Special Service in Commemoration of the Laying of the Atlantic Ocean Telegraph, Trinity Church, New-York, September First, 1858.
New York: Pudney and Russell, 1858.
Reconstructed and digitized by Cynthia McFarland and Richard Mammana, 2011.
Of Bishops and Clergy will move from the North-east door to the front door of the Church, at 10 o’clock.
His Honor, the Mayor of New-York, and City Authorities, will move from the City Hall, in procession, at a quarter before 10, and be met at the door of the Church by the Vestry.
During the entrance of the Procession.
The Lord is in His Holy Temple, let all the earth keep silence before him.
THE TENTH SELECTION OF THE PSALTER,
Gloria in Excelsis.
FIRST LESSON, ISAIAH XLIII.
Te Deum Laudamus.
(HODGES IN D.)
SECOND LESSON, REVELATION IV.
Before the General Thanksgiving a Special Prayer is to be offered.
CXXXIII PSALM OF PSALTER.
(DR. JOHN CLARK WHITFIELD.)
BEHOLD, how good and joyful a thing it is, brethren, to dwell together in unity.
It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down unto the beard, even unto Aaron’s beard, and went down to the skirts of his clothing.
Like as the dew of Hermon, which fell upon the hill of Sion.
For there the Lord promised his blessing, and life for evermore.
By the Right Reverend George Washington Doane.
The Rt. Rev. the Bishop of New Jersey, in his robes, took a position, just under the central arch of the screen, in the rear of the Lectern; and spoke with great deliberation and emphasis, as follows: "Glory be to God on high; and on Earth, peace, good will, toward men."
This was the message of the Angeli, to the shepherds, on the plains of Bethlehem, when the incarnate Saviour of the world was cradled, in that manger. This was the message of the Angli, by the Atlantic Telegraph, to their Western sons. And this shall be the Anglo-American message, to the ends of the whole earth, “Glory be to God, on high; and, on earth, peace; good will, towards men." Was ever utterance so fit? Was ever fittest utterance so startling; so solemn; so sublime? A consecrated lightning! Flashing out, from the burning love of Christian hearts, in Ireland; flashing along, through the caverns of the sea; flashing along, among the buried treasures of the deep; flashing along, by the lair of old Leviathan; flashing along, over the remains of them who perished in the flood; flashing up, among the primeval forests of Newfoundland; and flashing out, from there, throughout the world. A consecrated lightning: consecrating the wondrous chain, the completion of which, we celebrate, to-day; consecrating the very ocean, which it traverses; consecrating this glorious, blessed day; consecrating anew that time-honoured Red Cross flag, the banner of a thousand fights; consecrating the stars that glitter on that flag of freedom, which, in less than a century, has won, for this nation, a place among the ancient empires of the world, and which, wherever the rights of man are to be asserted, forever floats and blazes, in the van. Consecrating, shall I not say, beloved friends, consecrating, anew, our hearts, to the love of man, and to the glory of the living God?
It is recorded, of the father of Hannibal, that he took his son, almost an infant, to his heathen altar, to swear eternal hatred, against Rome. Shall we not come up here, to-day— have we not come up here, to-day—to renew, before this holy altar, our vows of love and peace? Shall we not, here, renew the vows of our baptism: that, so far as in us lies, we will live peaceably together; that, so far as in us lies, we will promote that which makes for peace, and quietness, and love, among all men; that, so far as in us lies, each in his several place, by prayers, by gifts, by services, by sufferings, by death, if God so please, we will do what lies in us, to bear out, to all the world, lying in darkness, lying in wickedness, lying in sin, the peace and love of the glorious Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ?
It seems to me, if I may speak it without irreverence, that oneness is the great idea of God. Oneness is the great idea of God. The unity of God is the great truth of Holy Scripture. "There are three, that bear record, in heaven; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." And, again, "I and the Father are one." And, in that beseeching prayer, when our dear Saviour was about to enter the garden of the agony: that "they may be one, even as we are;" "I in Thee and Thou in Me, that they also may be one, in Us."
St. Paul instructs us, that there is “one Body and one Spirit, one God and Father of all, one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” And then, only, will the mediatorial glory be accomplished, when there shall be one fold, under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord.
The highest happiness, on earth, is, when men are "of one mind, in an house," And, to be one, in heart and life, is human love's devoutest, most delightful, consummation.
Now, it seems to me, that among the thousand thoughts, that crowd upon the mind, in the contemplation of the great subject of this day's assembling, the tendency to oneness is the chief. It seems to me that, in a sort, the edict of Babel is reversed that, so the kingdoms of this world may all become "the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ." The dispersion of the nations is to be outdone, in God's time and in God's way; by bringing them together, as one, in Him. And, I might almost venture to say, that we have in prospect, as it were, the renewal and repetition of the Pentecostal wonder; when all the nations of the world heard, in their own tongue, the wonderful works of God; when man shall speak to man, from the one end of the world to the other, of the Gospel of the Saviour, and of the glory of the Lamb.
