For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people were added to the Lord--BOOK OF THE ACTS OF THE HOLY APOSTLES, xi. 24.
"A GOOD man," "full of the Holy Ghost and of faith." Thus spake the Holy Ghost of one who in the earliest days of the Church was a missionary Apostle, sharing the life and labours of the great-hearted Paul. Earlier in the history of the race it had been said of man by God, who had created him in His own image, "There is none that doeth good, no, not one;' and Christ Himself had echoed the same fearful truth when He cried, "There is none good but God." Of all who listened to this sweeping denunciation of the race, no one could question its correctness; or doubt the deep sincerity of the speaker, who, from a sad heart uttered these bitter words. But when the earth had grown old in sin; when from its wisest and best was wrung the humiliating confession that the world by wisdom knew not God; when man, as years had passed, had sunk deeper and deeper into a moral abyss from which there seemed no hope of escape; when there was no eye to pity, no arm to save; ah! then, the race's extremity was God's opportunity; and in the Incarnation man--lost, ruined, self-destroyed though he was--found hope. God tabernacled in the flesh. The dream of the old faiths was realised. The virgin-born Deliverer, both God and man, whose advent had been promised of old, appeared. Heaven drew near to earth. The fabled golden age was rendered possible, and in the marvels attending the commingling of the Divine and human, that which else had been forever lost--the primal innocence--was regained. The purity and perfectness of man's first estate when fresh from the creative Hand of [3/4] God was restored. Man became the temple of the Holy Ghost. Faith sprung up anew where it had long before died wholly out. That could be truly said of man,--ransomed, renewed, bought with the price of the precious Blood of Christ, ennobled by the union of humanity and Divinity in the Person of our representative Son of Man, raised through the Incarnation and Atonement, the birth into our life and the dying our death for us, to a newness of life, a holy living, a happy dying, a blessed eternity,--ah! that could now be said of man, which could never have been said before. The follower of Christ who was a true disciple; the citizen of that kingdom of heaven He, the Saviour of man, had come to set up on the earth; the learner satisfied to sit at the Feet of that Teacher, who taught the philosophy of the plan of salvation, the wisdom from above; the servant of that gracious Master who made His servants friends; the subject of that King Jesus whose sway was over the hearts of men--was a new man in Christ Jesus. He was transformed. He was recreated, born anew. He was made like unto Christ.
Such was the case with the missionary Apostle, the Son of Consolation, the companion of Saint Paul. if nothing else were known of him than this record given by inspiration, it were enough to acquaint us of his earthly excellence, to assure us of his eternal reward. The story of a human life closed with such a testimony from such a source, is a proof of the new life of God in the soul of man, which is the hope of humanity. It is the pledge and promise of a possible good, which is within the reach of all men. For what was possible in the case of Barnabas, may be attained by any who, like him, will follow Christ's commands; and in the Master's Spirit, and in obedience to His parting words, will strive to disciple the nations, baptising them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. The testimony borne to the Son of Consolation may be true of each great champion of the Cross--each missionary apostle from the first.
It is in view of this changed relation of man to God, consequent upon the Incarnation, that the remembrance of [4/5] the departed leaders of the Church of Christ is stimulating to those who come after them, whereby these blessed ones "being dead yet speak" for their Master and His cause. The commemoration of the faithful increases our faith. We, too, may say of many a departed saint that he was" a good man," "full of the Holy Ghost and of faith." The Church has many a son of consolation, whose name is blazoned on her annals, whose record is on high. And we, searching out the story of these "holy and humble men of heart," shall find that the closing words of our text are true as well. Those who possess the characteristics which the Holy Ghost ascribes to Barnabas, will be found to have been the means thereby "much people were added to the Lord." The sanction of the Holy One has accompanied the ministrations of these men of God. They have preached with the demonstration of the spirit, and with power. They have prayed as the spirit gave them utterance. Their faith hath saved others as well as themselves. Through their instrumentality "much people" have been "added to the Lord."
