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DIOCESE OF NEW ZEALAND,
THE DIOCESAN SYNOD, IN THE CHAPEL OF ST. JOHN'S COLLEGE,
On Thursday, September 23, 1847.
BY GEORGE AUGUSTUS
BISHOP OF NEW ZEALAND.
FRANCIS & JOHN RIVINGTON,
ST. PAUL'S CHURCH YARD, AND WATERLOO PLACE.
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[This Charge has been reprinted under the direction of a near relative of the Bishop, from a Copy originally published at the Press of St. John's College, New Zealand. Any profits which may arise from the sale; will be devoted to the NEW ZEALAND CHURCH FUND.]
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THE DIOCESE OF NEW ZEALAND
This Charge is Inscribed
BT THEIR AFFECTIONATE FRIEND AND BROTHER
G. A. NEW ZEALAND.
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A CHARGE, &c.
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Quisquis haec legit,
ubi pariter certus est, pergat meeum;
ubi pariter haesitat, quaerat meeum;
ubi errorem suum cognoscit, redeat ad me;
ubi meum, revocet me.
Ita ingrediamur simul caritatis viam, tendentes ad EUM, de quo dictum est; "Quaerite faciem EJUS semper."
Aug. de Trin. 1, 5.
The time has at length come, my Reverend brethren, when I am enabled, by the blessing of God, to meet you in solemn Convocation, and to take counsel with you of the state and prospect of the work of Christ committed to our charge. We have already often met in seasons of sorrow and of fear, and have been bound together in one common interest by the afflictions which it has pleased God to lay upon us. We cannot search out the designs of that
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mysterious Providence, which has taken from us so many loved and valued brethren, when we seemed to need, more than ever, the aid of every holy and earnest servant of Christ; and which has allowed the growth of the Gospel to be checked by war, when it seemed on the point of overspreading the whole land. But we can acknowledge the wisdom of God, when we feel that private sorrows and public troubles have brought us nearer together in brotherly love, and have wrought in us more of that unity, which our Lord prayed might be the sign of his disciples, that the world might believe that God had sent Him. When we look upon our numbers, thinned by death, and see many of those who remain, enfeebled by sickness, and all becoming day by day more inadequate to the work, which increases upon us, we may still take comfort, and persevere, if we can feel that we have among us the sign appointed by our Lord himself for the conversion of the world.
There are sure truths revealed by God, which are our comfort in the midst of the sorrows and uncertainties of the world. When we mourn over brethren who are taken from us, we remember that there is an eternal ministry, of which we hope to be made partakers with them. When we see, or think that we see,
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any signs of failure in our native Church, we think of that Church which is built upon the Rock, against which the gates of hell will not prevail. When we see the growth of false opinions, and various forms of religion, perplexing men's minds, and distracting them from the simplicity of the Gospel, we turn to the assurance given to us in Scripture, that there is a truth of God, whether men can discern it or not, which, like its Author, has no variableness nor shadow of turning.
The object, I conceive, of all such meetings as this is, in one word, the better discernment of that Truth of God, which must be the guide of every act of our ministry, and without which every step that we take is certain to be wrong. Our highest duty is to proclaim the truth of God to men: and it becomes us to have first comprehended it ourselves. Nor must we allow ourselves to be led away by the hasty assumption that we already know, and can easily explain, all that is necessary to be understood by men, for the assurance and comfort of their souls. If it were so, our meeting here would be an idle ceremony, as we could have nothing to impart one to another. The distracted state of all the Churches of Christendom is the convincing proof that the Truth of God, though fully revealed in his written Word, has
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not been fully nor effectually comprehended by men.
Our present meeting therefore may be looked upon as one of a long series, beginning at the Council of Jerusalem, in which it has been attempted, with very various success, to discover the will of God by the assembling together of the ministers of Christ for social prayer and mutual counsel.
We cannot ascribe a necessary or absolute infallibility to any such meetings, even when convened by the highest authority, and attended by representatives from all Christian Churches; neither on the other hand can we deny, that even an humble meeting like our own, composed of the Clergy of one of the youngest branches of the Church of Christ, may hope for a share in that peculiar blessing which is promised to those who shall agree together to ask anything in their Master's name. The whole history of Synodical meetings of the Clergy is full both of encouragement and of warning. The cases of failure are so numerous, that many not only question whether a Divine blessing be granted to their deliberations, but also reject them on the mere human ground of inexpediency. Others again, who look to the glorious stand in defence of Catholic truth which was made by the first General Councils,
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can scarcely recognise any other form of Church Government as likely to be effectual. Even in our own Church, the treasure which we enjoy in her Articles and Liturgy may well make many thoughtful men lament the fallen authority of her Convocation.
