OF ENGLAND IN THE CELEBRATION OF
IN the month of May, 1851, the following letter from his Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, in relation to the proposed celebration of the Semi-Centennial Jubilee of the Venerable Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, was laid before the Standing Committee, as the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese of New, York:
TO THE ACTING BISHOP IN THE DIOCESE OF NEW-YORK.
LAMBETH, March 28, 1851.
RIGHT REV. AND DEAR BROTHER:
I think it right to apprize you, that the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, having, through the goodness and favor of Almighty God, been permitted to complete a century and a half of Missionary labors, has resolved to commemorate, with thanksgiving and prayer, the close of its third Jubilee. The commemoration will commence on Monday, June 16, being the Anniversary of the signing of our Charter, with full Church Service in Westminster Abbey; and on the following Sunday, June 22d, Sermons, appropriate to the occasion, will be preached in the principal London Churches. It is unnecessary for me to enter into further particulars, as they will be found in the accompanying printed circular. The Society has good reason to expect, that what may be called its solemn Jubilee, will be observed in all the Colonial Churches: but the occasion seems to justify the hope of a still more comprehensive union of prayer and praise.
[iv] Bearing in mind the relation of our two countries, and the intimate connection which subsisted between the Society and many of the States during the greater part of the last century, I feel some confidence in proposing to you the joint celebration of a Jubilee, in which all the members of our Church must feel a common interest. I venture, also, respectfully to submit, whether, in a time of controversy and division, the close communion which binds the Churches of America and England in one, would not be strikingly manifested to the world, if every one of their Dioceses were to take part in commemorating the foundation of the oldest Missionary Society of the Reformed Church--a Society which, from its first small beginnings in New-England, has extended its operations into all parts of the world, from the Ganges to Lake Huron, and from New-Zealand to Labrador. Such a joint commemoration, besides manifesting the rapid growth and wide extension of our Church, would serve to keep alive and diffuse a Missionary spirit, and so be the means, under the Divine blessing, of enlarging the borders of the Redeemer's kingdom. In submitting to you this proposal, it can hardly be necessary to add, that we "desire no gift," but only your Christian sympathy, and the Communion of Prayer. If, however, the alms of your congregations be added to their prayers, we should rejoice to see them appropriated to the relief of the present needs of your own Church. It would be a great satisfaction to me to learn from you, at any moment of leisure, whether you have thought it expedient to take any step in this matter; and now, commending the whole subject to your serious consideration, and yourself to God's care and protection,
I am, Right Rev, and dear brother, your affectionate brother in the Lord,
J. B. CANTUAR.
The Standing Committee of the Diocese of New-York, heartily sympathizing with his Grace, and the Venerable Society over which he presides, in the object proposed, addressed to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the following Reply:
[v] TO HIS GRACE THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY.
MOST REVEREND SIR: The undersigned, representing, during the inability of its Bishop, the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese of New-York, have the honor to acknowledge your Grace's favor of March 28th, apprising them that the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel has resolved to commemorate, with thanksgiving and prayer, the close of its third Jubilee, and proposing to this Diocese to unite in a joint celebration of the same by the Churches of England and America.
To the Church of England, the Protestant Episcopal Church of these United States is indebted, under God, for her first foundation, and for a long continuance of nursing care and protection; and next to the Church of England, our gratitude for these inestimable blessings is due to the Venerable Society, whose Jubilee it is now proposed to commemorate. Restrained by her dependence on the Crown, and by reasons of State policy, from planting the Church of Christ among us in its integrity, and so enabling us to have within our own borders a SUCCESSION of PASTORS empowered to govern the Church and to administer the Word and Sacraments, the Church of England, nevertheless, excited the charity of her members in our behalf, and directed it, through the best channels in her power, to the Propagation of the Gospel in our land by means of Missionaries, and to the promotion of Christian knowledge.
Of these agents the most effective was the Venerable Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. This Society, as soon as it was organized, sent Presbyters among us who, with true missionary zeal, travelled far and wide, reviving the Church in some places and confirming it in others, as far as comported with that order of the Christian Ministry to which they belonged. Men also, reared on our soil, and moved by the love of souls to seek in the Mother Country, at the hazard of their lives and with the certainty of privation and hardship, that authority to minister in holy things which they could not obtain at home, were, on their return, employed by this Society as settled Missionaries in their native land. The Church of these United States is the enduring monument of the labors of these Missionaries; the names of many of them are held in veneration among us; and indissolubly connected with their memory is that of the Venerable Society by whose wisdom and bounty they were directed and maintained in the exercise of their ministry, until the civil [v/vi] independence of the States placed them beyond the provision of the Society's charter, and led to the withdrawal of their support.
The civil independence of the States, by putting an end to their ecclesiastical dependence, opened the way for us, as is known to your Grace, to obtain from the charity of the Scottish and English Bishops the Episcopacy, and in it the means of securing among ourselves, by God's blessing, for all future time, a succession of divinely authorized Ministers of the Word and Sacraments. Thenceforward that body of Christians which was before a part of the Church of England, became, as your Grace terms it, "the Church of America." It is our comfort, however, to know that these Churches, though independent of each other, are yet, as our Lord designed that all National Churches should be, in close communion and fellowship. The Church of England is dependent (saving always her fidelity to God for the sacred deposit committed to her trust) on the State which protects her; while the Church of these United States is independent of the civil government under which she exists. Both Churches, however, are founded on the same Faith, are knit together in the same Sacraments, and are governed agreeably to the same Word of Got), by Bishops and Pastors who hold their authority--an authority which is supreme in spiritual things--immediately from the Divine Head of the Church.
Impressed by these considerations, the undersigned, in behalf of the Diocese which for the time being they represent, accede most cheerfully to the proposal to unite with their brethren of the Church of England in the celebration of the approaching Jubilee. At all times a proposal of this nature would meet with a cordial response; but especially at a time like the present, when the Church of both countries is assailed, beyond all former precedent, by enemies of the most opposite descriptions, who conspire for her ruin, some from hostility to all Christian ordinances, and others from an insane desire to subject the Bishops of all countries to the dominion of the Roman Pontiff: we feel it to be of the highest importance to embrace an occasion by which the close communion of our Churches will be, as your Grace suggests, strikingly manifested to the world. And since, in the order of Providence, we are not permitted to manifest our union by the interchange of Letters Dimissory on the part of our Bishops, as was done in the Primitive Church, nor by the mutual recognition of Synodical action, we embrace with the more gratitude the significant occasion afforded by the anniversary of a Society which is defined, by its Charter, to have been instituted for the double purpose of furthering, on [vi/vii] the one hand, "the administration of GOD'S WORD and SACRAMENTS" in opposition "to atheism and infidelity," and of baffling, on the other, the wiles of those who seek "to pervert and draw over" members of the Reformed Church "to Popish superstition and idolatry."
The opening of the Jubilee year will accordingly be celebrated in Trinity Church, New-York, the Mother Church of the Diocese, on Monday, June 16, by divine service, and a sermon, and the administration of the Holy Communion; on which occasion the clergy and laity generally have been invited to attend. And we have also recommended, that, on the first Sunday after Trinity, June 22, or on the first Sunday thereafter which may be more convenient, appropriate sermons be preached in every Church in the Diocese, and a collection made, to be appropriated to the Oregon Mission, or some other branch of the Missions of the Church.
We remain, with high respect, your Grace's obedient servants,
WILLIAM BERRIAN, D.D., JOHN MCVICKAR, D.D., SAMUEL SEABURY, D.D., BENJ. I. HAIGHT, D.D., S. JONES, MURRAY HOFFMAN, FLOYD SMITH, Standing Committee of the Diocese of New-York.
But while the Ecclesiastical Authority thus responded in behalf of the Diocese at large, there seemed to be some peculiar reason for special action on the part of the Ancient Corporation of Trinity Church, which was one of the earliest objects of the Society's care, and the most indebted to the Mother Country for its munificent endowment by the Crown.
At a meeting of the Corporation of Trinity Church, in the City of New-York, May 12th, 1851:
"The Reverend the Rector, with Messrs. Harison, Moore, Verplanck, and Livingston, were appointed a Committee to consider and report what action it is proper for this Vestry to take, in reference to the approaching third semi-centennial Jubilee of the Venerable Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts."
[viii] At a meeting of the Corporation of Trinity Church, in the City of New-York, May 28th, 1851:
"The Committee on the subject of the action proper for this Vestry to take, in reference to the approaching third semi-centennial Jubilee of the Venerable Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, submitted the following Resolutions, which were considered, and adopted by the Vestry, viz.:
Resolved, That this Vestry rejoices at the long continued and most successful efforts of the Venerable Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts; and that it tenders to such society its congratulations upon the occurrence, at a time of its greatest usefulness, of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the signing of its charter.
Resolved, That this Vestry will join with their brethren in the celebration of the third semi-centennial Jubilee of the Society on the 16th day of June next, in Trinity Church, at the services appointed for the occasion by the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese.
