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William Wilkinson













All Saints' Day.

O ALMIGHTY God, who has knit together thine elect in one communion and fellowship, in the mystical body of thy Son Christ our Lord; Grant us grace so to follow thy blessed Saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those unspeakable joys which thou hast prepared for those who unfeignedly love thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



THE remembrance of Josias is like the composition of the perfume that is made by the art of the apothecary: it is sweet as honey in all mouths, and as music at a banquet of wine. He behaved himself uprightly in the conversion of the people and took away the abominations of iniquity. He directed his heart unto the Lord, and in the time of the ungodly he established the worship of God.


Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.

In all historic time, in every clime, the most thoughtful men and women have placed on record the words and deeds of their wisest and best leaders. There has always been a deep and a most useful purpose in this. It has not alone been for the honor of the departed, it has been, at least, as much for the good of the generations then living, and for the instruction and profit of the generations yet unborn, that they might know how to follow the mighty and copy the example of the saints in all godly and virtuous living. If the wisdom of writing biography were in question, it is [3/4] proved by the simple fact that after thousands of years the story of the life of Josias is being commemorated by us now. The old Roman at the bridge, job in the land of Uz, the ashes of the fathers, the temple of the gods, all lend zest to life. "Let us now praise famous men" are not idle words, they are words full of meaning; and a people who neglect to obey their clarion call to duty might just as well be dead in body, as, in fact, they are to all the highest and the noblest instincts and dictates of the soul. We see, then, we are following noble example when we record the deed's of our honored and loved. If more needs be said, let me call to your mind that Jesus said, "Verily, I say unto you, wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this that this woman hath done be told for a memorial of her." Could higher sanction for loving records of lovely and generous deeds be found than this? Do you think that the principle of gracious memory set forth in the house of Simon the leper, at Bethany, only applied to that day and to the ointment? No! This principle is seen in full operation in the dealing of the Lord of Hosts with His people. The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews declares: "God is not unrighteous to forget your work, and labor of love which ye have showed toward His name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister." This is a mighty affirmation; in it is the assertion whose meaning, alas! many of us, I much fear, in practice, forget, that not to remember good service, kindness, help, comfort, duty well done, is an unrighteous thing; that God cannot forget these things because He is a righteous God; and no man is a righteous man who willingly forgets, or fails to reward them when done to him. I know no more [4/5] vital, far-reaching, uplifting, and all-blessing and blessed principle than this in the realm of practical religion in every man's life.

William Reed Huntington was born at Lowell, in the State of Massachusetts. His father was a physician and surgeon of local fame only, .a man in easy circumstances, so that his son never knew in real life the need of a dollar. From his childhood he was in the midst of surroundings which made the cultivation of his mind a pleasure. Naturally of a refined taste he had means to gratify it. The boyhood days of Huntington were uneventful. He was in due time sent to the University of Harvard, in his native State. The study he at that time took least interest in was mathematics; literature he delighted in, and had an exquisite taste, which grew to the time of his death. This was, as all who knew him know, seen in all his work; it marked all his ways. Fifty years since he graduated from Harvard University; for it he had a deep, and even tender, regard. On the seventh day of June last he gave me a beautiful photograph of himself, dated and signed; it hangs in my study now. He told me of his plans to be present at the commencement exercises of his university. He was not well then; was never well after. W. R. Huntington's first place in the ministry was at Emmanuel Church, Boston, under the Rev. F. D. Huntington, D.D., who afterward was well known as the Bishop of Central New York. From thence he was called to All Saints' Church, Worcester, Mass., where he did work, the influence of which is distinctly felt to this day. Here he began St. Matthew's Parish as a mission of All Saints'. There was at the funeral of Dr. Huntington a man who was at the first service held at St. Matthew's Mission. [5/6] Present, also, was Hon. Judge Davis, who was on the vestry at All Saints' during the rectorate of Dr. Huntington. He said to me in Boston Wednesday: "Dr. Huntington stood alone in many ways; we shall not see his like again."

In Worcester, as assistant at All Saints', served the present Coadjutor Bishop of Pennsylvania, Dr. Mackay Smith, in whose life work the influence of his first chief is plainly seen. The Rev. J. T. Mackay, now of Omaha, served as curate under Dr. Huntington. Several notable things happened during the All Saints' rectorate, all of which bore the stamp of the Rector's mind. He wrote "The Church Idea," one of his best efforts; he had large views of Christian union; he caused to be inscribed over the chancel arch of All Saints' Church, "There shall be one fold and one Shepherd." This in large, clear letters. In the night the church was burned. When the Rector got to the church from the street, he saw standing the chancel arch, and all passersby read the words so near the Rector's heart.

