The Church, Aggressive:
BEFORE THE ASSOCIATED ALUMNI
GENERAL THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
IN ST. BARTHOLOMEW'S CHURCH, NEW-YORK,
RT. REV. GEORGE WASHINGTON DOANE, D.D., LL.D.,
PUBLISHED BY REQUEST.
RT. REV. JONATHAN MAYHEW WAINWRIGHT, D.D., D.C.L., OXON.
Provisional Bishop of New York;
WITH THE ACCUMULATING LOVE
THREE AND THIRTY YEARS.
At a Triennial Meeting of the Associate Alumni of the GENERAL THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, held in St. Bartholomew's Church, New-York, on Thursday Evening, the 13th day of October, 1853, it was unanimously Resolved, That the cordial thanks of the Association be tendered to the Rt. Rev. GEORGE W. DOANE, D.D., LL.D., for his able, satisfactory, and every way excellent discourse, and that a committee of three be appointed respectfully to solicit from the author a copy for publication.
A. BLOOMER HART,
1 CORINTHIANS, XIV. 8.
"FOR IF THE TRUMPET GIVE AN UNCERTAIN SOUND,
WHO SHALL PREPARE HIMSELF FOR THE BATTLE?"
I. THE CHURCH IS AGGRESSIVE;
II. HER ENEMIES ARE NUMEROUS AND POWERFUL;
III. SHE NEEDS AN ARMY, TRAINED AND ORGANIZED, AS WELL AS FEARLESS AND DEVOTED;
IV. AND, YET, HER WEAPONS ARE NOT CARNAL.
I. The Church is aggressive. There is warfare, in the very earliest promise that reveals her to the world: "It shall bruise thy head." The enmity, which was, then, proclaimed, between the woman's Seed, and the serpent, and his seed—Christ, and His Church, and the synagogue of Satan—was an old enmity. Long before that, there had been "war in heaven." "Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought, and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan which deceiveth the whole world; he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him." [Revelation, xii. 7-9.] The [5/6] war was only, thus, transferred. God's love had overflowed, in the creation of the world. A happy garden held the human race. The accuser of the brethren found an entrance; and they fell by his deceits. Then, was that wondrous drama of redemption first unfolded: with the central Cross and suffering Victim; and the victory, through death. So graphically sketched, in those next words of the Apocalypse, that the stupendous panorama seems to unrol itself before us; and, almost, within our reach. "And I heard a loud voice, saying, in heaven, now is come salvation, and strength; and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God, day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives, unto the death." [* Revelation, xii 10-11] In a sense, this is historic. In another sense, it is prophetic. Happy for us, to faithful hearts, all prophesy is but incipient and progressive history. In a sense, the victory is won. Potentially, the warfare is accomplished. As, in that glorious passage of St. Paul, to the Colossians—"As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him, rooted and built up in Him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving." "For, in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead, bodily. And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power." "Buried with him in [6/7] baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him, through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins, and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the hand-writing of ordinances, that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His Cross; and, having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them, in it." [* Colossians, ii. 6, 7, 9, 10, 12. 13, 14, 15.] Actually and individually, it is a warfare, still in progress; and, to be waged, till the judgment consummates the victory. An individual warfare, bound on every Christian soul, so that the seal of baptism is the Cross, set on the brow, on which its wave is sprinkled: "in token, that, hereafter, he shall not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified, and manfully to fight under His banner against sin, the world, and the devil; and to continue Christ's faithful soldier and servant, unto his life's end." A warfare, in which the whole body of believers is so actually engaged, that the holy eucharistic service opens with a prayer, "for the whole state of Christ's Church militant." And, in that solemn charge, in which St. Paul commits the care of the Ephesian Church to Timothy, he sums up, in these words, his duty, as a Christian man, and as a Christian Bishop; alike incumbent on him, by his vows of baptism, and his vows of consecration: "thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus [7/8] Christ. No man, that warreth, entangleth himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier." [* 2 Timothy, ii. 3,4]
