ON JUNE 17, 1884,
PRINTED FOR THE SOCIETY FOR THE PROPAGATION
OF THE GOSPEL IN FOREIGN PARTS.
THE Bishop of Ohio, who was very warmly received, said:--The fraternal congratulations of his Grace, the president of the venerable Society, to our General Convention at its centennial meeting, have afforded the occasion of which I am to take advantage to-day; for our House of Bishops has committed to me the honourable privilege of expressing to the members of the venerable Society that profound gratitude to the Church of England with which our Church reviews the first century of its history. "A little one has become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation." It is only a hundred years; but the Lord has hastened it in His time. We do not forget our debt to the Church of England for its nurture; nor the gratitude due, under the providence of God, to the venerable Society in particular. We have imbedded the fact in the opening sentences of the Preface to our Book of Common Prayer, and to all generations perpetuate the record, that "to the Church of England the Protestant Episcopal Church in these States is indebted, under God, for her first foundation, and a long continuance of nursing care and protection." And it is quite in accordance with this tradition that in these later days we have met distinguished courtesy and consideration from the authorities of the Church of England in solving problems connected with our joint missionary affairs. In this recognition I count it a privilege to include the Church Missionary Society, at [3/4] whose side we labour in Missions both in China and Japan. It has indeed been comparatively easy to adjust the relations of these sister Churches since the Lambeth Conferences. The Lambeth Conferences! They are ever coupled in our remembrance with recollections of that saint of God, Archbishop Tait, of blessed memory, once Primate of England, only-; but now Primus as well in all hearts in America that beat in unison with his pure and single-minded devotion to the cause of Christ, his grave and patient loving wisdom, and his unbounded fraternity of sympathy with all fellow-labourers in the Gospel. His Grace the present Archbishop among his first official acts completed the policy then outlined; and the venerable Society and the Church Missionary Society co-operating, our Bishops in foreign lands now pursue their work in common; so that, to-day, I am to express our gratitude to God, not only for favours buried with the dead, but for living benefactions, that keep fresh and fragrant the assurance of our brotherhood in Christ.
In approaching the subject with which I am charged, a first and natural inquiry, and that to which I shall confine myself to-day, is, to what principle or to what peculiar force of circumstances is Christianity indebted for that grand development of Missions for which this venerable Society stands as the eldest sponsor? When God would accomplish a great end, He names a grand object and proposes a sufficient motive. The object is always large enough to fill every possibility as it may arise; but, lest men should be discouraged at the outset, He never defines the limits. God's purposes develop with their fulfilment, and are equally great at every moment to the end. And the motive is at every moment sufficient; but the peculiarity of Divine method is, that whilst the primary force continues unchanged, the secondary motives constantly change, becoming fitted to changing personal conditions, or to changing times. A hundred illustrations will occur to you in the history of the propagation of the Gospel. E.g., the Lord said, "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel unto every creature." [4/5] And they went. The fact is utterly unaccountable on ordinary principles. The Gospel had not been sufficiently preached at home. Yet they went, north, south, east, west to the conquest of the world. The object was indeed large enough to fill the largest ambition; but that was not the motive, and they had not taken the measure of their task. And the object has expanded with every age. For even we are still struggling with a frozen north, and an inhospitable Sahara, to discover its limits. The motive was sufficient; the love of a Saviour in Whom they believed: and that motive still moves the Church to-day. But it might not have started those men to their feet had not the command been ringing in their ears: for men in those times were accustomed to obey competent authority without always counting the cost.
When Brennus, the captive British chief, and his granddaughter Eigen, heard St. Paul preaching in Borne, and through the Gospel Learned the grace of Christ, the first impulse of their freedom, as their silver shackles fell, was to carry the news of a Saviour to their island home. The love of Christ no doubt constrained them; but the attractions of Caesar's court, and the possibility of influence opening to them in that, the then capital of the world, might have excused delay: but God had provided the motive that would not be gainsayed nor delayed, and that was, British love of home. Luther did not comprehend the fierceness, nor the force, of the fire he was kindling: but God had made him so, that he would rather face any foe and speak, than be consumed in silence by the intensity of his German love for truth. So, when this Society was formed in 1701, no doubt the Convocation which secured its charter thought they understood what was meant by "the propagation of the Gospel to foreign parts." Possibly they imagined that they understood the limits of that term. But the Providence of God had prepared an object which would expand with each succeeding year. And the motive, primarily, ardent love for the Gospel of the Son of God, was undoubtedly affected by [5/6] the temper of the age, for England was engaged in its magnificent work of colonisation.
