The following books discuss the Sunday Question and are helpful to a student of its problems:
"Sunday," by Archdeacon Hessey: Cassell & Co.
"Sunday," by Rev. W. B. Trevelyan: Longmans, Green & Co.
"The Sunday Question," by S. E. Warren: J. H. Earle, Boston.
"The Scientific Basis of Sabbath and Sunday," Floody: Couples & Co.
"Sunday Legislation," Lewis: Appletons.
"Sunday and the Sabbath," Gamble: E. P. Dutton & Co.
"Christian Nurture," Bushnell: Scribners.
MEN, BRETHREN AND FATHERS:
It is not for nothing that Section III, of Canon 12 of the Canons of this Church, provides that "Every Bishop shall deliver, at least once in three years, a Charge to the Clergy of his Diocese, or Missionary District, unless prevented by reasonable cause"; and it can hardly be described as a "reasonable cause" for his not doing so, that he may see fit, from time to time, to season the statistical statements of his Annual Convention Address with certain counsels, or admonitions, which may happen to be appropriate to a conventional assemblage.
The ground of requiring of a Bishop, that, at least once in three years, he shall deliver to his people--for by the term "Clergy" in the Canon I take leave to understand as included with them those to whom it is the office of the clergy to minister--the ground I say for requiring of a Bishop a Triennial Charge is somewhat higher and wider than the requirement of an Annual Address. In its requirement of an Annual Address the Canon reminds the Bishop that he is a steward and a servant; and that, as such, he must give an account of his stewardship, report his ministrations, describe his journeyings and services, and submit such a statistical statement of his Episcopal Acts as shall show that, in those Canonical requirements of Visitations, Consecrations, Ordinations, and the like, he has at least endeavored to be faithful.
But a Bishop is not only a steward, he is a watchman. When we argue for Episcopacy, let us be careful not to go below the ideal of its original conception, or the inspired description of its highest responsibility. I confess I do not wonder at the answer of the child who, to the question, "What is a Bishop?" replied, "The Bishop is a Confirming machine," for, however important the offices of confirming, ordaining and the like, and however lofty their significance as symbolizing those spiritual gifts and powers without which all the rest in the Church is of secondary value or consequence, [3/4] it still remains that the original conception of the Episcopate in this Church involves and implies oversight: that wider range, that larger outlook, that more comprehensive vigilance, not always possible to those whose tasks are more circumscribed, and whose opportunities for observation are more limited.
And that some such conception of the Episcopate and its responsibilities was uppermost in the minds of those who fashioned the Church's formularies there can be no doubt. In the office for the consecration of a Bishop it is said, "Hold up the weak, heal the sick, bind up the broken, bring again the outcasts, seek the lost"; and it is impossible rationally to think of any most imperfect discharge of these obligations which does not reach over, and reach out, far beyond the bonds of any particular fellowship, or communion, or society. The Christian disciple can not limit his interest or his efforts to these, and still less can he whose office it is to oversee (for such is the meaning of the word which designates his office) that whole domain of human society, of which, after all, the Church is but a meagre and militant part.
It is for this reason, men and brethren, that I ask you to go with me this morning to that loftier viewpoint which sees not the Church alone, but the whole land; and not alone this land, but all lands to which the Religion of Jesus Christ has come, or to which, by means of your services and sacrifices and mine, and all theirs who name the name of Christ, it is yet to come.
One thing, in these various lands, so far as they are Christian lands, at any rate, we see; and its large and profound significance it is in vain that men seek to undervalue; and that is the clear and close relation of high ideas and ideals of civilization with a pure and lofty estimate of Sunday.