Resolved, That whilst expressing our devout thanks to Almighty God, upon that occasion, for the great things He has permitted the Society to do for His Church, and through it for the world, we accompany our thanksgivings with an humble offering; and that the Reverend the Rector be requested to present in behalf of this Corporation, at the Offertory, the sum of three thousand dollars, to be applied directly to the sustaining of the Missions of the Church within this Diocese; and that the Comptroller do furnish the necessary means for that purpose.
Resolved, That in further testimony of our gratitude, this Vestry hereby makes a gift towards the endowment and support of the Missionary Bishopric at Cape Palmas, in Africa, established under the authority of the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, of the sum of two hundred and fifty dollars annually, to be paid to the Right Reverend Incumbent at that station, whenever there shall be one; such annuity to continue until this Vestry shall see fit to pay to some person or persons or body thereto authorized by such General Convention, a capital sum of five thousand dollars, to be duly secured to that object.
Resolved, That a copy of these Resolutions be sent to the Venerable Society in London, together with an Address of congratulation and sympathy, to be sealed with our corporate seal, and signed by all members of the Vestry; and that the Reverend the Clergy of the parish be requested also to join in, and sign the same.
[ix] COPY OF ADDRESS. To the Venerable the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts.
WE, the Rector, Churchwardens and Vestrymen of Trinity Church, in the City of New-York, in Vestry convened, a corporation chartered by the Crown of England in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and ninety-seven, together with the undersigned ministers of the same Church, beg leave to present to your Venerable Body their heartfelt congratulations upon the occurrence, by Divine permission, of the third semi-centennial Jubilee of your Society, in the midst of the greatest prosperity, and after sending far and wide into all lands the knowledge of our Redeemer and of His Holy Catholic Church.
We are devoutly thankful to the Almighty for having put it into the hearts of godly men to form, encourage, and so sustain your Society for the diffusion of the Gospel; and for having given them and their pious successors the wisdom needful for the work they had undertaken.
We are especially mindful of our own great obligations to your Society, as a part of that branch of the Church Catholic, planted in these United States, which, whilst they continued subject to the British Empire, was nourished and brought up by you, in the knowledge of the pure Gospel of Christ, and in the Faith held by the Primitive Church, then liberated from the errors and superstitions of ages, and the doctrines of which are set forth in the Prayer-book, and taught in the writings of Doctors, Confessors, and Martyrs, forming the great body of English divinity.
We remember, with unfeigned pleasure and satisfaction, the watchfulness of your Society over the interests of our Parish in particular. It was manifested in many ways; among them chiefly may be mentioned, the Christian counsel and advice so frequently and readily given upon all matters of moment, in the infancy of our Church; the generous support of the faithful Catechists and Schoolmasters, who labored in those early days under the direction of our Rectors; and the sending over to us, from time to time, able, learned, and devoted Ministers of the Word. This pious care of us continued until the countries were politically separated, now nearly three quarters of a century past. But although that intimate connection has been so [ix/x] long severed, there have been since most gratifying proofs that we yet lived in your recollection, and merited your trust and confidence in matters in this State, relating to the great work it is your interest, by God's blessing, to see accomplished.
We beg leave to assure you, also, that we are proud of the fact, that when it pleased the State at last to follow your wise counsels, and to permit the consecration of Bishops for its Colonial Possessions, the first chosen and solemnly set apart to that Sacred Office was the venerable man who had been many years officiating so acceptably first as a Minister, and afterwards as Rector of this Church.
We trust that, under these circumstances, our addressing you at this time will not be deemed presumptuous. We pray the Divine Head of the Church to bless your labors for the extension of it throughout the world. May there be no limit nor end to them. May God grant you the grace that is needful for the work. May there be willing hearts and open hands and strong arms enough to carry it on prosperously, until all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God!
WILLIAM BERRIAN, D. D., Rector. JONATHAN M. WAINWRIGHT, D.D. EDWARD Y. HIGBEE, D. D. MARTIN P. PARKS, A. M. BENJAMIN I. HAIGHT, D. D. JOHN H. HOBART, SULLIVAN H. WESTON, A. M., Clergy.
EDWARD W. LAIGHT, Churchwardens.
WILLIAM E. DUNCOMB, Clerk. WILLIAM H. HARISON, Comptroller. ROBERT HYSLOP, THOMAS L. CLARK, WILLIAM MOORE, WILLIAM H. HOBART, HENRY YOUNGS, ALEXANDER L. MCDONALD, GULIAN C. VERPLANCK, PHILIP HENRY, ANTHONY J. BLEECKER, JOHN R. LIVINGSTON, JR., GEORGE TEMPLETON STRONG, SAMUEL T. SKIDMORE, SAMUEL JONES, JOHN A. DIX, RICHARD H. OGDEN, CYRUS CURTISS, WILLIAM H. FALLS, Vestrymen.
[xi] In the city of New York the Celebration Services were held, according to previous arrangement, in Trinity Church, by direction of the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese. Besides the Clergy of the city and its vicinity, with the Wardens and Vestrymen of their congregations (who were specially invited), Columbia College and Trinity School took a prominent place in this celebration. Columbia College, at the commencement of her ante-revolutionary existence, received from the Venerable Society the foundation of her noble library, besides liberal pecuniary aid; and Trinity School was founded by that Society, which sent out the first Master of the School in 1709. The Faculty and Students of the General Theological Seminary, by special invitation, assembled at Columbia College; where they joined the Faculty, Alumni and Students of that institution (the clergy being in their robes, and the students in their gowns, each class preceded by its Marshal with white baton): and in joint procession they moved to Trinity Church. On entering the church-yard gate, they advanced up the north walk outside the Church, to the door of the north Sacristy; where they were joined by the Wardens and Vestrymen of Trinity Corporation, and the assembled Clergy in their robes--except those who were to officiate. The whole procession then moved on, round the Chancel and by the south side of the Church, to the Tower door; where it opened, and the Clergy passed in, followed by the Vestries--that of Trinity Church leading the way--and then the General Theological Seminary and Columbia College followed, occupying places reserved for them. The boys of Trinity School had already arrived, and filled the seats in the middle alley. The Collegiate School of the Rev. Mr. Towell, Staten Island, also attended in a body, occupying seats in the north aisle. The Procession being seated, the officiating clergy entered from the south Sacristy--six Deacons and twelve Presbyters, in surplice and stole--who took their seats, the Priests in the stalls, and the, Deacons on benches placed in front of the stalls.
Morning Prayer was begun by the Rev. Mr. Parks. The Ninth Selection of Psalms was used, instead of the Psalter for the day. The First Lesson was read by the Rev. Dr. Morgan, of New Rochelle. It was the 54th chapter of Isaiah, which describes the spreading of the Church, breaking forth on the right hand and on the left; her afflictions, oppressions and troubles; and the glorious promise, "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment, thou shalt condemn." The Second Lesson was read by the Rev. Mr. Halsey, of Christ Church. It was the 17th chapter of St. John's Gospel, containing our Saviour's [xi/xii] sublime prayer for unity among his followers--of which unity, the simultaneous observation of that day, throughout the world, was a striking and significant exemplification. The Nicene Creed and the remainder of Morning Prayer, were said by the Rev. Dr. Higbee.
The following verses of the 42d Selection from the Psalms of David, in metre, were then sung, to the tune of "St. Ann's:"
The Lord, the only God, is great,
And greatly to be praised
In Sion, on whose happy mount
His sacred throne is raised.
In Sion we have seen performed
A work that was foretold.
A pledge that God, for times to come,
His city will uphold.
This God is ours, and will be ours,
Whilst we in him confide;
Who, as he has preserved us now,
Till death will be our guide.
The Ante-Communion service was commenced by the Rev. Dr. Berrian; the Rev. Dr. Seabury reading the Epistle, and the Rev. Dr. Robertson the Gospel: after which followed an appropriate Anthem from the 96th Psalm of the Psalter:
Ascribe unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, ascribe unto the Lord worship and power.
Ascribe unto the Lord the honor due unto his name; bring presents, and come unto his courts.
O, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; let the whole earth stand in awe of Him.
Tell it out among the heathen that the Lord is king: and that it is He who hath made the round world so fast that it cannot be moved: and how that He shall judge the people righteously.
Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea make a noise, and all that therein is.
Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it; then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the Lord.
For he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth; and with righteousness to judge the world, and the people with his truth.
The sermon was preached by the Rev. Dr. McVickar, and is here published.
[xiii] The sermon being ended, the Rev. Dr. Haight began reading the Offertory sentences, and the six Deacons received the alms-basins and collected the devotions of the people. While they were thus engaged, Mr. Hanson, the Comptroller of the Corporation, advanced to the Altar rail, and, in behalf of the Parish, presented their Jubilee Offering of $3,000 in gold, which was reverently laid by the Rector on the Altar. The whole of the Offerings of the day, $3,232.67, were devoted to Diocesan Missions. After the Prayer for the Church Militant, and the withdrawal of a large part of the congregation, the Communion Office was proceeded in, by the Rev. Dr. Wainwright, as far as the Prayer of Consecration, which was said by the Rev. Dr. Berrian. Before the Reception, the following verses of the 26th Hymn were sung, to the tune of "Bedford:"
Behold the innumerable host
Of angels clothed in light:
Behold the spirits of the just
Whose faith is changed to sight.
