THE APOSTOLIC WORKMAN.
PREACHED AT THE CONSECRATION
RT. REV. ROB'T HARPER CLARKSON, D.D.,
AS MISSIONARY BISHOP OF NEBRASKA AND DAKOTA,
THE RT. REV. HENRY BENJAMIN WHIPPLE, D.D.,
BISHOP OF MINNESOTA,
ST. JAMES CHURCH, CHICAGO NOVEMBER 15, 1865.
DELIVERED TO THE CONGREGATION OF ST. JAMES' CHURCH, CHICACO,
BY BISHOP CLARKSON,
HIS ACCEPTANCE OF THE MISSIONARY EPISCOPATE.
A RECORD OF THE CONSECRATION SERVICE.
H. A. NEWCOMBE & CO., STEAM PRINTERS
101WASHINGTON STREET, CHICAGO.
STUDY TO SHOW THYSELF APPROVED UNTO GOD,
A WORKMAN THAT NEEDETH NOT TO BE ASHAMED,
RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH.
Second Timothy. c. ii. v. 15.
BELOVED FRIENDS AND BRETHREN: These are the words of a great-hearted apostle. For the love he bore the Lord Jesus, he had given up home, kindred and country. For long years he had borne shame, sorrow and suffering, bravely, for Christ's sake. He had preached throughout the civilized world, to Jew and Gentile, to Greek and barbarian, to bond and free, the unsearchable riches of Christ. He is now an aged prisoner. He reads in his present imprisonment the forerunning tokens of his martyrdom. Such a one, who has finished his course, writes to his own son in the gospel concerning the awful trust in which he has been placed as the Bishop of Ephesus. Timothy had been his companion in missionary travels, and his fellow-prisoner in Rome. The church now committed to his care is very dear to the apostle's heart. It was his parting from the elders of Ephesus which wrung from the apostle's lips, "What mean ye to weep, and to break mine heart?" It was a glorious church, and numbered among its faithful ones Aquila and Prisca, the household of Onesiphorus and the beloved Tychicus. The Lord commended it in the message to its bishop, "I knew thy works, and thy labors, and thy [3/4] patience, and how thou canst bear with them that are evil." When to all this we remember that this charge was given by inspiration of the Holy Ghost, it ought to reach the heart of every man to whom has been committed the trust of a shepherd of the flock of Christ.
"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." To know the trust of apostleship, it must fill all the heart. It is only the faithful bishop who can know a bishop's trust. St. Paul said, "I keep my body under, lest, having preached Christ to others, I myself become a castaway." The greatest preacher of the eastern world, St. Chrysostom, said, "When I read, 'they watch for souls as they who shall give an account,' it shook my inmost soul." It was a dying martyr who said to his son in the faith, "Stand thou in thy trial as an anvil when it is beaten." Nothing will more surely shipwreck the minister of Christ than low views of his office. If he regard himself merely as the friend and companion of his people, as a Christian scholar who is to write pleasant homilies upon holy things, or as an orator who is to appeal to the sympathies and win the applause of men, he cannot feel the responsibility of an office whose sole authority comes from the Almighty God. It is only when the poor aching heart understands the fearfulness of this trust, that it will cry out, with St. Paul, "Who is sufficient for these things?"
1. The ministry is from Christ. He is an ambassador from God. His holy office stands not in the call of vestries, or the election of the people. It is not in the gift of the men to whom God has sent it. It is the [4/5] ministry of Christ. No less authority can receive men into a covenant with God, or in His name declare the terms of mercy, or dispense the sacraments of a kingdom of which Christ himself is the king. The office is from God. It must either come to men immediately by a call from heaven, as in the case of Moses and the prophets, or else it must come mediately through a chosen line who have been authorized to commit it to faithful men also. If it be a direct call from God to the individual, God will accompany it with the visible witness of His divine power, that we may be assured of its reality, or else the flock of Christ will be left at the mercy of every wicked impostor who claims authority from heaven to propagate his miserable delusions and lies. The ministry of the church has received its authority by a lineage of duly commissioned men. No lapse of ages can weaken it. No time can change it. Such as Christ gave it, such it must be, until He who gave it shall come to receive as the judge of the quick and the dead. The pledge or its authority, and the guarantee of its perpetuity, is the promise of Him who was as truly God as He was truly man. "So I am with you always, even unto the end of the world."
