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The Gospel:



















ST. PAUL means to say, in these words, nothing more than this;--that, almighty God having called him, in his providence, to the work of the sacred ministry, he could never feel himself at liberty to forego that work,--and that, should he ever cease to deliver his message, he could look for nothing but condemnation and misery. Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!--The question, then, here occurs,--What is this Gospel, which the Lord had commanded him to proclaim, and the exhibition of which to a fallen world he felt to be the supreme duty of his life? What is this Gospel, which we who, in the present day, occupy the station of Bishops in the Church of Christ, are required to set forth? This is an inquiry which can only be answered out of Holy Scripture; that exclusive authority, in regard to which the question will be asked this day, of him who is to be set apart to the responsibilities of the Episcopal office, Are you determined, out of the same holy Scriptures, to instruct the people committed to your [5/6] charge? "It will not, I trust, be deemed otherwise than eminently appropriate to the present occasion, to spend a short time in the consideration of this subject. What, then, let us inquire, is the character of that Gospel, with which, as God's ministering servants, we are entrusted, and which therefore we are bound to deliver?"

The nature of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as described to us in God's word, may be seen, in the FIRST place, in the fact, that it is spoken of in the Bible as a message of GOOD NEWS.

The very word which we translate "gospel," signifies literally, glad tidings announced to the world--a proclamation of comfort--an utterance of something which gives relief, and which holds out encouragement. Agreeably to this meaning of the term itself, we find one of the prophets exclaiming, "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings!" So, likewise, the angel of the Lord announces to the shepherds of Bethlehem,--"Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people."--Now, such being the fact, how surpassingly beautiful is the aspect, in which a Bishop who is faithful to his trust will stand before the world! St. Paul speaks of himself as consecrated to the work of delivering a certain message: and this message, as we have just seen, is the enrapturing news of "liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound." Fulfilling this blessed mission, the successor of the primitive apostles travels forth from place to place of his appointed jurisdiction. And, as he goes, how will he be regarded? He will be known [6/7] and seen of mankind as a messenger of peace, and life, and joy. He will be recognized as one who is consecrating his days, not to the attainment of his own dominion over men, but to the proclamation, unto those same men, of what almighty love has laid up for them, in the unsearchable riches of salvation. He will be perceived as one who "goes about," as the Master before him went about, for the purpose of leading them to their highest good; for the purpose of calling them back to a Father's embraces, and unfolding to them the prospect of an inheritance that "neither moth nor rust can corrupt, nor thieves break through and steal;" for the purpose of "binding up the broken-hearted"--of "comforting all that mourn"--and of communicating, with the sympathy of an affectionate heart, a plan which, for all the tribes of Adam, has "abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel." My brethren, what an attractiveness must ever accompany the position of one of Christ's chief ambassadors, who in this way acts out his commission; and who seeks to "magnify his office," not by proclaiming himself, but by sounding to the lost and the desperate the tidings of eternal deliverance! Happy he who aims at such a distinction!--the glory of one, whose vocation is to publish, until death shall seal his lips, this sentence: --"The gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord."

And this brings me to observe, in the SECOND place, that, according to the testimony of the word of God, the gospel of the Redeemer proposes acceptance with God, and justification in his sight, only through the channel OF FAITH IN THE ONE MEDIATOR, JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.

