Project Canterbury












Transcribed by Wayne Kempton
Archivist and Historiographer of the Diocese of New York, 2011

Hobart Press:


On the festival of St. Luke, 1846, it was proposed to the congregation of the Church of the Holy Communion, that half of the offerings of the day should be laid aside as the beginning of a fund towards the founding of an institution for the relief of the sick poor under the auspices of religion. On each return of the festival the object was kept in view, and the whole proceeds of the offertory so appropriated. No special efforts, however, were made until St. Luke's day, 1849, when the subject was discoursed of more at large, and the offerings for the contemplated hospital, which were given as thank offerings for deliverance from the Cholera, were such as to indicate a strong and greatly increased interest in the undertaking. Thus far it was very much of a parochial object, cherished in the patient hope of its being realized at a distant day, but now it engaged the attention of others. The following lectures were repeated in St. Paul's Church at the earnest request of several of the clergy, and encouragement was given by laymen as well, to bring the subject before the Church at large in the city. Accordingly, a Society of St. Luke's Hospital has been incorporated and organized, the managers of which are from several of our city churches, and the lectures are printed for general circulation. They are to be considered by the reader as addressed to Church people at large in the city. Although published at the request of the managers of St. Luke's Hospital, for the sentiments they contain, and the manner of expressing them, the author alone is responsible.




In reading the Gospels, every one must have noticed how much the time of our blessed Lord was taken up with doing good to the bodies of men. While He came as if on errand only to the inner man of the soul, He was constantly ministering to the outer man of the flesh—ever proclaiming the truth for the cure of spiritual ills, yet ever engaged in relieving temporal ills. As he assumed our entire humanity, so he applied himself to the healing of its maladies, in all their kinds and forms; dispensing, both as the sign of a greater, and for its own sake, a temporal salvation. Open the Evangelists almost any where, and you see Him thus engaged. He is constantly acting the physician. His patients are always about Him—the dropsical, the paralytic, the cripple, the leper, the diseased of every form. There you see him operating on the eyes of the blind; there curing Peter's mother-in-law sick of a fever; there listening to a father describing the case of his lunatic child: now restoring a man with a withered hand, then a [7/8] woman bowed down all her life with an incurable weakness; and then that patient one, who for years had been expecting a neighbor not to step before him into the pool. How he sighs, nor only sighs, over the hapless mute! How prompt to use His healing power in the midst of his sufferings, touching Malchus's ear, on His way to the cross. And see that dispensary, where they are thronging the door to be healed, and the carriers of the palsied man are breaking through the roof to get him to the great Physician. To say nothing of His compassion for the physical distresses of men in other ways, (such as His feeding the multitude again and again in the wilderness, making them sit down in ranks on the green grass, while he sends his apostles as servitors with the baskets and loaves among them) there must often have been such a thronged dispensary about Him, for He is represented as attending to the sufferers in crowds. St. Luke tells us, that one evening while the sun was going down, "All they that had any sick with divers diseases, brought them unto Him, and He laid His hands on every one of them, and healed them." St. Matthew says, "He went about all the cities and villages, healing every sickness and all manner of disease among the people." Again—"He went about all Galilee, healing all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease among the people." "All Galilee." This, according to Josephus, was a most populous province, not more than some sixty miles square, yet containing upwards of two hundred cities [8/9] and towns, the least of which had fifteen thousand inhabitants. Through all these millions our Lord went up and down, making His circuits of beneficence. Besides Galilee, St. Matthew continues, "His fame went throughout all Syria, and they brought unto Him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy, and He healed them; and there followed Him," chiefly, no doubt, for these benefits, "great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judea, and from beyond Jordan." So that the miraculous cures of our Lord, instead of being the comparatively few which are given us in detail, and which alone we are apt to think of, were in all probability many thousands in number, and this during the short period of his ministry; whence we perceive how largely He must have been so employed. To the multitude it must have seemed His very profession; and that He designed his ministers to imitate Him in this regard, appears from His first commission to the apostles, imparting to them the sanatory gifts which he exercised Himself. When He sent forth the seventy He charged them, in "whatever city they came to heal the sick therein;" and when finally He dismissed the twelve with plenary powers into all the world, this special endowment was not forgotten. Accordingly we find the Apostles making use of it bountifully like their Lord. [9/10] Turning to the beginning of the Acts, you behold Peter and John, when the lame beggar at the gate asked alms of them, instantly bestowing on him a boon beyond his hopes, in the recovered strength of his tottering limbs. Soon after you find the people bringing their invalids out into the streets and laying them there on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. So surcharged with a healing virtue, the Apostles appeared to them, that they thought their very shadows must be full of it. Reports of the wondrous cures flew in every direction. The inhabitants of the neighboring cities flocked to Jerusalem, bringing in their ailing friends and relatives, "and they were healed every one."

The fact is thus a striking one, that the ministry of our Blessed Lord, and also those whom He left in His place, was very extensively devoted to this particular mode of doing good. Certainly it is strongly marked, and strange would it have been had it failed to impress itself distinctly and permanently on the mind of His Church, as a part of His example in which she was especially bound to follow in His steps. Accordingly, when the marvellous gifts of the Holy Ghost subsided in the spreading fulness of His gifts of grace (the less vanishing in the greater) the Church never thought of laying aside, at the withdrawal of her extraordinary powers, her office as the benefactor of the sick, but rather made it her favorite work of love. She gave it in charge to her ministers. [10/11] It was systematized as part of her regular operations, under the direction of the Bishops with their clergy, particularly the deacons, and others in the lower ecclesiastical orders. As the Church became settled, and she remoulded society more or less in conformity with her spirit, teaching her more wealthy members to impart liberally for their suffering brethren, her charitable provisions took the form of permanent establishments. Devout women and men ministered in person to the sick poor. Some gave themselves wholly up to such charity, their faith seeking this particular likeness to the Saviour. At length arose the HOSPITAL: the distinguishing institution of Christendom—the monument, if we may so speak, erected by the Church to the memory of her Lord, "stretching forth His hands to heal." Even more than places of worship, this was the characteristic mark of a Christianized society. The temple at Jerusalem had been standing for ages. The synagogues were of ancient date. The pagans worshipped in groves and high places. The Greeks and Romans piled their magnificent architecture to the gods. Men were familiar with what answered to churches but asylums for the wretched were yet unknown in the world. They were the product of the Christian Church. Here is a fact in history; account for it, Sir Infidel, if you can, or stop your boast of a philanthropy apart from the Gospel. In vain among the most polished nations of antiquity, will you seek for a trace, either in their annals, or in the [11/12] ruins of their once proud cities, a solitary trace of any thing like a charitable institution for the poor, the widow, the orphan or the sick; any thing like the hospital.—The origin of the name is worth noticing for its significance. "As there were no inns for the accommodation of strangers when in foreign countries, or at a distance from home, it was usual for travellers of the Roman nation, to be received at the houses of individuals, whom they in turn entertained at Rome. The connection thus established was considered a sacred one, and was styled hospitium, jus hospitii. The former term (hospitium) was also applied to the reception of a stranger, and likewise to the house or apartments in which he was entertained; and the Roman nobility were in the practice of erecting such accommodations on the right and left of their houses, with separate entrances, which they called hospitalia." [Ree's Encyclopaedia, Article Hospital.] The Christians adopted the name for the places which they erected for their helpless invalid brethren. These were their "hospitalia;" hence our word hospital, which thus reminds us that the charity it designates is peculiarly Christian hospitality, Christian entertainment; and that, emulating the patricians at Rome, the nobles in Christ's empire should provide hospitalia, to entertain His poor, and so, as He has taught us, to receive Himself as their guest.

