KING & BAIRD, PRINTERS, 9 SANSOM STREET.
MY BRETHREN OF THE CLERGY:
The custom of the Church expects from me, to-day, my seventh Triennial Charge. It is a startling admonition, of the flight of time. And, there are impressive confirmations of it. Of the fourteen clergymen, who united in my election, only six are with us. Five rest from their labors; and three are laboring, in other dioceses. While, of the forty-four, who have been admitted, by me, to holy orders, six have already joined the restless caravan, which marches, ever, onward, toward the grave; and, as many more, ordained, by other hands, have also fallen asleep: so, that, in nineteen years, more than as many of the Clergy of the Diocese have died, as met me, when I came.
But, all the trophies of the time are not in graves. The Clergy List now numbers, fifty-eight. Besides the forty-four, who have received their orders, from me, thirty-four have been advanced, by my hands, to the Priesthood. I have instituted thirty-four, as Rectors. Thirty-eight churches have been consecrated, by me. And three thousand four hundred and twenty-five persons have been confirmed. I recognize, in these results, the tokens of Almighty grace. I bow my heart, in humble gratitude, to Him, from Whom these mercies come, the purchase of the Cross. "O Lord, my God, I am not worthy, that Thou shouldest come under my roof; yet Thou hast honored Thy servant, with appointing him, to stand in Thy House, and to serve at Thy holy altar."
Dear reverend brethren, these are thoughts, to search the heart. Do they not well become the time, the place, and the occasion? Gathered, again, in that divine and gracious Providence, which has spared us, while other souls have gone [3/4] to their account, to take sweet counsel, with our beloved brethren of the Laity, "for the House of our God, and for the offices thereof," it is a time for honest reckoning with ourselves; that we touch not the sacred ark, with rash and ill-directed hand. Assembled, within walls, which were laboriously reared, by the small company of faithful men, whom Talbot's missionary zeal first tended, here; and, with their sacred dust, about us, or beneath our feet, it is a place for carefulness and calling upon God, to pity and to spare. And, surely, both, to you, who are to hear, and, me, who am to speak, the solemn season, when the careful and considerate Church directs the Bishop, "to deliver" "a Charge, to the Clergy of his Diocese;" and so become the Teacher of the Teachers, brings with it an occasion, to stir up the deepest places in our hearts, and melt them all, as water. Can we find fitter words, to put our hearts in tune, for such a theme, as shall befit us now, than those, which holy Paul, when he was brought, a second time, before the Emperor Nero, the very year in which he suffered, for the Cross, sent, from his Roman prison, to his beloved Timothy, whom he had left at Ephesus! Mark every syllable, my brethren: and, see, how little change, in eighteen hundred years, in what a Bishop's Charge should be; in what the world of sinners needs; in what the Church confides to us; in what we owe to God. "I charge thee, therefore, before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and dead, at His appearing and His Kingdom: Preach the word; be instant, in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, after their own lusts, shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But, watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight; I have finished my course; I have kept the faith. Henceforth, there is laid up for me a [4/5] crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me, at that day; and, not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing." Heart-stirring charge! Heart-conquering Bishop! His burning words; his dying life; his martyr death! Oh, for the faintest echo of his accents, to inspire my voice! Oh! for the dust of his toil-stained and bleeding feet, to animate our efforts, and to beautify our lives! You have anticipated, reverend brethren, the subject of my Charge, to you, to day--
THE CHRISTIAN MINISTER--
the Christian Minister, as sketched, from his own life, by Paul. The outlines of the sketch, I take, from that, which is enshrined, as only not the Word of God, in every Churchman's heart--the Book of Common Prayer: the Book of Common Prayer, which Cranmer, Latimer, and Ridley burned for, in Papal fires; the Book of Common Prayer, which Seabury and White made ours, and prayed, and lived, and died by; "the Book of Common Prayer, according to the use of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America"--
THE CHRISTIAN MINISTER; A MESSENGER, A WATCHMAN, AND A STEWARD:
as you have all heard, and read, and felt, at that still moment, which was nearest to the solemn stillness of the judgment, when you made your vows, as Priests of God--is not the Bishop's low and earnest voice now sounding in your ears?--"And now, again, we exhort you, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye have in remembrance, unto how high a dignity, and to how weighty an office and charge, ye are called: that is to say, to be MESSENGERS, WATCHMEN, and STEWARDS OF THE LORD; to teach and to premonish, to feed and provide for the Lord's family; to seek for Christ's sheep, that are dispersed abroad, and for his children, who are in the midst of this naughty world, that they may be saved, through Christ, for ever."
