Project Canterbury

The Pastoral Letter of the Bishops to the Clergy and Laity

Read in Trinity Church, San Francisco, Thursday, October 17, 1901.

San Francisco: Printed for the Convention by Hicks-Judd, 1901.

Transcribed by Wayne Kempton
Archivist and Historiographer of the Episcopal Diocese of New York, 2008

IN compliance with your request, dear brethren of the Clergy and of the Laity, and in accordance with our time-honoured custom, your Bishops are come to speak parting words of exhortation and of blessing. The session of the great synod is ended. We have taken counsel together of the things concerning the kingdom of God; we have made more nearly perfect, as we trust, the organization for the accomplishment of its work; we have chosen new leaders of the militant host; we have devised, as we believe, larger enterprise of future advance. Surely we have gained new courage by clasping the hands of brothers beloved, and we go forth boldly into the night, the night of trial and of battle, looking and waiting for the dawn of victory and peace. But ere we part and set forth, each to his appointed place in the great field of battle, we hear your voice calling to us whom the King has set as watchmen upon His city's towers, "Watchman, tell us of the night." And the answer is returned now as in the old time, "The morning cometh and also the night."

We bid you first of all rejoice because surely the morning beginneth to dawn. We cry aloud, "Let no man's heart fail him for fear," because surely the signs of the triumph are plain and unmistakable, though the battle must still be long and weary. Behold, our triennial assembly has been gathered in this queen city of our furthest West, and thither the tribes have come up, the organized tribes of our Israel, from every State and Territory of our continental inheritance. Think of the meeting of that little handful of dispirited churchmen on that other seashore, three thousand miles away, a little more than one hundred years ago. They puzzled sore how to keep alive the old Church in the new land. They almost despaired of securing, from the mother in bonds to the state, the transmission of apostolic authority and ordinance to the successful rebels against that state's authority; and the proposition was heard, to resort to the use of self-appointed ministry as justified by providential necessity. But faithful persistency did at last prevail and the coveted gift was at last bestowed, and to-day every acre of our continent of freedom is under the supervision of apostolic bishop and pastor. Grant, as must in honesty be granted, that in many vast regions the organization is but a skeleton; grant that there are but few sheep in many a wide wilderness for the pastor's care; grant, too, that the chief pastors look and look in vain for men, consecrated men, to seek these widely separated wanderers, and, worse still, that finding them, they dare not in their penury bid the volunteers to come; yet still may we rejoice and be strong in the recognition that the flag has been planted in every provincial division of the great Republic, and that in almost every one the ancient Church is stronger to-day, stronger in all that makes for the accomplishment of its purpose, than was the Church in the whole country in the day when the independent nation was newborn into the world. The census-taker may give but doubtful testimony as to the progress of the Church, and now, as in the ancient days, it may be foolishness unto the Lord to be numbering His people lest our confidence shall be in our multitude rather than in His Spirit; yet may we be strengthened by the witness of the Government of our country, that the proportionate gain of the ancient Church of our race has, in the past decade, been greater than that of any other organization for the teaching of Christ's religion. And although, as already intimated, the company of the preachers is not yet great, although the young manhood of the Church in most of our dioceses has apparently but little enthusiasm for the work of its ministry, although this is an alarming sign of our time, an evil whose explanation we may seek in our further consideration, yet we may and must thank God that a number every year do offer themselves for the self-denying service.

