THE TWO SACRAMENTS OF CHRIST;
THEIR RELATIONS TO EACH OTHER, AND TO THE FULNESS
To The Clergy of the Diocese of Pittsburgh
AT THE ELEVENTH ANNUAL CONVENTION,
IN ST. PAUL'S CHURCH, ERIE,
JUNE 15TH, 1876.
JOHN B. KERFOOT, D.D., LL.D.,
BISHOP OF PITTSBURGH.
PUBLISHED BY THE CONVENTION.
Text courtesy of Margaret B. Smith, Archives of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut
1335 Asylum Avenue; Hartford, Connecticut 06105
THE Office of the Bishop, as the Pastor of the Clergy and People of his Diocese, implies what the Canon [Title I. 15. X,] recognizes as his duty, that he give, in a Charge to the Clergy, and in other form to the People, such instructions in doctrine, worship, and manners, as he may believe to be from time to time needful. I have done this more or less in most of my Addresses; and I desire now to do this to-day. My special theme will be, "The Doctrine of the Two Sacraments of Christ; their Relations to each other, and to the fulness of membership in His Body, the Church; as this Church teaches us in her Sacramental Offices."
Sacraments are not arbitrary inventions in Revelation—things that need not and might not have been ordained. If the God of Nature be, as He is, the God of Revelation, of the Gospel, and of the Church, then in giving to us a revealed religion, a divine provision of His mercy for our pardon and sanctification, He will meet the needs of our mental and spiritual nature, as He meets our other and more ordinary wants, by providing the peculiar means which he makes that nature to need and to crave. He does this in supplying the other ordinary needs of our minds and of our bodies. He makes thirst and hunger, and He sends water and bread. He makes hearts to crave society and love, and He makes the home to meet the craving. He fixes in man the irresistible impulse to have in the transactions of life, symbol, sign, pledge and means, and our life of every sort is filled with these things. Life and society would become unintelligible and impossible without them. When He, the same one God, gives a revealed system of mercy for our pardon and salvation, He will, as He does, meet there, too, the needs and laws that He put into our immortal spirits. This principle is distinct in all that God does more directly for us, as well as in all that he leaves for men to do for themselves, to meet the needs that He puts into us. And such provisions and ordinances [3/4] of God, such symbols and means, even when their form and shaping are left to human invention, are in themselves necessary. In some real sort, man must and will have them. He can have no society, nor any social good, without them. Visible acts, with distinct significance and efficacy, must exist and be done in every sort of society, and in the attainment and preservation of every real good. Persons give and receive, covenants and characters are formed, bonds stronger than life or death are made, results and effects of worth and power often immeasurable, are wrought by such transactions. No religion, none that for a day could meet the cravings of human souls, ever thought of doing without such symbols, signs, pledges and means. True Revelations always provided them; for the God who created us was the Provider and Revealer. And the God of Nature never inscribed a delusion into every human spirit nor ever, as the God of Revelation, met such an innate delusion with a pretence, instead of a reality. His revealed ordinances, to meet our spiritual, religious needs, are realities of meaning, promise, conveyance and power. No sort of religion can dispense with such things. None does. The delusion that would escape ordinances, in the effort, only multiplies and distorts such things. Just what are the ordained symbols and means of any Revelation, and so of our Gospel, we must learn from the Revealer. He also gives and declares their significance and power. His ordinances, here as in other parts of His rule, may be mistaken, perverted, abused by erring man. Here, as elsewhere, God does His part, but leaves man his part to do; and both parts are essential to the true end. The more real and noble the privilege, the deeper the guilt and hurt of sinful neglect or misuse.
Thus natural—i. e., necessary, because the God of all Nature and Grace so creates and ordains—thus natural are the Two Sacraments of Christ. He, (i. e.) God the Son, ordained them as transactions and means between God and us, which He made our natures to need, and by which He makes His grace to save us. It ought not to be necessary to say that these Sacraments are not the whole of the Gospel, and that knowledge, penitence, faith, love and obedience are needful. One cannot and need not say everything every day; especially if he be speaking to persons of intelligence and fairness.
