As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them they sent them away. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed.--ACTS xiii. 2-4.
Stir up the gift of God which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.--2 TIMOTHY i. 6.
IN words such as these we have a picture out of that earliest life of the Church, of which the books from which I take it tell the story. How fresh and vivid it is! What high enthusiasm, what uncalculating ardor, what unhesitating self-sacrifice! One does not need to be in sympathy with their beliefs or at one with their aims, even, as a good deal of modern literature has taught us, to be moved by their fervor or kindled at least into admiration by the story of those earliest ministries. The coldest heart must own that, whether it were myth or fable that stirred them, for a while at any rate a new spell had touched the world, and a new voice had spoken to waiting and eager souls. We look at the mighty forces against which the first Christian disciples [5/6] hurled themselves, we look at the spiritual torpor, the blank hopelessness, the unutterable moral degradation to which they made their appeal, and we wonder at their audacity--or their faith! No hostility daunted them; no indifference discouraged them; no tremendous bulk of evil deterred them. The work they aimed to do, men told them, was impossible work. They simply refused to believe it. The obstacles which confronted them, other men told them were insurmountable obstacles. They simply refused to see it. They were on fire with a consuming purpose, and they did not stop, whether to measure their task or to discuss its difficulties. This, we say, is the fruit of a great enthusiasm. It always works this way, and it would be without results if it did not.
Yes, but the moment that we look a little closer at the story of this enthusiasm, we see that along with it there was something more. It has been common to disparage the gifts of the first founders of Christianity, and to seek to make the more of its distinctive characteristics by making as little as possible of the men who illustrated them. According to our standards, doubtless, they were not very learned nor very influential persons. They have been called--the College of the Twelve Apostles--a handful of peasants; and in one sense some of them were. They have been described as insignificant among the great of their own day; and measured in one way they were. But when we come closer to some at least among them we cannot so easily disesteem them. One among them was chosen to be [6/7] the leader among his fellows. Can anybody who reads the story of his life find it easy to believe that he had not in him the natural genius of leadership? If there are in certain types of organized Christian society what we may call Petrine qualities, can it be doubted that they find their first and most characteristic illustration in him who was Simon Peter? Or again, if there has been in all ages of the Church what we may call the philosophic instinct, is it difficult to trace its source to those letters of that pupil of Gamaliel who came in time to reveal the resplendent intellectual qualities of Paul the apostle to the Gentiles? The interrogative impulse of Thomas the twin, the affectionate brotherliness of Andrew the missionary,--were not each of these in their way distinctive personal traits, some of them of a very rare and beautiful quality, which go no little way to explain what more than one of them did to forward the knowledge and hasten the triumph of the cause to which he had committed himself? Surely he alone can say so who has not studied the quality of their work, of whatever kind it was, nor measured the character of its results. There was high enthusiasm, there was consuming ardor, but along with these in every most noteworthy instance of apostolic achievement there was some distinct natural endowment which would have given its possessor anywhere commanding influence among men.
