PSALM 118: 24--"This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."
GENESIS 26: 16 --"Surely the Lord is in this place."
THERE are days in life when the heart is too full to express what it feels; when words lag far behind; when men, deeply moved, take one another by the hand, look each other in the eyes, and speak little, because they know not how to say what they would. Methinks this is such a day for many here present; and I, whose difficult task it is to stand up and speak to you and for you, may well desire that the work had fallen to the lot of some one else. Who indeed could rightly touch the sympathetic chords of all these rejoicing hearts? What must this day be to the good Bishop who has called us up hither to the solemn consecration of his Cathedral Church? What must it be to his devoted friends, his faithful people, who have so nobly borne him through? What must this day be to those who have looked for it, who have toiled, prayed and striven for its coming, and who now see the happy end of years of faith and faithful work! Count the cost, in labours, in self-sacrifice, in real denial for God's sake, in journey ings often, in tears and supplications, in suspense betwixt hope and fear, and then say what this hour of triumph must be! Who can tell how many have helped to build up this house? You, citizens of this place; and you, representatives of brethren and well-wishers far away; the rich of this world; the poor, whose offerings were more, in the Lord's sight, than those of the great men; old friends of your Bishop, who knew and loved him before he came to you, and new friends who have gathered about him here and now hold up his hands and cheer his heart; yes, and many who having given to this work in the days of their sojourn here, are now gone home to God. What memories come back! I stand and look upon the scene; the years recede; the day is before me, when he, who was then a faithful and beloved priest in my own parish, called- suddenly to be the head over this vast and formidable field, took up the cross, with fear and trembling, but with no unmanly hesitation; and, leaving us, came hither to the cares and responsibilities, the duties and the sorrows, of which the priest knows nothing, which fill the larger life of the Apostolate, which weigh heavy on the bishop's heart, and sometimes have broken it. What a history it has been since that day, of strong, brave, earnest work, blessed of the Lord year by year! till now I feel that the next thing for us all to do, after humbly thanking God for His goodness, is to rise up, and hold forth the hand to the Bishop, and wish him good luck in the name of the Lord, and tell him how earnestly we all rejoice with him to-day. The dedication of this Church is like a seal to a ministry which the Lord and Father of the Household has surely and evidently blessed.
But what shall be said to you to-day, dear brethren? Words must take their course from what we see and hear. A deep sense of God's nearness to us must be now profoundly impressing every earnest soul in this assemblage. And where should such impressions come to us more strongly than in the hour in which a Holy House is dedicated to the Most High? This Feast of Consecration first brings before us thoughts of the Church, and all that it is; of its use, its symbolisms, its special glory. You have joined hand in hand and heart to heart to build this great church; in doing this, you have done one of the best of all good deeds. Not every building that men call a church deserves the name; but a real church is a joy forever; it preaches such a sermon to the busy, careless world around as nothing else can preach. A real church, I say; not a mere lecture-room, not a mere auditorium, not a structure intended as a place wherein the orator may display his powers, while the curious and critical of our time, sitting at their ease, listen and comment; but a real church, like the old-time houses of the Lord, the grand parish churches, the grey cathedrals of Mother Land, what a sermon does one such building preach to this proud, materialistic, self-sufficient age! Solemn, stately, wonderful, without and within; full of unworldly meanings; talking to man, not of his own power, pride, and strength, but of God's glory, of that Supernatural Order which ever presses on us, and of the powers of the world to come; it has its mystic voices, its hundred signs and symbols of the stupendous facts of Revealed Religion, and of the deep responses to them from the soul of troubled and suffering man. You have done well in setting up, in this fair city, such a monitor of Time, Death and Eternity, such a witness to the truth that man is nothing without God. There are some whose idea appears to be that the place in which they worship should express nothing larger than the age, nothing mysterious, nothing supernatural; that it should be a mere translation into architectural terms, of the spirit of a humanitarian religion. Such men, whatever they may build, do not build churches in the real sense of the word, nor can what they build be to them what we all need. But here it is not so. Nothing is wanting here to make this place a sign to us, such as that bush in the desert was to Moses, what time the light and fire of the Divine Realm shone through stem, and branch, and leaf, and told that the Lord Himself was in that place. Let us think, ere we go on, of the symbolism of the House of the Lord, as it is expressed in those magnificent fanes which have been, are, and ever shall be the model and pattern to all who hold the Catholic Faith and seek to express it in visible symbol. Every thing in a real church has meaning; nave, transepts, chancel, tower, floor, roof, windows, all have a voice and a tongue, all speak hidden things in a mystery. If the chancel looks toward the East, it is because Christ is the Bright and Morning Star, and He shall come thence, as say the old traditions, in the latter day, to save us, and to judge the world by fire. The Western front looks toward the world, and on it are often set all manner of strange grotesque figures, which represent the powers of darkness, cast forth from the holy place, but beating their wings, uselessly, against its face. There also stands the Tower, symbol of the Apostolic Ministry, facing the foes of God and Man, and keeping watch and ward on the side of danger. The three-fold division of Nave, Choir, and Sanctuary, reminds us of the Three Persons in the Blessed Trinity; the same symbolism underlies the arrangement of the nave and its two