Project Canterbury













Trinity Church, in the City of New-York, on Monday
Evening, the 11th of March, 1822.


Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of New-York, and
Professor of Pastoral Theology and Pulpit Eloquence.



No. 99 Pearl-street.


THE event that calls us together is a subject of real congratulation. An institution, organized by the Church in her highest legislative council with a unanimity and cordiality that could not have been anticipated, has commenced its operations in this city under auspices that promise not to disappoint the expectations of its founders and patrons. Here is the sacred school in which are to be trained the heralds of the cross, we hope, to the latest generations. Here is the fountain, drawing, we trust, its living waters from the throne of God, whence are to proceed those streams of divine truth and knowledge that are to refresh and gladden the Zion of the Lord, the city of our God. When we look back to the changes and difficulties, may I not say,—

Varies casus, et tot discrimina reruns,

through which our course has tended to this happy consummation, were this an heathen temple, and we the ignorant worshippers of the powers that rule the destinies of the world, we should have less than pagan piety if we did not here rear an altar, and hymn the strains of gratitude to

"Diis faventibus"—the favouring Gods.

But witnessing in the event that now calls us together, so propitious to the future welfare of the Church, (to use the memorable words of an Episcopal Father [1] in grateful reference to the happy termination of this most important and much agitated business,) "a verifying of the promise of the great Head of the Church, of his being with her alway, even to the end of the world;" surely we cannot fail to pour forth the devout effusions of our souls. "Hitherto hath the Lord helped us"—"Let us give thanks unto his name."

At the opening then of the institution under its new organization, the result of a spirit of honourable compromise, which (again to use the words of the same venerable Episcopal Father) "merged local attachments in the great object of the general good," [2] and which, having gratified the reasonable wishes of all, unites the hearts of all; it would seem proper, with the view of confirming our confidence and affection, and animating our zeal and exertions, to consider the General Theological Seminary of our Church, in reference

To its RESULTS, and
To its MEANS.

The OBJECTS which it proposes are, A learned ministry, An orthodox ministry, A pious ministry, and A practical ministry.

A learned ministry—

Learned in human science—but especially in that which is strictly theological.

The Christian minister, "giving himself wholly to his office, applying himself to this one thing, and drawing all his studies this way," must value human science, and seek its attainment, principally on account of its subserviency to the cause of divine truth. [Ordination Office.] And in this view, and with this motive, there is no branch of knowledge which, in different degrees, according to its more immediate application to the great objects of the ministry, the minister of Christ ought not to cultivate, as his means and opportunities may admit.

In the seminary which we now present to your notice, we trust will be nurtured up scribes, furnished in all things, human and divine, for the work of their Master. Those, well acquainted with the book of nature, and able from it to illustrate and enforce the word of God—Those, skilled in the original and related languages in which that word was promulgated, and thus competent in all cases to vindicate the integrity of the sacred text, and accurately to ascertain, and conclusively to defend its genuine meaning—Those, able, from their knowledge of history and its connected sciences, to show the harmony between the narrations and the facts in the sacred volume, and the occurrences and particulars that strike us in the profane records of nations—Those, conversant in that luminous internal and external evidence which establishes and attests the truth of Christianity, against all the objections of scepticism; and in that interesting science of ethical and intellectual philosophy, which, setting forth the various views of moral obligation, reduces them all to the standard of the will of the supreme Lawgiver, the Maker, the Sovereign, and the Judge of his intellectual creatures; and which, tracing through their minute and intricate, but important operations, the powers of the human mind, proves from analysis what revelation supposes and asserts, the freedom and the accountability of the immaterial and immortal agent within us—Those, thoroughly versed in the pandects which exhibit the various controversies concerning the sublime truths of theology, and which, from the chaos in which the fallible reason, and the corrupt pride and passion of the human mind have involved them, luminously educe and arrange the essential principles of Christian verity, and fix them bright and stable as the throne of the Eternal—Those, familiar with the principles of that society which its divine Founder constituted as his Church, the channel of his mercy and grace to the world, and with all the varying events which alternately plunged it in suffering, or elevated it with triumph; obscured it with heresy, or brightened it with truth; rent it with schism, or united it in apostolic peace and order; disfigured it with superstition, or adorned it with the primitive beauties of holiness—Those, imbued with that ancient and modern lore which strengthens the mind with those just opinions, enriches the imagination with that splendid imagery, and refines the taste with those exquisite delicacies of sentiment and language, which, when aiding sacred eloquence, make it sometimes the master of the heart, that would not do homage to its native power—Those, furnished with the rules and models by which excellence is attained in the art of composition, and which are transferred and applied to the theological dissertation or the practical sermon; and intimately acquainted with all those means by which pastoral intercourse is to be rendered successful in ministering to the spiritual wants, and to the consolation and happiness of the Christian flock. This is the learning which, we trust, growing with the growth and strengthening with the strength of our infant institution, will render its sacred scholars the conclusive vindicators of the divine origin of the religion which they teach; the able expositors of its hallowed code, and promulgers and defenders of its doctrines; profound, eloquent, practical "ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God."

For to form orthodox, as well as learned clergymen, will be the object of this seminary.

