Rector of Grace Church, New York.
104 Hymn, "Jesus lives."
Lesson, I Thess. IV: 13-18.
Benedic, Anima mea.
Collects for 21st; 6th and 13th after Trinity,
Easter and the first in Burial office.
Hymn, 509, "O Paradise."
Sermon by Rev. Dr. Potter.
Hymn 187, "For all Thy Saints."
Collect for All Saints' Day.
There were present of the clergy the Rev Drs. Potter, Houghton, Seabury, Gallaudet and the Rev. Messrs. W. H. Benjamin, C. C. Tiffany, George Stuart Baker, Benj. S. Lassiter and Henry Mottet.
 "He fed them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands."--KING JAMES VERSION, Psalm lxxviii: 72.
"He fed theme with a faithful and a true heart, and ruled them prudently with all his power."--PRAYER BOOK VERSION, Psalm lxxviii: 73.
With the latter of these two versions we are the more familiar, chiefly because of our more frequent use of it in the Church's Psalter. But either of the two must recall to our minds the image of the Pastor to whose memory these services are consecrate, and of whose life and work I have been asked to speak to-night. I would that those whom I address could understand how singularly I account myself honored in being bidden to such a task, and I would that I could make you know, dear friends, how poorly I account myself furnished for so lofty and sacred a duty. We have come here tonight to remind ourselves of one whose benignant and unselfish life must linger an enduring fragrance within these walls so long as those walls shall stand. We have come to rehearse the [5/6] story, and gather the lessons of a Ministry which in the history of the Church in this community and in our generation, is not easily nor often paralleled. Would that some worthier hand could write the story and sketch the portraiture of a character and ministry alike so noble and so exceptional.
Indeed, for most of those whom I speak to-night there is no need that I should attempt the one or the other. There are those here who knew the Pastor, who for nearly a quarter of a century here broke to them the Bread of Life, better than I can describe him. And it is not for them that these services or this occasion are in any wise necessary or indispensible. But there are others outside these parish limits, in other communities and in other communions, to whom the life of this true-hearted Priest of God may be, and was meant to be, a message of sacred persuasiveness and of enduring power. For their sakes, if it be not needful for our own, and most of all for our own comfort and encouragement, let us strive to snatch from the oblivion which so speedily overwhelms and swallows up the images and incidents of a life so hurried as our own, something of the story of the friend, the teacher, the priest, and pastor whom we have so lately lost from among us.
Francis Effingham Lawrence, the son of [6/7] Effingham Watson and Rebecca Prince Lawrence, was born at Flushing, Long -Island, on the 12th of May, 1827. It is characteristic of the intrinsic modesty of his nature that, though his middle name, Effingham, descended to him through a long line of honorable, and, in its trans-Atlantic connections, noble ancestry, he himself never used it, and during his whole life wrote in connection with his signature only its initial letter. He abhorred parade and pretension, and could not either countenance or practice any usage which seemed, though ever so remotely, to savor of them.
Francis Lawrence spent his childhood under his father's roof in Flushing, and one of the earliest diaries which he kept, mentions his desire to be a minister, and his mimic services, "in which," he says, "nothing afforded me more delight than to preach, while my dear mother would act the part of the congregation, and sing the chants and hymns before the sermon. As I grew older, however, my good impressions and desires faded gradually away, and at last seemed almost obliterated. But in my fifteenth year, God in his gracious mercy awakened in me purer and holier aspirations; and on the 4th of September, in the year 1843, I received for the first time the blessed Communion of the Body and Blood of Christ."
Whether this occurred before or after he had [7/8] become a pupil at St. Paul's School, Flushing (then, and for some years afterwards, under the charge of the Rev. Dr. Muhlenberg), is a fact which I have not been able to learn. But it can not be doubted that young Lawrence's connection with Dr. Muhlenberg as his pupil had a marked and lasting influence upon all his subsequent life. There was that in the boy's native disposition and character which strongly predisposed him to be influenced by such a nature as that of Dr. Muhlenberg, and it is not surprising that, having finished the course of study at St. Paul's School, we next hear of him as a candidate for Holy Orders, and a student in the General Theological Seminary, which he entered in the year 1849.
