PREACHED IN THE CHURCH OF THE ADVENT,
BOSTON, MASS., APRIL 27, 1858,
IN COMMEMORATION OF
THE LATE REV. ASA EATON, D.D.,
SENIOR PRESBYTER OF THE DIOCESE OF MASSACHUSETTS.
BY THE REV. THEODORE EDSON, D.D.
Printed by Request of the Wardens and Vestry.
PRINTED BY JOHN WILSON AND SON,
22, SCHOOL STREET.
Psalm cxviii. 17: "I SHALL NOT DIE, BUT LIVE, AND DECLARE THE WORKS OF THE LORD."
THE Psalter may be called The Liturgy of the Holy Ghost: Liturgy of the Church in respect to its use; the Liturgy of the Holy Ghost in respect to authorship and adaptation. For David, the son of Jesse, said" (and they be the-last of his words), and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet Psalmist of Israel, said, The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and His word was in my tongue."' Whatever the Psalms are, they are by the Spirit of Jehovah. That they were designed and prepared for devotional use needs no proof to be added to that of their liturgical structure, other than the facts that they were introduced and used as devotional forms in the Church to the coming of Christ, so used by Christ himself, and so used by the Christian Church from the days of His footprints on earth till now.
 And, further, the Psalms were prepared for the devotional use of a particular people,—the body to whom (as saith St. Paul) was committed the oracles of God.' To the devotional use of this continuous body were the psalms divinely and permanently adapted. The Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth,' keeper of the oracles, conservator of the true worship, is the worshipping body implied in the Psalms,—the body purporting to be worshipping in the use of the Psalms. That they should be used by individual members of the Church, as members, in sympathy with the body to which they belong, as joining devotionally with the body in the use of the expressions, is indicated in the internal character, the composition, and subjects of the Psalms. To a personal several use and application they do not seem to be well adapted. Take them one with another, how can they be so used and applied with propriety? But by individuals as members of the worshipping body, and sympathizing therewith as members, the application is most perfect and delightful throughout, and conducive to most stirring and devout emotions.
Thus the text, were I to apply it to myself individually, as distinct and separate from the worshipping body, would not be true. Y must die. I cannot say that I shall live, and declare the works of the Lord; but the Church lives, and will live. The worshipping body, the conservator of the true worship, the pillar and ground of the truth, the keeper of the Word and [4/5] Sacraments, Christ's body on earth,—the supposed worshipper, in these words, can say, and intelligent and earnest members can say, with an interest and intensity of devout feeling which thrills the heart with the deepest emotion, "I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord." And when the ways of Zion do mourn that so few come to her solemn feasts; when good men die, and the faithful and strong are minished, and the gates of hell seem about to swallow up and extinguish the Church; when foes without are furious; and treachery is rife within,—oh! then it is precious to the devout soul to adhere the more firmly to the body of Christ, to generate the more deeply into its vital circulation, and to trumpet its exulting language, “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord."
This body of Christ—"the Church, which is His body"—is now existent in three distinct states or conditions. Not in three bodies, but in one body: existing, blessed be His name; living, undivided; though, for the present, in three distinguishable forms of being.
One, and the first that I shall mention, is here on earth, in this mortal and corruptible flesh, into the Son of God—oh, what condescension!—stooped to come, that He might plant His footsteps here; that the ladder might stand on the earth; that He might gather out of the world, from the ruins of the fall, a people to His praise; that He might proclaim, "Come [5/6] unto me,—yea, even, come into me; abide, dwell, in me; gather with me into one: in me ye shall be sans of God." He hath given to us eternal life; and this life is in His Son: “That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us." Oh! Christ loved the Church, and cloth love it, and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word; that He might present it to Himself a glorious church on the earth.
But there is another estate (the second which I shall name) of the same body; viz., the state of the separation of the soul from the body, when the souls of believers are in glory,—are with the Lord, beholding Him, and seeing Him as He is.
And the third estate, and the most glorious of this same one body, is in the person of Christ himself; in His human body, raised incorruptible, and seated at the right hand of the Father.
