EPISCOPAL CHURCH NOT CALVINISTIC.
IN ST. JOHN’S CHURCH, SALEM,
OPENING OF THE CONVENTION
PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH
On Wednesday, the 31st of May, 1826.
THE REV. JOHN CROES, JUN. A. M.
Transcribed by Wayne Kempton
Archivist and Historiographer of the Diocese of New York, 2012
Considerable satisfaction was expressed with the following Discourse by some persons who were present at the delivery, and the writer has been told that it would gratify some of the hearers of it to see it in print. Another motive for publishing it is, that it treats on a subject which is much discussed, but it is suspected, thoroughly understood by few. Should the perusal of it be the means of inducing the members of the Church, to procure those larger works that have been written to disprove the Calvinism of the Church, (particularly Bishop White’s Comparison and Laurence’s Bampton Lectures,) the publication of this Sermon will not be without its use. That such may be the case, is the sincere wish of the author.
A SERMON, &c.
JUDE, 3d VERSE.
Earnestly contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints.
OUR blessed Saviour, among other prophetic declarations, foretold to his disciples, that offences must come; and one of his inspired servants tells us, that the time would come, when men would not endure sound doctrine.
The history of the Christian Church too fully proves the truth of these predictions. Heresies began to make their appearance in it soon after the ascension of our Lord; and although in the infancy of the Church, they seldom endured a long while, but generally expired almost at the same time with their authors; yet they were soon succeeded by others, which arose in like manner, to exert a pernicious influence for a few years, and to perish also before the influence of truth, like summer weeds before the scythe of the mower.
Such was the state of the Church in its infancy, and at the period of its greatest purity. Such was its state during the first three hundred years of the Christian era, a period of almost constant persecution, and likewise of unexampled piety and devotion to the service of the [5/6] Saviour. After this time, the external condition of the Church was prosperous; the number of Christians had so greatly increased, that they became the predominant party in the Roman empire; and—a consequence that too generally attends prosperity—piety declined, and heresies took deeper root, and gained wider extent. As its temporal state continued to improve, the spiritual condition of the Church grew daily worse. Learning gradually vanished; the darkness of ignorance took place of the light of knowledge, and in two or three centuries more its situation became most deplorable. Superstition, ignorance, and bigotry every where reigned with despotic sway. It is impossible for us to form a correct idea of the state of the Church in the dark ages; and while the soul of the philanthropist sickens at the view which history presents to him, the Christian tries but in vain to solve the purposes of the Almighty in permitting such lamentable blindness and error.
But this humiliating state of things was not always to continue. Light at length again rose upon the world. Those who had groped in darkness so long, began to see their way more clearly, and Christians felt the necessity of exerting their efforts to remove the corruptions and reform the abuses that had crept into the Church. This was an arduous task, and one that required great skill, great patience, great labour, and great courage. These corruptions and abuses had become so interwoven into the very texture of the Church, that there was danger at all times, lest, in removing them, some of the component parts of the fabrick should be destroyed, or lest in the zeal for restoring the Church to its primitive state, additions should be made to it, which were not warranted by the faith and practice of primitive times. That both these errors were committed by some of the reformers, there is too much reason to believe. In the ministry, the worship, and the faith of the Church, alterations [6/7] were made in some places, that could not be defended by the sentiments or the practice of those Christians who lived in the purest times. We say that unwarrantable alterations were made by some of the reformers. Others are justly exempted from this censure. Carefully feeling their way before they made any changes, carefully examining Scripture and the primitive Church, they were cautious to do nothing in which they could not be supported by both these authorities. Among those who went thus prudently and cautiously to work, may justly be ranked the reformers of the Church from which we have descended. In the three essential points of doctrine, ministry, and worship, she endeavoured to tread in the steps of those who laid the foundation of the Christian system, and watered it with their blood. She reformed all abuses in these points. But in doing this she was careful not to cut off any of the component parts of the Church, or to engraft any new article of faith or practice upon the original stock. She left the ministry nearly as she found it, because she felt she had no right to alter it in those points wherein it corresponded with the original establishment. She expunged the superstitious additions that had been made in the worship, but went no farther; and in doctrine she avoided the errors of some reformed Churches, in not admitting into her articles, tenets that had considerable currency among some Christians, but which have not the sanction of Scripture, and are not supported by the faith of the primitive Church. The Church of England, in the work of the reformation, earnestly contended for the “faith once delivered unto the saints.” I need hardly add, that in the ministry, the doctrines, and the worship of our Church, in this country, we have trod in her footsteps. What she established three hundred years ago, and still retains unaltered, we have received, and also retain, except that in our publick worship we have [7/8] made such changes as the difference in the civil governments of the two countries required.