At the General Convention at Minneapolis, in October, 1895, in a discussion on Church Unity, I heard him describe this scene, and he added, amidst a silence that could be felt, "We may to-day vote down this resolution, but please remember that when this world passes away"--as stood the words at All Saints' Church, Worcester, after the fire--"there shall be one fold and one Shepherd." I believe no one who heard that will ever forget it.

'In happy years work at All Saints was done; work which brought W. R. Huntington into prominence in Massachusetts, and all the region round about. He was sent to the General Convention of the Church; and was even then a man of mark in it.

[7] On Thursday, September 27, 1883, in St. Augustine's Chapel, the Convention of the Diocese of New York met for the election of an Assistant Bishop. In the absence of Bishop Horatio Potter, the Rev. Dr. Swope was elected chairman. The Rev. H. C. Potter, of Grace Church, was chosen. The Rev. Drs. Morgan and Dix, Mr. J. P. Morgan and the Hon. Hamilton Fish were appointed to inform Dr. Potter of his election. The Rev. Dr. Satterlee, later Bishop of Washington, after the singing of the "Gloria in Excelsis," read the prayers. Bishop H. C. Potter was consecrated October 30, 1883. This left the great rectorate of Grace Church vacant. Simultaneously many eyes turned to Worcester. Mr. and Mrs. Stewart were then in Grace Parish--they had lived in Massachussets--and to this day, with just pride and gratitude, the family records the part Mr. Stewart took in bringing Dr. Huntington to Grace Church. He did not like to leave All Saints'; he thought much would be required, and he was right. He came, and from the day he came his path was as the light which shineth more and more. No year, since 1884, to. this year of grace, 1909, has seen the parish do anything but advance. Its money side, its added beauty to the church building, which is an exquisite Gothic structure, the choir house, the deaconess house, Grace Chapel and its seaside work, the endowments of the varied work of the parish, great as they are, are monuments of one of the best known rectorates in America. They are by no means the measure of William R. Huntington's best and largest work. It is not easy to tell just in what it did consist; it was the outcome to his personality. In a sermon on Phillips Brooks, preached in Grace Church, New York, January 29, 1903, [7/8] he said: "Virtue went out of him at every touch, yet was the treasure ever full and fresh; it seemed exhaustless. The tired men and women, toilers and brain workers, professional men, shop girls, merchants, art students, college undergraduates, year in and year out, drank as from a well of life his words of healing and of power." This was true of the great preacher-bishop; not a word overdrawn. How little did W. R. Huntington know that one day they would be wisely used to describe himself, and that no more suitable words could be found to do so. It was his wide vision, his clear perception that all goodness is good, that all truth is true, and that all helpful, honest service is noble. That men of many ways of looking at things are, in so far as they intend to do the will of God, serving Him and blessing the world. Dr. Huntington called my attention to the twelfth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans and said: "Wilkinson, that is worth all the works on Socialism ever written; so is the story of the vine and the branches." Let any man read these two; let him know Dr. Huntington's life, and he will trace effect to cause, service to its source; from the graciousness of the New Testament words and teachings he will see the "sweet reasonableness" of the life of our fellowworker, now promoted to higher service. More, he will see, as plainly as on a summer morning some high Swiss Alp is seen in the sunlight from the lowland, where Dr. Huntington got his Christian unity views from, why he loved them so ardently and advocated them so constantly and, I will add, powerfully. As long as Americans talk of Church unity, as long as the "Lambeth Quadrilateral" is discussed, he will be known in connection with it; he first stated it. In him a tower of strength was found. He never sacrificed [8/9] principle to expediency, but he never was the Pharisee, thanking God I am not--we are not--as other men. No man knew better than he. God hath other sheep which are not of this fold. What a charm this knowledge, lived in everyday life, gave to Dr. Huntington's personality, and as he understood this he saw duty in a beautiful light, and it gave such a transparency to his mind as made Mr. Paul Dana, of the New York Sun, say to me, returning from Dr. Huntington's funeral: "He buried my father and mother. I knew him well. I think of all men I ever knew he had the cleanest mind. I think this was his greatest mark of distinction." In that judgment a large number of people would join. This quality was the outcome of his consecration to God. He feared God; he worked righteousness; his roots were in deep waters; he was even as it was said of Joseph in the days of old: "Joseph is like a bough by a well, whose branches run over the wall."