Behold the blest assembly there
Whose names are writ in Heaven;
Hear God, the Judge of all, declare
Their sins, through Christ, forgiven.
Angels, and living saints and dead,
But one communion make;
All join in Christ, their vital Head,
And of his love partake.
The Rev. Dr. Whitehouse and the Rev. Mr. Bedell assisted in the administration of the Holy Eucharist.
The number of communicants was very large, commencing with nearly forty Clergy in surplices, and at least fifty others besides. The faithful Laity pressed up to the sanctuary in crowds. The Post-Communion Service was said, and the Benediction was given, by the Rev. Dr. Berrian.
We have reserved all notice of the Music to the end of our description; but only to do it the more honor. The opening voluntary on the organ was "The Lord gave the Word," from the Messiah. The Venite was by the Earl of Mornington. The Te Deum and Benedictus were from the "Consecration Service," composed by Dr. Hodges for the Consecration of Trinity Church, and were never given with greater force and effect. The Anthem was composed by John Travers (a predecessor of Dr. Boyce), who was born about the time [xiii/xiv] that the venerable Society was founded; and it was admirably adapted to the occasion. The gradually swelling reiteration of the chorus, "Tell it out among the Heathen," thrilled all hearts that were capable of feeling. And when at the last verse, "For He Cometh," the congregation rose as one man: the effect, and the emotion of which it was the utterance, were overpowering. The Trisagion and Gloria in Excelsis, in the Communion Service, were from a Service by Dr. Hodges, in F. They were given with full force, the whole choir of twenty-seven voices (some of them being volunteers from other city choirs) remaining throughout the service. The final voluntary on the organ, while the congregation were departing, was the first chorus in Handel's Messiah, "And the Glory of the Lord."
There was one incident which ought not to be passed over. The old Communion Plate of the parish was used in the services of the day, most of it having been presented by the Crown of England, specially by "Good Queen Anne." Mr. Harison brought up the offering of the parish in their oldest Alms-dish--of the time of William and Mary.
The Right Reverend the Bishop of Western New-York, now performing Episcopal duties in this Diocese, was especially invited to be present, and to preach the sermon on this occasion; but imperative engagements, previously formed in his own Diocese, compelled him to decline.
The weather was uncommonly fine. The Church was crowded to its utmost capacity, and more than two thousand persons went away from the doors, unable to find an entrance.
Since the above Celebration, the following Reply to the Address sent by the Corporation of Trinity Church, has been received:--
79, Pall-Mall, July 17th, 1851.
MR. RECTOR AND GENTLEMEN:
I am directed, by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, to acknowledge the receipt of an Address of congratulation, unanimously signed by the members of your ancient Corporation, on the occurrence of the Society's Third Jubilee. The grateful terms in which you are pleased to speak of the past services of the Society, are accepted as a testimony that the labours of our early Missionaries are still duly appreciated: but the great cause for comfort and thanksgiving is, the assurance which we daily receive [xiv/xv] of the rapid progress which your Church is making, and of the success which attends both your Domestic and Foreign Missions. We heartily rejoice that such great results have already sprung from such small beginnings, and we pray that both portions of our Common Church may have grace to continue their appointed work, in building up the Christian Congregations of our own countries, and widely diffusing the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST in Heathen lands.
I have the honor to be,
Mr. Rector and Gentlemen,
Your obedient and faithful servant,
The Rector, Churchwardens and Vestrymen of Trinity Church, New-York.
New-York, and of the Corporation of Trinity Church.
OF the Levitical law the shadows are gone, but the substance remains. With the true Paschal Lamb came in the true Jubilee year, "the acceptable year of the Lord," when the spiritually bound were to go free, and "Ephraim was not to envy Judah, nor Judah to vex Ephraim." Therefore in that year did our Blessed Lord begin His ministry, as His own words clearly show, when, after publicly reading its prophetic picture, He closed the book and said, "This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears." Thus did Christ stamp with His name the Jewish Jubilee, as the type and forerunning shadow of His coming; and consequently each Christian Jubilee, as a thankful memorial of His having come. In this broad Catholic light does this festival first present itself as "part and parcel" of that law which Christ came to fulfil, and not to annul; and obligatory, therefore, as a notation of Christian time on every branch of Christ's Church Catholic. But to this general duty we come this day under a special call, viz., to celebrate. its third return in the History of the Venerable Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in our Mother Church of England, the earliest and greatest Missionary Society since the Reformation, and the one to whose labors [3/4] we, under God, are here indebted for our Gospel light, as well as for a long continuance of care and liberal support. It is indeed a day to be much noted, for the blessings of which God hath made that society the channel; and that not in its local home only: but wherever its bountiful hand has gone, and its Gospel mark been left; wherever its missionaries have preached the glad tidings, and gathered souls for Christ. And where, I may ask, have they not? Its missions have girdled the earth, so that we may truly say, "on them the sun never sets"--from Labrador to Australia, from the plains of Hindostan and the coasts of China to the far off islands of the Pacific. To all these lands has this day gone forth a trumpet-tone, summoning her sons to the festival. Literally by trumpet-tone were the Jews of old brought together: but we by a more touching summons, even by words of brotherly love addressed to us as to a sister Church (sister, yet daughter), from that high-placed Christian Bishop, the Primate of all England, empowered by place and station to speak that call--a call to united prayer and praise--of all Churches, wherever scattered, who have sprung from the same Christian ancestry, and are blest with the Christian ministry and Sacraments through the same pure and primitive channel, the Apostolic Church of England! [With what feelings of respect and love the Venerable Society was regarded by one eminent American Churchman, the following incident will show, which I learned from an intimate friend of the late Hon. Rufus King--a friend who was often with him in his last sickness. Shortly before his departure to a better world, among many interesting remarks, he said: "Sir, I have been thinking of England, of her ancient and apostolic Church, and her noble Society for Propagating the Gospel. Sir, that Society is the brightest light in the candlestick of the Reformation; it has done more, and is doing more, for the cause of Christ, than all Christendom united."] In such holy [4/5] union, then, we this day meet: even as dispersed brethren meet around some old and venerated roof tree, in acknowledgment of their common lineage, and in renewal of their common faith, giving and receiving fraternal pledges, strengthening the feeble knees, and adding courage to failing hearts, and saying each to the others, "Brethren, good cheer." "Sursum Corda"--"Lift up your hearts." Thus are we to meet; and as oft, in this cold world, the remembrance of a mother's milk, and of prayers learned at a mother's knee, has renewed the freshness of brethren's love decayed: so let it be with us; and let coldness, and distrust, and fear, wherever such feelings be found, be exchanged this day for the confidence of our Christian childhood, when all was bright without, because all was at peace within.
But we have yet to learn what the JUBILEE in its original divine appointment meant, and to what duties it summoned: for to the same, under Christian interpretation, are we bound now. Though man may fix its eras, he cannot determine its duties. Its worldly interpretation is obvious--"rejoicing." But the Christian must look deeper, and find its "obligations." Now for these, whether we look to the derivation of the name* or to the practices enjoined, we are led equally to the same two-fold meaning, viz., to the privilege of "rejoicing," and to the task of "restitution:"--to the joy of the festival; and to the labor of restoring, within the bounds of the promised land, the tribes and families of Israel to their primitive limits, and to their
[Whether from , the name of the trumpet; or more probably, as Calmet derives the word, from the Hebrew word , to recall or bring back. The Septuagint translators give the latter--afesiV, remission--etoV thV afesewV, the year of liberty, or setting back. For its literal duties, see Leviticus, xxv. 10--46: for its spiritual, Isaiah, lxi. 1-3.]
[5/6] God-given freedom. To the same duties, then, are we now led. For as the Church of Christ is the true Israel of God, and the whole earth its "promised land:" so whatever of duty or right belonged to the typical Church in the land of Israel, belongs now to the spiritual within the bounds of Christendom; and what the Jubilee then was to the branches of that vine which God brought out of Egypt, the Jubilee now is to the branches of that wild olive tree which Christ hath engrafted on the old stock--a day of restitution, as well as a day of rejoicing.