Now, these Two Sacraments, were most distinctly declared and [4/5] enjoined, by the very voice of Jesus Christ. He and His first ministers made that very clear and sure, as they began His Church. In due time, written records of His words and deeds, the Holy Gospels, and like authorized Scriptures of history and lessons, put these ordinances, then already established in the Church's solemn use, also into her Archives, for perpetual memory and verification. No Gospel Church ever omitted them. No history, inspired or uninspired, of the Church can there be, without their unbroken witness. The visible Society, from the first, her authentic annals everywhere and always, hold and demonstrate these Two Sacraments. So, too, may we easily see what, in their main principles, these ordinances really are; as in Holy Scripture, so also in the solemn services of Christ's Church, in all ages. The attestations. and the text of the Holy Scriptures; the Creeds which perpetuated the earliest faith, and which ever knew that faith and read it engraved in the Inspired Word written; the Liturgical services and acts of worship, as these can be seen and recovered from false accretions, come down to us together, side by side, warranted by like testimony; and they all bring down to us the very truths of Christ, the Saviour and Revealer.
We, in this Church, believe that in this (as is true on all the other like points), our Church, in her Services for the Holy Communion and for Baptism, has received from the ages past, and has kept and now presents entire and pure, Christ's Truth about these ordinances. There is no thought now of overlooking the Creeds or the Articles. There is no need; for these are in our Prayer Book entirely coincident in doctrine with our Services for the Two Sacraments. But the Offices for the Holy Communion and for Baptism are very full and minute, and are ceaselessly teaching us and our children, in the most solemn hours and lessons that we know. These preserve and present the very Truth of our God and Saviour, as the witness of the written Word—the paramount Rule, the Rule of our Faith, certifies it; and as the essential principles of the Sacramental offices of the earliest and purest ages and churches, transmit and certify that Truth revealed. These two Offices in this Prayer Book, though in our tongue, and vocal in every line with the inheritance of our race and Church,—honest, clear, sturdy belief, and open, intelligible avowal,—are yet not so Anglican as to be in the least point non-catholic. I verily [5/6] believe that if apostles, and evangelists, and doctors, and martyrs from all the ages, were the judges to-day, they would say that no Church in any age or land had ever ministered these holy Offices in truer words, in ampler correctness of ministration, or in completer fulness of the Truth; and I will utter here my own conviction, after some diligence for now many years in such study and thought, that we know of no Liturgy, past or present, so terse and full, so logical and coherent, so explicit and complete in uttering all the truth of the Lord's Supper, and so distinct and definite in shutting out all error of doctrine and worship, as "The Order for the Administration of the Lord's Supper or Holy Communion" in our American Prayer Book; and confidence as full is due to our Baptismal Offices also.
Now, what do we read and learn in these Offices? What is clearly this Church's doctrine and precept in these Sacraments? To educe this—the teaching in these Offices, is just now the whole of my purpose. The proofs from Holy Scripture, and other and subordinate sources, that this teaching is true, do not come within the scope of my purpose now.
The Holy Communion meets us first in our Prayer Book Offices, as the perpetually renewed Service in the Church, and as the central act of ordinary worship; not as in any sense the more obligatory or essential Sacrament of the two. The Son of God Himself ordained them both as equal, though having each for itself special and distinct relations to our salvation. The birth into life, and the perpetual nourishment in life, are both His equal ordinances, and our equal needs. The first is once for all, and therefore has its own vast meaning; the second is for always, and thence its equal other power. Error that reaches far with its mischief, begins in any comparison of the Two Sacraments that elevates either over the other. The Church's Services exclude this error.
Her words in these services are very carefully chosen. "The Administration," she says, "of the Lord's Supper, or Holy Communion;" and if this word "Administration" were less displaced than it is in our present common use, by the other, less accurate, or any how less comprehensive word "Celebration,'' the real Prayer Book Use might keep fresher in men's minds the great truth, that Participation is of the essence of the Sacrament to any one who seeks its ends of grace. Our moral duty, the preaching of the [6/7] everlasting Gospel, mercy to others for God's sake bringing our offerings for our brethren, and to our God who gives us all we have, and intercession for all the Church, prepare our approach towards the Holy Table. Penitence, pardon and assurance of comfort bring us in humble confidence to the very ordinance itself. This ordinance, speaking very definitely, begins with our Prayer of Consecration, and closes with the Act of Participation. The pure Loaf of our ordinary Daily Bread, and the pure juice of the grape, the fruit of the Vine, are the right elements, first to be given to God, by His grateful children, and then to be laid by the duly authorized ministry on the Holy Table and Altar. Then comes the solemn Prayer of Consecration, whose several parts making up the one true whole, follow each other in perfect logical sequence, in marvellous theological fulness, with depth of devotion unsurpassed, and with terseness of expression, and clearness and completeness in doctrine, unequalled, I believe, in any other like Office in any other part or age of the Church.