How far from all the thoughts of the great multitude of Christians, these stern and searching views of Christian duty and responsibility. Christening, a decent ceremony; with many, but the occasion for a domestic feast. The Cross, an ornament; almost, a toy. Christianity, a better sort of worldliness. Every man his own. All that he has, and all that he can get, his own. To get on, in the world; to take care of his family; to build up a fortune; to live an easy life of elegance and leisure: in the permission to do all these things, and to be absorbed in doing them, who sees the slightest difference between Christians, and the world! A Spartan mother, when she gave her boy his shield, bade him come with it, or come on it. The mothers of Christian children withhold them from the warfare of the Church; till, now, the soldiers, that enlist, scarcely supply the places, that are made vacant by disease or death. Robert Morris, the illustrious financier of the American Revolution, made himself bankrupt, in supplying funds to carry on the war; and passed years in the debtors' prison. To venture fortune for the Church is deemed of, now, as madness; if it be not pursued, as crime. In the long struggle, that followed after 1776, tender and delicate women knit stockings for the soldiers; and spun the yarn, and wove the cloth, to make their clothes; and the old [8/9] family plate was melted, in some instances, for bullets. Who has the time, now, from domestic cares, or from the round of fashion, or from the last new novel, to discharge the works of charity and piety, which so become and beautify the sex, to which we owe our mothers! And how often does the private table groan with gold and silver, while the most holy altar of the living God is served with plated vessels! Who ever heard of any war, that was not costly, in its progress? Who can expect the warfare of the Church to be pursued, without expenditure? And where are they who do not shrink, as from the unpardonable sin, from trenching on their capital, for Christ? Where are they, who serve the Gospel, as the Jews sustained the Law, with three-tenths of their income? Nay, how many can be found, who give to God one-tenth of all the annual increase, which He gives to them? Oh, what a soft and silken warfare does the banner of the Cross now mock, with its red drops! What a phantasmagoria, to modern eyes, the whole array of knights and squires, that ever bled in holy wars! And what a mockery has martyrdom become, in modern estimation. And yet, He has said, who never laid a feather's weight of needless burden, on the souls, for which He bore the load of all the sins of all the world, "If any man come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his Cross and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it." "For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" [* St. Matthew, xvi. 24-26.]
 II. And, yet, not only is the Church aggressive, but her enemies are numerous and powerful. At the baptismal entrance on the Christian life, the vow is made and registered in heaven, "to confess the faith of Christ crucified, and manfully to fight under His banner;" renouncing, from that time forth, the world, the flesh, and the devil. How fearful an array is this! The world, with its ten thousand stratagems, to undermine the heart, and win it, from its plighted vows, to God. The flesh, with all its countless "lusts, that war against the soul;" and, with such fearful odds, as having lodged themselves, within the camp. The devil, with his invisible host, whose name is Legion, fierce with the memory of that disastrous downfall, when, from the walls of heaven, "nine days, they fell;" and, still more desperate, at the thought of that stern curse, which, in the garden, sentenced him to shame and ruin, and made the woman's Seed, the bruiser of his head. Never, for a single moment, is the Christian soldier free from the stern pressure of this triple warfare. It meets him, when he wakes, with thoughts of evil and desires of wrong. It tracks him, all the day, in the transaction of his business, in the interchange of society, in the endearments of his home. And, in the watches of the night, is with him, still, to ply his waking thoughts with stratagems of sin; or make his very dreams suggestive of destruction. Strange, that, with enemies so numerous and powerful, itself so frail and so inclined to evil, the heart should stand the warfare of a single day. Impossible, to any heart, that beats in human breast, but for the seven-fold [10/11] grace, which, in the covenant of baptism, is imparted and secured. Well may we all exclaim, with David, in his penitence, "Who can tell how often he offendeth? O cleanse thou me from secret faults." "Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me!" [* Psalm, xix. 12; li. 11.]
