As a Man and as a Messenger:
PREACHED BEFORE THE SIXTEENTH ANNUAL CONVENTION
In St. Andrew’s Church
PRINCESS ANNE, MD., JUNE 4, 1884,
HENRY Y. SATTERLEE, D.D.
RECTOR OF CALVARY CHURCH, NEW YORK.
Transcribed by Wayne Kempton
Archivist and Historiographer of the Diocese of New York, 2012
FROM THE MINUTES OF THE DIOCESE OF EASTON.
On motion of Mr. Levin Woolford,
Resolved, That a Committee of three be appointed by the Chair to express to the Rev. Dr. Satterlee the thanks of this Convention for his excellent and instructive Sermon, delivered at the opening of the Convention.
The Chair appointed the following Committee: Rev. E. J. Stearns, D. D., Mr. Levin Woolford, Mr. Joseph B. Seth.
JAMES A. MITCHELL,
To the Rev. HENRY Y. SATTERLEE, D. D.
REV. AND DEAR SIR
In communicating to you the above copy of the official action of the Convention of the Diocese of Easton, we beg leave to emphasize the expression of the satisfaction with which we listened to your discourse, and to add that, while the Convention in its corporate capacity refrains from further action, lest such action should be drawn into an embarrassing precedent, we have been urgently requested by the individual members thereof to ask of you a copy of it for the press, in the conviction that it contains "a godly and wholesome doctrine, and necessary for these times;" and we earnestly hope that you will do us the favor to comply with our request.
EDWARD J. STEARNS,
JOSEPH B. SETH.
EASTON, MD., June 12th, 1884.
CALVARY RECTORY, 103 East 21st Street,
June 16th, 1884.
To the Rev. E. J. STEARNS, D. D., Col. LEVIN WOOLFORD,
J. B. SETH, Esq., Committee.
I hasten to acknowledge the receipt of your kind communication, which I found on my table on my return to the city on Saturday evening, and to express to you my deep appreciation of the honor which you have conferred upon me in requesting for publication the Sermon which I delivered before the Convention of Easton.
I cannot but feel how imperfectly and inadequately it sets forth the great truths expressed in its text; yet if you think that its publication will do any good, it is at your service.
I am, gentlemen, your obedient servant,
HENRY Y. SATTERLEE.
Behold I send my messenger before Thy face, which shall prepare Thy way before Thee.—St. Matt. xi. 10.
Let a man so account of us, as stewards of the mysteries of GOD. Moreover, it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. But with me it is a small matter that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. But he that judgeth me is the LORD. —I Cor. iv. 1-4.
Eighteen hundred years ago, CHRIST came to save this world. At some time in the future—it may be an hundred or a thousand years hence, or it may be this very century—He is coming to judge the world He has saved. Between these two great Advents, we are living: with the light of the past one shining behind us, and that of the coming one reddening the horizon before us; while the silent influences of that Comforter, who descended on Pentecost, are pervading the atmosphere we breathe.
Under those shaping influences our seemingly commonplace lives are not commonplace. The things which appear trivial and insignificant to us, here, are not so when viewed in the light of eternity's stillness. Through instrumentalities which seem to us weak and human in every way, GOD is accomplishing His eternal purposes and hastening the coming of His glorious kingdom.
In this interval between CHRIST'S first and second Advents, there is little or nothing that is supernatural to attract the attention. The Church of CHRIST—the last Temple—has not, in these days, the kind of glory which [5/6] invested the former one with splendor. No Shekinah, no Urim or Thummim, are there to reveal the Silent Presence of GOD; no prophecies or miracles, no leaders like Moses, no kings like David, no seers like Elijah or Daniel. The dawn of the Pentecostal age marks a cessation of the supernatural in religion, leaving only what is natural to take its place. Henceforth, the Church is to have but the simplest of agencies at her command. The font of water stands at her door, an offering of bread and wine upon her altar; the book of the Gospels constitutes her Urim and her Thummim; and her ministry is composed of weak and fallible men, of whom nothing is more certain than that they are of like passions with the rest of the world. The house is swept and empty of all its former glorious things. Yet, notwithstanding this, the glory of the latter house is greater than that of the former one. Eighteen hundred years ago, the "LORD came suddenly to His Temple," and ever since—without the extraneous aid of seer or Shekinah, of prophecies or miracles—the Christian Church, built up on living stones, has quietly and noiselessly arisen into the venerable edifice she is to-day. Founded upon the Rock of Ages, she has stood unmoved amid the winds and storms and floods of these eighteen centuries while every other fabric built upon the shifting sands has been swept away: and in her life and growth we behold why it is, that when the climax of the Christian Revelation was reached on Pentecost, the supernatural element passed away. Nothing is so supernatural and so full of Divine life as Nature itself, and no forces through which the Church of CHRIST can grow are so irresistible in their workings, and so tremendous in their power, as those which her own LORD and Master, as the GOD of Nature has created for His world.