parallel aisles. In the transepts, set cross-wise, we see the figure of the Cross of Christ, and are reminded of His Passion. The Chancel Arch is the symbol of the gate of death, that portal through which man enters into the rest of Paradise. The white-robed choir stand within, singing in tuneful voice, as they sing in the world behind the veil. There also at the end is the symbol of the Throne; the Altar Table, standing full in view, the most conspicuous object in every real church; before it we show forth the Lord's Death till He come, and there with angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we celebrate the reconciliation of the world to God through the One Mediator between God and Man, and there are we fed with that spiritual food whereof whosoever eateth shall never die. In Nave, and Choir, and Sanctuary, we see as in a type, the Church Militant, the Church Expectant, and the Holy of Holies where dwells the Almighty Father. Above all this the roof ascends, decked with stars, because man's journey through life is in the night of this world, a night already far spent; and often from hammer-beam and ceiling, figures of angels look down, reminding us of those celestial guards who do God service in heaven, and by His appointment succour and defend us on earth, and of whom we read that they desire to look into the mysteries of our redemption. If the Font stand at the door, it is because we enter the Church by Holy Baptism; if a Cross stand over the Altar, it is because we come to God only by Christ; if the two lights twinkle there, little glimmering stars, as they did in St. Jerome's time, and have done so many ages since, it is to remind us that the Lord is the Light of the World, and that in Him are the two perfect natures, the Human and the Divine. It is all but endless, the beautiful symbolism of the Christian Church. The very windows teach us; wider within than without, having an inners play, because divine truth widens and broadens on us as we leave the outside world and seek it in the House of the Lord; and they are filled with many-coloured glass, which appears from without blurred and unsightly, while seen from within it is splendid in hues of ruby, gold, and blue, and rich in texts and forms, showing us that to men inside the Church things are clear which 'to outsiders are mere confusion and obscurity. From end to end, a real church is one great sermon of Christ and God, and of the life and hope of man; not one article of faith but may be read there, not one thing necessary to salvation but is somehow represented there. It is a Via Vitae Aeternae, a Way of Eternal Life, along which believers walk delighted, hand in hand, drinking in the calm strong teaching and laying up in heart what the Spirit saith. What a blessed work to have built such a house, or to have helped to build it! What a good day when such a house is solemnly offered to the Most High! Happy are the people that have done this work, and happy is he who sees, in its consecration, the consummation of his desires, the satisfying of the travail of his soul!
But this is only the beginning. You have done more than to build a church, you have built and consecrated a Cathedral. In that word resides a power which this branch of Christ's heritage has yet to learn. Larger and broader ideas come in upon us like a flood. Such service as this of to-day marks a far point in advance; it denotes progress toward such practical realization of Episcopacy as we have never yet known, a return towards the methods and the principles of earlier and better days. It is not strange that the idea of the Cathedral is a novelty among us, that, until recently, a Cathedral Church should have been among us a thing unknown. Think of the history of our Church on this side the Atlantic in the old colonial days; it is most wonderful, most pathetic. Here stood our fathers, surrounded on every hand by proud and stalwart sects, each of which had every thing necessary to perfect its organization and promote its efficiency, and all hating our Church with such hatred as in this day of generosity and toleration we can hardly understand; while the poor priests and their people were left without that one thing which at once distinguished the Church of England from those who dissented from it, and formed the very centre of her power, the Apostolic Episcopate, the Regimen of the Successors of the Twelve. It is one of the most touching of all stories, how for nearly a hundred and fifty years they were left in that plight, how they called for help but in vain; and held out imploring hands, but to no purpose; and how men crossed the stormy sea, here one and there another, to seek the grace of Holy Orders at the peril of their lives, and were often lost at sea in such long and dangerous transits, and how no little child in all that time had the confirming hands laid on his head. We have been long in outgrowing the results of that harsh treatment; there was nothing larger than the parish, and no one greater than the priest; the kind of congregational-ism which so strongly marks us even now, in many places is the outcome of that old misery. Bishops came here at last, yet not in the plenitude of dignity, as Christ's Apostles, but rather like presbyters invested with some added power; many were rectors of parishes, and continued such after consecration; others had no church at all to call their own. Now it is the Cathedral idea that is destined, in God's Providence, to correct that mischief and set things back as they ought to be. Let the Bishop have his Church; let it be the centre and heart of the diocese, the place where in the Chapter House the Diocesan Convention shall assemble; the point from which the Diocesan Mission work shall flow forth; the heart of charities and of a sound educational system; the model of divine service and the standard of ritual practice. Such large ideas have doubtless been weighing on your own bishop's mind these many years, and in helping him to realize them you are doing more than many of you, perhaps, know or suspect towards advancing the cause of the gospel. A Cathedral is not merely a big and fine church, for show and ostentation; it is a reality, in which dwell vast possibilities; and though it were at first no bigger than a log-cabin, yet when we once get the thing, time will show what tremendous results will flow inevitably from its possession. And with full heart I say, God ever bless this Cathedral Church of Saint Luke in Portland, and make it, in time, all that such a Cathedral ought to be!