In the year 1853 he was ordained to the Diaconate in the Church of the Annunciation, in this city, by Bishop Chase of New Hampshire and in 1854, at Trinity Church, he was advanced to the priesthood by Bishop Wainright.
Mr. Lawrence began his ministry at the Church of the Holy Trinity, Middletown, Conn., of which he had charge throughout the summer immediately following his ordination to the priesthood, during the temporary absence of its Rector. In November, 1854, he became the Assistant, in this church, of Dr. Muhlenberg.
Of that earlier ministry in this place, there are [8/9] not many remaining to tell the story; but its usefulness and efficiency are best indicated by the fact that five years later, in 1859, when Dr. Muhlenberg resigned his place as Pastor of the Church of the Holy Communion, Mr. Lawrence was chosen as his successor. His service here as your Pastor thus covers the space of twenty years; and what years of unreserved consecration, of-unwearied labors, and of unsparing self-sacrifice they were, they best knew who most closely and constantly watched them. I may not venture here to review them in detail, but it belongs to this occasion to speak of those qualities which made your Pastor's ministry what it was, and these I shall endeavor to recall.
1.--And in the first place, Dr. Lawrence had that primary and pre-eminent qualification for one who was to be at once the teacher and friend, the guide and consoler of his people--a sensitive and strongly sympathetic nature. I do not know whether others may have noticed it as I did, but there was something almost like a caress in the very tones and inflections of his voice. His work and mine, during the years that I knew him, lay quite apart; but I never met him without being at once warmed and refreshed by the manly and tender quality of his greeting. How it disarmed suspicion and encouraged the timid, and attracted the [9/10] most unfamiliar! And it did so, because behind it there was that royal duality of sympathy which makes those who have it to be everywhere the natural leaders and helpers of their kind. It is the characteristic of some men that they reach and influence particular ages, sexes, or classes. One man has an intellectual aptitude that attracts to him the interest and regard of the cultivated; another will be pre-eminent for his ministry among children or in a sick room. But it was the distinction of Dr. Lawrence that he won childhood and manhood alike, that men and women, the active and secluded, the man of labor and the man of culture, teachers and clerks and employers, people of the most different classes and occupations and sympathies, were equally and steadily drawn to him. What was it now, which gave him this singular and lasting power? It was that God had given to him the rare quality of entering into the life and grasping, as it were, instinctively the peculiarities and characteristics of those to whom he ministered. He understood people, not so much because of a subtler insight and an accuter intuition as because he longed to understand them and because his heart warmed toward his fellows with ardent and instinctive tenderness.
2.--And next to this sympathetic quality was the singleness and concentration of his nature. [10/11] Dr. Lawrence had gifts which would have made him esteemed and honored in a sphere far wider and more various than that which he actually filled. The same qualities which made his own ministry so efficient and successful within the limits of this parish would not have been less influential if they had been exercised outside of it. But he was content with the work of his own cure, and to that he gave all that he had of strength and time and talent. And that fact it was which lent to his ministry a charm so unique and peculiar. He and his Church seemed one. He had no complex aims, nor had he room in his heart for any divided allegiance. To come into contact with him was to discover straightway what St. Paul meant when he said, "this one thing I do," and the singleness with which he did it was at once a spell and summons to those to whom he ministered. He has been much envied, (nor is it surprising,) the interest and sympathy of young men whom he drew around him. But those who were thus drawn to him found his presence magnetic because there streamed forth from it that quality which, above all others, I think, has a charm and attraction to the young--a single and simple purpose ardently and unceasingly pursued. It was the delight of Dr. Lawrence to be surrounded by those for whom he worked; and he did [11/12] not put on and off his interest in his people as he put on and off his surplice, but wore them rather as an image and seal upon his whole heart and life. It was this concentration of interest, this reality and singleness of purpose and endeavor which made men and women and children in no doubt about his regard, his sympathy, his love.