God has given to the Anglo-Saxon nature (and that nature does not change when it crosses the ocean) never to rest whilst there is any more land to be possessed. The grace of God consecrated that spirit of the age, to Himself, in the hearts of those noble men. It was the reflex of the policy of the State upon the Church of England. But thenceforth a noticeable change occurred. Before that date the State was carrying the Church with it as a secondary part of its scheme of colonisation. Thenceforth, this grand old Church moved out for missionary work as an integral part of the national advance. Illustrating what I mean, the earliest colonists carried the Church with them. Christian England never went abroad, leaving its religion behind. And in some well-known instances, the avowed purpose of colonisation was the extension of the Church. But until the establishment of this Society no part of the Church of England had organised itself, for the distinct purpose of propagating the Gospel. On St. John's Day, in 1497. in the ship Matthew, of Bristol, John Cabot discovered the main land of America in advance of Columbus. Probably his good ship carried with it an apostle, for, on a subsequent voyage in 1501, it is recorded that a minister was part of the equipment; for "an entry in the Privy Purse of King Henry VII. shows that two pounds were paid to a priest that goeth to the new island." I quote from the curious researches of De Costa, in his introduction to the memoirs of Bishop White. During 1527 the English colonists came into full view, directly in the line of our thought. For in that year, on one of the ships of Henry VIII., a canon of the grand old church, St. Paul's of London, addressed a letter to Cardinal Wolsey from the harbour of the New-found-land. Only fifty years later began the pure proclamation of the Gospel in America by the Reformed Church. Under the enterprising Frobisher in 1578, "Maister Wolfall, minister and preacher, was charged to serve God [6/7] twice a day, with the ordinary service of the Church of England." That ship's company landed in the Countess of Warwick's Sound, and "Wolfall preached a godly sermon, and celebrated also a communion, the first English communion recorded in the history of the New World." This Maister Wolfall was a true missionary. For the record runs--"being well seated and settled at home in his own country with a good and large living, having a good honest woman to wife, and very towardly children, he refused not to take in hand this painful voyage for the only care he had to save souls, and to reform the infidels, if it were possible, to Christianity, and to this end he spared not to venture his own life." In 1607, "the first sermon known to have been delivered in New England was preached by Rev. Richard Seymour, a minister of the Church of England." May it please your Grace to note, that this first preaching of the Gospel in New England was twenty years anterior to the entrance there of the Puritan colonists. The colonisation of the Bermudas, close to the southern shore of America, was undertaken by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishops of Bath and Wells, and Worcester, supported by thirty of the noblest men and women. The charter of 1606 assigns as a reason for the grant "that it is a work which, by the providence of Almighty God, may tend to the glory of His Divine Majesty, in propagating the Christian religion to such people as live in ignorance of the true knowledge and worship of God." It is not to be supposed that such colonisation went forth without the presence of the Church. And curiously connecting Fulham, with this history, among the inducements to colonisation in Virginia, is recorded the mildness of the climate and its suitableness for the cultivation of the vine; which (emphasis is given to the fact) is to be propagated by cuttings from the Bishop's garden at Fulham. But the planting of the True Vine, was the main purpose: for Hakluyt declares, "the prime object of colonisation is to plant the Christian religion." So that, as Dr. Hawks records in his History of the Church in Virginia, when the London [7/8] Company was formed in 1606 (that settled Virginia), King James I., of blessed memory, instructed the "presidents and council to provide that the true service of God, according to the doctrine and rites of the Church of England, should not only be planted and used in the said colonies, but as much as might be among the savages bordering upon them." Indeed as far back as 1588, Sir Walter Raleigh, when assigning his patent to Thomas Smith, accompanied it with a donation of 100l. for the propagation of the Christian religion in Virginia. And the charter of 1606 assigns as a reason for the grant, "that it is a work, which, by the Providence of Almighty God, may tend to the glory of His Divine Majesty in propagating the Christian religion, to such people as live in ignorance of the true knowledge and worship of God."
On board one of the ships of that little company that landed at Jamestown was one of the most godly, discreet, and patient clergymen which the Church of England ever sent forth. His first church was an old sail suspended from four trees; and his second was a wooden building set up on four forked posts, the roof of which was covered with rafts, sedge, and earth. But here he held daily service, with two sermons on Sunday, and the Holy Communion once in three months. This Robert Hunt gave his life for the flock. But he left a memorial which any Bishop might envy, or, at least desire to emulate. He saved the colony more than once by his words of peace, and by his unconquerable courage amidst general depression; and twice he reconciled the discords of angry rulers who were in equal authority, without being claimed as a partisan by either. The religion of that day was not altogether lovely, but Christian men had faith in it, and a conscience to enforce what they believed. It must seem strange to this age, possessed by the insanity of absolute liberty--an age which boasts its freedom both from God and man; which sets aside the authority of God's commands except as sanctioned by human judgment; and is not to be controlled even by conscience; it must seem strange to such [8/9] an age that "the Church ever laid men under martial law." Yet such was the force of the convictions of those stern, strong colonists two hundred years ago that, not only in New England but in Virginia, a man who refused to listen to sermons, or encouraged that evil habit in others, or did not frequent the daily service of God, was punished under martial law. A man who blasphemed the Holy Name, or the Creeds, and Articles, was liable to pain of death. And they who spake against the authority of the Word of God did it at the risk of life. So firmly were they persuaded of the truth that they captured heathen men and brought them as captives back to England, not as slaves, but in order that they might be converted. And, in some instances, this singular mode of persuasion met with success. For that was an age of strong convictions, singleness of aim, and extraordinary force of will.