Thought follows thought, at such a time as this, and my discourse must be rather a rambling from topic to topic than a connected whole. But in thinking of the Church, and of the needs of the time, it seems as if it were in order to reflect a few moments on another purpose which is served by real churches, and by cathedrals, and by everything which tends to supplant the narrow and to bring in the wide. Now of all the evils of our day it seems to me that there is none which works wider mischief than the spirit of Independency and Individualism; the temper which makes people self-sufficient, and shuts them up in straitened bounds, and leads them to despise authority of every kind, excepting always the supreme authority of self. Look how this spirit works: see how sedulously the principles of Individualism are taught up and down, everywhere, and how miserable are the consequences that flow from the teaching. As for the young, it makes the heart sick to think how they are trained. Their education is an education in self-confidence and self-will; every one shall be his own master, his own final authority, a law to himself or herself; and so the land is filled with conceited young men and pert young women, each of whom must have views, and form opinions, and if possible strike out some original line; and as for religion, that is a mere matter of taste, what one shall have, or whether any at all. In our colleges it is the same way; a miserable beardless boy, forsooth, shall elect what to study, instead of being made to study what is best, and if he despise the old learning and the glories of the classics, be it so, he shall be free to take his way through dust and matter, and let philosophy and letters go. Individualism, in its last analysis, is the rejection of authority and the idolatry of self; in religion it is represented by the divisions, or let us rather say, the confusions, of Christendom. As for religion in the family, what has become of it? what household religion can be left, when one sees in a family as many different religions as there be members of the household, one going to this place of worship, another to that, and no two, perhaps, to the same. Now how shall we get at this evil? The cure must begin in the Church, and in the strongest and plainest teaching, especially on the subject of Catholic Unity, and the sin of schism, heresy, and separation. The true doctrine concerning the Church strikes a fatal blow at that deadly spirit. The common theory is this: that the Church has no organic life apart from the individuals who make Tier up. However they may have been brought together, whether by accident of birth or locality, or by choice and mutual consent, or in any like way, they are but a fortuitous concourse; there is no more real unity among them than one might find among marbles in a bag; each is but one marble, and each may roll off by itself, and will be as good and sufficient a marble alone, as when it was accidentally mixed up with the rest. Away with this idea, that the Church of Christ is but a loose aggregate of individuals, held together only so long as they are willing to be one in voluntary compact freely dissoluble at any moment without sin; and let us have the true teaching that the Catholic Church is the Body of Christ, out of which no man is safe; that she is a mystery past fathoming; that she makes us and not we her, that we must hold her doctrine and must obey her law. It is believed that there are large numbers of thoughtful persons, who, disgusted with that liberty which is used as a cloak of licentiousness, and uneasy at the drift towards general infidelity which they cannot help but feel, are ready to come to the Church if she will but talk to them as they ought to be talked to; if she will say, "I have the truth, that truth which makes men really free; it is not to be found among your extravagant pretenders and your impertinent doctrinaires, nor in any of the shifting and inconsistent phantasmagoria which they show you from hour to hour; it is in my old Creed; it is that Creed; hear and hold it fast, and you shall find peace to your souls." But where shall such strong voice be heard, except in churches which express the idea and reflect the glory of the Catholic System? In a thorough and conscientious Church training, in the due catechizing of the young, in diligent instruction of the people in the dogmatic articles of the Faith, lies our hope, under God, for the future; and we say to those who long for rest, " Come hither to us; here is no mere meeting-house, no lecture-room, no auditorium wherein you shall hear some cultivated and eloquent talker preaching himself and his own notions forever, but this is a holy place, the shrine of the supernatural, having in its walls salvation, and in its gates praise; itself a living sermon, and able to show you in one hour, if you will but see, more than all the news-mongers and views-mongers on all the platforms in the land could tell you in all your life. O restless, troubled soul, come hither; leave all the rubbish outside these walls, pass this door, come into the awful Presence, take thy place as a meek scholar in this school of Christ, and the Holy Ghost shall teach thee the wisdom which never passes away."
Thus the Church idea kills individualism in the man; and I think that in like manner the Cathedral idea will slowly exterminate individualism in the parish. Separate congregations are apt to grow very narrow; there are some that are all shut up in themselves, tight and close; the Rector thinks that all is well so long as his little flock is well, and the people forget that there are any Churchmen in the world but themselves. There are parishes that would not be greatly moved though all the rest of the Church collapsed at once, so long as they could keep their existence, their peculiarities, and their pew-rents; they are the people, and pure religion, as they think, would be safe with them, though the rest of the world should all rush away. This tendency to isolation, which is but the same sin in another shape, would be checked by the development of the Cathedral idea. And yet again, even as parochial individualism would find its Nemesis in the rise of the See Church, so would individualism in another form receive its equally needed check. Just as a man may make himself all in all to himself; and just as a parish may make itself all in all to itself; even so,, may a diocese make itself all in all, the beginning and the end, the first and last, the sum total of all light and truth. Here again is Individualism, and for that the remedy also must come; it is coming now, by the very instinct with which the life of the Catholic Church, where there is such life, seeks the means of its self-preservation; it is coming in that little-understood, that greatly-dreaded thing which men long for or shudder at, when the Province is named. The Province is coming, just as sure as the Diocese came; just as sure as the bishops came to this country after the Revolution; just as sure as the Cathedral is come. We may not live to see it; we may not hasten it; we cannot bring it about by canons or laws; a hundred years may pass ere the thing is fulfilled; God will bring it in His own time; and wherever the Holy Ghost is striving in the hearts of men to kill self-love and self-will, and to fill them with love of the brethren and longing for unity, there is He also preparing the way for this and other greatly desired things, silently changing hearts, and melting the hard ice of Individualism in the warmth and genial glow of universal Charity, the very bond of peace and of all virtues.
