SPEECHES AT A DINNER
Transcribed by Wayne Kempton
Archivist and Historiographer of the Diocese of New York, 2014
SPEECHES AT A DINNER TO THE RIGHT REV. THE LORD BISHOP OF NEW YORK.
THE LORD DESBOROUGH, G.C.V.O., PRESIDED.
THE CHAIRMAN: The toast which I have to give you first is that of "The King" and "The President of the United States."
(The toast was accorded musical honours.)
THE CHAIRMAN: Before we commence the more formal objects for which we are assembled here there are one or two telegrams which I am sure you will be pleased to hear read. The first is from our old friend Chauncey Depew, and he never fails to rise to an occasion such as this, and he sends the following telegram:--
"The Pilgrims of the United States join with their brothers in Great Britain in doing honour to Bishop Manning. He represents the highest type of citizen and churchman and is a typical representative of the church militant in ability, diplomacy and profound learning. All of us are with you in spirit on this occasion.--Chauncey Depew."
(Applause.) I have just received a telegram from the Archbishop of Canterbury, whom we expected to be present with us until the last moment, but I think we can say that [1/2] considering his great age and the responsibilities which are being now somewhat voluminously thrust upon him, that under the circumstances we can take his good-will for the better deed. He says that he deeply regrets being unable to be present at the Pilgrims to-night, and adds: "Please convey my cordial greetings to my friend of many years--Bishop Manning," and it is signed by the Archbishop of Canterbury. (Applause.)
We have entertained many distinguished representatives from the other side, and in a short time we shall be entertaining the American editors who are over here under the Carnegie Foundation, and all these bodies I hope are working together for the peace of the world and that good understanding between the United States and ourselves, on which the future of the world so much depends. (Hear, hear.) I do not wish to infringe upon the toast which will be entrusted to Sir Campbell Stuart, who, fortunately, was out in America delivering one of the addresses commemorating the great Cathedral which our friend on my right has been so largely instrumental in building in New York. (Applause.) Therefore, no better person than he can propose that toast, which will be seconded by the Bishop of London, who has also been a traveller in those parts. I do not know how many sermons he accomplished--it is not for me to say. I do not know whether his excursions extended into those parts where I heard of a clergyman who went to preach a sermon for the first time. When he got there he picked out one of the old inhabitants and asked him: "What had I better address you about?" and the ancient gentleman replied: "I cannot give you any hints, but if I were you I would not say too much about the Ten Commandments." (Laughter.) Whether the Bishop's excursions took him into any of those parts I do not know. (Laughter.) I will now call upon Sir Campbell Stuart to propose the health of our most worthy and most distinguished, and I might add, our most honoured guest. (Applause.)
SIR CAMPBELL STUART, K.B.E.: My lords and gentlemen, it is a great pleasure to me this evening, on your behalf, to propose the health of an old friend, the Bishop of New York, and being associated with me in these days is yet another Bishop, one of the best known and best loved [2/3] Pilgrims of his time, the Bishop of London. The Bishop of New York, born in this country, has been, and is in very truth, a Pilgrim. He has never forgotten the land of his birth, and his presence here to-night recalls to me an afternoon not so very long ago in New York, when it was my privilege to assist him in the laying of the foundation stone of the Nave of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Every religion seemed to be represented on that day, and all faiths had contributed towards the building fund. Interests so diverse as the drama, athletics and the Press were building bays in the Cathedral. Our speeches were broadcast to over six million people. I remembered that I followed the present Governor of New York, who is a Roman Catholic, and after me was Mr. Elihu Root, who, I think, is a Presbyterian, and following Mr. Root was Dr. Parkes Cadman, a distinguished Nonconformist preacher, whom we are also glad to welcome to England this week as well. The Bishop of New York continually pleads for church unity; he did so with great eloquence the other day at York Minster, but I have never yet seen it more exemplified in any religious edifice or church union than I saw that day in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. His Cathedral doors are always open; they are the open road to all classes, to all creeds; but perhaps it is our fancy that the Bishop seems to favour a little more the people of this land, perhaps they find themselves a little more at home to the common form of a common church, or perhaps it is the language of the wireless. I thought to myself at that time, and I have thought often since: "What manner of man is this Bishop that throws a spell over a diocese of many religions--that attaches