Now it was under the influence of such times that this Society was born. And the question is not merely a curious one as to an outside observer, but, perhaps, a very practical one to the Society itself; to what secondary causes does it owe its exceeding great influence in the missionary work, and what secondary force should it cultivate? An outside observer, studying the question merely as an historical inquiry, may reach a conclusion somewhat different from that which those will reach who from familiarity with the cause, overlook or underrate its power. But if there is any instruction in an uninterrupted series of events for 300 years, such as I have outlined, then he must be blind who cannot see, the providential connection between, the colonisations of England, and the missionary power of the Church of England, as the exponent of the religion of the nation. A foreigner may not express his thoughts on some of the aspects of that subject. In a Republic such as ours an Established Church would not only be an anachronism, but as undesirable as it would be impossible. But, in a nation of free men, where a Monarchy expresses the governmental force, an Established Church would seem to be the natural expression of the moral force of the nation; [9/10] and the two would seem to be bound together in one bundle of life. But in respect to the missionary aspects of the question, no Christian is a foreigner; and, least of all, one who traces his ecclesiastical lineage through the ancient seat of St. Augustine of Canterbury.
We are "fellow-citizens," and "of the household."
As we read history, the two great Missionary Societies of the Church of England stand in the forefront of the Propagation of the Gospel, because England stands in the forefront of nations as a coloniser.
And therefore, should any events deprive this great Missionary force of the national prestige, and power, that lie behind it, the whole Christian Church in every nation may take up the lamentation, "How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war laid low!"
It is to be expected that in the present combined attack of infidelity and lawlessness against the Kingdom of the Son of Man, this salient point will not be left entirely in peace.
But whilst England's Church continues to realise her obligations to the world, her shield is the Lord of Hosts; and the nation may find shelter under her shadow.
At least the last of the children of the Church of England to forget their obligations to this Mother of Missions will be the Daughter Church of America.
If the wise preacher had foreseen the creation of this Society he could not more accurately have described its genesis.
Its origin--the sovereign purposes of God. "He hath done it." And to Him be the glory for ever.
Its sphere--"the world;" although the originators of it had not then taken, and were not able to take, the full measure of their task.
Its motive--devotion for the Gospel in the Church of Christ, deep seated "in their heart."
And when I add the comment with which the wise preacher immediately follows this unconscious prophecy--"So that no man can find out the work that God maketh, from the beginning to the end"--we have all the suggestions which I desire to pursue.
The fraternal congratulations of his grace the president of this Society to our General Convention at its centennial meeting has afforded the occasion of which I am to take advantage. For our House of Bishops has committed to me the honourable privilege of expressing to the members of the venerable Society that profound gratitude to the Church of England with which our Church reviews the first century of its history, and of renewing the assurance of our brotherhood in Christ.
This anniversary of the venerable Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts revives precious [11/12] memories, calls for gratitude to the God of all grace; and, from a comparison of the past with the present, suggests some pregnant truths.
The text infolds this natural line of thought.
It was under the influence of such times as I endeavoured to characterise yesterday that this Society was born. The century that had passed since the founding of the American colonies had ameliorated some of the features of a former age of stone, but had not one whit diminished the Anglo-Saxon determination to become masters of the world. And the founders of this Society determined by God's grace that His Church should no longer be secondary in this work of colonisation, but should have, and be known to have, a primary function in the propagation of the Gospel. "They builded better than they knew." Although "the world was set in their hearts," yet, as "no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end," the foundations that they laid in the American colonies bear small proportion to the building that was set thereon. The traces of their generous labour are found in every colony--churches, school-houses, parsonages, glebes, gatherings of scattered members of the flock by the itinerant ministry of their missionaries, permanent strong parishes established where cities were being formed and population congregated. Their influence was felt chiefly in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. And these States to this day are the centres from which the Gospel in the Church is propagated among us.