And so it has always been. God has indeed often chosen by the "foolishness of preaching," as it has seemed to some poor souls irresponsive to its mighty [7/8] power, to save them that believe; but it has not been by foolish preaching. The voices that have stirred the world, the messages that have thrilled and enkindled cold and discouraged hearts have not been the voices or the messages of fools. Whatever strange passion inflamed them, whatever tense and eager purpose would not give them pause, if in them there was lifting and awakening power, if their words not merely kindled the emotions but convinced the reason and persuaded the judgment, it was because behind the passion there was a thinking, reasoning man, speaking out of the large and rich manhood in himself to the manhood of other men. And so, to come back to the picture with which we started, does anybody suppose, when at Antioch the Church in that busy city fasted and celebrated its solemn Eucharist, and prepared to choose those who were to go forth on its high errands, that "Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen which had been brought up with Herod the Tetrarch," and the rest of them were there at hap-hazard? Out from these half-dozen men, more or less, were to be chosen two to be consecrated on that memorable day to a great and memorable work. Do you suppose that those who a little later laid their hands on them concerned themselves in no wise, beforehand, to find out what kind of men they had been, what sort of gifts were theirs, what order of work they had accomplished, just in precisely the same way that before appointing any man in this community to any responsible task, his fellows are wont to inquire what sort of gifts he has? [8/9] In one place we read, in this story of first ekklhsia building, of men as commended to the confidence of their fellows because they had "hazarded their lives." Very well, then, those who chose them wanted courage. In another place we read of a Pagan ruler, stupid and sunk in his sins, as saying to a Christian apostle, "Almost thou persuadest me." Very well, then, again, they wanted logic. Do you suppose that they did not seek for eloquence (if they could find it), for sympathy, for the quick power of understanding another's perplexities, for that infinite hopefulness of human nature which, I sometimes think, is quite its finest quality? We may be sure they did. And no less sure may we be that when Barnabas and Saul were singled out from among their associates for the rare dignity of suffering and loneliness and privation in their high office, they were chosen because, anywhere, and among any set of men, and in whatever service, they would sooner or later, but inevitably, have come to the front.
Yes, but how were they singled out? We advance a step farther in that story which I have recalled to you, and we read that "As they fasted and ministered before the Lord, there came a voice which said, 'Separate . . . Barnabas and Saul for the work.' "Whose voice was it? Were those men called thus to their high office by the high acclaim of a public assembly? For myself I have little doubt that before the Voice that spoke those few words was heard, there had been heard another and more multitudinous one. That city of Antioch in which Simeon, and Lucius, and the rest of them were gathered [9/10] contained the first church organized among the Gentiles, and it became in time the centre of those missionary activities by which the Roman world was evangelized. The prophets and teachers who began the work were supplemented, later, by Barnabas and Saul; and step by step in the simple story we may trace the unfolding of the organic life of the Church. There was an assembly first, and then there came to be the ecclesia,--sunacqhnai en th ekklhsia,--and it was this community of the brethren, it may easily have been, that with more or less formality first indicated its preferences, and pointed its finger of designation towards the men who were fittest and worthiest for the higher service of the Church.
But this was not Mission. That comes into view when we read that the Voice which said, "Separate Barnabas and Saul," was the Voice of the Holy Ghost. It is not only "separate;" it is "separate Me." It is not only for the work ye are to separate them, but "for the work whereunto I have called them." And thus we come into the presence of that unique distinction which forever differentiates the enthusiasm of the disciples of Jesus Christ from all other enthusiasms. It was the enthusiasm of a new creation by the power of a Divine breath. One day, a little before, the Master of twelve men is about to vanish out of their sight. One who had come back to draw about Him anew a little band of personal followers, meets them on the first day of the week, and saying to them, "As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you," "He breathed on them and said, 'Receive ye the Holy [10/11] Ghost.'" [St. John xx. 21, 22.] A little later this same Being, ascending up from these same followers, bids them "depart not from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father." [Acts i. 4.] Well, they wait, and the promise is fulfilled. "There came a sound from heaven," we read, "and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost." [Acts it 2, 4.] Henceforth there was a new Force in the world, and they were never without it. It is the seven-fold power of God the Holy Ghost. Call it an influence, water it down to be a cult, disparage it as so much mysticism, verily you will have to tear yonder story to pieces, and hunt out with microscope and dissecting knife the very structural fibre of those first parchments on which the Gospel story was written, before you can get that element out of it! Bereft of the mission and work of the Holy Ghost, calling, arresting, convicting, convincing, enlightening, transforming, empowering,--the whole fabric of primitive history becomes somehow invertebrate, and crumbles into a shapeless mass of incident and talk. Nothing is more tremendous in its significance than the way in which all that new life of the first century takes its rise in the active, audible, commanding Presence in the Church of the Holy Ghost, and from all excursions, activities, or ministries, forever returns to it. The visit of Peter and John to Samaria, the descent of the Spirit at Caesarea, the coming of Saint Paul to Ephesus, are all parts of a whole, of which the calling of Barnabas and Saul is but another part. There was a new and commanding Voice; it spoke with unhesitating authority. [11/12] There was a new and regenerating breath; it came with irresistible power. And when it came the world was transfigured, and man himself transformed. Out into that wild waste of sin and shame the men to whom it carne went forth, and nothing was able to withstand them. Whatever they had been in themselves, this new Force and Fire somehow multiplied and enlarged them. Not alone on the day of Pentecostal baptism, but all the way down and on, they spake with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. And this they, and those who have succeeded them, have been doing ever since. If they have forgotten that heaven-given Source of their strength, that strength has dwindled and shrunk. If they have remembered it, no lapse of centuries nor changes of custom have been sufficient to stale its freshness nor to resist its transforming spell. This paliggenesia--yes, that was it--still stirs and quickens the Church, and is the supreme secret of its power. In one word, that which gave to these men, and to those who have come after them in that Divine society of which they were the ministers, the authority whether to teach or to rule, was not their native gifts,--however great they may have been, nor however largely they may have been considered in their choice,--but the calling and the sending of the Holy Ghost.