to his standard all kinds and conditions of men and has truly interpreted the Biblical phrase: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" It is not easy to beg, no matter how good the cause, but Bishop Manning seems to have a very remarkable gift of making new friends by inducing them to part with their money, and after throwing this somewhat interesting side light on his character I confidently predict that the Bishop will be invited in the near future to spend a week-end with our Mr. Winston Churchill. As I speak I see in front of me Dr. Moore, the President of Kings, Nova Scotia, the oldest Anglican College in the Empire outside the British Isles. He is losing no opportunity to explain [3/4] in some detail during his visit to England that it is more blessed to give than to receive. So far I am afraid I have only given him advice, and I am not quite sure how blessed he thinks that is. (Laughter.) But, my lords and gentlemen, I have been at many banquets here when the Pilgrims have welcomed to the old world the statesman, the diplomatist and the warrior of the new. In doing so they have sought to express in a simple act of courtesy their profound realization of our kinship in race and our kinship in racial idealism. (Hear, hear.) To-night we are paying our tribute to yet another kinship which is perhaps the closest as it is the most profound of all-- a kinship in a sphere above and beyond all human relationship. In your person, my Lord Bishop, we salute the prelate of a great diocese, renowned for its wealth, its public spirit and its charity, and we do so not forgetting that the faith of which you are the representative is the faith in which this land has grown to greatness, and with the hope that that same silken sacred strand may ever twine and intertwine our common life and our common purpose. I bind you, in the Pilgrims' name, a welcome here. (Applause.)
THE RT. REV. THE LORD BISHOP OF LONDON: Mr. Chairman, my lords and gentlemen, I am very glad to join my voice with the eloquent speech we have just heard, as I expect I am really one of the oldest friends the Bishop has in the room. I first met him twenty years ago, and I found out that if England had a really good friend in the heart of New York, it was Mr. Manning of Trinity Church. (Hear, hear.) He had then what was considered to be the fattest living in the Anglican community, but it has not made him very fat--(laughter)--and anyone who knows the history of that famous church and how it became a rich church will know what it has done, and there never was a more hard working or industrious man or priest than Mr. Manning, of Holy Trinity, New York. Well, it is a very important thing to have a man like that who loves both nations. (Hear, hear.) There might be little things springing up between the two nations. When I was a Pilgrim in New York I had to explain away many things. I was hampered by a certain book by my friend the Dean of St. Paul's, and I had to explain away what he meant [4/5] by "the nations of the world will unite in drawing Shylock's teeth." (Laughter.) I had to deal with the debt question and the question of the League of Nations. I believe it is a very good thing to have a gathering like this and that you can be quite frank in going into such questions. And really when you look into those questions it is so delightful that the Irish question has gone and the German question has gone, and please God, the naval question will go this week. (Applause.) There is really no reason why two great nations should not be drawn together by a bond of brotherhood which none can break. (Hear, hear.) If the English world stands together shoulder to shoulder, we can keep the peace of the world. (Hear, hear.) The more Mr. Mannings we can have over there loving both nations, the better we will get on. Now I know you will think I did perfectly rightly when I got Mr. Manning, as he then was, to come over, before he became Bishop, and I got the King to give him his signed photograph which I know he appreciated as a mark of the great courtesy with which he held a memorial service in his own church when King Edward died. We in London sent over to him a Pastoral Staff, and that was another presentation which he greatly appreciated. Now we come to the Bishop, and I can tell you he has achieved a most remarkable thing. He is not a weak-kneed churchman, I can tell you. You laymen do not respect a weak-kneed churchman, and you find no weak knees about the Bishop in such questions as divorce and similar questions. He is a very outspoken man and a strong churchman, but he gets everybody to pour out money for his Cathedral. Though he is a strong and definite churchman he has the confidence and the respect of the whole of New York. That Cathedral is one of the most remarkable things in the world. Another thing I should like to say is that he combines being a religious man with being a man among men. That is the great secret of the Bishop of New York. He is a man among men, and he is one of the most delightful hosts that ever a man had, and, therefore, I give you the health of one of the best friends England has got over there, one of the best Bishops, and our best and truest of friends. (Applause.)