We recognise with praise and thanksgiving to-day the mighty Hand of Him, our covenant God, who is "filling the waste places of the world with flocks of men." [Ez. xxxvi. 30.] We recall with gratitude the prophetic word that He has "promised of old to set shepherds to feed them." [Jer. xxiii. 4.] We rejoice with deep thankfulness as we remember the "three score and fifteen churches of a hundred years accomplished, and for the building up of the whole Body of Christ." [Eph. iv. 12.] And we reverently praise God "for all rulers of the same, stedfast in work, faithful in doctrine, especially for them that have witnessed a good confession and sealed it with their blood." [1 Tim. The quotations are from the Archbishop of Canterbury's Form of Prayer for the Centenary of Bishop Inglis's Consecration.] Naturally our thoughts turn back to-day to that scene in the historic chapel at Lambeth, where the first British Colonial Bishop received the gift of the Holy Ghost in consecration. This archiepiscopal chapel, not as now restored, beautified, made glorious as in its days of old, but yet venerable from age, and hallowed with associations of [5/6] the past, had but a few months earlier witnessed the giving to the apostolic White and the scholarly Provoost the succession from the Apostles in the English line, which had been craved for nearly two centuries by the American colonists and which, in spite of the labours of the Archbishops and Bishops of the English Church, and, especially, of the leading members of the venerable Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, had been all this while withheld. That had been granted to the independent Americans which had not yet been vouchsafed to the devoted subjects of the Crown in the still "loyal" North American possessions. This injustice could not continue, and that which had first been bestowed by "the Catholic remainder of the Church in Scotland" in the consecration of Seabury for Connecticut in 1784, and had been further given at Lambeth in February, 1787, when White and Provoost were made Bishops of the Church of God, was, on this memorable 12th of August, a hundred years ago, granted to the vast territory lying north of the United States, then, as now, faithful to the mother land. In the choice of one "full of the Holy Ghost and of faith" for this high office, and in the happy results of his appointment and mission in the adding of "much people to the Lord," there was established a principle and a precedent. Threescore and fifteen missionary sees, established within this century, have been the direct consequence of this act of faith. It were fitting that we should trace, somewhat in detail, the life and labours of this missionary apostle, the first in a line so abounding in the names of the great and good.
Charles Inglis was born in, or about, the year 1733. He was the third son of the Rev. Archibald Inglis, of Glen and Killcarr, in Ireland, whose father and father's father appear to have been clergymen of the Established Church. Driven by the pressure of poverty to leave his native land in extreme youth, he found a home and a vocation in the interior of the newly settled province of Pennsylvania. Prior to the year 1757, he was in charge, or an assistant- master of the Free School at Lancaster. This school had been established through the kindly offices of a Society in [6/7] England, of which the Archbishop of Canterbury was the head, having for its object the secular and religious education of the children of the German settlers in Pennsylvania. In this school the youthful Inglis continued for several years, till there arose within his breast the controlling desire to preach the Gospel. Ordained to the diaconate and priesthood by the Bishop of London, and licensed for Pennsylvania by the same prelate as Ordinary of the Church in the Colonies, on Christmas Eve, 1758, Mr. Inglis was at once appointed to the mission at Dover, in Delaware, and after a long and stormy passage across the Atlantic, entered upon ins cure in the summer of 1759.
In that noble collection of letters from labourers in mission fields, bound up in huge volumes on the shelves of the library of the venerable society--letters which, so far as they relate to the Church in the United States, have been carefully transcribed at the cost of that Church, and published in sumptuous volumes--and in the MS. collections at Fulham and Lambeth, there still remain the letters of this tireless missionary, this faithful parish priest. Vivid, indeed, are the pictures of clerical life and experience in America a century and more ago given in these carefully-written folios. The mission of Dover, assigned to Mr. Inglis, comprised the whole county of Kent, in Delaware, and was thirty-three miles in length, and from ten to thirteen miles in breadth. The cure included a population of seven thousand souls. The climate was unhealthy. The labour was unceasing. Three churches needing repair, lacking proper furnishings, and wanting all the accessories for reverent and fitting worship, awaited the missionary's arrival. To make these untidy structures meet for the worship of God, was the first care of the young "missioner." Their enlargement followed. The substitution of a more substantial edifice for one of perishable material was the next step in the advance. Still another, a fourth, church was soon required. Nor as the spiritual prosperity of the people overlooked. Soon the mission was reported to be "in a flourishing state, if building and repairing churches, if crowds attending the public worship of God, [7/8] and other religious ordinances, if some of the other denominations joining us, and the renewal of a spirit of piety can denominate it such." [Perry's Hist. Coll. Am. Col. Church, v. 112.] The zeal and faithful ministrations of Mr. Inglis obtained the public commendation of the great evangelist Whitefield, then making his progresses through the Colonies, and at this period of his career free from many of the extravagances of his earlier years. The friendship of the leading clergy of the neighbouring Colonies, and the confidence and favour of the laity as well, were also secured; and on the death of his wife, and on the loss of his own health, which had been impaired from the first by the unhealthiness of the climate, Mr. Inglis reluctantly accepted an invitation to New York, where he was appointed an assistant minister of Trinity Church, and a catechist to the negroes of the city. So pleasant had been his relations with the venerable Society, that he accepted his new appointment on condition of his continuance on the list of the Society's missionaries.