And, moreover, despite the lugubrious recountal of our parsimony which one may hear on every hand, despite the deficit in the receipts of our missionary treasurer which has again made us afraid, despite the fact that beyond all controversy our gifts to missions are as nothing when reckoned by the rule of Christian self-surrender, by the proportion of the wealth of churchmen, and by comparison with the magnificent donations of churchmen to objects and institutions not under Church control, yet even herein may we not be made afraid, for without the shadow of a doubt the progress in this particular, the development of the recognition of this Christian obligation, has been marvellous. Go read the records in the Missions House; you shall not be long employed in adding the paltry columns which proclaim the total of contributions to missions in these years now long past. Until the day came that the heroic utterance was made that membership in the Church is membership in the missionary society, that the necessary obligation of every baptized disciple is to give to missions, till then the contributions were, one may almost dare say, nothing. But since that day the progress has been regular and marked; yes, we can declare that enthusiasm for missions has burned with an ever increasing flame. See, the women of the Church as organized in the Woman's Auxiliary to the Board of Missions, have this year laid upon the altar of God the splendid united offering of $105,000 for the work of missions, while but twelve years have passed since this united offering was first made, when $2000 was given. And remember that this is but their way of celebrating our triennial festival, and that vastly more than this amount, yes, ten times this amount, is given every year by our sisters in one way and another to the work of missions, the true work of missions, though not administered by our board of managers. The children of the Church, during the last season of Lent, gathered of their pennies an equal amount for this same cause. And when enthusiasm for missions shall have gained possession of man's home, when the mother and the little ones shall have learned to love the labour for Christ, then the victory shall draw near, for the little child shall lead the busy, careless man to love that which it doth love.

So, then, we are bold to say "the morning cometh," although we must be quick to add "and also the night." Albeit these rays of light do but penetrate with difficulty the surrounding blackness, yet are they "light"; they are the "fingers of the dawn," and by and by shall be visible the strong right hand of Him, "the light," which shall roll away the darkness as a curtain, and He Himself be manifested gloriously.

But the night is still round about us, and we therefore pray you, brethren, to suffer the word of exhortation, that we may tell you the specially pressing dangers it enfolds, and our thought of the duties thence specially arising for you and for us, that "the King shall have no damage."

Perhaps we may describe the chief hindrance in the way of the kingdom's advancement in our time, as, indeed, it has been in every period of the Church's history, as the Zeitgeist, the spirit of the age, the very atmosphere in which we must have our life. Because that spirit changes, because that enfolding atmosphere is different now from any that before did encompass Christian warriors, therefore it is that new dangers are apparent and new methods of warfare must be employed. The spirit of our age is not one of aggressive, angry denial, but rather one of lazy, indifferent consent. It is more than willing to build and to decorate the sepulchres of the old ideals of valorous righteousness, for to it those ideals are dead. It will recite with soul-stirring emphasis of choral harmony the ancient symbol of all-conquering truth, but to it this is but a form of sound words, beautiful and venerable, without relation to the conquest of self or of the world, without expected or desired result in the formation of character. So it thinks and speaks, and yet cannot let go the one hope that has cheered and illumined the climbing path of man's development; and so in some sense the old creed must be confessed, and with some sort of devotion the old sacraments received. The institution of the Catholic Church must be defended and supported, that its voice of mystery may speak words of blessing, possible though uncertain, pleasing though unwarranted, at the bridal and the burial, upon the head of the infant new come to earth's trials, and into the dull ear of the pilgrim ready to depart. But such shadowy necessity may not claim the supreme devotion of a man's life, and it shall be reasonably given to the pursuit of ends which are plainly visible, and as plainly possible of attainment. Beneficence is true religion, as the wise man James did write, and all the rest is but mystery and vanity. The end of Christian faith is attained in the glories of Christian civilization. The founder of the hospital and its skilful ministers to disease, the founder of the orphanage and its tender mothers of the motherless, the supporters of the home for the aged and afflicted folk, and they who therein touch gently the wounds and the weakness which age hath brought, these are the true servants and apostles of Jesus Christ. The large-hearted benefactor who endows the college, the scientist who in its halls unfolds the mysteries of nature and teaches the application of hidden forces to the betterment of man's condition, these are the true teachers of Christ. Yes, in the misty atmosphere which surrounds us the spirit of the age can see "men but as trees walking"; can see but the physical and the material, and the intellectual as part of and as influencing the bodily nature; and to-day the ideal of Christian manhood, as it shines through the atmosphere with which this time-spirit has surrounded it, is to rise up early and late lie down to rest, that much goods may be laid up, that so great deeds of brotherly kindness may be done. "The Son of Man," it is triumphantly asserted, "came not to be ministered unto but to minister," and he best follows in His train who is thus busy with the supply of human necessities and the soothing of human pain. But the added words of this .same Scripture are forgotten; the ideals set up for admiration to-day contain not the feature of self-sacrifice for the deliverance of the many. The soldier dying on a lonely battle-field, the sailor hero going down with his ship that others may be saved, the physician hero adventuring himself fearlessly into the pestilence, with the consecrated sister by his side,--this figure is dwarfed into nothingness by the atmosphere of our time in comparison with the successful accumulator of a mountain of wealth. The ideal of our age is material, is commercial, whereas the ideal set up by Jesus Christ is spiritual, is essential self-sacrifice, and the difficulties which confront us on every hand are due to this contrariety, and to the constant and unceasing effort of the evil one to unite the two in that which shall satisfy the disciple and yet leave him to pursue his own ends while he still calls himself Christian. We mean not now to consider the origin of this destructive philosophy which has seized possession of the minds of our age. Be it the great progress of natural science, as is claimed by many, or be it the too reckless handling of our sacred books, as others assert; or be it the effect of these two influences, the one perhaps producing the other; no matter, the condition exists, and its effects are manifest in many different directions, all alike hostile to the faith which is in Jesus Christ, and to the upbuilding of manhood by the power of that faith. We would note some of these effects, and would suggest some methods of meeting these exhibitions of the spirit of evil.