But the warfare of the Church, here militant on earth, is a specific warfare, over and above the daily strife of her believing members. She is arrayed, as an army with banners, "the sacramental host of God's elect," with Jesus Christ, the Captain of our salvation at her head; and bound to wage a world-long war against the powers of darkness, in whatever shape they may present themselves. She has, indeed, the promise of her Lord, and bears it out on all her radiant ensigns: "the gates of hell shall not prevail" against her. But the price of this most precious promise is unfaltering fidelity and unswerving self-devotion. Age after age, from the first moment, that the Twelve went out, from that great Pentecost, this warfare has been waged. Age, after age, the enemy of God and souls has led a different host, or shown a different front, against the Christian Church. Stephen, whose blood was first, to stain the Banner of the Cross, yielded his peaceful spirit to the rage of furious Jews. The great Apostle of the Gentiles, Ignatius, Polycarp, and a vast multitude, that never can be numbered here, on earth, fell by the hand of persecuting heathens. Cranmer, and Latimer, and Ridley, sent [11/12] their faithful souls up from the flames, which Papal Rome, as ruthless as her Pagan predecessor, kindled against the truth. And, still, the war goes on. And, still, the fight is to be fought. And, still, the Cross is to be borne; whoever be the adversary, or whatever the attack. Still, Papal Rome urges her proud assumptions, and asserts her impious dogmas. She has not now the power to burn; and so she has diversified her tactics. The sappers and the miners are the corps, on which she most relies. And vigilance, and firm adherence to the Faith, as Christ and the Apostles taught, and the first ages piously received, and faithfully proclaimed it, are, now, in more demand than the calm martyr spirit, which can mount the scaffold, or embrace the stake; and show no paleness on the cheek, nor feel one pulse, the more, or fewer, at the heart. But, not the less to be regarded, not the less to be resisted, this warfare of the mine. To watch, to stand fast in the faith, to quit us like men, to be strong, are now, not less than in the Apostles' time, the watchwords of the Church. Not "to give place by subjection, no, not for an hour," expresses still the wisdom and the duty, of whoever, in whatever order or degree, has any share in the high ministry of the Apostles. Not to be tempted by the specious arts of the deceiver of the world, nor lured into his wiles, is still the only safety of the simple souls, that would be saved, in Christ. And, for the aggressive warfare, which the Church is bound to wage, against the proud pretender to supremacy among her Bishops, and [12/13] control over her flocks, the Word of God supplies the weapons, which the Saviour blessed, for victory: and, from the acts of the first councils of the Church, and in the writings of the ancient Bishops, Martyrs, Doctors, who sat nearest to the feet of the Apostles; we may learn how they first received them, into whose hands they first were given; and, in whose footsteps, while we walk, and follow them, as our file-leaders, as they, the Apostles, and the Apostles, Christ, we shall be conquerors, through the Cross. And there is yet another fearful foe of God and of the truth; that Rationalism, which the beloved prelate of our Mother Church, who bears to us her messages of love, so well described, but yesterday, as "the religion of the Devil." [* The Right Reverend Dr. Spencer, late Bishop of Madras, at the reception given to the delegation from the Church of England by the Trustees of Trinity School, New-York.] The same pretension to dispense the fruits of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; the same false promise of its rewards, to them that eat it, that they shall "be as gods;" the same foul lie against Jehovah, "Ye shall not surely die." Alas, that we must add, the same ability to take the form, that wins the slyest and the easiest access, to the human heart: the same success, with men and women, who believe more readily the promptings of their nature than the promises of God. By Romanism and Rationalism, the empire of the world is now in contest. Against them, both, the Church, through which the kingdoms of this world are to become, all, the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ, is to oppose a warfare, [13/14] without quarter. Her sworn antagonists, they, for their own occasions, easily combine. However seemingly opposed, the issue of the two is one. Where Romanism prevails, as on the Continent of Europe, it is too often but a covert infidelity. Where Rationalism is rampant, as with us, it would but throw our barriers down, to let Rome in. We must resist them both, alike; and offer to them both the firm and fearless front of the one holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. No matter if the popular voice be raised, in ignorance and prejudice, against her divine authority and claim. No matter if the schools be turned, too commonly, against her, in their godless teachings of a "knowledge, that causeth to err." No matter if the press, too often, be enlisted, on, what claims to be the liberal side; that it may compass, with less difficulty, its selfish ends. We must go out among the people, as John Baptist, to the multitudes, in Judea; and proclaim our mission of salvation, and say to them: "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." We must lay, deep and strong, the broad foundations of our Christian schools; multiply them, in all our dioceses; and throw them open to the children of the land, that they be trained for Christ; and made the heirs of his eternal kingdom. And we must wield the press, too, for the Lord; and consecrate its giant energies in the high service of His Gospel. Bibles must be multiplied. Prayer Books must be multiplied. Books for Sunday Schools must be multiplied. Tracts must be multiplied. And, [14/15] every where, in every land, by every wind, must be dispersed the leaves of the tree of life, "which are for the healing of the nations."