Orthodox, not according to individual opinion, but to those principles which, drawn from the sacred oracles, and receiving the sanction of the great body of Christians in every age, and handed down from the Apostles' times, are embodied in the articles and liturgy, and illustrated in the homilies of the Church. The doctrines which shine conspicuous in these venerable formularies, and which are expressed in them with a simplicity, force, and pathos, that render them universally interesting as standards of truth and guides of devotion, it will be the great object of this seminary to inculcate, to explain, and to defend. Acquainted with their evidences, their nature, and practical importance, with the danger of the errors that have obscured them, with the fallacy of the objections that have assailed them, we trust the clergy here educated will be conspicuous, and firm, and persevering teachers of those doctrines which constitute the Gospel the power of God unto salvation—of the truth which lies at the basis of this sacred system, the corruption and sinfulness of man, attested by his heart and his conscience, by observation and experience—of his recovery from this lapsed state, and his restoration to the forfeited favour of his Maker, through a lively and operative faith in the divine mediation of that eternal Son of the Father, who, sustaining the penalties and performing the requisitions of the divine law, vindicated the infinite justice and holiness of the divine government; and thus making atonement for iniquity, is mighty to save us from our sins, being God over all; and is touched with a feeling for our infirmities, being man, clothed with our nature—of the incomprehensible, but powerful influences of that divine Spirit, by which, in perfect consistency with the free powers of the human mind, its errors are rectified, its corrupt passions renewed, and all its powers and principles devoted to the service of the first and best of Beings, the Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier of man, and to the "love of the things which he commands, and to the pursuit of that which he does promise"—and finally, of the necessity of union with the ministry, in the participation of the ordinances of that spiritual society, the body of Christ, through which, from him, its head, the merits of his obedience and death, and the efficacy of his divine grace, are applied and conveyed to the faithful. These are the truths which, strictly evangelical, proclaiming as they do the glad tidings of pardon, and holiness, and immortality, to guilty, corrupt, and perishing man, and agreeable, as far as reason can comprehend them, to all her dictates, and exalting and confirming all her wishes and hopes, we trust, the institution, whose organization we now celebrate, will send forth heralds to proclaim with fidelity, with fervour, and with triumph to the world.

And to do this, they must have experienced the renovating and holy efficacy of these truths on their own minds, and hearts, and lives.

The ministry here educated must be a pious ministry.

It must be a pious ministry, or all its learning, and all its orthodoxy, will be but "as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal." We may display, brethren of the clergy, the learning of Gamaliel and the eloquence of Paul; we may even preach with the fervour and the force of the seraph; but if our tempers and our lives prove that the truths and duties which we inculcate have no efficacy on our own characters and conduct, is it in human nature to regard our instructions, or to profit by our exhortations?

Let, then, the banner with which every herald of the cross who is here trained advances to the work of his Master, bear the lustrous inscription, Holiness unto Ike Lord. Let his holiness be that which is derived from the principle of an enlightened and firm faith in the truths and promises of the Gospel—that which is excited, and strengthened, and preserved by constant dependance on the secret but powerful influences of the divine Spirit enlightening the thoughts of his mind, confirming the purposes of his will, sanctifying the affections of his heart, and leading him, the foremost of his flock, in the ways of God's laws, and in the works of God's commandments. Let it be a holiness, which, enabling him to rejoice in the testimony of a conscience void of offence, and in the hope of the divine favour, presents constantly that serene, that peaceful, that cheerful, and yet that dignified aspect, which secures admiration, while it sheds around its celestial serenity, its peace, its cheerfulness, its dignity. Let it be a holiness, which, prompting in all circumstances the right purpose, unappalled by opposition, undismayed by odium, meekly and prudently, but firmly pursues that purpose to its failure or to its accomplishment—

Justum et tenacem propositi————
Non civium ardor prava jubentium,
Non vultus instantis tyranni,
Mente quatit solids.

Let it be a holiness, which, the bright example of the patient endurance of the trials of life, and the moderate and thankful enjoyment of its numerous blessings, while it sojourns, contented and cheerful, in this vale of its probation below, lifts its aspiring eye to that lofty region of unmingled felicity for which it is destined, and draws from thence its most triumphant consolations and its purest joys. Let this be the holiness with which, through the divine blessing, this seminary invests its pupils; and they will teach, and they will preach, the most impressive lessons in their tempers, in their deportment, in their lives.

And yet one characteristic more must distinguish them to consummate their usefulness—they must be practical ministers.

Practical—as it respects the judicious application of their talents and knowledge to preaching, and to the discharge of parochial duties,

In preaching, carefully avoiding all needless exhibition of critical skill, all those ingenious and refined speculations, and all those meretricious arts of gesture or of style, which seek, and can answer no other purpose than to advance personal fame and secure popular applause; and presenting the truth as it is in Christ Jesus, according to the varying circumstances of their flocks, with all the illustrations indeed which useful learning can furnish, with all the force which just reasoning can urge, with all the ornaments which a correct imagination can suggest, and with all the grace and energy which an impassioned elocution can inspire, but with that simplicity which, in

"Man or woman, but most of all
"In man, that ministers
"In sacred things,"

delights and charms, and in the preacher edifies and triumphs; for it proves, in all, the entire absence of every selfish or sinister motive; and in the preacher, the total forgetful-ness of himself in the overwhelming and supreme solicitude to save the souls of those to whom he preaches. And,

Practical also must the minister be in the judicious application of his talents and knowledge to the discharge of his parochial duties—in establishing the religious principles of the young, by catechetical lecturing and instruction—in dispensing to the sick and the afflicted the warnings and the consolations with which his Master has charged him—in removing the doubts of the wavering, answering the cavils of the sceptical, correcting the errors of the uninformed or the perverse, admonishing the careless and the secure, guarding the weak, and fortifying the timid—and in administering to the edification and the comfort of all, according to their respective circumstances, by pastoral counsel and friendly conversation.