[8] Upon this point, so explicit is the language of those lively oracles, from which every Bishop promises to draw the instructions he delivers, that it would seem superfluous to cite that language. But, alas! , the confusion of ideas that has ever prevailed, and is now seen more or less, in regard to this fundamental doctrine of the precious Gospel of Christ, renders it always expedient, and always seasonable, to bring out to view the plain testimony of the Bible. Let us hear, then, three sentences only of that Book, which are a type of all the volume. "By grace are ye saved, through faith." "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life." "Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." Now, when the Scriptures thus proclaim one method of admission to the blessings of the New Covenant, they evidently teach by implication that all other methods are excluded. Proposing justification through faith in the merits of our Redeemer, they convey thereby the intimation, that this justification cannot come, in any sense, shape, or degree, through works which we ourselves have done. They as much as say, that, man being entirely without strength to please God by his own righteousness, he must seek the favor of that God by laying hold upon the righteousness of another. The grand theme of our ministry, therefore,--the prominent topic which we must set forth,--the great feature characterizing all our instructions,--must be this doctrine of justification by faith only, as distinguished from any attempts, on the part of man, to justify himself by a decent life--to justify himself by almsgiving, and by acts of charity--or, finally, to justify himself [8/9] by the reception of Sacraments through the hands of a regularly constituted ministry,--thus placing between himself and the one Mediator another mediator, and hiding the only Name whereby we can be saved effectually from the view. Oh, then, for a clear apprehension, and a lucid exhibition, by us who are Chief Watchmen on the towers of Zion, of this cardinal and vital truth! Luther, of glorious memory, was the first to bring it forth, three centuries ago, from the long oblivion to which it had been consigned; and to present it, in its naked and scriptural simplicity, full before the world. And the great Reformers of the Church of England, imbued with the like spirit of enlightened and reverential submission to the written word, incorporated this same blessed doctrine among the articles of belief; and caused it to shine, like a visible light, through all the various portions of that Liturgy, which they have transmitted as a sacred legacy to us their descendants. But, if this be so, woe unto those who are ordained to instruct the people, if their teachings from the pulpit throw any obscuring clouds around a verity, which the Bible and the Prayer Book have made so distinctly luminous. And woe, especially, unto us, to whom it appertains to admit men to the sacred office, if this plan of justification be dimly perceived, or held without tenacity, or adulterated, by ourselves. The gospel message, committed to us, all unworthy though we be,--but by the faithful delivery of which we shall be honored and exalted,--is this: The righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all, and upon all them that believe."

[10] I proceed to observe, LAST OF ALL, that the gospel which we find revealed in Scripture is one that enjoins THE FRUITS OF FAITH, IN A LIVING CONSECRATION OF THE LIFE TO THE GLORY OF CHRIST.

It must be remembered,--for the distinction is an important one, that, while all our salvation is of Christ, through faith in his name, and without any merit of our own to deserve so immeasurable a blessing, yet, at the same time, if we truly and gratefully believe in this Redeemer, this belief will effect a total change in the objects of our affection and service. St. Paul says, therefore, to the Romans, in regard to these fruits of holy living which are the evidences of faith, "I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." And who can have forgotten the energy, with which this transformed life is inculcated by the same apostle, in that glowing record of his own example,--"God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world! "Agreeably to this view of the gospel of our Lord and Saviour, they, whose office it is to preach the word, are permitted to hold no compromise with the spirit of the carnal mind." They are to lead men upward continually to higher and still higher developments of the Christian character. They are to exhort them to detach themselves from the conversation and course of this world. They are to urge them to soar above the "love of money." They are to persuade them to give their means, their talents, and their time, to the work of [10/11] blessing the nations with the peace and prospects of the sons of God. Their business, in one word, is, to set forth in their fulness the obligations of Christianity; and to announce, to those for whom they must give account, the necessity of passing beyond the formalism of a mere lip-service, to the maintenance of that vital, practical religion, which alone can stand the searching process of the final day. But, my brethren, if such be the duty of all the ambassadors of Christ, needs it to be said how weighty are the arguments for the exercise of this fidelity, by those who fill the office of Bishops in the Church of God? For who shall measure the sorrows of that disheartened pastor, who, after having toiled through weary months in endeavors to elevate, among his flock, the standard of practical godliness, finds, to his dismay, this same flock sheltering themselves, amidst their worldliness, under the teaching of their chief shepherd; appealing with. triumph to the lax tone of Episcopal counsel, whether in the preaching of the pulpit, or in the words of address to the candidates standing before him to renew their baptismal vows; and thus hardened, under influences from the highest quarter, against the pungency of scriptural requirement? Blessed is that overseer, in whom this melancholy picture is reversed; and who, lifting up his voice, as he travels round his diocesan field, against the worldliness of this age, confirms the testimony of his clergy who have been steadfastly crying aloud, If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