It is of that that I propose to speak in this Charge; and I may as well frankly say, at the outset, that I shall not be deterred from doing so by the very natural, and probably very general, comment of the secularists, that the Minister of the Christian Religion must, as one of them has lately said, "take care to make a good fight for Sunday, or he will lose his job." Of course there are, and always will be, people whose conception of the Christian Ministry must needs be much like that; and he is a wise man who meets their jibe with the kindly serenity which a knowledge of its essential falsehood ought to enable him to maintain. Indeed, I am not sure that [4/5] it may not be well for him to go a step farther. The secularist says, "You parsons are concerned to maintain a reverent observance of Sunday because it involves, and especially conserves, your job." Very well, my brother, did it ever occur to you that Sunday is quite as important to you, and the great majority of your fellows, because, also it conserves your job? Some years ago, when the motor power of our street railways consisted of horses, a kinsman who related to me the experience was taken into a great car stable in which were stalled several hundred horses. He had been told that each car required three pairs or six horses; but to his surprise the horses were grouped in sevens; and on inquiring the meaning of this arrangement he was told that when a car was used every day, as were the cars and also the horses of the street railways, it had been found, by practical experience, that there must always be one extra horse standing in the stables. Or, in other words, that where for horses there was no law of Sunday rest, one seventh of the horses necessary for this service must be, every day, at rest.
I do not undertake here to discuss the physical law behind this. It would require a volume by itself; but I would invite the attention of those to whom I speak to an essay on the subject by the late Professor Egleston, some time a professor in Columbia University and a Vestryman of Trinity parish, whose array of facts, in this connection, is at once startling and conclusive. For, concerning the law itself, there can not honestly be any doubt. From the bottom to the top, Nature has proclaimed the law of Periodic Rest in tones which cannot be mistaken. Whether it be a car-wheel, or a human brain, something of absolute and supreme authority must give it pause; and there is no people on earth that so sorely needs to recognize this fact as we fevered and overdriven Americans. Everything in the conditions of our life--the characteristics of our climate, more highly charged, I believe, with electricity than any other; the sharp competitions of our businesses; the national restlessness and passion for change, which make it so hard for us to live where we were born, or to work where our fathers worked before us; all these things conspire to produce a result which is at once menacing and melancholy. The strife of our unresting life reminds one of that athlete who, to outstrip another, runs swiftly up a steep hill, and drops dead with heart disease at the top of it.
And, all the while, the law remains, to bear witness to the [5/6] august fact that we can not trifle with that divine principle which is written, first of all, in our own members. Undoubtedly, the conditions of our modern life conspire, with an often curious ingenuity, to provoke us to its disregard. If one were so minded, he might draw a suggestive contrast in this connection between the modern and the mediaeval Sabbath breaker. Five hundred years ago life was far more narrow than it is to-day, and more monotonous. The week-day tasks recurred with a regularity and identity which made their burden to consist, quite as often as otherwise, in their intolerable sameness. They were handicrafts, usually, whether of the husbandmen or the mechanic, in a literal sense. But to-day they are much more. The discovery and application of machinery, taken together with the employment in energizing it, of steam and electricity, have made a great deal of work-a-day life indefinitely more arduous and anxious. Unquestionably it has eased the shoulder of the wayfaring man of many a burden; but it is a question whether what it has lifted off at one end it has not added on at the other. A society in London called the Sunday League (designed, I suppose, for the purpose of lightening the strain of modern life upon the workingman) "ran no less than twenty-three special excursion trains on one Sunday in June four years ago, from London to Portsmouth, carrying fourteen thousand passengers." [* "Sunday:" Trevelyan, p. 237; footnote.] No doubt, these twenty-three trains, by taking their passengers to the sea, afforded them the relief of a most blessed change; but nobody seems to have been concerned with the crews that manned the trains. And if it be said--as of course it will be said--that this was a case of "the greatest good of the greatest number," a much graver and more fundamental question arises, and that is the question of my deriving good at the cost of another's involuntary injury. Involuntary, I say, for bear in mind, my brother, that no man climbs to his place on a Sunday train as a volunteer, but, ordinarily, because it will cost him that place if he refuses to do so.