III. If the Church is to be aggressive, and has to deal with enemies, so numerous and so powerful, she needs, and she must have, an army, trained and organized, as well as fearless and devoted. Ours may not be a mere guerilla warfare. The most desperate courage and the most indomitable firmness will both be foiled, and fail, without organization and training. The Church is no "mixed multitude," like that which went up out of Egypt. It is an ordered army. It was so, from the first, by the clear will of Jesus Christ Himself. "It is evident to all men, diligently reading Holy Scripture and ancient authors," the Preface of our Ordinal declares, "that, from the Apostles' times, there have been these orders, in Christ's Church, Bishops, Priests and Deacons." In the form of making Deacons, and of ordaining Priests, and in the office of the Institution of Ministers into Parishes or Churches, we say, respectively, that Almighty God, by His "divine Providence," by His "Holy Spirit," and by His "wise Providence," has "appointed divers orders," in the Church; and in the form of consecrating a Bishop, that "Jesus Christ, after he had made perfect our Redemption by His death, and was ascended into Heaven, poured down His gifts abundantly upon men; making some Apostles, some Prophets, some Evangelists, some Pastors and Doctors, to the edifying and [15/16] making perfect His Church." Still further, the sacred record is not shut, till it discloses, in, at least, three cases, what all antiquity attests, that, by the Apostles, themselves, the organization into Dioceses was made: and Epaphroditus sent to Philippi, and Timothy to Ephesus, as Titus was left in Crete, "to ordain elders in every city, and set in order the things which were wanting;" [* Titus, i. 5. The marginal reading is, left undone.] and to commit the things, which they had heard, among many witnesses, to "faithful men, who should be able to teach others, also." [* 2 Timothy, ii. 2] These are divine and apostolic rules: not only, to govern and direct us, in the administration of the Church, in her grand outlines, and commanding functions but they are hints, for us to follow, in its minor offices, and most minute details. In this respect, we are not wise; and scarcely faithful to our trust. The children of this world show more wisdom, in this matter. They organize their armies. They train their troops. Their movements on the field are like the movements of machinery. Their multitudes are as one man. The Church of Rome, too, understands this wisdom well; and acts upon it. It is true, she overacts. Her members walk, with their eyes blinded. A central will directs each motion, on the board. But, in the times of the Apostles, believers were of one mind, and of one mouth. In the times of the Apostles, all were "members one of another." In the times of the Apostles, every one became the servant of the Church, for Christ, when he became its scholar. Can we not emulate [16/17] their example? Can we not catch their spirit? Can we not mould ourselves on their pattern? Can we not walk after their rule? The Church is in a world of sickness, and sorrow, and suffering, as well as sin. When Jesus Christ was in it, He healed the sick; He cleansed the leper; He touched the eyes of blind men, and they saw; He comforted the mourner; He bound up the broken heart. Wherever the Apostles went, they did, as He did. Where they went, to teach and preach, they also went to heal, to relieve, and to console. Not a form of sorrow, not an aspect of suffering, not a calamity of poverty, to which they did not minister. It matters not, that they wrought thus, by a divine miraculous power. They had no other way. They were poor men. Their Master had not where to lay His head. But, now, the Church is "rich, and increased with goods." Now, the Church inherits the earth. Now, Christians dwell in houses of cedar, and clothe themselves in purple and fine linen. Now, the followers of Jesus, that profess His name, and bear His Cross upon their brow, have millions in possession, and sway the riches of the world. Meanwhile, what does the Church do for the poor? Is their hunger fed? Is their nakedness clad? Is their filthiness cleansed? Are their diseases healed? Nay are their children reclaimed and taught? Or are they themselves admitted, even to the footstool of the rich men, in the House of God? How must we blush now, when we read, "To the poor, the Gospel is preached!" [* St. Luke, vii. 22.] [17/18] How should we tremble, now, when we hear, "I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not." And, then, again, "Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me." And, then, again, "these shall go away into everlasting punishment." [* St. Matthew, xxv. 42, 43, 45, 46.] It is not, that there are not members of the Church, both men and women, on whose surprised and startled hearts, that, "Come, ye blessed," will drop down, like dew; and make them welcome to His heaven, to whose necessities they ministered, in the persons of His poor. But, that the Church, as Christ's Trustee, on earth, for human sorrow, human suffering and human sin, is slack, in her great trust? Where are the hospitals, in which the pastoral officers of the Church wait on the dying and the dead? Where are the dispensaries of the Church, in which "medicine, to heal their sickness," is freely given, to all who need? Where are the stated almoners of the Church, to whom Christ's poor, Christ's widows, and Christ's fatherless, may come, as His, to His full board; and take what He means for them, and not crawl for crumbs, that dogs have left; and tremble, lest the pauper be spurned off, even from these? Where are the ragged schools, in cities and large towns, in which the Church trains up the [18/19] children of the poor, in her own catechism; and fits them to be men and women, in Christ Jesus? How many are the schools, of every sort, and colleges, in all our land, in which the sons and daughters of the Church are trained up, in the Church, for Christ? Where are the sisterhoods of mercy, that, in Christ's name, and at the Church's bidding, go out to comfort the afflicted; to reclaim the Magdalen; to protect the foundling; to smooth the pillow of the sick; to strip the pestilence of half its terrors, by the sunlight of a woman's smile, the echo of a mother's memory, in the sweet accents of a woman's voice? In one word, how, and where, and in what, does the Church present herself well-organized and trained, for her great trusts for Christ, in a world lying in wickedness? Where is the man that dreams that this was meant for her: "Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?" [* Song of Solomon, vi. 10.]