And what a noble feature (humanly speaking) in the Mosaic law the Jubilee is, and what an argument of its Divine Legation! What other legislator than Moses ever ventured on such a unit of time as fifty years, cutting off, as it does, all the passing interests of the living generation? The wisdom of the Greeks counted but by Olympiads, and Rome noted her power but by Lustra--eras of four and five years: for both were "of the earth, earthy." It was left to the despised Jew to prefigure, in His law, a kingdom not of this world; and to employ a notation of time corresponding, in some measure, to His service with whom "a thousand years are but as one day." On this point, as on too many others, has the Church of Rome deviated from the words of Scripture through worldly policy; and, in curtailing the Jubilee period from fifty to twenty-five years, has dropped from it its heavenly feature, and made of it, an institution human and not divine. [In the Church of Rome, the Jubilee was first established by Boniface VII., in 1300, and it was only to return every hundred years. But the first celebration brought in such store of wealth, that Clement VI., in 1343, reduced it to the period of fifty years; Urban VI., in 1389, appointed it to be held every thirty-five years; and Sixtus IV., in 1475, brought it down to every twenty-five years.]
 But for its applications: In its primary sense, the Jubilee among Christians is a call to thankful union and to trustful faith. Touching the first--I speak not here of any partial union--but of the general gathering this day into ONE, of the heart and strength of the Anglican communion, wherever, through God's providence, and the labors of this its blessed instrument, it hath spread, taken root, and borne fruit. North, south, east, west, in every quarter of the globe, in every corner of the earth, in almost every race and tribe of man (though in Christ all tribes be one), beginning with that strong race, now so widely scattered, and from which we ourselves are mainly sprung--a race destined, it would seem, to great ends in God's providence, both temporal and spiritual--down to the feebler scattered tribes of earth, who have been blest through them:--from all these will this day arise, with the circling sun, such a burst of thankful praise as earth hath seldom heard; and that, too, in words familiar to our ears--our own noble Liturgy invoking blessings through the all-prevailing Name on the Church which planned, and on her sons who have labored, and still labor, in this great and holy cause of Missions. God, in His mercy, grant that those prayers may be heard, and come down on that Church and land in showered blessings! As to ourselves, American Churchmen, our lamp of light was lighted from theirs. We owe them then a debt we never can repay, but by our prayers. Yet with these--who can tell how richly! And in this their hour of trial, we may bring comfort and strength to many a fearful heart and many a failing hand, through that voice of prayer, that will this day come to them from across mighty waters, freighted with blessings, from Churches [7/8] which their zeal hath founded, and altars which their piety hath erected.
It would seem (as indeed it is) a providential concurrence, that to our Mother Church of England, betrayed and wounded as she now is in the House of her Friends--sitting disconsolate like Israel of old, the Virgin of Zion mourning her sons slaughtered in her streets, solitary, and with none to comfort her--that, in such depth of sorrow, this day of JUBILEE should arise, bringing her sons from far, and her daughters from the ends of the earth, to comfort her, to wipe the tears from her cheeks, and say to the mother of their joy: "Mother! thou art not alone. Behold thy progeny! Take us to thine arms; and, in the love of thy faithful children, forget the reproaches of thy widowhood, and fear not the malice of thy foes." And we may imagine them going on further to say: "Should even thy house be left unto thee desolate: yet remember that the Lord, thine Husband, is Lord also of the whole earth, and hath many fair mansions in distant lands, where thou mayest find a more thankful home, and see the good seed thou host scattered in the wilderness grown up into a mighty harvest, that will sustain thee, though famine come, upon thee in thy native land, defrauded, as thou there art, of thy rightful inheritance--the faith, and love, and reverential obedience of those who still call themselves thy sons." Such, doubtless, will be the feeling aroused, if not the words spoken this day; and may we not hope that such united response from millions will awaken, even in worldly statesmen, respect at least, if not fear, for a communion that has thus encircled the earth with its missions, and half filled it with its sons, blessing and blessed wherever it has gone. We think it will, and [8/9] that such voice will strike with surprise cold friends as well as blinded enemies--all, in short, save the Church's loving sons, whose hearts have gone with her wherever her foot has gone; into the wilderness, as well as crowded cities; into the cottages of the poor,,., as well as the palaces of the rich: and who have traced her growth, step by step, as men watch the growth of that they love. What though England, its once bright home, be for a season darkened, where Apostles or apostolic men planted it: yet hath it risen cloudless on other and wider lands. Nor yet for the Church in England have we fear! While her boughs have been lopped, her root hath been strengthened; and besides, hath not the year of Jubilee now come round, and is not that a year of trustful faith? In it, the whole land of Israel was left desolate by God's own command, unploughed and unsown, that His people might know from whose hand came the increase. Even so now, may we, for one faithful tribe of the true Israel, trust that no desolation of man shall prevail against Christ's blessing: but that when patience hath had its perfect work, and trial as by fire hath purged away her dross--though carrying away in the rude process some pure gold with it--the sun of God's favor will again shine bright upon her head, her days of widowhood be past, and robes of joy and gladness be again resumed. To this hopeful faith, too, all her past history leads us. The Church of England hath seen darker days, and gone through deeper trials; and through them all, her gracious Lord and Master hath led her safe. The gates of hell have not been permitted to prevail against her; yet have her trials, even from her youth up, been sore and manifold. It may be well for a moment) to look at these.
 FREEBORN, in the apostolic age, even while Paul yet preached, and the loving disciple wrote, with the cross on her brow, and that not from Roman hands: the Church of Britain was yet, by force or guile, step by step, brought eventually under the Papal yoke. This chain of slavery, with God's blessing, she at length cast off; and, under Heaven-led guidance, returned to her primitive condition, to her pure apostolic faith, and to her Christian freedom, as an independent branch of Christ's Church Catholic. Again, when out of her own bosom came forth rebellious sons who, with parricidal hand, struck down her glories in the dust, desecrating her temples and defiling her altars, and leaving her, to human eyes, with a death-wound in the bare wilderness: from this, too, she arose; for the Good Samaritan still had pity on her, and bound up her wound, pouring in oil and wine, and again there was joy and peace in her dwellings. And now, in her present straits, when, with manacled hands and a gagged mouth, she must bear in constrained silence the taunts of those who have betrayed her, or the still harder trial of their galling patronage: shall we, can we doubt but that this trial, too, will pass, and prove to her but a purifying process;--only so be that she remain steadfast to her principles and her faith, alike Catholic and Anglican? Surely not! As we pray for it, so we look for it; and with an eye of faith can see already many cheering symptoms of it, like streaks of light in the distant horizon, showing the passing of the storm. Her candlestick is not, we trust, to be removed, nor its pure light dimmed. It hath lighted too many on their Heavenly way, to be itself put out. She hath been the mother of too many glorious [10/11] missions, not herself to practice what she hath taught to others--how to sanctify God's afflictive hand.
Among the noble lessons we may yet learn from her, and of them the first a mission-planted Church like ours should learn, is, how missions are to be, with a blessing, planted. The records of this day teach us this lesson: That the Church should be planted in its integrity, as a living plant; not maimed and mutilated, a tree without a root, a body without a head, a mission without that inward life which Christ imparted to his Mission when he breathed on His Apostles, and said: "Receive ye the Holy Ghost;" "Take ye power;" "As I send you, even so send ye."
This lesson, were we left but to human experience to learn, how plain would this day make it! For what defect was it that made our own colonial growth so slow, while worldly rulers turned a deaf ear, for a hundred years, to the Church's cry for Bishops? What, again, has made so rapid the growth of England's later missions, but the presence of that which was here denied? For example: sixteen Colonial Bishops have, within twelve years after their appointment, gathered around them a greater array of clergymen, than were found in the whole American colonies after more than a century of solitary and yet faithful labor. Thus, Newfoundland has advanced in twelve years from ten clergymen to forty-five; the Cape, from thirteen to forty-eight; Port Philip, from three to twenty; and the total of the nine Dioceses which have alone reported, from one hundred and eighty-three to four hundred and twenty. Add to this our own happy experience, both national and diocesan, of the unprecedented increase of the Church since we have had Bishops: and it is clear that, least of all, should the [11/12] American Church be slow in learning this lesson. Let us then both learn and practice it, and on that far-off coast, which is to us and our Church now, what we then were to our Mother Church of England--"Missionary ground"--let us plant the Church at once; not as we have hitherto done, in the solitary feebleness of isolated missionaries: but in the integrity of all its parts, and the fullness of all its powers, even as the Apostles planted their primitive Churches, as Paul planted them in Crete and Ephesus, and as our Apostolic Mother is now planting her Colonial Churches, and to which God is giving such large increase. And to this end it would seem like a providential concurrence, that to the Mission in Oregon, on that coast, are the free-will offerings of the Church in our diocese, on this Jubilee, primarily and by name commended.
But I would plead here, too, for the application of our rule in another case. Let not the Indian race be forgotten in our land--a race whom we cannot domesticate, and whom thus far we have failed to. Christianize. To missions among them, whether of our own, or any other branch, God hath not given permanent increase. They have all had but a sickly growth. For Rome gave them no personal freedom; Protestant missions, no apostolic creed; and our own Church has given to them no enduring life: so that the Gospel has been ever, to the Red man, but an imposed yoke; the religion of the pale faces--his ruler, or his enemy--the badge therefore of servitude, not of freedom. And, now, shall we not try at last the APOSTOLIC practice? Give to the Red man Christ's Church as a BOON; plant it with a native root; plant it in faith, and entrust its life and growth, not to the pupilage of but to the never-failing promise of Christ, and to [12/13] that abiding SPIRIT, which, as at this season, descended on the Apostles with power. Let us herein, too, show our Church lineage, and in all our future missions redeem past errors by greater faith and a better rule.