Mr. Inglis left his earliest cure with the reputation for earnestness, devotion and eloquence. Humble as was the post to which he was transferred, it was at once ennobled by his diligence and assiduous attention to every detail of duty. It was not long before his abilities were recognised on every side, and the historian of Trinity Church, in narrating the annals of this period, refers to "the growing estimate of the value and importance of his services." [Berrian's History of Trinity Parish, New York, p. 127.] He soon became the confidential correspondent and adviser of the venerable Society, which it was his great pleasure ever to serve. He undertook a mission of inquiry to the Indians, and the results of his observation were of the greatest value. He became a skilful controversialist, defending the Church in the polemic strife ever going on in the Province with Presbyterians and dissenters of various names and beliefs. His sermons were free from the dry, didactic treatment of religious truths so common in the pulpits of the time, and, as may be inferred from the favourable notice they received from Whitefield, were earnest, impassioned, evangelical.
 It was to be expected that one so gifted and so popular would. rise in his profession. In 1767 he received the honorary degree of M.A. from King's College, established by Royal Charter in New York but a few years before. In 1770 he became one of the governors of the College; and a few years later the University of Oxford conferred upon him the doctorate in divinity. In the controversy respecting the introduction of an American Episcopate, he was most prominent; and in the war of pamphlets attending the opening discussions and dissensions between the colonists and the adherents of the Crown, out of which grew the war for independency, he was a ready and powerful controversialist on the side of the mother-land. When the strife was fully begun, and the city of New York had become the seat of war, the courage of this brave clergyman did not fail him. Faithfully remaining at his post, and carefully maintaining the services of the Church without mutilation, there are few events in Inglis's life more worthy of remembrance than that which exhibits to us this fearless priest, with unblanched cheek and unfaltering voice, reading the prayers, with their recognition of the authority of the Crown, in face of a detachment of the "rebel" soldiery, who had marched into the church, with their guns ready for use, and in spite of the order of the American authorities that the prayers for the King should not be read.
The speaker, the lineal descendant of an officer of the line in the American army, and, in consequence, an hereditary member of the Order of the Cincinnati, founded by Washington and his brother-officers to perpetuate for ever the memory and principles of the successful struggle which made the thirteen colonies an independent nation, cannot withhold the meed of praise due to this brave man, who counted not the odds when called upon to witness a good confession for Church and Crown. The burning of old Trinity Church soon followed, and on its ruins Dr. Inglis was solemnly inducted into the rectorship of this, the leading American parish, of which he had been, practically, the head for a number of years. Here he laboured till the close of the war. When the issue of the strife had been decided, the [9/10] thoughts of the rector of Trinity turned naturally to the renewal of the efforts--made during so many years before in vain--for the introduction of American Bishops. Not content with aiding by word and pen the clergy of Connecticut in their attempt to secure the consecration of Seabury as their Bishop, Dr. Inglis began a correspondence with William White, of Philadelphia, a young clergyman of character and influence, in which he offered most judicious advice, and promised personal assistance in securing for the Independent States of America a Bishop in the English line.