But although we have adopted the same articles of faith that the Church of England holds, we are frequently accused of not adhering to the doctrines inculcated in them. Our articles, it is said, teach one thing, while we preach another. This is asserted in especial reference to doctrines that have received the name of Calvinistick.
The charge is a serious one, and deserves a serious answer. In endeavouring to refute it, I am supported by the full conviction that I am contending for the faith once delivered to the saints. To accomplish my purpose, I shall endeavour to show,
I. That our articles, when properly construed, do not support the Calvinistick system; and,
II. Adduce some other reasons to prove that they were never designed to be understood as supporting it.
1st. Our articles, when properly construed, are not Calvinistick. To prove this it will be necessary to state what Calvinism is. The system consists of five articles namely, absolute predestination, partial redemption, total depravity, irresistible, grace, and final perseverance.
The following are extracts from a standard work [Presbyterian Confession of Faith.] on these subjects.
1. “God did from all eternity, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his own glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life, and others foreordained to everlasting death. Those predestinated to life, are chosen without any foresight of faith or good works as conditions or causes moving him thereunto.”
2.  “Our first parents, by sin, fell from their original righteousness and communion with God, and so became dead in sin, and wholly defiled in all the faculties and parts of soul and body. They being the root of all mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed, and the same death in sin and corrupted nature conveyed to all their posterity, descending from them. From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions.”
3. “All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, and those only, he is pleased in his appointed and accepted time, effectually to call by his word and spirit out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ.”
4. “This effectual call is of God’s free and special grace alone, not from any thing at all foreseen in man, who is altogether passive therein, until being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit, he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it.”
5. “Men not professing the Christian religion cannot be saved in any other way whatsoever, be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature, and the law of that religion they do profess, and to assert and maintain that they may, is very pernicious, and to be detested.”
6. “God did from all eternity decree to justify the elect, and Christ did in the fulness of time die for their sins.”
7. “They whom God hath accepted in his beloved, effectually called and sanctified by his Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved.”
Such is a brief sketch of the principal doctrines of Calvinism. [9/10] It would be an easy task to multiply quotations breathing the same sentiments, were it necessary.
Now, upon a slight inspection of this system, and comparison of it with the articles of the Episcopal Church, we shall soon see that there is little similarity between them.
In the articles of our Church we find nothing that looks like partial redemption, nothing like total depravity, or irresistible grace, or final perseverance. We find the reverse of all these.
We find the doctrine of redemption stated in the broadest and strongest terms. Our thirty-first article says, “the offering of Christ once made, is that perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual.” The fifteenth says, “Christ came to be a Lamb without spot, to take away the sins of the world.”
This doctrine indeed pervades the Book of Common Prayer. In the Litany we pray, “O God the Son, Redeemer of the world,” &c. And, in the Office for the Holy Communion we give glory to God for the death of his Son Jesus Christ, upon the cross, “who made there, by his one oblation of himself once offered, a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world.”
But no one acquainted with our Book of Common Prayer will dispute that universal redemption is the doctrine of our Church.
Again we find our ninth article, declaring, that man is very far gone [Much has been said concerning the Latin rendering of this article, which is asserted to be much stronger in its expression than the English. The Latin words corresponding to very far in the English, are quam longissime. And it is said that the Latin copy is the oldest and best authority. This, however, has not been proved. Strype, in his Memorials of Cranmer, says they were published in Latin and English at the same time. (Ox. ed. 1812, p. 390.) If this is true, and it be also true that the articles were first framed in Latin, yet as they were rendered into English by the framers, the English must be as good authority as the Latin.] from original righteousness, but not the [10/11] doctrine of total depravity. Our sixteenth article says, that after we have received the Holy Ghost, we may depart from grace given—not countenancing thereby the doctrine of final perseverance. So far we see, that our Church holds doctrines directly the reverse of those termed Calvinistick.
But what are we to do with the seventeenth article? How are we to remove this stumbling-block?