And behold, in the actual blessing attending missions thus planted, how God is kindly tying our duties to our interest! Looked at merely as colonies, the Church of Christ, rightly planted in their infancy, is the surest corner-stone of their prosperity, the very tap-root of their strength, striking deepest, and holding strongest, in the virgin soil of a new colony. Now this statesman-like lesson England owes to her Church, and instrumentally to this her great Mission Society. Her early colonies, planted by dissent, were slow of growth and doubtful of allegiance. Those planted by thirst for gold proved too often a curse instead of a blessing, training men to "sell for gold what gold can never buy," and transplanting to their new home the vices and not the virtues of their old one. How different the aspect of England's later settlements, where her sons, led abroad by the same Apostolic hand that blessed them at home, have transferred to the wilderness their Church as well as their workshops, their faith and worship as well as their industry and skill! Established on these principles, at once statesman-like and Christian, England's recent colonies have become the wonder and the praise or envy of the world, as with giant strides they are seen advancing to independent empire, and that not through the thorny path of rebellion, but that of filial love and unenvied growth. And already, like well trained pious children, are they sending back blessings on the mother who bore them. I allude here to the recent example, set in the Colonial Churches of Australia and [13/14] Canada, of the organization of provincial and diocesan synods on the primitive model, with a careful provision (at least in one of them) for lay representation, and its due place in council: thus exhibiting to the Church of England, her own once fairest picture, with her free voice and independent legislature. [Among other wise and primitive provisions, is that of Bishop Feild (Newfoundland) touching the Church's independent support, by uniting it with its discipline: a substitute for its ancient income from the produce of the soil. Another pleasing feature in the Colonial movement, and one that carries us back to the olden time, is the endowment of its Bishoprics by the zeal of individuals: two at least, one by Miss Coutts of London, the other by a brother and sister unnamed.] Of all the cheering signs of God's guardian care over her, this is the most cheering; and what adds to its providential aspect is, that such movement, including also that of one strong-hearted Bishop at home, has been concurrent, without agreement, and at the extremest points of the earth's diameter, as if by an electric shock. The immediate results of such movements may be slight; but their inward working is deep, and their eventual certain. It is a sure pledge that the Church of England shall again find her voice, and no longer have aliens or Infidels to lay down the law of her faith.
And here it is due to the memory of the acknowledged greatest of our own Bishops to add, that, on his visit to England thirty years ago, while such evils were still latent there, he had alike the sagacity to perceive and the frankness to urge them upon the Primate of all England, and also the necessity of making timely provision against what has now actually occurred--I mean the worldly judgment of a political council (by whatever name called) affecting to overrule an article of the Church's creed--our Bishop respectfully unfolding to him, at the same time, our [14/15] American forms of Church legislation. Not, brethren, that we are herein entitled to boast. Our own Church organization admits of our taking a lesson, as well as giving it; and that, too, out of the more primitive forms of this recent development. And this I add in two points: first, in the adoption of provincial synods as intermediate in our wide land between Diocesan and National conventions; and, secondly, in entrusting Church legislation but to those among the laity in whom dwells the habitual grace of sacramental obedience, and even then, as regulated by primitive model. Nor let such bold suggestions here stand unsupported. The recorded judgment of the venerable Bishop White; the familiar and well known sentiments of Bishop Hobart; the common feeling of all educated Churchmen; as well as the definite scheme of the present Bishop of Western New-York, recently spread before the General Convention: all recognize our present national Church organization as demanding re-adjustment, owing to our rapid enlargement of bounds, and (I will venture to add) the preponderating power, so often felt in our conventions, of untrained and unspiritual laymen. But to return. In these, her colonies as well as her children, England hath renewed not only the strength of her youth, but the wisdom of her manhood; so that even when the fate of nations shall overhang her Insular Empire, like clouds over a setting sun, (which, may God long avert!) even then, in these, her far-spread Christian offspring, shall she freshly survive. In that day of sorrow, when it shall come, Savages, tamed by her to humanity, shall weep at her bier; Nations, who, at her bidding, have cast away their idols, shall kneel for her in prayer; while her own countless sons, in Christian States of her planting, shall chant her praise. These all, when that day comes, shall rise up [15/16] in the reverence of sorrow, like the children of ancient Israel around the Patriarch's dying bed, and recount each to the other their own debt of gratitude; and deepest of all, their gratitude for a Church, pure, primitive and Catholic.
But this is a day, not of forecasting gloom, but of grateful remembrance. Let us, then, of the Church of America, once the child, now the sister of the Church of England, look back to our own debt to this Venerable Society, whose Jubilee we celebrate. The story of its labors among us need not be told: it is written all around us, without and within, like the prophetic scroll--only in joy, not woe. Visible on our soil, that story is embodied in the Churches it has erected; is legible in our history in the faithful pastors, teachers and catechists it so long gave us; and engraver on our hearts in thankful Christian remembrance. Nor in our Churches only has its wise and bountiful hand left its mark. That mark has been stamped indelibly on our oldest and best school and college in this Diocese. It has ever been among the chief glories of the Church of England, that, wherever it has gone, at home or abroad, it has consecrated education. Such was its course here, and God's blessing has followed it. Of Trinity School, whose teachers and scholars I see before me, it was the parent, the nurse, and the liberal patron; so that the choral voices we have this day heard, were the voices of that Society's thankful children. So, too, do I see before me the familiar faces of the professors and students of our own ancient College, uniting here in thankful remembrance of the earliest of their patrons, and the most liberal of their donors, save and except one donor almost identical with the Venerable Society--the equally venerable Church within whose walls I [16/17] now speak. But that greater debt of gratitude lessens not the thankfulness of the College to the Founder of its library its Founder both in books and money--and still less, its gratitude for the lesson then set--which, it trusts, it has well learned--of making religion the corner-stone of all secular learning. [The Society laid the foundation of the College Library by the gift of 1500 volumes and £500 in money.]
But what is the whole story of their labors, other than the primitive picture of its Missionaries carrying out the Church's teaching, as exhibited in patient, persevering, self denying, ministerial duty, amid foes and fears, privations and trials, cold friends, and bitter enemies? It is not my intention here to tell that story. It has already been better told by those familiar with its details. The annals on earth of these devoted men are few and obscure, for they were workers, not talkers, in their Lord's vineyard. Their record is in Heaven. Yet even in the little that does remain, we read a narrative not easily paralleled, in at least two noble features of the Church's Missionary. First, in their patient, unflinching endurance; the enthusiasm not of sentiment, but of duty; taking hold on their mission, as men do on the daily work of life, heartily: and this was the more to their honor, as they had little oversight, save God and their own consciences. And, secondly, their unbending maintenance of the Church's teachings, in her faith, ministry, sacraments and catechism. This, again, has something in it of the heroic strain, for they were surrounded and pressed by every temptation life could bring, to the concealment or modification of unpopular doctrine. But though feeble, they were fearless men--Their only outcry was for a Bishop "to visit all the [17/18] churches," they said, "to ordain some, confirm others, and bless all." Their only quarrel was, that he came not. "We have cried," to use their own bitter words in writing home, "till our hearts ache, and ye own 'tis the call and cause of God, and yet ye have not heard, or have not answered, and that's all one." (Talbot's Letters) But by whom, we ask, was such call unheard? Not by the Society, whose Missionaries they were, but by the worldly policy, as blind as it was unchristian, of the State and statesmen who overruled it, and who left it for more than a hundred years, unaided and unsupported, to individual exertion. The Venerable Society memorialized for Bishops to America, made financial provision for them, received donations for them; and dying members left legacies for them. Nor was it the Church's neglect. An Episcopate in the colonies was, from the first, part of the Church's battle. It was a feature in Laud's policy, and one of the bitter taunts that brought him to the block. Let Churchmen remember that to his honor. With him fell that hope. Again, from the very period of the Church's restoration in 1660, it was an abiding object of interest to give the Episcopate to the colonies. Virginia, the Old Dominion, was to be first blest with that boon; and, under the guidance of England's one wise and religious statesman in that day, a patent, in 1665, was actually made out: but what piety, with Clarendon, had planned, infidelity, with Buckingham and his sneering cabal, rejected. A still bolder subsequent movement on the part of the Bishop of London, to whose diocese the colonies were attached--the actual consecration of a Suffragan Bishop--was defeated by a still harsher process, a [18/19] writ addressed to the Bishop elect, "ne exeat regno." [The Rev. M. Colebatch, of Maryland.] Again, in the Church's last free convocation, Archbishop Sharpe moved it, good Queen Anne favored it, and Sherlock and Seeker were both zealous for it. Not, therefore, on the Church of England rests this charge: but upon rulers who deserved not the title of statesmen, since they either knew not, or cared not, for that which yet underlies, and must underlie, all human polity--RELIGION--"the very bond of peace and of all virtues."