1. The first part of this Prayer of Consecration is the hallowing of the Bread and Wine to be the Memorial before God of the One Completed Sacrifice by the great one Priest, of Himself, on the Cross; and the offering to the Father of this Memorial, this Remembrance commanded by His Son so to be made. This is Prayer pleading before the Father by Symbol, as ordained, the One, the only, the completed Propitiation for sins; and blessing the Father for that Atonement unto Life. Thus far the hallowed elements have been such, have been made holy, set-apart only as the Memorial before the Father. In no sense have they yet become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. In whatever sense these elements are yet to become to the believing partaker the Body and the Blood of Christ, that sense does not attach to them thus far, when they are offered to the Father, as the Memorials, as the Remembrance, of His Son's Cross, of His Sacrifice that was on that Cross made once for all; never to be repeated, nor continued, nor renewed, but ever to be pleaded before the Father in this Prayer by ordained Memorial.
2. Then succeeds the Invocation, the calling on the Father to send down His Son and His Spirit, now so to sanctify the Memorials after their offering has been thus completed, that those who eat and drink in faith, may partake of the most blessed Body and [7/8] Blood of His Son, as these were sacrificed, as these were broken and shed on the Cross, that so the partakers may receive the fulness of the pardon and the grace unto life that His death, into which faith thus enters, won for His true members.
3. Then comes the second offering that we all make; for the Priest speaks by office, throughout, for all who pray and partake. We offer now again; but we offer not the Elements, not the Body and Blood of Christ. This offering, in any true sense, is impossible in this service, and the attempt or thought is profane, and as such this service utterly excludes it. We offer now, in this second offering, ourselves, the baptized, faithful, members of Christ, all we are or have, to the Father; that so we may meetly, worthily, effectually go on now to partake of Christ. This offering is of ourselves; and it is, through Christ, a real sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. The other earlier, first oblation was of the Memorial Bread and Wine, and was in a right sense a sacrifice of supplication by ordained symbol; but it was in no sense an offering up of Christ, of His Sacrifice; but truly and only the reminding of the Father by this symbol, as other prayer does by word, of His Son's all-sufficient Sacrifice for our sins.
Now, we go on to partake in and of both Elements. Until and unless this partaking is done, the sacrament is not. Its own grace belongs only to the partaker; and that partaker one who believes. There is,—not only there ought to be,—but there can be no offering without the partaking. This partaking must be in both Elements; by lay and cleric, equally; and by each one for himself; or, else, Christ's sacrament is not. And the hallowed Elements are Christ's Body and Blood only for faithful partaking in the Sacrament; not for any other purpose, nor for any use outside the Sacrament; not for our worship any where, or any how, but for our due partaking. If any of the consecrated Bread or Wine remain after the Partaking, they are to be then and there consumed in quiet reverence, before the faithful disperse, not as in any sense a second sacramental partaking, but as the reverent use of things once made so holy. No adoration of or to the Elements, or of or to any Divine Person enshrined in them, is permitted in any part of the service. No "elevation" of the Elements, whatever the plea be for it, in any part of the service is directed or permitted. Sacred reverence is directed in every part of the act. We have [8/9] pleaded the One Sacrifice, by memorial before the Father. We have offered up ourselves in penitence and love; and by faith we have indeed eaten and drunk the salvation wrought out by the Crucified, that so we may at length attain to His glory as He reigns above. This is the full, clear doctrine of our Communion Service. It speaks throughout to the Father only. The adoration is directed to Him; not to the Son, nor to the Holy Ghost. All the Three Divine Persons are surely worshipped always whenever worship is offered to any one Person of the Three; but this Service speaks to the Father, through the Son, and of the Son and of the Spirit. The intent of the Sacrament is to speak to the Father, not to address, ad-ore the Son; and, so, not to search curiously, unwisely, unscripturally, for His Person made to be present in the holy Elements. No word to the Son is spoken till when all the consecrated Elements are meant and ought to have been consumed and none of them left (as is not seldom the fact); we then first speak to the Divine Son in the Gloria in Excelsis. Adoration to Him is not the intent of the Sacrament, or of this Office for it in our Prayer Book. Prayer and worship to the Father, and Participation in the Death of the Son, are the two, real and only, and essential things.