Learning and orthodoxy may enable him with whom the charge of the sacred oracles is committed, to prove their divine origin, to illustrate and to explain their meaning, to unfold their hidden beauties, to exhibit, and to maintain, and to vindicate their doctrines against all the objections with which they may be assailed by the pride and power of human talent, or the corrupt passions of the human heart. And happy the Church whose endowments, while they furnish the means of thus providing learned and orthodox champions of the Christian faith, afford to them the leisure uninterruptedly and solely to devote themselves to the task of defending its momentous truths. But it is only under ministers thus practical that learning, and orthodoxy, and piety will be instrumental in enlarging the fold of Christ, and in bringing the flock committed to the Christian pastor to that "ripeness and perfectness of age in Christ, so that there be no place left among them for error in religion or for viciousness in life." [Ordination Office] And it can scarcely be necessary to mention, that in the peculiar circumstances of our own country, where an enterprising population advances into the uncultivated wilds far beyond the provisions that exist for their religious instruction, a practical ministry must appear of peculiar and indispensable importance.

A learned, an orthodox, a pious, and a practical ministry are the objects of the General Theological Seminary of the Protestant Episcopal Church.

What are the PRINCIPLES by which the institution is to he guided in the attainment of these objects? These principles may be viewed—

In reference to the general administration of the institution; and In reference to the important business of instruction.

It must be obvious, that an institution having in charge the training of the ministry, and thus deeply affecting the interest of the whole Church, ought to be conducted on principles that secure to every diocese an influence proportioned to its numbers, and to the contributions which it offers; and also to the various orders in the Church their just weight in its concerns. This arrangement affords the best security for such an administration of the affairs of the institution, as will secure the confidence and the support of those who are interested in it, and the peace and order of the Church at large. And happy are we to say, that these principles are recognized in the constitution by which the seminary is to be governed, and in the mode particularly by which the board of trustees is constituted. In this body, power is so distributed among the bishops, the clergy, and the laity, as to afford the highest security for a judicious management of the concerns of an institution, in which are essentially involved the purity, the prosperity, and the stability of our Church.

The instruction pursued in the institution, we trust, will ever keep in view, the truths of Scripture, as maintained by the Church universal, and professed in this apostolic branch of it; and the ministry, and ordinances, and worship, which, as to their essential parts, have the same divine and primitive authority.

That particular churches, that particular communities of Christians may err, and have erred in the interpretation of the sacred writings, it would be absurd to deny. But that the Church universal, that the great body of Christians in the early ages, and in all places, erroneously interpreted the sense of Scripture, it would be equally irrational to maintain. This would prove, that the Bible is indeed a sealed book, and that its meaning cannot be ascertained. Credible witnesses as the primitive Fathers of the Church were, as to matters of fact, from their acknowledged fidelity and piety

If whatever in relation to matters of opinion may have been in some cases their erroneous views, wherever we find them concurring in the fact of the prevalence of a doctrine or institution, without any notice of its introduction, we refer that doctrine to the Bible, and that institution, if not to the same sacred origin, to apostolic practice. The rule of faith which Vincent of Lerins, a Christian writer of the fifth century, lays down, of believing whatever was received—"semper, ubique, ab omnibus," always, every where, and by the great body of Christians—makes the Church universal of the early ages the safe expositor of holy writ, while it destroys the claims of particular Churches to credibility, when opposed to this universal faith; and utterly subverts the claims to infallibility of the Church of Rome. It is on this principle that our Church receives the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds, which were early received in the Church universal, as authentic summaries of Christian doctrine. And taking these as more fully drawn out in her articles and liturgy, for the standard of Christian truth, our theological seminary, thus receiving the doctrines of Scripture as exhibited in the faith of the first ages, and handed down to the present times, will be preserved from those heresies which, though they appeared in the Church at an early period, were then condemned as pestilent corruptions of the Gospel, and have since, at particular times, deformed portions of those who bear the Christian name.

The ministry, as subsisting in three orders, with the power, exclusively in the first order, of supremacy in government, and of transmitting from the divine Head of the Church the commission which is essential to the exercise of the ministry; and the ordinances and worship that distinguish her, our Church maintains on the ground, that they are in all essential parts agreeable to Scripture, and supported by the best commentary on Scripture, the practice of the first and purest ages of Christianity. It will be the duty, and it will prove the safety and the happiness, we trust, of all who are concerned in this institution, either as instructors or as pupils, to seek for "the old paths, for the good way, and to walk therein." [3]

What may we expect will be the RESULTS of an institution, conducted on the PRINCIPLES, and attaining the OBJECTS which have been exhibited to you?