2. The message of the ministry of Christ must be Christ's message. There are no new themes for His ministry. There never will be a congregation which is not made up of sinful and dying men. For them the only message from his lips is that of the love of Christ, their Saviour. Without this, the church may be an audience chamber, where orators rehearse the shifting opinions of men and schools, or where philosophy perplexes the wise, or confounds the foolish; but church [5/6] of Christ it cannot be, unless Christ be first, Christ last, and Christ in everything. Men may change times, and laws, and governments, and society; God is unchangeable, and His truth is the same yesterday, to-day and forever. Not less true is it that the minister of Christ must set forth clearly, yet with all charity, the mysteries of holy sacraments. It may pass men's comprehension how the grace of God is vouchsafed to a child or penitent in holy baptism; or how believing souls feed on Christ in the supper of the Lord. We have reached beyond the province of human reason when we hear the voice of God. These were never doubtful questions in the days of the primitive church. They lived too near the cross to doubt the Saviour's words. They know too well the mystery of redeeming love, to believe that He who had redeemed them with His blood had made unnecessary appointments for the sons of men.
3. In preaching Christ crucified, in dispensing his holy sacraments, in guiding and feeding the flock, the minister of Christ is a workman of God. The workman must know his work. The character of the man he is to mould, the temper of the times, the difficulties to be overcome—all this must be the lesson for the bishop's heart. It often happens that the ideal man of the pastor's study is not the actual man whom the pastor meets in the street. The clergy ought to know men as they know books. They must meet them upon the platform of a common humanity; not as a companion in sin, but as messengers from God, to give these weary toilers in the dust and smoke of earth the sweet messages of heaven. They must know and feel the peculiar wants of this intensely worldly, restless, [6/7] practical, iron age. They must know its sins, its worldliness, its lust for gold, its desecration of hearts and homes, its untaught children, its lost, wandering sheep, how the mad world is every day trying to write on the portals of every American home, "Eat and drink, for to-morrow we die." They must know these hearts which sin and suffer, these strong men who work in wood and iron, these busy merchants, these western workers who are making our land the world. They may preach against the world, but they cannot stop its progress for an hour. They must guide it, teach it, reform it, win it unto Christ. It is, with all its sins, an age of keen sympathies, of generous impulses, and of strong manly hatred of shams. It may have little respect for the traditions of authority, and yet it will love all workers for their works' sake. It is because it is so intensely human that it tries to cure humanity by its human contrivances. Its clubs, and lodges, and brotherhoods, and orders are the cry of humanity telling of its needs. The world will have them, and it ought to have them, until the church becomes all it ought to be for dying men. They will need no other brotherhood when disciples of Christ know and believe in the meaning of the words, "Our Father."
4. The workman must know the means he is to use. They are the means which God himself has provided for a lost world. It is the story of Christ crucified. It is the example of Christ's life. It is the teaching of Christ's lessons. It is the use of Christ's means of grace. It is the fashioning by grace of sinful hearts into the likeness of Christ. The ideal man for all times and all people is the God man, Jesus Christ. It [7/8] will not be a world of such sad, sinful men for Jesus' sake. It was not hard words that led Zaccheus out of his usury and sin. It was not the circumspection of the Pharisee's life, but the love of Jesus, which drew Mary Magdalene to Simon's house. Now-a-days there are more Christians who try to act as God's judges, to deal out his avenging wrath, than those who make themselves Christ's messengers to tell of the redeeming mercy. They lead men to Mount Sinai, whose heart would break on Mount Calvary. They either pass by the man who fell among thieves, like the priest and Levite of old, or they toss him a tract, as you would give meat to a hungry lion; or they tell him, "It is all your fault," as though the poor wretch did not know it. It does no good. The waves of sin are every day rising higher. The cry of ungodliness swells out in louder curses. The streets swarm with the wrecked, and the wretched. We wonder why they do not heed the gospel, and forget that they have never heard the gospel. It is time to try the love of Jesus. But you say they will not hear. They will hear. I have seen a hundred rough, swearing men listen like children to a Christian woman, who went to the hospital to care for the souls and bodies of these men. I have known a coarse wretch, who knew the interior of a prison better than that of a church, to guard with scrupulous courtesy a Christian woman who came to the alley upon an errand of mercy. If the Son of God came to save sinners; if he could eat with sinners, surely sinners ought to learn to show mercy to other sinners for His sake. I do not remember one harsh word Jesus ever spoke to sinners. It was His divine love which healed their hearts. The [8/9] workman for God must know how to use the means. The truest pastor is the truest man. The best physician is one who knows best the disease. So is it here. The man who would heal sinful hearts must know these hearts. He must be a man of the people, not by fawning upon and flattering the people’s sins; not by daubing over unseemly rents by untempered mortar; not by giving up manhood; not by apologizing for wrong; not by any surrender of God’s truth. He must be a man among men; an intensely human man; a man of tender sympathy; a man who hears every wail of sorrow; and yet, withal, a man of God, who can, if need be, withstand the people, who can work, and work, and die just as seed falls into the ground, and be sure God will give the harvest. To rightly divide the truth, he will adapt it to all ages, classes, and distinctions among men: milk for babes and strong meat for men.