Right Reverend Fathers and Brethren, I know that I detain you too long. A few words in conclusion. Among the many things left unsaid, one must not be included. We meet to-day for the consecration of a church which bears the name of Saint Luke. He was the Beloved Physician; and his praise as such is in the Gospel. The fact seems an augury of good, a blessed omen of peace and good will toward men. At no time could this service have been more fitly performed than at the present, when the General Convention of our beloved Church is holding its triennial session, and holding it in such marvellous wise. For every one who belongs to that body has felt, and all who have watched its deliberations must have felt, as if some strange work had been wrought among us by the Holy Spirit of God. No one could have imagined, from any word that I, for one, have heard uttered, that there was such a thing as a party in the Church or ever had been; all the old dividing lines have vanished for the time, and men have no diverse names or badges; they are kept in the unity of the Spirit, and in the bond of peace. How sweetly this comes in upon the soul they know best who abhor contention, and yet have been compelled to witness its disastrous effects. Surely this is the work of God; we may rejoice and be glad in it; and reverently may we lift the eyes to the Great Physician of souls, after the name of whose servant this house is called. It is Jesus Christ who healeth our infirmities and sicknesses; it is to Him that the sufferer looks up in his distress; it is He that maketh men to be of one mind in an house, and so casteth out the counsel of the princes of this world who crucified the Lord of Glory, and delight in sowing discord among His children. But may all stand evermore as it stands to-day; may the fires that seem now extinct, never again break into flame; may the brethren who are one today, be one evermore; may the old party spirit sleep eternally in its deep grave; may the Gracious Bishop and Shepherd of our souls lead His flocks in safety beside the full, still waters of comfort. It is on a serene and beautiful day that this noble church is offered to the Lord. May the deep peace which reigns now, without and within, continue to possess our hearts! May we work out our great work in this sad world, having one mind and one heart; and long as life lasts for us, shall we remember with pleasure the day when we came to this place, and saw what has been done, and rejoiced with exceeding great joy, and felt holy influences descending on us, and when it seemed, as surely it must seem to many, as if the Lord Himself had given us a foretaste of that great and perpetual reign of peace and rest, when the end shall have come, and when the Church shall enter into her glory, and her children shall be one in her, and happy in the Vision of the Ineffable Trinity, that Vision which can never change or fade away.
S. LUKE'S Day, Oct. 18, 1877, was one of the loveliest days of the year; so warm and sunny that but for the many-coloured foliage of the woodbine and the elms around the "Cathedral close," one would hardly believe that summer could be really gone. Inside the church, the brightest of summer flowers mingled with the autumn leaves, and berries of white and red, and masses of evergreen ground, blending as it were all seasons into one. The entrance to the chancel was spanned by a floral arch, and the Font, eagle lectern, pulpit, organ, and every memorial tablet, and window, were similarly decorated. In the broad centre panel of the reredos was a great cross of scarlet salvias and geraniums, relieved on a ground of evergreen filling the whole arch; and not less beautiful, certainly, was the wreath of pure white flowers encircling the credence-niche. The altar, pulpit and litany-desk were hung with the magnificent pall and frontals of white corded silk richly embroidered in gold and colours, presented to the Cathedral in 1869 by Miss Folsom, and wrought by the Sisters of the House of Mercy of Clewer, England. The hangings of the super-altar and credence were of white broadcloth embroidered in yellow silk, the work and gift of a lady of Buffalo, N. Y.; and the many pieces of delicately-wrought Altar-linen were in part from members of the Parish, and in part the work of the Sisters of Clewer. On the north and south sides of the chancel, within the altar rail, were appropriate chairs for the nine Bishops taking part in the service, and in the choir were seats for all the officiating priests and choristers, among which latter many of the clergy present had been enrolled for the occasion. In the nave and aisles, several hundred temporary sittings had been added to the ordinary open seats, and nearly all were filled long before the hour of service by the parishioners and others specially invited, including the Mayor and other officers of the City, clergymen of other religious bodies, &c. At a quarter past ten the doors were opened to the public, and the Church was speedily filled from end to end.