No one can read the letters which passed between these two men of God without a conviction that they were indeed "full of the Holy Ghost and of faith," and the principles laid down by Inglis with most persuasive rhetoric found in the breast of his younger correspondent recognition and glad acceptance. The Church in the United States owes much to the good judgment and judicious advice contained in these able letters. Meanwhile, the shining abilities and the acknowledged merit of the late Rector of Trinity, New York, had attracted the notice of the authorities at home, and on the determination of the ministry to establish a Bishopric in Nova Scotia, Charles Inglis was named as the first Bishop of the See. With him the call of duty was imperative, and he at once undertook the work, for which his whole earlier life had been a preparation. Entering upon his See, his first steps were in the direction of providing an institution of learning for the training of clergymen for his vast territorial jurisdiction, and King's College, Windsor, the first British Colonial College, originally an Academy, and then a University, attests, after the lapse of nearly a century, the wisdom and foresight of its worthy founder. Gathering his clergy together for counsel and personal knowledge, the Bishop of Nova Scotia proved himself to be a missionary apostle by the wisdom of his charges and sermons, and the magnetism of his personal interest in each one who had been placed under him in the Lord. In long and most wearisome visitations he visited, so far as was in his power, the various portions of his almost illimitable See, and till the close of a long and [10/11] honoured life he maintained that character for devotion, that reputation for holiness, that fervour of ministrations, that faithfulness in every good word and work, which should characterise the "good man," "full of the Holy Ghost and of faith." Nor was this all. Through his long and earnest labours, ended only when the summons came to depart and be at rest, "much people were added to the Lord." A church was organised; a college was founded and built up to a measure of efficiency and success. The institutions of religion and learning were thus established and supported. The preaching of the Word and the ministration of the Sacraments were provided for the crowds of exiles who, in their devotion to Church and State, had exchanged their American homes for the bleak shores of Nova Scotia, and to the frontier settlers in the dense forests of New Brunswick and Quebec. Thus through unremitting labours, blessed by God, ere the life of the first Colonial Bishop was ended there had been set on foot measures for the development of the Church of Christ in the northern portion of the American Continent which shall act and react for good till time shall be no more.
But our reverent remembrance of this natal day of the British Colonial Episcopate would be incomplete without a reference to the bright galaxy of men, like-minded, and, like Inglis, "full of the Holy Ghost and of faith," who have followed in the list of missionary apostles sent forth during the century now numbered with the past. Men were they of whom the world was not worthy; men who counted not their lives dear to them for the Lord Jesus; men, like the great Apostle, in labours abundant, "in journeyings often," "in perils by the heathen; in perils in the city; in perils in the wilderness; in perils in the sea;" "in weariness and painfulness; in watchings often"; having "the care of all the Churches"; men to whom was given "this grace" that they should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. These are the men, the missionary apostles, following in the long catalogue headed by Inglis's name, through whom has been made "known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God." Ah! blessed be the [11/12] God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ for the record of these good men, "full of the Holy Ghost and of faith," through whose faithful labours in all parts of the world "much people" have been "added to the Lord." Devoted in life, faithful unto death, their record is on high, their names are in the Book of Life; and we, praising God for the good examples of these, "His servants departed in His faith and fear," may well revere their memory, emulate their zeal, and follow their examples, in so far as they have followed Christ.
To-day in Halifax, the See city of Nova Scotia, the Metropolitan of the Church in Canada,--with the Bishops and clergy of that vast dominion once comprehended in the jurisdiction of the apostolic Inglis, and with many from the Church in the United States,--is laying the corner stone of a noble cathedral, the stones of which are to be a memorial of the event we so reverently commemorate in "the old home." But one shadow rests upon the glad observance of this day across the sea, and that is the death of the excellent Binney, whose thirty-six years of apostleship were so suddenly and so sadly terminated on the eve of a celebration and a ceremony for which he had laboured and liberally provided, and to which he had looked forward with loving interest as the crowning event of his long, useful, and honoured episcopate. He rests from his labours, and his works follow him. But the Church of God he loved and laboured for goes on; and even from the death of this good man, "full of the Holy Ghost and of faith, "there shall spring blessed influences, by which, for all time to come, "much people shall be added to the Lord." From Inglis to Binney, the first and latest Bishop of England's oldest Colonial See, it is but a hundred years of labour, a hundred years of success. Well may we say, in view of a century's advances, "What has God wrought?" To Him be the praise due for unnumbered blessings granted during this hundred years of missionary effort, this century in which the Church's missionary apostles have been sent forth to all quarters of the world!