We anticipate the most exalted RESULTS—

In the promotion of the best interests of society,

In advancing the spiritual interests of mankind, and

In securing the extension and prosperity of our own Church.

In providing a learned, orthodox, pious, and practical ministry, you provide for society firm supporters of its laws and its order, able teachers, both by precept and example, of all those virtues and duties which strengthen and adorn the various relations of life, and render them a source of exalted enjoyment. Never existed a nation which did not find it necessary to bring in the aid of the ministers of religion to the laws and the government which bound them together. And "obedience for conscience sake" is the duty which Christian ministers enforce with motives addressed to the reason of men; while the teachers of false religions appealed only to their superstitious fears.

But in providing a learned, orthodox, pious, and practical ministry, you furnish able guardians of the spiritual interests of mankind—their comforters in adversity—the sharers of their joys in prosperity—their guides through the doubts, the changes, the sins, and the sorrows of the world, to him who is mighty to save them, to that heaven where he will give them an eternal and glorious rest. You provide pastors to excite, and nourish, and preserve your virtues—to carry light, and hope, and consolation to the couch of sickness, harassed by doubts and fears—and attending on the last scene of nature, to open to the departing spirit the glories of eternal day, and to bid it—Go—go in peace, in hope, in triumph, and be for ever with the Lord.

Eminently fitted as our Church is from her evangelical doctrine, her pure worship, her divinely constituted ministry and apostolic ordinances, her decent and orderly rites, to take a leading station in the great work of securing to mankind the blessings of religion; in her extension and advancement we anticipate another important and interesting result from the success of the theological seminary which she has established.

Furnish her with a clergy of learning, of sound principles, of pious and practical zeal, who will exhibit her worship and ordinances in their primitive excellence and beauty, who will proclaim and defend her doctrines with talent, and with force and persuasion, and who, in the spirit of their ordination vows, will be an example of holiness in their private character, and of fidelity in their professional duties—and our Church will advance in general estimation and confidence. Many are the once beautiful sanctuaries in some parts of our country which now lie in ruins, and there is no commissioned servant of the Most High to repair them. Many are the scattered members of our communion, where there is no shepherd to recall them to that fold which they have left, not from choice, but from necessity. For them, for the increasing population of our country, for our old established congregations, we want a learned, orthodox, pious, and practical ministry. And for this purpose we must have a theological seminary, affording to the students all the means and the motives to improvement, and qualifying them by the labours of learned and faithful professors for their sacred work.

The RESULTS then of accomplishing the objects for which this institution is to be established are of the most important nature, involving the temporal and the spiritual interests of mankind, and the extension and prosperity of that Church which is eminently fitted for the great work of extending the truths and blessings of the Gospel of Christ.

It becomes then an interesting inquiry—By what MEANS are these OBJECTS to be accomplished, and these RESULTS attained?

By the contributions and the exertions of Churchmen in general;

By the fidelity of the trustees;

By the talents and attention of the professors of the seminary,

By the diligence and piety of the students.

1. Funds will be wanted, and necessarily large funds—for the support of professors—for the aid of necessitous students—for furnishing a library—and, in time, for the erection of buildings.

The range of science embraced in the institution is necessarily so extensive, comprehending the departments of Hebrew and Greek literature—of Biblical learning, and the interpretation of the Scriptures—of the evidences of revealed religion, and of moral science in its relations to theology—of systematic divinity—of ecclesiastical history, and the nature, ministry, and polity of the Church—of pastoral theology and sacred rhetoric—that sound policy dictates their distribution among several professors. And these it would be desirable to maintain independently of any parochial duties, that they may give themselves wholly to their important studies and labours. The professors of Biblical learning and of systematic divinity, and of Hebrew and Greek literature, receive salaries, and they have no professional avocations but those connected with the seminary: their salaries, however, are not such as their important stations demand. The department which I occupy not requiring so large an appropriation of time and labour, the duties of it are discharged, and will continue to be discharged, gratuitously. But it would be very desirable to make such an appropriation to the professor of ecclesiastical history as would enable him, by the application of an equal portion of his parochial salary, to release himself from the weight of parochial duties, if an arrangement could be made for this purpose, with those concerned. Nor is it reasonable to expect, nor would it be honourable to the seminary, to receive, for any length of time, any considerable appropriation of the time and labours of a professor without a suitable remuneration.

Provision for the Branch School which was established by the New-York seminary previously to its junction with the general seminary, is understood to be one of the conditions of the union And the advantages of an education for the ministry somewhat more retired than is practicable in a city, but, as far as circumstances admit, not less complete and solid, are so numerous, that no hesitation in the opinion of many friends of the Church ought to exist to extend to this branch school some portion of patronage; particularly as in reliance on the pledged faith of the New-York seminary considerable expense has been incurred by individuals at Geneva, in the erection of a building in which accommodations are to be provided for the theological students. The arguments for cherishing the Branch School derive additional force from the prospect, that the academy at Geneva will obtain a charter of incorporation as a college; in which case it must appear of immense importance that the students for the ministry who may be educated there, should have the means of continuing their studies in the Theological School, the reciprocal influence of which, and of the college upon each other will be in many respects highly beneficial.