I speak of this matter at such length because, as any railway official will tell you, nothing has been more significant during the last twenty years than the increased demand for Sunday trains. But the Sunday train is, most of all, significant and menacing because it is symptomatic, and because you can not multiply travel [6/7] and railway traffic on Sunday without multiplying, in countless ways, the demands upon the workingman. And the question for every one who owns himself to be under the law of a divine brotherhood is this: How far am I ordering my life, and the lives of those who are in any wise dependent upon me--my children, my domestics, my work-people--so as to safeguard for them a day of rest?
It is at this point that there enter other and larger questions which it belongs to you and me to face, and concerning which our national apathy should be matter of grave concern. We, many of us, live and act as if the traditions of our forefathers were in this matter to continue to prevail, and that all that can be required is to maintain their observance with a certain good-natured ridicule for their Puritan exaggerations. I shall not weary you by rehearsing those Puritan exaggerations; but it is time that you and I were reminded that the Puritan exaggerations of Sunday observance were the inevitable and often heroic reaction and protest against abuses of Sunday which, in the older world, everywhere turned it into an often godless and licentious play-day. In the Book of Homilies will be found one entitled "Of the Time and Place of Prayer," and in this is a vivid picture of Sunday profanation as it existed in the latter half of the sixteenth century. "It is lamentable," says the Homily, "to see the wicked boldness of those that will be counted God's people, who pass nothing at all of keeping and hallowing Sunday. And these people are of two sorts. The one sort if they have any business to do, though there be no extreme need, they must not spare the Sunday, they must ride and journey on the Sunday; they must buy and sell on the Sunday; they must keep markets and fairs on Sunday; they use all days alike, workdays and holy days are all one. The other sort is worse. For, although they will not travel nor labor on the Sunday as they do on the weekday, yet they will not rest in holiness as God commandeth; but they rest in ungodliness and filthiness; they rest in excess and superfluity, in gluttony and drunkenness, like rats and swine; they rest in brawling and railing, in quarreling and fighting; they rest in wantonness and toyish talking, in filthy fleshliness; so that it doth too evidently appear that God is most dishonored and the devil better served on the Sunday than upon all the days of the week besides." [* Homily VIII, Book of Homilies, p. 304, Am. ed.]
 Now it must be remembered that this language is not that of some inflamed and exaggerating dissenter, but of that Book of Homilies which was issued by the Church of England and appointed to be read in all its sanctuaries; which describes a situation concerning which obviously there could be no dissent. What we call the Puritan reaction was the instinctive and inevitable recoil, extravagant and excessive if you choose, but inevitable, in view of a national perversion of a sacred institution to uses alike corrupt and degrading.
It is for us, men and brethren, to face a situation singularly like that existing in England in the sixteenth century, though brought about by different causes. And all the more is this the case because, while there is identity in the situations, there is absolute dissimilarity in the causes that have produced them. In foreign lands, whenever Sunday has been profaned, it has been mainly because it was a reaction from conditions of monotony which I have already described. It is profaned to-day in America, not so much because the week-day conditions of the workingman are monotonous, as because they are feverish and over-exacting. The other day in a neighboring State two trolley cars came into fatal collision with one another because the motorman of one of them had fallen asleep at his post. How many hours had he been on duty with every faculty strained to its utmost tension? Nobody, it would seem, was concerned to find that out, and yet that, plainly, was the one fact of consequence which underlaid the whole tragedy. "Yes," somebody may answer, "but if he could not stand the strain there were dozens of men who believed that they could, and who were waiting to snatch his place."