 I. THE CHRISTIAN MINISTER is to be a Messenger of the Lord. A messenger is sent; is sent, to some one; is sent, with a message.
i. 1. A messenger is sent. The word, in Greek, which is translated, "messenger," means, sent. No messenger can send himself. Even, our Lord did not. "The Father sent the Son, to be the Saviour of the world." And you are all familiar with that conclusive argument of the Apostle Paul, the finest instance of Sorites, which I ever saw: where, in his exposition of that text of Joel, "Whosoever, shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved," he thus condenses, and piles up his syllogisms: "How then shall they call on Him, in Whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe on Him, of Whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear, without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?" No messenger can send himself. How strange an impertinence, at any court, an ambassador, that came, of his own sending! The least offensive thing that could be said of him would be, he is a Monomaniac! Apply this to the case of those fanatics, who, in any age, have claimed, that they were sent from God; and, given their own word, as the warrant.
2. No man can send another's messenger. I can as little send your messenger, as he can send himself. Moses anticipated this objection, when he said, to God, "Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is His name?--what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you." The President of France, to bring the illustration to a human level, would vainly send an ambassador, to treat with the Sultan, in behalf of the Emperor of Austria, for the delivery of Kossuth. With what impertinence, the Bishop of Rome has lately sent a Cardinal, to represent him, as Archbishop of Westminster, in an ancient diocese of England! Intrusion is the mildest term that can be used, in [6/7] cases, such as these. Apply it to their case, in any age of Christianity, who have come, in any human name--of Luther, or of Calvin, or of Wesley--to treat, with men, for God.
3. He alone can send the messenger, who has the message. How can I send your message? How can another man convey your property? How can the Governor of Massachusetts demand a fugitive from justice, who belongs to North Carolina? How can the Mayor of Newark confer the freedom of the city of Burlington? When John the Baptist sent, to know, if Jesus was the Christ of God, "Art Thou He that should come, or do we look for another?"--He referred him, in an instant, to the old prophetic marks, which God, by the hand of Isaiah, had set on His Messiah: "Go, and show John again those things, which ye do hear and see; the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the Gospel preached unto them." God never "left Himself, without a witness," in any message, that He ever sent, to men. Would He deliver to them the message of Creation? "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handy work: day unto day uttereth speech; and night unto night showeth knowledge; there is neither speech nor language, where their voice is not heard: their line is gone out, through all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world." Would He convey to them the message of His Providence? St. Paul, to quell the idolaters of Lycaonia, who would have worshipped him and Barnabas, appeals to them in these conclusive words: "Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities, unto the living God, Which made heaven and earth, and all things that are therein; Who, in times past, suffered all nations to walk in their own ways; nevertheless, He left not Himself without witness, in that He did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness." Would He reveal the message of Salvation, to a fallen world? The ruler Nicodemus shall state the test, which He supplies, in [7/8] fewest, but in clearest, words; "We know, that Thou art a teacher sent from God; for no man can do these miracles, which Thou doest, except God be with him." Or, finally, would He extend the message of salvation, into all the world; and "preach the Gospel to every creature?" He openly and visibly commissions His eleven Apostles, on the Mount of the Ascension, in the sight of men and angels, and, when the very heavens themselves were rending, to receive Him: "All power is given unto Me, in heaven and in earth; go, ye, therefore, and make disciples of 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. Amen." That the commission, then appointed, was to continue, while the world should stand, is manifest, by the very force of its own terms. The Holy Scriptures record but these provisions, for its continuance: the election of Matthew, by the Apostles, under the Lord's express direction, which was extraordinary, and not to be repeated; the designation of Paul, by the immediate voice of Jesus Christ, which was miraculous, and not to be continued; and the appointment of Titus at Crete, and Timothy at Ephesus, by Paul, himself, with the specific direction that they were to perpetuate, in both places, the trust which they themselves had thus received: "for this cause, left I thee, in Crete, that thou shouldst set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city;" and, again, "the things which thou hast heard of me, among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others, also." Who, but the stockholders, to use a plain but perfect illustration, appoint the Directors of a Bank? So did Jesus say, to the Apostles: "all power is given unto Me, in heaven and earth; go ye, therefore." Who, but the Trustees of a College, continue the possessors of their trust? So did Paul say, to the Bishop of Ephesus: "the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others, also." Apply this sure and simple test to all, always, and everywhere, who undertake to preach the [8/9] Gospel, and to minister the sacraments of Jesus Christ, out of the Apostolic line, direct from Him, in Whom alone the message was: and it must throw them either with those, who send themselves; or those, whom some have sent, to bear the message of another. In either case, it cuts them off from every claim, to credit or authority.
