was not disguised they turned down and out from posts of honor courageous men who dared to say a man shall not receive Holy Orders in this Church, who denies the fundamental verities of the faith once delivered to the Saints, and puts by necessary inference, if the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Luke be received as true, foul dishonor upon the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, and our dear Lord Himself.
Thus the majority of the representative men of a great diocese made themselves, let us hope unconsciously in many cases, indirectly the supporters of these most distressing heresies.
Now I ask, is it possible to harmonize this philosophy and this theology in any honest use of language with the Bible, which we as a Church still hold to be the Word of God, and the Book of Common Prayer, which is still, thank God, our authorized and accepted standard for the administration of the sacraments and the conduct of our public worship?
I have a right to ask this question, because I value as above all price the Saviour, the Church, the faith, the ministry, the sacraments and means of grace, and I see and know that there are men within the fold, and not a few, who are, whether consciously or unconsciously, doing their utmost to rob us of all, the historic Christ, the historic Body of Christ, the Creed of Christendom, the divine Polity, and the blessed channels through which the Holy Ghost comes to us from Christ.
When highwaymen are within our Father's house in the midnight hour while my brethren are asleep, am I to keep silence? I will not and I cannot. While I live I will cry out, and whether my brethren hear or refuse to listen, I will gladly take my place with the despised prophets of the captivity. The release will come, must come. The great mass of our intelligent Church people cannot long be dazed, stupefied by this dreadful miasma of sophistry and heresy, which seems to have brought [53/54] so many under its spell, and paralyzed a larger number, so that they have not the power or the courage to speak out for Christ and His Church, for truth and honor.
The above presentation of religion is not the Christianity of the New Testament or of our Book of Common Prayer.
The philosophy of this school, and its theology may be true. I do not argue that question, but I boldly affirm that they have no legitimate place in our Church as ruled and conditioned by its standards.
It seems to me a dreadful travesty of Christianity, a religion made up of heathenism, and modern infidelity veneered over, gilded by Scripture and Prayer Book language used in a Schleiermacher way to beguile and deceive. This system and the Bible and the Prayer Book as we now have them and know them cannot live together. The one, the old, must go, if the other, the new, comes.
The theology of the Catholic Church of all ages is not and cannot be tolerant of a system which deals the blow of death at its heart, and means to do so.
This will dawn upon the minds of men sooner or later, and if the orthodox Bishops, and clergy, and laity value their treasures committed to them as a trust, the supernatural gifts of God, they will at any and every sacrifice rise in their might, and expel the intruder, and proclaim in the name of the majesty of truth and honor that no such foreigners in philosophy and theology can dwell among us. They must go outside and find a home where they belong.