And that brings us to another feature of the present situation without which any discussion of it would be equally irksome and futile. I have not concerned myself, as you may have noted, with any discussion of the usual arguments for Sunday; and I am bound to say that, for our purpose, they would be equally superfluous and impertinent. If any one of you is anxious to review them, let me commend to him Archdeacon Hessey's Bampton Lectures for 1860, published by Cassell & Co., and in all respects the ablest discussion of "Sunday, its Origin, History and Present Obligation" of which I know. But the question for us here in New York is the question, How are we going to conserve Sunday at all, and what is [8/9] the line of action open to men who recognize its fundamental relation to our social order and our national life? Fundamental, I say, because without at all insisting upon the force of the physical obligations of the law of Sabbathic rest, there are other questions which, though they are chiefly intellectual, touch the foundations of our national and domestic existence and which cannot be ignored. There can be no question as to the drift of our national life to-day--it is to alternate between drudgery and amusement; for while it is true that culture is more diffused and the physical conditions of life, even in the case of the poorest wage-earner, better than they were, it is no less true, as I have shown, that the conditions of our modern workday life, from the bottom to the top, in professions as truly as with handicrafts, are more exacting and more exhausting.
And so it has largely come to pass that with the great majority of people, at any rate in cities--and it is in these more and more that the majority of people are coming to live--the alternative of drudgery is recreation. The statistics of places that undertake to provide amusement would just here be a most suggestive study; for though the great majority of those who are represented in this Convention may not happen to be people who are driven by drudgery to turn to the coarsely comic for refreshment, there can be no doubt that those places of amusement--and especially those places of cheap amusement--that, night after night, are the most crowded, are places that make the smallest possible demand upon any serious attention, and provide the broadest and most bizarre appeal to the instincts of jesting and ridicule. The drama, we are wont to say, has in it the very highest possibilities, in the way of filling the imagination with lofty and inspiring images, or in illustrating, in tragic forms, the due rewards of virtue and the just chastisements of vice. Yes; but is it any such service that dramatic performances oftenest render to modern humanity? And if we may not hope for the illustration of a great moral, or civic, or social ideal by such means, would it not be well to rescue at least one day in the week, or, at any rate, some part of it, for some such higher use? The nobler life of the nation, we are wont to say, must begin in the nobler life of the family--and we are right. But where, as modern life is too often constituted, are we to find the hours in which the working man, the business man or the professional man may cultivate [9/10] the acquaintance of his own children and apprehend for himself and them those higher ideals without the recognition of which the family, first, and then the State, must crumble into ruin?
It is at this point in our redemption of Sunday that I would fain begin--and that for a reason to which I have already referred. It is very easy for my Puritan brother, whose conception of Sunday is at once sharp and precise, to insist upon recovering the Sunday, let us say, of our New England forefathers, and, to that end, to demand that legislation shall so safeguard one day in the week that it shall neither be profaned by traffic nor disfigured by pleasure; and no sane man, however much he may be disposed to resent Sunday laws which invade, as he affirms, his rightful freedom of action, no sane man, I say, can be insensible to the necessity of legislation which protects the workingman from undue exactions and safeguards some hours for repose and meditation. But the difficulty with us to-day is in securing some general concurrence as to the hours to be thus segregated and the ends for which they shall be guarded. Once, and that not so long ago, we were a tolerably homogeneous people, and we, who believed strongly as to the duty and necessity of safe-guarding Sunday, could say to the foreigners--I have said so myself in a sermon published some thirty years ago--"If you don't like our Sunday traditions, you can stay away where they will not irk you. We mean to maintain them, as we have inherited them." Well, we cannot say so any longer! A group of statistics lately published in a responsible newspaper affords, just here, food for reflection, the significance of which it would simply be grotesque to ignore. There were born, in the Borough of Manhattan, last year, in round numbers, seventy-five thousand infants, and of these not more than one-fifth were of American parentage. Still more suggestive is the fact that while more than eleven thousand of these were of Italian parentage, twenty-three hundred of German and thirty-eight hundred of Irish, nearly sixteen thousand were of Hebrew parentage--or, in other words, represented a race and a religion which do not hold to observing Sunday at all!