To recapitulate in reversed order: Christ the Head, the crowning member, the guiding member, the governing member. The Head,—seat of the will, of understanding, of knowledge. The chief member in its perfected state,—state of perfect consummation and bliss both in body and soul. Christ the firstfruits of them that slept, of them that sleep: “And He is the Head of the body, the church; who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead;" Representative [6/7] illustrious, in heaven, of the church in its perfected state, when the bodies that sleep in Him shall be raised and glorified.
And then, in paradise, behold an already innumerable throng of the blessed, which has new accessions, every hour, of them that die in the Lord; they enjoying the rapturous testimony which they have in Him the first-fruits, in Him the first-born from the dead, to the general resurrection, that their bodies shall be made like unto His glorious body; He their elder Brother, in whose smiles of favor they receive the joyous feeling of a kindred sympathy; they waiting, in the blissful exercises of praise and love and service, for the adoption—to wit, the redemption—of the body. And their bodies, still united with. Christ, (oh, glorious fact!)—those bodies consecrated to God in baptism, partakers of the bread and wine of the Sacrament of Christ's Body and Blood, enrolled for the service of Christ, signed with the sign of the cross,—do rest in their graves, where sleeps the sacred dust, resting, sleeping, as unconscious as common earth; the sacred flesh, the sacred dust, sleeping in the quietness of the grave until the resurrection.
The other portion of Christ's body is the quick on earth. Here the soul, mysteriously joined with the live flesh and blood, in connection with the infirmities of fallen nature, and exposed to temptation, is on trial and training for the higher states. Here are means of grace for salvation. Here there is a world lying in wickedness. Fleshly lusts war against the [7/8] soul. The Devil is about, seeking whom he may devour. Here death reigns, and has reigned from Adam to Moses, and from Moses to now. Death reigns over the young, over the old, over saints, over sinners. Death reigns now; but there is a victory for them that are Christ’s at His coming, and who have part in His resurrection. So, when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall death be swallowed up of victory. “God giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
But the Church has her adversaries in this wicked world; and when the powers of darkness seem about to prevail, when good men are withdrawn from points of the contest where they are so much needed, it is a sweet comfort to rest and rely upon the precious promises of God’s Word, and to say, in the words whereby the Spirit helpeth our infirmities, “I shall not die, but live;” and, in the fulness and fervor of a warm, whole-hearted, and well-founded devotion, to pray, and to know, that, though contrary to all appearances, against all discouragements, “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.”
When God removes his good and faithful servants to a higher sphere of duty, neither they nor their services are lost. They are members, and living members, still; and, for the loss of their labors here, there is compensation in the legacy of their example. St. Paul teaches us to avail ourselves of it, to study the men that have been successful in their course, to commemorate [8/9] their character, to copy the good. The Church makes capital of her dead men; forasmuch as her dead men live. By holding them in grateful remembrance, the impress of their character is repeated in our hearts, and thus works its way, with more or less of distinctness, into the lives of many. Would that the remembrance of him whom we now commemorate might enhance in us the benefits of his godly life!
His family, in Plaistow, N.H., was of the Congregationalist order, and his early training was in that persuasion. He is supposed to have had the ministry in view in the pursuit of his classical education. He entered Harvard College, 1799, at the age of twenty-one; and, as his birthday fell on the 25th of July (the Festival of St. James), it could not have been far from Commencement Day. Men of distinction were in college with him; and among his classmates were Drs. Payson and Willard. Professor Farrar was his room-mate. His general conduct and standing in his class were reputable. He was of remarkably strict principles, conscientious, intelligent, and of a devout mind. The venerable Dr. Crocker, who was in the class before him, and three years in college with him, says, “He was always on the side of order in times when disorder prevailed shamefully, and sometimes alarmingly. He had the reputation of great diligence in his studies, and was respected for his general attainments. His aim ever seemed to be to qualify himself for usefulness in the world.”
