J. T. Bolles, Publisher
244 Fulton Street.
Mrs. HARRIET CUTLER died on Monday the 21st of April. Had she survived until September 24th, she would have completed her eightieth year. The Funeral Services were solemnized in St. Ann's-on-the-Heights, Friday the 25th. The Bishop of the Diocese being engaged on a visitation, was unable to be present. Letters were received from him and a number of the Clergy of Brooklyn, as well as other Brethren resident in other Dioceses, expressing their sympathy and regretting their necessary absence. The Rev. Dr. Hall of Holy Trinity, the Rev. Dr. John A. Paddock of St. Peter's, the Rev. Mr. Baker of the Church of the Messiah, the Rev. Mr. Packard Assistant of St. Ann's, and the Rector, were in the Church and participated in the Services. The Rev. Dr. Bancroft of Montreal, the Rev. Messrs. McAllister, Gray, Peck, and many others of the relations and old friends of Mrs. Cutler and her husband, Clergy and Laity, were present as mourners upon the sad occasion. An address was made by the Rector of St. Ann's. and at the conclusion of the Services at the Church, the procession moved to Greenwood, when all that was left to us of dear Mrs. CUTLER, was laid by the side of him to whom she was so closely related by human sympathies and holy affections, that it may be literally said of them both as concerns body and soul, they "were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided."
In accord with a generally entertained wish, a Memorial Discourse was prepared by the Rector of St. Ann's, embodying the remarks he made at the Funeral Services, and delivered to the Congregation of St. Ann's, on June 8th, being Trinity Sunday. At this Service, the Rt. Rev. BENJAMIN BOSWORTH SMITH, D. D., Presiding Bishop, was present in attestation of his life-long friendship for Doctor and Mrs. CUTLER, his great regard for the eminent character of both, and the deep personal grief occasioned by the present affliction. The venerable Bishop took part in the Service, reading the Ante-Communion office, the concluding Collects, and pronouncing the Apostolic Benediction. The other parts of the Service were said by the Rev. Mr. Geo. L. Platt, sometime Assistant of St. Ann's under the Rectorship of Rev. Dr. Cutler, and by the Rector and present Assistant, Rev. Mr. Packard. In the Congregation were noticeably present many of the old Parishioners, now resident elsewhere, and others, citizens of Brooklyn, who by their presence evinced that the loving appreciation of Mrs. CUTLER'S life and character, was not confined to the limits of St. Ann's Parish or the boundaries of the Episcopal Church.
Almighty and everlasting God, who hast given unto us thy servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of the Divine Majesty to worship the Unity; We beseech thee that thou wouldst keep us steadfast in this faith, and evermore defend us from all adversities, who livest and reignest, one God, world without end. Amen--Collect for Trinity Sunday.
How true it is, and how well has Irving worded the sentiment, that "a woman's whole life is a history of the affections." By this is meant her real life. Not her stage life. And the less of stage life there is to woman the more room is there for filling out the divine ideal of womanhood. But when brought by force of circumstances before the curtain which conceals from the curious world, her higher, holier, happier existence, then to hold the will and the ambitions in check, and make the affections still rank supreme, is to be, simply and sublimely, the woman that God designed, when he made an help-meet for man. But as woman fell first and has fallen farthest, (corruptio optimi pessima) so in the moral renaissance is she the first to rise, and the highest to climb. And this has always been in answer to the call of love. This "stepping heavenward" has been up the stairway of the human and divine affections. Her restored nobility is to be seen not so much in Courts, where she sits as queen, in galleries and libraries where the imprint of her genius is on canvass and marble and the lustrous page, much less in the halls of justice, the tribunes of legislation, or on the tented field; but rather, shall we not find it in the homes that have altars, in families where love is law, among children to whom even her smiles and sighs are more than oracles of Delphic power, in the ministry of sickness and heartache, and misfortune and crime, in scenes where no one but she has ordination to bind up and bless, where her taste and tenderness and tact alone can "give beauty for ashes." But when there is, as at times there must be to woman, in the fixed or fitful economies of human life, an inheritance of high office, an endowment of talent that it were a sin to bury, or any investment however [5/6] undesired, of moral power or social prominence, how even then, upon occasion, do we see the woman of truly feminine fibre, while doing her "duty in that state of life unto which it had pleased God to call her," still wave over all her offices the wand of the affections, and thus gracefully sustain the delicate dignity of her nature. Hannah More, the classic apologist of woman, claims that "the perfection of her character, as the divine poet intimates, does not arise from a prominent quality, or a showy talent, or a brilliant accomplishment; but is the beautiful combination and result of them all. Her excellences consist not so much in acts as in habits, in
"Those thousand decencies which daily flow
From all her words and actions."