It may not be amiss to premise that, here as elsewhere, the overstrained interpretation of truth in any one direction is the opportunity, and the provocation, of a consequent laxity, and of an equally false exaggeration to the other extreme. The Church did teach from the beginning that the Holy Scripture is the word of God; that "holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." But the Scripture itself furnished no theory of inspiration and the Church declared none. The prying intelligence of man was dissatisfied with such undefined assurance of certainty, and one theory followed another with cumulating assertion of the infallible accuracy of every statement, of every description, concerning every subject in the sacred book, till at last it was affirmed that the human element in these writings was nothing, and the inspired writers were but as lifeless material instruments through which the voice of the Spirit made itself audible. Then came the natural and almost inevitable denial of statements scientific, numerical, geographical, historical, upon the authority of the external witness almost incontrovertible. The contradictions by the sacred authors of one another, though manifestly concerning matters of no moment and matters all apart from the one purpose which Holy Scripture was given to serve, and themselves the highest evidence of the individual honesty of the historians and of the resulting value of their records, were exploited in the face of the world as flagrant disproof of the asserted claim to infallible accuracy, and so as proof of the worthlessness of the pretended revelation. Even the differently recorded title upon the wondrous Cross was flouted in our faces as all-sufficient proof that the Gospel story may not be received by well-tutored reason, because forsooth the variation in that record does show that every word and every syllable of the Scripture cannot be taken as the very utterance of the Spirit of truth. And the result is reached at last when we are told that the Bible is but as any other book, and to be treated by the student in the same way; that the claim for any supernatural guidance of its writers in any degree is vain; that even the historians of the New Testament in making record of the story which they heard of the doings of their time, used only the intelligence and the diligence which any reporter of great events would employ; that the Apostles Paul, Peter, and John made inferences from these reported facts, as any of us might do, and as every one of us is equally entitled to do. Because the Bible must be no longer a fetish, it may be no longer a guide. This we believe, dear brethren, to be the worst feature of our present condition, this disposition to overthrow the authority and to caricature the teachings of God's written record, itself perhaps a product of the all-pervading time-spirit, but certainly the mightiest agent of its devastating influence in the enthronement of man in selfish defiance of God, in the prevention of the return of the wanderer to his Father's home along the only path-- mysterious, humiliating, if you please--but the only path which feet have ever trod to that glorious issue.