In the midst of this balanced state of opinion, it became my duty to decide, whether I should follow the course pursued by my brethren in England, of addressing to the Clergy of the Diocese a Charge resting upon the Episcopal authority alone, and appealing to them upon the principle of canonical obedience; or whether I should avail myself of the freedom in which the Colonial Church is left by the equal recognition by the State of all religious communities, to cast my Primary Charge into a Synodical form, as containing suggestions for the consideration of the Clergy, rather than authoritative declarations, ex cathedra, of my own opinion and will.
It will be readily understood, that before I so far ventured to deviate from the practice of my brethren, I reviewed with much anxious thought my own peculiar position, as of one consecrated to the office of a Bishop at an early age, from the difficulty of finding a person of more mature experience to undertake the work. The circumstances of the country as a field of
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Missionary exertion; the various modes in which the system of the Church of England might require to he adapted to the use of converts from heathenism; the changes rendered necessary by a difference of language; the complex relations of the two races after the colonization of the country; all these and many other similar points were questions of vital interest, on which I could have no experience, and on which the documents of the Church of England could not be expected to furnish me with information.
The delay which has been complained of in the publication of my Primary Charge, is no more, I conceive, than was due to a full consideration of the state of New Zealand. If I had at once addressed you on my arrival in the language of authority, the experience which I have since had of your affection and respect leads me to think that I should have been obeyed; but I more than doubt, whether your obedience would have been the result of conviction. Even now I am no more able than before to speak to you of my own authority; because, though I may have gained experience in the five years which I have spent in New Zealand, yet the confidence in which I shall speak, is in the collective wisdom of my Clergy, rather than in my own. It has been my hap-
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piness to hold continual intercourse with you all, not merely on formal occasions, and on terms of ceremony, but in that domestic and social intimacy which discloses all the secrets of the heart. It is not to be supposed that we were silent upon the subjects foremost in our thoughts; we have conversed upon doctrine and discipline, upon the interests of the native people, upon the prospects of the Colonial Church, and many wise and holy thoughts have been received into my mind in those seasons of Christian brotherhood, which I cannot now separate, or ascribe to their rightful authors. It was impossible that I could so live in the hearts of an affectionate and faithful Clergy, without becoming, at least in some measure, the representative of their thoughts and feelings, and the depositary of their wisdom and experience.
Most of all then I would deprecate that personal idea of my office, which supposes the Bishop to stand alone, and to express his own thoughts, and issue his own instructions to his Clergy. We have no thoughts that we can call our own, but all come from one common fountain; and whosoever they be who draw, it must be the same water of life. The one great question to be placed continually before us is, how we may attain to the truth of God, and be
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conformed to the mind of Christ. Whatever may be the peculiar power and blessing of my office, which I would neither appear to boast of nor to disparage, I can claim no other credit to my suggestions than is due to the opinion of an ordinary man, desiring indeed Divine guidance, yet liable to human error. Our chief reliance must be on the power of united prayer, and on the combined wisdom of many counsellors of one heart and one soul.
I need not disguise from you my belief that the cause which has led to the almost entire suspension of the Synodical action of the Church has been the forgetfulness of the spiritual character of such an assembly of the Clergy. Convocations and Synods have been made the battle-field on which questions relating to the prerogative of kings, the authority of Bishops, and the rights of the Clergy, have been fiercely disputed. They seem to have followed the State in the form and manner of their deliberations; to have sheltered themselves under its power; to have availed themselves of the secular arm to enforce their spiritual censures; and so, by close alliance with worldly systems, to have lost their own inherent strength, and to have become unable to wield the sword of the Spirit. It is not surprising that in bodies so constituted, the earnest endeavour to attain to a closer likeness
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to Christ, should have been postponed to the old question, "which should be the greatest." The heavenly nature of our Lord's kingdom, and His spiritual dominion over all the Churches of the earth, could not fail to be neglected amidst questions of dignity and prerogative between the rulers of the Church and the State.
If I did not believe that our position in this country, both as regards the simplicity and primitive character of our Church establishment, and its entire freedom from all political connexion, gives us good reason to hope that we may be enabled to avoid the evils into which other Synods have fallen, I should have shrunk from the course which I now propose to you, and fallen back upon the practice, sanctioned by custom, if not approved by reason, of a formal Charge ex cathedra, upon the authority of the Bishop alone. I might then have found, as has often been the case, that some would have assented ex animo, some without assenting would have obeyed conscientiously, some would have denied that their promise of canonical obedience applied to the points of which they disapproved. At the best there would have been much to check cooperation and engender distrust.