(The toast was enthusiastically honoured.)
THE RT. REV. THE LORD BISHOP OF NEW YORK: My Lord Desborough, my Lords and gentlemen, fellow-members of this admirable and most invaluable Society of the Pilgrims, the exceedingly kinds words spoken by your Chairman and by Sir Campbell Stuart and the Bishop of London remind me of a somewhat different introduction, though entirely well meant, which I received some time ago from a coloured Baptist minister, who had invited me to address his congregation, and who, in presenting me to them said: "This is Bishop Manning, he is a man responsible to all men, and I commend him unto you as a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal." (Laughter.) I appreciate more deeply than I can express the great honour you have done me in inviting me to this gathering to-night, but it is only another evidence of the spirit which animates the Pilgrims and the way in which they seize upon every opportunity to promote and foster brotherly feeling between America and the Motherland. (Hear, hear.) I use the term "Motherland" advisedly, for I am happy to tell you that in spite of our great mixture of races--and I am not saying anything against that, it has its own values and its own interests--our most careful experts tell us that we in the United States are still more than 50 per cent of British stock. (Hear, hear.) Reference was made a few minutes ago to the period of the war. During the dark days of our neutrality, when some of us were doing all we could to draw our land out of that condition of neutrality we had a great meeting in Carnegie Hall at which I had the honour of presiding. The following morning I received the usual batch of disapproving letters, of varying degrees of violence, and I remember one of them from a highly indignant lady which began: "I am a Christian woman which it is very evident you are not." (Laughter.) I thought the point was well taken and one which I could not dispute. (Laughter.)
The last time that I attended a dinner of the British Pilgrims was in 1912 when you were celebrating your tenth anniversary, and I had the great privilege of being the spokesman for the American Pilgrims. I remember the evening well. The presiding officer on that occasion was that noble and most delightful of men, Lord Roberts--(applause)--a true man, a great soldier, an unhesitating and unashamed Christian and Churchman whose name all of us [6/7] hold in affection and in honour. (Hear, hear.) May I say how much I appreciate the message of your beloved and honoured Archbishop--(hear, hear)--whose wisdom ability, true breadth of mind, and Christian spirit have made him a blessing and a strength not only to the Church of England and to all her sister churches of the Anglican community, including our own, but to the cause of true religion throughout the world. (Applause.) For the sake of all of us may he long be given health and strength to continue the exercise of his great office. (Hear, hear) I value more than I can express the far too kind and generous words of my dear friend and your beloved Bishop of London whose diocese has been bound to my own diocese of New York by such close historical ties, from the very beginning of our life, and whose recent visit, all too brief, to us in New York did us untold good and made the most profound impression upon people of all kinds and sorts in our great community. No one who listened to the Bishop of London when he spoke to that great throng of people that assembled to hear him in our Cathedral, to the great gathering of men of every kind and sort and faith, which he addressed at the Chamber of Commerce of New York and the other gatherings to which he spoke, could be in the slightest doubt as to the kinship of mind and soul and aim which bind our peoples together. (Hear, hear.)
Whatever may be done at the Naval Conference, whatever technical points may have to be considered there, and whatever the result of those consultations may be, I believe that there is practically nobody in the United States who cares in the least what the proportion is between the strength of your Navy and our own, because we all of us know that not only for the good of our own two peoples and for the good of the world but for the very continuance and existence of civilization, those two navies in any important issues that may arise, must be found on the same side--(applause)--and we have absolute confidence that that side will always be the side of justice and righteousness and liberty and honour. (Hear, hear.) But if you can only manage to spare the Bishop of London a little oftener and let him make trips around the world a little more frequently, it would at least hasten the day which we all hope for, when armaments may no longer be needed. (Hear, hear.)