The interest of the present funds of the institution, including the valuable bequest of its generous benefactor, [4] is inadequate to discharge the salaries pledged to the professors. It is understood that the funds contributed as capital shall be preserved inviolate. Unless, therefore, further funds to a considerable amount be procured, the trustees, so far from being able to extend salaries to those of the professors whose services are gratuitous, or to increase those which are now pledged, will be compelled to diminish these small stipends, This is an event which would most sensibly affect the character and interests of the institution, if not prove fatal to its very existence. And if Episcopalians permit one of the best hopes of the Church to languish or to perish, well may her friends take up the voice of lamentation over her prostrate interests and her faded honour.

But funds are wanted for the support of necessitous students.

It is an obvious truth, that talents may exist in humble stations, which, if cultivated and strengthened by education, would be fitted for the highest investigations of science, and the most useful professional labours. Some of the most eminent individuals who have benefited and adorned the Church and the state, have been taken from obscure life, and received their education on some of those numerous literary and theological foundations which are the just pride of the nation from which we are descended. Repeated instances have come within the knowledge of him who addresses you, and doubtless similar ones within the knowledge of others, of young men of talents, who, animated by a pious zeal to devote themselves to the high and disinterested duties of the ministry, have been compelled to relinquish their ardent wishes; or in the attainment of them, to struggle with the oppressing difficulties of narrow and inadequate resources. What more poignant to those sensibilities which generally beat most lively in the bosom which talents and piety elevate and warm? These are cases, which appeal to our hearts as well as to our understandings. And the heart instantaneously suggests, what the understanding sanctions and confirms—we must have funds to save the necessitous youth of piety and talent from the pain of blasted hopes or chilling dependance, and to enable him to carry into effect his holy purpose—a purpose which God approves, and which God will reward.

Funds will be wanted for augmenting the library.

The scarce and valuable books which originally belonged to Trinity Church, in this city; those of high merit and value, which were the gift to the seminary, when at New-Haven, of several benevolent individuals, and particularly of one who has devoted himself to the interests of this institution with a generous zeal which characterizes all his efforts in works of public spirit, and piety, and benevolence, constitute a respectable foundation for a theological library, [5] But several additional copies of many of the books in the library are wanted for the accommodation of the students; and the whole collection, valuable as it is, would appear insignificant, when compared with those magnificent libraries that adorn the halls of some of our universities and colleges. And in every thing that can contribute to the usefulness and honour of this institution, our ambition should not permit us to be surpassed.

Funds will also be wanted for the erection of buildings commensurate with the wants and with the future celebrity, as we trust, of the institution—in due season. I say, in due season. For the erection of suitable buildings, however convenient, is the last object which, as I believe, the trustees of the institution contemplate. The valuable lots which are the gift of a generous individual, [6] afford an eligible site for this establishment; and it certainly is to be desired, that instead of the present inadequate accommodations, a small building, part of a larger plan such as the honour of the institution and the pride of this flourishing metropolis would eventually demand, containing a chapel for worship, and library and recitation halls, could as soon as possible be erected on this site. Policy, as well as convenience, dictate this measure, which would probably very materially tend to bring into productive use the lots which now yield no revenue.

Next to contributions to its funds, the advancement of this institution will depend on

The fidelity of its trustees,

And the talents and attention of its professors.

The stations and characters of the former will afford the surest pledge of their fidelity to the institution which they have in charge. They will consist of those who fill the first stations in the Church, and exercise its highest powers; of clergymen nominated by the respective dioceses, and approved by the General Convention of the Church; and of laymen selected in a similar manner. Many of its present governors are known to have taken a deep and active interest in the institution before its removal; and it would be unpardonable in me not to bear testimony to the distinguished zeal and ability with which the others supported the measures prosecuted in this diocese for theological learning. The interest and the zeal of all are now firmly united in an institution which is the undivided object of their earnest solicitude, their generous exertions, and, may I not add, their prayers. [7]

Of the talents and attention of the professors obvious reasons will prevent me from saying, on this occasion, all that truth would sanction. Enjoying the full confidence of those who appointed them, this circumstance affords a pledge of the fidelity with which they will discharge their duties. And I trust I may be permitted to bear my testimony, formed on a long and intimate acquaintance, to their high and meritorious qualities. Satisfied I am, that such is their zeal for the great interests of theological learning, that the promotion of these interests constitutes their highest motive for engaging in their arduous duties; and the success of their labours in training a learned, orthodox, pious, and practical ministry will form their highest reward. [8]

But, young gentlemen, STUDENTS OF THE SEMINARY,

It is of importance that you should bear in mind, that vain will be the contributions of a generous community, vain the fidelity of the governors of the institution, and the talents and attention of the professors, and blasted their hopes, and the hopes of the Church, if there be wanting in you the diligent pursuit of your studies, and the serious and constant cultivation of all pious dispositions and holy habits.