But if we resolve, God being our helper, to
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conduct our deliberations in a spirit of humility and prayer: contending neither for honour, nor superiority, nor victory; but simply and humbly seeking the truth as it is in Jesus, and desiring above all things to follow in His steps; if we avoid those stumbling-blocks of former Synods, the pride of order and dignity, and the opposite but no less fatal error of servility to the ruling powers of the State; if we are one and all content to take the lowest room, to accept the smallest remuneration, and to do the meanest work; upon this exclusion of all earthly causes of disagreement we may rest our hopes of obtaining that fulness of light which is the promised fruit of singleness of eye. There were disputes among the Apostles which should be the greatest, and there were murmurings against those who arrogated to themselves the post of honour by their Master's side: but there was no rivalry for the post of danger in the judgment hall, at His cross, or at His tomb.
If God he with us, we will seek the mind of Christ; and see how that mind has impressed itself upon the institutions of his Church. Where the points before us relate to doctrine, we must believe that the Word of God alone is our guide. We cannot believe that canon of Scripture to be defective, which St. John has closed with his awful malediction against those who
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shall add anything to the written Word, or take anything from it. The Bible, therefore, remains unalterable as the Divine standard of perfection to which every question must he referred, even in those lower points of discipline on which no express commandment has been given. It is a sufficient condemnation of any doctrine or practice that it is not in agreement with Scripture,, or with the spirit of the teaching of Christ. Let us never multiply examples or testimonies of men for any other purpose than to be able, out of many conflicting opinions, to select those which are most in agreement with the mind of our Lord and Master.
It is possible, that, in this inquiry, we shall be fully persuaded in our own minds, and yet be unable to convince all that we are right. It seems as if the discovery of truth were subjected by our heavenly Father to this useful law, that it may be self-evident to ourselves, and yet not apparent, in all cases, with sufficient clearness to others. We lack nothing that is necessary for our own conviction; and yet we cannot judge uncharitably of those who differ from us. Enough is certain to make us believe firmly; enough is uncertain to make us judge mercifully. Such is the course of Christian inquiry propounded by Augustine, "to follow Christ in the path of charity, agreeing in all
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things certain, inquiring in all things doubtful; not more ready to reprove the errors of others, than to confess our own."
If it be possible for meetings of the Clergy to attain to the mind of Christ, surely we may hope for His blessing, in the midst of the signs which prove the field of our ministry to be a land of peculiar promise. If ever Clergy were found to work faithfully, and with a single eye to the glory of God, surely we may hope for it in a land where the blessings of the Holy Spirit, shed so abundantly, supersede every other motive and hope of reward. If we were fed only with bread of affliction and water of affliction, it would be comfort enough to be allowed to take a part in such a ministry as this. For there is no spot upon earth on which the promises of God have been so signally fulfilled. These are the utmost parts of the earth, which God, in answer to the prayers of his Son, has given to Him for a possession. This is the last and most distant of the multitude of the isles which rejoice in the message of salvation. Here is the proof that the Spirit has been shed upon all lands; that the whole earth has been filled with the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea; here is the farthest shadow of the branches of the tree of faith which has overspread the world.
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Within this land of promise the signs of the Spirit have heen manifested; the word of God has prevailed to the overthrow of heathenism, to the control of savage passions, to the reformation of moral character, to the teaching of a pure faith, to the gathering together of many thousand souls into the fold of Christ. Those who have ministered to these native Christians on their death-beds, the time when depth of feeling and sincerity of heart is most surely ascertained, have reason to thank God that the Gospel has here done its appointed work, in preparing many souls for eternity and for heaven. We may think with pure and unmingled pleasure of the infants who have here heen saved in Baptism, and of the many adult believers who have died in the Lord.