Once established, the number of such houses rapidly increased over Christendom. In process of time, [12/13] with the influx of wealth into the Church, they came to be richly endowed, and being too much in the hands of irresponsible persons, less fidelity in their administration naturally followed, and corruptions, sadly frustrating the design of their pious founders. The discipline of the Church relaxing, the priests contrived to have them converted into benefices which they held at pleasure and for their own advantage. Thus abuses went on, increasing with the lapse of years, and with the increasing deterioration of the religious orders; the stories of which form so dark a chapter in the annals of the Church in those days. Still there was a vast amount of genuine charity all the while in exercise. The legacies and benefactions of the pious were not wholly lost to the object for which they were given. The ancient hospitality was continued. The traveller, the stranger, the infirm, the destitute, still found shelter in these sanctuaries, subservient as they had become to other purposes so foreign to the intention of their authors. The Church, on the whole, did not lose sight of her office as the almoner of her Lord. Efforts were made by ecclesiastical penalties to correct abuses, yet we know to what a height they had attained at the time of the Reformation, when in England they were corrected, but, as we must confess, with a vengeful rather than a discriminating zeal. Had not so ruthless a hand as that of the Eighth Henry undertaken the work—if instead of being demolished and their property sequestered, the religious houses had been [13/14] remodelled—had there been a re-formation of them on the principles recognized in the reformation of the religion with which they were identified, removing corrupt accretions and bringing out the old original—for these institutions had their origin long before the corruption of the faith—they might still be affording their hospitable bed and board to thousands of the sick and needy of the land. But it is fruitless to speculate as to what might have been done. Seldom is any great good achieved without some loss, and the blessings of the Reformation were secured with as little as perhaps in the nature of the thing was possible. Some of the old foundations still exist in England, and many more on the Continent. Among the most interesting objects to the Christian traveller, in his tour through the countries of Europe, are these houses of mercy, of various descriptions, some of them on a magnificent scale, the pride of the cities which they adorn. There they stand, Hotels of God—fountains of charity that have flowed for ages—almoners of the Church, dispensing the bounties of past generations, and still witnessing for Christ as the healer of the sick.

In our own country the hospital does not appear as a creation of the Church. The state has taken it into her hands. Our alms-houses are maintained at the public expense; and by this means, some may be inclined to think, the Church is very happily relieved of one of her ancient burdens. The state, they would say, having been Christianized—having [14/15] been educated by the Church, to do in this respect, what was once her peculiar work—very reasonably the Church now throws it upon the more able shoulders of the state. Certainly we do owe it to Christianity, that the state undertakes so benevolent a charge. It is one of the triumphs of our religion, that it has so incorporated itself with the fabric of society, that a care for the suffering and destitute is one of the recognized duties of government—that the rich citizen is taxed for the relief of his poor fellow-citizen. This is one of the civil benefits of the Gospel, and we may be thankful, if the Church unhappily fails in her duty, that it is in some measure discharged by the commonwealth. But the commonwealth, whatever be its good intentions or the value of its services, can never do the work of the Body of Christ, nor can that body, without a perverted conscience, and serious injury to her dearest interests, ever turn over to other hands what her Lord, by His emphatic example and solemn injunction, has charged upon herself. Miserably has the Church fallen from her first love, if she is content to relinquish one of her chief and most ancient labors of love. She well nigh ceases to be a mother.

We need not stop here to consider how uncertain and inadequate must be any provision of the state in the premises—how little security there is for the due ministration of charities under public auspices—how much the responsibilities of their agents must rest with themselves—how impossible [15/16] it is in popular elections always to secure the right persons for services which should be animated by a pure and indefatigable philanthropy. No disparagement is intended of the public institutions in question. They may be faithfully administered. Much less is there any insinuation of neglect in those more private corporations, some of which are admirably conducted, and are a credit to our city. I only say that in the nature of things, no municipal establishments can meet the wants of the case. Admitting, however, that they do meet those wants, as far as this life is concerned—that there is all due attention to the bodily necessities and comforts of the multitudes under their care, something more remains to be done, and that of no inferior moment. There must be provision for spiritual wants, for religious ministration; but this, as things are, is wholly impracticable, at least to any extent worth taking into account. There can be little or no care of the souls of our public eleemosynaries. How can there be, when the body corporate, whose proteges they are, has no religion—recognizes no creed, no doctrines, no sacraments—has no pastors nor sanctuaries of its own.

But without enlarging further on these points, we shall at once perceive the incompetence of the state for the work we are considering, by calling to mind how it may be done by the Church. Take a glance then at a hospital conducted under her auspices. Look at a Church Hospital. In all its arrangements and appointments, you mark the signs of sympathy [16/17] with its inmates. They are not looked upon as a collection of miserable creatures, who having been used only to the coarsest fare, expect nothing better, and whose immortal interests make no part of their keepers' concern. No, they are treated as members of Christ's Church, and are made to feel, not that they are outcasts from her, excommunicated for the sin of their poverty, but still within the embrace of her charity, tenderly winning back wanderers (as they may have been) to her fold. Accordingly, those who wait upon them are devout persons, officiating not solely for the sake of maintenance, but equally, at least, for the blessedness of the service itself. They are not hirelings, though servants they be—servants of their Master Christ, serving Him in the persons of those whom He has pronounced His representatives on earth. Thus while the patients have all things needful for their recovery, or for the alleviating of their distress, they amply enjoy the consolations of their religion. They are not deprived of the worship of the Church. Lying in their wards, they may still be a congregation, listening to the service as it proceeds, and joining as they are able in its several parts. [ In the construction of a Church hospital, it should be so arranged that the wards could open, by means of doors or windows at their termination, into the chapel.] They have the constant visits of a pastor, who makes them his spiritual charge, and who, let me remark by the way, in going his rounds among them, or gathering the convalescents in groups about him, can, in [17/18] an hour or two, do more in one of the prime duties of his office, than he otherwise could in several days or a week, and with unspeakably more satisfaction.

In such abodes of mercy—not to speak of their manifold good to the bodies and souls of their beneficiaries, nor the blessedness of the service to their benefactors, having its own rich reward—how much is the prospect of death stripped of the dismay which it has for the poor especially in the ordinary almshouse. The dying father is not oppressed with anxiety, revolving the fate of those which can no longer depend on him. He can calmly resign them to Providence, not doubting that the charity which has provided so blessed a home for his last days will be equally mindful of his widow and orphans. He smiles in death upon the kind and gentle ones who bring them to his bedside for his benediction, assured they will not have the heart to cast them off upon the world.