The procession of choristers, deacons, priests and bishops, moved from the Bishop's house to the main entrance of the Church, at the South Porch, where the lines were opened, and the Bishop, preceded by his deacon bearing the Cathedral banner of S. Luke, and followed by the other Bishops and the officiating clergy, was received by the Wardens and Vestrymen, and began, as he crossed the threshold of the great doors, that sublime Psalm which none who have heard it at such a time can ever forget,--in whose very opening words is expressed the great truth of the whole Consecration service,--
"THE EARTH IS THE LORD'S,
AND ALL THAT THEREIN IS:
THE COMPASS OF THE WORLD,
AND THEY THAT DWELL THEREIN."
The Psalm was sung to the severely simple "Grand Chant" in C, by Pelham Humphreys, the clergy and choristers responding in unison, accompanied with the harmony of the distant organ, and the voices of the congregation swelling the song of praise as the procession moved slowly through the nave. As the Bishops reached the chancel-arch, the march was stayed, and before the entrance to the choir pealed forth the last and grandest verses of the anthem:
"Lift up your heads, O ye gates,
And be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors;
And the King of Glory shall come in.
"Who is the King of Glory?
Even the Lord of Hosts,
He is the King of Glory."
The Bishop's chair was placed next the Altar on the north side, and opposite him, on the south of the altar, was the venerable Lord Bishop of Fredericton. Next, in order of their consecration, were on the north, the Bishops of Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Colorado, and Wisconsin, and on the south the Bishops of Vermont, Massachusetts and Iowa. All but two of these had been at one time or another clergymen of this Diocese, and these two were old and intimate friends of its present Bishop. In the choir, enlarged for the occasion by one bay of the nave, were some sixty Priests and Deacons, mostly in surplices, and the Cathedral choristers, twenty in number. At the north and south ends of the altar rail were the acting Canons of the Cathedral, the Rev. Messrs. Hayes and Upjohn.
The Clergy and congregation being seated, the Instrument of Donation was brought forward and presented to the Bishop, by the Senior Warden of the Parish, Mr. George E. B. Jackson, and read from the altar steps by the Rev. Canon Hayes. It was handsomely engrossed on two large sheets of parchment, and bore the seal of the Cathedral and the signatures of all the Wardens and Vestrymen, thirteen in number. It recited in detail the events which led to the erection of the Church,--the election and consecration of the present Bishop, the conveyance of the former Parish Church to S. Stephen's Parish, the election of the Bishop as Rector of S. Luke's Church, and the building of a church intended from the first to have the threefold character of a Parish Church for the congregation here worshipping, a Cathedral Church, the permanent home, official residence, and place of ordinary ministration, of the Bishop of the Diocese, and a free and open church for all classes and conditions of men, in which no pews should ever be leased or sold. It pledged the parishioners to the maintenance of this threefold office of the church now to be consecrated, and to that end proposed to place it in the hands of a Cathedral Chapter when duly incorporated, reserving to the parishioners a full representation in such chapter, and the approval of appointments of clergy ministering in the Cathedral under the Bishop; and ended, as usual, with the express renunciation of all claim upon the church for any purpose or use inconsistent with the terms of this instrument, or the established laws and usages of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, and the request to the Bishop to consecrate it as a Cathedral Church.
The Instrument of Donation having been read, was laid by the Bishop on the Altar, as the symbolic offering of the church to God on the part of the people; and then followed the Bidding to Prayer, the supplication for God's acceptance of the offering thus made to Him, and the beautiful "Benedictions" on the holy offices of His House--on the Baptismal, Confirmation, and Marriage Vows, the Holy Communion, the Ministry of the Word, the. Daily Worship, to which it was henceforth devoted.
The sentence of consecration was then read by the Rev. Canon Upjohn, and laid upon the Altar, with the appropriate thanksgiving by the Bishop. It was in these words:--
IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY GHOST. AMEN.
WHEREAS it hath pleased Almighty God to put it into the hearts of His servants to build this House to His honour and worship; and whereas it hath been certified to us that the said House hath been erected for and devoted to the purposes and offices of a Cathedral Church for the Diocese of Maine, under the personal and immediate charge of the Bishop of the said Diocese, and to be also a free church forever; and moreover that the said House is now presented unto us as clear from all debt, lien or encumbrance, by force of which it might be alienated from the holy purposes to which it is thus devoted, or from the custody of the Church; and whereas we have been requested to receive and consecrate the same:
Now therefore, WE, Henry Adams Neely, Doctor in Divinity, Bishop of the Diocese of Maine, HAVE on this eighteenth day of October, being the Feast of Saint Luke the Evangelist, in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Seventy Seven, solemnly CONSECRATED and set apart this building to the honour and worship of Almighty God, as the Cathedral Church of the Diocese of Maine, under the name and title of the Cathedral Church of Saint Luke, Portland; taking the same under our immediate charge and jurisdiction, separating it henceforth forever from all unhallowed, worldly, and common uses, and dedicating it to the perpetual service of Almighty God, for reading His Holy Word, for celebrating His Holy Sacraments, for offering to His glorious Majesty the sacrifices of prayer and thanksgiving, for blessing the people in His Name, and for the performance of all other holy offices and Episcopal functions by us and our successors, in the Faith of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of our Lord Jesus Christ, and according to the Laws, Liturgy, Rites and Usages of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America.