Admitting that the seventeenth article did convey the sense which is attributed to it by Calvinists, would the adoption of one such tenet render the Church Calvinistick? Calvin’s system, to be consistent, must embrace all the five points. If only one is removed, it becomes incomplete and insupportable. So artfully constructed is the whole system, that each of these points may be considered as equivalent to the key-stone of an arch, which being taken away, the arch necessarily falls. Does not the absence of any other Calvinistick principle in our Church, form strong presumptive evidence that the seventeenth article never was designed to be taken in a Calvinistick sense? The reformers of the Church of England are acknowledged, on all hands, to have been men of learning, and to have well understood what they were doing. If then, they were Calvinists in principle, why exclude all other parts of the Calvinistick system from their articles?
This argument will appear to carry additional weight, when we consider that in order to prove that our articles are Calvinistick, it has been asserted that the reformers of our Church had considerable intercourse with Calvin while engaged in the work of reformation, corresponded with him, asked his advice and followed it—an assertion which will be noticed presently. Now if this was the case, how comes it that our articles are so unlike the creed of Calvin? Why is there not a single expression from Calvin’s works to be found, among them? How [11/12] comes it that she adopts explicitly the doctrine of universal redemption, says nothing in favour of irresistible grace, final perseverance, and does not inculcate total depravity? If our reformers did correspond so closely with Calvin, and were in any degree influenced by him, the most that can be said concerning the Calvinism of the seventeenth article is, that it was worded cautiously, so as not to contradict, more than could be helped, the sentiments of that reformer. But let us examine the article itself.
“Predestination to life is the everlasting purpose of God, whereby (before the foundations of the world were laid) he hath constantly decreed by his counsel, secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation, those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and to bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation, as vessels made to honour.”
Now observe the difference between this article and the Calvinistick doctrine on the same subject. Our article says, “God has determined to deliver from curse and damnation, those whom he hath chosen in Christ.” But whom hath he chosen? Those who accept the invitation he has given to all, to come unto him and receive eternal life. It does not say that God hath chosen them independently of their faith and good works. But what saith Calvinism? Some men and angels are foreordained unto everlasting life without foresight of faith or good works as conditions or causes moving thereunto.
The essence of Calvinism is therefore wanting in the seventeenth article. Calvinism says, that God foreordained without regard to faith or good works. It says indeed that the decree of God precedes and is the cause of his foreknowledge; whereas our article says not so. It excludes not the foreknowledge of God, and if we take it in connexion with the other articles, we must believe that it was never designed to exclude it. Furthermore, the article says nothing about reprobation, and [12/13] “election itself, unless opposed to reprobation,” Calvin says “cannot stand.”
Again, the conclusion of the article says, “we must receive God’s promises as they are set forth to us in holy Scripture.” This conclusion we think is a caution against adopting the Calvinistick sense of predestination. It directs us to receive God’s promises as they are given to us in holy Scripture; and holy Scripture from the beginning to the end, tells us that God will reward those who sincerely seek to do his will. [The limits of a discourse do not admit of a full exposition of the seventeenth article. Those who wish to see the Calvinism of the article thoroughly discussed, would do well to read Laurence’s “Bampton Lectures,” and “Bishop White’s Comparison.” Dr. Laurence contends that the seventeenth article was framed not with any reference to predestination as it is now understood, but to meet the errors of the Roman Church of that day on the subject. And when we consider that that Church was the great object of fear and opposition to all the reformed Churches, and that several others of our articles were framed expressly to counteract its errors, we must admit that Dr. Laurence’s position has a very strong foundation to support it.]
From what has been said, we think it evident that the doctrines of our Church are not Calvinistick. We see that she maintains nothing that looks like Calvinism on four out of the five points, while on the subject of predestination, she speaks so cautiously, that we are fairly warranted in drawing the conclusion, that she did not mean to inculcate the doctrine of predestination in the Calvinistick sense. Predestination, when interpreted as resulting from the foreknowledge of God, and as connected with the faith and obedience of the predestinated, few would object to. There is nothing revolting to our feelings in being told, that “whom God did foreknow, he did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son.” But that the decree of God precedes and is the cause of his foreknowledge; and that God foreordains to everlasting life or death, without foresight of faith or good works, is a creed against which the unbiassed feelings of the heart will always rebel.