5. The workman works for God. What a blessed work, to lead wandering souls to God their father, to bring them to His fold, to feed them on the bread of life, to fashion them by grace into the likeness of Christ! His work must be approved of God. With St. Paul, he will say, "It is a small matter that I be judged of man’s judgment; yea, I judge not mine own self, but he that judgeth me is the Lord." It is to the scrutiny of the all-seeing eye of God that the faithful minister must bring every thought and word and deed of all his ministry. If this be true of parish priests, how much more true of him who is the overseer of the flock of Christ. If he is negligent, where can we look for vigilance? If his heart burn not with love, who will seek for Christ’s dispersed sheep who [9/10] are scattered abroad in this haughty world? If he bind not up the broken heart, who will plead the cause of the wretched? If his heart is cold, who will go out into the wilderness, to bring the torn and wounded lambs to the Master’s bosom? If it is true, "like priests, like the people," much more will it be true, "like bishops, like clergy." The bishop is the leader of the church militant, and, as to other battlefields, he will gather around himself men of like temper, like faith, like devotion, and like work. It is a striking fact that, in our American branch of the church, every diocese represents the theological opinions, as well as the temper, the spirit, and the work of the bishop. If his eye is single, if he is determined to know nothing but Christ and Him crucified, clergy and people will catch the spirit of his devotion. If he is the foremost missionary, the humblest deacon will be a braver man for his bishop’s work. But if his heart be cold and worldly, if he have no pity for perishing souls, if he have no voice or cheer for fainting hearts, if he be more ready to requite evil than to forgive, there will be heart-burning, and strife, and envy, and every evil work.
In his work for God there must be the wisest fore-thought, the strongest faith, and a devotion and energy which knows no defeat. In our western missionary fields, where we always see the onward, mighty movement of our national life, where in a year it often happens that the untrodden prairie teems with a busy population, where hamlets become villages and cities, as if by magic, it is work to call out every energy of the heart. There is no form of ungodliness or heresy [10/11] which will not be sown broadcast on the border. The bishop will have to fight the old heresies which Cyprian fought in Carthage, and which Athanasius battled in Alexandria. It will be a hand-to-hand struggle for the mastery. He must not leave the issue with the head merely, he must go straight to the heart and speak as one tempted man speaks to another of Christ the Saviour.
6. He must be a workman in fashioning others for the blessed Master’s work. In ordaining and sending out others, there is much to try one’s patience and dampen one’s faith. The missionary bishop sees fields white for the harvest, and he cries to the church for help. But the church gives back no sign. He will be tempted to lower the standard of the ministry, or to send out men of doubtful preparation, or of doubtful devotion to Christ. In no part of his life is it more difficult to be a workman who needeth not to be ashamed. There must be no question as to duty. The age demands the ripest scholarship, the truest devotion, and the deepest faith. The men he sends out must be trained under his watchful eye; men who have often felt the beating of his heart; men who know him; men who can work as well as think; men who can keep even step with the movement of the people, and who know how to go in and out among them in the spirit and power of the gospel, preaching deliverance to the captive, and opening the prison doors to those whom Satan has bound.
The workman for God in a bishop’s office must hold his trust from God, as a trust for all men for whom Christ died. Our branch of the church is beginning to learn, from the pressure of her own work, to make her episcopate more apostolic—that is, missionary, [11/12] sending forth—in its character. It is because her isolated missionaries cry aloud for leaders, and because she is beginning to hear her sheep cry for shepherds, that she feels the need for more bishops. If it was simply to have a functionary to confer orders and lay on hands in confirmation, we have enough. But if the church is to become more than a dignified sect; if she is to be a living power in guiding the pulsations of the great heart of this nation, she needs a score where she has one. The primitive church did not wait until Corinth and Athens had churches before it sent to them apostles. They lived to near the cross to raise questions of expediency, and wonder whether God would provide for the men He sent forth. Men were lost; they were going in their sin and sorrow to death and hell; the church had the message of God’s mercy for a lost world. There was none other name given under heaven whereby men could be saved, and so they went everywhere preaching Jesus and the resurrection.