IV. But, while the Church is, and, of necessity, must be, aggressive, upon sin, and wickedness, and error, and ignorance, and every form of evil, and upon all who further and promote them; and, so, has numerous and powerful enemies, to fight with; and needs an army, a vast army, such as never has been dreamed of, organized and trained, as well as fearless and devoted, her weapons are not carnal. We draw no sword. We pile no shot. We marshal no artillery. [19/20] Our battles are not "with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood." In that sublime strain of the Apostle, to the Corinthians, "though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal; but mighty through God, to the pulling down of strongholds; casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringeth into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." [* 2 Corinthians, x. 3-5.] So far indeed as this world is concerned, it is weakness that is our strength. Not the wise, not the mighty, not the noble, were enlisted for its warfare, when the Cross first spread its blood-stained banner, to the sun. But God chose the foolish things of the world, to confound the wise; and God chose the weak things of the world, to confound the things which were mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are. From the first, "Vincit, qui patitur"—it is the sufferer, that is the conqueror—has ever been the motto of the Christian. The heel of the great promised Seed was bruised, upon the Cross; and, from that moment, Satan's head was crushed. It was when the Apostles' bonds for Christ were "manifest in all the palace," that there were "saints in Caesar's household." The blood of martyrs was, proverbially, the Church's seed. Ignatius, travelling, in bonds, to Rome, and thrown among the lions, was more effectual in preaching Christ, than in his [20/21] whole ministry at Ephesus. And it was the fire, which kindled round old Latimer and Ridley, that lit the candle, which should never be put out; and which has spread its lustre, now, thank God, from Jamestown to San Francisco. The nature of the Christian warfare may be gathered well from that fine inventory of his complete armour, which St. Paul has given us, in his Epistle to the Ephesians. "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world; against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore, take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand. Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness, and your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked, and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints." [Ephesians, vi. 10-18.] Beloved, "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal." To watch, to pray: behold the tactics of the Christian. "Praying always with all prayer [21/22] and supplication, in the Spirit; watching thereunto, with all perseverance and supplication for all saints:" behold the Church's armoury. Beloved, do we employ these tactics, with an earnest faith; and does the Church, as in the times of old, betake herself to this celestial armoury? Do we wrestle daily, on our knees, against the enemies of God and of our souls; and watch for daily opportunity to do the will and work of God? Does the Church, as when St. Peter was in prison, pour out continual prayer, for every want and wretchedness of men; and is she watchful, to send her choicest out, to every ministry of duty, and on every errand of benevolence, as "Barnabas and Paul, who hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ?" Beloved, "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal." "Therefore, let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ's sake, hath forgiven you." [Ephesians, iv. 32.] Beloved, "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal." We "put not our trust in any thing, that we do." "We have no power, of ourselves, to help ourselves." Our help is, simply, in the name and strength of God. "Not by might, not by power, but my Spirit, saith the Lord." Be strong in the Lord, therefore, and in the power of His might. Cling to his Cross; and you shall conquer, by that sign. Be faithful to His Church; and you shall be sharers in its triumph. He [22/23] loved the Church, and gave Himself for them that stand steadfast in its faith, and walk obediently, in its ordinances; the promise of protection and salvation is immutable. You may be thrown among the lions: but God will shut their mouths. You may be cast into the flaming furnace: but upon your bodies it shall have no power. "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him freely give us all things?" [Romans viii. 32.]