But a still further question remains to be answered. What was not alone the evidence or token of that mission, but its authentication? Was this the whole story of that mission,--that certain men being assembled together, a voice said, "Separate me Barnabas and Saul," [12/13] and that then those who were named separated themselves and went away, and henceforth did their work as men fully and sufficiently authorized and empowered thus for its discharge? On the contrary, there is something more in the history, which we may not arbitrarily leave out, and which is just as essential to its integrity as anything that has gone before. We may wish that it were not there. We may believe it to have been the source of endless and most hurtful superstitions. We may dismiss it as a relic of that out-worn ceremonialism from which the world of that day was not yet wholly free. But still it is there; and, as honest men, we must deal frankly and honestly with it. For this is the story in its completeness: "The Holy Ghost said, 'Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.' And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed." Certainly, there is no obscurity here. Juggle with the words as one may, he cannot separate the inward call and the outward ordinance, the spiritual mission and the tactual commission, the divine empowerment and the human authentication of it.
Let no one misunderstand me. Am I affirming that the gifts and powers of the Holy Ghost are invariably and exclusively tied to the agencies ordained for their transmission? I am affirming nothing of the sort. Who are we that we should limit the power of that Divine Spirit which first brooded upon chaos and evoked from it order and beauty and life? There are some of us
here who must always gratefully remember saintly ancestors who disesteemed, if they did not despise, all visible ordinances, and dismissed them utterly out of the horizon whether of their observance or of their belief. Happy he who, with the help of church and sacrament and duly transmitted ministry in all their fullest completeness, can emulate their sainthood, and tread at ever so great a distance in their holy footsteps! But all the same, "God is not the author of confusion in the churches of the saints;" and as, from the beginning, it has been a law of that order that He shall work, whether in His kingdom of Nature or His kingdom of Grace, along the lines of His own divine appointment, so it will be to the end. Departures, revolts, long-continued disregard and indifference there may be, with perhaps large if not quite complete justification, and along with these there may be also the most strenuous service, the widest learning, the most ardent faith, the most beautiful self-sacrifice. And all these shall be the fruit of that "self-same Spirit" which worketh the one thing, though not necessarily or invariably by the one way. But still the fact remains that there is a way which is of God's appointment; there is a ministry which He first commissioned, and which they whom He first commissioned passed on and down to others. Its authority does not come up from the people; it descends from the Holy Ghost. And, as in the beginning its outward and visible sign was the laying on of apostolic hands upon men called, whether to this or that or the other service,--pastoral, priestly, or prophetic, [14/15] yet still to an apostolic ministry,--so it has been ever since. We may exaggerate or travesty it as we please. We may exult over its corruptions and ridicule its pretensions, and deride its efficacy. None of these things can dismiss out of human history or human consciousness this fact that, unless we are to dismiss the whole story of which it is a part, the apostolic ministry is an ordering of divine appointment, apart from which you cannot find any clear trace of a primitive ministry or a primitive Church. We turn from this scene at Antioch to those memorable ministries that came after it. One of them stands forth conspicuous above all the apostolates of its age,--unique in its energy, unapproachable in its heroism, incomparable alike in the power of its preaching and in the inexhaustible richness of its writings. What a fine scorn there is in those writings for that retrospective piety which lingered regretfully among the beggarly elements of the elder order and ritual,--what impatience of the letter, what bold assertion of Christian liberty, what intense ardor of spiritual enthusiasm! Yes, but what scrupulous respect for authority, what careful observance of apostolic tradition, what