And a later apologist, Mrs. Browning, one to whom of all women belongs of right the chaplet of song, describing in glittering verse the feminine mission, says of her sex,
"If sin came by thee,
"And by sin, death, the ransom righteousness
The heavenly life and compensative rest,
Shall come by means of thee--Be satisfied,
Something thou hast to bear through womanhood--
But thy love
Shall chant its own beatitudes,
After its own life working. A child's kiss
Set on thy sighing lips shall make thee glad;
A poor man served by thee shall make thee rich;
A sick man helped by thee shall make thee strong."
Some men, many men, we may say, are fond of ornament, almost all women are. How innocent or sinful this proclivity of nature, we can not say. But while we remember that God has in specific terms prescribed an ornate architecture for His house of prayer, and an ornate ritual for His worship under the old dispensation, there are no specifications of this kind addressed in the New Testament, the Christian revelation, to the advanced spiritual culture of the latter day, save the inevitable inferential teaching that God should have the best of everything in private as in public worship, in soul devotion and in life duty. Under the dispensation of Jesus, formal and recorded revelation is in general and philosophic terms. Truth is given in propositions. The interpretations and [6/7] the details of adaptation are to be learned under the tuitions of the Holy Ghost. These are received through the well informed individual conscience and the apostolically organized ecclesiastical channels. The Gospel of Christ does not describe the style of church edifice or define the methods of public devotion. It enjoins the offices of prayer and praise and preaching ceremonies, rites and sacraments; but not the times and places specifically, neither the method of ecclesiastical ordination or the minutae of ritual appointment. Only, and most importantly, have we the spiritual conditions of right celebration and divine acceptance. The material incidents of the religious life, private and public, personal and congregational, are left to the ordering of divine obligation and sacred expediency. But with the allowance of the largest liberty compatible with fidelity in the externalism of worship, there is imposed the nicest observance of spiritual service and the most rigid rendering of moral obedience.
Nowhere in the New Testament, save in the text, do we find the word "ornament." St. Peter who uses it, has been selected the Patron Saint of the Latin Church, and is, by that body made as the vicegerent of Christ, in the person of his (Peter's) pretended successors, to approve the gorgeous, personal and official ornature of pontifical and priestly state, the rich and showy decoration of altar and celebrant, the magnificent ceremonial of the mass and all the material splendors of the Romish religion. But neither St. Peter nor any of his fellow inspirants had any prevision of this abuse of the gospel freedom of worship, this perversion of spiritual liberty to ecclesiastical license. The great apostle to the Gentiles, himself a fisherman, and only familiar with the humbler modes of life and the simpler forms of thought, still, while well acquainted doubtless with the embellished architecture and florid ritual of the temple at Jerusalem, was also made aware by his own consciousness of the contrast of the New Dispensation with the Old, in that the paucity of his natural gifts and the obscurity of his social station and the vulgar nature of his calling did not prevent his taking part, and that by [7/8] the choice of Christ, in the inauguration of the new spiritual regime.
There was but little of what we may call ornament in the moral structure of the Church of the Apostles, save the adornments of saintly devotion and the illustrations of heroic death-defying faith. What was wanting in social prestige and political sway, in intellectual culture and architectural glories was more than supplied by a sublime spirituality. The only ornaments Peter wot of, or felt the value of, under the Gospel system, were the Christian graces strongly set in faith, and coronetting the brow of the soul. Therefore it was that Peter, whose nature and character and Christian experience, our Lord emphatically held up as the exponents of our average Christianized humanity when He said "thou art Petros, and upon this rock will I build my Church,"--therefore it was, that, Peter in his inspired comment on domestic ethics, deprecating excessive personal adornment in woman, (then as now, a conspicuous infirmity,) nominates as rivals to "plaiting or braiding of hair," and "wearing of gold," and "putting on of apparel,"--"chaste conversation," and that incorruptible thing, unlike chameleon-hued hair or tarnishing gold or the fading fabrics of the loom, "even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." This is the jewel that ranks rubies, diamonds or pearls, because God has given it a valuation infinitely higher. This is the decoration of a divine "legion of honor," beside which the greatest wealth of golden hair, the groaning coffers of Croesus and the richest stuffs of Lyons, China and Cashmere are but as vanity and corruption, dregs and dust.