If the prospect be not so bright for the future, if the colonization of the country have brought with it its attendant evils, we must ask ourselves whether it was ever otherwise in the history of the Church. The extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost were bestowed as evidences of the power of God in supplying the deficiencies of his human agents; but were not intended to supersede their exertions. These miraculous powers were withdrawn when the Gospel had become its own evidence, by its influence upon the hearts of men, and by its
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progress through the world. Then came the real work of the ministry; the day was past when three thousand souls could he converted by a single discourse; and when it was enough that the shadow of an apostle should he cast upon the sick, or that a garment should be carried from his body. The work of a minister was to be carried on by patient appeals to conscience, and with the ordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit. It seemed as if the second age of the ministry bore a greater burden than the first; that, with less aid of the Spirit, it had to contend with more enemies without, and more lukewarmness within the Church itself. Yet it is certain that, whether with miracles or without miracles, the work of Christ advanced. Churches seemed to be overthrown or to decay of themselves; many candlesticks, lighted even by apostles, were removed out of their places; yet, one time with another, the work never went back. There were ages of darkness, venal Popes, corrupt Prelates, an ungodly Clergy, a blasphemous and sacrilegious laity; hordes of barbarians were let loose by God upon Christendom; and ambitious monarchs pampered the Church for their own ends. Every kind of difficulty seemed to beset the progress of the Gospel; the hearts even of the best men failed; and there were no miracles to raise them up;
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there was no open vision; yet still the work advanced; its rear was smitten, Satan had power to bruise its heel, but on it went, like the chariot of the prophet, because the spirit of God was in the wheels. It bore with it the promise of its Lord, that it should overcome the world, and that the gates of hell should not prevail against it.
Our ministry in like manner has been blessed, I firmly believe, by extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit, as pledges of God's continued blessing, and as arguments also to us, for greater earnestness and devotion. The greatness of the work is proved by the abundance of the grace which has been already bestowed upon it. It cannot therefore be God's will that His work should fail, but it may rest hereafter more on our personal efforts, aided, rather than enforced, by the ordinary gifts and graces of the Spirit. We have need of better organization, of more unity of purpose, of more combination of effort, of closer communion in council, of more persevering earnestness in prayer. We have heard it said, that Church polity is not prescribed in Scripture: the answer is that it was not needed when the New Testament was written. So long as miracles remained to attest the divine mission of the Apostles; while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word with signs follow-
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ing, it was not likely that the Divine will and impulse should he fettered by positive ordinances, prescribed, not to bind the Spirit, but to guide and control men. So also in the second stage of a mission; there is need of more personal effort, and also of more combination of purpose; and this is no disparagement of the sufficiency of the Spirit (God forbid), nor any sign of distrust in the work already accomplished, but the just inference from all Church history, by which we learn that God multiplies enemies to his Church, at the same time that he seems to withdraw a portion of his grace.
But we must remember, that in the second stage of a mission, though we lament a decay of spirituality, yet we have a new power and sign which seem to be designed to compensate for those extraordinary gifts which are withdrawn. The Gospel has become itself the evidence of its own power; it has asserted its mastery over the hearts of men; it is, as it were, a standing miracle to which we can always appeal, that a heathen people, a land devouring its own inhabitants, has changed its character; that the words of prayer and the songs of praise are now heard throughout every village in the country. It is against the nature of things that such a land should remain a paradise. When
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the fear of its savage inhabitants was removed, it followed as a thing of course that men of all nations would resort to it, for its fertility, its beauty, or its trade. The Missionary must always expect that colonization will follow in his train, that he will not be allowed to retain his own authority unimpaired, nor to draw a line around his native converts, within which no contamination shall be allowed to enter. The world will find its way to them, or they will break forth into the world. It is the same with our own children; we may train them throughout youth in the strictest seclusion, apart from every thing that can pervert or corrupt the youthful mind; but the time will come when the strength of their religious principle must be tried in actual conflict with Satan; and then will be seen the difference between a mere negative ignorance of sin, and that strength of moral sense, which has power, given to it by God, by an active faith to overcome the world.
Our duty seems to be, to oppose the sword of the Spirit to every form of sin and error, as they arise. At one time, it may be idolatry and heathenism against which we contend; at another, the vices which follow in the train of civilization. We cannot tell from day to day against which peculiar form of sin we may next be called upon to protest; but we are assured,
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that there is a power in the Church of Christ, which none of its enemies shall be able to gainsay or withstand. It may be found, that the very causes which seem most to hinder us for a time, will be overruled by God for the better accomplishment of his work. If there was danger of our growing slack and lukewarm in our ministry when the great point was gained, and a whole nation of heathens was added to the Church, may not this new difficulty be ordained by God, to rouse us up again to greater efforts even than before; to convince us that our work is not yet done; that we must still fight the good fight of faith, and persevere unto the end, before we can win the crown?