I need not lay before you in detail what you have doubtless before this, long and well considered, and what will be the subject of your future attention in the course of your studies, how high the dignity, how weighty the office and the charge for which you are preparing, and to which, in due time, you will be called—"to be messengers, watchmen, and stewards of the Lord, to teach and to premonish, to feed and provide for the Lord's family; to seek for Christ's sheep that are dispersed abroad, and for his children who are in the midst of this naughty world, that they may be saved through Christ for ever." [Ordination Office.]

Oh! who among us can realize this office and this charge, and not be almost overwhelmed with the awful responsibility which they involve. There is One who can make us sufficient for these things; or who would not shrink from the work? Realize, young gentlemen, daily and constantly, its nature and its responsibility; that you may daily and constantly, looking to the source of your strength and consolation, labour to prepare yourselves for the discharge of its momentous duties. Furnished as you will be with all the means of advancing in the great work of theological science, it would be disgraceful to you to suppose for a moment that you will fail in the disposition, or relax in your diligent and unremitted exertions, to avail yourselves of them. Destined to be the ministers of a Church which, when we identify her in her evangelical doctrines, her apostolic ministry, and her pure and primitive worship, with the venerable Church from whom she boasts her origin, stands foremost among the Churches of Christendom, we call on you to rouse a holy ambition, not to disgrace, by superficial attainments, by error in doctrine, or levity, or unholiness in life, her elevated character, her sacred cause. Go back to the first ages of Christianity, and contemplate the learning and the eloquence of an Origen and a Tertullian, a Cyprian and a Jerome, a Basil and a Chrysostom, an Athanasius and an Augustine, Bring often to view the constellation of divines, that adorned and adorns the Church from which you are descended, illustrious in talents, learning, and in eloquence; and aiming at then learning and eloquence, be emulous also, with equal fidelity and zeal, to come forward in the world, the champions of the Christian faith.

But, my young friends, unhallowed will be the ambition which devotion to the glory of God does not guide and sanctify. It will not, like the holy inspiration from heaven, warm, and brighten, and purify; but, kindled at the impure altars of the world, it will consume and destroy. Be on your guard, then, against worldly ambition—be on your guard even against literary and theological fame: love it indeed, and cherish it—it leads to generous and ardent exertions; but love and cherish more—love and cherish supremely—the approbation of your Master, the promotion of his glory, and the salvation of the souls of your fellow men. With that Master hold constant intercourse, not only in the worship and ordinances, which it is not to be supposed that you would neglect, but in Stated private devotion and in secret prayer: and in short ejaculations, taken from the devotional language of Scripture, or from the inimitable forms of the Church, lift up your hearts, even in the midst of your studies and your duties, to heaven—to your Saviour and your God. Of prayer it may be said with more than poetic truth,

"—— ardent, it opens heaven, lets down a stream
"Of glory on the consecrated hour
"Of man in audience with the Deity.

Amidst the investigations and high pleasures of literary and theological science, never forget, that with the humblest individual, to the salvation of whose soul your labours will be hereafter directed, you must, as sinners, rely for pardon on the atonement, and for sanctification on the grace of the divine Mediator. Fading are those wreaths of glory that crown the successful competitors in the race, the worthiest that worldly ambition can pursue, of literary fame. But there is a promise in which mere worldly ambition has no part—"They that turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars for ever and ever," Be emulous of this glory, my young friends; and God grant that it may reward the arduous but exalted labours of that ministry which is your choice; and for which, we trust, you will be here honourably fitted. The Lord bless you and keep you—The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you—The Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon you and give you peace. [9]

PEOPLE OF THE CONGREGATION—through you I would address—CHURCHMEN at large. Whether this institution is to shine forth in health and in vigour, the pride of the Church, depends on your exertions and on your contributions in its behalf. It cannot be that the descendants of those who have raised in another nation the noblest monuments of literary and religious benevolence, will permit the present effort to transmit to posterity the blessings of divine truth, to fail at the outset. It cannot be that the sons of the purest and most primitive Church in Christendom will be outdone in pious zeal by other communities of Christians. The seminary which we have presented to you, with reference to its objects, its principles, its results, and its means, is calculated and designed, in its organization and in all its arrangements, to advance that Gospel of Christ which, while it is the power of God unto salvation, affords the only security for social order, for the perfection, dignity, and happiness of man. Is there an individual who will not devote to such an institution his persevering, unremitted, and liberal exertions; and who will not offer up for it, with more fervour than even for the best civil institution of his country, the prayer—


Yes, blessed Lord, who didst shed thy blood, and constitute thy Church for the salvation of lost man, be with this seminary, the sacred nursery of the ministers of thy Church—be with it, by thy protecting Providence, thy guiding and governing Spirit, "ALWAY, EVEN TO THE END OF THE WORLD."