Ten years ago this congregation of St. Ann's was plunged in grief by the death of its Pastor, the Rev. Dr. CUTLER, who, for thirty years, had stood in his lot, preaching Christ from the pulpit and by the hearth-stone. He had been a great benison to those to whom he ministered, and he is still here in the sweetness of a memory and the potency of an influence which the tenderest and truest feelings have embalmed. And now, one who had borne to him the closest relationship on earth for nearly [8/9] forty-one years, has gone to weld the love-links which death essayed to shatter, and assume a relationship nearer than that of wife, more joy-giving than the communions of human love.
The task I have assumed to discharge to-day, is one that is very difficult simply because it is so delicate. Mrs. HARRIET CUTLER, known to you for thirty years as the wife of the Rector, and for ten more as a "widow indeed" worshipping at this altar, led such an unobtrusive life, that I suspect a Memorial Sermon is the last thing she would have desired. And yet all of us feel that such a tribute is due one who for so long a time occupied a semiofficial relation to this Parish; for certainly she preached Christ by her graceful walk and wisely ordered conversation, as faithfully as her husband proclaimed the doctrines of grace before the congregation. She was a living illustration, a testimony tried and true--presenting in practical life what the pulpit proffered in theory. Thus, we see, how much and yet how little is to be said. It is not proposed to give to this discourse, either a historical or biographical character. Neither would we exhume the treasures of buried love and hold them up to view. Nor would we enter upon the details of indoor home-life. It is not embraced in the scope of this sermon to gauge the intellect or dwell upon exigencies of trial or occasions of usefulness, or recount the good works that helped to make the life of Mrs. CUTLER beautiful. On the contrary, we studiously avoid giving more than a passing remark to these suggestive aspects of our theme, because we are, not only wearied with this trite treatment of life and character, but there is before us a higher thought, a loftier and more serene level of meditation. What I have to say of Mrs. CUTLER is mainly embraced in the discussion of what religion did for her and what her religion did for others. Her career was not what the world calls heroic. She was quite too unimpassioned for that, too meek, too quiet. But in the sublime discipline and poise of religious character, she was heroic before God, if it still stands for truth, that he is better "that ruleth his spirit, than he that taketh a city."
 Harriet, the daughter of James and Sarah Bancroft, was born in Boston on the 24th of September, 1793. She was the youngest of five children. Her brothers were James, Henry and Charles. Her one sister Sarah, who for so many years has shared her home and held so large a place in her heart, is known to all the good people of St. Ann's in relations of high esteem and warm affection. She is still left to us, thank God, as the one remaining and dearly cherished family tie connecting the St. Ann's of to-day, with the Rectorship of her endeared and ever lamented brother-in-law. On the 30th of October, 1822, HARRIET BANCROFT was united in marriage with BENJAMIN CLARKE CUTLER. This was at the very beginning of his ministry. The next seven years was spent at Quincy, Mass., his first parish. During the succeeding two years, from 1829 to 1831, Mr. CUTLER having resigned the charge at Quincy, there was a brief sojourn in Maine and a temporary residence at Leesbury, Va. Then followed two years in New York, where Mr. CUTLER was City Missionary, and finally in 1833, after the resignation of St. Ann's Parish by Dr. McILVAINE to accept the Episcopate of Ohio, Mr. CUTLER was instituted Rector, when he and his wife established, for life as it proved, their home in Brooklyn. Here they lived blessing and being blest, until at the end of a thirty years ministry, on the 10th February, 1863, this man of God, this lover of Christ, this worker for souls, was, to borrow and adapt the last words [* Just before his death, Rev. Dr. CUTLER said to those about him, "lift me up, lift me right up." As loving hands raised his head, the everlasting arms of Jesus received his spirit and "lifted" it to the skies.] that fell from his lips, lifted up, lifted right up, even to the heavenly rest for which he had sighed so often and so fervently. Since then, Mrs. CUTLER has held her home continuously in the midst of her loving friends, in Brooklyn, and kept her place in this congregation, where she has attended the services with singular fidelity, and where as a member of the "family in heaven and earth," her spirit has blended with the spirit of her husband, in the Christly Communion of Saints.