3.--Again: Dr. Lawrence was distinguished above most men whom I have known by a rare and beautiful humility. He knew what it was to forget self and to prefer others' honor to his own. Indeed he seemed to do this so easily and naturally that it was not always estimated at its true worth. More than once the Church turned to him as to one whose gifts and services entitled him to more conspicuous service and distinction. But these overtures seem to have found him equally and invariably indifferent. A word from him would probably have secured him honors and emoluments; but he would not speak it. He hid no personal ends to serve in his ministry; he had not entered it at the call of ambition, but at the bidding of his Divine Master, and to serve Him, however little the feverish world might know or hear of his achievements was his supreme ambition. It was impossible, I think, to come into intimate contact with him without becoming conscious of this trait in his character. To let others [12/13] have the chief place, to take the task and duty that fell to him, without a thought of his claim to something else and better, this was the habit of his life. It brought him very close to those who most needed his help and counsel. They found it no chilling or difficult task to tell their story into the ear of one who so little separated himself from the sorrows and miseries of their life. He did not hold himself aloof, nor patronize nor condescend. No matter who came to him--the boy who had made a mis-step, the man or woman wrestling with a strong temptation, the needy and sorrowing ones who craved his sympathy and help, they found not an ecclesiastic, austere, haughty, and unsympathizing, but a father and a brother, willing to put himself on a level with their life and to stand side by side with them in their darkest and bitterest moments. And in this unaffected and intrinsic humility they never found him wanting.
4.--At the root of such characteristics, it hardly needs to be added, there was a profound and unswerving faith. Dr. Lawrence was not a demonstrative Christian; by which I mean that he did not talk much or promiscuously of his inner religious life. But of the depth and reality of that life no one who saw or knew him, could long be ignorant or uncertain. He lived and worked in the consciousness of an unseen world and an unseen Lord. The [13/14] life of that other world was scarcely less real and vivid to him than the life of this. The Master whom he served was, with him, no mere myth or tradition. In a sermon preached in my own pulpit on the Sunday after his funeral, I used some words in regard to this feature of his character which I cannot but repeat to you here: "Dr. Lawrence was one of those rare men whose ministry is among the most convincing evidences of Christianity, and whose daily life and teaching were a daily reproduction of those great ideas and truths which were the power of the ministry of Paul the Apostle. . . . To such a life, we may be sure, as to the soul of Saul of Tarsus, there had come a vision. For Francis Lawrence, as for the great Apostle to the Gentiles, the veil had been drawn aside, and he knew Whose he was and Whom he served. The power and presence of a Divine Saviour had entered into his consciousness, and had made Christ both real and near to him. And, in the inspiration of such a vision, he worked until his Master called him to put his work aside, and then, through the gateway of exceptional pain and suffering, he passed on and up to be forever with the Lord."
But it is time that I turn from these more individual and personal aspects of his character to speak of him as he was in his relations to this place and [14/15] this people. What was he as Pastor; as a Preacher; and Teacher and Scholar, as an Organizer and Administrator, as a Citizen and Christian Disciple among those whom he was striving to lead and guide in the same Christian discipleship?
(a)--And first, what was he in his relations to this flock as its Pastor? I have already spoken of that charm of manner which made him so winning and attractive. How did he use this and other gifts of a similar nature which fitted him so singularly for this work? I think it will be answered by those who knew him best that he used them with a constant and supreme regard to his work and the welfare of his people. He had gifts which might easily have made him a favorite in companies other than those where his duty especially led him. He had a bright and genial nature, which delighted in social intercourse, and which charmed by its sunny and benignant quality wherever he went. But he chose to be mainly among his own flock, and his intercourse with these was never marred by forgetfulness of his office or his work. There are some men who perform every duty punctiliously and who yet never reach the hearts of their people nor win their sympathy or their confidence. It is not because they are not trusted and respected; it is because what they do seems so often to have no other spring than the mere sense of duty, and is wanting in the mightier [15/16] magnetism of love. But Dr. Lawrence wrought as a Pastor mainly by the power of his heart. It beat always with an inextinguishable tenderness for all sorts and conditions of men. There was that in his whole mien and bearing which made children instinctively love and trust him, and when he appeared among them they flocked about him and clung to him because of an attraction which to them was simply irresistible.