It must be so again. There are men who will love the church for the order and beauty of its services and find attraction in the stability of its authority, but the people will never come to it until we make it the home of the people. The cry of "The temple of God, the temple of God are we," conveys no message of mercy to unbelieving hearts. It will seem like the Pharisee's garb of men who esteem themselves better for the privileges which God has given to them. The church never has prospered, and it never can prosper except as a missionary church. These bishops whom we send out to the western frontiers, go to occupy land which shall swarm one day with millions of souls. The people whom we serve are even now a power [12/13] throughout the whole world. They will be powerful for good, or terrible for evil. Our mission is not simply to the pleasant village or the crowded city. It must reach the scattered homes of the pioneers; it must be heard in the wayside schoolhouse; it must be felt along these thoroughfares which are thronged with iron men. The human heart is always the same. The congregations in the border schoolhouse are own brothers to the congregations in the city. We shall never fill our Master's house with honored guests until we go out into the lanes and highways and bring hither the lame, the halt, and the blind.
It is very hard to believe in and act upon Christ's words in a mammon-loving way. I am not sure it would be any harder to tread the path to martyrdom. It is hard to keep the eye fixed upon Christ in a vanity fair. It is hard to work hopefully and build for eternity where disciples give pence from love to Jesus, and waste hundreds in luxury and dress. It is not for lack of men, for a million men would have gladly died for their country. It is not for lack of means; for every coffer was wide open at their country's call. It is not for lack of faith in Christ. The fault is, first, in us bishops and clergy. We cannot rightly divide the truth unless the truth is always graven upon our hearts. We cannot faithfully dispense the word of God unless its words are always treasured in our hearts. We cannot preach Christ unless Christ be always in us, the hope of glory. We cannot lead men to heaven unless we are walking heavenward ourselves. And yet, hard although it is to work patiently, hopefully, and cheerfully, it will be easy if we master the lesson that our office is from God, our work is for [13/14] God, our strength is in God, our reward is with God.
Brother beloved, it seldom happens that one is called to a missionary bishop's life through a sharper trial of faith than your own. Few men ever have the lambs who were cradled in their arms standing clustering around them as their fellow laborers for Christ. Few ever leave a parish after so long a service with so few memories which, dying, they could wish to blot. I know how these memories of sermons, baptisms, communions, and burials come back to you to-day; and your heart would be more than human if you could unmoved say ''Farewell." Your dear parish, which you have served in sunshine and in storm, had hoped that the only parting would be that which looked to a reunion in heaven. They will part with you to-day with tears, and yet it ought to be with joy that they can send such a bishop to such a glorious field. We shall all miss you; most of all the missionaries who have always received from you a brother's welcome, a brother's sympathy, and a brother's prayers.
I dare not tell you that a bishop's life is a way of roses. You will miss the strength and comfort of the ties which bind a parish priest to his flock. You will feel like a man who has drifted out to an unknown sea, where there is no help but to cry to God, our Father; you will be misunderstood; you will encounter prejudice; your godly discipline may provoke hatred; your own sons may stand aloof; you may be weary with deferred hope; you may be faint with the sight of unoccupied fields. There will be times when you would gladly exchange your bishopric for the humblest parish in the land, if it were not that he who taketh hold of the plow and looketh back is not [14/15] worthy of the kingdom of God. And yet, with all which will make the heart ache and the feet bleed, you will find this a holy, a happy, and a blessed life. I knew of no joy like the privilege of being the herald of Christ to new and unoccupied fields. Jesus Christ has called you to this apostleship in His church. The hand from the cloud points to the shepherd’s staff, and it is only for you to say, ''Thy will be done."