It is plain from this that if the American citizen is to rescue his Rest Day, in any sense, he must recognize elements in the situation which are absolutely new, and which will demand, at any rate, [10/11] first of all some such unification of effort as does not now anywhere exist in this land. Of course, if we are determined to refuse to recognize facts as they are, if we are wedded to endeavors to reproduce the Sunday of our Puritan ancestry, we can expend our strength in a spectacular performance which will be as pathetic as it is impotent; and, worst of all, we can conspire with Sabbath Committees and other organizations which shall labor to produce a legislation the final effort of which will simply be to contribute one more illustration of our American passion for enacting laws destined to be treated only with contempt.
And this brings me to speak of that other and higher aspect of this whole subject, of which, I doubt not, you have all the while that I have been speaking been mentally ready to remind me--the relation, that is to say, of such a body as this, and most of all of the Church of God on earth, for which this body stands, to human society, which is not economic, nor sanitary, nor moral even, but, first and last and all the time, spiritual. Man wants rest from labor; he wants recreation; he wants intellectual stimulus and nurture; he wants the guardianship of laws and customs which shall honor and maintain the Home and the Family. Yes, my brother, but, most of all, he wants God; and the supreme tragedy of human life consists in this, that, so often, he is striving to live without Him. A recent writer has called attention to the significant words in this connection of Addison. You will find them in the 112th number of the Spectator; and one may well compare with them Boswell's Journal of Johnson's "Tour in the Hebrides." Addison is spending a week out of town and says, "I am always very well pleased with a country Sunday, and think, if keeping holy the seventh day were only a human institution, it would have been the best method that could have been thought of for the polishing and civilizing of mankind. It is certain that country people would soon degenerate into a kind of savages and barbarians were there not such returns of a stated time, in which the whole village meet together, with their best faces, and in their cleanest habits, to converse with one another upon indifferent subjects, to hear their duties explained to them, and join together in adoration of the Supreme Being." Addison goes on, as some of you will remember, to enlarge upon the Village Churchyard as affording that exceptional opportunity for a social exchange and a dress rehearsal, [11/12] which, to his somewhat conventional mind, seemed so universally important. But the significant thing here is the recognition of the fact, however incidentally it is recognized, that there can not be a society that is not essentially barbaric, unless it have, underneath it, the enduring consciousness of divine sanctions and standards, and of divine examples and inspirations as determining all that it aims to be.
And it is just here, brethren, that we come abreast of the question of supreme consequence in our world and life of to-day. We have had some tragic instances, lately, of the facility with which, what most of us believe to be, fundamental moral standards may be obscured. We have been taught, in our social life, in our business life, in our domestic life, by lessons as humiliating as they were unmistakable, that the very foundations of all our measurements of conduct may be slowly and unconsciously eaten away, unless, from time to time, we restore them at the feet of the Source of all standards! No more disastrous effect of that great reactionary movement, away from what many people (and that not altogether unwarrantably) have regarded as over-strictness, whether in regard to Sunday observance, or to the whole system of which a rigid Sunday observance was a part--no more disastrous effect, I say, of that reaction is to be found than one may trace in that letting down of all standards of right-doing which has come to be the menace of our American civilization to-day.
And, therefore, it is that it has become of paramount importance that we should recover our Lord's Day. I do not forget what I said a few moments ago, as to the complexity of this problem, in view of the huge preponderance of an alien sentiment as to Sunday with which we in this Diocese are confronted. But I beseech you to recognize that it is just at this point that our duties fall into two groups, one of them co-operative and the other exemplary. We are to strive with the humblest day-laborer, of whatever race and faith, for a common rest day; but we are, most of all, to remember that for us the old Rest Day, the horae sabbaticae, have passed forever into the incomparably higher privilege, and dignity, and potentiality of the Lord's Day!