Dr. Huntington was a man unto whom great trusts were given. He was found diligent and faithful. His work on the revision of our Prayer Book is too well known to Church people to need special mention. It did much, however, to make the enrichment of the book what it is. I wish all men could know some of the proposed prayers which did not find acceptance, and hence are not in our Book of Common Prayer. They are to be found in Dr. Huntington's works, Vol. VI., at the end of a study of the "Te Deum," a study so thorough and illuminating I wish all men could read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest it; it would prove for their soul's health. The "Prayer for a Blessing on the Families of the Land" is so sweet, noble and beautiful that Bishop Potter ordered it to be read at all the special open-air [9/10] Cathedral services in New York. I print it at the end of this sermon. It was compiled by Dr. Huntington. In the light of his life it is even more beautiful than its intrinsic worth discloses. The service of the Church was to him always very dear in itself. He, however, never forgot the setting it deserved. He was anxious to see Zion in this city a fair place. At Grace Church he made it so.

Dr. Huntington was chairman of the Building Committee of this Cathedral of St. John the Divine. It is not for me to tell his work on that committee. Bishop Potter knew it; Bishop Greer knows it. Dr. Dix moved, Dr. Huntington seconded, Bishop Greer's nomination to the high office he well fills, and to his last day the Doctor was thankful it fell to his lot to do so. All this has to do with the organization of the Church in which he was minister. For it his life was spent, in all seasons, in all possible ways. With as much truth as any man could sing it he would have sung, and the singing of it would have filled his heart with joy, and it would have engaged every faculty of his soul:

"I love Thy kingdom, Lord,
The house of Thine abode,
The Church our blessed Redeemer saved
With His own precious blood,
For her my tears shall fall,
For her my prayers ascend;
To her my cares and toils be given
Till toils and cares shall end.
Sure as Thy truth shall last--
To Zion shall be given
The brightest glories earth can yield
And brighter bliss of heaven."

[11] When Dr. Huntington had to do with men of other faith, had to set forth his own allegiance to the truth as he saw it, he was seen in a warm, clear light. This is well known to every leader in the hosts of the Living God on this great continent; it is known to many in lands beyond the sea. In a paper, contributed to a symposium on religion, Dr. Huntington quoted Dollinger: "The want of a people's church is a want that cannot be supplied by anything else." And he added that in the midst of fifty generations of criticism Churchmen have planted themselves upon the Apostles' Creed, and he goes on to show how sensible this is and how reasonable it is to make prominent the essential things of the faith, agree upon them and in loving kindness let the minor things rest. So, in a spirit of charity, good men can unite in spirit first, and in the end in a larger unity. In a meeting which filled Carnegie Hall in New York, I heard him, speaking of religion, tell what Trench said on the parables and upon the derivation of words. He then added: "The Archbishop, I judge, will be longest known by a poem." Then Dr. Huntington recited:

"I say to thee, do thou repeat
To the first man that thou shalt meet
In lane, highway, or open street

That he and we, and all men, move
Under a canopy of love
As broad as the blue sky above;

That doubt and trouble, fear and pain,
And anguish--these are shadows vain;
That death itself shall not remain;

[12] And, ere thou leave him, say thou this,
Yet one thing more: they only miss
The speedy winning of that bliss

Who will not count it true, that love,
Blessing, not cursing, rules above;
And that in this we live and move.

In spite of all that seems at strife
With blessing--all with cursing rife,
That this is blessing, this is life."

In the light of what the Rector of Grace Church had written and held to the last about "Life in Christ," the words had deeper meaning to some than to others in that great assembly. He sat down midst resounding cheers.