 He was a lover of truth of every description. He had a notable faculty for investigating truth and for sifting evidence. "He loved to weigh and discriminate; and had satisfaction in the exercise of his faculty of gathering the good, and in casting the bad away; in allowing the weightier to preponderate over the lighter, over temporary interest, over prejudice, over obstinacy. Consciousness of his talent for weighing evidence, and the pleasure of exercising it, served to increase caution in his investigations, and satisfaction in the conclusions of his mind when once carefully made up. He was ready to buy the truth at any cost; but no earthly consideration could tempt him to sell it.
It was probably not until his residence in Cambridge that the subject of the Church came directly before his mind. Occasional services in Christ Church (I think they must have been by Mr. Jenks, lay reader, afterwards Rev. William Jenks, D.D., Boston, and pastor of the Congregationalist meeting in Green Street) were the first that he witnessed.
We may remark the low condition of the Church, as he first saw it, compared with the prosperous condition of Congregationalism; never more so than at that day, and nowhere more so than in his native New England. The one offered to his desire of usefulness nothing,—almost nothing; while the other opened to his hopes the paths which Payson and Coggin, his classmates, pursued so successfully.
In the great dearth of clergy of our church at that. time, and the difficulty of procuring a supply, [10/11] attention was turned, by force of circumstances, to the procurement of lay readers from the college graduates as a substitute; and it was when the ways of Zion in this church were mourning, and Congregationalism—to which he had conscientiously belonged, and to the service of which he was supposed to have devoted himself—was thriving and prosperous, that an invitation came to him from Christ Church, Boston, to become their lay reader. They knew of him as a suitable person for such a service; and he knew enough already to perceive that he could make the engagement in good faith, and enough to desire that further investigation, of which such a position would afford him a favorable opportunity. He accepted the invitation, but gave himself an interval of about three months between his commencement and the time of entering on the active service of the parish, Oct. 23, 1803. In the mean time (to wit, Sept. 13), Bishop Bass had departed this life. Dr. Walter had been dead about three years. The Rev. Mr. Haskell, his successor, after serving the parish over two years, had resigned it with a view to the rectorship of St. Ann's Church, Gardner, Me., as being then a preferable position. The election, consecration, and death of Bishop Parker occurred the following year. Dr. Walter and Dr. Parker lived on terms of friendship and good fellowship under circumstances which, in minds of other mould, might have produced an awkwardness. They were men above it. Their hearts were set on things above; and, for the object of their affections, they worked together kindly. But, upon [11/12] their decease, intercourse between the two parishes declined, and died away. Dr. Gardiner was comfortably situated in Trinity. His companionable abilities, his inexhaustible flow of conversation, his sweet humor, his easy manners, his power of amusing, joined with a good deal of frank, downright openheartedness, made him an idol of his strongest parishioners, and gave him unbounded influence with them. Keeping carefully within the limits which he prescribed to himself, and doing with exactness his routine of service, he was able to afford to hereditary and determined Churchmen an agreeable and respectable position, and thus to gather and secure that important element of parochial strength.
Such were some of the circumstances in which our venerated friend commenced his labors, in the humblest form of ministrations, in Christ Church; and such were some of the discouragements before his mind, when he turned away from the promising fields to which his own early persuasions pointed, and when the Church became the object of his choice and affections. Had he been an obstinate man, as some inconsiderately supposed, he never could have turned himself as he did. It was his nice discrimination of evidence, and his susceptibility to the power of truth, which (under grace) brought him into the church.
And now, purposed as he was to offer himself for the service of the Church in holy orders, with such circumstances of urgency,—the parish impatient for a rector, the clergy wishful of the strength which he [12/13] might bring to their corps,—his age advanced, he nevertheless filled up his two years of theological study. The urgency of circumstances pressed him to diligence and thoroughness in study, but not to the shortening of the term of time then considered due to preparation for such a work.