It were idle here to conjecture what would have been the present condition of the Church in this country, had the Episcopate been early given to it. It is sufficient that God's providence ordered it otherwise, and doubtless, in the end, well; if we who now enjoy it be but faithful. Even to human eyes, one blessing is apparent. It has left our Episcopate untainted with even the shadow of state patronage--a charge that, in this land of jealous freedom, might have proved a stumbling block in its path--a path which now, under God's wiser providence, is left to our Church plain and free. In what relation our Church now stands to our country, let that country judge. We have heard true statesmen rank her (though themselves not of her) as among its highest blessings, even in this world's arithmetic; as being a Church alike scriptural and conservative; not only as the preacher of peace, union, order, and good government, but as the most efficient conservator of them; as the best moral police of the nation, restraining all the wild excesses of fanaticism; instructing both rulers and people in the soundest principles of law and liberty; and teaching unto all who will hear, alike by her doctrines, her discipline, and her worship, how all the duties of [19/20] the good citizen are bound up interchangeably in the same bundle with the duties of the good Christian.
But there is a deeper question touching the relation in which our Church stands to our country, and one which, tender as it may be, cannot but be this day alluded to. If Christ's altar be but One, on whom, in our land, rests the guilt of schism? We content ourselves with a simple answer--not on us. Certainly not on those, either in law or fact, whose Church came in, with its first settlements, as part and parcel of the Established Church of the mother country. In whatever light looked at, thus it stands. It came in first by prescriptive right, with English sovereignty. It came in first by legal provision, with the earliest patent, viz., that of Virginia to Raleigh and his lost colonies. It came in first too, in fact, embodied in the very earliest settlement permanently made--that of Jamestown, in 1607: and all this, years before dissent crept in through the Pilgrims (as they are termed) on Plymouth Rock--for even with them, it was but surreptitiously introduced--and half a century before Roman claims came in under the patent of Maryland to Lord Baltimore. These, at least, are the facts of the case. The altar first erected within the colonies was that altar at which we are this day about to kneel; and the voice of praise and prayer first heard in these lands, was that very voice and those very words which we ourselves have this day used in our solemn Jubilee. Now I press not conclusions from these facts; they must speak for themselves. One only I would draw: it is, that our parochial bounds should cover the land; for we, at least, are not intruders in any part of it. Our cure of souls should have no other local limits than our country's boundaries.
 But to turn to what constitutes the deeper duties of this Jubilee. As in ancient Israel, so now: this day, and this year, is for the solemn settlement of metes and bounds; then among the tribes of Israel, now among the various branches of Christ's Church Catholic, ONE yet multiform; like the natural body, many members, but one Head; many administrations, yet one Lord. Now, as then, the Jubilee comes round as the year of "Restitution," each tribe to its own bounds: and although this be the Jubilee of but one branch of the Church of Christ, yet does it demand the principles that are to regulate all. The unjustly bound are to go free; all false claims are to be given up; and in the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace, all the branches of Christ's Church Catholic are to find their common mission, and yet their peculiar field. Now this is a view of our own high duties, brethren, as far above my feeble powers fully to unfold, as its adequate treatment would be beyond the limits of a reasonable discourse. And yet, under a deep sense of the solemn questions it opens, and the still deeper responsibility which rests on him who opens them, would I go on, as in duty bound, at least to touch on these disputed borders; being well assured that the danger of speaking plainly on Church matters is far less than that of concealing them, and infinitely less than the danger involved in giving them the cold and careless go by.
"Every man unto his possession, and every man unto his family:" such was the verbal law of the Jubilee. "Ephraim is not to envy Judah, nor Judah to vex Ephraim:" this is the moral interpretation. Its spiritual and prophetic goes deeper. Translated into Gospel words, it runs thus: "Peace among the [21/22] varied branches of the Church of Christ; and, as the basis of peace, a Jubilee of Restitution:"--restitution of rights denied, and of truths forgotten; and a solemn recognition of mutual independence under Christ as our common Head. The year of Jubilee was ordained of old to settle that, as an ordinance for ever, among the tribes of Israel then; among the Churches of the true Israel now. A duty, too, most solemnly enjoined on us by the universally admitted canons of the Primitive Church before the Roman Schism had rent it, though also, it would seem, prophetic thereof. I quote but one, the eighth canon of the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus, A. D. 431: "If any Bishop has so invaded a province, and brought it by force under himself, he shall restore it, that the canons of the Fathers may not be transgressed, nor the pride of secular dominion be privily introduced under the appearance of a sacred office, nor we lose, by little, the freedom which our Lord Jesus Christ, the deliverer of all men, has given us by His own blood."
This then, brethren, is the more solemn part of our duty this day; not mere. thankful rejoicing, but the examining and verifying our ancient landmarks, in order that wherever fraud or unjust assumption on the part of others has invaded them, or our own sinful neglect has permitted them to fall into decay and forgetfulness, we may there carefully reset and strengthen them. To this end, the union of all Churches of the English Communion wheresoever scattered, which this day calls forth, not only affords the fit occasion, but of itself both awakens the thought and demands the investigation; that, as Churchmen of that branch, we may know in what relation we stand to [22/23] other branches, as well as to the civil authority under which we live.
I will venture to suggest a few leading points of inquiry. First, as to our Church's independence of the civil government. This, in our case, as American Churchmen, need not be argued. It is plain and unquestioned. But as touching the Church of England, though equally true, it has yet been questioned, whether through ignorance or malignity. To us, brethren, it may be a sufficient proof of the essential independence of that Church, that we free-born American Churchmen feel ourselves to be part and parcel of it. If the Church of England were indeed local and national, the creature of English law, how is it, we ask, that its heart could beat thus full and free here? How is it that millions who never trod her soil, nor owed her allegiance, do this day rise up as one man to do her homage? This point, then, at least is clear. The Church of England is a purely spiritual body. Oppressed and wronged she may be, and is, in the land of her birth; and that, too, by those who owe her filial obedience: but, like the soul which, through Christ, she comes to save, she knows not of human chains. Freedom is her birthright; and when endurance of wrong ceases to be a virtue, she can flee even as a dove, far away and be at rest, as free from the control of man, as God's wind "that bloweth where it listeth."
But to a second point of that Church's Christian freedom--her inalienable Catholic independence, as a primitive branch-of the Church of Christ. Tracing her origin through the British Church to apostolic times and men, to St. Joseph of Arimathea, as one early narrative ran; or to the great Apostle of the Gentiles, [23/24] as the more current tradition went, and as the words of St. Clement of Rome, St. Paul's companion, would seem to imply, viz., that he preached the Gospel in the farthest West: it is yet manifest, by whomsoever planted, it was not from Rome,. or with Roman usages; since the filial adherence of that early British Church to their primitive Eastern customs, more especially in the day of keeping the festival of Easter--which was the earliest dividing question between the Roman and Eastern Churches--this, together with their equally stern rejection of Roman submission, as of a thing utterly unheard of and unknown in their whole history (all which we have recorded at large by the venerable Bede),--these were the very grounds of the Roman charge of heresy against them, when, after five centuries of native freedom, Roman Missionaries, who came to convert the heathen Saxon, would fain have converted, from their Christian freedom, their British brethren; and that, too, in the very face of all Ecumenical canons forbidding such interference, and which they themselves had solemnly consented to. I quote but one "The rights which have heretofore and from the beginning belonged to each province, shall be preserved to it pure and without restraint, according to the custom which has prevailed of old." [Council of Ephesus, A. D. 431, Canon VIII.] Again, a still earlier one: "Bishops must not go beyond their dioceses, and enter upon Churches without their borders, nor bring confusion into their Churches." [Council of Constantinople, A. D. 381, Canon II. See also the Canons of Sardica and Carthage.]
From the primitive seed thus sown by Apostolic men, in the Apostolic age, in the hearts of a simple, brave [24/25] and faithful people, came forth united with the Saxon stream, the Church of England, free and apostolic, calling no man master save Christ, and going through all its trials, whether of temporal or spiritual tyranny, to use the Church's own words to King Henry VIII., "Salvo Christo." Now, but for Rome's arrogant assumptions, founded. upon Augustine's mission, and her total oblivion of the primitive Church of Britain, that mission of charity would deserve, in many respects, to be more kindly spoken of. But as things now stand, the Church of England has no choice. Against a usurping Church, she is bound to re-assert her primitive land-marks; and on this day of Jubilee to put back definitively all encroachments on them.