In the first third of the nineteenth century religion in Europe, and particularly in Britain, had fallen upon sore times. It is a sad picture. Men of many faiths paint of the then existing state of things. About 1825 a new spirit began to stir, and it, in one important aspect, found expression at Oxford from 183o on. The time is too near to say what the effect of the changing conditions is. It is safe, however, to say that, to this change, many of the foremost men in Britain gave much thought, prayer, time and work; some on lines of construction, some on lines of attack. All the educated people in English-speaking lands know the lives of Manning, Newman, and a few other men who went to Rome. They know, also, what was done by Dean Church, Liddon, Pusey, Keble, and men not a few, who said we ask for the old paths; we seek the old ways. I am here expressing no judgment on the soundness of the [12/13] views taken; I record the facts as they took place. In consequence of this revival of religious interest, Future Life of Man, and the conditions under which it should pass, was discussed with great care; with a wealth of learning few can appreciate. Feeling ran high in all religious bodies. Farrar, Plumtre, Liddon, Pusey, Church, Angus, Row, Oxenham, Edward White, Dale, Parker and Mozley, with a number no man can name, were at work upon it. The rude and crude teaching, often vulgar and repulsive to the last degree, which had been set forth in the name of religion, was examined. Then like South, some of the teachings of the evangelicals, Edward's sermon on sinners in the hands of an angry God, were shown to public view, with marvellous results. The poets were helping to spread a humane view of God--Tennyson in England, and the American poets assisted in a remarkable manner.

When all this controversy was in its full power Dr. Huntington was in the very prime of life, in the full tide of his work. He pointed out that as Darwin taught the survival of the fittest, so Calvin had clearly indicated it in his view of election to salvation. When Edward White's book on "Life in Christ" appeared he said: "This is in line with the best teaching in other departments of thought." Dr. Huntington, to his latest day, held this book a classic. Believing that sin should come to an end, that death shall die, that righteousness alone will be eternal, and life is given in Christ alone.

Dr. Huntington held Edward White to be the greatest teacher on conditional immortality. He said to me: "His book is, in my opinion, unanswerable." Holding the view that life eternal is only to be had in Jesus, who shall destroy death, [13/14] who brings life and immortality to light in the Gospel, many very telling illustrations and appeals to men were impossible. To this fact is due much of that lack of sensational impressiveness which marks the sermons of men who do not hold this belief. Whoever has read all of Dr. Huntington's works with care will see how consistent he was in his thinking; his was an orderly mind. These things it was which gave him the hold he had on his parish. A nobler tribute has never been given to kindly, loyal, efficient workers, to a vestry and helpers, than that the Rector paid when forty thousand dollars were given him recently to do with as he pleased, he said: "Ever since I came to you all my wants have been supplied, and more." He ever said Grace Parish had given him a love unclouded; that it had supported his plans with enthusiasm. This was as it ought to be.

Now I close. From near and far great men in perplexity asked his advice, old men his counsel, young men were thankful for, and proud of, his friendship. For more than twenty years Dr. Huntington was my warm friend, and I call it honor to have had for friends men like Bishop Whipple, the Rev. T. W. Holmes, Sheffield, England, and Dr. Huntington--lights in their generation, servants of the mighty God of Jacob. Dr. Huntington year by year caused me to be called to Wall Street. Had it not been for him I should probably not now have been here. In the light of all this I want very plainly to ask you, How large and how important must be the work God has called his servants to in the land of light and of knowledge! for he that is least in the kingdom of God knows more than John the Baptist knew on earth. I see men I have named, and others I have known, standing, serving in the other world, with the open [14/15] book in their hand of which John the Revealer speaks, which for them the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, has prevailed to open and there stands in the light of God, seen by them with open vision, the new heaven, in which dwells righteousness. They are at home and. in peace for ever more. The composition of their lives here, which was like the perfume made by the art of the apothecary, is in full fruition there, and they enjoy the beatific vision for ever more.

For a Blessing on the Families of the Land.

ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, who settest the solitary in families, and makest Thyself households like a flock of sheep; We commend to Thy continual care the homes in which Thy people dwell. Put far from them, we beseech Thee, every root of bitterness, the desire of vainglory and the pride of life. Fill them with faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness. Knit together in constant affection those who, in holy wedlock, have been made one flesh; turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to the fathers; and so kindle charity among us all, that we be evermore kindly-affectioned with brotherly love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For the Unity of God's People.

O GOD, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, our only Saviour, the Prince of Peace; Grant to all Christian people grace seriously to lay to heart the great dangers we are in by our unhappy divisions. Take away all hatred and prejudice, and whatsoever else may hinder us from godly union and concord; that, as there is one body, and one spirit, and one hope of our calling, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of us all, so we may all, henceforth, be all of one heart, and of one soul united in one holy bond of truth and peace, of faith and charity, and may with one mind and one mouth glorify Thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Congress of Christianity.