Now then, suppose that, possessed of this treasure, we should strive to live worthily of it! We Churchmen are wont (not without a touch of complacency, sometimes, it is to be feared) to remind [12/13] ourselves of our immeasurable superiority to other Christians about us. We are, indeed, the children of the Reformation, we say, but we are, most of all, the inheritors, whole and undefiled, of the Catholic Faith and Order. We are the guardians of Scriptural creeds and of a reverent worship. We are not idolaters of the "net and the drag," and yet are the heirs of ancient rites and ceremonies. We are in bondage to no reactionary formularies, and yet we are bred in wholesome reverence for a noble past.
Yes, my brother, all this may be true; but if it is, what are you doing with your trust? A great inheritance involves great responsibilities; and if you and I are the members of a Divine society, what is such a society doing for that modern communism, tinted, if not tainted, a little with the laxities and corruptions of that essential paganism of standards and ideals which, from the four quarters of the earth, our New York has assembled? Nowhere on earth is there so magnificent an opportunity for the Church of God to reach the hearts of men as that which is offered to our Communion on this continent to-day. We are embarrassed by no secular allegiance or alliance, are subject to no foreign autocracy, but are essentially the incarnation of Mazzini's ideal of a "Free Church in a Free State." Nor are we weighted with a past stained with cruelty and rich in its heritage of craft and duplicity. Beginning our life on these shores under conditions of pathetic feebleness and widespread misapprehension, we have won our way, step by step, to a place of commanding influence wholly disproportioned to our wealth or our numbers. Do I remind you of these things, as ground for our vainglorious boasting? God forbid! I recall them because, in connection with this matter of the right observance of the Lord's Day, I am anxious that you should realize how vast are your obligations, and how exceptional is your opportunity! The time has come when, by one common endeavor, the Christian people of this land must rise up and rescue its Lord's Day. Differ as we may as to what it stands for, or how most wisely it may be improved, there are, in connection with our American Sunday, one or two fundamental facts which admit of no dispute. One of these is that you cannot have, whether in the life of the individual, the home, or the Republic, enduring or ennobling moral standards, apart from Divine Ideals. And the other is that Divine Ideals can work no transformation in human character or conduct, unless [13/14] there be opportunity for their appeal. And for this the law of our modern life must make a place.
That this has been recognized in our ancestral history there is abundant evidence. Again and again in England, for example, there has been a movement toward the redemption of Sunday from bad and base uses, of suggestive import. In the year 1833, Sir Andrew Agnew brought into Parliament a bill which began by declaring that "it is the bounden duty of the legislature to protect every class of society against being compelled to sacrifice their comfort, health, religious privileges and conscience, for the convenience, enjoyment or supposed advantage of any other class on the Lord's Day." Nothing could have been nobler than such a postulate, had it not been followed by a paragraph in the bill, excepting from its provisions "menial servants acting in the necessary service of their employers." In other words, Parliament was to make a law protecting all classes and conditions except those who needed that protection the most! It was not surprising that, contemporaneously with this proposed legislation, there was published in the same year (1833) that curious volume which some of us, I presume, have seen, called "Sunday in London, illustrated in 14 cuts by George Cruikshank," which contained this paragraph: "It is, nevertheless, most unquestionably true that whilst profound repose reigns undisturbed in 'the perfumed chambers of the great,' the cattle and the servants within their gates, and the tradesmen, 'on the great depending,' are breaking the fourth Commandment with all their might, in obedience to the orders of the great: the coachmen, and the grooms and the helpers are washing and scrubbing the cattle, and the barouches, the britzskas, the carriages and the cabs, for the afternoon-morning rides and drives; the fishmongers and poulterers are trimming the turbots and killing the quails, and the cooks and the scullions are lighting the stoves, and concocting the condiments, and graduating the gravies for the Higher Order dinner party; that is to say, the 'select' or grand dinner party."