In this reminiscence it must never be forgotten that at no time did the Society lose sight of its missionary vocation, its grand purpose--the conversion of the savages. One of their earliest appointments--for Trinity Church in New York--was a catechist for the Indians, of whom in 1710 there were 1,500 within the limits of that city alone. In 1738 the reports of their missionary, Barclay, were encouraging. He tells of a church among the Mohawks numbering 500 Christian Indians, with fifty communicants. Later, specific [12/13] mention is made of the progress of the Gospel among the negroes. And Trinity School in the city of New York was established by the aid of your Society as a missionary school for these ignorant classes. Still later, in 1755, your missionaries report that on occasion of administering the Lord's Supper some of their Indians came sixty miles to attend the Bacred feast; and that in Braddock's war six of the Mohawk chiefs who fell were communicants, and that their Sachem Abraham held divine service in the army morning and evening. We read, with curious reflections to-day, in the eulogium of one of those grand old missionaries--stationed near the capital, Albany, on the Hudson River--that he was "placed on the furthest limit of the Messiah's kingdom!" for all beyond it westward to the Pacific Ocean was dark and dismal gloom. In those days a missionary station 150 miles north of the city of New York was the furthest limit of the Messiah's kingdom!
Faithful to the last in their mission to those heathen of the New-found-land, this Society vindicated its right to its venerable title.
It was indeed, comparatively, a small beginning. A narrow line of coast stretching along the Atlantic, from the mouth of the St. Lawrence to the Floridas, extending scarcely a hundred miles inland at any point south of New York, hemmed in by wilderness and savages. Yet in 1784, after the throes of the Revolution, seven of those colonies, then become States, sent fifteen clerical deputies to the first Convention, out of which grew the General Convention of our Church. These were representatives, and although we have no record of the precise number of clergy at that period (it is stated at 180) some idea is thereby given of the influence which had been exerted by the Church of England; and chiefly by this Society, then becoming venerable.
But to-day, those seven feeble dioceses have grown to sixty, including our home missionary jurisdictions. We have also four dioceses in foreign parts; and the number of the clergy is thirty-five hundred. We have three hundred and [13/14] sixty-five thousand communicants, and a membership, not over-estimated, at two millions. We have one hundred and twenty charitable houses, and one hundred and forty institutions of learning, colleges, theological schools, and grammar-schools.
The contributions of our Church in these last three years for Church work in all its various branches were twenty-nine millions.
Statistics are not always impressive, nor ever interesting, except to students of great social problems; yet I have thought it due to his Grace and the members of this venerable Society to show them, as far as figures may, what God hath graciously wrought in one century on the foundation which their generosity had laid. Still the purpose of God seems not to have been fully accomplished. The work is opening before us every day. The population among whom we labour is more than fifty millions. The area of the thirteen colonies which were the sphere of this Society was about five hundred thousand square miles. The area into which we are thrown to-day is three and a half millions of square miles. And the Anglo-Saxon determination to find and hold the ultima thule has lately added to our field Alaska and part of the arctic zone, very far beyond "Greenland's icy mountains," which Heber taught us to sing about, or the "ice-bound Labrador," which was the limit of Hemans's gentle vision, and Mexico at the south is being rapidly bound up in our bundle of life by iron bands.
Within the last three months trains run directly from New York to the city of the Aztecs. Whether the Isthmus of Panama is to be a defence against invasion from the north, or a bridge to invite the Anglo-Saxon towards Cape Horn, is part of the problem still unwrapped.
For "He hath set the world in their heart," and "no man can find out the work that God maketh, from the beginning to the end."
Such a review is crowded with instruction. For I must pass by the fertile and attractive field presented by the [14/15] world-wide labours of this venerable Society, and the delightful subject of the motive, deep-seated in their hearts, zeal for our Lord, and love for our Christ. Other reasons apart, there is a limit to your patience, and should be to my sermon; and the first of these topics has been treated so ably by Canon Barry (before his consecration), in his address to the Society in October last, that nothing can be added: and the second was so fully discussed by my colleague, the Bishop of Pennsylvania, in his sermon on the 177th anniversary of the venerable Society, that no additional words could deepen the impression.
I desire, right reverend and beloved brethren, to present for your approval two impressions fixed on my own mind by the study of this theme.