Ten years thus glided away. They brought but little of mitigation to the widow's heart, bowed down with [10/11] sorrow. With her, it was a season of calm waiting for the call. While she carried the weight of a very heavy affliction, she was "from every murmur free." She kept her grief cloistered in the depths of her nature. It was scarcely ever alluded to, even in the circles of old friendship, or in the sympathetic atmosphere of Christian fellowship. Meantime with what a true dignity of character and demeanour, softened by those gentle amenities so peculiarly her own, did Mrs. Cutler bear herself through the decade of widowhood. She was three-score and ten when her husband entered upon his rest, and on the 21st of April last, when lacking but a few months of four score, this mother in Israel, this priestess of the Christian church after a protracted and peculiarly suffering illness, at last found eternal relief from pain, perfect and everlasting joy in the arms of Jesus. She passed away as she had passed along. The moral harmony of her life, was unbroken in her death. The "banner over her was love," and the badge of her acceptance, "the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit."
The native sentiment and gentle breeding of Mrs. Cutler largely conditioned her religious character. She saw Christ as "the one altogether lovely," rather than as the agonized sufferer on Calvary. She dwelt in pleased contemplation on the beauty of holiness, while her whole nature seemed to recoil from the spectacle of human depravity. A distinguished German writer says in a certain place, "Everything holy is before what is unholy, guilt pre-supposes innocence, not the reverse; angels, but not fallen ones, were created." While this is true touching the sequence of man's moral history, still was there a strange inversion of this order in the character under review. The inherited nature was of course sinful in disposition, but the whole life was a consistent reaching up to holiness. She did not "sink, afterward to rise," as this author further claims, but from earliest youth, life was an upward movement. "In Christ made alive," so early and so vigorously, her spiritual experience was more a gradual development, than, as with many others, a series of successful struggles. With her, the unholy preceded the holy from first to last. Her [11/12] consciousness of sin was in the association of sin forgiven. Her vision of the Cross was the beholding a sublime triumph. Starting here and upon an ascending scale, her life was a succession of sweet surprises. Weak faith fortified, and its growth sustained. Moral weakness charged with the strength of Christ. Native timidity overcome and making way for spiritual intrepidity. The divine proportioning of grace to trial. Unforseen victories over native propensity. Successful defence given to assaulting temptation and providential warnings against the paths where it lay in ambush. I have known few women of equal station to whose happiness the world could contribute so little. Her wifely love, her personal friendships, all her human affections were strong and gilded with tender sentiment; but what pleasure they gave her was chiefly curtained from the common eye. In fact, Mrs. CUTLER, for the most part, lived in an inside world. Her temperament and her refined social culture alike prepared for this. But when religion came and invited her to constant inward communions with God, planting the germ of faith, and enjoining the cultivation of fruits in the garden of the heart which only the eye of God could see and His hand only gather, when the breath of the Spirit scattered the clouds of sin that lowered over and obscured the landscape of the soul, and opened up the blissful possibilities of the hidden life with Christly companionship,--then it was that this devoted child of God, giving back the responses of a glad and thankful spirit, at once and forever "chose the better part."
