Gospel in Foreign Parts,
THE ASCENSION, OCTOBER 6th, 7th, AND 10th.
THE Triennial Meeting of the Board of Missions of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, held during the Session of the General Convention, in the City of New-York, in October, A. D. 1853, must, in one aspect, be esteemed the most memorable, if not the most important occasion in its history. At this meeting of the Missionary Council of our Church, the Venerable "Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts" had commissioned a Delegation to be its representatives--returning the courtesy shown by members of our House of Bishops, in attending the celebration of its one hundred and fiftieth anniversary, in London. This auspicious event greatly strengthened, and in effect made visible the union of the two Churches; for, inasmuch as the Board of Missions is the official representative of this Church, so far as relates to its Missionary work, the visit of the Delegation was considered an embassy of Christian love and sympathy to our Church. And the Venerable Society, though not the Church of England in her Synodical authority, yet, being the body which in former times so happily represented her fostering care over this Church in the Colonies, was considered, for all the purposes for which it had appointed these Delegates, a representative of our Mother Church. "The Protestant Episcopal Church in these States" can never forget the debt of gratitude which, "under God," she owes "to the Church of England," and to this Venerable Society, its agent, "for her first foundation, and a long continuance, of nursing care and protection." Sharing this sentiment, (which is perpetuated in the Preface to our Book of Common Prayer,) the General Convention, most cordially uniting with the Board of Missions, took occasion to express to the Delegation the gratification with which their visit was received, and the deep veneration and esteem entertained by the members of our [3/4] Communion for the Church of England. The event was one of remarkable omen; a restoration of that most valuable visible unity for which multitudes in both Churches have prayed--a unity of wise, cordial, and affectionate co-operation in spreading the everlasting Gospel.
Upon an occasion so important and interesting, the Board of Missions deemed it fitting to charge a special Committee with the duty of publishing the speeches delivered. A brief statement of what took place at this memorable meeting of the two Churches will not be deemed an inappropriate introduction.
The Public Reception.
IT was deemed proper to mark so interesting an occasion by a more public reception, which took place at the Annual Missionary Meeting on October 7th, held in the Church of the Ascension: after a private introduction of the Delegates to the individual members of the Board, at the Parsonage.
By half-past seven o'clock, the Church was crowded to its utmost capacity, the aisles being closely filled, and very many standing through the whole of the services, giving to them unwearied and delighted attention. Within the chancel were assembled twenty-five Bishops, including the Right Rev. Dr. Spencer, the Right Rev. John Medley, Bishop of the Diocese of Fredericton, New-Brunswick, and the Right Rev. W. J. Boone. D. D., Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in China. In front of the chancel, on a platform, were seated the other members of the Delegation and the speakers, including the Rev. E. W. Syle, Missionary at Shanghai, and Mr. Tong-Chi-Kiung, a candidate for the ministry in that Mission; whilst around the chancel were crowded members of the Board, and of the General Convention. The interest of the occasion might have been read in the earnest solemnity and attention of the vast congregation.
The meeting was opened by singing the 105th Hymn: strikingly appropriate to an evening when our Church was greeting the representatives of that Venerable Society, whose charitable labours it commemorates, and to whom our wandering fathers were so largely indebted for the sending out the heralds of Divine truth.
The Right Rev. Dr. Meade, presiding, then led the devotions of the congregation by prayers selected from the Prayer Book. After which, the members of the Delegation, and the Bishop of Fredericton, representing the Church in the North American Colonies of Great Britain, were successively presented by Bishop Wainwright to Bishop Meade, who, with a few cordial expressions of the general gratification of the Church in thus meeting them, introduced them to the congregation.
WHEN, Lord, to this our Western land,
Led by Thy providential hand,
Our wandering fathers came,
Their ancient homes, their friends in youth
Sent forth the heralds of Thy truth,
To keep them in Thy name.
Then, through our solitary coast
The desert features soon were lost;
Thy temples there arose;
Our shores, as culture made them fair,
Were hallowed by Thy rites, by prayer,
And blossomed as the rose.
And O! may we repay this debt,
To regions solitary yet,
Within our spreading land!
There brethren, from our common home,
Still westward, like our fathers, roam,
Still guided by Thy hand.
Father, we own this debt of love:
O! shed thy Spirit from above,
To move each Christian breast,
Till heralds shall thy truth proclaim,
And temples rise, to fix thy name,
Through all our desert West!
The Official Reception.
AT the first meeting of the Board during its session, on October 6th, held in St. John's Chapel, the presence of the Delegates of the Venerable Society was announced. The Rt. Rev. William Meade, D.D., of Virginia, the senior Bishop present, being in the chair, the Rt. Rev. J. M. Wainwright, D. D., D. C. L., Oxon., introduced to him the Rt. Rev. George Trevor Spencer, D. D., late Bishop of Madras; the Venerable John Sinclair, Archdeacon of Middlesex, in the Diocese of London; the Rev. Ernest Hawkins, D.D., Secretary of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts; and the Rev. Henry Caswall, Vicar of Figheldean, and a Proctor of Convocation. Bishop Spencer, as head of the Delegation, expressed, in a few affectionate words, the satisfaction felt by the Delegation in the honourable Mission that had been intrusted to them, and at the cordiality with which they had been received. He then read the Letter of Instructions from the Society, which was the commission under which they were acting, and by which their conduct was to be regulated. It was engrossed on parchment, and was offered to the Bishop presiding, to be placed in the archives of the Society. Bishop Meade extended a hearty welcome, in behalf of the Board, to the Delegation. He expressed his satisfaction at the prospect of a more intimate union and intercourse between the Churches of England and America, that they might strengthen each other's hands and encourage each other's hearts in promoting the work intrusted to them, the extension of the blessings of the Gospel of salvation. Thereupon the Delegation was invited to be present at the sessions of the Board, and seats were provided for their accommodation.
Commission and Instructions,
Delivered by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, to the Right Rev. George Trevor Spencer, D. D., late Lord Bishop of Madras, a Vice-President of the Society: the Venerable John Sinclair, M. A., Archdeacon of Middlesex, a Vice-President of the Society; the Rev. Ernest Hawkins, B. D., Prebendary of St. Paul's Cathedral, the Secretary of the Society; the Rev. Henry Caswall, M. A., Vicar of Figheldean, one of the Proctors in Convocation for the Diocese of Salisbury.
RIGHT REV. FATHER IN GOD, AND REV. BRETHREN
The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, in accordance with a resolution passed at a meeting of Bishops, held in the city of New-York, on the 29th of April, 1852, and fully sensible of the honour of the invitation therein contained, has appointed you to be its representatives at the Triennial Meeting of the Board of Missions, to be held in New-York during the session of the General Convention in October next.
The principal objects which the Society has in view in sending you on this honourable mission are the following:
1. To show its appreciation of the readiness and alacrity with which the Bishops of the American Church, who were assembled on the occasion referred to, sent a deputation of Bishops and Clergy to take part in the concluding services of the Society's jubilee year.
2. To strengthen and improve, so far as your influence as a Delegation, from the Society may extend, the intimate relations which already happily exist between the Mother and Daughter Churches, and which are the proper fruit of their essential spiritual unity.
3. To receive and communicate information and suggestions on the best. mode of conducting Missionary operations.
By keeping constantly in view these great purposes of your mission, you may, under the blessing of God, become the honoured instruments of promoting a closer union in feeling and action between members of Christ's body, who are parted from each other by distance and national separation, and of quickening the love and zeal of the Church both in America and England. Looking confidently to such a result, the Society commends you to God's good providence, with a fervent prayer that He will keep you in safety, and prosper the work on which you are sent.
J.B. CANTUAR [SOCIETY'S SEAL.]
At the SOCIETY'S House, 79 PALL MALL,
July 15th, 1853.
THE Right Rev. Dr. SPENCER, late Bishop of Madras, in replying to BISHOP MEADE, spoke as follows:
RT. REV. FATHER IN GOD, REV. AND DEAR BRETHREN OF THE CLERGY, AND DEAR BRETHREN OF THE LAITY:--I stand before you this evening in the honourable, yet highly responsible, situation of one of a deputation which has been sent to you from the parent country and from the parent Church, to testify that deep respect and that high reverence which we feel for the Protestant and Episcopal Church in America. We have been commissioned by the Venerable Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, to assure our dear Brethren, our fellow-Christians and fellow-Churchmen in America, of our love, our confidence, and our prayers; and gladly and thankfully have we accepted this commission, because, although we feel that it might well have been committed to far worthier hands, yet at the same time, we do feel that we could not be invested with a more honourable office than to bring to you, from England, our Christian greetings. In the name, then, of that truly Venerable Society, we stand before you, the Protestant Episcopal Church of America. We have come hither to speak to you of those things which concern our common and our immortal interests, and surely this will be a day much to be remembered by you, brethren, as it was a day very much to be remembered by us, when the deputation reached our shores from America. Three things have been especially committed to our charge by the Society in whose name we stand before you, upon which I propose to address you, and God grant that now, as wherever I raise my voice, I may speak the words o; truth and soberness.