And out of this quality in him grew his close and intimate knowledge of his people. Their names were not merely written in the Parish Register, they were written also upon the tablets of his loving-memory. In that portraiture of the Good Shepherd which is given us in St. John's Gospel, it is said of Him that "he calleth his own sheep by name." It is not given to many men to do this as surely and unerringly, and as unforgettingly, as did Dr. Lawrence. When he entered his Sunday-school, when he went in and out among the houses of his people, he did not need to be told who they were nor to have their names or faces recalled to him. People speak of the gift of recognition and recollection in connection with the identity of other people. Undoubtedly it is partially a natural faculty or aptitude; but far more largely it is the result of that habitual unselfishness which thinks rather of others than of oneself, and which reaches out in welcome and sympathy [16/17] to those with whom it is brought in contact. It was that gift--ought we not rather to call it a grace of the Holy Spirit--which made Dr. Lawrence so welcome and beloved as a Pastor. He knew how to make the interests of others, their temptations, aspirations, sorrows, and failures, his own. When he entered a home where sickness or bereavement had come, how he brought with him a blessing as from the very presence of Christ Himself. Without formality or effort, how close he came to those who were racked by pain or crushed by sorrow, or smitten with the sense of their own short-comings! With what a tender hand he touched the wounds of those whom God had wounded, and with what affectionate and yet unsparing fidelity he probed the conscience of the erring, and showed those who had gone astray the peril and the folly of their sin! There must be some who hear me to-night who re-member him in this last relation. Many a wayward boy has had cause to thank God for the loving faithfulness and patient friendship of Dr. Francis Lawrence. He knew how to rebuke, but he knew also how to forgive. And more than once, when others were discouraged and disheartened, he still clung to some self-willed and intractible nature, until, slowly and late, he won it back to the path of duty and safety and peace.
I may not, however, speak here as I am minded [17/18] to of what he was to you in your homes and in your more private sorrows and misfortunes. Who will ever know the heavy crosses which were brought to him when they seemed too heavy for any human shoulders to bear, and, sharing which, he daily bore his "brother's burden, and so fulfilled the law of Christ?" There were sick rooms where his coming was watched for more eagerly than the breaking of the dawn; and what toiler or sufferer turned to him for sympathy in vain? As we recall these words from the 78th Psalm with which I began, they seem almost as though they had been written to describe his ministry. He fed his people, not with the husks of a recondite and antiquated learning, not with the windy emptyness of shallow, though brilliant, speculation, not with the indigestible fragments of a hard and unsympathetic ecclesiasticism, but "with a faithful and true heart." Behind the manifold activities in the midst of which he moved, there throbbed the beatings of a warm and living affection. There are some ministries that remind us of the function of one whose business it is to oil some huge piece of machinery. The man climbs to and fro around pistons and cylinders and driving-wheels, lubricating a bearing here and an axle there, and a ratchet somewhere else, but the whole task is mechanical, not sympathetic, unconscious often, and never a matter of heart, but [18/19] purely of the brain and hands. Unlike such merely perfunctory work, Dr. Lawrence's pastoral service was the outflow of a living tenderness, and his power as a pastor was the measure of his usefulness and his love.
(b)--And yet he was not only a Pastor; he was a Teacher and Preacher as well. I never heard him preach; but, on asking once, what was the character of his preaching, I was answered that its chief characteristic was that "he got hold of people." One or two of his sermons which I have read since his death, partially help to explain the words. They are singularly direct, simple, and personal. They are written as if the Preacher had human souls in his eye when he wrote them, and was seeking how best to help and guide them. And, as he wrote them, so he preached them. I have heard of two lads who found their way into this sanctuary on a Sunday morning and heard him preach a sermon on prayer. When we consider how little impression most preaching makes upon children, how little intelligible (shame on us, who are Preachers, that it is so!) it usually is to any child, it is sufficiently remarkable that these lads remembered enough of what they had heard here to go home and repeat it to their mother. But the influence of the sermon did not stop there; it led them to form habits of prayer for themselves; it brought them to the [19/20] Sunday-School on a Sunday morning soon after. One of them, who still survives, will never forget, I fancy, the welcome from the kind-hearted Pastor which he then received, nor the sacred and tender friendship which then began; and since, in the Providence of God, he has been called to take up the tasks and burdens which his venerated friend and Pastor bore here for five and twenty years, his ministry and presence here remains a witness to the power of that preaching which first reached and touched and impressed him.