II.  I proceed to advance some other reasons drawn from the known sentiments and conduct of the reformers, and from the conduct of professed Calvinists, to show that the Church of England never was Calvinistick.
The principal mover and conductor of the reformation, in England was Archbishop Cranmer. In executing this important work, he did not rely solely upon his own resources, but sought assistance from learned reformers in other countries. And his attention was chiefly directed to that country in which the reformation had its birth—Germany. Among the German reformers, his principal friend and correspondent was Melancthon, the pious and learned coadjutor of Luther. Such was his regard for this great and good man, that he earnestly pressed him to come into England and assist in the work of reformation on that island. Melancthon did not comply with this request, but gave what aid he could with his writings. Melancthon was no Calvinist; he indeed reprobated the sentiments of Calvin on the subject of predestination, calling him the author of a system of “Stoical Necessity,” and styling him the “Zeno of the age.” [Laurence’s Bampton Lectures, (Notes) p. 421.] Melancthon was the principal hand in framing the German system of faith, a system that does not support the doctrines of Calvin on the points in question. From the German articles several of ours are taken, without, in some cases, scarcely any variation. [The 1st, 2d, 5th, 6th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 16th, 20th, and 31st, are copied almost verbatim from the Augsburgh and Wirtemburgh Confessions. The Latin of our 31st article is this: “Oblatio Christi semel feta perfecta est redemptio propitiato, et satisfactio pro omnibus peccatis tolius mundi originalibus quam actualibus.” The Augsburgh Confession has the following: “Passio Christi fuit oblatio et satisfactio non solum pro culpa originis, sed etiam pro omnibus reliquis peccatis.” The similarity in some of the other articles is still greater. Laurence, p. 238.] Now here we think is conclusive evidence of the sentiments of Cranmer and his associates. We see where he looked for aid, and we see where he [14/15] obtained it. It has been said that Cranmer corresponded also with Calvin, and thence the inference is drawn that he adopted the sentiments of Calvin. A very lame inference indeed. But why do not those who assert this, point out the passages in our articles that are taken from Calvin’s creed? We have seen that several of our articles are copied very closely after the Lutheran, a conclusive proof that Cranmer, in many important points, coincided in sentiment with Melancthon; and the non-adoption of any of Calvin’s articles, is as conclusive evidence that he had no influence whatever in settling the faith of the English Church, unless it might be the negative influence of inducing that Church to avoid his errors. Indeed Calvin complained that his sentiments were but little regarded in England. “I in vain,” says he, “turn my discourse to them, who perchance do not place sufficient confidence in me to receive counsel issuing from such an author.” [Laurence, p. 394. Heylin says that Calvin offered his assistance to Crammer in reforming the English Church, but that Cranmer “knew the man, and declined the offer.”]
Another proof that Calvin had no influence in the formation of our articles, consists in the fact that he himself had not matured his system before the thirty-nine articles were drawn up and established. [Calvin’s complete work came out the same year with the English articles. (1552.) Strype says Calvin’s way of explaining the divine decrees, was not entertained by many learned men in the University of Cambridge before 1595. Life of Whitgift.]
Again, the Homilies were composed with the view of elucidating and enforcing the doctrines of the Church. They may indeed be considered as a commentary upon the articles. In them we do not find a syllable favouring the doctrine of absolute predestination; in fact, the term predestination does not occur in any of them—but we find abundant evidence to prove that such was not the doctrine of the Church and that she maintained in [15/16] the most extensive sense, the doctrine of universal redemption. This argument will be acknowledged to have great weight when it is considered that the Homilies are of almost equal authority with the articles themselves, and are recognized and acknowledged as sound expositions of Scripture by the articles.
But a conclusive proof that the Church of England is not Calvinistick, may be drawn from the admission of the English Calvinists themselves, at the time when they had gained, or thought they had gained, the ascendency in the Church.
In the reigns both of Queen Elizabeth and King James the First, the Calvinists attempted to procure the insertion of the Lambeth articles among the established articles of the Church. “Upon the accession of the latter prince, a conference was publickly held at Hampton Court, in which the innovation alluded to, with others of equal importance was suggested. The particulars of this conference were subsequently published, in which the spokesman of the Calvinists is stated to have moved his Majesty ‘that the book of articles concluded in 1562, might be explained in places obscure, and enlarged where some things were defective.’ For example, whereas in the sixteenth, the words are these, ‘After we have received the Holy Ghost, we may depart from grace given,’ they desired they might be explained by the addition of these words, ‘yet neither totally nor finally;’ and also that the nine assertions, orthodox all as he termed them, concluded upon at Lambeth, might be inserted into that book of articles.” [Laurence.]