I hold in my hand a copy of the commission, the criginal of which I had the honour of placing yesterday in your hands, under which we, as a deputation from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, are charged to express its feelings towards the American Church, under three heads and the first is, to show the Society's appreciation of the readiness and alacrity with which the Bishops of the American Church; who assembled upon the occasion referred to--I mean, of course, the occasion of the Society's jubilee--sent a deputation of Bishops and Clergy to take part in the concluding service of the jubilee year. Yes, Sir, the Protestant Episcopal Church of America sent well-chosen deputies to England. You sent to us the noble-hearted Bishop of Michigan; you sent to us his equally energetic [9/10] and faithful colleague, the Bishop of Western New-York; you sent to us as a representative of the presbyters of this country, one who was then a presbyter in this Diocese, but who has since been most worthily elevated to the station of its Provisional Bishop. I say, Sir--and I dare not stand here to use the words of worldly compliment and worldly flattery, but I speak from my heart, when I say--that we felt you had sent us worthy representatives of the Protestant Episcopal Church of America. We were indeed most thankful to welcome them among us. We did to them, I hope, what we could, to show them that they were welcome; and I can say from my heart that you have done in return all that you could, to show us that we are welcome. It was the beginning of an interchange of mutual affection, honest-hearted confidence and brotherly love, which I am convinced will last to the end of time. In the Society's name, then, we thank the Protestant Episcopal Church of America for having sent its deputies--aye, and such deputies--to join in that glorious service which concluded the celebration of the Society's 150th Commemoration. It was indeed a great and glorious day, when Bishops from all parts of the world; Bishops of our own country and our dear sister country of America; Bishops from Africa, from India, and from almost every part of the civilized, and Christian, and heathen world, gathered around the same altar, offering to God the same prayers, in the same glorious language of our own Liturgy. And I say, Sir, I rejoice in being able to say our own Liturgy, for thanks be to God, we have the same Liturgy. And why? Because we have the same faith, because we.have the same sacraments, because we have the same Church and because we have the same Lord. It was a great and blessed day for England, when we welcomed these highly distinguished prelates, and the other representatives of your Church, within our ancient minster of Westminster. That which took place on the 5th of this month, put me very much in mind of that blessed day, when I found myself standing in your own beautiful Church of Trinity; and when I then looked around me, I found that in America there were more Bishops collected together even than upon that great and glorious day in Westminster Abbey, and then I felt that here, as there, instead of being a stranger, I was intimately, and from the bottom of my heart, at home among you. I did then thank God, and I said to myself, this is a second day of Westminster Abbey--a day even more glorious than its original.
We thank you, then, Sir, and we thank the American Church, for having sent to us these good men, so worthily and so ably the representatives of the Episcopal Church of America to the parent Mother Church of England. But there is a second commission intrusted to us, upon which I feel it my duty to speak a few words. Not only were we sent to speak our heartfelt gratitude to you and to the American Church who sent such a noble deputation of Bishops and clergymen on that deeply interesting occasion to which I have referred, but our commission is also to strengthen and [10/11] improve, as far as our influence as a deputation from the Society may ex tend, the intimate relations which already happily exist between the Mother and Daughter Churches. I am sure you will agree with me, that this sentence is very happily expressed, and it rests upon that foundation which cannot be shaken--the spirit of unity which so happily exists. We'are sent, in the language here given, "to strengthen and improve the intimate relations which already exist between the Mother and Daughter Churches." What dear--what beloved words are these--mother and daughter! Do not these words strike home to the hearts of us all? There are many now present to whom God has intrusted the awful responsibility of being parents. Parents know, and especially mothers know, what it is to have daughters, what it is to love daughters; and daughters know what it is to love a mother. This is the bond of union between the two Churches. We do not assume it as any mark of superiority over the Protestant Episcopal Church of America; but we accept the title because you yourselves, in an honest and good heart, have offered it to us thousands of times over. Whenever I have had the happiness of meeting clergymen from America--and I am thankful to say I have often met them in England, and I hope from my heart that I shall meet them oftener still, for they are more dear to me since I have been permitted to visit this country than they were before, whenever, I say, it has been my happy lot to come in contact with clergymen of the Episcopal Church of America--the first thing that they said to me was, "We are the children of the Church of England. Your Church is our Mother, and our Church is your Daughter." This, then, is the connection which exists between us. We cannot, we dare not flatter ourselves that any words or any acts of ours can strengthen this, but yet it will be strengthened, for it will grow in strength as it grows in years. I am firmly persuaded that, through the instrumentality of the Protestant Episcopal Church in America, and the Established Church of England, there will be a bond of love, a bond of confidence between the two countries, which neither the powers of this world, nor even the powers of hell, will ever be able to shake or trample under their feet. Brethren we are, and brethren we shall remain until the end of time. We rejoice, I say, in the connection between us, and again I wish to impress this feeling upon you, not in the spirit of assuming any superiority over you, for we are your elders in point of time, but we are not older than you in wisdom; we are not older than you in love for Christ, or in love for the souls whom Christ died to save. By the courtesy of the present Convention, our deputation has been permitted to enjoy the great privilege of assisting at its sessions, and I am, bound to say that, from what I have seen, and from what I have heard at this Convention, I shall leave this country deeply impressed with the practical wisdom, and sound, sober, good sense, as well as the active faith and active love of the Protestant Episcopal Church in America.
But there is a third point which has been intrusted to our charge. I will [11/12] take the liberty of reading it to you. It is to receive and communicate information and suggestions on the best mode of conducting Missionary operations. Now here, brethren, we have placed before us a great practical work--a work which men who love Christ and who love souls, love to be engaged in. I refer to the great Missionary work. And what is a Church if it does not engage in Missionary work? A Church is necessarily missionary. Every prayer that is offered at God's altar, every word of praise that is presented humbly at the throne of Grace and Mercy, every time we read the Word of God, and every time we explain the Word of God, we are missionaries of the blessed Gospel of Christ. But it is a very important question upon what principle, or rather in what manner, the great Missionary work is to be carried on. I need not remind those now present on such an occasion as this, when we are met together on an express Missionary object,--I need not, I say, remind you, brethren of America, that God in his providence has committed to this country a Missionary work, such as he has never intrusted to any other country on the face of the earth. I say it deliberately, and with a full consciousness of the great and awful responsibility in this respect which God has committed to us. God, in permitting the Colonial Empire of Great Britain to arrive at such an amazing extent of prosperity, has committed to us a great and awful trust indeed; but yet I do not think it is to be compared to that which God, brethren of America, has given to you. I speak not so much of your Foreign Missions, though I am aware you are doing a great and blessed work in Africa and in China, but I speak of that Missionary work which God has given to you here in this your own magnificent country, America. What visions of worldly glory open to the eye when we look to the far West of this magnificent continent, and see, in anticipation, that which has hitherto been a desert, a vast garden, cultivated by tens, by hundreds, by thousands, by hundreds of thousands, and by millions of active, energetic citizens! What a glorious, what a magnificent, what a blessed view is open to the eye of the Christian, when he looks to the far West of this, your glorious land of America and sees in faith immortal souls coming by tens, and hundreds, and thousands, and hundreds of thousands, and millions, into the fold of Christ! I say, then--and it is not language of extravagance, but words of sound, sober, common sense--that there is a work given by God's providence to the Church in your own land of America, greater even than that which God has given to us in India, in Africa, and Australia. It was suggested to me to-day that a few words respecting that Society, of which we are the deputed agents in this country, would not be unacceptable to you, and gladly would I speak to you upon this subject, but I fear that, from physical weakness, I shall not, at the present moment, be able to grapple with it. I would only tell you--for I am quite sure, dear friends, that you, too, take a real interest and feel a real affection for the truly Venerable Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, because you [12/13] know, and thankfully acknowledge, that as a Church, and as a Christian people, you owe that Society much,--I would only tell you that it has a right to the full confidence of Christian people. It is a Society which acts faithfully in the commission which has been given to it. It was constituted to propagate the Gospel, and it has done so in the far East, and in the far South, and you know, dear brethren, in the far West. Whereever its Missionaries have penetrated, they have preached the Gospel, the whole Gospel, and nothing but the Gospel. I speak of this Society as one who has been intimately connected with it for many years. For thirty years I have been a subscriber to it, and for fifteen years, since I have been a Bishop of the Church of Christ, I have been most intimately connected with it: and I will say this with regard to the "Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts," that a Colonial Bishop cannot do his work but for the assistance which he is obliged to claim at their hands, and which always, most readily, most liberally, most heartily, and most generously, has been granted to him by the Society of which we are before you the unworthy representatives. I entreat you, then, dear friends, to give this Society your prayers. When we meet to take sweet counsel together, or to hear the glorious things which God has done for us, or done for those dear to us, be it in foreign parts, or be it in your own magnificent country--America--then bear in mind, then bear in heart, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. God has blessed its labours--God has blessed them eminently--and He will, I am persuaded, continue to do so; for when, and only when, we do that which He has commanded us to do, in the way in which He has taught us to do it, then I say, we have a right to look for the blessing of Almighty God.