But to one other great and apostolic branch of Christ's Church, it may be well to turn our attention, were it but for the conclusive overthrow it gives to that prwton YeudoV (to use a hard yet just term,) whereby Papal Rome seeks to beguile ignorant minds, viz., that she is the "mother of all Churches:" and this while she herself is, in her origin; but a mission branch of another's planting, but a graft from an earlier stock--a stock, too, which still survives to claim and justify its seniority--the HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH OF THE EAST. This still not only survives, but flourishes, with its several independent patriarchs, its ancient creeds and primeval liturgies, and with almost onethird of all Christendom within its pale. How, then, in the name of common sense, can Rome venture to ignore the very existence of these elder claimants, and that, too, in the face of her own liturgy borrowed from them, and her own Gospels translated from their originals! Who instructed, we may ask, her Latin tongue, even to read the Greek Gospels in the language [25/26] in which they were written? Who, save those who brought it to her, and taught it to her? And who, again, inserted in her liturgy those early sacred words of which she is so proud, but of which no Roman understood the meaning till Greek Christians taught him--"Kurie elehson." Were there nothing else, we say, to give the lie to Rome's arrogant pretensions to be the mother of all churches (that first demand she makes on all her converts, the first words of her Tridentine Catechism), these Greek words above would be the sufficient refutation: for they stand, under her own seal, undeniably, as her own acknowledgment.
Now, among the subdivisions of this apostolic and earliest of all branches of the Church of Christ, a secondary branch is found, rivalling even the Church of Rome in its bounds, and almost in its members--I mean the Russian. Church, as apart from the patriarchates of the East: towards her, our present position and our future relations afford matter for deep reflection. Between that Church and our own, there exists, no doubt, a wide present separation, but still no disunion; a gulf of ignorance, not of hostility; we confounding them with Rome, and they us with Calvin and Luther. This gulf, therefore, is one which Christian sympathy and better knowledge may in time bridge over: not, as that between us and Rome, a gulf now impassable, were it for no other reason than simply her arrogant denial of our very existence as a branch of the Church of Christ. This is our world-wide separation from Rome, viz., that she is not Catholic; that her claim to supremacy is a schism in Christ's body: and on this day we are to stand on that impregnable ground. Now such unchristian claim appears not in the Eastern Church. Her anathemas are [26/27] all directed, against heresies, not against rebels to her authority; and wherever wrongly uttered, they are so in ignorance, not in pride: for she holds all to be with in the Catholic name, who acknowledge the Catholic creeds, and are under an Apostolic ministry. And if she know not that we hold to the one, and live under the other, and that we swear not in the words of Luther or Calvin: why it is simply her ignorance of facts, in which we may enlighten her. Between our branch and the Eastern, therefore, there exists no insuperable bar (the "filioque" of the Nicene Creed not being thus regarded). No synodical action on the one part or the other has ever separated these two:--no protest from our side, no usurpation on theirs. So that if the lost unity of Christ's Church is ever on earth to be restored, it would seem to human eyes as if through this link it was to be begun, viz., intercommunion between the Anglican and Eastern branches; and that were indeed a day of Jubilee that should see this link, so long broken (for once in the British Church it did exist), restored. To such thoughts, at least, God's providence seems guiding us, by bringing the two Churches into nearer contact. It may be wise, therefore, to be prepared for a question that, at any moment, may be sprung upon the Church for practical decision. On our Pacific coast, for instance, if not elsewhere, such question cannot be long delayed. "In what light are Russian Churchmen to be regarded by us? As Rome looks at them, rebels and heretics? or as the followers of Calvin, as fit subjects for a proselyting mission? Or, again, as primitive principles teach us, as members of a great and independent branch of Christ's Church Catholic, having their descent from earliest [27/28] time, having within their own national limits rightful Christian jurisdiction; and as a Church, however differing froth us, holding, with a tenacity beyond all others, to the Symbols of our common Faith, to the Nicene Creed, to ancient Canons, and to all primitive usages. Through another channel, too, is this question opening upon us I allude to the personal appeal of a minister of the Anglican Communion, whom providential circumstances have recently made prominent, to serve either as a link of communion, or a bar of separation, between the two Churches; and whose earnest appeal to our Church for its sympathy and decision arrived but a few days too late to be spread before our last General Convention. [The appeal of the Rev. William Palmer, deacon; addressed to the Right Rev. the Bishops, and to the Diocesan Synods or Conventions of the Church in the United States of America: sent and communicated, (by him,) to be made known to the clergy and the laity, and to be dealt with synodically in such manner as they shall think right.] Such are the prospects of this question's coming up before us specifically for a synodic decision. Now it is easy to say, that such personal appeal is too narrow a basis for the action of a National Church. I would respectfully suggest the reverse; and that on no other basis has the Church ever acted, in her great doctrinal decisions, from the time of Athanasius down. Every added article to the early creeds, every doctrinal canon, even of Ecumenical Councils, arose out, of individual interests and questions. They were all, like this, personal cases. Nor is this peculiar to Church legislation. Whether in human or Divine law, the practice is the same. Principles are things intangible. They must be embodied before they can be touched. But when embodied, the respect with which they are looked upon is regulated, not by the [28/29] case, but by the principle involved. The trial of Hampden, for instance, on a question of twenty shillings of ship money, shook all England to its centre. I enter not into the difficulties that may surround this question, whether of doctrine or tribunal. One word, however, as touching the latter. It is this, that until our lay delegations are regulated on more primitive principles than at present, the Church cannot look with rightful confidence to any synodical action determining, through them, the great doctrines of Catholic Union.
But it may be asked, under this distinction of Independent National Churches, what becomes of that unity for which Christ prayed, and by which His Disciples were to be known? The answer is plain. National Churches are no bar to Church unity now, any more than the respective Churches founded by the different Apostles in Syria, Greece, Italy or Egypt, were at the first. Then, as now, there were National or Provincial Churches, differing in language, customs, manner of life, ritual, and even in great and important doctrinal practices; as we see in the primitive branch at Jerusalem, which for ages retained many Jewish customs. These all regulated, by inherent right, each its own affairs. Thus decreed the second General Council of the Church, that of Constantinople: "The Synod of each province must administer the affairs of the province." Yet all this broke not the unity of the Church of Christ. That came from one faith, one creed, one Lord, one baptism, and one pervading spirit and power of love, acting through the same Apostolic ministry, and evinced by intercommunion. Thence came the Church's true unity, and thence true Catholicitiy; the unity, not of a mass, but of a body; [29/30] unity of organization; unity as we see it ever in God's works--unity in the midst of variety; although many, yet one. Now to this view of unity agree all Christ's words, and all the Apostles' teaching, and all the Canons of the primitive Church; one Vine, yet many branches; one Body, yet many members; one Spirit, yet many administrations: while breach of unity comes not from parts, but parties; not from the mutual independence of the members of the body or the branches of the vine, but from proud and selfish boasting among them; the hand exalting itself against the foot, and saying, "Because thou art not the hand, thou art not of the Body;" or the greater branch, lording it over God's heritage, and saying, "Because thou growest not out of me, thou art not of the Root." From that deep sin of pride and schism, the Church of England, throughout its communion, stands free; being alike Catholic and National. This union is its perfection: and woe to those who attempt to part what God hath joined! Woe to those who merge its Catholicity in its Protestantism, as well as to those who exchange its distinctive Anglican teaching for a false Catholicism!
On these two leading boundary lines, therefore, are we this day called to give a careful review, lest our ancient landmarks be forgotten as against Protestant dissent on the one side, or Roman assumption on the other. The English communion, while it recognizes neither, yet includes the truth of both. "CATHOLIC" is her ancient and baptismal name: Protestant but her recent and historic surname; incidental, yet essential, so long as Rome maintains her aggressive, uncatholic position. Let not Churchmen, then, cease to stand on their double watch. First, as against bare Protestantism, lest we yield one jot or tittle of our [30/31] Catholic ground, in creed, discipline, or worship, to the breath of popular opinion, or to the still more ensnaring sympathies of social life. Herein we are to stand "on guard," as our fathers stood, with the Prayer-book in our hands, and the liturgy as our guide; neither seeking nor fearing opinions without, nor ever doubting God's blessing within, on our Church and work, so long as we love the one and labor in the other as true watchmen and workmen on the walls of our Israel. Would to God there were herein less danger to our Church's purity! But the truth is, there is much: like precious garments neglected, our Church principles are eaten away silently by the moth and canker-worm of worldly Protestantism; and, when we come to use them, they have neither warmth nor strength. But would to God we might again meet, as brethren on the primitive platform, those whose Fathers once stood there with our Fathers, in defence of our common Mother, before dissent from her was known, or "Ephraim envied Judah, or Judah vexed Ephraim!" But then such union must be, not by amalgamation, but by "restitution:" going back to things primitive, by rising out of the sectarian into the Catholic mind. And doubtless, in God's good time, such re-union, widely prayed for, shall take place. And how stands the prospect even now? With the worldly indifference that knows not and cares not for the unity of the Church Catholic, our Church can have no sympathy: but with earnest and longing minds of whatever name--earnest for truth, and longing for union--and who often truly have the Church mind while standing apart from her; with them the Church has deep sympathy, and rejoices to see growing up so widely in our land a body of reformed [31/32] Catholic truth, which is daily bringing thousands near and nearer to her and their Father's communion in heart and faith; a spirit widely displaying itself, too, in that revived Church architecture, which demands--to give it full meaning--the proprieties and usages of the Church's solemn ritual. So much for our boundaries on the side of dissent.