There is much to cheer you. For long years you have been identified with the West, and you know every pulsation of Western hearts. You will go to your new field laden with all our prayers, and I should wrong your parish if I doubted whether they would provide means for your blessed work. The venerable bishop, our own western apostle, will give you no greater joy than that his mantle might fall upon you. As yet in the pride of youthful manhood, you may hope to see the seed of your own planting ripen into a glorious harvest. Only let every thought be consecrated unto Christ; only bring everything to God’s altar; only live for Christ—and Christ will be with you. Your lonely journeyings will be in His company. Your wayside work will be under His eye. You have no room for fear if He go with you. "Go forth strong in His might." "Put on the whole armor of God." "Study to show thyself a workman approved of God." Whether your episcopate be longer or shorter, it will be blessed. Wherever your grave may be, it will be watered with tears. Your work will be garnered in heaven. You will receive the reward. "They that be wise shalt shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever."
"WHAT WAS I, THAT I COULD WITHSTAND GOD." ACTS xi. 17.
Thirty years ago the Protestant Episcopal Church in this country was awakened, as if with Pentecostal life, on the subject of carrying the Gospel into distant and destitute regions. She, as if at once, seemed to read and comprehend her missionary diameter granted by the Great Head and Captain.
The General Convention of 1835, with a sublime enthusiasm, that had been without parallel in her history, declared the whole Church to be a Missionary Society, and every baptized member a part and parcel of it. And the father and elders gathered together then said ''We shall send out beyond all our organized dioceses a missionary Episcopate to plant along the frontiers the Cross of Christ and the standard of the Church."
And like the Apostles of old, they prayed that the Lord would show them upon whom this vast ministry and apostleship should fall. And directed by the Holy Ghost, if ever man were thus directed, the choice fell upon that godly and glorious St. Paul of these latter days, Jackson Kemper, who, for more than a quarter of a century, with a zeal that never knew weariness, has gone up and down a continent "gathering in harvests for God’s granary." "Long may his green old age adorn our episcopate." Then, to divide his rapidly increasing empire and help him in his work of manifold toils and honors, the Church sent forth, in quick succession, Freeman, Scott, Kip, Lay, and Talbot—honored and noble names all, writ not in sand, but graven deep in the hearts of these magnificent realms that they have traveled again and again as the Pioneer Preachers of the everlasting Word.
"Earth knows no nobler lineage this day than that of him who, commissioned of God, and called of the Church," goes forth in Christ's name to bear to foreign heathendom, or to the outposts of civilization, the tidings and blessings of the glorious [17/18] Gospel of our dear Redeemer. "The armorial bearings of the Cross, the ancestral glory of an unblotted escutcheon—the noblest birthright of the world—are theirs who lie in martyr missionary graves," [* Rev. W. C. Doane] or who work for Christ with patient heroism in Africa, in China, among the islands of the sea, or along the borders our own developing territories.
Next to scenes made sacred by the footsteps of the Son of God to my mind, "the holiest spots on this earth are the cities where Paul, the first missionary, preached; the port where Augustine stepped on Kentish ground, the humble Cathedral of Heber in India's golden strand, the landing place of Selwyn's mission ship, the footprints of Moravians in the Greenland snows, the fresh-made grave of Boone on China's soil, and the prairie school house where Kemper first opened the prayer-book to eager listeners.
Yes, nothing in the Church of God seems to me so sublime and so divine as the progressive activities of her missionary spirit, and "the beacon-hills of all the ages" are the mission stations of Christ's all conquering kingdom.
Who, then, that loves the Redeemer's cause and Name was not thrilled with grateful joy when the recent Council of the Church decreed that she would lay hold of and occupy for the Master every mile of that wide-spread realm that stretches from the Mississippi to the Pacific? Reading in the Word that God had said "The gold and the silver" and "the cattle on a thousand hills" are mine—the Church in solemn Convention assembled, determined that the gold-hunters of the Colorado, the silver miners of Nevada, and the husbandmen of Nebraska, should have, from the lips of her Apostolic Ministry, the good news of forgiveness and pardon through the precious Name and Blood of Christ the Lord.
Following the spirit of her missionary charter, and impressed with the responsibility of her missionary character, conscious that real faith always makes large ventures for Christ's Kingdom, the Church in her whole representative power resolved to plant a Bishop's home and centre here and there along this mighty pathway of empire that reaches from the outmost edge of eastern civilization, across the mountains, the plain and the desert to the golden gate of the West.
 But who shall we send with the Bible, and the Prayer-Book, and the high commission of rulership, to take possession, in the Saviour's Name, of those wide spread regions? was the anxious, solemn, awful inquiry. They believed that God would guide them to a choice—they thought that the promises to those who wait on Him in fervent prayer would be fulfilled. Rising from their knees, they laid their hands on three Presbyters and said, ''The Lord hath called you. And what could those three men—after such a scene, at such a time, with such a duty laid upon their souls—say, but each one of them the words of the text, "What was I that I could withstand God?"