In July, 1805, at the age of twenty-seven, with a title from the parish in which his two years of residence and acceptable labor had won him a good degree, he went on to New York, and was ordained by Bishop Benjamin Moore, in Trinity Church, Deacon, on Wednesday, 31st, and Priest the Friday following. He returned to his charge, now fully invested with the functions of a parish priest, and entered on the new duties of his already familiar sphere with the freshness of youth, and the vigor and wisdom of manhood. Ile knew his ground well,—understood its capabilities and its difficulties. Already beloved by his people, among the clergy "he soon took a high position as a wise, devoted, and successful pastor."' [Dr. Crocker.]
I shall be sufficiently well understood in describing his churchmanship to be that of "evangelical truth and apostolical order." This he derived from the Scriptures, and the comparative study of the history and standards of the Church. His judgment was sound and clear. He knew his ability of appreciating evidence, and enjoyed the exercise thereof. He was slow and cautious in making up his mind; but, when made up, he knew so well the grounds of his opinion, [13/14] that he was satisfied with his conclusion; and, in view of what it cost, he grasped and held it with a firmness which your easy, slippery, accommodating minds could scarcely understand. He was laborious as well in pastoral duty as in study. He was ready to work for his Master and Lord in season, out of season. Not only to his principles, but to his course, he held with characteristic firmness, and a determination at that time as needful as it was remarkable.
The influx of Germanism into the Church of England, through the houses of Orange and Hanover, produced a type of churchmanship of which Dr. Gardiner might be regarded as a fair specimen. With great personal accomplishments, openness of character, and honesty of purpose, his studies were classical more than theological. He had seen the earnest labors of his predecessor, Dr. Parker, to extend the Church, greatly hindered, and almost defeated, by the untoward influence of the times; and this might have been, in part, the occasion of his lack of interest and concern for the Church outside the parish of Trinity. That was a season of rebuke for the Church in Massachusetts: it was her “day of small things.” The elder clergy were fast dying off; and the young, willingly and freely offering themselves to the help of the Lord, were few indeed. Old Mr. Wheeler, of Scituate, a good but never a leading man, had already become disabled by age and illness, and only lingered till about 1810. Mr. Fisher, of Salem, had withdrawn into a narrow sphere of labor within his own parish, and held on till 1812. In [14/15] St. Paul’s, Newburyport, was a young man, the Rev. Mr. Morss, a graduate of Harvard College in Mr. Eaton’s sophomore year, at first the assistant of Bishop Bass, and afterwards the successor. Rev. Mr. Montague was in Dedham; Mr. Bowers officiating in Marblehead and other places. In the extreme west of the State—Great Barrington and Lanesborough—were churches, the distance of which at that time from Boston admitted of but little active cooperation. About four parishes, on an average of seven years, were represented in convention. The clerical members were Rev. Messrs. Gardiner and Eaton, Morss and Montague, with a sprinkling, more or less, of itinerant ministers, as one or more might happen in. The lay gentlemen whose names appear in the Journals are Messrs. Stephen Higgingson, Richard Green, David Green, George Deblois, George H. Apthorp, Joseph Foster, Joseph Head: from Christ Church, the Walters, Dr. Kast, Shubael Bell, Robert Fennelly. Other gentlemen of wealth in that day in Boston, connected with the church, were John Amory, John Gore, Adam Babcock, John T. Apthorp, Thomas C. Amory, George Higginson, Thomas Perkins, Jonathan Mason, David Sears, Thomas L. Winthrop, Gardiner Greene. These, and others such as these, attendants and supporters of the Church, were among the rich men of that time. Of the several denominations in Boston, perhaps the Church had its full proportion of wealth.
As early as 1806, about eighteen months after the death of Bishop Parker, the election of a successor [15/16] began to be agitated in the Convention. It was moved, not by them that had the means, but chiefly by them that had the zeal without the means. It was moved in each successive Convention, till the object was slowly and with difficulty accomplished, in 1810, by the election of Bishop Griswold, who was consecrated, and entered upon the duties of his Episcopate, the following year. The venerable Dr. Crocker says to me, “After the election of Bishop Griswold, he (Dr. Eaton) became his (the bishop's) friend, and was one among the many, who, by correspondence and otherwise, ultimately prevailed on him to accept the appointment. I need not tell you," says Dr. Crocker, “with what joy the result was hailed throughout New England.as an omen for good to the church."