reverent use of appointed means. There came a day in the ministry of this grand Apostle when he is to set apart a youthful disciple and son in the faith to be an overseer of the church in Ephesus. How does he do it? Does he tell him of the work that he is to do, and then simply dismiss him to do it? Does he say, "Go, my son, and tell men in Asia Minor the story of your Lord's love, and write me occasionally how you are getting [15/16] on"? Not such is the meaning of that clear and unequivocal language which he uses, "Stir up the gift of God which is in thee,"--and which is in thee not by inherited cleverness, or acquired learning, or popular endorsement,--but "by [dia, the Greek is] the laying on of my hands;" or, as the same fact is elsewhere stated, "Neglect not the gift that was given thee . . . with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery." And thus once and again does this Apostle of a spiritual religion guard against that disesteem of the outward institutions of the Church, without which history, and that not so very ancient either in this our western world, demonstrates that religion runs thin and runs out.
It is this fact which explains our presence here to-day. There is, indeed, a theory of Christianity which resolves it chiefly into forms and ceremonies, which makes the means the end; the instrument the result; the sign the thing signified. In all ages of the world it has illustrated an enormous power,--first of obscuring essential truth, and then of debilitating human faith and conduct. I do not wonder that men are afraid of it. I do not wonder that, in the history of the Church, men have run out of her cold ceremonialism, wherever, as so widely, it has been dominant, into whatever warmth and ardor, into whatever purity and simplicity, offered them a refuge from its stiff and frigid and often corrupt formality. Most heavy is their responsibility because of whose soulless idolatry of the letter and the ceremony, this has come to pass. But still the fact remains: Christ did not leave His truth and fellowship in [16/17] the world unorganized and disembodied. His own coming was a veritable incarnation,--no shadowy ghost-ministry, inaudible, invisible, and intangible. And His continued incarnation in His Church is but the transformation of His embodiment in one into His ever-living and ever-active embodiment in the whole. I am told that you and I must believe in an invisible Church. Very well; let us do so so far as we can. But as yet the only Church of which I know, in the way in which I can know anything, is a visible Church, with a visible order, and visible sacraments, and a visible fellowship, and which thus witnesses to me the continued life and power of its invisible Lord and Head, once Himself embodied in our flesh among us. One day I shall doubtless know something else and more, of which this visible Church is a part; but as yet the sphere of my activities must be found within the fellowship of that historic body of which thus far this morning I have been speaking. As one of New England's prophets--himself, I think, farthest removed from the Church's conception of historic Christianity--has said:--
"There are reasoners whose generalizations have carried them so far as to leave all names of Church or Christianity behind in contempt. But when the generalizing process can seduce a writer to the extent of declaring that there is no moral difference worth considering between one man and another, and leads a second writer to smooth over, as a trifling roughness in the grain of the wood, the distinction between evil and good, a question may perhaps arise, alike in a religious or a philosophic mind, whether there is not some point for generalization to stop. If excessive particularizing makes [17/18] the bigot with his narrow mind, or the superstitious man with his false reverence, too much generalizing empties the heart clean of its warmth and friendship and worship. It abolishes all terms. It dissolves individual existence. It leaves the soul a mere subject, with no relations recognized to human creatures or to God himself.
"One thinker may say, 'I care for no ecclesiastical associations whatsoever, and find my only Church in the world.' But the world proves, as Jesus and his Apostles describe it, too wide, imperfect, and still evil either to embrace his holy efforts, or to give his spirit a home. He must, in contradiction of his theory, abide in and act from a grander, though in visible dimensions a smaller circle, before he can act to bless and save the world itself.