1. The propagation of the Gospel by us must in all cases be accompanied by a completely organised Church. Under no other conditions can we be fully successful. I emphasise, because I am speaking only of an Episcopal Church. Other influences of preaching and the ministration of sacraments will certainly be felt, wheresoever and by whomsoever offered, and souls will be saved. Christ's blessed name and Gospel, whenever truly preached, by whatever lips, will be glorified. But our permanent influence depends upon our ability to organise converts into a complete Church, beyond which nothing of privilege can be offered or desired. It follows, if Episcopacy be apostolical, still more positively if it be a divine ordinance--it follows from the experience of every past age of Christian history; it follows from your own experience and from ours. In the earlier days of missions we thought it quite sufficient to send forth heralds of glad tidings, and were satisfied when we received news of the outpouring of the Spirit on the Word preached, and tidings of individual conversions. But we soon learned that, however pure and earnest the spiritual nature may be, it needs in every nation equally the sympathy, defence, and strength afforded by its being made part of a body of faithful men. For the healthful life of the individual, the [15/16] Church is a necessity, in foreign lands as at home--in foreign lands even more than at home. The result of your experience, as of ours, has been that no permanent mission can exist without a bishop. As I understand it, your venerable Society has kept this principle in view from its origin, and endeavoured always to propagate the Gospel within the safeguards and by means of the instrumentalities of the Church; ever aiming to give to Church colonies as full an organisation as circumstances would permit. It was your policy during our colonial history, for which we praise God. Our clergy and our churches continued under the supervision of your Episcopal bench, chiefly of the Lord Bishop of London, receiving orders from the mother country, until the Revolution. Efforts to give us an Episcopacy of our own were hastened by that separation of the two nationalities. Perplexing questions arose, which made it necessary for us to apply to the Church in Scotland for the fulfilment of a desire inculcated by your venerable Society. And we were met in Scotland by a cordiality truly fraternal. But as soon as political estrangements disappeared, the Mother Church, by consecrating for us Bishops White and Provost, completed our independent life. Since that day, and including it, our Episcopacy has numbered 134, of whom sixty-eight survive, labouring at home and in foreign lands. In all this making of Church history your venerable Society manifested a wisdom beyond the times. And in carrying this principle to its legitimate result, our American Church in the year 1835, by an act of its highest authority, the General Convention, declared itself to be the missionary society, thereby absorbing all independent organisations, and placed the whole missionary work, domestic and foreign, parts of one inseparable whole, under the direction of the acknowledged authorities of the Church. So decidedly, however, has the principle first adopted by the venerable Society become the guiding principle of all Episcopal missions, that now there is need of caution, lest by excess of organisation, Bishops of sister Churches working [16/17] side by side in heathen lands, should not only waste strength and money, but should really prevent the Church which is to be built up there from grasping the true idea of Episcopacy and Episcopal unity--perhaps inviting division of interest, perhaps leading finally to schism.
2. The other impression alluded to is the inestimable value of Church endowments to the masses of the people. The voluntary principle may be more philosophically correct; but, practically, no mode of Church support, other than endowments, will provide a Church for the people. I am not to argue it here, where the beneficence of former ages has given your Church an opportunity of influencing the masses which no other Church in Christendom possesses; and of which, blessed be God the Holy Ghost, your ministers, in these last days of religious revival, are availing themselves with a diligence that astonishes the world. Contrast two facts. England has a population of over 26,000,000. The United States twice as many; over 50,000,000. The Church of England has provided sittings in its churches for nearly one-half of the population; if to the 6,000,000 of permanent sittings be added the number of movable sittings and the available space in cathedrals and larger churches. For this accommodation, and the pastoral care which it implies, no recipient of the bounty can be required to pay one penny under the law.
In the United States, under the voluntary principle, thirty religious bodies of every degree in orthodoxy have provided sittings for not one-third of the population, by a liberal calculation, and for these, as a rule, every occupant is expected to pay according to his ability every Sabbath. Payment is expected by rental, or subscription, or what is called voluntary offering; the name does not modify the fact. So that in all Churches of America the Christian religion is very largely the religion of the favoured classes; whilst, because of its endowment, the Church of England is, or ought to be and may be made to be, the Church of the people of England: for the poorest man among you, under [17/18] the law, whatever may be practically the fact, has an equal right with the richest to the privileges of God's house and His ministry. It is not so in the United States, and can never be so, except under a system of endowments. This venerable Society followed the guidance of that principle in all its work in the new world. It secured glebes, built churches and parsonages, provided investments for maintaining its ministers. The result was that after the Revolution, when sufficient time had elapsed for passions to subside, those portions of the Church which had been recipients of your benevolence and that of preceding colonisations, immediately put on strength, and have continued to this day to feel the impulse. I refer especially to Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York.
It was natural that under the earlier excitements of revolutionary feeling politicians should have contemplated the confiscation of our Church property, and in some few cases effected it But when statesmanship began to exert its proper influence, and honesty and conscientiousness resumed control of passion, our Legislatures, almost without exception, restored its property to the Church, and where the Legislature declined to act, the courts compelled the restoration. So that to-day in Virginia and Maryland parishes are nourished by provisions made for them centuries ago in England, and in many instances those provisions alone have prevented Church extinction in certain districts. In New Jersey, the Church in Burlington and the Episcopate is largely indebted to the provision made for it by English liberality through this Society.