The Rev. Wm. Wilkinson Spoke at Unity Church Sunday.

Exact reprint from Montclair Herald, New Jersey, Saturday,
August 7, 1909

THE REV. WILLIAM WILKINSON, of Trinity Parish, New York, was the sixth speaker in the Congress of Christianity series being conducted each Sunday during the summer at Unity Church. "The Distinctive Message of Episcopalianism and Its Contribution to Christianity" was the theme upon which the reverend gentleman spoke. He handled the subject in a most pleasing and able manner, bringing out many points by which that denomination had won an important place among the religions of the world.

The speaker's message was presented in a way that captivated the audience; his 'flashes of wit, frequent outbursts of oratory and practical word pictures held the closest attention of his hearers. It was one of the best sermons yet given in the series. Two violin solos, with organ accompaniment, played by Organist Bush's son, added much to the enjoyment of the service.

Mr. Wilkinson spoke in part as follows: "I count it all joy that I am asked to speak at this Congress of Christianity, [17/18] and that I am to say frankly what I judge to be the work of our Church in this century, and, indeed, in all centuries. There are some things I want all who harken to me to know and understand most clearly. I am not here to say in words or to imply by any deeds or bearing of mine that we of 'The Episcopal Church' are the only Christian and God-fearing folks. If I did this it is most clear I should sin against the generation of the just. I do not for an instant claim the right to say to any man, for the Church whose minister I am, that I am holier than thou. I confess here and now in the plainest, simplest and most telling words which lend themselves to any purpose, I know many persons whose life can teach me many valuable lessons who are not of the Episcopal faith.

"I want to know more of them, to understand them better, and try to find how we can make less the lines which divide us and larger the lines that unite us, so that we may make very real to ourselves and all observers the deep and eternal meaning of the words, 'There shall be one fold and there shall be one Shepherd'--because all who get to heaven will have to live in harmony there. It is the path of wisdom to learn the lessons of harmony and practice its duties here."

Following the above concise and practical introduction the speaker said: "I am a Churchman because I judge the standards set forth by our Church most nearly conform to those set forth in the New Testament. We have a Book of Common Prayer whose truth, beauty and usefulness I am convinced are not valued as they deserve to be by half of us who use it constantly.

"We talk of modern progress, of the duty of man to [18/19] man; we read daily in our Church offices what they are in words of clarion clearness; we see ourselves, and as our photograph in a glass vanishes so does the idea of practical duty from our minds. I am a Churchman because dealing with the nature of man, as a student of science deals with the questions he has to answer, I find the Church sets forth human need in all its ever-changing, yet all enduring, forms. It looks at man as mind, body, heart, soul--it knows that man is in his warp and woof, in the very centre of his being a worshipping being. It sets forth God, not because it can, by a process known to pure science, as that of mathematics, for instance, but looking at all known facts and reading the Bible as a revelation, it sets forth as a postulate of religious thought that God is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

"Then it formulates a creed, calls it the Apostles', sends it on its mission into the world. It cannot demonstrate the absolute truth of the Creed; if it could, no man need say I believe the Creed any more than he would say I believe twice two are four--knowledge is of things we see--religion is and must be of faith; we walk by faith, not by sight. The Church in a few things dogmatizes; she sets forth some things most surely believed; she sets forth many things as pious opinion in doubtful things; liberty is, and most wisely, her watchword.

"The Church is in the world to tell the fatherhood of God, hence the brotherhood of man. She sets forth the Divine Person, Jesus Christ, and His salvation; she administers sacraments in His name; she teaches the Holy Ghost is the Lord and giver of life; she looks for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.

[20] "I know you do not believe all this. I did not come to repeat to you your faith. I came to tell ours in simple words. I am glad when good work is done, no matter who does it. I am a companion of all who seek the Lord no matter in what way, and I trust when we each in our way have worked in the Master's vineyard and come to its Master at last we each may receive our penny and be given larger and nobler tasks to do in a land where clouds shall vanish and we shall not see as through a glass darkly, but with open vision and face to face.

'Brethren, if we are wrong, pray for us that we may find the true and everlasting way. In conclusion, in the words of Archbishop Trench, 'I say to thee, do thou repeat unto each man that thou dust meet, that thou and he and all men move under a canopy of love as high and wide as the blue heavens above. For God is love and they who dwell in love dwell in God.'"

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