By this time, Christ Church, through God's blessing on the hard work and judicious care of its rector, had risen from its depressed condition to a state of strength and of standing; and the decade from 1810 to 1820 witnessed the maturity of his strength, the multiplicity of his labors, and a full success in his conflict with difficulties.
In addition to the ordinary labors of Sunday, he established, and sustained for many years, a third service and lecture on Sunday evening, whereby the Church was presented to church-people of the city in a new and interesting mode of working, and to thousands, strangers to the Church, who would otherwise never have known any thing of it, many of whom became sons and daughters of the faith. [16/17] Nobody knew the fruits and importance of those extra services so well as himself; and his estimation of them may be inferred, by those to whom he had no occasion to speak of them, from the fact, that, long after it was known that the labor was wearing seriously upon his health, he could not be induced to give them up. There were things, in his estimation, more to be considered than ease or health. He could not bear to withhold his hand from a tillage so fruitful to Christ. And, after all, God gave him to us fourscore years almost; and the lives of few men have spanned a greater amount of service, or a more outlengthened usefulness. They are yet alive, in whose vivid and affectionate remembrance those inviting bells, those evening services, and the beloved pastor, are associated together among their sacred and delightful recollections.
It is now known to but few, perhaps not half a dozen still living, that, for a length of time, he was accustomed to devote one evening in the week to a little parlor-meeting of friends, for prayer, practising in the Prayer Book, taking sweet counsel together, and giving pastoral instruction. I mention it as an illustration of the thoroughness of his pastoral labors at the time, and of his watchfulness and readiness, in and out of season, to do the work of an evangelist.
When Sunday schools began to be talked of in this country, his perspicacious mind quickly caught the idea, and clearly perceived how readily the institution was to be harmonized with church-training. His was the first school opened in this region, and [17/18] was in successful operation long before other pastors and churches were driven into the scheme by the outside pressure of public opinion. Such was the man,—alert, judicious, laborious.
He gave his countenance steadfastly to the general subject of education. Salem-street Academy came up under his "auspices. When the American Education Society was formed, he was much solicited to take office therein, and especially by Dr. Eliphalet Pearson, then the President of the Trustees of the Theological Institution and Philips's Academy, Andover,—a man whose name I cannot pass without a profound sense of his worth, and acknowledgment, however feeble, of his great kindness to me in his family, and continued afterwards as long as he lived. He had an affectionate regard for Dr. Eaton. In some strong features of mind, they were not unlike. Whilst the tongue of flippancy sometimes styled them severe and stern, they were the kindest and most gentle of men. God grant I may be found worthy to join them, when it shall please him to pass me on to the next upward degree!
He was much solicited to take the office of Secretary of the Board of Directors of the American Education Society,—a post which he was induced to accept, and in the exact discharge of the considerable duties of which, for quite a number of years, he gave entire satisfaction. With this service, the education of him who gratefully pays this feeble tribute is, in Divine Providence, connected.
On the accession of Bishop Griswold to the [18/19] Episcopate, impulse was given to the Church in his jurisdiction. In Massachusetts, the feeble parishes were revived. There was a movement, however slight at first, in the home missionary work; and some scope was thus given to the missionary spirit, and to the work of extending the Church. It may be supposed how more than ready was the Rector of Christ Church to hail, and set forward, such a spirit. Following the steps of Bishop Parker, he, in addition to his throng of parochial and other engagements, accepted the rectorship of Christ Church, Cambridge, which he held for a number of years, not as a sinecure, but extending thereto a nursing care, and, supplying his own pulpit with such substitutes as he could avail himself of, gave it, from time to time, his personal ministrations. In the rise of St. Mary's Church, Newton Lower Falls, he early gave the helping hand in much the same way, by taking charge and responsibility of the rectorship, which he is believed to have held till the parish was strong enough to secure the rector who served St. Mary's through an almost thirty years of faithful, laborious, and successful incumbency. His personal aid and attention is to be found in the first movement for a church in Lynn and South Boston; whilst the decayed but reviving parishes in Marblehead, Quincy, Bridgewater, and other places, shared occasionally his ministrations.