An Office of Devotion, consisting of Collects from the Liturgy, with other appropriate Prayers, teas drawn up far the Seminary, when at New-Haven, by Bishop White, of Pennsylvania. After the delivery of the foregoing Address, the following Prayer, taken from that Office, was used,

MOST gracious Father, who by thy blessed Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, didst commission thy holy Apostles, and through them a succession of Pastors, to the end of time, to proclaim to the world the knowledge of salvation through a Redeemer; we implore thy blessing on this Seminary, instituted with a view to the same ministry of the Gospel. May the hearts and the hands of thy people be open with supplies for the carrying of the design into effect. May the Trustees and the Professors be endued with fidelity and with wisdom; and sustained by thy Providence in the discharge of the duties respectively committed to them. May the Pupils be favoured with health for the prosecution of their studies; and preserved, by thy grace, from all temptations to relaxation of industry in the pursuit of knowledge. Strengthen in them the good desires which have been excited in them by the inspiration of thy holy Spirit, and impress on their minds a sense of the high origin, of the salutary tendency, and of the rich rewards of the Gospel Ministry. Endue them with humility in the pursuit of truth, and with zeal and steadfastness in the profession of it. Preserve them from prejudices, and from whatever else may betray their understandings into error, or their hearts into sin. May they be useful in their generation to the increase of thy glory and the edification of thy Church: and may they at last receive the commendation of faithful servants from the great Shepherd and Bishop of souls, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord; in whose name, and through whose prevailing merits, we offer up these our imperfect prayers. Amen.

[1] Bishop White, of Pennsylvania.

[2] It is due to the Bishops and delegates of the eastern diocese and of Connecticut, to state, that though from local considerations they must have preferred the continuance of the seminary at New-Haven, they supported in the Convention, on the grounds of the general good of the Church, its removal to New-York. The Bishop of the Church in Connecticut in particular, was cordial in his promotion of that measure, and his exertions active and influential. Having earnestly advocated, for reasons which, detailed elsewhere, it is unnecessary here to repeat, the establishment of a diocesan seminary in New-York, I trust I may be permitted to observe, that the measure of the consolidation of this with the general seminary on correct principles, was suggested in my address to the Convention of that diocese, which met a short time before the General Convention, and received their unanimous approbation : and that the constitution of the general seminary, as finally adopted by the General Convention, is in all its essential features that which was advocated on the part of New-York in the committee who reported it. These circumstances are mentioned as evidence that the diocese of New-York was not backward in the great measure of general conciliation on this interesting subject.

[3] The study of the Fathers of the Church, is recommended in the course of theological study established by the House of Bishops "as one of the best expedients for guarding the student against many errors of modern times;" and the same sentiment is thus forcibly expressed by a divine of the Church of England, the Rev. William Reeves, whose invaluable treatise on "the right use of the Fathers," prefixed to his translation of the Apologies of Justin Martyr, &c. &c. should be carefully studied by every candidate for holy orders. "I would wish to infuse an ambitious warmth in the younger clergy of entering upon the study of divinity, with the Scriptures in conjunction with the Fathers, and to form their notions and fashion their minds by the doctrine and example of Christ and his apostles, and the noble army of martyrs; and not to take up, and quench their thirst with the corrupted streams of modern systems." Rev. Wm. Reeves, on the right use of the Fathers, page 79.

[4] Jacob Sherred, Esq. of the city of New-York, whose bequest amounts to about $55,000.

[5] The volumes belonging to the seminary before its removal from New-Haven, amount to about 1000. The library which belonged to Trinity Church, in the city of New-York, to about the same number. There is also a small library in the Branch School at Geneva.

[6] Clement C. Moore, Esq. Sixty-two lots were given by him eligibly situated on the North River, about one mile and an half from the City Hall.

[7] The following Gentlemen compose the Board of Trustees—The Right Rev. William White, D. D. Bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania; the Right Rev. John Henry Hobart, D. D. Bishop of (he Diocese of New-York; the Right Rev. Alexander Viets Griswold, D.D. Bishop of the Eastern Diocese; the Right Rev, Richard Channing Moore, D. D. Bishop of the Diocese of Virginia; the Right Rev. James Kemp, D.D. Bishop of the Diocese of Maryland; the Right Rev. John Croes, D.D. Bishop of the Diocese of New-Jersey; the Right Rev. Nathaniel Bowen, D. D. Bishop of the Diocese of South-Carolina; the Right Rev. Philander Chase, D. D. Bishop of the Diocese of Ohio; the Right Rev. Thomas Church Brownell, D. D. LL. D. Bishop of the Diocese of Connecticut.—The Rev. Samuel F. Jarvis, D. D. David Sears, George Sullivan, of Massachusetts.—Rev. Nathan B. Crocker, of Rhode-Island.—Rev. Daniel Burhans, Rev. Harry Croswell, Rev. Birdsey G. Noble, Richard Adams, Jonathan Ingersoll, Samuel W. Johnson, Nathan Smith, of Connecticut.—Rev. William Berrian, Rev. William Harris, D. D. Rev. Thomas Lyell, Rev. James Milnor, D. D. Rev. Henry U. Onderdonk, M. D. Rev. Jonathan M. Wainwright, David S. Jones, Edward R. Jones, Isaac Lawrence, Brockholst Livingston, Henry M'Farlan, Thomas L, Ogden, Wright Post, Nehemiah Rogers, Thomas S. Town-send, John Wells, of New-York.—Rev. Charles H. Wharton, D. D. of New-Jersey—Rev. George Boyd, Rev. Jackson Kemper, John Read, of Pennsylvania.—Rev. William E. Wyatt, D. D. Thomas S. Key, of Maryland.—Rev. William H. Wilmer, D. D. Charles F. Mercer, of Virginia.—Duncan Cameron, of North-Carolina.—Rev. Christopher E. Gadsden D.D. William Heyward, of South-Carolina.