ii. A messenger must be sent, to some one. The Messenger of the Lord has a commission, for mankind. Its limit is in this text: "All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" as compared with this: "Behold the Lamb of God, Which taketh away the sin of the world." It is the Christian Minister's most comprehensive appellation. As you see, in those words of Jesus, on the Mount of the Ascension, "Go, ye, into all the world, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them:" and in those other parting words of His, addressed to the Apostles, "Preach the Gospel to every creature." "As, in Adam, all died, even so, in Christ, shall all be made alive." The free gift is as extensive as the condemnation. The Same, who "gave Himself a ransom for all," ordained alike, for all, the ministry, who are to bear its terms, and to set to its seals. "For God sent not His Son into the world, to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved." And, again, "He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." How, the detestable dogmas, of a limited atonement, and partial redemption, could dwell, in the same world, with the blessed Gospel of the Son of God, let them attempt to show, who are so wretched as to hold them.
iii. A messenger must be sent, to some one, with a message. The Messenger of the Lord is sent to all mankind, to bear the message of salvation. But, that mankind were lost, no message of salvation would be needed. The race was ruined, at the start. The first parents were the first transgressors. A bitter fountain must yield bitter waters. As with the stream, at Marah, so with the stream of human life; a tree must sweeten it: that tree, the Cross. In the Garden, the decree was uttered, "in the day that thou eatest thereof, [9/10] thou shalt surely die." In the Garden, the decree was disregarded. In the Garden, the promise of redemption was revealed, "IT shall bruise thy head." God could not hate the creatures of His hand; and, yet, He could not look upon iniquity. And, so, His only Son became our flesh, that He might hide our sins, in His own body, on the Tree, and bear their load, and expiate their guilt, and overthrow their power. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him might not perish, but have everlasting life." The Messenger of the Lord, then, must proclaim to all mankind, the utter loss and ruin of their state, by nature. That, in itself, the race was clean cut off, from favor and from hope. That, when it was so, His own Son came, in their place; to bear their curse, and expiate their sin, and purchase their forgiveness, and renew them unto holiness. That, now, to whosoever will, salvation is proclaimed. That he, who would be saved, enabled by the purchase of the Cross, must put away his sins, by true repentance. That he, who would be saved, enabled by the purchase of the Cross, must come to God, in Jesus Christ, by a sincere and loving faith. That, he, who would be saved, enabled by the purchase of the Cross, must be new-born of water and the Holy Ghost; and so be grafted into Christ. That he, who would be saved, enabled by the purchase of the Cross, must daily die to sin; and rise again, in newness of life. That, he, who would be saved, enabled by the purchase of the Cross, must feed, in faith, upon the Blood and Body of the Lord, which are spiritually given, in the Holy Eucharist, to all believers. That, they, who thus accept the Gospel message, and comply with its conditions, and improve its means of grace, and seek its hope of glory, will go on, from strength to strength; be renewed daily in the spirit of their minds; and be received, at last, to dwell, throughout eternity, with Him, into Whose divine and perfect image, they have been transformed, by grace. Such is the message, which the Christian Minister, the Messenger of the Lord, is sent, to bear to all mankind. He has no power over it, at all. He may not withhold it; whether men will hear, or whether they will forbear. [10/11] "Necessity is laid upon him; yea, woe is unto him, if he preach not the Gospel." As little may he change it. "If any man preach any other gospel unto you, than that ye have received, let him be accursed!" To the solemn questions of the Bishop--"Are you persuaded that the Holy Scriptures contain all doctrine, required, as necessary for eternal salvation, through faith in Jesus Christ? And are you determined, out of the said Scriptures, to instruct the people committed to your charge, and to teach nothing, as necessary to eternal salvation, but that which you shall be persuaded may be concluded and proved by the Scripture?"--he has answered, before God, "I am so persuaded, and have so determined." And, now, if Balak would give him "his house full of silver and gold," he cannot go beyond the word of the Lord, his God, "to do less or more."