This is no visionary sketch—rather it is an imperfect outline of what some of you have seen in practice. Many such sanctuaries of love the Church has erected and maintained in foreign countries, a few in our own, but among ourselves none at all. "True," you reply; "nevertheless we have the same thing in substance. We have not the charity in that imposing form, but we have it in reality. Though we have no religious hospitals, our sick poor are not neglected. The widow and fatherless are not left unvisited in their affliction. Many are the Christian [18/19] women who do the services of 'sisters of charity,' and with far less parade." All that is acknowledged. I mean not to disparage what we do in order to magnify what we leave undone. We are not wanting in the offices of humanity, but we do them as individuals, or as members of private societies, and hence they are not to the purpose. I am speaking of what we have left undone in the way of any general and combined action as members of the Church, and which general and combined action is necessary in order to any adequate provision for the sick poor, especially for the strangers that come among us. Visits of kind-hearted individuals to their abodes will not answer, as shall presently be shown. There must be establishments for the purpose if we would render them effectual service. The hospital has ever been one embodiment of charity in all ages, and we have not quite outgrown all the wisdom of the past. Such institutions require united means and energies for their accomplishment. We have missionary societies and such like for the benefit of the souls of men, in virtue of co-operation, but we have not asylums for distrest bodies as well as souls, which equally call for co-operation. We have Church associations for various good objects, but we have no hospital association for Church hospitality.

"But after all," the objection proceeds, "are these institutions so necessary? They are very desirable, very Christian-like, and quite deserving the munificence of those who have it in their power to endow them, but are they really indispensable [19/20] appendages of the Church? Cannot the same good be done in other ways? Why cannot the sick poor (for so the question has been put in conversation on the subject) be as well attended to at their houses? why in fact would they not be more comfortable in their own homes."

Their homes! That cold and damp cellar about as tenantable as your coal-vault? Do you call that a home for the distrest body, crouched in one corner there, swollen and inflamed with the pains of disordered rheum? or that close apartment, heated to stifling in preparing the evening meal, on the shattered stove—that suffocating room, where you would not stop within for a moment—is that the home which you think so favorable for the worn asthmatic, catching every breath as if his last? or yon closet, some ten feet square, in the attic of one of those "poor houses" which the considerate charity of landlords lets out at rates so convenient to tenants—that narrow, crazy shelter, where the rain through the ill-made roof drops in upon the scanty bed, which a family of children are sharing with their consumptive mother—perhaps that is the comfortable home, there is the genial atmosphere, in which the patient may manage, with tolerable ease, to cough her life away, if only kind ladies will visit her, and the good minister come now and then to pray with her. Ah, when you speak of the homes of the poor, you must dismiss the idea you entertain of home, as the place for sickness. Of course it is so for you. The commodious and well ventilated apartment, [20/21] the air regulated by the thermometer to the precise degree of salubrity—the luxurious bed, with its clean and wholesome linen—the medicine nicely mixed—the varied delicacies to tempt the appetite—the sweet attentions of sister or wife, beguiling disease into health—you must change all this for its dismal contrast when you debate with us, whether the poor man might not as well be left where he is in his illness. Ask any clergyman—he will tell you with how little satisfaction he makes his visits among the poor, when they are laboring under disease—how he scarce has the heart to speak of comfort for the soul, while the discomforts of the body call so loud for relief, and for which the scanty aid he can minister seems but akin to the mockery "be ye warmed—be ye filled." He prays for the recovery of his—parishioner—shall I say? I am sure he is afraid to think of the relation. He prays God to restore the invalid—that is to work a miracle, since he leaves him in a condition much more likely to make a well man sick than a sick man well. Or ask a physician, he can tell you better still. He writes his prescription, but hours must elapse before it can be had from the distant dispensary; for there is no change on hand to procure it from the next apothecary. He orders the patient, at a crisis of the disease, to be kept perfectly quiet—quiet in a room where the restless children are running in and out—where, in the next apartment, the hum of the neighbor's spinning wheel, or the racket of the loom, [21/22] never stops—or where the dance and frolic are riotous over head. How would your disordered nerves be soothed with such lulling melody. The physician prescribes a certain diet, some delicate and nourishing aliment—who is to prepare it, supposing there be means to procure it? He is precise in his directions as to the treatment to be pursued, until he comes again—but where is the experienced attendant to carry out his directions? Doctors, if none else, see the need of "sisters of charity" of some sort. The eminent Dr. Rush, of Philadelphia, was once asked by a skeptic in medicine whether, on the whole, he believed physicians did more harm or good? "There is no room for the question," he replied, "if you include nurses among physicians." But for this indispensable half of medical treatment, what chance have the poor, in the forlorn circumstances in which sickness generally finds them? If they have kind attentions, (and the poor are kind to one another—it is pleasant to see the ready assistance of friends and neighbors in their trials,) how can they secure any thing like skilful and experienced nursing? Besides, we all know the importance of favorable moral influences as auxiliary to the physician—how materially they aid recovery. After the memorable battle on Lake Erie, the American surgeon reported, that of the ninety-six wounded men under his care, only three died—modestly adding, "but it was the spirit of victory." With buoyant spirits, men recovered, who, under the pressure [22/23] of defeat, would have sunk; so immediate is the action, through the nervous system, of the moral on the physical of the invalid. But where, alas, are the enlivening, cheering influences to dissipate with their sunshine the gloom of the depressing atmosphere of the sick-room of the poor. Again and again must we all have seen cases, in which the provisions of a Christian hospital would have spared neglected sufferers weeks and months of pain—would have arrested protracted disease, or restored fathers and mothers to dependent families.

"All again very true," says our calculating objector; "but we cannot have Church hospitals for all the poor; there must be always more or less of such suffering. It is one of the hardships of poverty, and the poor are never to cease out of the land. It is the order of God." O wondrous piety! to refrain from interfering with the providence of God. O discerning Churchmanship! to look at the poor, and to see among them no members of Christ's Body—to recognize no spiritual relation between them and us, as their claim on our sympathy. Here is one of the secrets of our indifference. We cast our eyes over the poor as a class in society, a wretched herd, very many of them as bad as they are wretched, and because we cannot by any well devised scheme of political economy help them all, we care effectually to help none—forgetting, that in that wretched herd there are fellow members of the Household of Faith. It is for these especially I am pleading, [23/24] not of course to dismiss all concern for others. God forbid! But the field of charitable labors must be parcelled out, and surely our share, my brethren, is among the comparatively few of our own communion. For these I plead, not in the name of humanity alone, though that were sufficient, but in the name of your Lord and theirs, in the name of Jesus Christ. For the stranger—(not to speak of our native brethren)—for the stranger—yet not a stranger in the alliance of faith—for the emigrant Churchman who brings credentials from his pastor at home, and yet when he falls sick, must seek a refuge no where in the Church in which he has been baptized and nurtured, but in one of the emigration houses [These are as good in their way as circumstances allow. The Commissioners of Emigration do all in their power. There has been as yet no Protestant clergyman on Ward's Island, but one, I learn, is about to be appointed.] on the island. In vain that brother in Christ seeks a room or bed among ourselves. In vain he looks about for one of those dispensaries of mercy, which as we have seen were the spontaneous product of early Christianity, and the absence of which seems to indicate a Church "having a name to live while she is dead."