 The Bishop has referred to that very beautiful pastoral staff which I carry every time I go into my Cathedral and which I am exceedingly proud of because it was presented to me at the time of my consecration as Bishop by the Bishop, Clergy and Laymen of this great diocese of London as a token of the love and fellowship--that is the way it was expressed--between the two churches and the two countries--(hear, hear)--and my friend Canon Carnegie will remember the great and notable gathering at the Cathedral, which assembled when he, acting on behalf of the Bishop of London, presented that pastoral staff, and the spirit and feeling with which it was received. Our people regard with the deepest satisfaction because they see in it a constant symbol and reminder of the bond that binds our peoples to each other. (Hear, hear.) And I cannot stand here in your presence without expressing once again our deep appreciation of the most gracious action of your sovereign, His Majesty King George, in presenting last February a beautiful silver alms basin, specially designed and made as his own personal gift to our Cathedral. (Applause.) I need not say that we use that alms basin with the greatest pride and that it will always be among our most treasured possessions. Such kind and gracious acts as that have a value in drawing men and peoples together greater than any words can express. (Hear, hear.) May I be allowed to say that our admiration for King George and his gracious Consort Queen Mary, is, I believe, equal to your own, for the noble way in which they have met their responsibilities through difficult and trying times, for the example they have set, and for the way in which they have used their great influence for the highest and noblest things in life, for the sacredness and purity of the home, for duty and faithfulness and responsibility, and for true and simple Christian living.
Now I must not lengthen my remarks too much. I had a salutary warning in that connection early in my ministry, at the time when I was the Rector of Christ Church, Nashville, Tennessee. We had a visit from Admiral Schley, and he came to my church at night. The next morning the Nashville daily paper recorded the fact on the front page in these words "Admiral and Mrs. Schley attended service last night at Christ Church and listened to a sermon by the Rector, the Reverend W. T. Manning, [8/9] after which they were driven to their hotel and took a much needed rest." (Laughter.) I have, however, been asked to say a few words as to the feeling of our country--I do not know whether it is a wise thing to do or not, but I am going to do it--over the action taken by your Government in breaking off relations with the Russian Soviet Government, and I am prepared to say that in my judgment that action on the part of your Government has the almost universal approval of the people of our land. (Applause.) I think that we are as nearly unanimous on that as we ever are on anything. If I may speak frankly, the thing that we wondered at was that your Government should ever have felt it right to enter into relations with a Government, the representatives of which have shown by their words, and also by their acts, that they do not know what truth and honour means, whose principle it is to interfere most insolently in the life and affairs of other nations, who do not appear to know the meaning of liberty or justice, but by the exercise of brutal force have created, and are maintaining one of the most intolerable tyrannies the world has ever known, and whose avowed and acknowledged aim is to destroy and do away with both morality and religion. (Hear, hear.) We have nothing but goodwill for the Russian people, but our feeling is that so long as their Government continues its present attitude it should not receive the countenance, the support or the encouragement of any nation which cares for the decent things of life. We fail to understand why it is that your Labour men--some of them--with British blood in their veins, should want to give any sort of countenance to people with principles like those, and I am happy to tell you that there is no group of men in the whole of America which supports the policy of our Government in the matter more strongly and more outspokenly than the representatives of Labour. (Applause.) I am proud to claim Mr. William Green, the President of the American Federation of Labour, as a warm personal friend. I know what his feeling is in this matter, and everybody else knows it, for he makes no secret of it, and I can only say that there is no one who stands more strongly against Communism and against any thought of our entering into relations with the Russian Government as long as it represents the things it now represents, than Mr. Green and his associated [9/10] leaders of Labour in the United States.