Religion seemed the almost inevitable complement of such a nature as Mrs. CUTLER'S. When it was grafted upon her spirit, there was a healthy commingling with it of the inner life. That which had been temperament now became character. That which had been proclivity now became principle. Germs became graces; and the mere personal and social accomplishments of modesty and maidenly reserve, became "the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit." Thus religion, operating with the finely-tempered material within her, did for Mrs. CUTLER that which, [12/13] while it made ample provision for all the wants of her moral nature, also gave her that constitution of personal piety upon which God stamps His highest sanction of acceptance. For, I do not remember that anywhere else in the Gospel scriptures is the divine valuation affixed to any one or another of differently constituted religious characters. But "the meek and quiet spirit," which was Mrs. CUTLER'S pre-eminent characteristic, toning her church-life, administering her domestic offices, and regulating her commerce with society, this is the one Gospel "ornament" which the Holy Ghost selects, and declares to be of "great price in the sight of God." But why this enormous valuation? "Of great price in the sight of God!" For a thing to have any intrinsic or related value whatever with Him whose are the treasures of the universe, and the adorations of a host that no man can number, is to our finite faculties incomprehensible. But when we meet the proposition that a certain something in our guilty human nature is of "great price" in the estimation of God, we should certainly feel the staggering of our faith, were it not that we turned for the moment from God, the Omnipotent Creator, to "God in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself." Although in this position, we are surrounded by the mysteries of moral evil, and stand upon the battle-plain where the smoke of the "conflict of ages" obscures the view, still can we see that as the prize of war is the nature of man, every substantial advantage looking to its restoration to the Divine Original in whose image it was created, is an occasion of joy to Him who proposes to get glory through such spiritual triumphs. The gradations of this joy, we must infer, are regulated by the nearness of approach, in these moral renovations, to the Great Original. Or, in other words, the closer the imitation of Christ in the soul won back from sin, the greater the triumph of Christ over Satan, and the higher His divine satisfaction. A spirit that has the constituents of meekness and quietness is the one that comes most nearly to the grand ideal. And why? Simply because meekness is only another name for humility, resignation and submission to the divine [13/14] will: while quietness of spirit is the result of the full assurance of faith, the abiding token of that acceptance in the Beloved consequent upon the merging of the individual will into that of Christ's. This is the loftiest achievement of the full and fully trusting heart,--is, in fine, the state and act of the renewed man described in that heavenly counsel to the redeemed, "in patience possess ye your souls," or the spiritual ecstacy of him who realizes the prophetic blessing of the olden time, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is staid on thee, because he trusteth in Thee." Thus we find that the "meek and quiet spirit" is one whose faith is unquestioning, whose submission is entire, whose service is hearty and disciplined, and whose hope has clear prophetic vision through the veil. This is the "ornament" which is of "great price in the sight of God." This is the "ornament" of redeemed humanity procured, by Christ through the great "travail of His soul," and beholding it, He is "satisfied." This was the decoration of Mrs. CUTLER'S life. Its great price is to be appreciated by recalling the Gethsemane and Calvary through which Christ went to win it, as well as by forecasting the infinite and everlasting delights which it ensures to its possessor. The one she felt while wending her way up to the gates. The other now she feels in the fullness of her heavenly joy.
Having said thus much of what religion did for Mrs. CUTLER, let me go on to speak of what her religion did for others.
The subject of this pulpit memoir, let it be borne in mind, was a rare instance of well sustained moral poise. With a wary eye fixed on the scales, she steadily preserved the balance of character, however unequal circumstances might threaten for the moment to disturb the equilibrium. What she was to one, she was to all. What she was at one time, she was at all times. What she was without, she was within. What she was to the church, she was to her household and to society. This was the natural fruit and the logical proof of her meek and quiet spirit. By the mere surface observer, such a life might be [14/15] characterized as a moral monotone. To the spiritual analyst, it must appear a rich religious choral symphony. Her Psalm of life was not rendered in parts, whose several sweetness discords might mar, like "sweet bells, jangled, harsh and out of tune" but so delivered in the perfect blending of the voices of will and affections, of religious principle and disciplined habit, that the glorious unison sounded like one ripened and full volumed tone.
An old officer of St. Ann's, and an intimate and honored friend of Dr. Cutler, writing me recently of the deep grief he felt in the death of his widow, who for thirty years he had held in the highest esteem and affection, says, "Mrs. CUTLER was always a tower of strength to her husband." While I gather from all sources that this is emphatically true, it is true in a sense which ought to be defined, and which, when appreciated, will be found to fortify the argument of this discourse. The wife of a clergyman must needs be more to her husband than the wives of other men, whose lives are not circumscribed by the social limits of their sacred profession and engagements. Again, a wife, who is not a mother, has larger drafts made upon her wealth of affection by the husband, than she whose children can aid her in satisfying the yearnings of love. These were the relations of Mrs. CUTLER'S married life, and to the proper discharge of the duties they entailed, she addressed herself with singular devotedness and marked success. We are not to observe her as conspicuous in the active administration of charities, personal or organized, although her sensitive humanity was quick to respond to every appeal, and her untiring feet led her frequently to the retreats of poverty and the chambers of sickness. We are not to suppose that her mental culture was ever called in requisition to aid in meeting the heavy demands made upon the intellectual resources of her husband. For all these, he was abundantly prepared. Nor were her graceful offices necessary to the many social duties pertaining to his position. In this regard, her genial husband had a peculiarly rich endowment. [15/16] In fact, few Rectors have had less need of help in the conventional routine of Parish life, than Dr. Cutler. But in more than one particular, his wife was indeed to him, a "tower of strength." And, I trust the facts sustain me in the assertion, that in what gave peculiar lustre to his public ministry and grace to his pastoral administration, her godly tact and the blank influence of her religious character, were by no means unimportant contributions. Recognizing her personal duties to her husband as only second to her duties to God, Mrs. CUTLER was always at the threshold and by the hearth-stone, ready to dispense the amenities of love and home-cheer. In the daily exigencies of parochial administration, her carefully weighed counsels were to her husband almost oracles. As oil on waters poured, how often were her gentle words and gracious smiles oblations of peace. The unconscious influence of her meek and quiet spirit, pervaded her husband's nature like a divine perfume, and was accepted by him as a heavenly boon. To his hours of trial she was a solace, to his moments of doubt an appeal, in his days of weariness a fountain of refreshment, in times of weakness an unfailing source of strength, in seasons of discouragement a fresh inspiration, and on all occasions of joy a prompt and hearty participant. When spiritual dejection came, her buoyant trust prescribed the remedy. When the fruits of faith and pastoral labor were wanting, her humble spirit enjoined "the patience of hope," and when his soul was fiercely assailed, she would shut from view the aggressors by summoning in rich array, "the comforts of love." And, at last, when disease, the fatal vampire, had fixed its hold and fastened its fangs, what a ministry of tenderness did she exercise to the object of her life-long love. Her wifely fidelity alike illustrated her personal character, and the public ministry of him to whom she stood related as the angel of the household, bringing her meek and quiet spirit to bear in furthering at once, the interests of Christ and the welfare of his anointed servant.
An eminent dramatic poet of France, once said, "when a woman has the gift of silence, she possesses a quality [16/17] above the vulgar; it is a gift heaven seldom bestows." If I were asked how the wife of a christian minister could best advance the cause her husband had assumed to advocate, I should answer unhesitatingly, by the silence of her lips and the eloquence of her life. If this be true, Mrs. CUTLER certainly sustained the ministry of her husband as few women have ever done. She had pre-eminently the genius of silence the golden. Upon the congregation of St. Ann's, as upon society at large, her religious character has made deep impress, and the wisdom of her suggestive silence has often produced a negative but scarcely less important product for Christ than that which follows a pronounced advocacy. But it is not within the province of human ability to speculate upon, much less measure, the results of such a religious life and character in a great community like this, where its subtle forces have been exercised for forty long years. What Mrs. CUTLER'S religion has done for others, for the members of her own and her husband's family, for those who have been admitted to the charmed circle of personal friendship, for those to whom she has ministered in offices of charity, for the congregation of this Parish and for the general society in which she has been so long known and honored, none may declare until the opening of the books, until the day when the redeemed shall rise to call those blessed who helped them heavenward, when the winners of souls shall receive the crown of wisdom, and those who have "turned many to righteousness," shall be made to "shine as the stars for ever and ever." Pending the awards of that day, when by their fruits God will recognize the accepted candidates for heavenly honors, let us not fail to appreciate the value of the "meek and quiet spirit," the ornament of christian character, of great price with Him to whom we all look with intense spiritual desire, awaiting the day when He shall "make up his jewels."
The death of Mrs. CUTLER is the closing out of a memorable epoch in the eventful annals of this historic Parish. Identified with her husband in his long ministry, and in the affections of those to whom he ministered, she is of [17/18] necessity identified with the life of the Church. There are many before me now who have had with her associations to be fondly cherished while life is left them, and if God will, to be renewed and perpetuated through eternity.
For more than six years, it has been my honored lot to stand up for Christ, and preach the Gospel of salvation in the pulpit of St. Ann's. Next to the eminent joy of laboring for the Master and bringing souls to sue for pardon and acceptance at His feet, and ministering to His servants in holy things, has been the comfort flowing from the almost maternal love which dear Mrs. CUTLER has so unexpectedly given me. Her abundant sympathy and hearty support have sustained me in many trials. The nobility of her nature has been grandly vindicated in her lending an unsought and cordial advocacy to all the advancing steps of parish life, which have been taken since the ministry of her husband ended; and I wish to place on record here, that from the first, and all the time, and without exception, it has been my great solace and encouragement to enjoy her spontaneous and earnest co-operation in kindly counsels and cogent prayers. "God bless her for it," I was about to say. But she has now gone where invocations of blessing by human lips cannot avail to beautify her robes of righteousness, or brighten the jeweled crown of joy she wears.