These nine assertions, orthodox all as they were termed, or as they are now denominated the Lambeth article, [16/17] are as follows:
1. God from eternity predestinated some to life—some he doomed to death.
2. The moving and efficient cause of predestination unto life, is not the foresight of faith or perseverance, or good works, or of any other thing which is in the persons predestinated, but the will alone of the merciful God.
3. The number of the predestinate is limited and certain, and can neither be increased or diminished.
4. They who are not predestinated unto life, shall be necessarily damned for their sins.
5. The true living and justifying faith, and the Spirit of God justifying, is not extinguished nor destroyed in the elect either totally or finally.
6. A truly faithful man, that is, a man endued with justifying faith, is certain by the full assurance of faith, of the remission of his sin, and of eternal life through Christ.
7. Saving faith is not given to all men, by which they might be saved if they would.
8. Nobody can come to Christ unless it be given to him, and unless the Father draw him, and all men are not drawn by the Father, that they may come to his Son.
9. It is not in the power or pleasure of each and every man to be saved.
These were the additions which Calvinists, in the reigns of Elizabeth and James the First, wished to be made to the articles of our Church. They were dissatisfied with the articles in their original form, and they wished to make them wear the genuine garb of Calvinism. Now we may confidently ask, Is not here conclusive proof that they were not considered to be Calvinistick in the beginning? Ante-Calvinists were satisfied with them, but Calvinists were not. In the reign of Charles the First, (successor to James the First) [17/18] the assembly of divines undertook a thorough revision of our articles, in the hope that by adding certain passages and expunging others, they could mould them to the Calvinistick form. They proceeded, however, no farther than the fifteenth, “which,” says Dr. Laurence, “might be owing to the attempt being considered hopeless, owing to the incorrigibility of the ancient creed or perhaps to a prospect which then began rapidly to open upon the puritanical cause, not merely of reforming the Church, but altogether of subverting it.”
We see, my brethren, that two centuries ago, our articles were not considered by predestinarians as Calvinistick, and that alterations were attempted to be made in them. These attempts, through the good providence of God, all proved abortive. That being the case, the language of Calvinists has changed, and they now contend that our articles are Calvinistick.
Much additional evidence might be adduced to show conclusively, that the Episcopal Church in this country and in England, never has been Calvinistick. I might, if time permitted, make numerous extracts from our Homilies, and from the writings of the reformers. I might from these writings prove, that they considered those persons who handled so freely the doctrine of predestination, as rash and venturous men, and that whenever they advanced any thing on the subject, they were very cautious to use language that could not be misunderstood or misapplied.
My brethren, the Episcopal Church has always been distinguished for the moderation and the soundness of her doctrines. While on the mysterious subject of predestination, she proceeds with caution, not inculcating any thing that contradicts the natural impressions of the human heart; on other points, she speaks boldly and decisively. On the subjects of human depravity, of the necessity of repentance, faith in the Lord Jesus, and the [18/19] divinity of the Saviour, she has left us in no doubt. Here she has laid the foundation deep and strong, because she is convinced that these are the doctrines of Scripture; and her creed is, that holy Scripture is an unerring rule of faith and conduct. She has ever earnestly contended for the faith once delivered to the Saints.
The path marked out to us by the reformers of the Church, we think is the one in which her children ought to walk. Moderation in discussing mysterious points, should be the aim of all. What evils have arisen from venturing rashly upon the forbidden ground of abstruse speculation? How many have been driven from the acknowledgment of the plain and undoubted doctrines of Christianity, by the injudicious inculcation of metaphysical divinity? There are certain truths in religion that are received on all hands, but yet are incomprehensible. When, therefore, we attempt to explain them, we lose ourselves in inextricable labyrinths, and the danger arises that we may be tempted to abandon fundamental and undoubted truths, because we cannot comprehend what it was never designed we should. Thus it is a doctrine universally admitted, that God is good. It is also a self-evident fact, that evil exists in the world. Now how shall we reconcile this doctrine and this fact together? We cannot. Shall we then reject either, because we cannot reconcile them? So we all acknowledge that God foreknows all things. If so, why did he create creatures that he knew would disobey his laws, and render themselves liable to punishment? In points like these, our true wisdom is to keep silence. We cannot explain them, and we need not attempt it. We should in sincere humility suppress our prying curiosity, and wait in patience the arrival of that day when all these mysteries will be unfolded, and we shall understand and adore the providence of God.