II. THE CHRISTIAN MINISTER is to be a Watchman of the Lord. There is implied, in this, a city; a city, which is in danger; a city, which is committed to his care.
i. There is a city. It is the spiritual Jerusalem. The company of the redeemed are its inhabitants. They dwell together, under the divine protection. They have a Head in heaven; the Lord of Glory, and the Prince of Peace. They have laws and ordinances: His holy commandments, and the apostolic precedents and precepts. They have "exceeding great and precious privileges." They have arduous duties, and high responsibilities. They have "an inheritance reserved for them, in heaven." It is the Christian Church. David spoke of it, in that inimitable Psalm, [* Psalm cxxii.] which we have sung, to-day: "Jerusalem is built as a city, that is at unity in itself; for thither the tribes go up, even the tribes of the Lord, to testify unto Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the Lord; for there is the seat of judgment, even the seat of the house of David; O pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper that love thee; peace be within thy walls, and plenteousness within thy palaces!" Isaiah dwelt on it, in language of inimitable beauty, in the loftiest strains of his [11/12] prophetic rapture: [* Chapters lii. liv. lx.] "Awake, awake, put on thy strength, O Zion, put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city;" "I will lay thy stones with fair colors, and lay thy foundations with sapphires, and I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones;" "thou shall call thy walls, Salvation, and thy gates, Praise." And the beloved John, in his apocalyptic vision, beheld it, half on earth, and half in heaven: "I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God, out of heaven, prepared as a bride, adorned for her husband; and I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, Behold the tabernacle of God is with man, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God." [* Revelation xxii.]
ii. The city is in danger. It has enemies without, that lay their siege to it. It has traitors within, that would throw its strong holds open, to their entrance. It has a spiritual adversary, who constantly beleaguers it, with unseen hosts. The warfare, which is waged against it, by the wicked world, is unrelenting and unsparing. Atheists and Deists, and Infidels, of every color and complexion, are engaged in the attempt, to sap its buttresses, and undermine its walls. The wily Romanist, with plausible pretensions, to more ancient rights, and more entire and perfect unity, is striving to build up, within its circuit, a tower, that shall command the city; and subject it to the iron rule of his self-seeking and despotic sway. While, all the motley host, whose name is, "Legion," are engaged, each in its way, and with the arts peculiar to itself, in the attempt to divide, that it may conquer; and subdue, by subdivision; and, at last, destroy. And every foe, whatever be his banner, or his tactics, is sure of some, within the gates, to further his approaches; and, of an auxiliary, whose grudge, against the Church, is older than the Fall, in Satan, and his other satellites.
iii. The city, so beset with dangers, is committed to the Watchman's care. God, it is true, still watches over it, with [12/13] eye, that never slumbers. And shining squadrons, though we see them not, encamp about the walls, with flaming horsemen, and with chariots of fire. [* 2 Kings, vi. 17.] But, it is ever God's design, to work, for human ends, by human means. Life is probationary. Christianity is our discipline. The Church is "militant," on earth, that it may train good soldiers up, for Jesus Christ. The watchmen, on the walls of Zion, are thus, human watchmen. "So thou, O Son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore, thou shalt hear the word, at My mouth, and warn them from Me; when I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thy hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way, to turn from it, if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity, but thou hast delivered thy soul." [* Ezekiel xxxiii.] The house of Israel is the Church. The watchman is the Christian Minister. So great, so strict, so fearful, his responsibility. To stand upon the wall. To watch the foe. To blow the trumpet. And to warn the people. To warn them, of the stratagems and seductions of the world; that they may put on "the whole armor of God," by which they may be able to "quench all the fiery darts of the wicked." To enforce, with every heart, the holy law of God. To shield every head, with the protecting panoply of prayer. To set before them always the divine and perfect pattern of the Incarnate Saviour. And, to win, for them, by fervent intercession, the aids and graces of the Holy, Sanctifying Spirit. To expose the fatal fallacies of infidelity, in all its countless forms; the dry-rot of the soul, that eats the heart from our humanity, and leaves it, a mere shell, or a putrescent mass. To show the arm of God, revealed, in every age, in works of wonder and of mercy, to avouch and vindicate His Church. And, to attract attention to that word of prophecy, which, time, so far from weakening, but makes surer; [* 2 St. Peter, i. 19.] as it fulfils its far forecastings, and shows all the future, equally with all [13/14] the past, one present, before God. To unmask the specious sophistries of Rome, by showing, how all that is peculiar to her creed, is new, and therefore false; that her pretended unity is but the stillness of stagnation, or the enforced impression from an iron mould; and her high claims of a superior sanctity, the coloring, which the morning haze throws on the landscape, to be dispelled with sunrise. To show, by simplest process of chronology and history, that the modern spawn of schisms are not of Christ, nor within fifteen hundred years of Him: but morbid counterparts of Romish error, and imposture; exhibiting, not seldom, the continual tendency, of all extremes, to meet; and, running, all of them, with Rome herself, down latitudinarian slopes, into the depths of infidelity, and the abyss of Atheism. And, with the keen Ithuriel spear of truth, [* ] to strip the arch impostor of his angel garb; and, show him, in his deformity and loathsomeness, so feeble, that a little child, that trusts in God, can master him; and, at the simple spell of--"Get behind me, Satan!" discomfited and driven away. The Christian Watchman needs continual watchfulness. The Christian Watchman needs undaunted courage. The Christian Watchman needs an incorruptible integrity. His reliance, for them all, and for the safety, which, they all could not accomplish, is on the strength of God, made perfect in his weakness: to keep him from all danger and all fear; and crown him, after all, for conquests not his own.