The Reality of the fact that the Body and Blood of Christ dying for us, are present to the believing in the act of Participation, is expressed in the Service, as it is in Holy Scripture. Elsewhere this Church rejects, as she here excludes, any opinion of change of substance in the Elements; as she here entirely excludes also any vain reasoning from insolvable mystery towards a Personal Presence, somehow there, or therein, and to be so adored. All such theories and worship must be aside from, contrary to the Truth of the Holy Sacrament; and hostile and perilous to the faith and salvation of the soul.
The Administration of this Holy Communion is clearly meant to be, among us, as it was in the Church's first times, on each Lord's Day. Towards this, may God lead us onward, in humble, loving faith and holiness, more and more! The truer custom will come in the sooner among us, if all the Pastors will teach devout believers gently and wisely about these things, after the Teachers have themselves clearly, dutifully and lovingly thought out and accepted their Church's sure lessons of doctrine here; and if, then, [9/10] the hour of such Service be discreetly chosen on the Lord's Day; and if the minister will omit the added things that, even if harmless in themselves, are harmful, because they weary and worry the devout partakers; and specially, if doing all that this Church enjoins in her Prayer Book Service, the minister would do nothing more; and, most chiefly, if the minister would eschew as sinful, any modes of ministration that are alien to our reverent, grave Service, and to the Doctrine it so expressly inculcates.
THE "ONE BAPTISM FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS."
Holy Baptism, the other Sacrament of Christ, with its own proper character and grace, the full equal of its sister Sacrament in authority and in the blessings that He and His Spirit convey through it, has its most ample Services, for Infant and Adult, in our Prayer Book; as it has its witness and exposition in fullest measure in the Holy Scriptures, and in the acts and words of Christ's Church in all ages. The "one Baptism for the remission of sins," declared in the Creed, is fully explained in our Catechism, and the whole truth in all its parts comes out clearly in our Baptismal Offices. If the Communion Office teaches us in hours solemn for our own sakes, the Baptismal Offices teach us in the hours when, more even than for ourselves, we supplicate the Father of our Lord Christ in behalf of the children He gives us in our homes. It is this Sacrament that enters our homes and binds them into union with the Church as integral parts of the one Household of the Faith. These Baptismal Offices are strong, distinct, unhesitating and comprehensive in their doctrine. They give no encouragement to the unholy superstition that rests in mere rite and outer membership. They quicken hope and conscience; declare responsibility; show the conditions as well as the means of salvation; utter assuring pledges of grace by the way, and at the end of the probation; but they rebuke and instruct, as we men need, who are as often careless of our privileges as we are forgetful of our responsibilities. Let any one go through these Baptismal Offices and mark their doctrines. They reach all men, of each and every period or lot in life. They assert the blessed principle of all revelation,—eminent in the Gospel,—of the full and actual membership of the Infant; a principle, by the absence of which—we feel it more earnestly as our years run on—this sweet Gospel of [10/11] Jesus would lose its chief grace and charm of saving love. Membership wrought by the Spirit, real, actual, present, in Christ, is declared, wherever wilful sin cannot or does not hinder. So also real, actual, present sonship to God, the Father, through this Saviour Christ. So also real, actual, present heirship in the Kingdom of God,—the kingdom of grace, pardon, and duty now, and of grace and rest and reward hereafter. "The remission of sins," through Christ, is the covenant—actual at once to irresponsible child, and to the penitent and believing adult; a permanent covenant between God and the baptized; opening forever through this life, free access to the Father's forgiveness through the Son's Name, for all such as by the Spirit's grace go for themselves and in their own right as His Sons to that forgiving Father for daily pardon and grace. That door of access can never be shut against those who would keep it open. By right of that access through Christ, men must ever seek God, and so seeking, they shall ever find. How far the reckless hardness of wilful unbelief, and the Church's solemn exclusion of the wicked and impenitent, may shut up the access, for the time, even in this life,—is a question not now before us. But the reality and the abiding power of the gift of God's love, are to be most distinctly recognized. The membership, sonship and citizenship is complete; and save in the sad cases just recognized as at once fearful and possible, irreversible in its privileges and rights, as fully as in its accountability. With these mighty and glorious truths our Baptismal Offices are radiant; and this light is but the true reflection of the heavenly rays of sure love with which our Gospel glows. And Christian men in their inmost hearts, when free from the misleading antagonism of controversy, really hold these truths as their comfort. They give fresh keenness to the vision of the faith that justifies, and warmer life to the love that sanctifies. Some dread particular words; some contend for them. But the inner essence of the truth in this matter lives in most believers' minds and hearts. It is not blind charity, but sober-sighted equity that recognizes this hopeful fact. This League and Gift of the dear Father's pardon and love so touches to the quick His sons' souls, that they believe more alike than some of them dare to know. Yet vigilant thought is still needed. There are developed theories, and also practical error to be seen and to be shunned.
 The authorized standards of opinion and teaching in most of the Protestant Bodies are clear and distinct on these doctrines of Baptism. The too common opinions and practice are, however, quite deficient. Baptism, especially for children, is too much regarded (and this even where Infant Baptism is not denied) as only the pious custom of those who like it. The error that denies Infant Baptism out and out, is one of the worst heresies—one of the most cruel and hurtful that the Gospel has ever met. Or, again, Baptism is only a duty done in obedience to a command, not also a mean through which God bestows certain graces. The fact, or the record of it, is quite uncertain in many lives. "Church-membership" and its fullest privileges may often be reached without even an inquiry whether the person be baptized. Appeals to men's consciences and hearts ignore the question whether the sinful man be a member of Christ or not; an alien, or a disobedient son; a foreigner, or a naturalized citizen of the kingdom, neglectful, or even reckless of assumed obligations. We call out men's loyalty to their nation, because we really believe in that kingdom and in that citizenship. Do even we, brethren in this Church, so believe and preach, with equal faith in these spiritual realities?
The Roman Church is very explicit in her wrong dogma and teaching here. She rigidly enforces baptism as a necessity; and then openly and expressly denies it and ignores it as an abiding state of salvation and of pardon on repentance and faith. Confirmation must "perfect the grace of baptism" [Pope Pius the V’s Catechism of the Council of Trent, ed. Lucas Bro., Balto., p. 143.] A Sacrament newly invented—Penance—must be enforced in the place of Christ's full Sacrament, the Universal Church's "one Baptism for the remission of sins." The Roman Church's solemn decree is, "For those who fall into sin after baptism, the Sacrament of Penance is as necessary to salvation as is Baptism for those who have not been already baptized" [id. p. 176]. "Penance also (i. e., as well as baptism) washes away all sins of thought or deed committed after baptism" [p. 180]. "To it (i. e. penance) belongs, in so special a manner, the efficacy of remitting actual guilt, that without its intervention we cannot obtain or even hope for pardon" [p. 183]. Thus Baptism is denied to be the "state of salvation," the covenant and the relation to God, through Christ, in which each penitent and believing son can, all [12/13] through this life, ask and surely get, for the Redeemer's sake, the free pardon of all his sins.
Thus the seemingly opposing errors beget, in their extremes, a pretty real concurrence in wrong doctrine; and both these extremes of error find, of necessity, in a free, comprehensive church like ours, some, and not always unthinking apologists. Error at either extreme meets in the case of this doctrine, as of every other. Baptism is sadly disparaged and displaced, to the right and to the left of us.
The Roman doctrine, we see, practically obliterates this first Sacrament for the adult, while it also seriously, if not fatally, mutilates [This "mutilation" is effected not only by withholding the cup from the laity (i. e., on all ordinary occasions, from every one but the priest officiating), but also by discarding, as the rule, the necessary "participation" by the worshippers] the second, to which, yet, it professes to give such peculiar power and efficacy. Thus the inventions of men's wisdom and will-worship, degrade what they propose to exalt; and they make the Saviour's ordinances of free grace the machines to entangle and hinder the feet of those who would come to the Father through Him.
The opposite extreme also, really and practically forgets the first Sacrament, as if it were not of continuing force through the man's whole life; and this, without specially exalting the second Sacrament; unless, indeed, the infrequent use of it, with the idea of a more impressive moral self-discipline, be counted the exaltation of the ordinance which our Lord decreed for frequent use, as His constant means of giving grace and of man's receiving it; though (and it ought not need to be said) this reception must ever be with true and deep devotion of spirit.
We catch among us, I say, some of the error that presses the truth on either side; and so, some among us half allow that real membership is effected in the Holy Supper; while the truth is that this second ordinance is the high privilege, the stringent obligation belonging to the membership which must be once, and for all and entirely begotten in the earlier ordinance. Each Sacrament of the Two, is too high and too holy to need any honor taken from the other; or to admit of any human re-arrangement in their ministration, or in the mutual relations of the two Rites. It is, therefore [13/14] the more notable, that some men who would not wilfully either romanize or puritanize, do yet, not a little, blend both errors into their theories, from the mistaken idea that the due estimate of the Lord's Supper requires some narrowing of the permanent dignity and grace of the sister Sacrament.