 The doctrines of Calvinism, we think, have done harm to the cause of Christianity. These doctrines are repugnant to the dictates of natural reason, and in order to find admission into the mind, the thoughts must be prepared beforehand, by a train of metaphysical reasoning. The Calvinistick system is altogether of artificial structure, and as we think, finds no support in the word of God. Hence when men who have been educated in the belief of this system, begin to try it by Scripture and the light of reason, they perceive the weakness of its foundation and reject it. But this is not all. They are apt to contract a sceptical spirit on other points—they are too liable to go from one extreme to another, and to imbibe the idea that they may reject not only what is contrary to reason, but also whatever is above their reason. That such has been the case in many instances there is too much reason to fear.
Do we mean to say that Calvinists may not be good men, or that they may not be sincere in their belief? God forbid. But mere sincerity in any belief, although accompanied with true piety, is no evidence of correctness of doctrine. Else we should be compelled to acknowledge that the wild reveries of Baron Swedenbourg were truths justly claiming our assent. Neither will the prevalence of a doctrine for a considerable number of years, prove its truth. For we know that certain errors have, at various periods, prevailed in the Church for a great length of time, for centuries even, and yet at last disappeared. And there are now evident symptoms of the decline of Calvinism in the Christian world. The doctrine of universal redemption, by some styled universal atonement, is gaining ground rapidly, and by its progress may be marked the destruction of Calvin’s artificial structure. It is the axe laid at the root of the tree, and it must, in time, level it with the ground. We can with sincerity put up the prayer; that its fall [20/21] may not be the signal for the rise of a more erroneous system; for mankind (as we have remarked,) are too much disposed to run from one extreme to the opposite.
My brethren of the ministry, what is the course we should pursue in this situation of affairs? While we reject the dogmas of Calvin, and endeavour to show that they are not the doctrines of the Bible or of the Church, let us be careful to inculcate with diligence and zeal, those doctrines that are the genuine and undoubted offspring of the holy Scriptures, such as the depravity of human nature, the necessity of repentance, of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, &c. These are doctrines that may not only be proved by certain warrants from holy Scripture, but that come home with power on the consciences of all men. They are doctrines, the truth of which may be felt by the heart as well as acknowledged by the understanding; and they are doctrines that will command attention, and be followed by good fruits wherever they are faithfully inculcated. Men are conscious that they are sinners; they can understand perfectly what repentance is, and they can see and feel the value of an atonement for their sins. They know not how themselves to appease the offended justice and holiness of God, and they will accept with gratitude the assistance of a Mediator. Such are the doctrines unfolded by the Gospel; such the doctrines that are suited to the moral and spiritual necessities of men; and such the doctrines that the ministers of God must inculcate, if they would do their duty. Faithfully teaching them, we shall fulfil the command of the Apostle, “Earnestly contend for the faith once delivered unto the Saints.”
Such are the doctrines which, we trust, will be inculcated by you, my Reverend Brother. [The Rev. Christian F. Crusé, who was then admitted to the holy order of Priests.] And may the [21/22] Father of Mercy aid you in the work. May the Spirit of Truth ever be present with you to strengthen and comfort you in the exercise of the duties of the ministry. May he assist you in ever bearing in mind, that you are a steward, and therefore bound to take due care of your Master’s goods; that you are an ambassador, and therefore must, if you would secure your Sovereign’s favour, attend diligently to his interests while you are in a strange land; that you are a shepherd, and should therefore feed with wholesome food, and tend with fidelity, the flock of your charge; and finally, that you are a watchman, and must therefore boldly sound the alarm when danger is nigh, must cry, aloud and spare not.
You have the best wishes of us all for your temporal and eternal prosperity, and we can all unite in offering up the prayer, that when you have finished your earthly pilgrimage, you may retire to your rest with joy, and may on the great day of account be welcomed by your divine Master with, “Well done good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”