[8] The following are the Professors in the Institution.—In the city of New-York—The Right Rev. Bishop Hobart, Professor of Pastoral Theology and Pulpit Eloquence; the Rev. Samuel H. Turner, D. D. Professor of Biblical Learning and the Interpretation of Scripture; the Rev. Bird Wilson, D. D. Professor of Systematic Divinity; the Rev. Benjamin T. Onderdonk, Professor of the Nature, Ministry, and Polity of the Christian Church, and of Ecclesiastical History; Mr. Clement C. Moore, Professor of Hebrew and Greek Literature; Mr. Gulian C. Verplanck, Professor of the Evidences of Revealed Religion, and of Moral Science in its relations to Theology. The Rev. Henry J. Feltus, Librarian.—In the Branch School at Geneva—The Rev. Daniel M'Donald, D. D. Professor of the Interpretation of Scripture, Ecclesiastical History, and the Nature, Ministry, and Polity of the Christian Church; the Rev. John Reed, Professor of Biblical Learning; the Rev. Orin Clark, Professor of Systematic Divinity and Pastoral Theology.

As it is desirable that Episcopalians in every part of the country, should possess full confidence in the professors of an institution having in charge the most important interests of the Church, I hope I shall be excused for stating the opinion entertained of their character and qualifications where they are known.

It is a happy circumstance that the Seminary at its opening in New-York, could immediately avail itself of the erudition and experience of the Professor of Biblical Learning and the Interpretation of Scripture, who has already established a reputation for talents as eminent in his professional, as he has uniformly enjoyed for his many virtues in private life.

The Professor of Systematic Divinity, whom it has been my pleasure to know and to esteem from our earliest years, was distinguished for the clearness and the strength of intellect, and the accuracy of reasoning which he displayed in a high legal station; and he brings his eminent qualifications of mind and of heart to the duties of the sacred profession to which he has devoted himself, in one of the most important departments in the Seminary.

Intimately associated as I have been, for may years, with the Professor of Ecclesiastical History, in a parochial charge, I have long held in the highest esteem—his elevated piety, the strength of his understanding, and his disinterested and ardent exertions for the Church, whose interests few are more capable of advancing, from respectability of talents and theological attainments.

It is, I think, honourable for our Church, that laymen are to be found disposed and qualified to take part in the important labours of theological education. The Professor of Hebrew and Greek Literature enjoys deserved reputation for his attainments in this department. The son of the late eminent Bishop of this diocese, he resembles his venerated father in the excellent traits of his mind and character, and in sincere devotion to the interests of religion and the Church.

I should deem myself censurable if I did not bear my testimony to the eminent qualities and worth of the layman who has consented to devote a portion of his time to the important department of the Evidences of Christianity and of Moral Science in its relations to Theology. It is my pleasure to rank him among my intimate friends; and I well know the sincerity of his Christian faith, the purity of his character, and the excellence of his heart. With a mind rich in various literature, he possesses that readiness and accuracy of perception, that power of reasoning, and that elegance of taste, which qualify him for profound research and for high efforts of literary genius. His first ambition, I firmly believe, is to be instrumental in advancing the best interests of his fellow men and of his country; and this motive, united with his ardent love for truth, has induced him to undertake the professorship in the Theological Seminary of the Evidences of Christianity and of Moral Science in its connexion with Theology; subjects on which he has already bestowed much thought and investigation, and for instruction in which he is in all respects qualified.

The acting professors in the Branch School, at Geneva, are the professors of Ecclesiastical History and of Systematic Divinity, whom I have long known and valued for their excellent talents and attainments. Sound in their principles and primitive in their piety, the friends of that establishment may be assured of the faithful devotion of these professors to its interests, and of the increasing zeal and ability with which they will conduct its instruction.

[9] The following is a list of Students now attending the Seminary in New-York—Seth W. Beardsley, New-York; Augustus L. Converse, New-York; Robert B. Crocs, New-Jersey; Edward K. Fowler, New-York; Thomas T. Groshon, New-York; Lemuel B. Hull, Connecticut; William S. Irving, New-York; Levi S. Ives, New-York; William Jarvis, Connecticut; Samuel R. Johnson, New-York; William L. Johnson, New-York; Samuel Marks, Pennsylvania; Henry M. Mason, Pennsylvania; Matthew Matthews, Pennsylvania; Sylvester Nash. Virginia; William T. Potter, Massachusetts; Samuel G. Raymond, New-York; George M. Robinson, New-York; William Shelton, Connecticut; Edward Thomas, South-Carolina; Henry J. Whitehouse, New-York; Job L. Yvonet, New-York.

At the date of the last report from the Branch School, at Geneva, the following were Students—William Bostwick, Marvin Cady, John A. Clark, Thaddeus Garlick, John Gavott, Burton H. Hecock, Orsimus H. Smith, Richard Salmon, Ira White—in addition to which, Alanson Bennet, Scth Davis, and Henry Gregory, were daily expected; all the above are of the state of New-York.

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