[*] "Him, thus intent, Ithuriel, with his spear
Touched lightly; for no falsehood can endure
Touch of celestial temper; but returns,
Of force, to its own likeness: up he starts,
Discovered and surprised."--Paradise Lost, IV.
III. THE CHRISTIAN MINISTER is to be a Steward of the Lord. A steward is a servant; he is entrusted with his master's goods, to dispense them to his household; he must account for them, with strict fidelity.
i. A Steward is a servant. That is the literal meaning of the word, minister. All men are servants of the God, who made [14/15] them. The Christian minister is set, to serve the servants. How strange, that any should take state upon themselves; as better than their neighbors! How strange, that any should forget themselves; and act as masters of the house! How strange, that any should say, in his heart, "My lord delayeth His coming; and begin to beat the men-servants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and be drunken." But, of such strange anomalies, all history; and, sad to say, not least, the history of the Church, is full.
ii. A Steward is a servant, entrusted with his master's goods, to dispense them to his household. In a great house, this becomes necessary; especially, in the absence of the master. So, in the Church, whose Lord has gone to heaven. His ministers are charged with all His treasures. They are the preachers of His word. They are the dispensers of His sacraments. They have the care and oversight of all the family, for which He "was contented to be betrayed." This is the highest and the holiest trust, that man can hold. Not even angels are so trusted.
iii. The Steward must account for all his trust, with strict fidelity. There can be no responsibility, more liable to be abused. The extent and variety of the trust. The perfect confidence, which it involves. The temptations, to abuse. The helplessness of those, who are concerned in it. The ruin, to which they are exposed. Well, may the Apostle say, "It is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful." How much more, "the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God!" Where, His word is committed to them; to be diluted, or perverted, or kept back. Where, His sacraments are put in trust; to be administered, ignorantly, imperfectly, or unfaithfully. Where the ministry of prayer, with all its infinite results, is involved. Where, immortal interests are vested. Where, souls, for which Christ died, are at stake. Where, heaven is to be won; or hell incurred: and, that, by multitudes, such as no man can number. Can the responsibility of Christian ministers be over estimated? Can their [15/16] responsibility be exaggerated? Must there not be an inquisition, stricter than for blood, with such a stewardship as this? "And, if it shall happen, that the Church or any member thereof do take any hurt or hindrance, by reason of their negligence, how great must be the fault! How horrible the punishment, that must ensue!" [* Exhortation in the Ordinal] To be, "unto God, a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved," not only, but "in them that perish!" To be the "savour of death, unto death," to some, not less than "the savour of life, unto life," to others! Beloved, reverend brethren, "Who is sufficient for these things?" Can we wonder at the fearful doubt of holy Chrysostom, if any Ruler of the Church should certainly be saved? What a mercy, that there is mercy, also, for the ministers of Jesus Christ! How infinite the mercy, that, for us, too, there is a Saviour! Do we not need your prayers, dear brethren of the Laity; shall we not have your prayers, that, as well, by us, His ministers, as by you, over whom we are appointed ministers, His holy Name may be forever glorified, and His blessed Kingdom enlarged?
"So, shall the bright succession run,
Through all the courses of the sun;
Whilst unborn Churches, by our care,
Shall rise and flourish, large and fair.
Jesus, our Lord, their hearts shall know
The spring, whence all these blessings flow;
Pastors and people shout His praise,
Through the long round of endless days."