"Another thinker proclaims his allegiance to God in his pure infinity alone, leaving the Christ of the Gospel aside. But let his doctrine of space and science and omnipresence of one solitary Power through earth and stars recommend itself as it may to the speculative mind, it spreads [but] a thin atmosphere around us, in which we feel discouraged and cold, like explorers of the Arctic region of thought, and we cry out for a nearer and somehow more human divinity. This is the unspeakable boon Jesus confers on the human race, that he familiarizes and domesticates God, shows him in a mortal frame, and by his incarnation of the great Spirit makes us partakers of the Divine nature more than we could become by the discovery of ten thousand new systems, or by peering forever into the measureless expanse of the milky way." [Bartol, Church and Congregation, pp. 20-22.]
So speaks another far removed from ourselves. Yes, but if this was the meaning and power of that Incarnation of the Son of God whereby He became the son of [18/19] Mary, what shall we say of that other and wider incarnation which He finds in the life of His Church? Is that to be the shadowy, filmy, ghostly thing that He who founded it was Himself most surely not? No, no; the Church is still here a visible Body, with visible Ordinances, its life descending (wherever else life may be) along appointed lines by ordered modes which He Himself who is its Head ordained or else inspired. The pendulum swings to and fro, now this way for centuries, and then the other way; but underneath its widest divergences as it moves to left or right there is this central fact of the Incarnate Ministry of the Son of God, and all that it means to-day in the life and work of His Church. There may be some of us who are bred so fine, or who have climbed so high, that all the outward is for us of small account. Our homage is for great ideas, we say, working along lofty lines of thought, and appealing to the intellectual rather than the affectional or emotional nature. Yes, and the time may come when in such an ideal of fellowship with Jesus Christ both reason and faith shall find their most perfect satisfaction. But it has not come yet. The world, in the conditions of its life and thought, whatever may have been the progress of the race, remains under the same limitations as those amid which Jesus wrought when first He came to men. It is still a world of sight and sound, of taste and touch, as well as of intuition and reason and imagination. The warrior still cherishes his bit of ribbon symbolic of heroic suffering; why may not the Christian cherish some simple emblem of the passion of His Lord? The [19/20] soldier still wears his crimson sash or scarf. Why may I not wear a black or a white one? The old man still recalls, with inextinguishable tenderness and gratitude the father's hand once laid in benediction on his boyish head. And shall we not prize the hands that once, when we knelt at yonder chancel rail, or at some other, were laid upon ours? Ah, believe me, He who knew what was in man did not touch, and touch, and touch again for nothing! Take His human hand outstretched to bless, to heal, to open, to awaken, to break, and to distribute, but always touching,--no vileness too vile for its cleansing contact, no slumber too deep for its awakening call, no impotence too utter for its transforming power,--take all that that Hand has wrought and has translated to men, the miracles of God, the tenderness of God, the never wearying succor and salvation of God, out of the Gospel story, and you have bereft that story almost beyond repair.