The annotator of Cruikshank wrote these words concerning another society than our own more than three thousand miles away, and nearly a century ago. But will anybody to whom I speak care to deny that it portrays with ghastly accuracy the Sunday life among those who call themselves "superior people" to-day? And [14/15] the tragedy of it, men and brethren, is not merely that some men and women must slave on the Lord's Day that others may feast; but, most of all, that they who are answerable for such a use of Sunday are saying, in effect, to the man-servant and the maid-servant within their gates, "Slave of my whim, and panderer to my appetites, Jesus called you my brother, my sister, but you are not! He told you that you were made in God's image, but you are not! He bade you believe that this life is but the vestibule and antechamber of another and a diviner life, but it is not! You were made to toil for my indulgence. Work or starve: and remember! Sunday is not for such as you!"
It will, perhaps, be urged that, in this discussion, I have said nothing of that which is one of its gravest aspects, and which is forced upon us by a disposition just now to utilize Sunday for the profit or amusement of those who are promoters of coarser pleasures--of baseball matches and the like--on the Lord's Day. Undoubtedly, concerning all such enterprises, it is time that a plain word should be said. It will be well to remind ourselves that that word cannot justly be merely a sweeping condemnation of a movement concerning which many of us know very little, and toward which our circumstances, it may easily be, incline us still less. It is only necessary that one should recognize how few--even though, thank God, they are more numerous than they were--are the opportunities in great, or even small, cities for an outing of any kind, in the case of wage-earners, to enable us justly to estimate the impulse which welcomes a Sunday afternoon's sport--and a gathering for the purpose of witnessing it--of whatever sort.
But, all the same, the methods which are just now pushing to the front to this end are, most of them, diseased, and, if not degrading, at least debilitating. They involve, often, the fiercest passions--brutal violence, and reckless gambling. They compel to labor on our one rest-day increasing numbers of people without whose services games and contests of whatever sort are impossible. The wildest enthusiasm of any devotee of them could not describe them as restful either to mind or body. Worst of all, they are essentially pagan, both in their origin and in their tendency. If one asks, how far is the liberty of the individual to be restrained on a Sunday from devoting some part of it to mental or physical recreation and exercise, I answer, unhesitatingly, that must be a question for the [15/16] individual. "Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind," but "none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself." And "if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat for whom Christ died." No State, no Church, no household, can make laws for a Sunday observance which Christ has not made; but, in the exercise of our personal liberty, each one of us is bound to consider not alone his own needs, but the highest well-being of his fellow-men.
And it is at this point that, in this whole matter, we emerge from our various traditions and find ourselves upon a common standing ground. It may easily be that God has not given all of us the courage of the Reformer or the heroism of the martyr. But this, my brother, He has given you--the opportunity to bear witness! Just to live a life of consistent self-restraint; and, above all else, in dealing with those who are less favored than yourself, to cherish the principle of a fraternal equity--this will mean, in practice, to lighten, on the Lord's Day, the burdens of all those who toil for you, and to give to them the inspiration of your faith in that Divine Life which you thus take care to make more real for them as well as for yourself.
I can hear some one say, at this point, "This is all very pretty, and it might, under certain circumstances, be very proper; but one who urges a theory of social order which requires us to take account of the circumstances under which the wage-earner of whatever class does his work, really forgets or ignores the conditions of our modern life." On the contrary, I would not ignore and I can not forget them. And since I cannot, I think the Church may not dare to be silent concerning their mischievous drift. It is just because the conditions of our modern life are, in so many ways, so much more exacting, more anxious, more absorbing, than those which have preceded them, that it becomes imperative for us to recognize that "man doth not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God"--that, in other words, there is a higher life than the bread life, and that the question of the means and opportunities for feeding that life was never so imperative as to-day.
It is for this reason that I would, in conclusion, urge upon your attention three things in connection with the observance of Sunday, and entreat my brethren of the Clergy to press them upon the attention of their flocks.