What answer shall we make to our brethren who come in the fellowship of alien assailants, speaking these strange new words so fraught with danger? What answer shall we make to our own hearts, trembling with dread of the new doctrine, themselves, it may be, infected with the disease of doubt, whose germs are crowding the air we breathe? We answer first of all to ourselves and to all men: we seek the truth, cost what it may, come whence it may; we are content that the things which can be shaken shall be removed, because we are thereby made to know more clearly the things which cannot be shaken and shall remain. We answer boldly that the God of truth who has spoken unto us words of hope by Jesus Christ cannot deny Himself, and that, therefore, there can be no contradiction of nature by revelation. We are eager to deny the identity of Christ's revelation with any man's understanding of that revelation in any particular age, and we refuse to consent that its divine and all-sufficient authority may be upset by man's theory as to the operation of the Godhead by which is given the knowledge of all the truth He wills to impart. We entreat the recognition of the purpose for which Holy Scripture was given, and of the fact that nowhere is there promised revelation of any truth which has not reference perfect and complete to that one purpose. We are not astonished by the discovery of supposed inaccuracies; they are but natural exhibition of the human element in divine revelation, and our faith in the indwelling divinity is not shaken by these evidences of the reality of that human element. We charge you that ye be not made afraid by any criticism of God's word, however high be its claims or however low be its spirit, for the scrutiny of the documents, the comparison of texts, the exploitation of so-called mistakes, historical, geographical, numerical, the seeming triumphant discoveries of Biblical contradictions, all these shall but make more manifest the glory of the indwelling truth, the same always and everywhere, in every age and in every land, the life of that multitude which no man can number. And then we bid you rejoice that in the good providence of our God the progress of knowledge under the inspiration of the restless time-spirit has made for the furtherance of the Gospel. Biblical criticism has made for faith, natural science has made for faith, modern philosophy has made for faith.

But we must bid you note and strive against the last and most evil result of our age-tendency in the reckless spirit of individual license, the caricature and contradiction of that ideal of personal liberty which the Church has created and perpetuated among men. The fool who saith in his heart there is no God, is quick to go forward to the natural corollary that there is no human authority of right demanding his recognition and obedience. The man who derides the revealed foundation of all ethical obligation, is the easy victim of the devil's delusion that self-interest is the lone motive of human action and self-advancement the only test of moral conduct. And, finally, the defiant denial of the God who ordaineth, finds culmination in the assertion that there shall be no longer powers of human government to whom in superstitious faith obedience has been rendered; and anarchy is born as the legitimate offspring of unbelief. The crime at Buffalo, a month agone, by which the head of the Nation was taken away, was but the natural fruit of this tree of God-defying denial. The great and good President was slain by the spirit of our age. But we must recognize that this awful crime, thrice repeated within forty years, is the offspring of the spirit of lawlessness, full-grown to maturity of malevolence, and that other children of this same evil spirit are close about as on every hand, themselves the strength of the family of lawlessness, who make possible and certain these giant monsters whose deeds of violence have shocked our souls. The failure of the citizen of a republican government to do his duty in the endeavour to elect honest and true men as the officers of that government is the earliest political manifestation of this pernicious life. The selfish indifference which, governed by disgust, is content that the city or the State shall be given up into the hands of the least reputable people in it rather than do valiant and painful battle to preserve the ballot's purity and the honesty of official administration, this is the germ which in due and well-ordered development grows into the vigour which threatens our very social life. It is cheaper, men think and even say, to let the government be in the hands of the corrupt than to labour and to suffer to keep it in the hands of the honest and upright. The venial legislature can be easily purchased, and the ends good citizens are seeking easily secured. The rights of corporations can be made safe by putting money into the purse of the guardians of the State; the privileges we desire can be ours for a price, and that price is less than must be paid for honest administration of public affairs. Alas, that part of the price is municipal or national dishonour and degradation. The citizen who first selfishly refuses to do his civic duty, and then in natural descent along the easy path becomes the giver of bribe and the corrupter of his fellows is himself degraded more and more in the process, and the bottom is found when civic rights and civic righteousness are alike forgotten, when duty to his neighbour no longer demands performance, when protection to weakness, the equality of freemen, the conservation of honesty, are no longer the ends of the government, but only the securing of peculiar privileges for a class, the comfortable enjoyment of a protected license; when duty to man is forgotten because duty to God is denied. Are not these exhibitions of the spirit of lawlessness in plainest view throughout our land? But the question keeps repeating itself, how shall we as a Church, how shall we as Christian men and Christian ministers, resist this onflowing tide of lawless, godless materialism? How shall we make the Christian faith again to be the inspiration of victory, the efficient motive of self-sacrifice, the artificer of noblest character? By what power may the spirit of commercial ambition, the spirit of selfish aggrandizement, the spirit of devotion to the seen and the temporal, be driven from the chambers of our people's souls that a nobler, higher spirit may enter in? The answer is at once obvious and easy to be learned from our sacred books, that God the Holy Ghost alone can work this miracle. Beyond all controversy, the one supreme need of human nature for its cleansing, its invigoration, its development to higher, nobler man-hood, is the indwelling of the Spirit of God. This is but a commonplace of the teaching of our Master and his Apostles. But we ask in view of the peculiar difficulties of our time, what are the special hindrances which prevent His access to the souls of our children; what are the closed doors and windows through which He should enter in, but which by our neglect are barred so fast against him?