Given under our hand and seal, at Portland, this eighteenth day of October, being the Feast of Saint Luke the Evangelist, in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Seventy Seven, and in the Eleventh year of our Consecration.
HENRY ADAMS NEELY, Bishop of Maine.
Morning Prayer was begun by the Rev. J. S. B. Hodges, D. D., Rector of S. Paul's Church, Baltimore, Md.; the Lessons read by the Rev. H. W. Beers, D. D., of San Francisco, Cal., and the Rev. Christopher S. Leffingwell, of Gardiner, Me., and the Nicene Creed and Collects by the Rev. Canon Medley, of Sussex, N. B. The service was choral, the Psalms and Canticles being sung to Anglican chants, except the Te Deum, which was that of George B. Allen in D. The many additional voices of the clergy in the choir gave to all this part of the service unusual power and grandeur. The appointed Introit, "I'll wash my hands in innocence," was sung to the time-honoured tune of " S. Ann's," and Bishop Neely began the Communion service, the Bishop of Massachusetts reading the Epistle, and the Bishop of Rhode Island the Gospel. The Bishop addressed a few earnest words of congratulation on the accomplishment this day of the work and hopes of so many years, and announced that the offerings would be given to-day not for the needs of the Cathedral parish, great as they still were, but for the General Missionary work of the Church. The Sermon which followed, and which is given above in full, was delivered with much earnestness, and its allusions to the work this day crowned with God's blessing, and those who had taken part in it, must have been deeply felt by many of those present. Before the sermon the Old Hundredth Psalm was sung by the whole congregation.
After the sermon, was sung the grand Chorus Anthem by Gilbert, "Thou, O God, art praised in Sion." The Offertory was read by the Bishop of Vermont, and followed, as usual here, by the Doxology, "Praise God from whom all blessings flow." The alms, for the General Missions of the Church, were about $225. The Prayer for the Church Militant was followed by the Exhortation, Confession, Absolution and Comfortable Words, by the Bishop of Wisconsin. With the Sursum Corda the venerable Bishop of Fredericton, the senior of all the Bishops present, began the Canon of the Communion Service, and continued through the Prayer, Consecration and Oblation. In the administration to the Laity, the Bishop of the Diocese was assisted by the Bishops of Colorado and Iowa, the Rev. Canon Ketchum of S. Andrew's, N. B., and the Rev. Mr. Alger of Saco. About two hundred and fifty lay-communicants received. The Post Communion was said by the Bishop of New Hampshire, the Gloria in Excelsis being heartily sung to the old Scotch chant familiar for about a century to American Churchmen. The Blessing of Peace was given by the Bishop of Fredericton, and the deep stillness after the completed service was broken only by the sweet strains of Fussell's chant for the Nunc Dimittis, as the long procession moved down the Nave and through the Porch and Close to the Bishop's House.
To this outline of the Consecration much might be added of the solemnity, reverence and reality of devotion which impressed all who joined in the service, an impression undisturbed, apparently, by any mistake in its arrangements or accessories. But all arrangements and details of Divine worship, important as they may be in their place, are as nothing at such a time to the one great thought and purpose which fill every heart, and give all their meaning and solemn grandeur to the Day, and House, and Ritual. If all who took part in that glorious service, bishops, clergy, organist, choristers and people, did their special duty rightly and honourably, it was, we would believe, first of all because they did it "as unto the Lord, and not unto men."
Among the Clergy present were the Rev. Messrs. Alger, Upjohn, Leffingwell, Hayes, Washburn, Marsden, Sill, Pyne, Sawyer, Gregson, Wyllie, Packard, Walker, Nichols, Ketchum, Locke and Small, of Maine; Dr. Hubbard of New Hampshire; Dr. Hull, and Messrs. Roberts and Chapin of Vermont; Dr. Douglass, and Messrs. Cooley, Ward, Waterbury and Storrs, of Massachusetts; Mr. Pyne of Rhode Island; Mr. Gardner of Connecticut; Dr. Dix, and Messrs. Hitchings and Walker of New York; Mr. Battershall of Albany; Dr. Stubbs of New Jersey; Drs. Rumney and Batterson of Pennsylvania; Drs. Hale and Hodges of Maryland; Mr. M'Collough of South Carolina,; Mr. Carey of Mississippi; Dr. Ingraham of Missouri; Dr. Bolles of Ohio; Drs. Cole and Boyd of Wisconsin; Dr. Knickerbacker of Minnesota; Dean Milspaugh of Nebraska; Dr. Beers and Mr. Chapin of California; Canons Ketchum and Medley of Fredericton; Dean Robinson of Montreal; Mr. Brock of Quebec; Mr. Pember of Oxford, Eng.; Mr. Kenney of Havana, Cuba; and a number of others whose names we do not now recall. At least twenty-five Dioceses were represented. A number of laymen from other Dioceses, with their families, were also present to congratulate the Bishop on the completion of the work to which they had given sympathy and liberal aid, some from its very beginning. All the parishes in the Diocese, except the most distant, were represented by large deputations, numbering in all at least one hundred and fifty. The hospitality of the Cathedral congregation, often tested before, was more than equal to this occasion, and the only regrets expressed were that more had not come to accept it.