But it was preaching which had in it something more than the element of personal magnetism and directness, large as that element was. Dr. Lawrence was essentially a thinking man, and he fed his mind with the best thoughts and suggestions of others. Immersed in the cares of a Parish such as this, at once so large and so constant in its demands upon his time and attention, it was impossible for him to reserve any considerable time for regular habits of study, still less to be a book-worm or recluse. But he loved to refresh his mind with those readings in the classics which had been the occupation of his more scholastic days, and he turned with a genuine delight to the pages of the Greek and Latin poets, with which he had long before become familiar. One who accompanied him on a vacation recalls how he found him, amid the bustle and excitement of a great inland watering-place, sitting with a copy of some [20/21] Latin classic in his hand, as genuinely refreshed by its companionship as though he had been conversing with a friend.
On the other hand, he kept himself abreast of the intellectual movements of his own age, and thoroughly entered into the social and philosophical problems of his time. It was this that struck me with a sense of constant and grateful surprise whenever I was privileged to be with him. At Advent and again during the Lenten season he was accustomed for some years to ask me to take, in turn with others, my place in his pulpit; and when I did so, I usually sought to secure a half hour with him in his study before the services began. I knew how much his work absorbed him, and how little he ventured outside of his parish limits into more genial companionships and undertakings. It would not have been surprising if, under such circumstances, he had grown to disesteem questions of merely speculative interest and to undervalue books and teachers whose utterances did not bear directly upon the details of his own work. But nothing could have been further from the fact. It was a perpetual refreshment to me to meet with him and to find how open and receptive he kept his mind, how keen and discriminating was his interest in all living questions, whether they touched directly his own calling or not, how fine and fresh especially was his poetic sense, [21/22] which made, for instance, such a clear and noble singer as Elizabeth Barrett Browning an unfailing source to him of intellectual delight and charm. On his table one found the best books, chosen, too, in no narrow nor merely professional mood; and those who conversed with him found that his mind was continually quickened and enriched by living contact with such books.
The fruit of his reading appeared less perhaps in his preaching than in his conversation and his letters; but those who were so fortunate as to have been in any wise familiar with these last, cannot have been insensible to their singular interest and vivacity. His correspondence, when absent from home, was both voluminous and frequent; and his letters were not so much letters as pictures, in which his observant mind and ready pen delineated for others the scenes amid which he had been moving. Travel was, with him, a genuine delight, but it never took him so far from home that he forgot to tell to those whom he had left behind the often vivid and stirring story of his wanderings. And when, from time to time, he returned from those wanderings, it was impossible not to feel that travel had been, with him, not merely a recreation, but also, in the highest and truest sense, an education.
(c) But it will be said that I have failed to recognize one of the most marked and conspicuous [22/23] characteristics of Dr. Lawrence in his relations to this people, if I shall fail to speak of his singular gifts and almost invariable success as an organizer and administrator. For such work he certainly had exceptional qualifications. He knew how to approach people, and no less how to enlist their interest and retain it. Elements of pecuniary strength and social influence which he found here when he came to be Dr. Muhlenberg's assistant were, in after years, by death or removal, largely lost to the parish. But from the very beginning, he developed its resources and enlarged its usefulness with a success which could hardly have been surpassed. Both the free Dispensary and Sisterhood, which had existed during Dr. Muhlenberg's Pastorate, were closed or removed to other fields of labor when Dr. Muhlenberg retired and St. Luke's Hospital was opened. But Dr. Lawrence revived each one of these departments of Church work as agencies of this Church, and to-day the Sisterhood of the Holy Communion exists as one of the noblest monuments to his wise energy and foresight. Under his ministry the Employment Society was stimulated to greatly enlarged and increased efficiency, and the Home for the Aged, the Shelter for Respectable Girls, the Babies' Shelter, and the Workingmen's Club, were all called into existence. In each of these creations one saw the fruit both of a wide and discriminating observation and [23/24] an earnest and intelligent sympathy. There are no classes in a great and crowded city who have a stronger claim upon the regard and interest of the Church than working men and young girls out of employment. The temptations of the one, and the perils and exposures of the other, are among the most urgent questions of the hour. How wisely and tenderly did the Shelter and the Club meet the dangers of the former and ease the hardships and discouragements of the latter! If this Church of the Holy Communion stands for one thing more than another in this community, it is for the fact that the brotherhood and fellowship which it proclaims are something more than a mere name--that they are a working fact. And scarcely less eloquent than this free and open Church, these frequent services and the voice of the living teacher in uttering that fact, have been these parochial organizations and agencies which I have referred to and which owed their existence so largely to Dr. Lawrence.