Beloved friends, I am among you, travelling through the night, to be here, from the field of my own labours, in New Jersey, and from the care of my two hundred children, that, with my brethren and companions, I might worship, in this holy and beautiful house; and, with them, and with you all, and with all England, and with all Europe, and with the islands of the sea, rejoice, in the consummation of this great work.
Beautifully and well, did this venerable Corporation seek, for itself, a place, in the rejoicings of this day. Trustees, they are, from venerable hands, in that dear mother land, now gathered to the grave; trustees, they are, for carrying out their views and purposes. And, great and glorious as are the good works, which they have done, they have done none greater or more glorious, than in lending the consecration of this house, the consecration of that altar, and, the consecration of these prayers, to the Atlantic Telegraph.
I said, my friends, that I came to you, from New Jersey. And I have brought something of New Jersey, with me. I hold, here, the oldest of the cables. This (exhibiting a piece of wire) is the germ, which has grown to what has now become so great and glorious. So far as I know and believe, this is a part of the telegraph wire, set up at the Speedwell Iron Works, in Morristown, New Jersey, more than twenty years ago; under the direction of Professor Morse, known to all the world, and Mr. Alfred Vail, his associate and fellow-labourer. It was set up, for a length of three miles; and it served to transmit intelligent signals in the telegraphic language. This has nothing to do, by comparison or contrast, with what we celebrate, to-day. The acorn is not the oak. The germ is not the tree. The infant is not the man. We rejoice, to-day, in the full stature of the man; in the tall beauty of the palm; in the shading glory of the monarch oak. And, we ascribe, under God, the practical application of that, which was felt after, so long—as is the case in every great invention—we ascribe its practical application, under God, to one Cyrus. To his energy and devotion, aided by noble souls in both hemispheres, it is due, under the blessing of God, that the chain, which binds together the two continents, has been laid, successfully. Space is, as it were, annihilated. Time, more than annihilated. In a sense, there is “no more sea.” As I stand here, I feel that I can lay my hand upon the tomb of Chaucer. We can go with holy George Herbert, to hear the “Angels” Music,” from the bells of Salisbury. We may breathe the air, made fragrant, by the dying breath of Cranmer, and Latimer and Ridley. Nay, our children can unite with England's children, when they say, “Our Father.” And the men and women of the Western world may stand up, with the men and women of the Eastern world, when they say, “I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.”
We have all read of that beautiful ceremony, which was, once, annually celebrated; the wedding of the Adriatic, by the Doge of Venice. The Bucentaur, with the fleet of gondolas, has made a radiant picture, on the heart of every child. It was a splendid pageant. But, it has vanished from the world. Venice is no longer among the sovereign nations. The glory of the Adriatic has departed. But, now, another wedding follows.
The day breaks, upon the rugged shores of Newfoundland. A little company is landing, from a boat. They form a line. They bear, in their hands, and touch it, as a sacred thing, a small wire: and they proceed, with solemn step and slow, to the place, appointed to deposit it. With that same Cyrus, at their head, they form a procession; in comparison, with which, the heroes of antiquity must look to their laurels. Carefully, they proceed, charged, as they feel, not only with the destiny of nations, but with the interests of the Church of the living God: and repose it, in its place of annexation. A gallant sailor, a Captain in our navy, surrounded by the officers of, what I will call, to-day, our sister navy, and by the sailors of both fleets—an act inimitable in beauty, and a clear testimony, that God was with them, of a truth— pours out his heart, and theirs, in prayer to God; thanking Him for His mercies; and asking Him for His blessing. Then, with cheers, that wake the virgin echoes of Newfoundland, these gallant Sailors utter their rejoicings, for the consummation of that great work, which has made two, one; which has wedded England with America; and brought them, as we trust, forevermore, together.
Together, for the advancement of civil freedom. Together, for the promotion of knowledge and learning. Together, for the happiness of Christian homes. Together, for the extension of the Gospel. Together, for the edification of the Church. Together, for the salvation of the world. Together, to bring on that glorious time, when angels shall again come down; and the whole redeemed world, with all the company of Heaven, shall lift, once more, that glorious hymn—“Glory to God, in the highest: on earth, peace; good will, toward men.”
England and America are wedded by that Atlantic ring. A ring of love. A ring of peace. Shall I not say, the ring of God? Shall I not add— and will not every heart respond, Amen—"Those, whom God hath joined together, let no man put asunder?"
The Hundredth Psalm, (79th Selection.)