My brethren of the Bishops and other Clergy, and [11/12] also of the Laity, assembled within these walls today,--you perceive that, on this occasion of setting apart a well-beloved brother to the office of a chief overseer in the Church of God, I have dwelt exclusively upon that department of his functions, which will consist of the preaching of the everlasting gospel. Let it not be imagined that I forget, or would have him to forget, the importance of that administrative and executive wisdom, which is so needful to the right discharge of the work we are called to fulfil. But let it not also be forgotten, that, however eminent be the degree in which this faculty is possessed, yet, where it is not found in union with the clear and faithful exhibition of the plan of salvation from his lips, the chief minister will fall short of the most glorious portion, and of the highest usefulness of his office. And how, moreover, can we help remembering, what it is in the labors of a Bishop that is most prominently set forth by the Chief Shepherd and Bishop of our souls? "Go ye," said the Master, "into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Or can we fail to bear in mind likewise, what is that, in the ministration he fulfilled, on which the great apostle of the Gentiles most frequently dwells,--and which he makes the first and foremost of his duties,--and to which he is ever again and again recurring, as the most exalted privilege, and the crowning happiness of his life? Hear him as he addresses the elders of Ephesus:--"None of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the grace of [12/13] God." Hear his description of his vocation, to them that were in Rome:--"Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, separated unto the gospel of God, concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord." Hear his language to the Corinthians:--"We preach Christ crucified." Hear what he says to the Ephesians:--"Unto me is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ." What does all this mean, if not that, whatever other and exclusive responsibilities rest upon a bishop's head, he must regard, as among the most solemn and awful of his trusts, that of preaching the message of salvation; and must give heed that he so deliver this counsel of God, that he may be able to stand clear of human blood in the decisive and inevitable day of final reckoning? That particular part of the episcopal office, then, to which your attention has been called today, is that which is made most prominent in the word of God; and I need no other authority, if authority be asked, for insisting upon it now. But, my brethren, that the man who, in divine providence, is invested with this responsible station in the Church of the Redeemer, should, above all things, labor and pray that he may be found faithful as a preacher of the word, will also be apparent, if we consider the influence of such fidelity upon the ministering servants of God. That this high office does carry a potent influence with it, who can deny? How fatal, alas!, is its power of leading into error, we have seen with sorrow in every period of the Church's history; and the same is true of its efficiency as an example of sound doctrine, "that cannot be condemned." What is said so [13/14] often, and with so much truth, of the results of a scriptural pastor's teaching upon the congregation committed to his charge, may be affirmed with equal accuracy of a faithful bishop's public instructions, as giving a tone to the ministrations of the younger heralds of the cross. In this aspect, therefore, how momentous that department of our labors, which is occupied in proclaiming the gospel through all the cities, towns, hamlets, and waste places, which God has given us as the scene of our stewardship! Going forth to hiss work of love, the chief minister of Christ, if determining to know nothing in his preaching save the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,--if, in the strictest sense, doing the work of an evangelist,"--if neither lulling the flock to sleep with the delusions of a ceremonial religion, nor hesitating to warn them of the only real evidence of faith, the abandonment of a frivolous, covetous, and worldly life,--if proclaiming that simple and saving truth which he has received from Scripture, and declaring, without confusion, and without mystifying glosses, the full testimony of God,"--will be a blessing to those on whom his ordaining hands have been laid, such as cannot be adequately measured. The inexperienced steward of the mysteries of God will gather boldness of heart, and clearness of views, and simplicity of doctrine, from him who, in providence, ' has the charge and government over him. And thus, by a striking arrangement of infinite Wisdom, the opportunities of good enjoyed by a chief shepherd of the flock, not confined to his own individual ministrations, are reproduced in the, teachings of those whom his [14/15] example has blest; and who, working in harmonious and fruitful action with himself, set forth Christ,--unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God."