In all that I have said, beloved, reverend, brethren, I have touched no topic of the day; and, told you nothing new. It is with truth, as our great Master said, of wine, "the old is better." Christianity is not for development; but conservation. That, in the Church, which is old, is certain to be true. [16/17] That, which is new, is, therefore, false. [* This is axiomatic, in the Church. "Id verius, quod prius; id prius, quod ab initio." This, which is also Tertullian's, catches my eye, at the moment, in the admirable adaptation of "Theophilus Anglicanus," under the apt title, "Theophilus Americanus," by our "True Catholic," Hugh Davey Evans, Esq., of Baltimore. The Rev. Dr. Hooker is laying the Church under great obligations, for the admirable works, which are issuing continually from his press. The demand, which warrants these enterprises, is a most encouraging sign of the times. Crescat eundo!] To contend with the world, the devil, and the flesh, we need no novel weapons; we can invent no new defence. The arguments, that shall prevail with modern infidels, are old, as Paul, or Moses. To contend with Papal Rome, we have but to take ground, at Antioch, or at Jerusalem. And, not a novelty, in all the sects, but the Apostle wrote of it, to Timothy, when he declared: "the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having ears that itch; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." Let nothing tempt us from our ancient Apostolic ground. The blood of Martyrs stained it. It was consecrated by the Cross. Let questions of geography divide those, whom geography concerns. The circle of the world is ours; and North and South are one. Let those, who will, involve themselves, in strivings of the day, that only touch the transient, and concern the perishable. To us, there is "neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free; but Christ is all, and in all." Let Rome invent new dogmas, with new centuries, to please the fancy of grown children; and sport, in her most desperate abandonment, to a diseased imagination, which seems but the judicial visitation, for her unfaithfulness and tyranny, the impious theory, of the Immaculate Conception of the most blessed Virgin Mother of our Lord. We are of those, whom the Apostle Jude still teaches and exhorts, that "we should earnestly contend for that faith, which was once delivered to the saints;" and, for us, it is sufficient, that Jesus Christ should be "the same, yesterday, and to-day, and forever." And, sorest of all trials, to our [17/18] loving, human hearts, should those, who, in other days, have taken sweetest counsel, and walked, in the House of God, with us, as closest and most cherished friends, tempted by the old Serpent, that beguiled our Mother, fall off from us, on either hand; some natural tears, our hearts will shed, of pity, for their error, and of sorrow, for our loss: but, from our steadfastness, in Jesus Christ, let none of these things move us. It was just when Demas had forsaken him, that the Apostle wrote his charge to Timothy. Though "only Luke" was with him, he was not alone; but, of whom, he wrote, two years before, the time would fail him, but to tell, who conquered, through their faith. In vain, for him, the cruelty of Nero, the terrors of the prison house, the martyr scaffold, and the martyr sword. "Looking unto Jesus," who endured the Cross, for him, he triumphed, over all. And, from their blackest darkness, when but a few precarious days of bondage yet remained, to him, he soared to heaven, in that unblenching eagle-flight, which he addressed to Timothy. Beloved, if we claim St. Paul, as our Apostle, let us do his precepts, and be steadfast in his confidence. Let us "preach the word." Let us "be instant in," and "out of, season." Let us "reprove, rebuke, exhort." Let us "watch, in all things." Let us "endure afflictions." Let us "do the work of evangelists." Let us "fulfil our ministry." Is not ours, the Gospel, which Paul preached, in all the world? Is not ours, the Church, Paul planted, in Great Britain? Is not ours, the Christ, in Whom he trusted? Is not ours, the Cross, in which he gloried? What, if Paul's Nero should be, ours? His Roman dungeon? His shameful scaffold? And his martyr sword? What need we care, whose hand shall open to our feet the gate of life? What matter, where the couch be spread, in which we struggle out of flesh? Would not the flight for heaven be as direct and trenchant, from a scaffold, as a throne? And, what difference, whether sickness or the sword should be the talisman, with which we enter into rest. Nay, have we not a nobler Martyr; a more glorious Pattern, still? Did not the [18/19] Son of God, for our sakes, "become poor?" Did He not bear for us, our flesh; with all the ills which it inherits? Did He not struggle for us, through a life of thirty years; in poverty, and pain, and shame? And, then, pour out the precious life-stream, from His palpitating breast? Welcome, for Christ, the toil, the care, the want, the scorn, the shame, the death, companionship, with Him, may bring! "He entered not into His glory, until first He suffered." And, the heavier is our portion of His Cross, the brighter shall our share be of His Crown. "In all these things, we shall be more than conquerors, through Him that loved us: for, I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us, from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord."