DANIEL DANA, JR.,
No. 637 Broadway
On Wednesday, the twenty-second day of November, A. D. MDCCCLIV., the Rev. Horatio Potter, D. D., was consecrated Provisional Bishop of the Diocese of New-York, in Trinity Church, in the city of New-York. The following account of the services is taken mainly from the Church Journal:--
At eleven o'clock, A. M., the procession entered the Church from the south Vestry-Room, in the following order:--Candidates for Holy Orders and Students of the General Theological Seminary; unofficiating Clergy; Deacons and Priests officiating; and Bishops in their robes. The Bishops took their places within the Chancel-rails, the Bishop of Montreal being on the left of the Altar, and the chair on the right being left vacant for the venerable Presiding Bishop, whose health was too infirm to allow him to be present during the whole of the services of the day. The Bishops of Vermont, New-Jersey, Michigan, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Illinois, Assistant of Connecticut, and Iowa, were present. In the middle of the choir the Provisional [3/4] Bishop-elect was seated, facing the Altar, with the Rev. G. T. Bedell on his right, and the Rev. J. I. Tucker on his left. Twelve Priests, among whom was the Archdeacon of Montreal, occupied the stalls, six on either side. The Deacons were placed immediately below the Chancel steps. The rest of the Clergy were seated in the Nave.
Morning Prayer was said by the Rev. Drs. Taylor and Price, assisted in the Lessons (1st Lesson, Ezek. xxxiii. to v. 10: 2d Lesson, Acts xx. 17-36) by the Rev. Drs. F. Vinton and Lewis. The 16th Selection was then sung, verses 3, 4, 5.
The Ante-Communion Office was commenced by the Bishop of Vermont, the Bishop of Iowa reading the Epistle, and the Bishop of Illinois the Gospel.
After singing the 100th Hymn, verses 1, 2, 4 and 6, the Sermon was preached by the Bishop of Montreal, from the words--Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those, whom Thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.--St. John, xvii. 11.
An Anthem (the 134th Psalm) was then sung; during which the venerable Presiding Bishop entered, loaning for support on the arm of the Rev. Dr. Haight, his infirmity rendering him unable to be present during the whole of the protracted services of the day. The Provisional Bishop-elect was then presented by his elder-brother, the Bishop of Pennsylvania, and the Assistant Bishop of Connecticut. The Presiding Bishop having called for the Testimonials, they were presented and read; those of the Convention of New-York by its Secretary, the Rev. Mr. Eigenbrodt; those of the Standing Committee by the Rev. Dr. Haight, Secretary of the [4/5] Standing Committee of the Diocese; and the Certificate of the consent of a majority of the Bishops, by the Rev. Dr. Van Kleeck, one of the Assistant Secretaries of the last Diocesan Convention These documents were then laid upon the Altar.
The Oath of conformity and obedience to the Church was then taken by the Provisional Bishop-elect.
The Presiding Bishop having made the call to Prayer, the Litany was said by the Bishop of Massachusetts. The Interrogatories wore addressed by the Bishop of New-Jersey. The Rev. Messrs. Bedell and Tucker assisted in robing. The venerable Presiding Bishop then came forward, and the other Bishops gathered round: the Veni Creator Spiritus was said; six of the Bishops joined in the laying on of hands, (the Bishops of Montreal, Vermont, New-Jersey, Michigan, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.)
The Offertory was read by the Assistant Bishop of Connecticut the alms being collected by six Deacons, and devoted to the Missionary work of the Diocese. The Communion Office was continued by the Bishops of Maryland and Michigan, the latter consecrating. The Bishops administered to the Clergy; and the Rev. Dr. Clark, Bishop-elect of Rhode Island, the Ven. Archdeacon Lower, of Montreal, and the Rev. Drs. Creighton and S. R. Johnson, to a very large number of the faithful Laity. The Post-Communion was said by the Bishop of Pennsylvania; the Gloria in Excelsis (Dr. Haight leading) was sung without the organ; and the Presiding Bishop concluded with the final Benediction. After the Service, the Chancel was thronged with the Clergy and Laity, crowding to bid the new Bishop God-speed!
 The day was somewhat rainy; but the unpleasantness of the weather did not prevent the whole disposable area of Trinity Church from being crowded to its utmost capacity. The immense preponderance of male voices--especially of the Clergy--gave great volume and solemn force to the responses of the psalmody, especially in the Old Hundredth Psalm tune, sung to the one hundredth Hymn. The music indeed--as on all occasions at Trinity Church--deserves, and ought to have, a special mention by itself. But our limits will not allow us to do more than mention that the Te Deum and Jubilate were Boyce in A. The Anthem, Psalm 134--a beautiful composition by Dr. Hodges--was originally written for the expected consecration of Dr. Creighton. Beginning with a solo, the composition becomes gradually richer and fuller towards the closing chorus, the whole ending with an admirable and elaborate "Hallelujah, Amen."
The Letter of Consecration--a magnificent specimen of illumination on parchment by the hand of a daughter of the Church--was ready in the Vestry-room, after the Service, for the signatures and seals of the Consecrating Prelates.
Thus auspiciously does Bishop Potter commence his Episcopate, as the successor of the lamented Bishop Wainwright. With such a gathering of Bishops and Clergy;--with one worthy representative of our Mother Church fo England, again entwining the strands of the Apostolic Succession in the two Churches, and that, too, by the same hands which were so welcome, in the same capacity, on the occasion of Bishop Wainwright's Consecration;--with a unity of feeling in the Diocese in regard to himself--personally and officially--which is wholly unanimous;--and with every confidence in [6/7] the affection and devotion of his clergy and people:--Bishop Potter commences an Episcopate which we fondly trust will realize even more for the Church than his most ardent personal friends have ventured to anticipate.
MY DEAR LORD BISHOP:--
I cannot express to your Lordship how very much I led obliged, and how much the Church in this Diocese feels obliged, by your great kindness in consenting to come to us, and to preach the Sermon on the occasion of my Consecration as Provisional Bishop of the Diocese of New-York. It has endeared you in thousands of hearts, and bound more closely the ties which unite our Branch of the Holy Catholick Church to yours--the. Christians of one country to those of another.
But, my dear Lord, your kindness will not have all the good effect which it is so well calculated to produce, unless you will favor us with a copy of your admirable sermon for publication The touching words used by you in relation to our lamented friend, the late Bishop Wainwright, and the very fitting terms in which your Lordship touched a variety of interesting topics, make me very desirous that the discourse should be given to the public The Standing Committee of the Diocese earnestly unite with me in urging this request.
My dear Lord Bishop,
With great respect and regard,
Most faithfully yours,
To the Right Reverend
THE LORD BISHOP OF MONTREAL.
New-York, November 21, 1851.
MY DEAR BISHOP:--
Having at your request, and that of the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese, consented to preach on the occasion of your Consecration, as Provisional Bishop, I shall not refuse to leave with you the manuscript of the Sermon which I delivered in Trinity Church, on Wednesday last. It will then be for you and the Standing Committee, after having given the matter your best consideration, to decide whether any benefit is to be expected from its publication. I am very grateful for the manner in which you have expressed yourself in your note, both towards me and the Church of England; and I can assure you that it is a great alleviation of the regret I feel at the early removal of Bishop Wainwright, to know that his successor is so eminently qualified worthily to fill the vacant office.
My dear Bishop,
Very sincerely and faithfully yours,
The Right Reverend
HORATIO POTTER, D. D.
SERMON. St. John, xvii. 11. Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
THESE words form part of that solemn and earnest prayer, which the Lord Jesus Christ offered up to the Almighty Father, when He was just about to be betrayed into the hands of His enemies, he knew the importance of prayer, as a means of obtaining good gifts from God. He prayed as 'the prevailing Intercessor;' and He has taught and commanded us to pray also, in and through His name. He had previously prayed for one of His disciples in particular: "I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not." And though Simon Peter fell in the hour of his temptation, yet was the prayer effectual in that he was restored again, and afterwards witnessed a good confession.
On this occasion Christ's prayer is not confined to an individual, but is offered up for all, in every age, that should believe on Him; for those disciples then present with Him, yet not for those only, "but for them [13/14] also which shall believe on me through their word: that they all may be one, as Thou, Father, art in me and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent me." And shall not this prayer of Christ's be effectual too? Again He says, at the same time, "I pray not that Thou shouldst take them out of the world;'' that would not have fulfilled the purpose of God. His disciples, the members of His body, were to be in the world for its sanctification, through the Spirit, which was given to them: they were to be the leaven, which, by its pervading influence, was to leaven the whole lump. But while He prays earnestly that they may be sanctified and "kept from the evil" of the world, in which they were to continue, He prays also with repeated and strong supplications, that they may be knit together in unity, in the closest, holiest bonds; even as is the unity of Christ with the Father. Which unity would be a consequence of God's protecting grace being with them: "keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are." And farther, this unity would be a witness for the truth, as it is in Jesus: "that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that Thou hast sent me." Christ then prays for His disciples, who are to be in the world, that they may be sanctified and kept from the evil; and as a consequence, may be knit together in one body, as a witness for God in the world. After this manner, then, it was in the mind and purpose of Christ, for the advancement of God's glory, [14/15] and the furtherance of men's salvation, that His disciples were to be manifested to the world, as well "So we, (as St. Paul writes to the Romans,) being as known unto God; forming His body, the Church, many, are one body in Christ: and every one members one of another." And it is of this body of Christ that so many glorious descriptions are given in Scripture; of which the faith of every true believer anticipates the full accomplishment--albeit the time is not yet.
The existence of evil, and still more, its frequent triumphs in the world, have often been used by the infidel as his strong argument for his unbelief of the Gospel. And certainly the conflict that is being ceaselessly waged by the powers of darkness against the Church of Christ, is most awful and mysterious. But whether in the case of individuals, or in that of the Church, as a body, nothing has occurred in connection with our present militant state, but what has been as plainly foretold as those very principles of our Christian faith, on which our salvation depends. The present period is one of probation and trial, which God has appointed for some wise and merciful purposes: and whereas Christ, as He prayed, so He might have altogether prevented the fall of Peter, but did not; so He might have preserved His Church from all present evil whatsoever, and manifested it at once in its perfect state, "a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, nor any such thing." But He has reserved this manifestation of it for its full realization hereafter. He has left a treasure, but it is in earthen vessels; and [15/16] He has foretold us in His word, not only of the persecutions which shall assail His Church, but of the evils which shall creep into it. But it shall nevertheless bear a charmed life; the adversary shall not be able to prevail against it to destroy it; and in God's own good time there shall be an end of these trials, and Christ's prayer shall effect a perfect work. And while notwithstanding that in many things we offend all, yet in every age individual saints are being gathered, one by one, to their rest; so shall the day surely arrive, when the whole body of the faithful shall be manifested, as the body of Christ--"a glorious Church;" "Christ in them, and God in Christ, that they may be made perfect in one."
But in the mean time, as we are taught to pray for the coining of Christ's kingdom, so must we labor for its advancement; that the truth may work for the sanctification of His Church, and be a witness for God in the world. And what more tended to extend the triumphs of the Gospel in the Apostolic ages than the unity of the Church? And what has ever been impairing this unity of the visible Church, but the creeping in of heresies and false doctrines; which obliged the faithful in contending for "the truth," which is the end, to put in peril present outward unity, which, however great a blessing, is still a means of seeking that end? "The wisdom which is from above is first pure, then peaceable." And this was the great principle of "the Reformation." It was always the first duty of the Church, in every age and every place, to contend for [16/17] "the truth;" whether it were endangered by the Judaizing compliances of St. Peter, the heresies of Arius, or the corrupt teaching of Home. And if the consequence of our maintaining "the truth" in its purity should be, that any portion of existing Christendom, however large, refuse to hold communion with us, "sin lieth at the door" of them that speak not the simple "truth as it is in Jesus." That is the first point to be guarded. And no morbid yearning after present universal outward unity must be allowed to be put in competition with the paramount duty of bearing testimony to "the truth." "Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth."
To uphold "the truth" in all its purity, which was corrupted by the Church of Rome, (which Church of Rome, be it remembered, had already long ceased to maintain any visible unity with the Eastern Churches,) was, I repeat, the great principle of "the Reformation," as proclaimed and acted upon by the Church of England. It set up no new body: it retained its "Apostolic order and polity," but proclaimed the fulness of "evangelical truth."
Constituted, then, as the Anglican Church is, teaching what she teaches, believing that she retains the primitive polity and the sacraments, and unity with the Head of the Church: it is her duty and privilege to labor for the advancement of Christ's kingdom, for which He has taught us ever to pray; and to seek this not merely by maintaining her own purity at home, but by imparting to others the knowledge and gifts [17/18] which she enjoys; and, as far as may be, promoting the unity of the body of Christ, not only in spiritual relationship, as true members of Christ, but in that outward and visible unity, which shall be a witness to the world, that the world may believe that Christ is with her.
While, therefore, the body of Christ, in its first and holiest intention, consists of the faithful of all ages, who are knit together in one, through union with Christ, the head, those still in the flesh, and those who have fought the good fight, and are already gathered to their rest; so also, in order to the completion of the number of the elect, there is now a militant Church on earth, of which we are severally members, by virtue of our membership in an outward and visible Communion, into which we have been baptized, and in which we are partakers of the means of grace. And this, which for distinction I will call the Church of the Reformation, bearing witness for the truth, protesting against the corruption of it, the Catholic Church, in its fullest sense, in its positive identity, not merely with any body of believers now in the flesh, but with the Church of Christ in all ages, knit together in one body, with a countless multitude, in unity of faith, and doctrine, and polity, "continuing steadfastly in the Apostle's doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread and in prayer:" this Church has a present existence, and claims to be one body in every part of the world, presided over by one hundred and sixteen Bishops, served by 20,000 [18/19] ministers, and nourishing within her fold millions of faithful children.
Without pronouncing upon the state or privileges of others, it is for us to be assured of our own. And who amongst us will doubt that the power of Christ's prayer in the text shall extend to us, as living branches of His Church, which are now bearing, and have borne, much fruit--"clouds of witnesses" for "the truth?" "Holy Father, keep, through Thine own name, those whom Thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are." But if so, must we not seek after the perfecting of this oneness, that it may both be a reality, and be manifested, in order that we may bear witness for Christ that the world may believe that God has sent Him? And it is as a consequence of this unity between several members of Christ's body, that, as a chief pastor of a Diocese in an imperial colony of British North America, I am here this day to take part in these solemn services for consecrating a chief pastor for this, the most important Diocese in your great Republic. To the same effect have been those interchanges of ministerial offices, and that common counsel on subjects of deep concern to the welfare of the Church, which have so recently been cheering the hearts, and strengthening the hands of the brethren, on either side of the Atlantic; and forcibly reminding us of the great fact, that "we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another." But however real may have been the advantages of such intercommunion, [19/20] these have rather been the services of individuals, or at most of special societies formed within the Church, than solemn acts of the great body corporate itself. Must it, however, always be the unfulfilled yearning of earnest spirits that the day may come when the whole body of the Reformed Church shall meet together in her corporate character, bearing witness for Catholic truths, and testifying, in some recognized and official manner, both for her own true Catholicity, and for the unity of her members in every quarter of the world? When combinations are ever being made to give force to the promulgation of what we believe to be error, are we not bound to unite for the maintenance of truth? Is it not our positive duty, in order that the world may believe that God has sent Christ, and that He is in the midst of us? Are we not bound to give the greatest force and publicity to our testimony? "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light to all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
It is true there are some different accidents affecting the position of the Church, for good or for evil, in different localities--whether in England or Scotland, in British North America or this Empire, in the East or West Indies, China, Australasia, or Africa; but they are such as do not affect the one ministry which serves in the Church, or the great Catholic truths [20/21] which are embodied in our Creeds and Articles of Faith. And these very influences under which the Church is placed in different localities, the different relationship in which she stands to the civil authorities, the different state of society in regard to other religious teaching, morals, or civilization, that is brought to bear upon her in the various nations wherein she is publishing her message, add strength to the unvarying sameness of that "faith, once [for all] delivered to the saints," which she everywhere believes and contends for. And if at any time the force of any passing crisis, internal revolutions of the State, or the irruption of foreign conquests, the decay of learning or piety, or the overpowering influence of the master-mind of some bold heresiarch, should, in any one place, cause the trumpet to give either an uncertain or a false sound, a corrective power would be found in the united testimony of the collective body of the Church, so that "in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established." The importance of such united testimony, and its corrective influence, was well understood by Gregory the Great, as far back as the sixth century, while as yet the claims of the Papacy were undeveloped: that very Gregory, be it remembered, who, as simple Bishop of Rome, sent over Augustine on his mission to England. Condemning the idea of any one assuming the title of only or universal Prelate, he writes to Anastasius, Bishop of Antioch: "This is a point of the last importance; neither can we comply with the innovation [21/22] without betraying religion, and adulterating the faith of the Catholic Church. For not to mention the invasion upon the honor of your character, if any one Bishop must have the title of universal, if that Universal Prelate should happen to miscarry, the whole Church must sink with him." [Epist. Greg: 1. 6. ep. 24.]
I allude now specially to the maintenance of great Catholic verities. The internal regulation of each national Church, and the administration of ecclesiastical law and discipline, or the particulars and manner of ceremonial worship, as they are not specially prescribed in the Word of God, so they need not be everywhere exactly alike, as is fully and plainly set forth in the Thirty-fourth Article.
Having made allusion to Gregory's judgment respecting the positive sinfulness of, and the evil consequences to be expected from, the assumption of the title of Universal Bishop, by any one individual prelate, I may notice that the Bishops of the Roman Church have lately issued pastoral letters, in obedience to the commands of the Pope, enjoining the people to pray unceasingly, "that his holiness may be illuminated by the light of the Holy Ghost, so as to enable him to decree, as soon as possible, concerning the conception of the Holy Mother of God, the immaculate Virgin Mary, what may appertain to the greater glory of God, and the praise of the same Virgin, the most loving Mother of all." And Cardinals, Bishops, and Ecclesiastics from all parts of the world, are now assembling at Rome, expecting to receive [22/23] from the Pope his decision on this very point of doctrine, respecting the Virgin Mary. Let us not be less earnest, less united in the witness we bear to 'the truth as it is in Jesus.'
Nor is it only against such corruptions of the truth, and in that direction, that we have to watch and guard the faith. If we can read aright the signs of passing events, if we will give heed to the warning voice of Scripture, there shall yet be perilous times before the coming of Christ; when the Prince of this world shall wage a fearful warfare against the elect; when the love of many shall wax cold; when the ungodly and the careless, as it was in the days of Xoe and of Lot, shall set at naught the warnings of God's remembrancers, and think only of the business of this life, or follow greedily after the pleasures of sense; when the name of Him that hung upon the Cross shall be named only to be derided, and the future judgment shall be boldly denied. In such seasons it is, that the people of God, in every place, need to have their hearts cheered by mutual counsel and intercommunion: then, when the wicked make a mock at sin and despise the Crucified One; then, "They that fear the Lord must speak often one to another, and the Lord will hearken and hear it." Then it is, when the highways of this world are full of busy life; when human reason, and knowledge, and science, are triumphing in the achievement of mighty deeds; when men are thinking of eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, as if time were everything and eternity a dream;--[23/24] then it is, that for God's honor, for the deliverance of our own souls, and for the salvation of such as shall be saved, we must publish aloud "the everlasting Gospel:" and say unto all men, "Watch ye, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man." As in a fierce storm on the wide ocean, in the midst of the elemental strife, when the winds rage horribly, and the waves swell with fury, and the vessel strains and groans in every part, and the crew run to and fro, engaged in anxious duty--yet ever and anon, above the noise and din that pains the aching-ear, there sounds the clear, firm voice of the chief, giving utterance to commands, that, being obeyed, bring deliverance: so in the midst and above the world's proud boasting's, and opposing rage and busied life, must still be heard, like the clear, full notes of the trumpet, the cry of the faithful, with united voice, proclaiming the Crucified One, and saying, "Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever."
And if there be much (whether we think each of our own personal shortcomings, or of those troubles that try and vex the Church) to cause all of us to walk with fear and trembling; if indeed it seem to require the continual help of God's promised grace to assure us that "sufficient for the day is the evil thereof," and to prevent us, when anticipating the things of the morrow, from being cast down through too much [24/25] carefulness; yet surely we may find ground for hope and confidence, when we consider how God has mercifully kept His Church hitherto; and specially, how He has led His people through the varied struggles of the last three hundred years; and also what present signs of vigorous life are everywhere visible in the action of the Church, the common Mother of its all. I might mention the continued safe keeping of "that good thing which was committed" to her trust--the Catholic faith, and ministerial gifts. I might mention the earnest, and sustained, and successful efforts now making for the furtherance of the Gospel kingdom by Missionary enterprise abroad--the zeal, and wisdom, and munificence manifested so generally in the erection of churches among our own people--the increased care in the training candidates for Holy Orders, and generally in the work of education--the multiplied demand for devotional and theological works, as well those of a standard character, as those adapted for more popular circulation. And I have already taken notice of that yearning after closer and more real, as well as visible, intercommunion between the different members of Christ's body; which, in a certain measure, has had a partial accomplishment. But I would also remind you of that extraordinary, and entirely undesigned coincidence in the action of two important branches of the Reformed Catholic Church, which has lately been witnessed; giving evidence that they both are actuated by one and the same spirit, under a deep sense of solemn responsibilities, and with a desire to [25/26] meet them. I allude to the important Reports presented, in the last Session, by the Committees appointed by the Upper House of Convocation in England; and to the Memorial presented to the House of Bishops at your last General Convention, with the subsequent proceedings connected therewith. Time will not allow me, nor is this the occasion, to enter into any details respecting these matters, about which there may, at this early date, be well allowed to be many differences of opinion. I will merely observe, that neither we nor our fathers have witnessed many more important movements in ecclesiastical affairs; and that there certainly is a manifest desire in all parties concerned therein (in which I am sure the great body of the faithful will heartily sympathize) to endeavor, while upholding the great landmarks of the Catholic faith, and maintaining in all their essential integrity the formularies and principles of the Reformed Church, so to increase her efficiency, and adapt her machinery, and apply her teaching and ministrations to the present condition and necessities of the people, as shall enable her most successfully to fulfil the work of her ministry, and gather into her fold those for whom Christ died. But who is sufficient for such a task? Who shall be the skilful workmen, "that need not to be ashamed," to whom the Church shall look for wise and prudent counsel, and vigorous action, in such high and holy efforts? Let us but have faith in God's promises to His Church, and plead them in prayer to Him, and we need not doubt, but that in the time of [26/27] need, there will always be raised up able and willing sons, both to do and to suffer for the honor of Christ and the maintenance of His truth--"as thy day is, so shall thy strength be."
There is the name of one individual attached to the documents issued in connection with that Memorial, who, with every necessary qualification of character, attainments, and official position, and earnestly desiring to see the efficiency of the Church promoted, and her unity maintained in all her members, had zealously devoted himself, with others of his brethren, to the carrying forward this most important work; but whom it has pleased Almighty God to remove from this, his scene of active and useful labors, when to our finite sense they seemed calculated to be most beneficial, if not necessary, to the Church. It is not, however, on this occasion only that we need to learn a lesson of submission to the will of God, and to receive the warning admonition of Christ, "What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter." Scarcely two years have even now elapsed, since I was invited to be present at the consecration of him, of whom we must, alas! already speak, as the late Bishop Wainwright; and now I am with you again for a similar purpose, on the appointment of his successor. Well do I remember the grateful joy that was felt, and acknowledged, by all the members of your Church, at the elevation of Bishop Wainwright to the Episcopate: it was a time of no common mercy to your long-afflicted Diocese. Nor were the hopes and expectations [27/28] then so warmly cherished, disappointed. Brief as has been the period of his official life, he crowded into it such an amount of active labor, and, I believe I may justly say, so wisely and affectionately applied himself to all matters of business, that whether as a preacher of the Gospel, or overseer of the flock, his praise is in all the churches; and he has earned, a name worthy to live with those of the eminent prelates who have gone before him:--with that of Seabury, first father of a trans-Atlantic seed, with the Apostolic White, with your own revered Hobart, and all those who have aided in the work of building up the Church of God in this land. Nor is Bishop Wainwright's death felt and mourned for only by yourselves. Wherever he was known in England.--and that was in no narrow circle--there will be hearts ready to sympathize in all your grief. And for myself, independent of my previous acquaintance with him, he was so very recently with me, as a guest in my own house, and taking part in solemn services in my own Cathedral Church, that I cannot but claim the right to feel the loss, as that of a friend for whom I had a warm regard, as well as of a Bishop whose character I respected.
But if God, in His inscrutable wisdom, has been pleased, thus early in his Episcopate, to call away Bishop Wainwright to his great account, let us with thankfulness acknowledge that He has tempered this visitation with mercy. For certainly it is no small mercy that you should have been enabled at once to agree in the choice of a successor. Of him whom you have [28/29] thus chosen, it becomes not me, almost a stranger, to speak in your presence, except that I may justly assume, that he should, in so large a Diocese, with so many individuals amongst you eminently qualified for such a post, without any delay or difficulty have been selected with so much unanimity, cannot but give a pledge to all the Church, that he will be no unworthy successor of your late Diocesan. And he fulfils the Apostolic rule, in that he is no novice. His early theological studies and training, and his more recent pastoral duties in a large and important charge, will have gained him much experience, that cannot but be exceedingly useful in administering his future office.
In conclusion, as one who has himself now fully felt the burden of the Episcopate, I will only further exhort our reverend brother, now about to enter upon similar duties, how needful indeed it is, that he should more than ever seek for an increase of God's manifold gifts of grace; that, as we shall presently join in, what I trust may be effectual, fervent prayer for him, he may 'duly execute the office whereunto he is called to the edifying of the Church, and to the praise and glory of God.' If the Church of Christ is ever adequately to fulfil her mission in the world, if she is to be "as a city set upon a hill," a city of refuge for wayfarers, "a city which is at unity in itself, whither the tribes may go up, the tribes of the Lord;" it must, under God's blessing, be, in no small measure, owing to the degree [29/30] of faithfulness, and wisdom, and love, with which those who fill her places of authority, take oversight of the flock committed to their charge. And though we may not in these days be called on to give our bodies to be burned at the stake, for a testimony for the truth of the Gospel; yet the steadfast and enduring spirit is not less needful now than in those times of fiery persecution. Nay, more--we must seek that spirit of love which shall teach not only endurance, but humility; which "vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, nor easily provoked;" which "beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." And if a blessedness is in store for those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, there is one also for "the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God." And if we wish to see the present prosperity of our Zion, let us remember that, however the world may boast its power, and make light of them that fear the Lord, yet that "blessed (says Christ) are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." O let us pray that with such graces, and in such a spirit, this our brother may go forth, from this sanctuary, as a chief watchman over God's house, and a leader in the armies of Israel. Then shall his work prosper; then shall he so guide you through the strife and the evil of this world, that you may learn to walk in unity of spirit, in the bond of peace and righteousness of life, until the wilderness shall be passed, and that day shall arrive, when Christ's prayer for His people shall have its perfect work; and [30/31] all the sheep shall be gathered together, one flock in one fold, safe from every danger, secure from every fear, under the immediate and ever-abiding care of the one great "Shepherd and Bishop of our souls."