In Philadelphia, Old Christ Church, our mother Church, where our first General Convention was held, and our Centennial was celebrated; where Dr. White succeeded to a long line of your missionaries, and for sixty years ministered, and where he transmitted to others the Episcopate which your bishops committed to him--our venerated Christ Church owes it origin, its early prosperity and existence as a link [18/19] between the present and the past, to English endowment and largely to the fostering care of this Society. [See History of Christ Church, 1695-1762, passim]
In New York, the early endowment of Trinity Church by a farm which then lay outside the north gate of the fort, has been the origin of the greatly superior power of that diocese, and the fact that it now holds the position of leading influence. Because of its endowments and the wise administration of them, coupled with the financial advance of the city, the rector of Trinity Church has seven churches under his care, eighteen clergymen, and a musical staff of over one hundred. Of those churches three are free, and a fourth practically free; and its grants to twenty other churches and to charitable institutions exceed $100,000 per annum.
But not only so, Trinity Church has been thus enabled to do a large missionary work within the State. It has built or aided in building a large number of churches and parsonages, and given, especially to the older churches of the city, large endowments, so that twenty years ago its benefactions were stated by its rector, reckoning by the value of property at the time, as running into millions.
The one diocese of New York has grown to five dioceses. That growth and strength are certainly not owing entirely to the one cause on which I am dilating; but the endowments of Trinity, a royal grant, were the introduction to this progress, gave it a first impulse, and have generously sustained it.
Our bishops, and especially our missionary bishops, have not been slow to grasp this principle. Bishop Chase founded the diocese of which I am the third bishop; but it was British liberality to which he, and subsequently Bishop McIlvaine appealed, that founded Kenyon College and the Theological Seminary, and gave us Bexley Hall and Harcourt Parish and Rosse Chapel at Gambier. Those noble names keep ever in our minds the beneficent wisdom of English Churchmen. They have laid the basis of whatever prosperity we have enjoyed. That endowment has increased to more than $500,000.
 I have given the fact merely as an illustration. The first thought of our western missionary bishops now is to procure endowments. They invest largely in land. As settlements increase and as railroad enterprise develops the country, those investments increase at a fabulous rate. For example, in Nebraska, nineteen years ago, the bishop entered on his work, having $1,200 and some acres of land, the latter being worth $2 per acre. When sold it had trebled in value. Bishop Clarkson left an endowment of his diocese worth more than $50,000, and had expended in church-building and substantial improvements $100,000 more.
Let these figures suffice for the point which I am urging. Endowments lie at the basis of a Church's power for usefulness, and the strength and facilities thus given it can alone enable it to become the Church for the masses and the poor.
And now what remains but that the future shall build upon the past, and experience prepare for new ventures of faith? The methods of former generations are not to be changed, but are to be accommodated in a perfected form for present uses.
The daughter Church has been admitted into fraternity of spirit and endeavour with the mother Church. That Divine inspiration which in the last century impelled the founders of this Society is now breathing in the whole Anglican communion. "He hath set the world in their heart" is not written of the little band alone who first caught the heavenly idea, but is the definition of a principle explaining a common end, the common methods and a common hope of the Church of England, Scotland, Ireland, the United States, the Dominion, and the Colonies--a mighty Church, which, in every part of the known world, is labouring in the same line of activity to prepare this human nature for the coming again of the Son of Man. So precisely similar are ends and methods among us all that there is some need of caution, lest by surplusage of labour, labour should be lost As I understand it, one object of the honourable position in which [20/21] I appear before you is to emphasise the value of the Joint Commission on Missions appointed by the Lambeth Conferences. That commission, rightly employed, will unify counsels, and prevent waste of materials in the missionary work of our Church.