We answer that first and chief among the failures of our people in the development of their own spiritual life and that of their children, is the neglect of the cultivation of religion in the home. We have forgotten in the bustling pursuit of material prosperity, in the perhaps over-development of the value of the individual, that the home was the germ of the Church, that the father is consecrated priest of his household, the representative of the All Father to those sprung from his loins, their leader and commander in approach to the throne of the Highest, and in pursuit of the paths which He hath marked out. How shall the Holy One enter and dwell in the heart of the boy to expel the evil spirit of base desire, to quicken the purpose of self-devotion to the work of God in the world, to enable the pursuit of only the things that are pure and honourable and of good report, when the father, who is to him the very image and representative of all that is highest, is wholly immersed in the cares of the world? How shall the maiden's heart be made strong by the animating Spirit of the Holy One to answer to the heaven-sent messenger come to tell of the glory of the Christ who shall be hers, "Be it unto me according to thy word," when the mother who bore her and is rightly her ideal of highest womanhood, hath a name to live and is dead, and amid the hurrying round of frivolity cannot find time for prayer or Holy Scripture? How shall our children learn the habit of communion with God in secret prayer when behold there is no family altar around which they are called to kneel at morning and at evening, while the father-priest offers the sacrifice of their lips, their united prayer and praise? Ah, herein we believe we find the crying evil of our time, the ample explanation of the Church's deficiencies on every hand. Let us name but one to which we have already made reference, the unwillingness of our young men to devote their lives to the service of God and of man in the ministry of his Holy Church. Not, we believe, chiefly because of any unwillingness to endure hardness; not because of the supposed cramping and stultification of a manly intelligence necessary to the acceptance of the ancient creeds, as has been asserted; not because of the diminished influence of the ministry in our time as compared with that it exercised in the days of our fathers; no, our young men come not up to the help of the Lord against the mighty, because they are not trained from childhood to know the Holy Scriptures and thereby to know that there is a God, unseen yet omnipotent, the only wise, the Saviour of all men, who demands the loving service of His sons, that all men everywhere may know Him and His salvation.

With shame be it confessed that but too often the aspirant for missionary labours and sufferings has had his ardour quenched by the chilling words of a Christian father pointing out the greater opportunity to gain influence and wealth, power and happiness, in some other calling; and, stranger still, by the mother who bore him who cannot endure that he shall leave all these things to follow the Christ. There must be Christian homes from which shall come forth Christian heroes. There must be family altars from which must be taken the live coals to touch the lips which shall plead with men for God.

And in this connection we must call upon our people to guard their homes from the polluting and destroying influences which are ever ready to enter therein. And here again our present laxity is perhaps due to strained severity in the days that are past. The Puritanic moroseness which denied gratification to the healthy instincts demanding recreation and amusement, was naturally and rightfully opposed by the Catholic Church; and here as elsewhere the evil one, taking advantage of inherent human weakness, has turned our good into evil, our liberty into license. Because the playhouse is not, as the Puritan declared, the very gateway to the devil's abode, because the delight derived from the artist's impersonation of the artist's conception is helpful and elevating to character, because the indiscriminate condemnation of all dramatic representation may not be countenanced by the reasonable Christian; alas, it has now come to pass that indiscriminate approval has taken the place of condemnation as sweeping, and Christians are found looking upon mimic scenes which are wholly depraving, whose art is only their immorality, and their attractiveness only in their appeal to the basest passions of our nature.

Many of us are old enough to remember the indignant refusal of the Christian to suffer the game of cards to be played under his roof. The association of the painted cardboards with dens of iniquity, and their almost universal use for purposes of gaming, made them to be proscribed, and the possibility of their employment for innocent recreation denied. We may smile, some of us, at this absurd moral distinction made by our fathers; but better far this unreasoning arbitrary distinction than the license of to-day, which suffers the pastime of friends to be polluted by the passion of the gamester. Wasted hours, dulled consciences, careers to end in despair begun in ladies' drawing rooms, the gambler's madness, degradation, ruin, all alike are crying out that our freedom is full of danger. Oh, fathers, mothers, we would call so loud that all may hear throughout our broad land--fathers, mothers, arouse ye to the care of the children whom God hath given you. Wide open are the channels in which the devouring spirit of unbelief and immorality is entering to destroy your little ones. Close them, we beseech you, and set the watch of your love that the character of your children be not blasted ere it come to maturity and strength and beauty. Gather them about you on their knees and teach them by word and example to pray to the Father that His Spirit may be their light and strength. So shall they go forth by and by to be valiant soldiers and diligent servants of the right.

One other matter your Bishops feel called upon to mention in this connection, and that is the growing disregard of the sanctity of the Lord's Day. That such disregard is increasing among confessed disciples of the Lord we fear cannot be denied. The luxurious Sunday evening banquet of the rich and the pleasure-loving is a dishonour to the risen Lord, in whose honour the Church has set the day apart; and the appropriation of its sacred hours for the accomplishment of a long journey by the busy traveller, because the week's hours are all too few for his many engagements, is a robbery of God, who from Sinai demanded consecration of our time to His remembrance and worship, and placed the law of the Sabbath in the midst of the moral commandments of perpetual obligation. Far less worthy of condemnation in the eyes of the All-wise and All-merciful, we can but believe, is the Sunday outing of the perhaps over-worked artisan, who from Monday morning till Saturday night never sees his children save when asleep; and yet we are persuaded that he may be taught that fuller happiness shall be his if he shall have led his children to God's house and worship before he carries them to green fields and romping holiday. But it is a shame and only a shame, because no excuse can be found for it in the condition of our life, that golf grounds shall be crowded on Sunday afternoons, that servants shall be denied their due and well-earned rest-day, that the beasts in our stables shall know no Sabbath, because the athletes, men and women, must be driven in cushioned comfort to the scene of their Sunday sports, and returning, have their wearied frames refreshed and feasted.

To one and all alike we appeal that they labour and deny themselves to conserve the sanctity of our American Sunday. It is, perhaps, not too much to say, as taught by the specific commandment, embedded in the very midst of man's moral law, that the continuance of the knowledge of God and of His Son Jesus Christ among men is dependent upon our obedience to that command. "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day," writes the aged seer in Patmos when to him came the vision of the Son of Man. He separates distinctly between the Sabbath of the Hebrew and the Lord's day of the Christian, and just as distinctly between the slavish enactments to protect the one and the glorious liberty of the redeemed by which that which we guard should be made secure. The Puritan, not recognizing that the old had passed away because the new and the better covenant had come, sought to convert our Christian feast day into the old Jewish Sabbath, and naturally his striving was in vain. But, alas! again we must note that our liberty has been enlarged into license by the spirit of evil, and the blessing of the rest-day threatened by excessive freedom. The Church at even-song is almost empty. Our boys wander about the streets, and our daughters spend the solemn hour in gossip or in novel-reading. Why? Why? Because the father and mother do not entreat or command that with them they go up to the temple at the hour of evening prayer. Fathers, mothers, churchmen, we, your pastors, entreat that you rally to the defence of this mighty citadel of our religion. Americans, we call upon you to rouse to the protection of this palladium of our liberties, our government, our English civilization.

And lastly, beloved in the Lord, we bid you carry away from our great synod as the watchword of our battle for the time to come missions, missions, missions. The Son of God has been born as man, and to this end was He born that He might destroy the works of the devil. The Son of Man has been crucified that by His death He might destroy death and deliver them who all their lifetime have been in bondage through fear of death. He hath spoiled the strong man death and come forth from his house bearing the spoils of victory. He is gone away to the Father's right hand, and thence hath sent the Comforter, the life-giving Spirit, to quicken our spirits into new life in Him; and He hath builded His Church to be the habitation of this Spirit, the home of the faithful, the witness unto all men of Him and His salvation. Of that Church we are; we are members of His body; we are sharers of His Spirit; and therefore, mark it therefore, we too as He must be busy in the proclamation of His message of hope, in the ministration of His gift of life to all men. Mark that we say not may or ought, but must. "We cannot but speak the things that we have seen and heard." The man or woman who has seen His face, has heard His voice speaking pardon and blessing, cannot but tell to others the good things He hath done for all who believe in Him, and will do for all who confess His name.

Your Bishops speak unto you with all the earnestness they can feel and express, and declare that the obligation of every Christian to join heartily in the endeavour to extend the kingdom, to proclaim the message, is just as real and just, as binding, according to the teaching of the New Testament, as that to attain personal holiness; and that the effort to develop spiritual manhood must be vain in him or her whose life is but a selfish seeking for personal salvation, in forgetfulness and unconcern about the salvation of the world for which the Christ was content to die.

I can thank God that in my infancy, or but yesterday, I was buried with Christ in baptism and received the seal of covenant adoption into Him. I can thank God that on my head have rested the hands of the Church's chief pastor in assuring evidence of the gift of God's Holy Spirit. I can thank God that again and again I have been permitted to sup with my King in love divine upon the mysterious feast of His Body and Blood. But is this all? Nay, what have I done, what am I doing, that His kingdom may come among men, that all men everywhere may know His love and their deliverance? Interest in missions is only interest in Christ. Let the man be afraid who feels no interest in missions, that his supposed interest in Christ is unreal and vain.

Brother clergymen, go home to your parishes resolved to preach a very crusade for missions among your people. Make them know in detail the progress of the Church's battle, make them know the leaders and their little battalions who are on the frontiers of the kingdom, teach them to pray for missions and for missionaries, and knowledge and prayer will quickly bring the personal service and devotion the Lord desires.

Laymen, leaders of the Church in your several dioceses, go home determined that all that can be done shall be done in your parish and in your diocese for missions--all missions at home and abroad, in the neglected neighborhood of your own city or town or village, and in the furthest field to which your brother has been bold to depart. So shall ye have sweet and full assurance that ye are in very deed joined by faith to Him ye have confessed; so shall ye have the joy that cometh from proven union with the risen Christ. If the spirit of Him who raised up Jesus Christ from the dead dwell in us, that same Spirit must quicken our mortal bodies and raise us up with Him. But just as surely that indwelling Spirit will compel our prayer, our gift of time and care and gold, to the cause of missions, which is His cause.

The waiting Apostles stand in your midst ready to depart on the morrow for their work in the far away lands of heathendom and among the widely scattered people of our own country. Ere they go let them be made strong by the belief that ye will go with them in thought and care; that men and money ye will send them, that their advance be not stayed.

And now, beloved in the Lord, we commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you an inheritance among all them that are sanctified. When the chief Shepherd shall appear, may ye receive the crown of glory that fadeth not away.

Project Canterbury