But just here it may be said, "All this is very pretty, very clever, very adroit indeed, but how unutterably small and petty! How pitiful is this resting in the form, as if it mattered with what form or with what commission you or I wrought, so long as we cling to the essence and the spirit of the Master's teaching. Pray let us dismiss these dreary and unprofitable discussions about the visible in Christianity, and get clown to the life and soul of it!" Men and brethren, there never was a more solemn impertinence under the sun! Believe me, I am as much concerned as anybody to get down to the life and soul of Christianity; but as I never knew, nor [20/21] you, of any other life and soul without a body in all the history of this world of ours, neither may we look for any other in the life of God's Church. But whether we do or not, what I resent most of all is that intolerable presumption and perverseness which in discussing the question of the body of Christ in the world persists in putting asunder what not I nor any body of conceited ecclesiastics, but Jesus Christ himself hath joined together. It is not more certain that He has revealed a grace than that He has ordained means of grace. The two are not enemies. They are rather parts of one whole, and the whole is of His ordering. And therefore our office, however clever we may be, or however sublimated our ideas, is to own that oneness and humbly to cherish and honor it. We need to reverence the Sacrament as well as Him who appointed it. We need to cherish the Order as well as to pay our homage to Him who in the beginning called forth and commissioned those who were its founders. And most of all I think we need to try and see how now, at any rate, when some of the most aggressive intellectual forces of our time are busy in the endeavor to dismiss out of the realm of religion positive facts and a divine revelation, it is our business to hold fast to that divine society and that primitive ministry which were appointed to conserve and proclaim them both. "By no unmeaning chance," says the venerable teacher from whom I have already quoted, "is the Church so often on our tongues. Not in vain does the reformer with his sharpest criticism pay to her his respect. No rotten and [21/22] crumbling ark do her children stay up and bear on with their hands. What but the Church is rooted and growing forever in the all-wasting floods of time? No other institution of government or society, from the farthest right to the extreme left of human speculation, so widely and clearly touches the thought of the age." [Church and Congregation, by Rev. Dr. C. A. Bartol, Introduction, p. 7.]
And so to-day we come, in this persuasion, to set apart one whose ministry within the walls of this historic Church has spoken so widely and so helpfully to the thought of our age. We are not here, as in a drawing-room, to give him our congratulations. We are here in God's sanctuary to give him our commission. Henceforth he is to be a bishop in the Church of God, to whom no one of all God's children is to be alien or remote. "Reverend Father in God," we shall say presently to him who is to be the consecrator of this our brother, as best describing his relations both to this occasion and to the Church whose servant he is. Could there be a designation more affecting or more inspiring? How many aching hearts there are to-day, adrift on the sea of out- worn human systems, weary of doubt, stained by sin, discouraged, lonely, or forgotten of their fellowmen, who are waiting for one in whose great soul a divine Fatherhood of love and compassion lives anew to recall and arouse and ennoble them? We speak of the limitations of the Episcopate in these modern days, and it has its limitations. I am not sure that on the whole they are not wise ones. We in America have shorn the [22/23] office of much of its state, and ceremony, and secular authority, and in doing so I am persuaded that we have done well. The true power of the Episcopate must for ever be in the exercise of those spiritual gifts and graces of which it is the rightful, as it was meant to be the lowly, inheritor. But for the exercise of these there are, verily, no limitations. No human interest, no social problem, no personal sorrow or want can be alien to the true bishop. Whether he will or not, his office lifts him out of narrower interests, personal jealousies, small and individual conceptions. Whether other men see with his eyes or not, he must forever try to see with their eyes. Whether his clergy and his people under stand and love him, he must be always trying to under stand and love them. And if he does, what opportunity opens before him! It is easy enough in one way to narrow and limit the Episcopate, to exaggerate its prerogatives and minimize its obligations, to stiffen its ministry into a hard and dry routine, and its personality into the speech and the manners of a martinet. It is easy for a bishop to concern himself exclusively with the mint and anise and cummin of rite and rubric and canon, and when he does not do this, there will be those who will be swift to tell him not to go above his appointed round nor to waste his strength in other than the task-work of his office. But if he refuses to be fettered by any such narrow construction of his consecration vows as that, then as he hearkens to those affecting words with which presently this our brother will be addressed, "Be to the flock of Christ a shepherd, [23/24] not a wolf; feed them, devour them not. Hold up the weak, heal the sick, bind up the broken, bring again the outcast, seek the lost," how wide and how effectual is the door which they hold open! The world waits, my brothers, for men who carry their Lord's heart in their breasts, and who will lay their hands on the heads of His erring ones with His own infinite tenderness. And he will best do that work who comes to it with widest vision and with largest love.