In 1820, a new church (St. Paul's) was consecrated. This is an epoch of the Church in Massachusetts. At this time Christ Church was strong, and commanded the respect which had been reluctantly conceded. In [19/20] standing, the parish had become at least the second in the State. In point of life and efficiency, as a member of the whole, it was first. It was the point to which poor and feeble parishes instinctively addressed themselves. Upon the organization of St. Paul's parish, and the settlement of Dr. Jarvis,
power of the laity was brought into activity which had been comparatively dormant before. The journals of Convention, after that date, assume a new appearance. Dr. Jarvis did his work here,—an important work,, some thought before the time; I would say seasonably done,—a work which remains to this day, and will remain as long as the elect are to be gathered.
Dr. Jarvis and Dr. Eaton were fast friends, notwithstanding the very considerable transfer of important members from Christ Church to St. Paul's. Dr. Eaton was not a man to be overruled by prejudice, nor so much influenced thereby as strong minds are wont to be. He could sit at the feet of one who could teach him of Christ; always firm to his own reasonable and intelligent convictions, always open to the receiving and sifting of evidence, always gratified in allowing to truth its due weight.
About this time God was afflicting him with his infirmity of voice. After a continuance, perhaps increase, of this affliction for several years, during which, even to the last, he probably did as much valuable service in the parish as most pastors can do, he resigned his parochial relation to Christ Church.
He was not a man to be idle. His affliction did [20/21] not disable him. Being of good general health and of physical activity; in the fulness of mental vigor; by no means utterly disabled as to his voice for performing divine service and preaching; with more knowledge and acquaintance of the poor and infirm, probably, than any other pastor, perhaps than any other person, then in the city,—he saw his field, and entered upon its culture with promptness and effect. And, with God's blessing on his practical wisdom and judiciously applied labors, he commenced the free-church city mission; gathered around him the poor of Christ's flock; broke unto them the bread of life; carried relief to the destitute suffering, the consolations of religion to the sick and afflicted; penetrated into the kingdom of Satan in the strongholds of a wicked city; thus making the successful beginning of what has resulted in the noble establishment of St. Stephen's, and in the admirable enterprises of its worthy and painstaking missionary.
In 1837, having accepted an appointment in connection with St. Mary's School, Burlington, he removed from this diocese to that of New Jersey. The position required active labor and a close application, to which his general health and strength were adequate; but, after about four years' service there, perceiving the advance of age, and aware that more of quietness and repose comported with his time of life, he returned to Boston, the scene of his early labors. Here he lived in comparative retirement, and within the circle of his particular friends; except, indeed, that that circle was by no means small, and except [21/22] that he held the office of Vice-President in the Widows' and Orphans' Society, and was Treasurer of the Diocesan Convention for a number of years, and very kindly accepted the care and office of Rector of Trinity Church, Bridgewater, which he retained to the last.
Not far from the time of his return to Boston, the parish of the Advent was organized. The enterprise met his sympathies. He loved to see the strengthening of the stakes and the lengthening of the cords of Zion. A free church, where the rich and the poor might have full and equal access to divine worship, begun with hopeful promise of good standing and success, could scarcely fail of his good-will and encouragement. A strict construction and practice of the principles and rubrics of the Church, its working operation earnestly carried out in and upon all classes of persons, agreed well with his taste, his convictions of right, and his warm heart's desire. He was a lover of strict constructions, both of principles and practice; deeming them safer to follow, after all, than the devices and desires of our own hearts. For his brethren and companions' sake, he wished the work prosperity; but mostly, as I humbly think, in that it offered him the opportunity of superinducing, upon the waning of his more active life, the increasing culture of the devotional.