But further:--you will likewise have observed, my dear brethren, that, in what I have said upon the preaching of the precious Gospel, as the grand function of a Christian Bishop, no reference has been made to his exhibition of the claims of our Church, as the possessor of a scriptural and apostolic constitution of the sacred ministry. Of the value of this primitive order,--and of the distinguished privileges which we enjoy in the appointed ritual, and the prescribed Offices of our Prayer Book,--I trust that I am not unmindful. Neither shall I call in question the obligation, resting upon all orders of the ambassadors of Christ, to inculcate, at the proper times, and in the proper places, these portions of Christian knowledge. But can it be admitted, for one moment, that the chief and paramount topic of the preached word is any other than that scheme of recovery, devised for a ruined world though the blood-shedding of "the Lord of glory?" The minds of many of the wise and good among us have been awakened, of late years, to the necessity of bringing the Church of our affections into a condition of greater efficiency throughout this land; and divers suggestions have been offered as to the means whereby this result is to be accomplished. Without expressing any opinion in reference to the feasibility of these plans, it will be sufficient at this time to say, that no remedy will ever succeed in the absence of the grand remedy,--and that is, the more general [15/16] prevalence of that preaching which invites mankind to the Physician who is in Gilead; and which, bringing them into direct and immediate communion with the Saviour, is thus "a savor of life unto life" to the perishing millions of our globe. This is what is needed; and this it is that God will bless and honor. But if, on the other hand, in place of this "testifying," as St. Paul testified through the Churches, "repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ," there be a continual exhibition, in the ministrations of the pulpit, of the external polity of the household of faith, no signs of the Master's approbation will accompany the message. And, if this be true, still less, then, shall we be likely to advance the influence of our Church, and to secure the presence and blessing of its Head, by the reiteration of those extravagant and exclusive claims in reference to our commission, which, neither in the pages of our Book of Common Prayer, nor in the history of the English Reformation, find the shadow of a sanction. My brethren, we live in a country, of which the present spiritual condition is one that may well fill all hearts with sadness. How widely, though all our borders, is the empire of Satan extended! The love of pleasure--the absorbing appetite for gain--the casting away of the fear of God, and of humble reverence for his word--these are the appalling signs that meet us on every side. Now, against this power of evil, which, like the wind, is "carrying men away," what shall we oppose? What but that "preaching of the cross," which "is the power of God?" And, in connexion with this, how devoutly were it to be wished that the ambassadors of [16/17] Christ,--and more especially those of us who exercise the conspicuous office of Bishops in the Church of God,--bearing in mind that the enemies of the Lord are so multitudinous, and his friends so few, should cultivate a heart of union with all who, by whatever organization distinguished, are laboring to proclaim the riches of redeeming grace; should avoid even the appearance of casting contempt upon ministrations which hold up the bleeding Lamb, and of limiting the covenanted mercies of God in Christ to our own household of faith; and, while cleaving with affection to the system of our choice, and ardently praying and laboring for its extension, should, at the same time, delight to say of all, and unto all, to whom Christ is dear, "Behold, my brother, and my sister, and mother!"

And now, my brethren, anticipating, from the experience of this our brother's past fidelity to the gospel within these walls, and in the previous scene of his labors, the same faithfulness for the future, may we not rejoice in the occasion which has this day assembled us together? For who can carry his thoughts to that vast western region of our country, within one corner of which his work of love is to be carried on, without desiring, that, while it is attracting to its boundless territories, year by year, successive myriads of new inhabitants, these immortal beings may be followed, in as rapid succession, by pastors who shall dispense to them "the true bread, which cometh down from heaven?" And, when such a shepherd is about to go forth in his Master's name, we are justified in giving free course to our joy, and in acknowledging with grateful hearts the goodness of the Lord. In a feeling of [17/18] gladness such as this, there is nothing at variance, surely, with that sympathy to which we are likewise called, in view of the trials which are before him amidst the scenes of his future service. Many will be the hours of sadness, in which he will need all the support that our prayers and our affection can afford him, while traversing a field where so little has been done, and where so much remains to be accomplished;--where only a few scattered parochial stations, with vast and cheerless intervals between, dot the undulating surface of the territory which will form his jurisdiction;--and where the spiritual waste around him will be so painfully in contrast with the blessed recollections of bygone years. And yet, appreciating as we must the burden with which his heart will labor, we are still called, as we follow him in his toils and sacrifices, above all other feelings to rejoice. For we shall have the satisfaction of the thought, that, over the expanse of those plains, filling up with fresh thousands of our fellow-men from these States, and from beyond the sea, our brother in Christ will utter that "faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." Nay more; is there not something in the very fact of this prospective character of the field on which he is to enter, which is fitted to mingle exhilaration with sadness, and to cause us to congratulate him on the commission with which he is to be clothed on this eventful day? He goes forth, not to "build upon another man's foundation." The region to which he is destined, with some few exceptions, stretches itself out untilled wherever his eye can turn. How delightful the joy of seeing this [18/19] desert revive beneath his husbandry, and that of his fellow-laborers in the gospel; of beholding, with the Lord's blessing, one after another of the "rough places made plain, and the crooked straight;" and the wilderness growing under his hand into a garden which the Lord hath planted! Blessed and enviable service! May he find it to be its own reward! And, as he lifts up Christ as an ensign to the people, and comes to them "in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel" of peace, may the prophet's language be the faithful picture of his own experience; "The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice, even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God."

My dear and reverend brother:--If, on this interesting and memorable day of your life, I venture to offer a few words of parting counsel, it is not without the deep conviction of my own need of stirring and wholesome admonition. Let me be understood, then, as addressing myself, while I take this solemn occasion for reminding you, that, if you would dispense with fulness, and fidelity, and love, the glorious Gospel to others, you must seek from on high for a personal experience of its power in your own heart. Strange that we should ever forget, that, this ministration being committed to us feeble, human instruments, we stand in need, daily and hourly, of a living unction from above! And yet, amidst the active labors of our office, we do continually fail, it is to be feared, in [19/20] cultivating nearness to God in secret. Oh, then, for the warming Spirit of grace, invoked by prayer, and by the diligent study of the Word, to breathe upon our work as Bishops and Pastors of the flock! Unless this Spirit shall shew unto ourselves the wonders of redeeming mercy, how shall we set forth to other men the breadth, and length, and depth, and height," of that "love of Christ which passeth knowledge?" Unless the Holy Ghost shall illumine our understandings, how shall we present with clearness that scheme of redemption which we have not personally apprehended? Unless through grace we are crucified to the world, how shall we warn others against the delusions of that world? And, unless, by the aid of the same gracious Comforter, we have a continual and refreshing view of the blessedness of our work, how, in. such an age of unbelief, and indifference, and rebuke, and blasphemy, as this in which our own lot has been cast, shall we be kept from fainting under the discouragements of the way? My reverend brother, it seems as if, in the present spiritual deadness of the world, there were little left to us but the simple discharge of our duty as witnesses for Christ. But thrice blessed is he, to whom this trust has been committed. For this Gospel which you are henceforth, as a chief overseer in the household of God, to utter abroad, is the only power that shall prevail. And prevail, in some measures and degrees, it always will. A seed will ever be kept alive, through the delivery of this message of redemption: and "he that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves [20/21] with him." Go forth, then, in the strength of the most High! Lean upon His omnipotent arm! Seek for all your fitness where alone it can be found! Ask from above for wisdom; for courage; for holy love; and for the grace, under all circumstances, and unto the end of your stewardship, by manifestation of the truth to commend yourself to every man's conscience in the sight of God."