And so our act to-day becomes at once consistent and prophetic. I can well understand the grief and dismay with which not alone this congregation but this community, nor only these but with them other multitudes in both hemispheres and of various fellowships, must contemplate the act which takes out of this pulpit one whose teaching and whose life have been to uncounted hearts so true a message of hope and courage. I can no less easily understand the doubt and apprehension with which those who have most largely profited by them will see exceptional powers turned from their wonted and fruitful channels to other and untried tasks. But nevertheless I am persuaded that in parting from this our brother, whom you, his people, now give to his larger work, you are losing him only to find him anew. God has yet other and greater work for him to do, believe me, or He would not have called him to it. This fair and ancient city, this great State with its teeming towns and villages, when has there been a time in the progress of our national history when they have not left their impress, clear and strong and enduring, [24/25] upon all our noblest policies! To leave New England out of the history of this republic, or Massachusetts out of the history of New England, would be to leave much of its best and most potential life out of the history of both. And we may well rejoice, therefore, and you especially of this venerable parish, that it is your rare privilege to give so choice a gift to that larger constituency to which now your minister goes. You know better than I can tell you how close you will always be to him; and you will not refuse, I am persuaded, to yield him to that wider parish which is not bounded even by the boundaries of this ancient and historic Commonwealth!
And you, my brother, soon to be a brother in a dearer and holier bond, what can I trust myself to say to you? I wonder if you can recall as vividly as I the day when first we met,--the old seminary at Alexandria, the simple but manly life there, our talks, with fit companionship though few, the room in the wilderness, the Chapel and Prayer Hall, Sparrow and May and the dear old "Rab," and all the rest! How it comes back again out of the mist, and how the long tale of years that stretch between seem but the shadow of a dream! Your privilege and mine it was to begin our ministries under the Episcopate of one whose gifts and character I rejoice to believe you prized and loved as I did. I have been told (I do not know how true it is) that you have said that one thing which reconciled you to attempting the work of a bishop was that you would like to try and be such a bishop as he was. Am I blinded by filial [25/26] affection when I say that I believe you have set before you no unworthy model? and may I tell this people though I know well how your rare humility will resent it, how profoundly I am persuaded that, succeeding, as you do, one who has given you a noble example of entire devotion to duty, every best attribute of the Episcopate will find in you its worthy illustration? Whatever have been the limitations of your sympathy heretofore, I know that you will henceforth seek to widen its range and enlarge its unfailing activities, and taking with you that singular and invariable magnanimity which, under the sorest provocation, has made it impossible to nourish a resentment or to remember an injustice, you will, I know too, show to the people of your charge that yours is a charity born not of indifference but of love,--for Christ, for your clergy, and for your flock. He who has endowed you with many exceptional gifts has given you one, I think, which is best among them all. It is not learning, nor eloquence, nor generosity, nor insight, nor the tidal rush of impassioned feeling which will most effectually turn the dark places in men's hearts to light, but that enkindling and transforming temper which forever sees in humanity, not that which is bad and hateful, but that which is lovable and redeemable,--that nobler longing of the soul which is the indestructible image of its Maker. It is this--this enduring belief in the redeemable qualities of the vilest manhood--which is the most potent spell in the ministry of Christ, and which as it seems to me you have never for an instant lost out of yours!
 Go with it, then, my brother, to the large tasks and larger flock that now await you. We who know and love you, through and through, thank God for this gift to the Episcopate; and not least do we thank Him for all the graces of uncomplaining patience, and self-respecting humility, and utter absence of all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and evil-speaking which have shone in you in such rare and unfailing constancy. If there are those who to-day misread you, we are persuaded that they will not do so long. And for yourself, believe me, these, your clergy and your people as they are henceforth to be, who, of whatever school or opinion, greet you, one and all to-day, as you take on this your high office, with such undivided love and loyalty,--these will prove to you how warm is the place in all their hearts to which they wait to welcome you! May God in giving you their love give you no less their prayers, and so the grace and courage that you will always need! How heavy the load, how great the task, and above all, for that I think is the bitterest element in a bishop's life, how inexpressibly lonely the way! And yet, said one whose office, as an Apostle describes it, is that of "the Bishop and Shepherd of our souls,"--and yet "I am not alone because the Father is with me." May He go with you always even to the glorious end!