If there is any truth in Scripture—if the belief that the Holy Spirit controls the Councils of the Church is not the merest fiction—I am firmly persuaded that men chosen under such circumstances are as much called of God to this duty as were Matthew, and Peter, and James, and John, to the Apostolate of the Saviour's day.
Entirely unexpected, without the slightest desire on my part, and with scarcely the shadow of a warning, the announcement of the Church came upon me. The very thought of the necessary severing of ties, and disturbing of the associations of seventeen years of a happy pastorate, was more than I could bear. The compliment of the selection by the House of Bishops, and its ratification with such unusual heartiness by the united voices of the whole church, great and gratifying as it was, seemed to me at first empty and vain, when compared with the sacrifices of feeling, of affection, and of hopes that an acceptance involved.
And whilst I was enduring anguish and agitation in the balancing of inclination with duty, such as I pray God I may never again experience, I went to one of the Bishops and told him that I could not and would not go, and laid before him the reasons for my decision, ultimate as I then thought.
When I told him of my ministry here, commencing in the fervor and enthusiasm of youth, and deep-rooted in the spiritual services and pastoral experiences of so many years—of my flock united in a most remarkable degree, and precious to me, every soul, without an exception, and of my delightful home, fitted with numberless testimonials of your attachment—and of my beautiful church, every stone of which was cemented by my anxieties and my prayers—and of the city with which I had grown up—the only [19/20] dwelling-place of my manhood's years—the birthplace of my children, and the sleeping-ground of my dead—I supposed that this was enough to satisfy any reasonable man that I ought not to be asked to go.
His only reply, as he laid his hand upon my shoulder, and looked me calmly in the eye, was: "YOUR MASTER IN HEAVEN LEFT INFINITELY MORE THAN THIS FOR YOU. LIFE IS SHORT. THE ACCOUNT YOU MUST GIVE WILL BE STRICT. GO WHERE HE HAS SENT YOU." What could I say? Shame and silence sealed my lips.
From that hour the more I thought over the matter, and the more I prayed over it, and the more I discussed it with holy men, who believe that there is a God, and that there are such things as duty, accountability, necessary self-surrender, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost, the clearer grew the whole subject, the more insignificant and sinful seemed the thought of personal sacrifice, and the more imperative became the claims and demands of conscience, and although I reserved the right of final decision until I came home, and did not definitely determine until since my return, yet every day has settled me firmer in the view best expressed in the lines of the text, "What am I, that I could withstand God?"
Many of you have had a son, or a husband, or a brother, on the terrible battle-field. Suppose that this loved one, in a day when the destinies of the land were at stake, had been in charge of a regiment, and an order had come to him from his commanding general to press forward past the picket lines, and take and hold a dangerous position, and he had sent back word that he preferred his present stand, out of the reach of the bullet and the shell—that he could not leave his comfortable quarters for a scene of exposure and danger.
If your voice could have reached him at that hour, would you not have cried to him, "Go—if you die! I had rather have your unstained record and untarnished memory than your unscarred body."
What comfort could he have been to you in life ever afterwards, if he came home to you and groped his short way to the grave with the brand of coward upon his name? Now, brethren, that is just the way I feel about this matter, and the way I desire you to feel. Since it is irrevocably determined, I want, myself, to look upon the bright side, and I want you to do the same. I [20/21] know that the decision is right, and I want your fullest acquiescence. God knows that I feel deeply and keenly my personal unfitness to take my stand in line with the Hebers, and Selwyns, and Paynes, and Kempers, and Talbots, and Whipples, who have illustrated in glowing pictures the missionary annals of the Church. But I have the prayer of God’s people and the promises of God’s Word to uphold me. "Out of weakness we are made strong."
If my life is spared to anything like the three score and ten of man's allotted days, there will be many years before me yet for that noblest of all earthly duties—the laying of the foundations of church work in the virgin soil of future empires. If not, and if my health, never strong, should yield to the unaccustomed physical toils that must hereafter be borne, and I should find an early grave on the banks of the Missouri, I shall be far from the first and far from the best of the Church's servants who have cheerfully given their lives for that most holy cause for which the dear Redeemer Himself was willing to die.