"Clad in raiment pure and white
Victor palms, in every hand:
Through their great Redeemer's might,
More than conquerors they stand."
Beloved Brethren, the Associate Alumni of the Seminary, you have made me very happy, by your request to preach before you the sermon, at this triennial gathering of the Church. Not with the happiness, alone, which every faithful minister of Jesus feels, when he is suffered, in his utter want of worthiness, to stand up for the Lord, and to preach "the unsearchable riches" of His Christ. Nor, with that added happiness, which human hearts will always snatch, from the companionship and sympathy of brethren and of friends, bound by the holiest ties and consecrated to the holiest efforts. But, with that tender, thoughtful, happiness, which old men feel, when they are carried back, to scenes which youth and hope had brightened; and retrace the steps, which once were [23/24] trod, with loved ones, whom the world has scattered, or the grave has torn away. For I, too, though not entitled to the honour of an Alumnus, was once a student of that, which grew into this Seminary. I was among the very first of that small band, which gathered there, whence there has since gone out so great "a company of preachers." I was permitted with Eastburn and Rutledge, and Dorr and Mitchell, and Carter and Clarke, to listen to the words of wisdom, which distilled, as manna, from the lips of our lamented Jarvis; and of him, whom God still spares to us, and will, I trust, spare long, our admirable Turner. Humble, indeed, were the beginnings, to which this great and noble institution has succeeded. Its cradle, a room, above a sadler's shop, in a small house, then standing, at the corner of Broadway and Cedar street. But, humble as it was, there was a blessing on it, as I trust, even then: and deeply, in the secret places of my heart, did my affection for it take its root. And well do I remember, how I sat in Trinity Church, as it then was, on the evening of the 11th of March, in the year of our salvation 1822, a youthful deacon, at the beloved feet of Bishop Hobart, when he delivered the "Introductory Address, on occasion of the opening of," what had then become, "The General Theological Seminary of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America;" and sketched, as only he could do it, "the objects, the principles, the results and the means" of that great plan, to which his fervent spirit had contributed so much. Pardon in me, [24/25] beloved brethren, these memories of the past. Thank God, that the young tree, which holy men then planted, nursed and watered, has so grown and spread. In the first year, but one Alumnus. Now, three hundred and forty-four; with three Bishops, at their head. How much the liberality of Sherred and Lorillard and Stuyvesant and Kohne, and above all, the munificence of our honoured and beloved Moore, have done to increase its means of influence and usefulness, to you, and those who shall come after you, I need not tell you now. Are they not written in your lives and labours, and in the lives and labours of them, who have gone before you, to their rest? Are they not written in the flocks you feed; the lambs you tend; and, chiefly, and most brightly, in the souls, that have departed from your pastoral care, to be the jewels, when the chief Shepherd comes again, that shall make up your pastoral crown? Are they not written, as God reads them, on your hearts, devoted, in their utter unreserve of powers and faculties, to Him, and to His service, in the ministry of that pure branch of His one Holy Catholic Church, which, by the hands of faithful men, He planted, in this western world; and has so graciously and so gloriously increased? Are they not written, let me ask you, in your firm devotion to the interests and honour of your Alma Mater; to the preservation, in her, as your opportunities and influence extend, of the pure faith and practice of the Gospel; to the extension of her nurture and instruction for the pastoral office of an increasing number of [25/26] young men, in every year, to stand, where you stand, now; and occupy, when you have gone, to be with Christ, the places which you fill? Will you not all adopt with me the closing words of our great Hobart, at the opening of this Seminary: "Is there an individual, who will not devote to such an Institution his persevering, unremitted and liberal exertions; and who will not offer up for it, with more fervour than for the best civil institution of his country, the prayer, ESTO PERPETUA! Yes, blessed Lord, who didst shed Thy blood, and constitute Thy Church, for the salvation of lost men, be with this Seminary, the sacred nursery of the ministers of Thy Church—be with it by Thy protecting Providence, Thy guiding and governing Spirit—'alway, even unto the end of the world.' "
And, to Thee, adorable Redeemer, with the Almighty Father, and the Ever-blessed Spirit—Three Sacred Persons and one only and eternal God, shall be ascribed all glory and all praise now, and for evermore.