Dear Brethren, I could speak to you longer upon this subject, for my heart is full. I know no subject so interesting as that of Christian Missions. The world has its excitements; Christians have also their excitements. Their excitement is the love of Jesus Christ--the love of perishing, yet immortal souls. In this cause we are all engaged this evening to assist you as far as we can; we are ready, most cordially, to enter into communication with our dear brethren of the Protestant Episcopal Church. We are ready to take sweet counsel together. We are ready to tell you what God has done for us; we are ready with you to thank God for all that He has done for you; and we are ready to join with you in prayer to God, that He will continue to bless equally your labours and ours.
Dear Brethren, we are one and the same Church. Worldly events may separate us in worldly things; politics may--though may God forbid it--cause little estrangements between America and England; but it is impossible that we, Christians--that we, Churchmen--should ever be estranged from each other; for we are banded together by a connecting chain--a golden chain of love, not forged by men, but sent down to us from heaven by God Himself.
 When you pray in your Liturgy--which is one and the same thing with ours--when you pray "that it may please God to illuminate all Bishops, Priests, and Deacons with true knowledge and understanding of his word," remember us also in your prayers. Your Bishops are Bishops with us; our Bishops are Bishops with you. Your Priests have shared with us the same priesthood; your Deacons hold with our Deacons the same office and ministry. And when we pray to God in the words of our own Liturgy, that "it will please Him to keep and bless all His people," believe, dear brethren, we shall pray from the ground of the heart for the people of America, as warmly, as honestly, and as ardently as we pray even for the people of England. We are one Church--one, not by the will of man, but by the will of God. AND THOSE WHOM GOD HATH JOINED TOGETHER, MAN SHALL NEVER PUT ASUNDER.
The Ven. JOHN SINCLAIR, Archdeacon of Middlesex, said:
RIGHT REV. FATHERS:--I have difficulty in giving adequate expression to the deep emotions under which I present myself to this venerable assembly. I rejoice at the fulfilment of my lone cherished hope of visiting this highly favoured land; not merely of admiring the sublime wonders of nature which surround you, but of becoming acquainted with yourselves, your nation and your Church: a nation great and free; allied to the British people in blood, in language, in science, and in literature,--a Church identified in faith, and polity, and worship, with the Church of England.
But the sacred mission with which I have been intrusted affords me a higher satisfaction. My colleagues and myself rejoice to be representatives of the oldest purely Missionary Institution in England: a Society which, during upwards of 150 years,has laboured unremittingly for the propagation of Christian truth; which is endeared to all of you by the remembrance of past services; and which, redoubling its efforts in more recent times, has been blessed by Providence in all quarters of the world with a measure of success, conveying to every pious heart the glad assurance, that God is in us of a truth.
We have a further source of satisfaction in the character of the venerable body we are addressing, and to which we are accredited. We regard your Board with deep reverence, as the regularly constituted organ of a Church which has survived the greatest disasters, and has advanced successfully through the most disheartening trials. Your Church and ours are the best hope of Christendom. No country has a brighter prospect before it than yours; and in your country no Christian community possesses a larger share of respectability, of intelligence, and I may add, of worldly influence, than the Protestant Episcopal Church.
The immediate object of our embassy is to draw together still more closely the ties of brotherhood between your Board and our Society, and consequently between the two Churches to which we respectively belong. [14/15] And never, certainly, was the zealous co-operation of all right-minded Christians more imperatively called for, than at the present moment. Never were the assailants of our Zion more audacious or more virulent. Many would explode Christianity altogether, as at variance with modern discoveries in physics and geology. Many more, including Rationalists of every shade, though they do not openly and avowedly discard the faith in Christ, would virtually supersede it, by sacrilegious changes, substituting what they imagine Christianity ought to be, for what it actually is.
On the other hand, the Church of Rome, while she repudiates reason, is, in this nineteenth century, putting forth her arrogant pretensions to supremacy and infallibility, with greater confidence than ever. The sanguine hope that the progress of modern science would be the ruin of the Papacy, has proved lamentably fallacious. In ill-regulated minds, and such minds unhappily abound in spite of general civilization, there is a peculiar tendency to oscillate from one extreme to another,--from infidelity to superstition, and from superstition to infidelity. Hence it happens, that these two parties, naturally antagonistic to each other, are able to combine against us; each alleging that no middle position can be maintained, and that the only alternative is Papal Christianity, or none.
Under these critical circumstances, it is of unspeakable importance to show, that besides the Greek Church, with all its branches in the East, there is a great Western Church, which, rejecting Papal corruptions, adheres with uncompromising firmness to primitive truth and Apostolic order, and will not give place by subjection, either to Popery or to Rationalism, no, not for an hour, that the truth of God may remain among us.
In conclusion, we have to testify our gratitude, and we cannot testify it too strongly, for the cordial welcome given us in every portion of the Union which we have visited. We have had the right hand of fellowship extended to us, freely and cordially, by all your Bishops now assembled in this city, as well as by every member, lay or clerical, of your General Convention, to whom there was opportunity of presenting us. Your Missionary efforts, hitherto, have of necessity been directed chiefly to supply the urgent wants of your own widely scattered population; but we trust that hereafter you will be able more and more to extend your views and operations, and that a generous rivalry will be long maintained between the two great branches of the Protestant Episcopal Church, which of them, by its efforts, prayers, and sacrifices, shall most effectually contribute to advance the all-important work of civilizing and evangelizing the world.
The Rev. ERNEST HAWKINS, B. D., Secretary of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, said:--
RIGHT REV. SIR:--It is, as you are aware, often the custom on occasions like the present, for a deputation to speak by its chief; but it might w ear the appearance of disrespect or ingratitude, were I not personally to express [15/16] my acknowledgments for the honour which has been conferred upon me by the Board of Missions. A few years ago I was irresistibly impelled to undertake a voyage across the Atlantic, by my desire to witness the practical working of the Church in a new country; and although I did not seek or solicit the present mission, the kindness which I had experienced on my former visit, led me gladly to accept it. I am perfectly aware that I was not selected for this honourable duty in consideration of talents, or weight of character, or high station in the Church, but simply because, as Secretary of a Society whose services have been so warmly acknowledged in this country, I seemed to form a connecting link between the two great sections of the Reformed Church. I may well, therefore, be expected to make some brief reference to the early history of the Society's operations in America.
At the commencement of the last century there were, it is said, but four ordained ministers in the whole of these Eastern States, whereas this very morning a long and able discussion has been held in the General Convention on the expediency of admitting into union a new Diocese on the very shores of the Pacific, in which there are already six or eight clergymen. The delay which occurred in fully organizing the Church by the consecration of Bishops for its oversight, was much to be deplored, but the delay was not chargeable to the Society.
Again and again had the Society presented appeals and memorials to the Crown upon the subject; and some of the most eminent of the English Prelates, among the foremost Archbishop SECKER, had exerted themselves warmly to obtain the Episcopate for America; but the jealousy or indifference of such ministers as WALPOLE defeated their best efforts. The want of Bishops was very generally felt and acknowledged, and where there were Missionaries like TALBOTT, and CLEMENT HALL, and SAMUEL JOHNSON, it cannot be alleged that the materials were wanted.
By what means the Episcopate was ultimately established in these United States, is a question on which it is now superfluous to dwell, but the event itself is to be remembered with devout thankfulness. At the conclusion of the war of Independence, the Episcopal Church was all but crushed out of existence. There were probably, at that time, not a hundred clergymen in the whole country--but how much has been accomplished since! You have now 30 Dioceses represented in your Ecclesiastical Parliament, and about 1,700 clergymen.
Such was the progress which had been made in less than fourscore years; but now carry on your view for 80 years more. It is well to contemplate, and in a manner to realize the future. These States would--if the present ratio of increase should continue--number a population of 200,000,000. What a wonderful and appalling thought, and how inconceivably great must be the influence exercised by such a population on the whole family of man!
England, too, is spreading itself wonderfully in her vast colonies, and [16/17]--thank GOD--the Church is expanding at an equal rate. In the new colonies and Dioceses of Melbourne and Adelaide, where an immense population has sprung up within a very few years, the number of the clergy has, within the last six years, that is, since their organization as Dioceses, increased seven and eight fold. In South Africa, within the same period, the number of the clergy has been raised from thirteen to upwards of fifty, by the untiring energy and devotion of a most active and energetic Bishop. New-Zealand is the centre of a most promising Missionary enterprise among the Islands of the Pacific.