Is this a fact, my brethren, only to be brought to view and dismissed from our thoughts? or at most to be confessed and deplored? Does no shame rise in our bosoms, at the thought that our Church in this proud metropolis, in which she holds so conspicuous [24/25] a place, whose riches exceed those of any religious body among us, many of whose members are among the merchant princes of the land—this Church of the opulent, the educated, the enlightened, the refined—this Church which glories in her identity with that of the Apostles, cannot point to a single place of refuge for her suffering members. All beauteous her houses of worship, full stately the dwellings of her people, magnificent their villas, lofty their storehouses of merchandize—amid them all stands not a solitary home for her sick poor—her own, her communicating sick poor.

Take this fact home with you, my brethren, for your reflections, and let me discourse to you further of it next Sunday evening—rather let the season discourse of it. [This conclusion is retained, as the season in which these lectures were first delivered is again at hand.]

'Tis ADVENT! the COMING—whose coming? His who brought a Gospel to the poor, who spent his days in ministering to the sick and afflicted, and who charges us, as we dare to call ourselves his disciples, in our measure to do likewise. Alas for our, Hosannahs—our "Blessed  is He that cometh!" Alas for our Christmas rejoicings, if, while we adore the Virgin and the Child, we are willing to let the inhospitable shed still be the shelter for the poor mother and her babe.

'Tis Advent! the coming again—of whom? Of Him—aye of Him, who shall sit upon the throne of [25/26] His glory, and thence to say to them on His left: Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, MY BRETHREN, ye did it not unto ME.



[27] Lamentable as is the fact of the entire absence among us of any provision for the sick poor of our own communion—lamentable as it is in itself, it becomes far more so when further considered only as one of a whole class of similar facts. And such it is. This want of an hospital is not a solitary want of the kind. Would that it were. Would that it were something strange, something anomalous amid our abundant zeal in other works and labors of love. Would that our Church in her career of charity, busy far and wide, had somehow not reached this particular object, or for imperative reasons had postponed it, or was preparing to do it on a scale of magnitude commensurate with her means. Would that she could point to her other eleemosynary establishments planted throughout the city, so amply endowed and so faithfully administered that this one omission might well be forgiven her—that it would be ungenerous to reproach her with this solitary neglect. Alas! we know that it is the reverse of all this. So that, as has just been said, the particular want we are deploring, is only one of many like wants—only a specimen of our deficiencies. In a word, it is the index of a [27/28] state of things. Is it not so, my brethren? Have we scarcely any thing—(let us not be afraid to look facts in the face, for they will look us in the face—facts are as unblushing as they are stubborn)—have we scarcely anything to serve as substantial evidence that we are in earnest in caring for the poor of Jesus Christ? Our private charities—the good deeds which we do as individuals—these I am not now taking into the account. As was observed in the last lecture, these may be highly creditable to us, while yet as a Church and in our corporate capacity, in any combined action, and in those works of charity which require combined action, we are deplorably at fault.

If it be said that our first care must be for the spiritual wants of the poor, let it be granted, and then the question is only to be put, what are we doing so extensively in that line, that it may serve as an offset to our apathy in regard to their temporal wants? What system have we in operation for christianizing the masses in the lower walks of life? What ministry have we for the highways and hedges? How have we made it an object to gather to the gospel board those whom of all others we are most enjoined to call to the feast? Do we go out and invite them in? Where are our city missionaries? Where are our free churches? If we throw open the street doors of the sanctuary, are there not an hundred little doors within to our private apartments, where we should be ill at ease, if "the man in vile raiment" [28/29] should take his seat at our side? We build up noble temples to the honor of the Most High, and when it is asked why such lavish of expense in their structure?—why all this waste of money in their masonry and garniture? We answer, it is the outpouring of a pious liberality—the generous waste of Love. Solemn architecture, significant adornment of God's house, are but natural expressions of reverence, pious mementos, tokens of affection for the sublime objects and truths of our holy religion. A church of costly material and elaborate handicraft, is one of the forms which the love of Christ assumes under the direction of sacred art. All very true—very true. Nevertheless, the love of Christ in the matter is not so obvious, unless it show itself also in kindred manifestations which are equally the fruit of the love of Christ. If it be that alone which builds the splendid church, if no vain glory has a hand in the work, why does not the same pious affection exhibit those other demonstrations which one would think it could hardly forget, and in which there would be less room for suspicion of vanity, or ostentation, or self-love disguised as God-love. Granted that a goodly and symbolical church may be a first work of evangelical love, is the love all spent in the effort, that it stops and proceeds not with the other "operations of its hands?" We take our models from the fair temples of other days, forgetting what were their accompaniments in those days—forgetting the asylums of charity which stood at their side, and on which the religious architect also [29/30] exerted his skill—forgetting, too, that through their decorated portals, which we feebly copy, the rich and poor entered together; that the sunbeams through their windows "richly light," tinted the robe of prince and beggar alike. The multiplication of fine churches, then, is not quite a demonstration of the love of Christ—especially as shown in compassion for His poor.

We bid the poor to bring their children to be christened; they do so, and then where do we bid them send their children to be educated according to their christening? Almost the only schools to which they can gain admission, are those which know not Christ or His Baptism. These have their object, which though not distinctive Christian education, is yet a valuable one. The young of all classes must have the elements of human learning, they must be taught to read and write, and if we would have them also learn their Catechism and Prayer Book, that is our concern, not the Commonwealth's. Yet how little is it made our concern. Where are our Seminaries for the young, in which parents and sponsors, straitened by poverty or narrow means may have a chance of fulfilling their vows for their God-children—for little can the Sunday School avail against the counter currents of the week. We do right in urging upon parents not to neglect for their offspring the ordinance introducing them into the Church; but we should be more consistent were we less lukewarm in providing the means for their continuance in it. [30/31] Our zeal seems to expire at the font. The regenerate little ones, if they have the misfortune to be poor, are left to the chances of the world, the flesh and the Devil. Signed and sealed as the babes of Christ, how are they exposed as foundlings on the highways of sin! The Hindoo mother leaves her infant on the banks of the stream sacred to her god. In her it is religious cruelty. Alas that our spiritual mother should seem more cruel still, abandoning her offspring to the ruthless waves of a Ganges, sacred of all divinities to none.

We have been startled at the recent disclosures of the Chief of the Police. Our hearts have sickened at the thought of three thousand juvenile, infantile offenders, under our very eyes, as we pass to and fro along the streets, embryo criminals, developing in the stews and common sewers of iniquity, attaining their growth for the jail and the gallows. We shudder. Let us reflect and we may be conscience-struck as well. None of us should hear this frightful revelation of precocious sin without pondering the question, where lies the fault? Let the fault be divided between inadequate legislation and the neglect of the christian community at large, (leaving a balance as a necessary evil in a great city,) a share at least must fall to us as a leading body of that community. [I have not learned that the subject has claimed the attention of any meeting of "Rector, Church Wardens and Vestry" in our city. The sects have done something.] Some of these hapless little creatures [31/32] may be the exposed children of the Church. Who can tell but that some of them were once in the arms of us ministers, when we washed them in the mystical waters, and then thought of them no more?