Our own foreign missionary sphere has been directed by providences which cannot be misunderstood. First, a struggle for national independence in Greece, led to our first mission, that of Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Hill in 1820. Their work of charity and beneficence, of education, and cultivation, and elevation, has received, as it deserves, the gratitude of a nation. One survives, the venerable Mrs. Hill, the mother of a regenerated Athens. I need not eulogise those workers, who, together with Miss Baldwin, have received so frequent an eulogium from those of your own body who have visited our schools in Greece. Second, the African nation in our midst presented the next call of duty, and in 1836 our Church, following the lead of the Colonisation Society, began to prepare a Christian home in Liberia for freedmen. The moment American emigration touched the shores of the Pacific we found ourselves next neighbours to the most populous, as well as the most cultivated, heathenism on earth. The Celestial Empire opened to us at once its commerce, pouring its population on our shores and inviting a return. Our Church could not but seize the opportunity. Our first thoroughly organised mission was planted at Shanghai in 1844. Bishop Boone laid down his life in China for the people whom he loved; and his successor, Bishop Schereschewsky, has been the first to give the Bible to the Chinese nation in their vernacular. It was but a step from China to Japan. That empire was less ready than its neighbour to admit foreign manners and learning. But during the years that Bishop Williams and our mission has been labouring there, commencing in 1859, a marvellous change has occurred. The Pentecostal miracle seems about to be realised, under conditions of progress belonging to this nineteenth century. For the newspapers of Japan, the Government organ included, [21/22] are now discussing the value of Christianity, as a regenerating force for the nation. Meanwhile the island of Haiti declared its independence of ancient forms of government, and both needed, and in 1860 received, the help of our Church in settling its religious foundations. And, last, the land of the Aztecs and Montezuma claimed that the Church should send some restorative for the disorders introduced by the irruptions of our frontiersmen. The American Church Missionary Society entered the field in 1873, and later a bishop was consecrated; and a Church affiliated with our own now occupies the cathedral of Mexico.
It may be that by means of a natural advance of emigration, beyond the Isthmus of Panama, Divine Providence has destined South America to become the last missionary field for our Church. We shall watch the progress of that emigration with anxious eyes. But for the missions of the future, except on our own American continent, we realise and rejoice in the fact that to the Church of England God has given a special opportunity--that grand old Church, which from amidst strange conflicts of the ages has gathered increase of integrity, concentration of energy, and consolidation of strength; which to-day, as in no previous generation, is moving with unity of loving zeal towards the conquest of the world for Christ. Its divinely given opportunity is the glory of England. No other nation of Christendom carries the Cross in the forefront of its armies, or plants Christianity wherever it plants its feet. The presence of the Church of England is the moral power which gives the English nation its supremacy.
National policy is the arm which in these days the Son of God is wielding as He steps grandly on in the centuries towards universal empire. Reluctantly it may be, but surely, the Anglo-Saxon determination to become masters of the world is opening the way for the Anglo-Saxon Church to fulfil its commission; for "He hath set the world in their heart;" and no man yet has been able to "find out the work that God maketh, from the beginning to the end." Our [22/23] adjustment of forces must change with changing times, but not the message--the propagation of the Gospel, the manifestation of Christ to every creature, the development of Christ in every member of the body which He has redeemed. I wonder that modern science has not recognised in Christianity the grandest illustration of its lately formulated principle. For if evolution is the development of one germ, by a germination which repeats itself in every product, ever progressing from the lower towards the higher, and which from every several member may be traced directly to the original, then that is Christianity.
"Christ in you." That was the language which St. Paul employed. "I in you." That was the very language which our Saviour used to express the philosophy of His religion. A higher, nobler, more complete, more absolute doctrine of evolution has never been written than in those words of our Christ, "I in you." "He that abideth in Me, and I in him, bringeth forth much fruit." It is the natural law transferred to the spiritual world; Christ in each! That one germ, developing itself by the force of its own vitality, the same in each, differing not in the life itself, but only in the manifestations of life according to the conditions by which it is surrounded, multiplying itself and at every step advancing, Christ in humanity, that is Christianity. And that development has given a history of missions, foreign and domestic, in all the ages. And what an evolution! From that one germ, to human eyes so trifling, a life gone out upon the Cross, a life buried with the rest of the dead, despised by a generation, remembered, believed in, trusted, loved, nourished by a few, in whom it abode, in whom it was a living principle, and through whom it developed itself--from that one germ, evolving itself by the force of its own internal living power, employing a natural selection, or, as in our religious philosophy we call it, a gracious selection--and depending for its advancement on the survival of the fittest; from that one germ has been evolved this majestic Christianity of the nineteenth century.
Unwittingly, your venerable Society a century ago acted on [23/24] a principle which modern science claims to have discovered only in these last years and treats as if it were new. Involution and evolution, it says, are equal forces. No man can evolve from the work of propagating the Gospel more than is involved. You must first put into it that which you hope to get out of it; and, therefore, the founders of your Society, and their successors nobly following, laid amongst the foundations of our Church in the colonies every corner-stone on which we have builded. Grandly as this evolution has gone on year after year there is not one step of the progress which was not involved in the principles which you laid as the basis.
And now for the future; what remains but that we shall follow to their ultimate result the principles which you have enforced Two grand principles, as I read the history 1. The propagation of the Gospel. Nothing less, nothing else. The one single truth, that "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners."
But not merely in that phrase of it. The changed conditions of the age demand that the Church shall now expand its missionary message. We have something more to do than merely to preach the Gospel to the heathen. If there should be yet nineteen centuries in store for the propagation of the Gospel in foreign parts, then we might leave the grand germinal truth of Christianity to the power of its own germination in foreign parts and let the heathen wait until Christianity shall have developed itself from among them, as it did among our forefathers through the long centuries.