With good reason might the American and English Churches provoke each other to a rivalry in good works. They were the Churches (it was no flattery to say) of the most enterprising and most expansive nations of the earth. The moral and religious destinies of large portions of the world seemed committed to their keeping; and the abundant talents committed to them might surely be regarded as an intimation of Providence, that they were to be employed for the furtherance of Gospel truth throughout the world.
The mission on which I and my colleagues are sent, has, as one of its principal objects, the closer union in feeling and action of the two Churches. We have already met a Committee of your own Board in conference on Missionary matters, and we are resolved to show that our mission has a real meaning. No inconsiderable good, indeed, is effected by the interchange of courtesy, and the opportunities of friendly intercourse. But we have a further and a higher object--to exhibit the two Churches in close alliance, and, strictly speaking, fellow-labourers in the propagation of the Gospel. On their hearty and frank co-operation may depend, in a great measure, the evangelization of the world. What America is doing for her great Western States, England is attempting to do for her colonies and dependencies, and I warn you, American Churchmen, not to be outstripped in the race by England. We have already six-and-twenty Colonial Sees, and two more are about to be immediately erected in South Africa, one of them for the new colony of Natal. Besides, we intend to subdivide our larger Dioceses, and not to rest satisfied till the Church is perfectly organized, and so in a condition to perpetuate itself throughout the entire extent of the British Empire.
But I will add no more. We may be called the Pioneers on the road of communication between the two Churches; and I sincerely trust that now the way has once been opened, the messengers of both will be frequently passing to the borders of each other for brotherly counsel and encouragement, so that the real meaning of the word Catholic, in our creed, may be practically understood--the taunts of Romanists as to our isolation silenced--and the world convinced that though our nations are separate and independent, our Church is essentially one.
 Rev. E. CASWALL. Vicar of Figheldean, in England, said that he felt highly honoured and favoured in being permitted to address once more his dear American brethren. He was connected with America by the closest possible ties, and more than a quarter of a century had elapsed since first he set his foot upon its shores. Here he had received his Ordination, here he had laboured as a Missionary in the West, and had formed a deep sense of the overwhelming importance of the domestic operations of the Board of Missions. He need not allude, particularly, to the advancements and improvements of the United States during his absence, of nearly 12 years. But he was deeply impressed in witnessing the advance of the Church. He had known the American Church when it possessed but 9 Bishops, and 450 Clergymen. He now saw before him a Convention of 30 Bishops, with the representatives of nearly 1,800 Clergy, a Convention possessed of vast powers for good. He might truly say, "Blessed are the eyes which see the things which I see."
Considering the unity of origin, of language, and of feeling existing between the English and American people, he had long entertained the desire of seeing the English and American Churches more closely united in the great work of subduing the world to Christ. For many years he had laboured to advance this great object, and now found himself associated with a deputation designed for this identical purpose. He therefore rejoiced, and would rejoice.
As he looked round on this vast assemblage, he saw the familiar countes nances of many of the friends of his youth, colleagues and associates in Missionary work. He saw their heads frosted over with time, while, thank God, their frames yet appeared vigorous, and capable of serving Christ and the Church for many years longer. In meeting them again on the present joyful occasion, he rejoiced in heart exceedingly, and assured them of his sincere regard and sympathy.
Let not the English language, framed to express the noblest sentiments, ever become the tongue of a godless and degenerate people. God has given to us of the Anglo-Saxon race, not only one language, but the gold of this earth, the science, the mighty power of the press, of the steam-ship, of the locomotive, of the telegraph. He has given us also the same Bible, the same Prayer-Book, the same Church. Let us make united and well-concerted efforts, in reliance on God, to diffuse this Bible, this Prayer-Book, this Church, throughout the world, and the wilderness and solitary places will rejoice and blossom as the rose. For his brethren and companions' sakes, he would wish them all prosperity.
The Rt. Rev. JOHN MEDLEY, Lord Bishop of the Diocese of Fredericton, New-Brunswick, is reported to have said, that among the British Colonies there was but one feeling towards the American Church. [The Committee greatly regret that they have been unable to procure a corrected report of this able speech.] He was from one [18/19] out of forty colonies, and in all of them the self-same feeling prevailed. He asked what it was that had brought them all together there that night? What want had they come to supply? There were three things: they wanted the unity, the fulness, and the extension of the Church.
He spoke of the two countries--England and America--as being essentially one. They had, to a great extent, a common polity. England was a monarchy, surrounded by republican institutions; and America was a republic, surrounded by monarchical institutions. Both contained the strongest elements of popular liberty, together with the strongest bands of conservatism. Both protested against unlimited power, as well as against popular license. In both, the true definition of Liberty was Right, protected by law. In both, the great mass of the people were satisfied that Politics alone are nothing without Religion. Our guide in Religion was the Bible and the Prayer-Book. We have not a Church to seek, or to make; but we have one to uphold, extend, and defend. We are all already members of Christ, children of God, and inheritors of the kingdom of heaven. The clergy alone were not the Church. The greatest Bishop is no more a member of the Church, than an infant just baptized, and regenerated of water and the Holy Ghost. But the clergy were certain officers of the body, who had been appointed for the general good; and there was nothing in their office to impair or derogate from the full membership of others.
He expressed his high satisfaction at having seen that morning, in General Convention, laymen standing up in defence of the Church, and showing the same spirit that had been so gloriously displayed by Cranmer and Ridley. To see the laity thus nobly supporting the Bishops, this gave strength, influence, power, and depth to the progress of the Church. It would be a joyful day when, in each country, the laity should be seen occupying this their proper position. Let the laity once get to exerting themselves in bringing other laity to the Fold, and there would soon be ten-fold more strength than could be gotten by the creation of ten more Bishops. How much stronger would this make the Church than all those weak and vain attempts to attain a unity outside of the limits laid down in Holy Scripture! The unity of love was a greater strength than many great and glorious victories won in battle. He here alluded to Trafalgar and Waterloo, and to the triumphs of American arms. These victories, he said, were wholly external. But the unity of love was internal. It is the bond which God has formed to bind us together, and what God hath thus joined together, let not man put asunder. He then exhorted his hearers to cast away all party prejudices, and strive with one mind for the growth of the Gospel, all walking by the same rule, and minding the same things; that there should be no contest of Bishop with Bishop; but that they should continue henceforth to carry into the world the same principles they professed on the platform, otherwise the world would never cease to cry, against such a religion, "Fie upon it!"
He then turned to the subject of fulness. Faith and reason were intended to go together. We were required to "prove all things," and "hold [19/20] fast that which is good;" and the carrying out of this precept would lead us neither to the meagreness of Geneva, nor the meretricious superfluities of Rome. We were neither to add nor to take away. If faith alone were relied upon, without the exercise of reason, many additions would be made to the faith once delivered to the saints. If reason alone were trusted, men would soon come to doubt the Deity of Christ and the personality of the Holy Spirit. But in the true Church, both had their place; and the Love of science was hereditary and transmissive in its nature, as well as the love of faith. The Church of England found no occasion to imprison a Galileo, but was glad to acknowledge a Newton. She was satisfied that the God of Nature was the God of Grace. The Church, therefore, required fulness of intellect. In connection with this, and as a proof of the close union of the colonies with these United States, he alluded to the fact, that in New-Brunswick they are so largely supplied with English books in American reprints. And among these reprints were the works of their great English Theologians--Divines as great as any in Christendom. He then considered fulness in another point of view. England, he said, had a glorious past, and she was fond of looking back at a past of which she might well be so proud. America, as yet, was mainly concerned in looking forward to the future. He touched upon the subject of American Cathedrals, and the strong tendency there is among us to assimilate still further to England. He described the emotions of an American in England, present, for the first time, at her solemn and majestic Cathedral services. This was a new thing for him to enjoy, and one well adapted to call forth the highest raptures of devotion. This was the blessed fulness of Beauty, which gave something for the senses to enjoy, as well as the soul. For man was not composed of spirit alone, but of body, soul, and spirit. All these were to be devoted to God's service, and, therefore, in worship, provision should be made for all. Thus the whole man would be consecrated into an Everlasting Temple unto the Lord.
He then passed to the last branch of his subject--that of extension. He said it was our duty to extend the Church first at our own doors, carrying the Gospel to the degraded thousands and ten thousands in the streets and lanes of this great city, who are now living as outcasts, without hope and without God in the world. It was here we most needed to plant the Cross. Besides this, England was sending a constant stream of emigration to this country, and it was our duty to look after these emigrants, and see that they were saved to the Church into which they had been baptized. It was our duty thus to make the best of them, or they would become an element of evil rather than of good. Not one-tenth of the work had yet been done, although the exertions were great both in England and here. Action at the centres, in the great cities, is necessary. Activity elsewhere will not compensate for sluggishness and deadness at the centres. It is a bad sign when there is life only at the extremities, and naught but rottenness [20/21] at the heart. On this subject, the lines of George Herbert were often a comfort to him:--
Religion stands on tiptoe in our land,
Ready to pass to the American strand.
And so it was ready to pass to America; but not so as to leave England. What would be the feelings of that good and holy man if he could see to what extent his prophecy has already been accomplished!
In conclusion, he would add only one word more. We read that that great and good man, Hooker, when drawing towards the end of his last sickness, was rapt in divine contemplation; and when asked upon what he was meditating, he said--"Upon the number, the order, and the obedience of the Angelic Host," and thus he passed to his rest. What better subject of meditation could be found for us? In extension, let us drays nearer to the number of the Angelic Host; in the reasonableness and beauty of the Church Services, let us aspire to their heavenly order; and in following in all things the Word and Commandment of God, let us strive to attain that holy obedience, without which all else is nothing worth. O that such number, such order, such obedience, might in our day be seen on earth!
At this point, although unflagging attention indicated no weariness, it was thought best to postpone the remaining speeches until Monday, October 10th. The collection was therefore made, Bishop Wainwright reading the Offertory, and receiving the offerings in the noble alms-dish presented to the Church by members of the University of Oxford. After which, the impressive services of the evening were concluded by the Benediction.
From Greenland's icy mountains,
From India's coral strand,
Where Afric's sunny fountains
Roll down their golden sand,
From many an ancient river,
From many a palmy plain,
They call us to deliver
Their land from error's chain.
What though the spicy breezes
Blow soft o'er Ceylon's isle;
Though every prospect pleases,
And only man is vile:
In vain with lavish kindness
The gifts of God are strown;
The heathen in his blindness
Bows down to wood and stone.
Can we, whose souls are lighted
With wisdom from on high,
Can we to men benighted
The lamp of life deny?
Salvation! O salvation!
The joyful sound proclaim,
Till each remotest nation
Has learned Messiah's Name.
Waft, waft, ye winds, his story,
And you, ye waters, roll,
Till like a sea of glory
It spreads from pole to pole;
Till o'er our ransomed nature
The Lamb for sinners slain,
Redeemer, King, Creator,
In bliss returns to reign.
The Missionary Meeting.
ON the second evening, October 10th, the Church of the Ascension was as densely crowded as on the former occasion; and there, appeared every evidence of increased interest in the great Missionary work, and in the peculiarly happy event commemorated.
After prayers were offered by the Right Rev. Dr. Meade, presiding, the speakers of the evening were presented, and addressed the congregation.
THE Right Rev. W. J. BOONE, D. D., Missionary Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in China, said It is a cause of sincere regret, my brethren, having returned to my native land, and being permitted to stand in the presence of such a congregation as this, that I cannot venture to present to you the claims of our China Mission, for I am in so much danger from. a determination of blood to the head, that I dare not venture to address at any length so large a congregation as this. You must allow me, therefore, to present our Mission this evening to you by a beloved Presbyter, (Rev. Mr. Syle)--a brother who has for more than eight years faithfully and zealously served by my side in that field, and who needs no introduction from me this evening--and by a young Chinese, Mr. Tong, who is a candidate for Orders, and who has accompanied me to this country. It is to introduce him to your favourable indulgence this evening that I have taken my place upon the platform. When it was first proposed that Mr. Tong should address the meeting, I objected, on the ground that there would be so many Bishops and other distinguished members of the Church present, that it was an occasion too great for him to claim a hearing before this congregation; but this objection was overruled. It was thought that it would be pleasing to this congregation to hear an individual who, though only a candidate for Orders, had been born in a heathen land, and who had been brought to a knowledge of the Gospel through the instrumentality of this Board; and I confess that I have a specific object in desiring that Mr. Tong should address you this evening. Our Mission does not receive that amount of sympathy and support from our whole Church to which, I think, it is entitled; and I am persuaded that this does not arise from a want of [23/24] sympathy in our object, for, dear brethren; we go to China, not to promulgate there any doubtful points of doctrine about which there is any dispute among you, but to teach those poor heathen the plain and fundamental truths of our holy religion; to tell them of a holy God, whose commands they have violated, and whom they have dishonoured by their polytheism and idolatries; to tell them of a gracious Redeemer, who has come to rescue them from their wretched state of guilt and misery, and of that holy and blessed Spirit whose office and work it is to lead them to Christ the Redeemer, and to purify their sin-defiled souls. We go to China, not to advance ourselves, but our sole object is to glorify our Redeemer in the salvation of the precious and immortal souls of our sinful fellow-men. Having this object in view, I may surely say that there is not in this vast assemblage a single individual who hears my voice, who will rise and say, "My brother, I have no sympathy with you in this object." This lack of sympathy, I am persuaded, does not arise from regarding our object as too small to engage the attention of our Church, for we labour there to lay the foundations of a Church which shall benefit well nigh one-third of the human race. I believe, my brethren, that this arises from the fact of our being so far off, so far out of sight, and, as it were, out of the world, and from the feeling that no practical proof has ever been seen, or any good results discovered from our Missionary labours. Now I trust that when you shall have listened to Mr. Tong presenting a statement of his conversion, and after having marked his Christian intelligence, and his manifest understanding of the principles and fundamental doctrines of Christianity, that you will be convinced that we are doing something in China to bring men, as in Apostolic times, out of nature's darkness into the glorious light and liberty of the children of God.
My brethren, open your hearts to-night as you shall listen to the address of this young man on behalf of his fellow-countrymen--one-third of the human family lying in heathen darkness, in the solemn and impressive language of the Apostle Paul, "without Christ, being aliens from the Commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world."
Mr. TONG-CHI-KIUNG, a Candidate for Holy Orders in the Protestant Episcopal Church in China, said:--
My dear Christian friends, I feel very much to speak to such an assembly as this; before all the Bishops and clergy of the Church, and the Christian Bishop and ministers from England. But I have been asked to speak because I am a convert of your Missionaries; I am glad to speak, that I may thank you for what by the grace of God I am. I owe it to your kindness in sending the blessed Gospel to China, that I am here to-night to speak to you as Christian brethren; for, my friends, I was not born in a Christian land like this, but in a heathen land. My own dear parents were [24/25] idolaters, who knew not God; they never took me to such a temple as this to worship the true God, but to the idol temples to worship the image, of wood and stone. I remember in my younger days, whenever my parents went to the idol temple or house of ancestors to worship, there I was taught by them to do the same; they taught me to put my little hands so together, and bow down and worship the idols. So you see once I was an idolater, and once I myself, in my own person, have worshipped the idols. But, blessed be God, I am a different person now. When I was sixteen years old, I was brought to Shanghai by my father; then I heard that there is a school established by Bishop Boone, in which the English language is taught. I became very anxious to learn the English, so I asked my father the permission to go. At first, he said "No, it will not do you good," but by my constant asking him, I was permitted. So in that same year I came to this Mission school. Hence, by degrees, I was taught how to read and write in English by the Christian ladies from this country. Truly I say, abundance of blessings and kindnesses I have received in that school: but above all, I was taught to know the true God, who created heaven and earth, and all things; and I was taught to know that man is a sinful creature before God, and Jesus Christ is the Saviour of sinners. By hearing the ministers preach and reading the Scripture, this God I believed. I convinced myself a sinner before God. The crucified Saviour I confessed; and by the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit I was led to repentance and was baptized. Then I was no more an idolater, but "a member of Christ, the child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven." In the consequence, I say, happy I! because my own immortal and precious soul is saved and has found rest. And I am not the only one who has been thus, through the instrumentality, brought home to God; but there are many others who have been likewise brought to see the light of the Gospel, and enjoy the same state of mind, of happiness. And now, I want here, to-night, to thank you who have sent the Bishop and other ministers and ladies, to teach us this blessed Truth. When I perceived that my own country people yet lack this knowledge of the one true and living God, and have never heard the blessed name of Jesus, and know not the way of salvation for their precious souls, then I said, I wish to study for the ministry.
But you must not think the Chinese have no religion. They have three religions, but all are false; viz.: Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucius. The Buddhists worship images as gods, they worship gods made of stocks and stone. "Ears have they, but they hear not; eyes have they, but they see not." The Tauist religion teaches men to wear charms, so as to keep away evil spirits and avoid dangers; and they also worship images. The followers of Confucius worship the deceased persons of their ancestors, and the heavens and the earth; for Confucius said of gods, the spirits are most difficult to be understood by man, because they are so un formative. He said, "Either, you cannot say there are gods in the world, or, there are not. [25/26] If say, there are no gods in the world; what is the cause and order of a things then? If say, there are gods in the world; who are they, or how, or where, or by what manner are they to be worshipped? These things are all uncertain; but two things are certain; the heaven and the earth are the two great parents of all things; and the two causes of all things. So when you feel desirous to be thankful for all the benefits which you receive, heaven and earth are to be given thanks and worthy to be worshipped."
When I thus thought of my own country people who have changed the truth of God into a lie, and worship and serve the creature more than the Creator, it made me more anxiously desire to study for the ministry; and, by the grace of God, I hope I am called to this great work. For this, my Christian friends, I beg the addition of your prayers. Pray that he may "prove all things, and hold fast that which is good." And, that he may "be steadfast, immovable, and always abounding in the work of the Lord."
Now, my Christian friends, in regard to the whole country, China as a people without God, without Gospel, without hope in the world, let me pray you to have pity for that country. Oh! let many and many feel for such a perishing people, and go out for the glory of Christ, making known His name, even that very blessed name of which it is written, "There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby men can be saved' Oh, my Christian friends,
"Shall ye whose souls are lighted with wisdom from on high,
Shall ye to men benighted the lamp of life deny?
Salvation! oh, Salvation! the joyful sound proclaim,
Till each remotest nation has learnt Messiah's name." Amen.
The Rev. E. W. SYLE, Missionary Presbyter in China, spoke to the following effect:--
A few words, Rt. Rev. Sir, will suffice for the discharge of my duty on this occasion. After an absence of eight years, your Missionaries to China come back with a report, in the rendering of which they find no better words than those spoken by the two faithful spies, Joshua and Caleb, "The land which we have passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land." For our purposes--as a land of souls, and of souls ready to receive the Gospel--it is indeed "an exceeding good land."
True, we bring back no grapes of Eshcol as an evidence of this goodness; but we have to tell of some spiritual fruit gathered in. Since the establishment of the Mission at Shanghai, twenty-nine have been baptized; and of these three are candidates for the ministry--indeed, one has already been ordained Deacon. This gives a proportion of more than one aspirant for Holy Orders out of every ten baptized members of the Church; a much larger proportion than can be found in any, even the most flourishing congregations in the Church at home. Yet after this measure has it pleased God to bless the-labours of your Missionaries in that far-distant field.
 Moreover, I have the satisfaction of presenting to you, Rt. Rev. Father, as part of the results of our Missionary efforts there, these books, prepared almost exclusively by our Bishop himself. Here, Sir, is a copy of St. Matthew's Gospel (presenting it to Bishop Meade, who was presiding), and here the Morning Service--both in the colloquial dialect, which is the language "understanded of the common people." Here, also, is a copy of our Catechism, in the book style, a work which has been employed by the Bishop of Victoria, at St. Paul's College, Hong Kong, and is likewise in use among the Chinese now under instruction at Sarawak, in the Island of Borneo.
I hold in my hand, also, an Introductory Lecture delivered recently at King's College, London, by the gentleman who is now Professor of Chinese there, and who was, for a time, Principal of our Missionary High School at Shanghai.
Allow me now, for a moment, to lead your thoughts to the place where your Mission is located. Not to dwell upon the long sea voyage, half round the world, and across three oceans, let us suppose ourselves to have reached the mouth of that great river, the Yang-tse-Keang, which flows through the whole extent of China, from west to cast, traversing the most populous and productive provinces of the empire. Having sailed a few miles in, and then bearing to the southward, our ship enters the Woosung river, and we glide on between the low banks which extend on either side, and through a country rich in productions, and exuberant in population. After about eight miles, the river makes a bend to the westward again, and we are brought in view of the Foreign settlement at Shanghai, where we see flying the British, the Portuguese, the American, the French, and the Hamburg flags, marking the places of the several consulates, and giving evidence of the existence of a vigorous foreign commerce at this port.
The anchor drops, and as our vessel rounds-to, the eye rests upon another cluster of buildings, five or six in number, on the opposite bank, across a smaller stream. What are these? They are your Mission premises, dear Christian friends! That long, low building on the right is your "Boys' School-house;" the next is a Church--unmistakably a Church--just built for the accommodation of the schools and of the neighbouring villages. Then comes your Missionary Bishop's house, then the Girls' Schoolhouse; next the residence of the English Church Missionary, (who, I am happy to say, is our good neighbour as well as our cordial fellow-labourer;) and last of all, is another house, now, alas, all unoccupied, because no one can be found ready to go out and dwell there.
And this brings to our mind that which has been our grievance and our sorrow during most of the past eight years. With all the external apparatus for carrying on Missionary operations (except a hospital), our work has languished there for want of labourers. Two have been obliged to sustain, as well as they could, the work of five. The commencement of the [27/28] school for girls was injuriously delayed for six years, because no one came to relieve from the care of the boys that beloved sister, whose heart from the first was yearning to engage in the education of her own sex. The ordination of our first Deacon was delayed twelve months, because our Church had but one Presbyter in the field to sign his testimonials. Indeed, our whole work has been carried on there wastefully; because the strength of those who were in the field was prematurely exhausted in consequence of the want of assistance.
Sir, I am sorry to feel myself under the necessity of saying what may seem to take the bloom off these mutual congratulations which have been so largely exchanged at this season; but I cannot help being reminded of the words which follow those quoted at the beginning of my remarks. Said Caleb and Joshua, "The land is an exceeding good land;" but they added, "If the Lord delight in us, He will bring us into this land and give it us." If? Shall it be allowed for any one, in applying the passage to ourselves, to say if? Is it permissible to breathe the supposition that perhaps God does not delight in us--the pure, united, intelligent, Liturgical, Apostolical, Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States!
Let the facts of the case express the ground of our fears. What mean costly churches which meet the eye at every turn? What mean the luxurious habits of living which have become so common? Without saying anything about the right and wrong of such things, they prove at least this--that we are abundantly able to sustain our Missions vigorously, so far as money is concerned. But what do we find? Contributions to the Board averaging less than two cents a week for each communicant member of our Church! How, we ask, (and be it spoken with reverence,) can God "delight in us," who come so miserably far short in our duty towards Missions? One hundred thousand communicants contributing annually less than seventy thousand dollars for preaching the everlasting Gospel at home and abroad!
Such has been the history of our affairs for the past ten years. What shall be the history of the ten which are coming? Whatever we may be allowed the privilege of doing for China, must be done quickly, lest our opportunity be lost for ever. Indeed, our own feeling is, that the words of Mordecai to Esther are virtually, by God's providence, addressed to this Church:--
"If thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed; and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"
The Rev. WILLIAM BACON STEVENS, D. D., Rector of St. Andrew's Church, Philadelphia, said:--
I stand before you to-night to plead the cause of Domestic Missions. In the interesting addresses which you have heard thus far, your attention [28/29] has been called to the foreign field, and it may seem somewhat discordant to the tones which have already rung in your ears, to introduce the theme upon which I am appointed to speak. But, though seemingly diverse, the cause is one. I love the work of Foreign Missions; it is a work which the Church is bound to do, without which she could neither grow nor live. I have seen and heard on heathen soil the blessed result of Foreign Missions, and I have beheld the very idols, and worship, and scenes which these brethren from China have so vividly described. There is no danger, therefore, of my undervaluing the work of Foreign Missions. Blessed be God, I belong to a Church which has solemnly recorded as her decision, that "the field is the World," that the work is one, and that the terms Foreign and Domestic only express departments of the one great work.
Domestib Missions! There is something thrilling in the very word Domestic! It tells of Home, and the sweet influences which cluster around that almost hallowed spot, and it appeals to us, that as the religion of Jesus Christ has made our homes happy, so should we labour for the sending forth of that same Gospel, until it shall be the central joy of every fireside, and the precious boon of every hearth throughout the land.
The operations of our Domestic Board extend from Maine to Florida, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
Shutting out of view, however, for the present, the States east of the Alleghany Mountains, let us look, for a moment, at the field, the work, the men, the means, under the superintendence of the Domestic Board. In the great Valley of the West, we have a territory into which we could put thirty Englands, and yet not be as thickly settled as Great Britain or Belgium. The united area of the eleven States bordering on and drained by the Mississippi, including Texas, exceeds that of all the other States in the Union, and they already contain a population of over six million of souls; yet, throughout this vast territory, there are not as many clergymen, by one hundred, as in the Diocese of New-York.
Could we ascend the ridge of the Rocky Mountains, and look out, as Moses did from the top of Nebo, with supernaturally strengthened eyes, what should we see? A slope of a thousand miles, stretching to the Pacific. On our right lies the magnificent wooded and watered Territory of Oregon, with its rich prairies, fertile valleys, dense forests and wide-spreading plains. On our left is California, the Ophir of America, the golden treasury of the Western world; and over this extended region, comprising nearly 900,000 square miles, and a population of nearly 300,000, augmented by daily arrivals, there are but five clergymen of our Church.
Everywhere, then, in the Atlantic States, in those which skirt the Gulf of Mexico on the South, and which border our noble lakes on the North, in the Valley of the Mississippi, and along our Pacific shores, are there opening new and important fields, and ringing out urgent, and even imperative, calls for help.
 The work to be done is co-extensive with the field to be occupied. A population double the number of this nation at the date of its Independence, already spreads itself over that mighty West. Each day is adding its thousands to the swelling tide of population. They are mostly poor and ignorant, and in a majority of instances, immoral. In addition to this, there is rising up in the West a community, taking to themselves almost the whole of the Territory of Utah, which, for its blasphemies, its licentiousness, its breaking up of everything held good, and sacred, and holy, is as a leprous blotch upon our country, and He alone can remove it who said to the Leper of old, "I will, be thou clean." These various forms of ignorance, irreligion, vice, atheism, Romanism, are to be met and conquered; met by the simple doctrines of the Bible, and conquered by the two-edged sword of the Spirit. Schools are to be established, Churches erected, Colleges founded, and Bishops, Presbyters, Deacons, Catechists, Teachers, sent forth to an extent commensurate with the spiritual needs of so many millions of our fellow-men.
But to do this, two things are specially needed: men and means. There is a great dearth of well-qualified ministers. Our own Church lifts up a pleading cry for men, and every evangelical denomination around us echoes the appeal. Our yearly increase of clergy is scarcely sufficient to fill up the ranks thinned by desertion and:death, and we need that the number taking Orders should be multiplied a hundred-fold, before we can make the advance, and the conquest which we desire.
I will not investigate the causes of the decline in the number of candidates for Holy Orders. They are manifold, deep-seated, wide-spreading. The love of gold, the desire for honour, the seeking after ease, the heartless ambition of Christian parents, the unfaithfulness of ministers and teachers, the insufficient means for educating promising indigence, and the lack of soul-consecration to God in the young men of the Church, are some of the causes of the fewness of the recruits which are each year incorporated with the sacramental host of God's elect. To supply this demand for the living ministry, the Church must look to the Lord of the harvest, and pray, with Jacob-like wrestling, that He would send labourers into the harvest. Parents must be willing to give up their sons of promise, that they may minister at God's altar; ministers must lead the minds of their youth to a serious contemplation of their duty in this case; and young men of piety, of talent, of education, must be ready to forego the bright day-dreams of this world, in order, as Ambassadors for Jesus, to win a crown of righteousness that fadeth not away.
But we want means as well as men. God, who has given his people power to get wealth, has intrusted it to them as his stewards. He will hold the possessor of every talent of silver accountable for the use of that money. It is not ours to consume upon our lusts. It is not poured into our laps to be locked up in our coffers. It is not given to us to be [30/31] expended in the trifles and vanities of fashionable life. It is all God's gold and silver, and we are faithless to our trust if we fail to use it as His almoners to the glory of His name. The preachers of truth cannot preach except they be sent. They cannot be sent unless money sends them, and that money His people must give, freely give, because they love Him and love souls that will else perish for lack of knowledge.
Our Church has been greatly negligent in this particular. With a wealth in proportion to its number beyond any other body of Christians, its liberality to Missions is yet stinted and parsimonious. By the last Annual Report of the Board of Missions, it appears that over one thousand parishes had contributed nothing to the funds of the Domestic Committee.
These things ought not so to he, and God will blight us with the cankering mildew of unsanctified prosperity if we put not out our money to the great Missionary exchangers of the Church, that when He takes account of our stewardship, He "may receive His own with usury."
And what Church is more loudly called upon to enter into this work of Domestic Missions than our own, the first Protestant Church planted in America? Much is said about the Puritan forefathers of New-England, as the pioneers of Gospel truth in the Western World, and many really suppose that to them alone are we indebted for the Protestant religious institutions of our country. But, Sir, many years before the "Mayflower" cast anchor off Plymouth Rock, the shores and forests of New-England resounded to the worship of the Church of England, and the settlers of Virginia knelt in the same holy service.
It is an interesting series of facts, that the first public worship ever held by the English in America was according to the forms and ceremonies of the Episcopal Church. The first prayers ever offered in public assemblies were those of our Prayer-Book. The first Church edifices were those of the Episcopal chapels at Jamestown and on the Kennebec. The first English clergymen who officiated in this land were Presbyters of the Church of England. The first sacrament of the Lord's Supper, the first administration of Baptism, the first celebration of Christian Marriage, and the first burial of the dead among the English in this New World, were celebrated and solemnized by Episcopal clergymen, according to the Ritual of our noble Prayer-Book. And as the Protestant Episcopal Church kindled the first light of truth on these shores, so should it sec that its sacred fires do not die out.
As I listened at our last meeting to the interesting statistics and facts recited by the excellent Secretary of the Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts, my mind turned to that question in the Canticles of Solomon, "Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness leaning on her Beloved?" And as I saw our infant Church "under the apple-tree," where its [31/32] Mother Church brought her forth, and compared it with that same Church now, I could not but say, Surely it is because she has "leaned upon her Beloved," that she has thus come "up from the wilderness" like "a king's daughter," "all glorious within." All the moral strength of the Church is in Jesus Christ. He gives it power to resist and power to act; power to stand still in the time of persecution, collected in its might, but reserved in its strength; and power to march on with a victor's shout, and a conqueror's tread. Each member of the Church has strength and stability only as he is united by a living faith to Jesus Christ, and the Church collectively is strong only as it is strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Whenever the Church has leaned upon the arm of learning, learning has drugged her with the poisoned chalice of a vain philosophy. Whenever she has leaned upon the arm of wealth, Mammon, like Judas, has kissed her with its lips of gold only to betray her to her destroyers. Whenever she has leaned upon the arm of civil power, she has been made like a blind Sampson, to grind in the prison-house of political bondage. Only when leaning on Christ, only when sustained by His arm, can she walk with erect mien and advancing step. We have, brethren, an Apostolic ministry, but our strength is not in that; the seven Churches of Asia had this, yet they are now voiceless and in ruins. We have the sacraments of Christ's own institution, but our strength is not in these; for the Church of Rome has these, yet "Mystery, Babylon, the Mother of Harlots," is written on her forehead. We have an almost heaven-inspired Liturgy, but our strength is not in this: the Oriental Churches had these in their fulness and beauty, yet are they shorn of their strength, and lie helpless in the lap of a Moslem Delilah. Our strength consists in holding by faith to our Divine Head; and the moment that that living alliance is lost, though all else may be preserved, she has but a name to live, and is spiritually dead.
And as the Church has advanced from her wilderness state to her present high position because she has leaned upon her Beloved, so must her future progress depend on her trusting still, and alone, to that same great arm. God forbid that our beloved Zion should ever withdraw her hand from her supporting Saviour! that she should ever attempt to walk alone in her own strength! Remember, fathers and brethren, that He who bought the Church with His own blood, must support it with His Almighty arm. And when this support is vouchsafed to the various Churches of our land and world, how beautiful the sight! how glorious the result! No moral power misapplied by intestine broils, no mental force wasted in the strifes of controversy, but shoulder to shoulder, with shields locked together, like the band of Leonidas, they present an unbroken phalanx, marching forth as the sacramental host of God's elect, whose battle-fields are human hearts, whose weapons are forged in the armoury of heaven, whose trophies are regenerated souls, whose triumphal arches are the temples of God, and whose paeans of victory shall be sung with ten thousand times ten thousand voices before the throne of God and of the Lamb. `
 The Right Rev. MANTON EASTBURN, D. D., Bishop of the Diocese of Massachusetts, said:--
MY CHRISTIAN FRIENDS:--I feel grateful to the Foreign Committee for the request which they have made, that I would conclude the services of this evening with a few remarks of my own.
I am thankful for two reasons; and the first is, that I am glad of the opportunity to express the joy I feel at the evidence afforded by the present meeting, and by that of Friday evening last, of the real union which exists between all sound and Scriptural branches of the Church of Christ everywhere, and among the people of God everywhere. I say, all sound and Scriptural branches,--for as to any others, there can be no union whatsoever. Where any churches have departed from the faith once delivered to the saints, and have become rotten to the core, and have sunk into idolatry and superstition, to attempt this union is a farce and a mockery: nay, worse than this, it is an abomination in the sight of God, and our duty is to keep ourselves from all participation in their corruptions. But in such a union as that of which this evening reminds us, namely, between our dear and honoured mother Church of England, and the daughter Church on this side of the great Atlantic, we are really called upon to rejoice. We are told, my Christian friends, in God's blessed and most Holy Word, that in Christ Jesus there is neither male nor female, circumcision nor uncircumcision, bond nor free; and may we not equally say, as we look around us this evening, that there are no geographical lines which can separate the friends of Scriptural truth from each other? They are one in heart--they are one in aim--they have been redeemed by the precious blood of one atoning sacrifice--they are travelling to one heavenly country--they are one in their work and labour of love, that of diffusing to the ends of the earth the sweetness of a Saviour's name.