Nor only their existence. The Christian and philanthropic activities of this parish have been remarkable not merely for their excellence and their variety, but for their strong and steady and deepening current of activity. Dr. Lawrence not only knew how to set his people to work, he knew what is harder--how to keep them at work; His own untiring interest rekindled the interest of others. His [24/25] rare courage, when things went wrong, his persistent hopefulness and faith, his willingness both to work and to wait were infectious, and thus he left this Church, even more truly than he found it, not a dry shell, but a living and palpitating organism, instinct with power and energy and strong and throbbing for future toil and sacrifice. May God keep it what he left it, and make it, in years to come, more than ever a centre of healing and light and life!
I would that the reasonable limits of such an occasion as this permitted of my speaking as I should like to of Dr. Lawrence, not so much as a clergyman, as a citizen, of his firm and unswerving loyalty to his country and her flag, of his steadfast and courageous interest in the cause of good government and of municipal reform, of his punctilious performance of every duty as a citizen, both at the polls and before he went there. But I must content myself with summing up this hasty outline of his character by reminding you of what he was first as a man, and then as a Christian disciple.
(I.)--He was essentially a manly man. "I am a man," said a clergyman in my hearing not long ago upon a public platform, "even though I do wear a cassock." Unfortunately, not all those who wear a cassock can say so as truly as could Dr. Lawrence. He never forgot that he was a Priest in the Church of God, but that consciousness did not make him effeminate [25/26] or imperious or impracticable. Of the boys who grew up in the Sunday-School of this Church under his influence, I am told that there are one hundred and fifty, now no longer boys, but young men who are identified with this congregation. What was it that so drew and held them to this friend and counsellor of their earlier years? Was it not that, behind the merely official relation they found and felt, with increasing reality and distinctness, the personality of a brother man, one whose life found real and living points of sympathy and contact with their lives, and who held them to himself with that spell of fellowship which is mightier than any wand of prince or priest or potentate. And was it not, too, this element of manhood in him which so translated him to children and made his words so level to their understandings, because, first of all, he felt with and understood them?
It was this manhood in him which made him so truly and consistently to be "no respecter of persons." He enjoyed the confidence of many people who possessed wealth and influence, and he prized their sympathy and co-operation. But he never sought it at the cost of his own independence, either of speech or action. Men and women interested him not because of what they had, but because of what they were, and no considerations of mere interest could swerve him from what he believed to be the plain course of duty. [26/27] When, on one occasion, it was represented to him that a certain course might close the hand of one to whose liberality his work had more than once been indebted, he answered indignantly, "I must do my duty towards him, no matter what it may cost. It is not his money that I want, but his soul." It was this spirit, which found its illustration in deeds oftener than in words, that won for him such genuine and lasting respect from rich and poor alike. Men saw that he had no secondary interests to serve, and that the law of his life was not the law of mere expediency or prudence, but the law of God and the right. And thus they came to love and trust and honor him, not because of his official station or merely professional claims, but because beneath the functionary they found the fearless, steadfast, and unswerving manhood of the man.
(II.)--And, best of all, a manhood at once ennobled and sanctified by the thorough consecration of a Christian discipleship. The faith that he taught, Dr. Lawrence believed and lived himself. He delighted in the services of this Holy House, but they were to him no mere ceremony or performance. Those of us who have seen him when engaged in the solemn services of yonder altar have no need to be reminded how reverently and meetly he bore himself, nor how profoundly he was penetrated with the august sacredness of the occasion. Worship was to [27/28] him at once the instinct of his soul and the highest privilege of his life. And when he went forth "from kneeling before the altar of the Lord," he carried with him the aroma of that Divine fellowship in which he had been lingering so that, as of old, men "took knowledge of him that he had been with Jesus." That holiest communion taught him how to be patient and long-suffering and lowly. It made him to be in his work at once singularly cheerful and self-sacrificing. He made light of denials that to others would have been a heavy cross; and his devotion quickened him to an earnestness and persistency in his work which, until the end approached, could hardly be persuaded to pause or rest.