It is one of the unspeakable consolations of this trying hour that I shall not go forth from these pleasant scenes and this goodly portion unblessed and uncheered. Besides the approbation of conscience and the sure promise of the Spirit's blessing, I know that I shall carry with me the prayers and the sympathies of all those in the service of whose souls I have spent my life. I feel that there will be one missionary ground dearer to you than all others, where Christ's name is to be still preached and His Church still planted, and that the opening opportunities for Christian effort and Christian venture in this vast jurisdiction will possess an interest to you that it will possess to no other congregation between the two poles. And as I shall hereafter, by the wayside and in the log chapel, be preaching to the humble children of toil the unsearchable riches of Christ, my heart shall of course revert with fondness to these hallowed scenes and years, but never, I trust, with regret, because if I am not willing without a lingering hankering after the good things behind, to exchange an elegant church and a cultured people for the schoolhouse altar and the wayside flock—if I am not willing to give up the abounding fullness I have here enjoyed, to eat the fare and share the privation of the missionary, believing in my soul that my Master has called me so to do, I am not fit for the work [21/22] before me, and can never expect the blessings of Almighty God upon my labors or my life. No longing look backward, or there can be no large advance onward.
And here, my beloved Brethren, let me add a few words to you in view of the termination of the holy tie that has linked us to sacred relationship for so many years. It would not be possible for me to preach to you what might be called a Farewell Sermon, and it will be hard enough to say even the little that I shall say. I have endeavored faithfully, according to my poor ability, to set before you the precious doctrines of the Glorious Gospel, and all the truths and teachings of Christ's Holy Church, and to bring you in every way in my power to "the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world." That I have been weak, inefficient and powerless, compared with the vast issues at stake, I am thoroughly and painfully conscious, and my only hope, and only prayer in this respect, is, that He who searcheth the heart, will judge of my work, by fidelity of motive rather than amount of apparent success. This long and peaceful pastorship, reaching back to the days of my earliest manhood, connect me in the holy and tender associations of Burial and Bridal, Confirmation and Communion, sick-bed and suffering, with almost every family and every individual before me, and we should be less than human if we could part now without deep feeling and great sorrow. No language of mine can ever adequately express the gratitude I feel to you all, for all that you have done to aid me in my labors, to cheer me with loving words, and to construe with tolerant charity my work and my life.
God only knows through what pain, and through what pangs I have reached the necessity of this separation, and with what pride I have ever carried in my inmost heart this noble Parish, and how dear to me as life itself have been its interest and its work. Cherished and beautiful will be the memories of this dear people that shall travel as companions with me in my long and otherwise lonely journeys in my Blessed Master's Service, and the consciousness of your kind remembrances and loving sympathies will strengthen me in my toil, and comfort me in days of sadness and sorrow. Though distance and absence shall hereafter divide us in body, we may surely look onward in hope of that better land wherein these attachments and friendships "which shall hereafter cease to be daily and familiar," will be renewed and hallowed.
 In you all, Brethren, beloved in the Lord, young and old, I leave in keeping my sincerest, blessing. "Unto God's gracious care and protection I commend you. The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you. The Lord lift his countenance upon you, and give you peace now and evermore."
CONSECRATION OF BISHOP CLARKSON.
[From the American Churchman.]
Chicago has now a claim to its metropolitan character. Its citizens yesterday witnessed, what few in the land have seen, the noble and imposing service of the Consecration of a Bishop of the American Catholic Church.
The Rev. R. H. CLARKSON, D.D. for sixteen years the Rector of St. James’ Church, the oldest and most influential parish in this city—a man dearly loved in this community as a friend, a gentleman, a pastor and a Christian, by thousands outside of his own flock—was yesterday, in the presence of an assemblage of Bishops, Clergy and Laity such as but few occasions have called together, solemnly, reverently, and in the fear of God, set apart as the Bishop of Nebraska and Dacotah.
We shall miss Dr. CLARKSON from our midst. The writer of these lines, who, through his instrumentality, under God, entered the ministry of the Church, with thousands of other friends, will miss his genial friendship, regret his absence, and think of him often in his distant home on the frontier, in the vanguard of the Church’s Western conquests.
Bishop CLARKSON will prove himself a noble standard-bearer of the Cross. We know he will do his allotted work well and earnestly.
God guard and protect him and his noble wife, and give them strength and ability to do the work before them, is our prayer, and, we are sure, the prayer of every Churchman in the Northwest.
