Rector of the Free Church of St. John.
S. D. BURLOCK.
DEEP down beneath the unresting surge
There is a peaceful tomb;
Storm raves above, calm reigns below;
Safe, safe from ocean's wreck and woe;
Safe from its tide's unceasing flow,
The weary find a home.
Done now with peril and with toil,
They sleep the blessed sleep.
The last wild hurricane is o'er;
All silent now life's thunder roar,
All quiet now the wreck-strewn shore;
'Tis we, not they, who weep.
The sea shall give them back, though death
The well-known form destroy;
Nor rock, nor sand, nor foam can chain,
Nor mortal prison-house retain,
Each atom shall awake again,
And rise with song and joy.
When the cold billow cover'd them,
No solemn prayer was said;
Yet not the less their crown shall be
In the great morn of victory,
When, from their mortal fetters free,
They leave their peaceful bed.
* * * * * * *
Star of the promised morning, rise!
Star of the throbbing wave,
Ascend! and o'er the sable brine
With resurrection-splendor shine;
Burst through the cloud with beams divine,
Mighty to shine and save!
O MORNING STAR! O RISEN LORD!
DESTROYER OF THE TOMB!
STAR OF THE LIVING AND THE DEAD,
LIFT UP AT LENGTH THY LONG-VEILED HEAD,
O'ER LAND AND SEA THY GLORIES SHED;--
LIGHT OF THE MORNING, COME!
IN MEMORY OF REV. ROBERT G. CHASE AND WIFE.
"And I heard a voice from Heaven, saying: Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, from henceforth! Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them."--REV. 14: 13.
They rest from their labors! no longer on earth
They toil for the Master divine!
With glorified spirits of heavenly birth,
Like stars in His kingdom they shine.
Oft weary and worn, amid turmoil and pain,
"The burden and heat of the day"
They bravely endured--now in Eden they gain
The glory that fades not away.
Would'st know of their works, of their labor of love,
The fruit of their diligent care;
All garnered to swell the great harvest above,
And flourish enduringly there?
Go ask the pale mourner, whose cherished ones lie
In the bosom of earth with the flowers;
Whose voice with sweet comfort, whose pitying eye
Enlightened death's dark weary hours?
Go ask of the sick--of the suffering poor!
Who came with the wine and the oil?
With Gilead's balm, gave them strength to endure
Their weariness, sorrow, and toil?
Ah! many a soldier, who, suffering, lay
On battle-fields dark with despair,
Could tell of their goodness, as day after day
They toiled with unfaltering care.
Their mission fulfilled: now beyond the bright sky
They dwell evermore with the blest,
Like Enoch, translated, exalted on high,
To mansions of heavenly rest!
What visions of beauty enrapture their sight,
What music of angels they hear!
Their spirits, in perfect immortal delight,
At the throne of the Father appear.
"They rest from their labors!" O! call them not dead,
But gone to their blissful reward!
"Well done, faithful servants," to them shall be said,
"Enter into the joy of thy Lord!" S. M. R.
RESOLUTIONS OF THE VESTRY
WHEREAS, it has pleased ALMIGHTY GOD, in His wisdom, to remove from among us, by sudden death, our esteemed friend and greatly beloved Rector, Rev. ROBERT G. CHASE, who for eight years has labored in this Parish; and by his uprightness of character and kindness of heart, has endeared himself to us all; Therefore, be it
Resolved, That this Vestry have received, with heartfelt sorrow, the sad intelligence of the death of our late Rector, Robert G. Chase, and his beloved wife.
Resolved, That it is our duty, as well as our great privilege, to bear testimony to his purity of character as a Minister of God, his excellent virtues as a Christian, his worth as a citizen, and to the fidelity with which he has always discharged the duties devolving upon him as Rector of this Parish.
Resolved, That in the death of Rev. Robert G. Chase, the Church has lost a most faithful, devoted, zealous, and laborious Minister, who, with an eye single to the glory of our BLESSED MASTER, was constant, in season and out of season, in his devotion to the work committed to him, and by this sad event the community has lost a valuable citizen.
 Resolved, That in the death of Mrs. SUSAN R. CHASE, wife of our beloved Rector, this Vestry feel that the Church has sustained a severe loss, and they desire to bear testimony to her Christian virtues, as exemplified in her earnest labors in the Sundayschools, in the societies of the Church, and in her daily visitations among the poor and needy, and the sick of the Parish.
Resolved, That this Vestry deeply sympathize with the relatives and friends of the deceased in their sad bereavement.
Resolved, That as a mark of respect to the memory of our late Rector, the chapel be draped in mourning for the term of six months.
Resolved, That the Rt. Rev., the Bishop of the Diocese, be invited to deliver a discourse at an early day, reviewing the character and labors of our lamented Rector.
Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions, properly attested, be transmitted to the family of the deceased, and that they be published in one church paper and two secular papers.
E. WRIGLEY, J.A. HULL, H. P. SCHETKY, Committee.
ROBERT E. PETERSON, Jr., Secretary.
PHILADELPHIA, October 19, 1867.
REP. G. P. SCHETKY, D.D.
REV. AND DEAR SIR: I am desired by the Vestry of the Church of St. Matthias to invite you to deliver, at your earliest convenience, in our Chapel, a Memorial Sermpn on the death of our lamented Rector, the Rev. Robert G. Chase. Please arrange the time, &c., with your brother, H. P. Schetky, Esq., and the Rev. D. B. Ray.
SAMUEL D. BURLOCK,
Senior Warden, Church of St. Matthias.
PHILADELPHIA, November 25, 1867.
REV. G. P. SCHETKY, D.D.
REV. AND DEAR SIR: At the request of a large number of the members of the Church of St. Matthias, that the Memorial Sermon in commemoration of our late deceased Rector, delivered by you at our Church, should be published, I was appointed by the Vestry to request of you a copy of the same, if [11/12] agreeable to you, that it may he put in a form appropriate for preservation.
Yours, very truly,
SAMUEL D. BURLOCK,
Senior Warden, Church of St. Matthias.
ST. ANDREW'S DAY. A.D. 1867.
SAML. D. BURLOCK, ESQ.,
Senior Warden of the Church of St. Matthias.
MY DEAR SIR: Your note of the 25th inst. was delayed in its transmission, and this, with constant engagements since its receipt, must be my apology for not replying earlier. "The Memorial Sermon in commemoration of your late deceased Rector," delivered by me at your solicitation, was prepared without the remotest idea of publication, in the midst of the many urgent demands of my own parochial cares and duties. If it possesses any peculiar merit, to entitle it to your favorable consideration, it must be simply in the fact, that it is the expression of my love for him, whose memory we mutually cherish dearly. In complying with your request, and that of the congregation you represent, for its publication, I rely on your judgment--not on my own. Praying the GREAT HEAD of the Church to minister to the bereaved flock from the abundant treasures of His grace and consolation, and to send you a true and faithful Pastor--a man after His own Heart,
I remain, very truly,
Your friend and servant,
GEO. P. SCHETKY.
ORDER OF THE SERVICES.
IN accordance with a Resolution of the Vestry, the sermon, which has been thus requested for publication, is preceded by an outline of the Services on the occasion, viz.: The service for the day (the Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity) was as usual, with the exception of the following additions, &c.:
Before the commencement of Morning Prayer, the Choir sang an Anthem--"Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see GOD." Among the sentences at opening the service, the sentences at the head of the Office for the Burial of the Dead were read. Instead of the Psalter for the day of the month, the Psalms read were the 16th, 39th, and 90th. The First Lesson was Job xiv. The Second Lesson was St. Luke xx. Among the Occasional Prayers, the one "for Persons in Affliction," and the two concluding prayers in the Office for the Burial of the Dead, were used. The 67th Psalm in Metre, and the 201st Hymn (a favorite one with the Rev. Mr. Chase), were sung to appropriate tunes. After the Offertory, the congregation rose, and remained standing, while the sentences in the Office for the Burial of the Dead, commencing [13/14] with "Man that is born," &c., were read. The choir then chanted the Anthem, "I heard a Voice," &c.; and the services concluded with the prayer, "O GOD! whose days are without end," &c., the Collect for All Saints' Day, and the Benediction.
"The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart; and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come." Isaiah 57: 1.
WE cannot, under any circumstances, look forward without awe, to the last strugglipgs of dissolving nature, and to the hour in which our disembodied spirits shall stand in the presence of God, and our bodies return to their parent earth. Our contemplations of the judgment to come, the hour of final retribution, and the silent process of corruption in the tomb, are ever those of awe to all, and, to some, of undefinable terror. He must, indeed, be lost to all the apprehensions and feelings of intelligent, social, and immortal beings, who can speak lightly upon so solemn a subject as this; or, who, without hope of happiness beyond the grave, can anticipate, [15/16] with indifference, his final separation from all the sources of earthly enjoyment. So inevitable is death, so short is life, so uncertain the period when the one may approach and the other terminate, that, when reflecting upon the present, and anticipating the future, each man may say, "There is but a step between me and death!" The judgment or opinion we may form or express, concerning the death of others, in each instance, therefore, affords a plain indication of the light in which we regard it as approaching to ourselves. The solemn consideration of its inevitableness should not only induce men to seek immediate reconciliation with their MAKER, and increase their spiritual diligence in the great work of the soul's salvation, but also arouse them to the attitude of a constant and vigilant preparation for that eternity into which death shall usher them.
A corroboration of these remarks may be found in the language of the prophet. "The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart:" such is the insensibility of the world in general, to the death of the righteous; and from the fact that "none consider that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come," we may also perceive an equal insensibility [16/17] to the consequences of the death of the righteous. The language of mourning and lamentation is not unfrequently heard bewailing the departed--the blasting of their fair prospects of happiness and distinction; their period of life suddenly cut short, and their deprivation of the enjoyments from which they have been removed. We are accustomed to speak as if we regarded their decease as being to them an evil of the greatest possible magnitude; as if it terminated their existence, unmindful of the fact revealed to us in the Holy Scriptures that man was born to die, that he might LIVE. If they, whose death we lament, "have departed hence in the Lord"--if they have laid "up for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may attain eternal life"our language is the utterance of a sinful and extremely reprehensible unbelief. It is a voice from the earth; the great majority of whose inhabitants walk by sight, not by faith, looking to things seen and temporal, not to those which are unseen and eternal. The Beloved Disciple tells us, in his wondrous vision of the Apocalypse, that he "heard a voice from Heaven," speaking to him in a very different language--speaking to him of [17/18] the death of the good and holy, and calling from men expressions of mingled joy and gratitude:--"A voice from Heaven," whether they die in youth, or in maturer years, or in extreme old age--expressly commanding him to "write," and thus record this beatitude for the comfort and hope of the bereaved survivors, and for the instruction of all men through all succeeding generations: Blessed are the dead which die in the LORD from henceforth: Yea, saith the SPIRIT, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them."
"The milder genius of the Gospel checks not the feelings of human nature: 'Jesus wept,' and the sacred fountains of sorrow flow for the purification of the soul. But that Gospel, which represses not the tears of humanity, lights up the radiance of hope in the eyes from which they fall; it draws the veil of mortality aside, and points to the glories of that region into which the immortal spirit enters. Standing on the holy elevation of the Cross of CHRIST, we now behold the clouds roll away from the valley of the shadow of death,--we see, opening beyond them, the innumerable mansions of the virtuous, and, washed from all their earthly [18/19] stains, in the blood which streamed for their redemption, we see them prepared to enter into the joy of their LORD."
But, in all this scene, there is nothing exciting to arrest the rambling thoughts of a giddy world, little to invite, even curiosity, and, less to detain attention. The gay and frivolous may look upon the couch of the departing Christian: all is so peaceful and indicative of inward composure, that, beyond a momentary sigh for the common lot, no remark is excited, no permanent interest is aroused. Even the words of counsel uttered by the departing saint, are assumed to be the usual observations in mortal extremity, which will naturally fall from the lips of the spectator himself, when his own turn for death shall have arrived. But a vague thought exists, in the mind of such an one, as to the inner secret of all that peace, serenity, and tranquil submission and resignation. The only idea which seems to have any form in the mind of the thoughtless is, that the King of Terrors can be met on such easy terms; and then he goes forth from that scene, where God's holy angels tread with awe, into the world again--that world whose incitements and invitations to renewed folly [19/20] are willingly accepted, as the most ready means of dispelling the cloud which affects his spirits with unaccustomed gloom, and, in exact corroboration of the declaration of the prophet, he layeth not to heart the death of the righteous" of which he had so recently been an actual witness. Yes! thus is it with the mass of mankind. The event is of so little moment to them, because their hearts, in general, either are, or would be, so very light, gay, and heedless of the future. The effect produced is but too commonly superficial; very similar to that experienced by Balaam, when he involuntarily bore testimony to the happiness which gilds the hour of death to the righteous, and exclaimed, "Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!" but remained unconverted to a life of righteousness, and persisted in his course of vanity and rebellion against GOD. One would naturally suppose, that no such scene could be more impressive, or be more likely to conduce to the reformation of wicked men, or rouse the thoughtless to earnest piety and holiness of life. Doubtless, this consideration prompted the celebrated Addison on his death-bed, as it has others, to send for a young friend whom he [20/21] desired to reclaim from infidel opinions and vicious habits. Upon his approach he grasped his hand with affectionate earnestness, and with a solemn impressiveness said, "I have sent for you that you may see in what peace a Christian can die!" But a short time elapsed before his young friend was also summoned from the world, affording in his departure, an awful instance of the little care men take to lay to heart the lesson taught in every hopeful death. "Be ye also ready!" is the lesson taught us in the death of every godly man; but the force of the argument, which the obvious preparation for their departure exhibits, is evaded, in consequence of the clinging hold of the heart upon the world and its pleasures; and thus often, alas! too often, men retire from the spectacle of their mortal hour with the unauthorized conclusion that death will prove no greater trial, when it comes, to themselves.
The insensibility of the world is likewise exhibited with regard to the immediate results of death to the true Christian, and to the permitted consolation for natural grief at their departure: "none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come."
It is the natural view of death, as a mere [21/22] sundering of earthly ties, of which the worldly are most sensible. It is regarded by them as a fatality, not as a Divine appointment in wisdom and love, whereby the limits and restrictions of an earthly existence are removed, and the blessed departed evermore escape from human misery, and ever-recurring trouble and sorrow. Whatever be their own condition, they do not draw consolation in the day of adversity from the reflection, that "man is born to trouble," and that they have only their own share, as a needful discipline; and so, unaccustomed to reflection, when the righteous die, they do not apply the thought that, by the appointment of God, death has mercifully relieved them from a world of sorrow. So long as men content themselves solely with the pleasures of the world, and hide out from their minds the fact of an approaching end and its issue, the present life is not regarded as a fallen condition, to which, whatsoever be their worldly station, inevitable troubles necessarily appertain. "The field of this life is full of the springs of sorrow, and these, in a large proportion, have their origin in the conditions of its imperfection. The pains and sicknesses of the body, the infirmities and errors of the mind, the [22/23] wanderings and excesses of the passions, are all the sources of many and great sorrows, and of sins which are additional sorrows." But,we are most apt to give our whole souls to pleasures while they last, and, therefore, when they fail, or lose their power to satisfy, or sickness or afflictive dispensations darken our paths, the change too frequently seems an unusual trial, and we are tempted to murmur, instead of patiently submitting to the chastisement divinely inflicted upon all "who go campaigning through this world of woe." The dear affections, which grow out of the varied relations of life, must needs be wounded when those relations are sundered by death. The Church, however, is not unmindful of the salutary doctrine, that death has no place nor part in the dominion into which he has conducted the righteous. A scene of holiness, happiness, and eternal peace and freedom is opened to them, in the act, by which, forever, his own power is abdicated. In her Office for the Burial of the Dead, wherein she alike wisely refrains from commendation, and charitably abstains from all condemnation of the deceased, she leads those who survive to consider that "the faithful departed" are released from all their earthly cares, and, [23/24] delivered from the miseries of this evil world, "are in joy and felicity." The tide of worldly thought is thus stayed for a brief moment by her gentle hand, and her consoling voice is heard calling upon the sorrowing and bereaved to "give hearty thanks for the good examples of all those who, having finished their course in faith, do now rest from their labors." But, it is only for a brief moment; for that which the prophet declares is verified: "none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come"--the very last consideration which the unbelief arising from worldliness will allow men to receive into their hearts. Negligent and careless, as we are by nature prone,--ever postponing our preparation for the day of evil and sorrow, as though it would never come to ourselves,--we have, nevertheless, at times, mourned without encouragement, over those for whose departure we would gladly find the means of consolation. The death of the good, the spiritually-wise, the holy, has touched us all most keenly. We have felt their superior piety, though we were too frivolous to emulate it; we have felt their ardent affection, rendered doubly valuable by its religious purity, though we returned it with only a less sanctified love. [24/25] Perhaps, indeed, we had well-nigh imagined that their sanctity of life, and devoted service to CHRIST, in some way would atone for our omissions of religious duty; and, blinded by the tears of inner grief, we may have almost fancied that, in their departure, we lost those whose devout prayers and aspirations would, perhaps, ward off present evil, or even through acceptance with God, secure our final peace.
Beloved, I have but presented, in brief outline, that which has been our common experience; by a worldly parent, at the loss of a holy child; by pleasure-loving children, at the death of a pious parent; or by those who, careless concerning their own spiritual condition, had, nevertheless, sufficient thought and seriousness to respect a godly friend or pastor, when the gates of death closed upon that friend or pastor. In the salutary reflections occasioned by severe bereavement, no more calming influence can be induced than the conviction, in that hour, that the righteous child, parent, friend, or pastor had been mercifully "taken away from the evil to come." The shortest life gives us a taste of the happiness of existence, and the most protracted period of our being adds very little more. The speediest death prevents the repetition, [25/26] merely, of the same or a few similar enjoyments, but kindly cuts off, at the same time, the possibility of evils and disorders which too often sting and wound the very vitals of the soul. That great hour in which he bids farewell to earth, is the consummation of his moral being, the seal affixed to the character of his soul, which no future hour can efface or remove. He has then, forever, escaped, not merely from the fluctuations of the world, but from the mutability of human nature itself.
We have spoken of death as ordinarily manifested, yet the same reflections will likewise apply,--only with the greater force of argument,--when we regard it as a circumstance ever near at hand, not only to the diseased, and feeble, and aged, but also to the hale, and strong, and young. Casualties of various kinds, sudden deaths, either by what are denominated "the forces of nature," or special visitations of Divine Providence, are so many voices eloquently urging upon our consideration lessons of the brevity and uncertainty of life, and the frequent suddenness of death. "How death tempers the wildness of the world! In times of the most general gayety there are always contemporaneous sorrows,--some hearts breaking, while others [26/27] are bounding. While we look on gaily thronging crowds, intent on the business, the pleasure, or the wonder of the day, we cannot, we cannot forget that some houses have their windows darkened and their doors closed, because within them are the sorrowful, the sick, the dead. Thus are our passions modulated. Thus does the low note of sadness run through the music of life, heard in its loudest swells, present in all its variations, uttering its warning accompaniment throughout, and moderating the harmony of the whole." Though ignorant how, or when, or where we shall depart, ought we not to be impressed with the multiplicity of the paths whereby we may ? Oh, how fearfully true, that, to each one of us "in the midst of life we are in death!"
When we are brought to reflect that, in a day, an hour, a moment, perhaps even far away from home, among strangers, on the ocean or the land, our dust shall return to its parent dust, and the immortal spirit, now tabernacled within, shall be carried into the actual presence of HIM, WHOSE pardon cannot then be vouchsafed in answer to prayer, WHOSE condemnation cannot be suspended by supplications for mercy, surely we must [27/28] recognize the voice of HIM WHO has warned: "Be ye ready, for ye know not when the time is!" Surely, it must be enough to quell and reduce to a holy calm, every unkind thought or feeling against our brethren, or distrust in the ways of Divine Providence, or personal discontent; enough to bring us to the foot of the cross of our dear LORD, with hearts subdued to His service, and inspired with all that awe and sense of dependence with which we ought at all times to regard our HEAVENLY FATHER; ever enough to make us very zealous in doing His work, "knowing how very short our time is." At whatsoever period of life death comes, we feel that it is sudden, even though it may have been anticipated. But, when youth and health, the full tide of life, and the yet but opening career of usefulness, are suddenly arrested; when the hopes of future years, and the expectations of future usefulness come to an end in a moment, the mind is unhinged, and not until we can think of God in the wisdom of His mysterious Providence, and the rich consolations of the grace of CHRIST JESUS, are we able to calm our troubled and tumultuous thoughts. "Be still, and know that I am God!" We can only bow in submission to the august [28/29] mystery of His providence, while, mingled with the tones of consolation, His VOICE is heard in monition: "Prepare to meet thy God!"
The proportion of the godly to the worldly has ever been small, and hence we cannot fail to notice, beloved, how the removal of one who, in the walks of Christian activity or the usefulness of a faithful ministry, has occupied a prominent position, gives additional advantage of numbers, if not preponderance of influence, to the worldly and wicked. The ways of Zion mourn, and her children are troubled, when her faithful watchmen are taken away. The entire influence of each godly man, and the combined exertions of all the faithful are needed to stem the swelling tide of heresy, schism, false doctrine, sin, and unbelief. Faith in the infallibility of the record of Divine Truth, with confidence in the Divine promise for the indefectibility of the Church of CHRIST, as the Divinely-appointed "witness and keeper" of that sacred deposit of "the truth as it is in JESUS," encourage us to look and labor for the conversion of the world. Vast and sublime in its character, this work is to be accomplished, under God, by human instrumentalities. "Faithful men" are its agents [29/30] among all classes; heralds of divine love, good-will, and peace to all people; living epistles of CHRIST, known and read of all men.
My Beloved Brethren of this Parish! the text and train of reflections which has resulted in this discourse, were suggested to my mind by the event which, in common with yourselves, the whole Church in this city mourns. The peculiar circumstances under which I have been placed by the invitation of the vestry of this parish, to perform a duty which had been previously, at an early day, assigned to other hands, render it difficult for me to do that justice to the theme, which your affection for the memory of your beloved pastor naturally demands. I present no eulogium, for his worth is too well known to you, who are drawn here together by the consolations of CHRIST, in the bonds of a mutual grief and common sympathy, in commemoration of his life and the mournful circumstances attending his death. I simply bring my humble tribute to his memory; a few flowers gathered here and there and from the cultured garden of my own brief remembrance, to lay upon the altar of affection today.
 "I count the hope no day-dream of the mind,
No vision fair of transitory hue,
The souls of those whom once on earth we knew,
And loved, and walked with in communion kind,
Departed hence, again in heaven to find.
Such hope to nature's sympathies is true;
And such we deem the Holy Word to view
Unfolds,--an antidote for grief designed,
One drop from comfort's well."
I feel to-day, as at the instant when I received the intelligence, that this is not the loss of his people only, but a public calamity; a calamity to this community, and to the Church of God, of which he was one of her most faithful sons. The history and circumstances of the melancholy event, by which he was suddenly cut off, in the midst of his days and usefulness, are too well known for recapitulation in detail. Quick as the electric flash which bore the intelligence through the whole country, the recital of the facts sent a thrill to the hearts of all, and many to whom he was personally unknown, as well as those to whom he was dear in the close ties of kindred and pastoral love and clerical intercourse, mourned and have wept over his untimely fate, and that of his faithful partner and co-worker in life, and companion in death. It was a saying of McCheyne, "Live so as to [31/32] be missed." We know but too well' what this means. Widely and mournfully is he missed. God is taking from us the men who, with great diversity of gifts, were each pre-eminent in his own sphere. It behooves us to humble ourselves under His rebukes, and lay to heart the lessons HE is teaching us.
The Rev. Robert Greene Chase was born at Hopkinton, N. H., on the 19th of December, 1835. In earliest infancy he was deprived of a mother's care, and six years later his father perished at sea. Thus in orphanage, he was left under the watchful and tender charge of relatives in Newburyport, Massachusetts. At an early age, the mind of young Chase exhibited such evidences of superior excellence as awakened the joy and pride of his guardians, the prayers of his pious friends, and the delight of his instructors, while at the same time, his naturally docile, affectionate, and enthusiastic temperament gained for him the love of all. When sixteen years of age, he renewed his baptismal vows and promises, in the solemn rite of confirmation, at St. Paul's Church, Newburyport, where, shortly after, he received his first communion. As he [32/33] advanced and the wonderfully retentive powers of his mind were developed, there appeared such aptitude, both for acquiring and imparting knowledge, such patient assiduity, and such remarkable success, as gave promise of the highest eminence. Upon the termination of his course of studies at the Brown High School, in the town of his adoption, he engaged in teaching at Newbury. Such a mind and disposition were well possessed of the qualifications requisite for such a position, yet his desire for usefulness could not be stayed at that point. "What things" would have been "gain" to him in worldly respects, he had, by the grace of God, "learned to count loss," in comparison with "the excellent knowledge of CHRIST JESUS" Yea, to "count all things but loss, that be might win CHRIST, and be found in HIM," and make HIM known to others. Under these serious impressions, cultivated from his earliest years, he entered upon studies more immediately preparatory to the work of the ministry, and was graduated with distinction at Burlington College, N.J., in 1856. On the 21st day of December of the same year, he was ordained to the Diaconate by Bishop Doane. His first pastoral, charge was at the pleasant little [33/34] village of Pemberton, in the same diocese, from which, as the centre of a widely-extended field, he performed with faithfulness and ardor, a laborious missionary work. In the spring of 1858 he accepted a call to the rectorship of St. Peter's Church, at Freehold. While there, he was married to Susan R., eldest daughter of Joseph Dobbins, Esq., of Mount Holly. As a graduate of St. Mary's Hall, in Burlington, her education had been conducted under influences similar to those which had resulted so happily to himself. In her death, under its peculiar circumstances, you have experienced a loss scarcely less severe than that of your pastor, for with him, she was constant, "in season and out of season," in her earnest labors in the Sundayschool, in the societies of the Church, and in daily visitations among the poor and needy, and the sick of the parish.
The abilities of our brother demanded a wider field, and accordingly, on the 17th day of July, 1859, when scarcely twenty-four years of age, he exchanged the life of a rural clergyman, which had been eminently successful, for that of a city rector, and assumed the charge of this parish, then but recently organized, and worshipping in "a large upper [34/35] room." Thenceforth, all that he was, all that he had, was yours. This parish, this flock, this house of the LORD, he loved with an intensity which nothing could change. Here it was that, after "having used the office of a deacon well," he was called unto the higher ministry of the priesthood, to which office he was admitted, on the 18th of December, by Bishop Bowman, under the peculiarly solemn and interesting circumstances of the first opening of this chapel for its appropriate services. This event seems to have brought out into more lively exhibition the more salient points of his character, awakening all the energies and responsibilities of his mind, and calling forth a more unreserved devotedness of himself, "soul, body, and spirit," to the work of the highest dignity and weightiest charge: "To preach CHRIST, and Him crucified." This work, from the time of his ordination, was set as a seal upon his heart; and you are witnesses that, with a spirit of humble, earnest, self-sacrificing devotedness, which has won for him an enduring name, and bequeathed to us who mourn, so bright an example, he was, by the grace of GOD, enabled to "discharge the ministry he had received," and to fulfil the office, [35/36] the weighty responsibilities of which he felt so much.
I shall never forget the occasion of our first acquaintance, and his warm fraternal greeting and welcome; and his earnest invitation to be present at his ordination, which was to take place within a month. I had then but recently removed to the East, and in the beloved flock under my pastoral care, were many of his family connections and personal friends. Very quickly have flown those years; and it seems only as yesterday since we participated in the same sacred services. Those years, though their memories may endure, will no more return; nor will those again meet together on earth who met in that sanctuary. Since then we frequently met in public, and under each other's roofs, and preached in each other's pulpits. Only the Friday before his departure, "in all the buoyancy of a season of anticipated pleasure," we walked a considerable distance together, while he described to me the attractions of the spot to which he was about to resort in expectation of rest and recreation. Before parting we made arrangements, D. V." as he said, "to exchange some time in October!" How strange the ordering by which I stand [36/37] here to-day that "in October," while there is
"Calm and deep peace in this wide air,
These leaves that redden to the fall;--
Calm on the seas, and silver sleep,
And waves that sway themselves in rest,
And dead calm in that noble breast
Which heaves but with the heaving deep,"
I should be here, in the providence of GOD, to fulfil my promise; yet, how peculiar in its associations!
"Break, break, break,
On thy cold gray stones, O sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me!"
All that I ever knew of him was always the same; as those who knew him best, and shared his largest confidence, can corroborate: a man of warm, unselfish heart; generous in all his impulses, and, therefore (as is almost always the case with such characters), often misunderstood; frank and manly, and ever courteous in his bearing and intercourse with all his brethren; fervent in his piety towards GOD; kind as a pastor, faithful as a preacher, sound and consistent as a churchman, zealous for the glory of his SAVIOUR, and the best interests of His church, he merited and [37/38] received, in a large degree, the esteem and respect of the church at largo in this city and elsewhere, and the confidence and affection of his people. How he regarded the pastoral relation in its grave and solemn responsibilities, may be best expressed in the striking words of his own eloquent sermon, on the Sunday succeeding the consecration of this chapel: "If I thought that the ties that knit my heart to yours could be rudely sundered by death, I should be 'of all men most miserable.' But the pastoral relation lives on into eternity. The minister of CHRIST carves his work upon the adamant of immortality. For all his trials, his tireless watch lest some of those sheep intrusted to his keeping should stray away and be lost, he will reap an 'overpayment of delight' when he meets at. the throne of GOD those that through his imperfect instrumentality are saved, through the purchase of the Cross, forever--when he stands with them in the light of the resurrection morning before THE SAVIOUR and THE JUDGE, saying, 'Lo, I, and the children that GOD hath given me!'
"I look upon them that have 'labored with me in the Gospel,' and, with the earnest prayer that enduring unto the end they may [38/39] be saved, I see them rising from their lowly graves at the trumpet peal of the last day to receive their exceeding great reward--I see them come in the white robes of their REDEEMER'S sinlessness amid the songs of angels and the sublime Trisagion anthem of 'the whole company of heaven' to hear that sentence of approval, 'Well done, good and faithful servants, enter ye into the joy of your Lord.' There we shall meet again, and one of the joys of our heaven shall be the recollection of our mutual cares and labors here. And if it should be our unspeakable happiness to find in that bright world one whom our influence or example first directed to the Cross, and to that salvation that is attained through it alone, not the white robes nor the palms of victory shall give such deep, rich peace as this. 'They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars forever and ever!'"
How solemnly and sadly have his words been in part fulfilled! He is gone! We are left to follow him, even as he followed CHRIST. Gone! and you have lost an earnest and loving pastor, whom it must now be a blessed consolation to you to remember that you [39/40] appreciated justly; his friends, one most dearly beloved; the Church, a worthy and zealous servitor at her altars; the country, a pure and faithful son in the hour of trial. Gone,--gone,--no more to meet in the church militant, and with him in the companionship of death, that faithful wife and mother, bound to him by ties which even death could not sunder!--"Insatiate Archer! could not one suffice?"
"HE giveth HIS beloved sleep!" No temporary pile, howsoever stately, may mark their last resting-place. No marble column in its pride of altitude, "frail memorial" at best, to implore "the passing tribute of a sigh," but the last that the living may do for the departed--tell that one of Christ's faithful ministers reposes beneath. No; theirs is the everlasting requiem of the ceaselessly surging sea; their obelisk the rocky peak and headland of that shore where the relentless deep holds in its fast embrace all that earth or sea may claim of mortality! Standing in imagination where
"Peril and dismay
Wave their black ensigns o'er the watery way,"
we can look with faith and hope "for the [40/41] resurrection of the body, when the Sea shall give up her dead, and the life of the world to come, through our LORD JESUS CHRIST; WHO at His coming shall change our vile body, that it may be like His GLORIOUS BODY; according to the mighty working whereby HE is able to subdue all things unto HIMSELF."
If, in after years, a stranger should ask for his monument, though you may point to the mural tablet, which affection and veneration may erect in commemoration of his virtues and labors here, yet, with a nobler, heightened and more spiritual feeling will you say, "Circumspice! Look around you: here is his most enduring monument; here in the evident tokens of the divine blessing upon his faithful labors; here, in the evidences of the love of CHRIST, which he strove to impress upon our own hearts, and with untiring exhortation to exemplify in and by our lives!" "He, being dead, yet speaketh." He tells you from Paradise, where they measure not joys by human computation, that the present time is short; that nothing is certain, but the uncertainty of life; that the best possible, the only preparation for death, is the persistent practice of Christian duties, virtues, and graces. Cherish, therefore, the [41/42] remembrance of his faithful warnings. Seek that SAVIOUR, WHOM it was his mission and delight to set forth as the only hope for your souls; that so you may yet be his crown and rejoicing in the day of the LORD, and stand with him around The Everlasting Throne participants of the joys of that "sweet and blessed country, the home of God's elect," whither, in bright vision, he so often conducted you,--to which he pointed you, and at last, has led the way--where storm and tempest shall cease; where there shall be no more SEA; where sorrow and sighing and death shall flee away, "till that change cometh which shall never change;" and "GOD shall wipe away tears from off all faces."
And oh! "what," to us, "are those wild waves saying?" It was not OMNIPOTENT intention that their "voices should be in vain." When His Breath cast the voyageurs in that frail bark into the sea, it was in mercy and not in wrath; "the righteous were taken away from the evil to come," and we were admonished to "consider,"--doubly admonished,--that in the midst of life we are in death," and to be "also ready" for the inexorable summons.
It is thus that those waves speak to the [42/43] living, in their dashing and surging with ceaseless iteration upon the rock-bound shore that his feet pressed, for the last time, in joyous descent to their alluring and fatal embrace. "Youth at the helm and pleasure at the prow." With none of the thoughtlessness regarded, generally, but often erroneously, as peculiar to that season of life, with no "pleasure" indulged, inconsistent with the gratefully gushing enjoyment of "the wondrous works of God," spread out before him in the mysterious ocean; with his companions he felt and declared thatwhat he delightedly gazed upon was "glorious," and then sank in a moment, deep in the embrace of the glories he was reverentially contemplating! From the bounded Ocean of Time, he glided gently into the illimitable Ocean of Eternity, and the "Voice" from the deep comes up to us with loving but solemn emphasis:
"Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums are beating
Funeral marches to the grave."
If there is aught else to be added by mortal tongue on such an occasion as the present, let it be this: "Give an account of thy stewardship," is a prophecy and warning before [43/44] every living minister. May I be ready, the work assigned me all done to THE MASTER'S approval; the Apostolic injunction fulfilled: "Take heed unto thyself and unto the doctrine; continue in them, for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee;" and, "BE YE ALSO READY, FOR AT SUCH A TIME AS YE THINK NOT, THE SON OF MAN COMETH!"
And now unto HIM, the ETERNAL and TRIUNE GOD, "WHO alone spreadeth out the heavens, and ruleth the raging of the sea, "WHO has compassed the waters with bounds until day and night come to an end, be all glory and honor, dominion and power, forever and ever, AMEN!