With these thoughts in mind, let us now turn to that subject of the Christian Ministry, to which our attention and our prayers are directed on this hallowed Ember Day of the Whitsuntide.
It is a significant fact that, in recent times, the subject [6/7] of the Organization of the Church has been receiving a larger and larger share of attention with all who pray that Prayer of CHRIST, "Thy Kingdom Come;" and when the Church History of these days comes to be written by those who live after us, it will be found that in this thought movement has originated some of the most characteristic ecclesiastical movements of our age.
When we look back upon the past, we observe that each of the nineteen centuries, which are past and gone, has thus been dominated by some one ruling idea, and has correspondingly witnessed the rise of certain religious sects which reflect the character and drift of the religious thought of that century.
The first sects which Split off from the Church were half-heathen half-Christian, showing the conflict which then existed between heathen ideas and Christian ideas.
The second class of sects was of a nobler type. They were Christian sects, differing from the Church only in this or that particular article of belief. And thus, as year after year passed by, the admixture of human falsehood, which clouded the flowing water of life, and tinged with its own color the pure faith once delivered to the saints, was slowly deposited as a sediment upon the bottom, while the mighty stream rolled on.
The sects of the Reformation period occupied a still higher plane. They were all, or nearly all, Evangelical sects, holding the same creed and uttering the same faith, in essential points, and only differing in objective methods and forms of Church government.
Lastly, we come to the sects of the present day. Few, indeed, of these have arisen within the past hundred years, for the days of sect-making and sectarianism are nearly numbered, and the movement throughout Christendom is now everywhere toward unity. Still there are enough of such sects to show clearly the present drift of religious thought, and that drift is unmistakable.
Points of faith and differences regarding essentials have, [7/8] except among a few extremists, been settled. Christianity is practically at rest and at unity with itself, as far as the fundamental principles of the Gospels are concerned, and the great religious movement now going on is towards a more thoroughly organized Church life and working power.
Hence, the sects which have arisen within the past century are, with scarcely an exception, Episcopal sects, or sects with bishops and a more thoroughly organized ministry.
The Methodists, tracing back to the movement started by the saintly Wesleys, call themselves the "Methodist Episcopal Church;" and the bodies which have originated since their day: the Irvingites, the German Old Catholics, the Swiss Christian Catholic Church, the "Church of Jesus" in Mexico, the newly-formed Gallican Congregations in France, and the "Reformed Episcopalians" of America and England—all show the same prevailing characteristics of thought and feeling.
These are the facts which reveal themselves to us, when we rise out of ourselves, and out of our little prejudices for or against this or that form of Christianity, to take a bird's-eye view of the times in which we live; and in view of these facts, it is incumbent upon us, as we have said before, to form clear and accurate ideas as to what such a ministry should be, as will practically benefit the world, and stand as a true Messenger of CHRIST'S Second Coming.
Two points engage our attention. CHRIST and His Apostles set forth the true Minister as:
I, A man;
II, A messenger.
First, he is a Man. When our LORD came down into this world, He came as a Man. He was bone of our bone, flesh of our flesh, tempted in all points like as we are. Herein consisted, and still consists, the wondrous power which He exerts over human hearts. He comes to us, not merely as GOD, but as GOD robed in human flesh: as a CHRIST, suffering, tempted, and tried, as we suffer, and [8/9] are tempted, and tried. Our hearts go out to Him, because He stands at our side as our Brother and shares our lot. And when He left this earth, He ordained that the work which He, as Man, had begun, should be carried on by Men, until it was finished.
It is conceivable that CHRIST might have chosen the Angels and Archangels of Heaven to preach the Glad Tidings of the Kingdom, and we can imagine how much more rapid and more brilliant the progress of the Church and the conversion of the world would have been, had He so chosen; but it would have been less natural, less lasting, and infinitely less real. He placed this treasure "in earthen vessels," St. Paul says, "that the excellency of the power might be of GOD and not of men;" that no angelic being should come between Him and human souls; that the messengers who conveyed these blessed tidings of salvation should be so utterly beneath Him, in every way, as to be themselves wholly lost sight of in the glory of the message they bore.
As can be easily seen, the power of the Gospel is infinitely greater, when thus preached, than if it had been preached by a band of Angels.
But this was not the only reason. The power by which CHRIST Himself originally appealed to human hearts was the power of His Personal Presence; of His Actions, His Examples, His Spoken Words. It was His wise purpose, that this kind of power should continue to be exerted after he left this earth, and that it should become the chief instrumentality through which the Gospel should spread. While He was here, He was the Light of the World, and His Life, the Light of Men. When He left, He told His followers that, henceforth, they were to be the light of the world; not in the sense of supplanting Him, but of keeping His light burning in themselves, continuing His life in their lives, and revealing how wonderfully the indwelling life of CHRIST can transform and shine through weak and fallible human souls.
 The world is now beginning to awaken to this fact. The great power of the Gospel lies—we speak it reverently—not in inanimate things, not in prophecies or miracles, or even in a written Word, but in the Personal Life of CHRIST.
The power of that Life, through CHRIST'S personal influence, in New Testament days, fell upon and germinated in a few souls; then, these, through their personal influence, brought it to fresh souls, and thus it has been handed down from soul to soul for nineteen centuries. Every soul, as it becomes magnetized by that mysterious Life, communicates its power to new souls, by its earnestness, by its fervor, by the spirituality of its words and example. Thus virtue is perpetually going out from Christian lives into other lives, and thus the world is being converted.
Personal influence is ever the chief instrumentality through which the religious life is germinated, and the working of no other power is so mysterious and incomprehensible.
When a sermon is preached, it is not the words, but the man behind the words, that reaches human souls. When a Christian speaks to us about GOD, it is not his eloquence, but his earnestness, which finds its way down to our hearts. When we stand in the presence of one who lives very near to CHRIST, the very fact of such a presence, though not a word be uttered, makes everything that we doubted or disbelieved before, somehow, all at once, seem a living reality.
You cannot explain these things. They are in the experience of us all; yet they belong to the spiritual life, and the mystery of that life is hid with CHRIST in GOD.
It is, however, to be observed that, though all other powers are subordinate to this power of personal influence, the latter is in no way exclusively confined to the ministry. It is the heritage, inherent in the priesthood of all Christians, and belongs to the ordained minister, not as an officer of CHRIST, but as a man.
 I think that this was the thought which probably gave rise to the Protestant idea of the ministry. Through the middle ages, and particularly in the two or three centuries which preceded the Reformation, the tendency everywhere was to separate the clergy from the rest of men and erect them into a distinct class by themselves. They were looked upon as a body favored with peculiar privileges and prerogatives, and occupying a kind of mediatorial position between CHRIST and His people. The results of this system were disastrous. Urging their claims, not, as St. Paul did, in acts of self-sacrifice and toil, but solely by appealing to their official position and the power given to them by the act of ordination, the clergy were everywhere in danger of "lording it over GOD'S heritage," and of giving way to one of the most dangerous of all phases of spiritual pride. Priestcraft with all its attendant evils soon became rife, and the Reformation was a protest from earnest Christian souls against such unlawful usurpations. By a law of nature, as unerring as it is universal, whatever is false, sooner or later arouses the moral sense of the community against it, and the feeling of antagonism between clergy and laity, which even down to the present day has not completely died away, is an evidence of the prevalence of these false ideas in times gone by.
There is no caste in the Church of CHRIST. On the contrary, our LORD Himself proclaims, with persistent reiteration, the brotherhood of all Christians: and the Reformation brought out and emphasized the truth that there was no such gulf and barrier as men had imagined between minister and people. It taught that the real power of the priesthood was not that which was exercised by the priesthood alone, but that the priests of the Church would only be restored to their true position, and allay the storms of opposition they had evoked, when they acted like men.
Gazing back upon the history of the last three hundred years, we cannot but see that this was a movement in the right direction. The man is the measure of the minister. [11/12] The more of a man the priest is, and the more he takes his place, as his Master before him has done, as a man among men, with no artificial barrier between himself and others, the greater his influence will be. CHRIST chose his twelve Apostles from those who were brought up in the thick of the world, and these Apostles, standing next to the Captain of our salvation Himself, at the head of the ranks of the Christian ministry, are, for all time, a type of what the character of that ministry should be.
For a priest of the Church, therefore, to isolate himself from his kind, imagining that there is any artificial distinction recognized in Heaven, between him and them, is to yield to a dangerous delusion.
Nothing is clearer in life than that we are all of us dependent upon our social environment. "No man liveth to himself," and no man or class of men is sufficient for self. Everything that tends to separate us, or to place a barrier between us and our fellow-men, is to be viewed with distrust. The man who nourishes a caste feeling in his heart soon begins to reveal the fruits of his voluntary isolation in an increasing suspicion of others and a corresponding diminution of power to sympathize with those whose lives and aims are different from his own; in a growing jealousy and exactingness regarding his rights and a corresponding alienation from those about him when his unreal demands and one-sided views of life arouse a natural human opposition in their breasts. The class bias in his heart evokes an opposite class bias in theirs, and, thus, the very ends for which the ministry was instituted by our Lord are defeated.
How often have moral evils, from which a free and generous intercourse with his fellow men would have saved many a devout and earnest parish priest, thus developed themselves unchecked in his life, until, by and by, the career which began with brightest promise was ended in bitterness and failure.
The growth of the spirit of Christianity in the world [12/13] is gradually eliminating class feeling from all ranks and conditions of society, and as it disappears the long-delayed signs of Christian unity begin to loom upon the edge of the world's horizon. The social instincts are being developed to-day to a degree that none of our forefathers would have deemed possible a few centuries ago, and the vision of the brotherhood of Christians, of the brotherhood of all men, is no longer looked upon as an impossible ideal.
When we contrast the Roman and the Protestant types of the ministry as they stand side by side to-day, and compare together the kind of influence which each exerts upon the world, we can see, at a glance, how much has been gained within the past three hundred years in this one respect, and how great an advance has been made by those who have striven to exclude the element of class bias from ministerial life.
The prevailing idea among all Protestant denominations, however, is one-sided, and, after having been thoroughly tried and tested for the three centuries that have succeeded the Reformation, it is showing the effects of that one-sidedness, and has brought upon itself the evils that are inseparable from all exaggerations and extremes.
The inevitable effect of holding this idea of the ministry, to the exclusion of all others, has been slowly to degrade that ministry to a human level.
The people, looking upon their pastors as in few, if any, respects different from themselves, have learned to think more of the man than of his office, until, at last, they have lost all reverence and respect for the office. While the clergy, viewing themselves, their work, and their responsibilities in the same light, and thinking more of their obligations to their congregations than of their obligations to CHRIST, have gradually allowed the former to crowd out the latter, and thus fallen to the low standard of mere men-pleasers. The effect is what we see everywhere about us to-day. Young men are deserting the ranks of the ministry for all other spheres of life. They behold scarcely one [13/14] clergyman in a hundred who has the courage of his opinions; they see the man in the pulpit confining himself to platitudes and commonplaces lest he may arouse the prejudices and kindle the opposition of the congregation before him; they observe that the class of men who are thus willing to be, not merely public servants, but public slaves has become more and more a feeble, emasculated and uninfluential class; and the wonder is not that so many turn away, but that any man of promise and ability is willing to assume such a position.
A reaction is now, however, as we said, taking place from the low ideas of the ministry which have so long prevailed among us, and the day has dawned when one can touch upon this subject without being assailed on every hand with the charge of bigotry and priestcraft. The evil is brought home to our very doors. The degradation of the priesthood, and the scorching words of the prophet, "Like people like priest," find their attestation in every town and village of our land; and there are few fathers and mothers of intelligence who are willing that their sons shall enter the ministry of the Church while things remain in the condition in which they now are.
The cure of the evil is this. While the minister of CHRIST is a man: while his efficiency and influence depend largely upon the way in which he takes his stand among men, he is, at the same time, something more.
Second, he is a Messenger. He is—and neither he nor his people should ever forget that he is—an ambassador of GOD. He is one of those of whom, it is said, as was prophesied of St. John the Baptist; "Behold I send My Messenger before Thy face which shall prepare Thy way before Thee." He is one of those of whom St. Paul speaks, and among whom he classes himself, when he writes: "Let a man so account of us, as ministers of CHRIST and stewards of the mysteries of GOD."
They who cling to this idea that they are chosen messengers of CHRIST, and make this the ruling thought which [14/15] determines their aims and their actions, have a much loftier and broader conception of their office than those others to whom we have just referred. Their whole life and character is elevated to a higher plane than is possible for them to reach if they place little or no value on their priesthood. If, with St. Paul, one exclaims: "I received this charge, not from man, but from God;" if, with him, he "magnify his office," the sense of its magnitude will grow upon him. He strives to be instant in season and out of season, whatever the opinions, criticisms and prejudices of others may be, and to school himself with stern self-discipline, until, at last, he can truthfully say with St. Paul: "With me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you or of man's judgment. Yea, I judge not my own self, but he that judgeth me is the LORD." None but those who have put forth this effort can realize how hard it is thus to rise above the world, thus to steel one's self alike against praise or blame; thus to live as a man and a companion among men, and yet in solitude as a messenger of the eternal CHRIST to those very men who are his companions. The power to do this can only come through the heartfelt conviction of one's priesthood.
Again, the ministry is a life of ceaselessly reiterated discouragements and disappointments. A few years ago two clergymen of our Church were about to be consecrated as bishops. On the day before the consecration, as they walked home from the session of the General Convention, an aged bishop came between them, and, throwing an arm over the neck of each, said: "My dear friends, you have my heartfelt sympathy." And when, in surprise, they asked why he spoke to them so earnestly and sadly, when nothing but congratulations came from others' lips, his reply was: "Ah you know not the weight of the burdens you are assuming, or how deeply, by and by, the cords cut into the weary shoulders."
Every reformer and earnest-hearted man, who is trying to elevate his brother men, has to face more or less of discouragement, [15/16] but he who strives to accomplish an eternal work in human souls has to bear up under never-ending discouragement. He dares not flinch, or let himself down to the level of those about him, for that were to be untrue to CHRIST. Yet every onward step is bristling with a thousand difficulties. Every day brings to his notice the relapses and backslidings of those whom he thought in earnest. Every reform he undertakes is sure to arouse the opposition or adverse criticism of many of those among whom he labors. Every effort he puts forth to stay the tide of evil, or reach the convictions of the careless, seems to be given to the winds. There is no work in this world which requires so much effort and continuous self-sacrifice, and, yet, which in return seems to accomplish so little, as this work of the ministry; and can we marvel that men who think little of their office, when they are brought face to face with such gigantic obstacles, find their courage ebbing away, lose all heart, and, at last, sink down to a mere listless, perfunctory discharge of their sacred duties? If it requires the ever-present thought that one is a priest and a messenger of GOD to keep him steadfast under such circumstances, what can you expect when that thought and that motive-power are absent?
Once more, the work of the ministry is the kind of work which calls forth antagonism. Men are reserved about their religious feelings. They shun anything that approaches a personal appeal, and are on their guard against one whose office it is to make those appeals, lest he may interfere with their freedom or intrude upon their privacy. Yet the pastor who thus allows himself to be bluffed off; who shirks the unwelcome task of breaking through this reserve, or forgets that he is CHRIST'S messenger to bring GOD'S truth home to those very hearts, is a moral coward. He will be stigmatized, avoided, and rebuffed, if he does the work; he will be more justly stigmatized, and his whole ministry end in a failure, if he does it not. There are thousands of men who thus keep their pastors [16/17] at arm's length, yet who are ceaselessly complaining of the lack of spirituality in the ministry, and saying that they have never had a parish priest speak to them earnestly and in a simple, straightforward manner about their personal religious duties. The world is full of men like these, who, beneath that cold exterior and reserved manner, which checks every religious approach, feel, in their inmost hearts, that they are deserted; and secretly long for some true man of GOD to come to them personally with an earnest word of sympathy and help.
There is a reason, therefore, for the quiet yet earnest emphasis which our Church lays upon the power and reality of the priestly office and the necessity of Apostolic Ordination. It is for a double protection: a protection alike to clergy and people; a protection from the false ideas of the priesthood that were once so rife, on the one hand, and from the evils of sectarian lawlessness and individualism, on the other.
As we turn over the leaves of the history of the past, we find that the men who have done most for the world, who have been its wisest leaders, its greatest benefactors, and its lion-hearted reformers, have ever been men who surpassed those about them in the depth of their sense of responsibility. Indeed, this is the one unfailing characteristic which stands forth most conspicuously in the life of every truly great man.
The Church would have all her clergy—bishops, priests and deacons—men of whom this world is not worthy: she would have them, in the highest, truest sense, great men; and her solemn Ordination Service is her method of impressing indelibly, with GOD'S grace, this conviction of their tremendous responsibility upon all who would enter the ranks of her ministry. The ideal of the priesthood, as she holds it up before them, is too holy to admit of any thought of self or self-exaltation in their breasts; too Christlike and too pure to give room for any feeling of sacerdotal caste; too great in its vast opportunities and its [17/18] God-given work to allow the presence of any other motive than that of ministering to GOD'S people in a life of Christian self-sacrifice. Her priests are to go forth as men who have been chosen by CHRIST Himself to labor in His Name; and as though His own hand had rested upon them in their ordination. They are to be no irresponsible leaders or teachers. They are to be the servants of no parish faction or party spirit in the Church. They are to be not only free from the slavery of the world, but likewise free from the slavery of self: sacrificing all their individual predilections and their personal sympathies on the altar of the common good: and, tracing their authority not from men, but straight back, through the visible links of Apostolic succession, to CHRIST, to feel, as the pressure of an ever-present thought, the necessity of strictest allegiance to Him in every pastoral relation, in every ministerial act and word of their lives.
If the Ordination Service means this—and it means nothing less—could you have a class of men more fitted to do GOD'S work on earth, than those who feel that with the imposition of the bishop's hands is committed unto them such a charge and such a responsibility?
And if they realize the greatness of that charge, when they are first entering the ministry, the realization, as we have said before, grows as years increase. The more earnestly they give themselves up to GOD'S work, and the more zealous they are to be unfailingly true to Him, the more vividly the vision floats before their astonished gaze, of what the powers, the opportunities, the enormous capacities, of the priesthood really are. If one trembles, at first, at the thought of such an office being committed to him, he could fall down at CHRIST'S feet, speechless with humiliation and self-abasement, afterwards, when, one by one, its measureless possibilities are disclosed.
But, thanks be to GOD, these things are only unveiled as we have grace to bear them; and then only to spiritual hearts, which, when they thus perceive and know what [18/19] things they ought to do, receive, at the same moment, grace and power faithfully to fulfill the same.
The duties of the priesthood always seem greater than one can bear, but with the effort to fulfill them, comes a wisdom and a strength corresponding to the occasion. In the spiritual life there is one thing, which all Christian experience shows we may count upon with certainty. If GOD gives us a work to do, or an office to fill, we need never stop to measure our strength or to think of our past experiences, for the past is no criterion of the future. With the new occasion will come a new supply of wisdom, strength and purposiveness never experienced before. What was impossible before, becomes spontaneous and natural when the time for action arrives.
But if we would make "full proof of our ministry" and learn the secret spell of its greatest power, then we must drink in the spirit of Him who was "meek and lowly in heart."
Humility—such humility as the world in the littleness of its pride understands not—is the condition of success. "He that humbleth himself shall be exalted." "Whosoever will be greatest among you," said CHRIST to the first officers of His Church, "let him be your servant, and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your minister. Even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His Life a ransom for many."
There is no dignity in this world so majestic as the dignity of humility; no greatness so sublime as the magnanimity of one who stoops to words and acts of love from which all others shrink.
Before us all shines the example of the most majestic Being that ever trod this earth: walking among men with the mien and bearing, not of a king, but of a GOD, yet stooping down to wash His disciples' feet. And, as we lift our eyes from the past to the future, there floats before our astonished gaze the still more wondrous vision of humility [19/20] which our LORD holds up before us, in His portrayal of that day when He shall come to be our Judge: "Let your loins be girded about and your lamps burning, and ye, yourselves, like unto men that wait for their LORD. Blessed are those servants whom the LORD, when He cometh, shall find watching. Verily, I say unto you, He shall gird Himself, and make them to sit down at meat, and will come forth and serve them." [Gospel in the Ordination Service for Deacons.]
What are all the empty honors of this world worth if that be the scene which ends our ministry? And what place is there for one trace of earth-born pride in the heart of him who is the follower of such a Master?
He, who on the dark night of His humiliation, stooped down and washed His disciples' feet, will, on the Festal Day of His triumph, in the majesty of that same humility, "gird Himself, and come forth and serve them." For what the meek and lowly JESUS was on this earth, when He walked among men, that He continues to be yesterday and to-day and forever. And what CHRIST, in the loveliness and purity of His life, is, that the FATHER is. He that hath seen Him, "hath seen the FATHER."