But I am also glad of the present opportunity on another account, and that is, the hope that any poor words of mine may, by God's blessing, assist in enkindling, or keeping alive, the Missionary spirit, and in stirring us all up to greater zeal in extending the knowledge of Him, without knowing Whom we are poor indeed.
Allow me, then, to urge the practical lesson which the present interesting scene suggests to our hearts. We have with us to-night a Delegation of Right Reverend and Reverend brethren from an ancient Society in England, to whose labours our beloved Church on this side of the water is indebted, under God,--to adopt the language of the Preface to our Prayer-Book, for her first foundation, and for a long continuance of nursing care and protection. These brethren are sent to us for the purpose of uniting in closer bonds the two Churches, and also to express the deep interest taken by our brethren in England in our labours for the extension of the Gospel in this vast country. But, my friends, we should ill requite this work of Christian [33/34] courtesy and love, if we should suffer it to end in a mere interchange of those civilities which, however grateful to the heart, and although growing most naturally and appropriately out of the occasion, do not reach the great end for which the Christian lives. And I am quite sure that these respected brethren themselves would feel that their mission had been barren of fruit, did its results proceed no further; for we cannot have forgotten the language of the very credentials read, the other evening, by the prelate who is one of this Delegation, and which declare the hope that, by the deputation thus sent to us, we shall stimulate each other to greater vigour in the prosecution of the work committed to our charge. This important end, then, let me beg you all to keep distinctly in view; and, for the promotion of this object, let me remind you, as I have before said, of one momentous practical lesson suggested by the present occasion. Let us look at the scene before us. We have here representatives from England; we have a prelate from a neighbouring Diocese, in one of the colonial possessions of Great Britain; we have two ministering servants of Christ, and a convert preparing to be a labourer in the Gospel, from China, that empire called, by a most singular misnomer, the Celestial Empire, but whose 360,000,000 of people are lying in the thickest darkness of ignorance of the way to immortality; and here, too, we have ministers of God, and people of God, from the extremest West to the extremest East of our own vast territory, crowding the aisles of this spacious temple. Now what does all this show? If we had time this evening for indulging in poetical contemplations, the sight that meets our eyes is full of poetry. A subject it is, likewise, for painting; and one which, with signal effect, might be impressed by the pencil of genius upon the glowing canvas. But it is more than a theme for poetry and painting. It speaks a reality--a solemn reality--a reality which should sink deep into our hearts, and quicken into more. earnest action our prayers and supplications. And what is this reality? It is this: That the Church of Christ, and labourers for Christ, are scattered, by God's appointment, over all the various regions of a world lying in spiritual darkness. When we meet then, as we do this evening, friends and fellow-labourers from different parts of the world, we are reminded of the spiritual necessities of the world: we are put in mind how vast is the harvest all over the earth, and how few are the labourers to gather it; we are reminded how diligent we ought to be in furnishing the means for fresh supplies of labourers; and, above all, how instant we should all be in prayer to the Lord God Almighty, that he would pour down the dews of his gracious blessing upon those who are already working in his vineyard. I do not indeed forget, my Christian friends, and a great consolation it is to know, that our own Church is not the only labourer in this wide field of spiritual death. Wretchedly off indeed would the world's condition be, if we were doing all the good that is being done for the millions that are sitting in darkness. The Church of England, and [34/35] our own Communion in this country, are, it is true, carrying on an extensive agency for the salvation of men. There is that Venerable Society whose representatives are now with us, and whose Missionaries are in almost every quarter of the globe. And then there is that other glorious and honoured Institution, named by me the second in order, but not one whit second in the spiritual blessings it is accomplishing, and long has been achieving,--the Church Missionary Society of England;--a Society which, carrying upon its banners the motto of Missions for Africa and the East, was the first to rekindle in our Church the dormant spirit of zeal in the great work of evangelizing the nations. And then our own branch of the Church in this country is doing much, we may humbly trust, for the eternal interests of mankind. But still, as I have just said, small would be our comfort, and poor would the world's condition be, if there were none but ourselves blessing that world with the knowledge of the great salvation. Others there are, God be thanked, who, although not of us, and not agreeing with ourselves in regard to points in which we think we are most nearly conformed to primitive order,--irregular regiments, if you please, in the great army, yet, at the same time, hold the Head, even Christ, and are faithfully proclaiming Christ, and are delivering the Gospel in all its fulness, and in all its freeness, and in all its simplicity, and are not, we trust, unaccompanied by continual demonstrations that they are blessed and honoured of God. And then there are various other agencies, full of might and power; such as that noble Association, the British and Foreign Bible Society, and our own great national Institution for the circulation of the Scriptures, the American Bible Society, which are sending copies of the word of life, in 150 languages, like so many uncounted rills of spiritual joy, through deserts where the voice of the living messenger of Christ has never been heard. But still, after we have numbered up all these various instruments, engaged in the work of the world's conversion, how vast, nevertheless, the disproportion between the field to be cultivated, and the number of those who are employed in its cultivation! Under these circumstances, how loud and solemn is the voice that calls upon us, to pray for a benediction from on high on what the ambassadors of Christ, scattered over the world, are doing! to bring forth means and treasures wherewith to send forth more heralds of the Gospel! and to supplicate the Lord to raise up more and more, who shall go abroad over the earth and cry, "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, yea, come, buy wine and milk, without money, and without price!"
My dear friends, if there be any in the wide world who have ground for encouragement in pursuing the work of that world's salvation, surely it is the members of our own branch of the Church of the living God. We have a pure Scriptural faith; we have a Liturgy to preserve that faith, teaching to-day those same essential, fundamental verities which it taught ages ago, and handing them down in their integrity to future generations; [35/36] we have, in a word, the simple Gospel, witnessed in those standards which have come to us from the martyrs and reformers of the Protestant Church of England. But let it be remembered, that our encouragement is also our responsibility. Woe unto us, if, while possessing such privileges--privileges of which we are reminded by this noble temple in which we are now assembled--we remain indifferent to the duty of dispensing them to others. Woe unto us, if, having ourselves known the preciousness of a Redeemer's love, we bury this talent under a napkin, and refuse, freely having received, freely to give. For let it not be forgotten, that there is no indefectible promise of the Saviour's presence to any particular branch of the Church of. Christ. That gracious Master did indeed say, "Let! I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world;" but with whom did He thus promise to be present? With the Church of God, established on the earth. He meant to convey the assurance, that He would always bless the proclamation of His own truth, and fidelity in the exercise of a committed trust; and that He would always, by His Providence, preserve the existence of a visible body in the world. But as to any inalienable blessings to our own, or to any other individual Church, there is no assurance whatsoever. My brethren, there are great mistakes on this subject. There has been a spirit of arrogance, and security, and vain boasting, for which, during recent years, Got, has been rebuking us with visible tokens of His just displeasure. No, my friends, if we are true to Him, He will be true to us. But, on the other hand, if we are traitorous to our responsibilities; if we sink down into drowsy formalism; or relapse into popish superstition; or become possessed of a spirit of worldliness, and covetousness, and hardness of heart; or if, having a Redeemer held forth so plainly to view in the services of the reading-desk, our clergy, as a body, should ever fail to proclaim Christ crucified, as the only Saviour, from the pulpit;--in that case, GOD will desert us. He will "spew us out of His mouth"--He will do with us as He did with the Jews, and with the seven Churches of Asia to which the reverend brother who preceded me has so eloquently alluded. Oh! then, for a widespread spirit of prayer, that, having been so signally blest, we may secure the continuance of our mercies by faithfulness to GOD:--faithfulness in doctrine; faithfulness in practice; faithfulness to the obligation resting upon us to carry the light, and peace, and joy, and hope of the Gospel, to those who are sitting in "the shadow of death!"
Dear brethren, I cannot conclude without adding a word or two for the purpose of giving prominence to that melancholy subject which has already been touched upon by all of us--that of the scarcity of labourers in the great field of the world. Let parents, while they are moulding the character of their sons, direct their thoughts and affections, with prayer for the Spirit's blessing to the choice of this greatest and noblest office which a human being can fill--that of an ambassador of the King of kings. Let those who have the oversight of our children in the Sunday Schools which [36/37] cover the land, watch the peculiar opportunities committed to them for this Godlike object. My Christian friends, we are living in a dark world. Our mission is, to be instant in season, and out of season, in sending messengers through all its wide extent, who shall cry aloud: "Turn ye to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope."
The Rev. STEPHEN H. TYNG, D.D., Rector of St. George's Church, New-York, and one of the members of the Foreign Committee of the Board of Missions, in announcing the objects to which the collection was to be devoted, made a very earnest, eloquent, and effective appeal. [The Committee greatly regret that they have been unable to procure a sufficient report of these remarks.]