In closing I want just to say this: Since the war, and before it too, though not to so marked a degree, there has been in our country and elsewhere no doubt you have the same thing here--an increasingly bold propaganda against the institution of the family, against the sacredness and permanence of marriage, against the whole idea of Christian morality, against the things which are the very foundations of our Christian civilization. We are having just now in America an illustration of where that kind of propaganda leads, in the open and shameless proposal of the recognition and legalising of what is called "companionate marriage," or "unmarried unions " among our young people, with the stipulation that they shall be only temporary, and that there shall be no children from such unions. It is the most degrading and shamelessly indecent proposal that has ever been made in public. (Hear, hear.) Companionate marriage, so called, is not marriage at all, it is only a high sounding name for free love. Do not misunderstand me. That proposal is not going to receive any sort of welcome or endorsement from the American people as a whole. It is going to be treated in the way that it deserves to be treated; but the almost incredible thing is that there are not a few magazine writers and journalists, and some University professors and other people in public life, who do not hesitate openly to advocate and endorse it. Indeed, I am sorry to say that at a meeting of our Church Congress, held recently in San Francisco, this suggestion was seriously proposed as something which should be considered with an open mind. I venture to say that there are some things that do not deserve any consideration whatever, and there are some questions as to which there are not two sides. I only refer to this because I think it is time for all of us to see clearly where this kind of propaganda is leading and what its real meaning is. I think it makes clear to us the fact that Christian faith and Christian morals stand or fall together; that if we allow anyone or anything to weaken or undermine our faith as Christians we shall find that our moral foundation has gone with it. I think it is time for us to stand up and speak our minds, and use plain words, and say that any such proposal as that--no matter what high sounding name may be given to it, and no matter who may advocate [10/11] it--is nothing but abominable immorality, a sin against God, and an insult to all decent-minded people. (Hear, hear and applause.) May this great Society of the Pilgrims continue its splendid work for the fostering and strengthening of relations between Great Britain and America, and may we all stand with our whole strength, we on our side of the water and you on yours, for those Christian ideals and principles which have given our civilization value for the world, and which alone make human life worth while. (Applause.)
DR. JOSIAH H. PENNEMAN (Provost and President University of Pennsylvania).--Right Honourable Chairman, my Lords and gentlemen, I rise and I think of the pleasure it is to speak on the toast of the Chairman, but before doing so I wish to say that one of the most notable occasions in the social and religious and ethical life of America last year was the occasion of the visit of the Lord Bishop of London, who went throughout the length and breadth of America addressing particularly audiences of University students on the great subject fundamental to the moral and ethical life of the world "Why I am a Christian." He moved very rapidly from place to place, so rapidly in fact that he had not the opportunity of hearing the reverberations of his own voice or the echoes of his own teachings; but I have great pleasure in saying here that he has created a profound impression upon the youth of the land which I have the honour to represent. We wish, and I second the wish of Bishop Manning, that the Lord Bishop of London might be spared more frequently to visit other parts of his great diocese and bring to us in plain language, in almost blood language, certain criticisms and certain expressions of opinion which did us all a great deal of good here, and I may speak perhaps not only on behalf of the people of the United States of America, of whom you have been told fifty per cent are still of British birth or British lineage, and that fifty per cent thank God are still the domination, the dominating fifty per cent. We could not have had more of plain speaking from any line of ancestors, to which Hawthorne referred with deep reverence when he called the book which he wrote of England "Our Own Home," for there is no land to which the American, of whatever lineage, comes into where he can find a warmer [11/12] welcome or in which he finds himself more entirely in sympathy with the people, their purposes and their ideals. In America we associate your Pilgrims, perhaps narrowly, with a small group of men and women who in 1620 went forth and landed on the rocky inhospitable shores of Massachusetts. But the word Pilgrim has a wider meaning; it stands for a recognition of reverence for the great realities of life, without which life itself would be a meagre and a poor thing, but with which life becomes blessed with a purpose, with an aim and ideal towards which it is ever striving, and the greatest thing which can possibly happen in the history of the world would be what has already happened, a League of the English Speaking Nations of the World, represented by the British Empire and by the United States of America. It is inconceivable that any difference can arise between these great branches of the English speaking people which should jeopardize the peace of either nation or the peace of the world, and it is quite conceivable with the combined strength of these two representatives of the English speaking peoples of the world, the peace of the world would be assured. (Hear, hear.) We have been endeavouring in our American Universities, and particularly in Yale and Harvard and the University over which I have the honour to preside, the University of Pennsylvania, to do our bit towards bringing about that better understanding in a way which is peculiarly appropriate to the toast I am about to propose--in the international sports between our Universities and the Universities of the old world. A few days ago the Yale and the Harvard boys came over here and were honestly defeated by the representatives of your Universities. Year after year the representatives of Oxford and Cambridge come to America and compete against our Universities and the sympathy that exists between you to understand each other is something which is bound to endure to the benefit of those relations which are so noble and so honourably represented by the Society of the Pilgrims. In the University sports, your Chairman is a noble example. Whether we know him personally or not, there exists in America among the sporting men, the belief in manly contests between man and man, and that feeling amounts to personal affection. They recognise his career, they recognise what he has done in the water and on the water and now he is respected in [12/13] America quite as much as he is here. (Applause.) It is great distinction to have as your President a man who is a man among men, a man of nobility, a man to represent the best that England can produce, that England can have. He stands for the very best that America can produce and that America can have, and I therefore give you the toast of our Chairman. (Applause.)