Speaking as a man, I mourn with you, loving kindred and christian friends, the death of this saintly and now sainted daughter of Jesus. But with an eye glancing heavenward to catch and hold for a moment the angelic vision, where the soul, lately imprisoned in a human body upon which the infirmities of four-score years were painfully pressing, now is clothed upon of eternal youth and made to thrill with seraphic life, and given high place among the adoring host of the redeemed, (the glittering and glorious court of Jesus, the triumphant),--with such a sublime spectacle of spiritual destiny realized to the soul, it were almost a sin to mourn. Still, speaking as a man, I can but say, that before us lie the ashes of a beautiful life. Would to God that those who hear me would look beneath [18/19] for the embers, and with these kindle fresh fires of devotion on the altar of the heart, and light new torches of truth and duty for illumining the path of this human pilgrimage.
Mrs. CUTLER'S life was like some sequestered lake in the midst of a great city park, embowered with verdure, canopied with fragrance and always reflecting from its placid surface the varied aspects of the heaven above, while only fairly seen and truly appreciated by those who turn aside from the thronged public ways, to seek for hidden beauties. It was like a strain of low, soft, plaintive yet pleasing and penetrating melody, frequently presented in some great Oratorio, as a refrain relieving the overwrought attention and refreshing the latent and more delicate and sensitive sympathies. Mrs. CUTLER'S life was to her husband's, as a beautiful vine, twining round the vigorous oak, neither covering nor concealing its grand dimensions, nor again impeding its symmetric and healthful growth, but rather, while protecting it from the blast, affording the graceful drapery of evergreen verdure, and the fragrant decoration of unfading flowers.
But she is gone. We waft her a gospel greeting from the Church on earth to the Church in heaven. We send her the salutations of souls akin in Christ. We thank God that for forty years this Parish has been blest with the presence and perfume of her meek and quiet spirit. We thank Him for this illustration of the true christian biology. We congratulate the Church upon this vindicated imitation of Christ. We accept this added proof of the practical power of the doctrines of Jesus, to embellish human life with the adornments of the divine existence. We give to our ascended sister a fond "adieu," for to God she has gone, and yet we would fain regard our "good-bye" but as a gospel "an revoir," since ere long in the kingdom of the blessed we hope to meet again.
To this re-union, let our souls be projected by the impetus of Christly love and Heavenly yearning. Meantime we are standing in the streaming radiance which this Christian Priestess has left behind in her spiritual translation. [19/20] Along the shining pathway we look with the vision of faith, and see her welcomed to the hospitalities of her Father's house. Into the amber glow of these heavenly horizons, her soul has gently passed, until now at last, it is lost to view, the lustre of her human life "slow drowning in the light" of God.
"The light of her pure life went down,
As sinks behind the hill
The glory of a setting star,
Clear, suddenly, and still."
"Fold her, O Father! in thine arms,
And let her henceforth be
A messenger of love, between
Our human hearts and Thee."
O God, whose days are without end, and whose mercies cannot be numbered; Make us, we beseech thee, deeply sensible of the shortness and uncertainty of human life; and let thy Holy Spirit lead us through this vale of misery, in holiness and righteousness, all the days of our lives; That, when we shall have served thee in our generation, we may be gathered unto our fathers, having the testimony of a good conscience; in the communion of the Catholic Church; in the confidence of a certain faith; in the comfort of a reasonable, religious and holy hope; in favor with thee our God, and in perfect charity with the world. All which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.--Visitation of the Sick.
Almighty God, with whom do live the spirits of those who depart hence in the Lord; and with whom the souls of the faithful, after they are delivered from the burden of the flesh are in joy and felicity: We give thee hearty thanks for the good examples of all those thy servants who, having finished their course in faith, do now rest from their labors. And we beseech thee, that we, with all those who are departed in the true faith of thy holy Name, may have our perfect consummation and bliss, both in body and soul, in thy eternal and everlasting glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.--Burial of the Dead.