The Christian character, as it approaches perfection, aims at proportion. Judging from the Scripture glimpses of heavenly engagements, we are led to infer that the devotional are prominent; and hence, also, [22/23] that the training in this state for fitness for the next should be largely devotional. Prevailing schemes of error would have Christian character all of one and the same degree, instantly acquired, and never lost. The notion lacks the authority of Scripture, and is not sustained by observation. Everywhere there is an according of results to means. May we not observe it in Christian character? Are there not variety and gradation in the means of grace, which some use more diligently, some less? Do not some, alas! seem to make no acquisition beyond the grace of baptism? Some add to infantile grace the practice and the grace of prayer in childhood, which is given up in youth. Some go on to the grace of confirmation, and stop there. The more faithful proceed to the Lord's Supper; and, even at that stage, some run well, and then are hindered,—run again, and again are hindered. And grace is accordingly; and Christian character, in its results, is more or less distorted, more or less perfected. Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord; blessed in the next state after death; more or less blessed, according as they are more or less in the Lord when they die. And St. Paul teaches us that the same rule holds even in the resurrection state: "There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead." Our attainments in grace here will bear upon the brightness of that glory, on the victory of that hour.
 I suppose it will be allowed by all, that the great want, the great lack, of the community, is the lack of prayer. This is the most dark and threatening feature of the present times; and whatever reason we may have for the increasing hope of better things is connected with the hope of an increasing amount of prayer in the community.
The leading defect in the piety of modern times is the want of a due proportion of the devotional element. Compare with the Scriptures; compare with the lives of saints; with the literature of the most devout ages of the church; with what we are made to know of the engagements of heaven, and of the culture fitting therefor. It is the deficiency of the devotional element which chiefly mars the fair proportions of Christian character at this day. One of the blessed things connected with the Christian ministry as a profession, and rich compensation for all the peculiar labors, trials, and difficulties of the office, is the superior opportunity which it affords for devotional exercises, and the culture of devout affections,—an advantage so great, that, if it could be looked at and appreciated through the three estates of Christ's body, young men of piety would leap into the race, would wait only for commission to run, and, bringing the best talents and the best acquirements, would lay them down at the apostles' feet.
Our friend had an eye for correct proportions, and appreciated the devotional element of Christian character; and I think it was, in no small part, the opportunity of daily prayer and frequent sacraments [24/25] and almsgivings that attached him to the Church of the Advent. He had worked his day,—had sustained a successful struggle for the interests of the body of Christ in this naughty world with labor and prayer. In active service he was prompt and efficient. The active virtues of the Christian character were developed to their fulness and strength; and as he retired gradually from one post to another, at the instance of his Master,—from a more to a less laborious position,—it is beautiful to observe the corresponding increase of the devotional exercise and culture. When compelled to labor less, he gladly seized the opportunity to pray the more. That God should have crowned the faithful labors of his more active life with fifteen years of daily service and often communions and abundant alms, in the place and house of prayer, may be contemplated as a bright and a beautiful instance of the grace and the goodness of our Lord. That such a life should wane into such an evening; that the sun, departing from our observation with such serenity and increasing beauty, should now be rising, with increasing brightness and glory, in another sphere,—is a hope which it is our duty to cherish, and our privilege to contemplate. "Verily, there is a reward for the righteous." And their reward is gain to the body,—gain to us of the body. By the removal of the departed, there is accession to the amount of life there; and if we learn the lessons which their godly lives teach, so as to quicken divine life in our souls here, then will the amount of vitality in the whole body be increased by their [24/25] removal. Their loss shall be gain here,—gain of life, gain in the number of living members; so that the Church shall not lose, but gain, vitality in, their departure; so that, through the tears of our bereavement, we may still say and sing, “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord."
ALMIGHTY GOD, with whom do live the spirits of those who depart hence in the Lord, and with whom the souls of the faithful, after they are delivered from the burden of the flesh, are in joy and felicity; We give Thee hearty thanks for the good examples of all those Thy servants, who, having finished their course in faith, do now rest from their labors. And we beseech Thee, that we, with all those who are departed in the true faith of Thy holy Name, may have our perfect consummation and bliss, both in body and soul, in Thy eternal and everlasting glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.