Collations were given to the clergy and other guests, on the conclusion of the long service, by a number of the parishioners. At the Bishop's house about fifty were gathered, including all the Bishops and several of the clergy of other Dioceses, the Standing Committee of the Diocese, and the Wardens and Vestrymen of the Cathedral. Some brief speeches, if they could be called by so formal a name, were made after the luncheon, by the Bishops of Fredericton, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, the two latter recalling pleasantly the incidents of their own ministry of many years ago in Portland, Bishop Clark in the old S. Paul's, to reach the summit of whose pulpit in those days, was, he said, a weary journey, and Bishop Paddock in S. Luke's at the beginning of its history, while yet worshipping in the little upper room still in existence, we believe, on Congress and Free Streets. Bishop Paddock spoke with great feeling, in response to some remarks from Bishop Neely, of the saintly character of the first Bishop of Maine, admiration for which had first drawn him, he said, towards this Diocese for the beginning of his pastoral work. He was followed by the Bishop of Iowa, a former Rector of S. Stephen's Church; the Bishop of New Hampshire, a former Rector of S. Philip's, Wiscasset; the Rev. Dr. Dix of New York; Messrs. E. R. Mudge, and Causten Browne of Boston; Mr. Ingalls of Wiscasset, in behalf of the Standing Committee of the Diocese; Judge Shepley, in behalf of the Wardens and Vestrymen of the Cathedral, and others, till the hour--a very brief one it seemed--had gone by, and most of our guests were obliged to return to Boston by the special train provided for them. A few, however, and from the Diocese many more, remained to greet the Bishop and a very large proportion of the parishioners at a delightful reception in the evening, at the Falmouth Hotel. It was a sight worth seeing, the happy faces, the congratulations, and handshakings of that evening, heartily shared by those present from the other parishes of the city and of the Diocese.
WE add a very brief description of the Cathedral, so far as the work on it has now progressed, to complete this memorial of the Consecration.
The church occupies the whole breadth, in the rear, of a lot 140 feet on State St., by 150 feet deep; and as it now stands, comprises a Nave, Aisles, Chancel, Chapel, South and S. E. Porches, Clergy and Choristers' Rooms, covering a space of 140 by 65 feet. The material is a dark blue limestone laid horizontally, but not in courses, and not faced except on the State Street front, and the door and window-caps and sills, set-offs of buttresses, copings, and all other exterior finishing, are of a Nova Scotia free stone alternated in red and gray. The Nave and Chancel form a continuous roof 60 feet in height, the chancel-arch marked by the slender fleche or spire rising on eight pointed and gabled arches to a height of 100 feet. The west gable is crowned by a substantial stone cross rising ten feet above the roof, and the chancel-roof is further marked by an elaborate cresting of wrought iron. The Nave, 30 feet by 100, rises above the aisles in a lofty clerestory lighted by twelve triplet windows, and supported by broad arches resting on short circular columns, monoliths of Nova Scotia stone, whose capitals are left yet in block for future carving. The aisles are quite low, 13 1/2 feet by 100, and lighted by short Early English windows in couplets. The general style of the building is Early English, with a free use, however, both of earlier and later details, the capitals for instance being mostly of a late Norman or transition character, and the clerestory and great altar window more nearly of the I4th century. One of the finest features of the interior is the great window at the west end of the Nave, of five separate lancets, from eighteen to thirty-one feet in length by two and a half in width. This, like nearly all the .windows, is filled at present with plain cathedral glass with coloured borders, and it is difficult to realize what it will be when its immense surface is made one grand picture of many hues. The nave and aisles are seated with substantial but movable benches of ash, of a simple and graceful design adapted from those in the choir of Ely Cathedral. The same wood (black ash, much resembling dark oak) is used throughout the interior,--for the arches, cross-braces, collar-beams, rafters, purlines and ceiling of the beautiful open roof, for windowsills, doors, wainscot and furniture. From the aisles to the South and South East porches and chapel, open broad, double, segmental-arched and deeply-panelled doors.