(The toast was enthusiastically honoured.)
THE CHAIRMAN: My Lord Bishop of New York, my Lords and gentlemen, I rise to thank you in a few words for the kind manner in which this toast has been proposed by the Provost and President of the University of Pennsylvania, but at the same time I should like to express our thanks for the most admirable address which has been given to us by the guest of the evening. (Applause.) It will rank high among those excellent addresses which have been given to this Society by Ambassadors, by men of affairs and by men representing all states of Society, both on this and on the other side of the ocean and here, and I can say this that there is nothing which divides the two countries save water and ignorance. (Laughter and applause.) We have heard this evening that the visit of the Bishop of London has done much to dispel that ignorance on the other side and no doubt the Bishop of New York will do as much this side. Allusion has been made to the excellent teams sent from time to time from Harvard and Yale, to this country. I had the great pleasure of watching those sports. The teams come over here and practise at Oxford and Cambridge with their competitors and that is a good thing, for they have been given all the assistance possible on this side of the water. We always say: May the best side win, but we always offer a humble prayer at the same time that that side may be our side. But whatever the result of the races, the good they do in getting the youth of the two great countries together cannot be exaggerated. (Applause.) I will not occupy your time any more, but I thank you for your very great kindness in coming here and attending this dinner, some of you at great inconvenience. I hope when the Bishop comes here again we shall be able to give him another bumper dinner. I thank you all and I now drink to our next merry meeting.
The proceedings then terminated.
The Pilgrims of Great Britain.
Field-Marshal H.R.H. THE DUKE OF CONNAUGHT, K.G.
His Grace The ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY.
The VISCOUNT CAVE, G.C.M.G.
Admiral The Hon. Sir HEDWORTH MEUX, G.C.B., K.C.V.O.
Sir HARRY BRITTAIN, K.B.E., C.M.G., LL.D., M.P.
J. ARTHUR BARRATT, K.C., LL.B., O.O.C.
Chairman Executive Committee:
The LORD DESBOROUGH, G.C.V.O.
Hon. Secretary and Treasurer:
J. WILSON TAYLOR.
Lord Desborough, G.C.V.O.
J. Sanderman Allen, J.P., M.P.
Rt. Hon. Sir C. A. Montague Barlow, Bart., P.C., K.B.E.
*J. Arthur Barratt, K.C., LL.B., O.O.C.
Sir A. Shirley Benn, Bt., K.B.E., M.P.
*Lord Fairfax of Cameron
Rev. Archibald Fleming, D.D. (Chaplain)
Robert Grant, Junr.
Rt. Hon. Sir Hamar Greenwood, Bart., K.C., M.P.
Henry P. Hansell, C.V.O.
Sir John Henry, J.P.
Lt.-Col. Sir James Leigh-Wood, K.B.E., C.B., C.M.G.
H. C. Levis
Earl of Midleton, K.P.
F. E. Powell
Frederick A. Sterling (Counsellor, American Embassy)
Sir Campbell Stuart, K.B.E.
J. Wilson Taylor (Hon. Sec. & Treas.)
The Hon. William J. Tully
Horace Lee Washington (American Consul-General)
G. Herbert Windeler
Earl of Yarborough
* Finance Committee.