The poor man dies, and what become of his orphans? Have we a place for them? Has Trinity, or Grace, St. George's, or St. John's, St. Paul's, or St. Bartholomew's, the Ascension, or the Annunciation, or the Holy Communion, (alas! for the auspices of goodly names,) have either of us, or all of us together, a refuge for the fatherless, motherless proteges of the Church—for if the orphans of the poor are not her proteges, in the name of mercy, whose are they? There are indeed places for them, blessed Asylums, but for which we as a Church deserve no thanks. Yet God be praised for them. All honor to the Christian women, whom, whether they worship within our borders or not, I will venerate as mothers in Israel. Mothers for Christ's sake they have been to multitudes of bereaved children in Israel. But these institutions, however excellent, cannot sufficiently discharge the office of love, which is due on our part to the destitute infants which have been received into the bosom of the daughter of Zion, on our sponsorship. They cannot there imbibe the Faith as we have engaged to give it to them. They cannot there be protected with those ancient and well-tried safeguards, which it is not for times like the present to lay aside. They cannot have that training in those hallowed forms which we believe to be the most effectual [32/33] "nurture and admonition of the Lord." In a word, they cannot have that completion of their heavenly citizenship begun in their baptism, which we are bound to see to, unless indeed poverty be a disfranchisement even in "the city of our God." But whether they can or not, why, why, have we no home for them among ourselves? A rich Church —a Church, too, which is ever beseeching the good Lord to hear her in behalf of the "fatherless children," yet caring not to turn her prayers into deeds, by "defending and providing" for her own fatherless children, must be a sad spectacle in the eyes of the holy angels, at least in the eyes of the "angels of the little ones." [This adoption of poor infants is a form of charity which commends itself so instinctively to every feeling of humanity—is so much the last thing which a Church should leave undone, that it might have been selected rather than that which has been chosen as a sample of our neglects. And so it would, but that the want is in a good measure supplied by the institutions referred to; and that an hospital may beget an orphan house, but an orphan house is not so likely to beget an hospital. And further, there is a prospect of the object being ere long attained to some extent in a Church asylum for destitute children at College Point. Measures are about to be taken to interest especially the former pupils of St. Paul's College to that effect.]

Not to speak of other and like provisions which might be looked for as matters of course, in an apostolic Church with but a tithe of apostolic love,—such as a Retreat for aged widows and destitute women,—a Refuge for the reclaim to virtue of those like her whom our Lord bid to "go and sin no more;" and who, since the world, is too pure to extend to [33/34] them its charity, are tempted to a livelihood of guilt if the Church also casts them off—a Home for the friendless—a Church intelligence office, if I may so call it, where the emigrants of our communion might be directed to employment among our own people, who it is to be presumed would prefer being served in their domestic households by members of the same spiritual household—without enumerating such desiderata, enough has been said to show the fact of there being no religious hospital among us, is but a sample of our inertness, only one palpable form to convict us of a general apathy to those works of love which ought to be the spontaneous product of a Church, endowed with privileges and means like ours.

And now, my brethren, how comes this to pass? What is the explanation of the phenomenon, for a phenomenon needing an explanation I am sure any heathen on his conversion to Christianity, and having read only the Gospels and the Acts, would regard it. Is it because until very lately we have been so poor a people? Is it that the command of wealth is a new thing among us, so that hitherto there has been the ability merely to provide for our own pressing wants? Our past poverty?—is that our apology? You smile at the question.—Or is it that we are lacking in benevolence of heart? that we are a close and penurious people, putting a rein on our generous sympathies, and confining them within the narrow track of our interests? No one, I apprehend, will charge that upon us in particular. No class of [34/35] Christians, by general consent, are freer in their bounties, more open-hearted, more cheerful givers, than Church people; none more ready to listen to the calls of private distress, or to lend a helping hand to the popular good works of the day. We are not lacking in the spirit of charity, or rather what is reckoned such, and what in a great measure is such; but that in which we are lacking, is distinctive Christian charity. We have the charity of pity, of compassionate impulse, of tender-heartedness—those divine graces of humanity—but we have not enough of the spirit of a thoroughly evangelized charity, and which I may call Church charity, because of its flowing from our fellow-membership in the Church.

The coming of our Lord in the flesh creates a new relation in the human family. In Him, men are bound together by an original tie, arising out of their union with Him, as having taken their nature upon Him, and thus having become their Brother, while He is at the same time their God. Hence believers in Him are no longer only fellow beings, fellow creatures, fellow men, but also fellow children, fellow heirs, fellow members of the Body of Christ: incorporate in that mystical Body, which in our Communion Office we define to be THE BLESSED COMPANY OF ALL FAITHFUL PEOPLE. It is this incorporation in Christ which gives birth to genuine, specific Christian charity, and which is nothing else than the love of the brethren as brethren in Christ. Again, it is such charity [35/36] which, as it is the most powerful impulse to private acts of mercy and compassion, so it is the principle which constrains us to act together as brothers, in accomplishing those good works for which we are insufficient when alone, and when acting as individuals. It leads directly to union, to association, to Church action in the undertakings of benevolence. A larger measure of this evangelical grace it is that we need. We succor the distrest as our fellow creatures—Heaven forbid that we should not, whatever be their tribe, or kindred, or name, national or ecclesiastical. But how much more imperative should we feel their claims, how much freer and larger would be our bounty, how much more delightful its exercise, and (for this is the point I would bring out) how much more would our charity show itself in co-operation—in works of combined energy and action, heart bound to heart, and hand joining with hand, in cherishing and manifesting our membership in Christ, and in laying permanent foundations for the offices of brotherly love. How much more of all this, if we recognized in the objects of our benevolence men akin to us, our Christian relatives, our brothers and sisters in the special and sacred alliance of the Gospel. God give us grace to realize more deeply than we yet have done, this divine affinity to His beloved Son, as our elder Brother, and as its blessed consequence, our holy and intimate relation to one another.—You scarcely need reminding how much it is spoken of in the New Testament; how [36/37] constantly the apostles assume it in exhorting their converts to beneficence, and make it the one ground of appeal to their hearts. They do not remind them that the suffering saints for whom they plead are their fellow creatures; that would be no consideration for an apostle of Christ to urge. They tell them that they are "members one of another, and that if one member suffer another member" must, in the nature of things, "suffer with it." "Do good unto all men"—that is the benevolence of humanity—"but especially unto them that are of the household of faith"—that is the sympathy of the new nature in Christ. It is all summed up in that declaration of our Lord Himself, in which He will assert this relationship at the last—"Inasmuch as ye have not done it unto one of the least of THESE MY BRETHREN (motioning with His hand, the nail prints how effulgent in it, towards the elect on His right) ye HAVE NOT DONE IT UNTO ME."

We have seen how alive to this kin in Christ the early Christians were. We noticed it in the name which they gave to their houses of mercy, borrowing it from that which the Roman nobility appropriated to dwellings or apartments used for the entertainment of their friends. "We too," said they, "must have our hospitalia; we must make provision for our guests, our relations in Christ." Now, were we, my brethren, equally alive to this bond of union; if our compassion rose above the impulses of humanity, flowing from a higher and holier source; should [37/38] we not have thought long, long ere this, of accommodations for our kinsmen in the faith. Had we at all lived up to the duties of this high family connection, should I at this late day in our history be entreating for an hospital, a solitary hospital of the Church. And yet who ought to be more alive to it? who are more bound to recognize this sacred consanguinity than ourselves, if there be any thing in our profession, seeing it is the very basis of Churchmanship—Churchmanship which is but another name for fellow membership in Christ. "Members of Christ," we are ever saying, means "members of His Church." Hence the very fountain and heavenly well-spring of true Church feeling, which surely is a thing of the heart, of the affections—not a mere adherence to symbols and creeds, however ancient, or an attachment to institutions however divine. Turn to the Book you love, next to the Bible, and see how full it is of this idea of fraternity in Christ. The Common Prayer is predicated upon it throughout. Everywhere its offices are framed on the theory of high and low, rich and poor, learned und unlearned, lifting up their voices together in prayer and song to their common Father in heaven. Strange, then, those barriers in His house, which prevent this commingling of brothers! "Dearly beloved," the morning and evening prayer begin—"Dearly beloved brethren." In the Baptismal office, how affectionately is the child or adult received into the one family, co-heir with us of the [38/39] heavenly inheritance. And the Communion office: the very embodiment of our oneness in Christ—all full of it—instinct with it as its life and soul. Christ "dwelling in us and we together in Him," eating of the one bread and drinking of the one cup. Yet ever and anon a fellow communicant disappears, to betake himself, for aught we have done, to one of the promiscuous public beds, there to await his chance, if ever, of partaking of the sacred feast again. Possibly he was kneeling at our side at the last Communion. He has grown suddenly ill, and we have left him to languish in his hovel of a home which we are loth to visit, or to end his days in one of the receptacles of pauperism, to which we should hardly reconcile ourselves to send a menial who had any claims on our regard. [Of course it is not meant that any Christian person among us would hear of a poor sick communicant in forlorn circumstances with unconcern. But what can he do? Receiving him into his own house is not thought of. He has then no alternative but to leave him in his unhealthy abode, or commit him to the mercies of the public. He can send him to no home where his soul and body will together be cared for.]

The communion of saints—but another name for union in Christ, and recognized throughout the Prayer Book. "What a delightful article of the Creed," we say. We love to hear it discoursed of. It is our favorite Church doctrine—fondly thinking only of our own loved ones who have died in the Lord. Or the saints that rise to our vision must be some Anselms, Bernards, or venerable recluses in [39/40] their cells, with their altar and crucifix, while yon deserted creature, in that dark and foul alley, suffering week after week in patient want and solitude, yet rejoicing therein as some likeness to the Crucified, is all too homely an object for our faith to see a saint in. Possibly our creed has some admixture of romance, if we care not to provide resting places for the weary and heavy laden saints on earth, to whom the repose of a Christian hospital would indeed be an antepast of their rest in Paradise. And then our solemn Burial service, rolling its dirge in the deep diapason of the tomb, yet ringing clear with the trumpet note of resurrection—the same over all, the meanest and the noblest alike—one in the first Adam, the heir of death—one in the second Adam, the heir of immortality. "Forasmuch as it hath pleased Almighty God in His wise providence to take out of this world the soul of our deceased brother, we therefore commit his body to the ground." How barbarous should we feel it to have these rites denied to a kinsman according to the flesh, yet little we reck if the lowly brother, that brother in Christ of whom the office speaks, have no other obsequies than the dead-cart of the poor-house, and the hurried deposit in the public pits. We have cemeteries, beautiful as pleasure grounds, laid out in garden plots, delightful promenades among the sculptured marbles, where the rich may perpetuate their pride in death. But we have a Church cemetery where they say the ground should be consecrated. And so [40/41] it should, by all means; for the graveyard, as the Germans beautifully call it, is "the grain field of God." Let it be consecrated, and in default of a service in the Prayer Book for the purpose, suppose we consecrate it by opening it freely to the remains of Christ's poor. But don't set off a separate place for them. Make not a potter's field in holy ground. Keep not Lazarus still at a distance from Dives; it was enough that he was kept outside at the gate all his life long. Let the rich and the poor have their last pillows side by side. We read the same service over both, burying them in the hope that they are sleeping together in Christ. At any rate, the resurrection will be time enough for a separation. [The different congregations provide, I dare say, for the decent interment of their own dead; and the Rector of Trinity Church informs me that the ground in the city is never refused to be opened gratuitously, when the family of the deceased are unable to pay for it. But there are numbers of poor, in a city like this, baptized in the Church, who are not recognized as belonging to any congregation, and this, often, from no fault of their own. My own experience justifies what is said in the lecture. Again and again, not being able to meet the expenses of interments in any of our Episcopal grounds, we have buried the poor wherever we could afford it.]

Ah, my dear brethren, we must wake up. Our Churchmanship must be roused into more active being. We must see and feel that in essence it is nought else than the union of brethren in Christ. It must show itself in genuine deeds. It must exercise and prove itself in substantial manifestations, if it is to be any worth in the sight of God or man—if our own Prayer Book is not to witness against us [41/42] at the day of judgment. It is not enough for us to assert so valiantly our prior rights among the Churches. It is not enough, on the one hand, to contend so strenuously for "the faith once delivered to the saints," as our Catholic inheritance, nor, on the other, to caution so earnestly against the heresy of justification by works, forgetting that the faith which justifies worketh by love, and that works done for Christ's sake are really faith in action. It is not enough that in Creeds and Liturgies and Ordinances we are so like the primitive Church, while in practice we present so many more features of contrast than resemblance. It will not do to wrap ourselves complacently in our ancient robes, full proud that they are of "wrought gold," if we care not to throw their generous folds over the homeless and the naked. It will not do to recline so comfortably in the easy chair of our orthodoxy, and with the soothing lullaby, "The Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord," sing ourselves to sleep, and dream of pointed arches and clustered columns, and storied windows and symbolical chancels, echoing with gregorian tones, fondly gazing at them in "dim religious light" as notes of the one Church Catholic and Apostolic. "It is high time to awake out of sleep." There must be a revival of the old heart of the Church, which throbbed with love to Christ shown in love to the brethren, long before the architecture we emulate was known. We must give our Ecclesiologists work to do in planning houses for the widow and the orphan, the stranger [42/43] and the sick. Men must see us in earnest with something like apostolic charity, or they will make no account of our apostolic descent. They will bid us act worthily of it, or cease to boast of it, as in the world, the ancient pedigree of unworthy descendants, who pride themselves on it, only serves for a greater reproach. They will but smile at our enthusiastic enjoyment of our services, our glowing admiration of their beauty and sublimity, if we show no practical correspondence with the living spirit of which they are full.

Men understand brotherhood. They know what it means. They know what it implies. They can tell when it is real. They value it. They read it every where in the New Testament. With some it is the one idea which they have of Christianity, the Gospel seems to them nothing else, and they think that but a mock Christianity, in which it is not acknowledged and set forth in practical developments. Men yearn for brotherhood. It is in their nature. They feel the want of it. The Church was made to supply that want. If they saw it a real thing, alive and active, pervading and animating and energizing the Church, thousands would flock to her pale who now regard her as a Church for the respectable and genteel. But they do not see it, at least in any satisfactory degree; and hence they invent forms of it for themselves. They have their friendly associations—their Benefit societies—their Lodges. They call themselves Brothers of this or that virtue. Thus in their measure they realize brotherhood, [43/44] and so they have imperfectly what the Church should give them in its fulness. In vain do we tell them that any enduring philanthropy must be based on religion—that the only fellowship to withstand the shocks of time, must have stronger ties than any in our fallen humanity. In vain would we withhold our members from such connections. We cannot change the human being. Men will seek what their nature craves. We may talk as we please of the orders of "Odd-fellows." If we would talk to any purpose we must show ourselves God-fellows. The Church must exhibit a God-fellowship, and so give an undeniable proof of her character. If she is to "arise and shine"—if she is to put on her "beautiful garments" as Jerusalem, the holy city—if she is to become, what she has the elements of being, the Catholic Church of the land, let her win the distinction to be first won, of being the poor man's Church—let those who chiefly composed the train of her divine Head on earth, be seen flocking to her portals, like "doves to their windows"—let her give that evidence of her mission which He deigned to give of His own: "to the poor the gospel is preached" [Not that the building of Hospitals, &c, would do all this, but it would be the product of a spirit, from which when once fairly awakened, all the rest might be hoped for.] and she will have one mark of Catholicity, a mark inseparable from a living Church, which none will deny.

[Here followed, in the delivery, the Plan of the Hospital, for which see the Appendix.]

[45] Large funds, I shall be told, are wanting for such an undertaking, and whence are they to be derived? I can give but the old reply, "The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof." If the work has been the prompting of His good Spirit, he will bring it to pass. "The gold is mine and the silver is mine, saith the Lord of hosts"—and much of the gold and silver are in the hands of servants who will not be backward to do His bidding. He may indeed try our faith, by not granting as rapid a progress to the work as we desire. He may show His displeasure at our long neglect by refusing for a while the tokens of His favor. As all sin hardens the heart, it is often the punishment of a continued omission of duty, that we are indisposed to its performance after we are awakened to a sense of it. Yet, blessed be His Name, "He deals not with us after our sins, nor rewards us according to our iniquities." He meets us coming to Him, while "yet a great way off."

We may hope much from small beginnings, if they be the beginnings of faith. The seed that has life will germinate. Our Lord bids us look at the tiny mustard seed, "how it becomes a great tree, so that the fowls of the air lodge under the branches of it," not only, we may believe, as a type of His growing kingdom, but of the sure increase of every seed of faith, animated by hope and warmed into spreading life by charity. What is there in which faith, hope and charity are united, which can fail to prosper? "Every plant which our Heavenly Father hath [45/46] not planted shall be rooted up:" and the converse is true—No plant which He hath planted shall be rooted up: it shall grow and flourish in His own good time.

Only, my brethren, let the subject be taken home to your thoughts. Only do you give it your prayers, and your encouragement, and your hearty good-will; only be you missionaries in the good cause, preaching it in conversation as occasions occur, and we shall soon see results. It will work its own way, or rather God will give it "free course." It will speak with a commanding voice to the heart. Those who have the ability, if they shall have been made familiar with the subject, when they are lying in their sick chambers with every comfort about them, will not forget, in their prayers for recovery, to make vows in favor of their brethren, who, in like distress, are without the like means of alleviation. And when they return thanks in the Church for their renovated health, they will not fail to make their thank-offerings. An Hospital would not be long in building if every Christian in the city, on his first visit after sickness to the sanctuary, would make "an oblation to the Lord with great gladness." [See thanksgiving for the beginning of a recovery, in the "Visitation of the Sick," which prays for the perfecting of the cure of the convalescent, in order that he may be able to go to the House of the Lord with his oblation, taking for granted that he would not fail to do so.

At the end of the office for the Churching of Women, the rubric directs; The woman that cometh to give thanks, must offer accustomed offerings, which shall be applied by the minister and church wardens [46/47] to the relief of distrest women in child-bed. One of the obsolete rubrics, I fear; but it shows the mind of the Church, both, that thanksgiving should be signified by offerings, and that sympathy should dictate the manner of their appropriation. The thank-offerings after sickness (would this were accustomed) should be made for the relief of the sick.]

And should our gratitude on such occasions find no other vent than the words of the collect? Should it not take a substantial and convincing form—convincing, to ourselves, as well as others, of its reality. The rich, too, will begin to remember the Church Hospital in their wills, as they do (too seldom indeed) other good institutions. This, if fairly presented to them, it would seem, must compel their posthumous munificence. [If the perversions of endowments, like those in former days, referred to in the first lecture, be feared, they could easily be provided against. Besides those grew out of the times, and the times are changed. Protestant Church Hospitals are not likely to be converted into benefices for lazy monks.] It is hard to believe that a wealthy Christian man, one particularly who has known the distress of a sick bed, should deliberately set such an object aside in his last will and testament—in a document to take effect after he shall have appeared before the Judge of quick and dead. Will he commend his soul to Christ, and cut off his poor relations in Christ? Will he die in the faith, disinheriting his suffering brothers and sisters of the household of faith?

Great encouragement is to be derived from the deep hold which the subject has already on not a few pious hearts. [There has been an anonymous contribution of a thousand dollars to St. Lukes Hospital.] Good people, wherever it is [47/48] spoken of, bid it God-speed. "Lying here," said a parishioner to me, who had been prostrate for months with acute and almost incessant pain, now no more, "how much have I to support and cheer me under this pain. When I recollect those whom I have visited in the almshouse, utterly friendless and in the midst of patients of every character, some of them bad and vile persons, disturbing with their profanity the devotions in which we were engaged, if I sometimes think of life, it is that I might do the little in my power for a Christian Hospital." A cause so endeared to a Christian soul, amidst protracted and excruciating agony of body, has some sign, at least, of the auspices of Heaven.

One word more. It may be said that this is not the time for such an undertaking. As a Church we are too much divided. But we do not wish to continue divided. We long for harmony. Let us then set about something in which we can all agree and so heal our divisions by forgetting them. Let us forget in order to forgive; and in order that we may be able to forget, (for we cannot do so at will,) let us be interested in new objects, which will of themselves hide away the old griefs. Let them be works of love, in which we can join heart, and hand. Intent upon them we shall forget our past differences. The works of love react and beget afresh the spirit of love; and with that we shall see with the vision of love, and so once more look upon one another as brothers. It is the very time for [48/49] some pious and charitable enterprise in which, with anything of Christian hearts, we can scarcely "fall out by the way." "Let us build us a Tower" not to end in the confusion of tongues, but in the building whereof we shall learn more and more of the one tongue "as the spirit shall give us utterance." Let it be based in charity, with humility and repentance for the past; let it be reared in harmony and good will, and in the blessings it will draw upon us, it "shall reach unto Heaven."


N. B. It is thought well to repeat here what is said in the advertisement: that in desiring the publication of these lectures, the managers of St. Luke's Hospital are to be understood as committing themselves only to their general design. Any subordinate thoughts and expressions, should they chance not to be approved by a reader, must be attributed solely to the author.




In conformity with the provisions of the Act entitled "An Act for the Incorporation of Benevolent, Charitable, Scientific and Missionary Societies," passed the twelfth day of April, one thousand eight hundred and forty-eight, the subscribers, citizens of the United States, and of the State of New-York, of full age, and residents of the city of New-York, being desirous to associate themselves for the purpose of establishing and managing an Hospital, and to be a body politic and corporate for that purpose, do hereby make and sign this certificate.

FIRST.—The name or title by which said Society shall be known in law shall be "St. Luke's Hospital."

SECOND.—The particular business and objects of said Society, shall be the establishing, founding and carrying and managing said Hospital.

THIRD.—The number of the managers to manage said Hospital shall be thirteen.

FOURTH.—The names of the managers of said Society for the first year of its existence are: W. A. Muhlenberg, Lindley M. Hoffman, John H. Swift, Robert B. Minturn, Joseph D. B. Curtis, James Warren, William H. Hobart, M. D., Samuel Davis, Benjamin Ogden, M. D., George P. Rogers, Edward McVickar, John Punnett and Henry C. Hobart.

In testimony whereof, we have hereunto set our hands this twenty-fifth day of April, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and fifty.

Signed by

[These gentlemen composed the first Board of Managers; but at the election on last St. Luke's day, several of them resigned their places in order to make room for managers from other churches, so that the institution may be divested of a parochial character.]

The signatures attested by
Commissioner of Deeds.
I hereby approve of the within Certificate, and consent that the same be filed.
New-York, 1st May, 1850.
(Signed,) H. P. EDWARDS.
Filed 1st May, 1850, in the office of the County Clerk of New-York.



ARTICLE I.—The object of this Society is the establishment, support and management of an Institution to be known as St. Luke's Hospital, for the purpose of affording medical and surgical aid, and nursing to sick and disabled persons; and also to provide them, while inmates of the Hospital, with the ministrations of the Gospel, agreeably to the doctrines and principles of the Protestant Episcopal Church.

A further object of the Institution shall be the instruction and training of suitable persons in the duties of nursing and attending upon the sick.

ARTICLE II.—The officers of the Society shall be a President, two Vice Presidents, a Treasurer, a Secretary, who shall be selected from a board of thirteen managers, who together shall form a board to be denominated "The Board of Managers," any seven of whom shall form a quorum for the transaction of business.

ARTICLE III.—The Society shall appoint a board, consisting of not more than eleven clergymen, rectors or pastors of churches in the city of New-York, to whom shall be committed all matters touching the spiritual and religious instruction of the Hospital. No measures relating to such matters shall be adopted without the sanction and approbation of aforesaid board.

ARTICLE IV.—Every member of the Society shall pay a sum not less than five dollars, annually in advance to the Treasurer.

Such persons as shall pay the sum of one hundred dollars shall be members of the Society for life, without annual payments.

ARTICLE V.—All property of the Society, including all which it may hereafter acquire, unless otherwise directed by the donor, shall be applied in furtherance of the general object of the Society, and shall be appropriated in such manner as the by-laws and resolutions of the Society may direct; and the Board of Managers shall be at all times hereafter fully authorized to execute all the powers of the Society over all the estates and property of the Society. To the Board of Managers shall be committed the care of the funds of the Institution and the transaction of its entire business.

ARTICLE VI.—There shall be annually a meeting of the members of the Society in the city of New-York on the Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist.

ARTICLE VII.—The Board of Managers shall hold stated meetings at least once a month, and may hold adjourned meetings when necessary. Special meetings may be called by the President, or in the case of a vacancy in the Presidency, by the Vice Presidents, or by a majority of the Board of Managers; but when special meetings are called, the time and place of meeting and the subject proposed to be considered shall be previously notified to the members, and no other subject shall be discussed or acted upon at such meeting unless there be at least ten members present, and then only by unanimous consent

ARTICLE VIII.—It shall be the duty of the Board of Managers at every anniversary to lay before the members of the Institution a report of the proceedings during the preceding year, to exhibit a full and accurate view of the state of the lands of the Institution and other property, and to inform them of any matters relative to the objects of the Institution, which may be interesting to its members.

ARTICLE IX.—No person shall hereafter become a member of this Institution, either for life or otherwise, unless approved either by ballot or resolution by a majority of the Board of Managers present at a stated meeting, or by a standing committee appointed for that purpose by the Board of Managers.

ARTICLE X.—The Constitution shall not be altered, unless it be at an annual meeting of the members of the Institution, on previous recommendation of the Board of Managers, two-thirds of the members present consenting thereto.



The first object will be to secure a site of ground, somewhere in the upper and open part of the city, sufficiently large for an extensive establishment. Next, to commence the erection of an edifice, the plan of which shall be such that a part of it may be finished and used, leaving the remainder to be added from time to time as wants shall require and the necessary [53/54] funds shall be obtained. The Institution may thus begin its operations on a small scale, if that be necessary, and enlarge them as it shall come in possession of the means. But in the first instance sufficient ground must be had to admit of the extension of the buildings.

The means for the maintenance of the Hospital will be derived from annual donations, subscriptions, collections in churches, and such like sources. If the income thus arising be small, the number of beneficiaries, likewise, will be small. The latter will be increased only with the increase of the former. Thus the undertaking may proceed prudently, and without incurring debt, both in the erection of buildings and in the support of the Institution.

Individuals or congregations making sufficient donations will be entitled to send patients to the Hospital. They may endow a bed, an alcove, or a ward, in the same manner that scholarships are founded in literary institutions. For this purpose, as time goes on, there will no doubt be endowments by means of legacies, &c.

In receiving patients, members of the Protestant Episcopal Church will be preferred, but not to the exclusion of others, (so far as there may be room for them,) who are willing to accept the ministrations of the Church.

The religious teaching and services of the Hospital will be in accordance with those of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and any clergyman of said Church shall be at liberty to visit a patient whom he considers as belonging to his pastoral care.

Besides the fiscal concerns and all such matters as will properly devolve on the Board of Managers, it is believed that benevolent Christian ladies will engage in the work so far as to have an eye to the household affairs of the Institution, and particularly to see that the nurses do their duty faithfully [54/55] and kindly. Nor is it too much to hope that devout persons will be found willing to take care of the sick poor for Christ's sake—volunteers in the service of their Lord. Rather this is confidently calculated on, for if the interior conduct of the Hospital is to be left wholly with officials, its distinctive character will be very imperfectly, if at all, realized. [There are Protestant associations of females devoting themselves to offices of mercy to the sick. An order of Lutheran deaconesses has been established at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.]

Although the cure of the sick in body and soul is the purpose mainly in view, yet in time a part of the buildings might be used for the relief of destitute people in temporary distress, and until they could find the means of helping themselves. This would come within the province of an Hospital; for the word, in its ecclesiastical sense, means a house for hospitality of any kind to the needy. In England there are hospitals of various descriptions, beside those for medical treatment. Some are for orphans, others are asylums for the aged, &c. At Litchfield there is one for twelve old men. "Christ's Hospital" is the famous Blue Coat School in London. "Christ Church Hospital" in Philadelphia, is for needy and aged female communicants of that Church.

The above are the leading views of the practical operation of the Institution as entertained by the author of the lectures, and approved by the first Board of Managers. No details have been agreed upon, but the contents of the present pamphlet, taken together, are deemed sufficient to give the Church public a distinct idea of what is projected, and to secure for it their patronage.



The Rev. W. A. MUHLENBERG, D. D.
The Rev. LEWIS P. W. BALCH, D. D.



The charter at present allows of but thirteen managers, of whom one is yet to be elected, but application is about to be made to the legislature to have the number increased to thirty. There may then be a representation from the greater part of the city churches. In that event, the Clerical Board also will be enlarged.

Donations to the Hospital may be made to L. M. Hoffman, Esq., Treasurer, or to any of the managers.

Project Canterbury