 1. Take care that Sunday is unlike any other day. There is no smallest doubt that the effort to attain this end has been, in many ages, and by many devout people, disfigured by rules, the mechanical note of which was equally dreary and grotesque. Dr. Sanday, in the fourth volume of Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible, under the article "The Sabbath," uses these words, "The (Hebrew) prohibition to tie or untie a knot was too general, so it became necessary to define the species of knots referred to." It was accordingly laid down that a camel-driver's knot and a boatman's knot rendered the man who tied or untied them guilty; but Rabbi Meir said, "a knot which a man can untie with one hand only, he does not become guilty by untying"; and Rabbi Jehudah plunged the whole question into a delightful and characteristic obscurity by laying "down the rule that any knot might be lawfully tied" (and, of course, lawfully untied) "which was not intended to be permanent." It is easy enough to ridicule this sort of thing, and to say that there was too much of it in the legislation and life of our Puritan ancestors. Undoubtedly there was, and the reaction which we see to-day is in no wise surprising. But the question for you and me is the question whether our fathers, after all, did not succeed in conserving something--the sense of God and of our dependence upon Him--which we are in danger of losing? If you wish to understand what I mean--for in this matter there is need of plain speaking--go with me some Saturday afternoon to the Grand Central Depot, and see the people who are going into the country to spend Sunday! They are on their way to a country house, which they will find full of gay people, the majority of whom are communicants of the Church, but not one of whom, on Sunday, will cross the threshold of a Church or think of turning his steps toward a Church door. They will, when Sunday comes, lounge in bed, or stroll out to the golf-links, or play bridge in the library. My brother, my sister, who art host or hostess for such a group, I entreat you to redeem your home for godlier usages! Let it be understood, in your house, that the Lord's Day implies a Lord's House, and that you expect your guests to accompany you thither. Let no plea of weariness, or superciliousness, or indifference excuse those whom your roof shelters from requirements which go a great way above their mere tastes and preferences!
2. And this brings us, naturally, to the Church door. "But the Reverend A. B.," it may be urged, "is a very dull preacher and [17/18] does not edify me." Yes, my intellectual descendant of a nonconforming ancestry, it may easily be that you have been nurtured in an atmosphere which makes a sermon the supreme witness for the Christian religion. But you are a sinner needing forgiveness. Suppose you kneel down and ask for it! You are a child, groping in the dark, in a world of infinite mystery and perplexity. Suppose you sit down and hearken for a little, while out of God's Holy Word comes a Voice which shall help to show you the way! You are a lonely traveller, struggling to find a nobler life; and, if you can, to serve your fellow man. Suppose that for a little you pause, and turn your eyes toward that one incomparable Figure that, more than any other has shown us how to live, and how to serve, and how to die! All this the Church and her Services will help you to do, be the preacher never so dull!
3. In one word, my brother, remember that you have a soul! Almost all the aggressive forces of our modern life conspire to help you to forget it. The fierce competitions of the street, the office and the shop: the tremendous demands made by this twentieth century upon both brain and muscle, tempt most of us to believe that, if we can satisfy these, we shall have done the one task which is alike imperative to our peace and our prosperity. But we are mistaken. For, when every secular want has been satisfied and every temporal triumph achieved, there still remains that insistent and undying hunger of the Soul which Jesus Christ can alone satisfy, and for which He has built His House, and ordained His Sacraments, and appointed His day, to provide. Let us be slow to disesteem what He has given us!
I do not forget, let me say here in conclusion, that I have depicted in this Charge two situations wholly different and dissimilar. But remember, my brother, that situations which have a superficial dissimilarity may have an essential identity, and that neither your duty nor mine can be discharged by indifference to the one any more than to the other.
In other words, there are multitudes of people in this Diocese and in this Republic to whom we owe one duty, because of our common humanity. May God give us courage and wisdom to discharge it! And then, high above it, there rises another and a holier duty--our duty to our fellow disciples. For these, and for ourselves, we must safeguard the Lord's Day. May we have unerring wisdom and untiring fidelity in discharging this higher duty!