The Consecration of the Rev. Henry Washington Lee, D. D., as Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Iowa, took place in St. Luke's Church, in the city of Rochester, in the State of New York, and in the Diocese of Western New York, on Wednesday, the Eighteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord One thousand Eight hundred and Fifty-four.

Morning Prayer was read, as far as the Creed, by the Rev. John Ufford, of the Diocese of Iowa. The Rev. Robert B. Van Kleeck, D. D., of the Diocese of New York, read the Creed and Collects.

The Ante-Communion service was read by the Right Rev. William Heathcote De Lancey, D. D., LL. D., D. C. L., Bishop of the Diocese of Western New York; the Right Rev. George Burgess, D. D., Bishop of the Diocese of Maine, reading the Epistle; and the Right Rev. Henry John Whitehouse, D. D., Bishop of the Diocese of Illinois, reading the Gospel.

The Sermon was preached by the Right Rev. Manton Eastburn, D. D., Bishop of the Diocese of Massachusetts, from I. Corinthians, IX. 16. "Woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel."

The Bishop-elect, vested with his Rochet, was then presented to the Presiding Consecrator (Hopkins) by Bishops Burgess and Whitehouse. The Testimonials having been called for, those from the Diocese of Iowa were read by the Rev. John Ufford; those from the various Standing Committees by the Rev. William B. Ashley, of the Diocese of Western New York; and the consent of the Bishops, certified by the Presiding Bishop (Brownell), was read by the Rev. Horatio Potter, D. D., Provisional Bishop-elect of New York.

[23] The prescribed promise of conformity and obedience having been made by the Bishop-elect, as well as the exhortation to the congregation by the Presiding Consecrator, the Litany was read by the Right Rev. Samuel Allen McCoskry, D. D., D. C. L., Bishop of the Diocese of Michigan. The Presiding Consecrator then put the various questions which are laid down in the service, which were answered by the Bishop-elect; who then put on the rest of the Episcopal Habit, in which he was assisted by the Rev. Charles D. Cooper, of the Diocese of Pennsylvania, and the Rev. George Leeds, of the Diocese of Massachusetts.

The act of Consecration was then performed by Bishop Hopkins, assisted by all the other Bishops present.

Bishop Hopkins then proceeded in the Communion Service, in which he was aided by Bishops McCoskry, De Lancey, Eastburn, Burgess, Whitehouse, and Lee. Upwards of forty of the Clergy (including several from the Diocese of Toronto), and a numerous body of the Laity, received the Lord's Supper; and were then dismissed by Bishop Hopkins with the Apostolic Benediction.



Know all men by these presents, that we, JOHN HENRY HOPKINS, D. D., LL D., Bishop of the Diocese of Vermont; SAMUEL ALLEN MCCOSKREY, D. D., D. C. L, Bishop of the Diocese of Michigan; WILLIAM HEATHCOTE DE LANCEY, P. P., LL.D., D. C. L., Bishop of the Diocese of Western New York; MANTON EASTBURN, D. D., Bishop of the Diocese of Massachusetts; GEORGE BURGESS, D. D., Bishop of the Diocese of Maine; and HENRY JOHN WHITEHOUSE, D. D., Bishop of the Diocese of Illinois; under the protection of ALMIGHTY GOD, in Saint Luke's Church, in the city of Rochester, in the State of New York, and in the Diocese of Western New York, on Wednesday, the Eighteenth day of October, in the year of our LORD One thousand Eight hundred and Fifty-four, did then and there rightly and canonically consecrate our Beloved in CHRIST, HENRY WASHINGTON LEE, D. D., Rector of Saint Luke's Church, in the city of Rochester, of whose sufficiency in good learning, soundness in the Faith, and purity of manners, we were fully ascertained, unto the office of a BISHOP in the Church of GOD, to which he bath been elected by the Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of IOWA.

Given in the city of Rochester, in the State of New York, and in the Diocese of Western New York, this Eighteenth day of October, in the year of our LORD One thousand Eight hundred and Fifty-four.


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