The Chancel is separated from the nave by a lofty arch of twenty-four feet span, the responds quite plain, with capitals and bases somewhat like those of the nave-piers (one capital already carved in Early English foliage), and by a low parapet wall of stone with a trefoiled coping, thrown out at the north end in a deep semicircular projection to form the yet unfinished, and, it must be said, nondescript pulpit (as it now stands), which we hope is destined sometime to represent the Ambo or Gospel-desk of the Primitive Church. Its four circular panels are intended for bas-reliefs in Caen stone. The Chancel, 26 feet square, is divided about equally into choir and sanctuary, the former occupied by temporary seats for the Bishop, clergy and choristers. The choir-pavement, three steps above the nave, is of encaustic tiles, alternately plain and figured, in the centre the Evangelistic symbol of S. Luke. A broad curved stone step and simple open rail of ash, lead to the Sanctuary, and three more steps to the stone footpace of the altar. The pavement of the Sanctuary is of rich porcelain tiling, alternated on the lower step only with plain tiles. All this costly work is a gift by Miss Helen A. Folsom, in memory of the late Hon. George Folsom, of New York, and its purpose is inscribed on a plate of polished brass, set in the pavement of the choir. The Altar with its retable and reredos, all worthy of the noble church, represent three years' offerings ($1500) of the children of the parish, being their part in the building of the Cathedral. The Altar itself is a massive table of white Italian marble, eight feet by three, marked by five inlaid crosses of red marble, and supported on a plinth of Caen stone with, five deep trefoiled panels, and engaged corner-shafts with delicately wrought capitals of the Passion flower. The cornice, continuous around the front and ends, is of wheat and grapes alternated with foliage, all sharply undercut, and very graceful, even where conventional in form. The reredos, ten feet in width by seventeen in height above the altar-level, is of Nova Scotia stone up to and including the retable, which is of the same length as the altar, and quite plain and massive. Above the retable the reredos is of Caen stone, in three unequal trefoiled pointed arches, the centre arch twice the size of the others, and the three resting on short massive columns of red jasper, with capitals richly carved in leaves and flowers, no two alike. The horizontal coping above the arches is broken by the lofty centre gable, crocketted, and terminating in a floriated Greek cross. The large centre panel is intended to be decorated in colour. On the retable is an altar-cross of brass, enamelled with the Lamb and the Evangelistic symbols in quatrefoils, jewelled with crystals and garnets, and standing on a twisted stem and circular base, with the legend, "CHRISTI CRUX MEA LUX." It is a memorial gift. The fine altar-vases and altar desk, also of brass engraved and enamelled, the embroidered frontals and palls, of which there are six sets in various colours, the richly wrought altar-linen, the carved capitals and corbels in the chancel, the credence, font, lectern, pulpit, parapet, organ-screen, alms-chest, stained glass so far as yet inserted, and in fact, all decorative work and furniture thus far are the gifts of individuals. Of these we must notice specially the beautiful credence niche of gray stone, deeply recessed in the east wall of the chancel, with its table of dove-coloured marble, and underneath it an aumbry with panelled doors and drawers of red cedar for the altar-linen,--the gift of a Sunday School class in memory of one of their number, a dear child now in Paradise:--the bronze eagle lectern with its clustered and banded pillars, the legacy of a parishioner in memory of the first Bishop of Maine:--the great rose-window above the altar, sixteen feet in diameter, containing the figure of our Lord in His Ascension, and around this centre light, twelve quatrefoils bearing the symbols of the Apostles, all the tracery in freestone, the gift of S. Chrysostom's Chapel, New York:--the one memorial window in the north aisle, an exquisite representation in the deep rich colours of English glass, of "Daniel," one of a series to be continued through the aisles, of the Patriarchs and Prophets of the Old Testament. (The subjects intended for the clerestory windows are " the Apostles," and for the great five-light window, of the nave, "the Creation.") Before the entrance of the chancel is a low Litany-desk of ash with panelled sides. The trumpet shaped organ pipes, bright with colour and gilding, project into the chancel, and are set in an open frame of ash resting on a cornice of twelve panels alternately plain and richly-veined, and this again on five pointed arches with pillars and carved capitals. The organ loft is on the South of the Chancel, over the choristers' room and porch; the choristers themselves having of course their proper seats in the chancel. Between the choristers' door and chancel arch is the Font, of Ohio freestone, on five pillars with carved capitals and shafts of coloured marble, green and red, and base of Nova Scotia stone. This too is the gift of two sisters in memory of a third. Another exquisite memorial is the mural tablet under the west window, of Caen stone, jasper, and enameled brass, admirable in design and work.
Here we must end for the present time; for all the remaining parts of the church, the porches, clergy and choristers' rooms, and small chapel in the north chancel aisle, are more or less unfinished. The design of the architect for the work of some generation yet to come, is a central tower and spire occupying the place of the present chancel, and flanked by north and south transepts, and a substantial and spacious stone porch in the third bay of the south aisle, in place of the present temporary porch of wood. We ought to mention the "Library," a very small but well-filled and well-arranged room over the clergy room, occupied chiefly by the records and documents in the keeping of the Registrar of the Diocese, but containing also the beginning of a Cathedral Library, about six hundred volumes, some quite rare and valuable. In the "Chapel" is a small but very good Parish Library, and a depository from which Bibles, Prayer Books, Tracts, etc., are distributed through the Diocese.
The lot on which the Cathedral stands was purchased in March, 1867, two months after the consecration of the . present Bishop, and plans for the building were obtained almost at the same time from Mr. Charles C. Haight of New York, from which the whole church thus far has been erected. Ground was broken in June, and the corner-stone laid on the 15th of August, in presence of a number of the clergy, one only of whom (besides the Bishop and his Chaplain), the Rev. Dr. Bolles of Cleveland, O., was also present at the Consecration, ten years later. The work done during the remainder of the year 1867 was under the efficient superintendence of Col. T. L. Casey, U. S. A.; and after a suspension of six months, it was resumed under the no less valuable direction of Gen. George Thorn, U. S. A., and so far completed as to make a beginning of services on Christmas Day, 1878. The church has cost thus far about $125,000, including the site.