On the other hand, our are, landmarks to be laid down, and our Christian birthright maintained, with at least equal care. The recent act of Papal aggression in England, ignoring as it does the whole English Communion in its jurisdiction and ministry, is an attack upon us as well as upon them, and should rally to the call this day all who here love the Church,, and live within its pale. But then it is to be met, not as recently in England, by popular clamor; but by the assertion, calm yet solemn, of one clear primitive truth--"Catholic equality" among all the Apostolic branches of Christ's Church.; And as to each branch has been given, by God's providence; its own mission, God's providence marking to each its field: so will each have its own account to render. It is the part of wisdom, then, as well as justice, to look each to its own. We seek not, therefore (unless driven to it), to sit in judgment on Rome, or to inquire how far she has used or abused her larger talents. We will not needlessly ask how far selfish ambition or worldly policy has poisoned in her teaching the pure fountains of Gospel truth, building up a kingdom of this world out of the living stones of a kingdom not of this world. To the great Master each one standeth or falleth. But we do claim to hold our own heritage as of Christ's giving, equally with hers; as an independent Mission under Christ: and, we fear not (in humility be it spoken) comparison with any [32/33] other branch in the fidelity with which our, perhaps, but one talent has been employed, or in the Gospel fruits it has brought forth. Yet if others boast, we, at least, may speak. As touching missions, from an early age the English Church stood foremost. "But for her," are the words of an impartial historian, "the greater part of Northern Europe had remained in heathen darkness." English names are still current there, as the very Apostles of heathen Germany; and Winifred, and Boniface, and the Good Doer, are still their common appellations. Again when, in a later age, the restoration of letters brought upon Europe a spirit of restless, infidel inquiry: it was English piety and English scholarship that took the lead, and did more to Christianize that reasoning mind than all the rest of Christendom combined. In the defence of Revelation and the Church, on the grounds of reason and Scripture, where shall we look for our teachers, save among the divines of the Church of England. [I need but mention Hooker, for under their own acknowledgment, "There is no learning that this man has not searched into, nothing too hard for his understanding, and his books will get reverence by age." Such was the remark of Pope Clement VII., when a portion of Hooker's Preface was translated by an English Romanist to him.]
Herein, while Rome slept, England labored; so that while the Roman Communion was for centuries desolated by infidelity, through all its educated ranks: the Church of England had won over reason and learning to the faith; and it was only vice and ignorance within her pale that were infidel. And now, in our own day, denied as she is her full powers of action, yet where shall we turn for triumphs of the cross greater or more solid than this day's commemoration exhibits?
Our quarrel, then, with Rome this day, is simply [33/34] her breach of Catholic unity; her schism in Christ's Body; her denial of equal rights to all to whom Christ equally said, "Go forth," "Take ye power:" and our sole wonder is, her strange forgetfulness that she herself is but a younger branch; and must, in point of time, follow the Churches of Jerusalem, Antioch and Greece. But of this invidious subject, enough; and may God in His great mercy give her to see to what distant, impossible future, her schismatic position is putting off the promised blessing of unity to be restored to the Church Catholic.
But, lastly, what shall we say on this day of Jubilee of our own position, as the American Church? This: which is the more needful to be said, inasmuch as our general argument and frequent use of the terms "English" and "Anglican," might otherwise be misinterpreted. First, that the American Church is, under Christ, a Church "sui juris," a distinct and independent branch of the Church Catholic. But, again, it is due to it further to state, that it is a Church uniting in its Episcopate and ministry, its liturgy and offices, another pure and early stream--that of the Episcopal Church of Scotland: a union at the time not the result of choice, and perhaps lamented; but now, it would seem, providential--thus to supply to the new world a Church more widely Catholic than the mere Anglican would have been esteemed, in a land which was to be' the asylum of all nations, and therefore demanded a new branch with American nationality. Still, however, do we stand in a peculiarly tender relation to that Church which we rightly name our "Mother Church of England," inheriting, as we do, from her, all that has adorned, sanctified and blessed her history, even from the days of her early British martyrs under [34/35] heathen Rome till now: and thus her learning and her piety, her ministry and her sacraments, her liturgy and her rites, and the glory of her missions, are all ours; ours to claim, and ours to emulate. This is our rich heritage; and it may well awaken us to high and noble thoughts of what our own destined mission is in this our broad and fair land. England and America none can deny to be the salient points in the world's history; and of this prominence our Church partakes. As it has been, so we may trust it will continue to be, a blessed and ever-growing instrument in the hands of Providence for the regeneration of man. But, again, there is something further in our case peculiar. Not only never before or since has the Anglican branch sent forth such a strong and vigorous shoot, but never before in the history of the whole Church has any Apostolic branch of it stood thus free and untrammelled, to do Christ's bidding, without let or impediment from man. Not before Constantine; for then heathen persecution tied up the Church's hands: nor since; for worldly patronage has ever, till now, somewhat stained her purity. Even our Mother Church, from early times, has been more or less overruled by the State. The Eastern Church has, for a thousand years, lived under infidel tyrants. The Church of Russia is, in temporals, identified with its own empire. While of the Church of Rome, no student of history can doubt that, in becoming Papal, she parted with her Christian freedom: that the Court of Rome (i. e., Papal Rome) has enslaved the Church of Rome, ever using it as an instrument of human power, to realize its false ideal of the Church of Christ--as a ruling kingdom of this world, emblemed by its two swords, the temporal underlying the spiritual. This [35/36] was its Gregorian model and symbol, and this has ever since proved its bane.
It is true, with all our blessings as a National Church, we may have dropped, in our haste, some things that should have been retained. But whatever was then lost through hasty organization, may hereafter, by wise legislation, be restored. In the meantime we stand blest beyond our fellows, and may without arrogance, and under a deep sense of the responsibility it brings, apply to our Church the prophetic words: "Enlarge the place of thy tent," "lengthen thy cords and strengthen thy stakes."
To us, brethren, and to our National Church, as the last set out in the world's history, and evidently on the world's last Western stage, does God seem to have reserved the higher talent as well as the greater blessing of bearing aloft in the New World, but before the whole world, the primitive Apostolic banner "The Gospel in the Church," unninscribed with human name, and unstained by worldly policy. Only let us herein be humble, faithful and trustful: and God will give us large increase, as we see He is already doing all around us. And the more of worldly abundance His good providence shall pour in upon our land, making its merchants princes, and its cities like ancient Tyre: the more humbly and prayerfully let us Churchmen feel ourselves to be its guardians in prayer and truthfulness, mindful of the fate of her who said proudly among her palaces: "I sit as a queen; I shall never be removed;" "My hand and the might of mine arm hath gotten me this wealth." Let us all, in this swelling pride of prosperity, beware lest our land provoke God to recall His gifts--spiritual it may be, [36/37] as well as temporal--and to remove from us, alike our candlestick and our golden stream.
Permit me, brethren, one word in closing, touching our own special bounds, as the Diocese of New-York. Shall not this Jubilee day bring home to us, amid all our trials, present and to come, a lesson of peace and wise union? We stand here, as it were, on the threshold of our infant home, to bless the womb that bore us, the mother at whose breasts we. were nourished, and at whose knees we learned our first prayers. We stand here, too, amid the tombs of our venerated fathers in God, who, having finished their course in faith, do now rest from their labors; and who taught us how thrice blessed a thing it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. Shall not this thought come home to us in the desolation of our Diocese, and move us to a more loving union in the great choice that lies before us? Again, this day of Jubilee, in awakening us to the renewal of our land-marks, has brought before us the dangers that threaten us: on the one hand, our faith; on the other, our freedom. Shall not this, too, bind us more closely together, and more especially as touching that usurping Church, the dread of whose influence lies so deep amid the causes of our divisions? Shall we not learn to trust each other a little more kindly in loyalty to our own true Mother; and believe that, as there are deeper and safer grounds of rejection of Rome than questions of cross or surplice, or solemn decoration of God's altar: so, too, are there deeper and safer grounds of preference of our own Church than its proximity to Calvin or Luther; and surer tests of our attachment to it, than any wholesale condemnation of whatsoever is found within the limits of the Roman Communion?
 But I have done. This Jubilee is ours to rejoice and labor in: the next will be for our children, or our children's children. What changes shall intervene ere that day come among the branches of Christ's Church, who can tell? But we may humbly trust, that this day's Jubilee will bring a blessing on at least one thankful branch; and that the great re-union of this day will not be without its happy influence on all. We close with the cheering hope, that the dark days of the Church of England are past, and that in finding its voice, it will find its strength: and that the great and good Society, whose Jubilee we celebrate, and on whose name and labors we here invoke a blessing, will continue to be a praise and a glory in the whole earth, till its own mission be closed, through the fullness of the Gentiles being gathered in. Amen and Amen.