We have but time, before going to press, to give a mere outline sketch of the Services;
Bishops Present.—Bishop Hopkins, the Presiding Bishop; Bishop Kemper, of Wisconsin; Bishop McCoskry, of Michigan; Bishop Lee, of Iowa; Bishop Whipple of Minnesota; and Bishop Talbot, Assistant Bishop of Indiana.
 Clergy Present.—Rev. Messrs. Tuttle, Duffield, Corbett, Buckmaster, Bredberg, Dr. Park, Gifford, Green, De Wolf, Osborne, Street, Cheney, Lane, Arvedson, Cooper, Thayer, Coe, Dr. Bishop, Nash, Clarke, Locke, Dr. Cummins, Jones, Edson, De Garmo, Gierlow, Cole, Woods, Knowles, Gilbert, Beers, and Smith, of the Diocese of Illinois; Rev. Messrs. McNamara, Dafter, Rice, Engle, James, Rafter, Wheeler, Morrison, Drs. Ashley, Keene, Passmore, and DeKoven of Wisconsin; Revs. Dr. Walbridge and N. R. High, of Ohio; Revs. Messrs. Reeves, Lusk, Wells, and Koch, of Indiana; Rev. Messrs. Staunton, Bush and Jones, of Michigan; Rev. H. G. Batterson of Minnesota; Rev. Mr. Townsend of Iowa; Rev. A. H. Stubbs of Conn.—6 Bishops and 58 Clergy.
The day was one of the finest of our beautiful Indian Summer. Long before ten o'clock, the hour appointed for the Services, St. James' was filled with an interested congregation. At ten o'clock, the Clergy, followed by the Bishops and the Bishop Elect, with the attendant Presbyters, proceeded in procession from the Rectory to the Church. At the door the procession opened, allowing the Bishops to pass into the chancel, the clergy taking their seats in the front pews.
Morning Prayer was commenced by Rev. Dr. Bishop, who read to the Creed. the Rev. Mr. Nash reading the First Lesson. The Rev. Dr. DeKoven read the Prayers. The 79th Selection was then sung.
In the Ante-Communion Service Bishop Kemper read the collects, Bishop McCoskry the Epistle, and Bishop Lee the Gospel.
The 215th Hymn was then announced by the Rev. Mr. McNamara, and sung by the congregation.
The Sermon was preached by Bishop Whipple, from the text 2 Timothy. II. 15: "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
We have not the time or space to give even a synopsis of the noble and eloquent sermon. Few who heard it will ever forget it. It will shine forth brightly in the memory of all in years to come, when they think of the noble and memorable services of this day. We shall, if possible, publish extracts from the sermon, especially those referring to the work and duties of the office of a Bishop. The personal address to the Bishop elect was most touching and beautiful, and brought tears to the eyes of all.
Bishops Kemper and Talbot presented the Bishop elect. Rev. Drs. Passmore and Keene robed him.
Rev. C. Locke read the testimonial of the action of the House of Bishops in the election of Dr. CLARKSON.
Rev. Dr. Cummins read the like testimonial of the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies, with the names of the Deputies.
Rev. Clinton Locke read the consent of the House of Bishops to the consecration of Rev. R. H. CLARKSON, D.D.
Bishop Talbot then read the Litany and the Prayer following.
The Presiding Bishop then proceeded with the Consecration Service, the Bishops present joining him in the laying on of hands.
The 105th hymn, announced by the Rev. Mr. McNamara, was then sung by [24/25] the Choir and Clergy, preceding which it was announced that the Offertory would be for Missionary use in the Diocese of Nebraska.
Bishop Lee read the Offertory, with the Prayer for Christ's Church Militant. Bishop McCoskry read the Exhortation and the following to the consecration proper.
Bishop Hopkins consecrated the Elements.
After the administration of the Lord's Supper, of which a large number partook, Bishop Kemper read the Prayers following, Bishop Hopkins pronouncing the Benediction.
Immediately after the close of the services the Bishops and Clergy met in the Rectory, where the Parishioners of St. James had prepared a bountiful dinner. Here, amid happiness and cheer, Bishop CLARKSON received the warm congratulations and good wishes of all.
Thus was another Bishop added to the College of noble men who wield authority in the Church in the United States. Few who participated in the Services can ever forget them. The large assemblage of Bishops and Clergy, the immense congregation; the beautiful Service and noble Sermon, the appropriate music, the warm sympathy for him who was thus clothed with authority as a standard-bearer of the Cross on the frontier—all combined to render the occasion one to be remembered.