But, whilst I do not pretend to prophecy as to times, I certainly do not so understand our providential opportunity, nor the position of advanced Christian civilisation which we have reached. We are to place Christianity before the heathen in the light of that point in its progress to which we have attained. We are to give them Christianity, not merely in its rudiments but in its development. Therefore the need not only of the hospital and the orphan asylum and the home for the aged and infirm--those most gracious [24/25] and beautiful exhibitions of the character of Christ, which ought to be prominent in every Mission--but also the school and the college, and every feasible opportunity for studying science under Christian influences. Shall we leave the heathen to receive their first impressions of the divine revelations in nature from agnostics and infidels--from those who know not God and deny the Gospel of His Son? And we are to teach the heathen what we have learned by slow degrees through nineteen centuries--that Christianity holds the secret of civilisation, and is the essence of the sweetness and the joys of communal life. We are to instruct them how to apply Christian knowledge to the art of living.
2. The propagation of that Gospel in the Church as the only means of securing its purity and permanence. Not the Church without the Gospel, for that would be a body without the spirit; and it needs no philosophy to emphasise the Scripture declaration, that that is death. Not the Gospel without the Church, for that would be a spirit without its own body; which, although a conceivable possibility for some other world, in this world and with our experience is not among the entities. But the Gospel in the Church, the spirit living, breathing, animating, working, giving beauty, emotion, affection, energy to the Body of Christ. And the Church, the body, protecting, preserving, limiting by wholesome bounds, but effecting by the wisest instrumentalities the loving purposes of Christ.
To that combination of principles I see no possibility of addition; to the successful working of those principles so combined I see no possibility of an end until He Who is the substance of the Gospel and the soul of the Church shall make all things perfect by His own Divine presence.
And then for motive! The old motives are passing away. When what was done in China yesterday will be read in to-morrow morning's paper; when one can whisper in a telephone that "God is love," and a waiting ear can hear it 2,000 miles away, I do not know how to describe either time or space by terms of the old vocabulary. We can utter [25/26] the Gospel to-day so as to be heard by telegraph, not only in the old home of the Picts and the Scots, in Athens, in once imperial Rome, at the Pyramids, at the sea where Pharaoh found a grave, at the Temple in Jerusalem, at the furthest point in India or in China which St. Thomas reached in his missionary travels, but in that then unknown land which is so far east that it has become the Western Continent, and that is on the other side of this terrestrial ball. What new relations, then, have time and space to the universality of the Gospel?
The regeneration of mankind! This evolution in which God has made us co-workers; this evolving of the germ of Christianity into the perfect likeness of Christ Jesus, in every heart and every life, of every human being, who will receive it, on this round world! We are working for no supposititious good, but for an absolute certainty. I am willing to go again to our philosophy to learn the issue, if any of you have advanced so far that you can no longer depend on God's Scripture of truth. For there is no teaching of the theory of evolution more clear and distinct than the promise of perfection for this human nature. If evolution teaches anything it teaches never-ending progress, and that death cannot end the life of a germ which has attained to independent existence. Force is persistent. Yes. And therefore indestructible and eternal. The latest advocates of evolution teach precisely what St. Paul taught, who learned it of Christ, that this corruptible must put on incorruption. They say that this physical being, which has developed a brain and consciousness, which contains a soul, whether it be indirectly the result of phosphorus, or directly the creation of God, this being cannot pass out of something into nothing again. It is their way of putting the truth we learned at our mother's knee--"This mortal must put on immortality."
But for the closing of the moral gap, between the imperfect mortal who knows not God, and the perfected immortality which is to stand in the presence of God for ever, modern [26/27] science has no word of promise; not even a theory. For that problem the divine philosophy of the Gospel offers the only solution; it is the persistent force of the revelation of regenerating grace. Within that gap the Missionary stands. And we are helpers with him, if we nourish his strength by sympathy, call down Heavenly aids by prayer, furnish material forces by our alms. And then cometh the end. For Christ must reign until He hath put all enemies under His feet. He reigns through the work that His Church is doing, His Missionaries, and you and me. And then the end, when this evolution of Christ in all His members shall have wrought out every possibility of mortal perfection, and He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God even the Father; then the immortality, the end of the lingering centuries, the beginning of all things new!
Meanwhile the daughter Church of America sends me to-day, with greetings to the mother Church of England, assuring our devoted love, our cordial co-operation, and our earnest prayers that God will continue to her in His grace undiminished opportunities for blessing that "world" which from the beginning of the history of this Society, God "hath set in her heart."