How all too soon for us that end drew on! Its coming must still be too fresh in your memories to need that I should more than briefly and hastily recall it. He had never been a man of robust or vigorous health. Indeed he once remarked to a friend that he could not remember a day in his whole life when he had been absolutely free from pain. But he had a strength that seemed sufficient for his work, and he drew upon it, with only scanty and insufficient respite, until little more than eighteen months ago. He visited Europe in 1876, and returned in remarkable health and spirits. But in August, 1878, there fell the shadow that darkened, steadily, and persistently, till the end. In October last, just a [28/29] year ago, it became evident that his enfeebled constitution was giving way. In January of this present year, his physician ordered him to Bermuda; and though at first he seemed to have derived considerable benefit from the change, he returned at the close of February looking (as indeed he was) extremely ill. He had meant to be in his place here on the first day of Lent; but when Ash-Wednesday came, it was evident even to himself that such a thing was impossible. You remember how, as some one expressed it, "he staggered through Lent," striving, with determination and self-control that were simply heroic, to take up and do his work. On the Octave of Easter he preached his last sermon from the second verse of the fourth Chapter of the Prophecy of Malachi--"The Sun of Righteousness shall rise with healing in His wings" and thenceforth the place that had known him so long, knew him no more. On Thursday of the same week he went to Atlantic City, only to develop a new and distressing malady, and to return on the following Monday week. Soon after, there appeared other and still more alarming symptoms of disease; and on the 30th of May the citadel of his mind yielded for the first time to these repeated and persistent assaults; and from thence to the end the candle simply flickered in the socket until at length it went out. He fell asleep on the 10th day of June, and "was not, for God took him."
 Can I trust myself and you to recall that lovely and peaceful morning, when, amid the tender sun-shine of a June day, we gathered here to say over him the last office of the Dead, and then lovingly and tearfully, but reverently and hopefully, to bear him to his chosen resting-place? That thronged and hushed assembly, that strong, deep tide of stifled and controlled emotion, that gathering of old and of young, of rich and poor, of priests and people, the stricken flock, the empty place at yonder desk and lecturn, in this pulpit, before that altar, with each of which he was so fresh and vividly associated, the hymn and prayer and anthem broken by smothered sob and stifled cry, the choking sense of loss and desolation--who that remembers these can ever forget the true Priest, the loving Pastor, the pure and blameless man to whom they were so singular and so profound a tribute?
Men and brethren! Henceforth this holy house will have an added sanctity because of him who, for five and twenty years, so tenderly and fearlessly and faithfully ministered within it. We have borne him to his rest, but his spirit still lives among us. In lives which he won to Christ, in boys and men whose feet he turned to paths of peace and righteousness, in the homes of sorrow and suffering and poverty that his presence once brightened and illumined, in the affections of men and women and children in [30/31] every walk of life whom he helped and taught and cheered, in the Shelter and Sisterhood and Brotherhood, with which, as with so many stately cedars of Lebanon, he girt about the walls of this Holy House, in all these he still lives and will continue to live, and through them, he being dead, yet speaketh!
Be it ours to see that, for us, he shall not have lived and striven and suffered in vain. Could he come back here to-night, he would bid me tell you that those of us will best honor his memory who honor the Master whom he served and the Saviour whom he followed. Could he speak to you from this pulpit, he would bid you carry forward the torch which here he was permitted to kindle, until in all this vast community there shall be no sin unrebuked, no wretchedness unhealed, no sorrow uncomforted!
Thanks be to God! Oh true-hearted Pastor, Priest, and friend for thy pure and bright example! Be ours the faith and patience that shall follow thee as thou hast followed Christ!
"We would not call thee back, so let them say:
What the lips speak, the bleeding heart denies;
Our voice, dear friend, should call thee back to-day,
Could it but reach thy dwelling in the skies.
For we have need of thee; thy tender, kindly smile
Lay like a sunbeam on this scene of care;
And weary burdens at thy touch erewhile.
Were changed to burdens light as summer air.
Soul to its place, dust to its kindred dust!
Such is the law, and we will not complain;
But, ever, clear of Time's corroding rust,
Thy love we cherish till we meet again.
Far through the parting veil we see thee now,
In thy fair clime, with faith's unclouded eye,
See thee, with every charm of mind and brow,
Baptized anew in immortality.
And thou art risen, another, yet the same,
Nor have we lost thee in thy heavenly birth;
The ransomed friend who takes an angel's name
Is still the Pastor we have loved on earth!"