One can see this in some of the ordinary expressions of opinion and modes of action; and beyond that, in the wrong idea making its way into some system of theology claiming to be scientific. But Theology, as all history proves, has its logic as inexorable and as irresistible as that of any other science. Put an error into the calculation, and it perverts the whole process and its result. Overlook "the analogy of the faith"—thn analogian thz pistewz (Romans 12: 6),—the due relation of numbers and magnitudes to each other, is what this word analogia means in mathematics;—disregard the "consanguinitas doctrinae," as a Theologian spoke centuries ago, and untruth results and the hearty accord of brotherhood is imperilled.
One of our very devout, and in much that he has written in years past, most instructive book makers, writes recently to exalt the Blessed Sacrament of the Communion. To accomplish this, he forgets his New Testament and his Prayer Book, and thinks to exalt one of the Lord's Sacraments by lowering the other; and he thus writes (only last year) of the Holy Communion: "It is the one act ordained by Christ Himself, for all other acts of worship are common to other religions" [Sadler's "One Offering," p. 3.]. "No other act of worship can come near it" [id. p. 4]. "It is by far the most evangelical of all acts of worship" [id. p.4]. "The Eucharistic sacrifice is the perpetual pledge and seal of this" (scil. "the new and better covenant") for by It we join ourselves to God" [p. 136 The words the and join are italicised in the quotation, to show the drift of the idea]. "It is the only service of worship which our Lord distinctly commanded" [p. 154]. "It stands in strong contrast with Baptism, the other Sacrament which He expressly ordained, for He baptized not, but His disciples, whereas He Himself celebrated the Lord's Supper." A Christian man "cannot but be struck by the fact that Christ ordained but one ordinance" [p. 164]. So good a man as this writer would never have thus forgotten the Analogy of the Faith, the lessons of the Church, the [14/15] express words of the Saviour, had he not surrendered himself to the strong drift of the one idea; that idea itself, being thus by its displacement and distortion, half spoiled of its own real truth and glory! The words quoted show the irresistible logical force and drift of wrong opinion entering into theological thought and the action it begets.
If either Sacrament is lowered, both are dishonored. Each has its office of love, and each rests equally on the other. The one abides perpetually, that the other may be perpetually renewed. The one is the ever-opened door into the Upper Room where the other, the Feast stands evermore ready. The one gives (it need not be always repeated, that God and Christ, and the Spirit, ever and alone, give and work all grace,) the first ordinance of the two, gives full, final, complete citizenship, with its obligations, its privileges and its perils; and this fact, the Church and all her ministries and enactments must ever recognize, or she breaks proportion and denies consanguinity of doctrine. The second, other ordinance, ever feeds the citizen and son, by the mercy pledged to him as such. Wo to the disloyal citizen and the disobedient son, if he despise and lose his birthright by not fulfilling all its obligations and privileges!
But there are some—who of us knows them not?—too many, alas! such citizens and sons, who, though we must anxiously and ceaselessly stir them up, yet for a time keep back, because of faults not always wholly theirs, or because of circumstances not of their own making, or because, often, of sincere, though misguided self-distrust, or from some of those mysterious feelings which the Pastor sees must be dealt with patiently and lovingly, if he would at last win the blood-bought soul. Many such persons love Christ and His Church with warm hearts and open, active hands; and I would say, draw them onward, give them work to do; let them make offerings to God; call them His sons, evoke their filial love into such growth of it as they often long for. Speak to them of their Father and yours, and their hearts and eyes will often respond before your own have half spoken the truth you love. Sweet souls, they often are! how near and dear to Him who waits in sure foresight, as He bids us wait and work on in prayerful hope! This is the Prayer-Book Church's position. She believes these truths and puts them forth, and tells them daily in her solemn words to all men. She can stand men's misconceptions while she corrects them; [15/16] and their misrepresentations, while she is daily refuting them. She is a strong, as well as a fond Mother, and she can keep her sons in her home, and call them by their home names, and recognize them as her own, and hear their loyal voices, and give them some lowly tasks to do for her in some of her quieter places, and so have and use many a chance to teach, rebuke and exhort with long-suffering and love; and thus save for her Lord the souls, that, unrecognized and untrusted, would often wander quite away from their Home.
God be thanked for the Holy Gospel of His Son, Christ our Saviour; for His means of grace and for His hope of glory to us! And, so, God be thanked for His written Word, and His Church's true Creeds and worship; and so, God be thanked that He gives us our lot in this American Church, with her rare trust of Liturgical Offices that express definitely the whole Truth, and exclude distinctly every error.