Apart from its effect upon the native character, the colonization of New Zealand may be looked upon with almost unqualified satisfaction, as the recognition for the first time of a great principle both in the State and in the Church. By the State it was avowed from the first that justice to the native people must be the groundwork of all its legislation. On the part of the Church the principle was avowed and carried into effect, that in a new colony the Church ought to be planted at once in all the integrity of its system. And though it might have been wished, that in this first and great experiment the Elders of the Church had not
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been forced to go so low in the scale of the English Ministry, to find one willing to bear the burden of the Episcopate, yet we may rejoice that some advance has been made, and live in hope that the time will come when our Mother Church will send forth her maturest wisdom, and most tried experience, on her embassies to heathen lands. Such was the mission of Augustine, which we owe still, as a debt unpaid, to the unconverted nations of the earth.
The time will come, and God grant it may not be far distant, when the full fruit may be seen of the establishment of these Bishoprics in the Southern seas. Even in the favoured islands of the Pacific, though much has been done to spread the Gospel, much still remains to be done to build up the native. Churches, and confirm them in the faith. There are enemies in the field against whom the disjointed efforts of single Missionaries will be of small avail. Though it is far from my wish to reap the fruit of other men's labours against their will, or to invade the territory which they have won, yet I live in hope that we may be permitted to frame an uniform system of education for the youth of all Polynesia; that from New Zealand, as from a Missionary centre, the strictest knowledge, and the most confirmed faith, may
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be carried back by our students to their distant homes. We cannot consider our work accomplished till every dialect in the South Sea has its representative member in our Missionary College.
God has already so abundantly blessed the work of his servants, that not an island remains to the eastward of New Zealand to which the Gospel has not been preached. But there is still a dark expanse, over which the banner of Christ has not yet been advanced. If any motive could justifiy the wish to live the full period of the patriarchal age, it would be to see Borneo, Celebes, New Guinea, and all the islands on our north, converted to the faith. It may be presumptuous to wish, yet it cannot be wrong to think of such things; for it seems to be an indisputable fact, that however inadequate a Church may be to its own internal wants, it must on no account suspend its Missionary duties; that this is in fact the circulation of its life's blood, which would lose its vital power if it never flowed forth to the extremities, but curdled at the heart. We may hope that a statement of the highest aims, and most comprehensive definition of duty, will be a means of raising the whole tone of our minds; that we shall feel thereby the full weight of the unfulfilled purposes of our ministry; and be
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humbled even in the midst of our success, by thinking how far greater is the work which still remains, than that which has been done.
Surely such a work as this requires a Clergy of rare devotion and steadfastness of heart. If this be a land remarkable for the abundance of Divine gifts; a land of promise, which has already witnessed a signal outpouring of the Holy Spirit; if it be fitted by its position and its climate to be a Missionary centre to the Pacific Ocean; if it be blessed with a settled form of Church government, unfettered by connexion with the State, and therefore free to seek the mind of Christ in holy convocations of the Clergy; if we have neither wealth nor temporal power to mislead us, or to make us an occasion of offence to others; if the whole heart and the single eye of every one of us, in our free state, can be given to Christ and to the ministry of His word; with such advantages as these, what holy men ought we to be in all manner of conversation! What talents we have received! What an account we shall have to give! What a work is laid before us! How can we be equal to these things?
Extraordinary cases cannot be judged by common rules. One frequent cause of neglect of duty is the applying to our own state a standard of principle borrowed from another.
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I have endeavoured to show that we have much in this Diocese which is peculiar to our own ministry; many blessings and gifts imparted to us as a Missionary Church; many exemptions from evils which press heavily upon our brethren at home; and I have brought these subjects forward, not as reasons for boasting, but as arguments for a greater earnestness of life, and a more entire devotion to the work of Christ. If, in the course of the following suggestions, I should seem to speak of duties which do not fall upon the English Clergy, I can assure you that I desire nothing more than I believe to be fairly due to the peculiarity of our position. I would not innovate upon the practice of the Church of England, but rather attempt to carry out her discipline in full. May God give us strength and wisdom to use our present advantages to set forth the excellence of our Holy Mother, by showing what her system might have been if all the wise intentions of her founders had been carried into effect.
DOCTRINE.--It will not need many words to prove to you that purity of doctrine is the one great point upon which the success of our ministry must depend. To preach the pure and undefiled word of God, drawn from the fountain-head, and unmixed with glosses and traditions. of men, must be the earnest endeavour of our
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lives, and the subject of our most frequent prayers. To set before the eyes of our people the Saviour of mankind in all the varied acts of His ministry; to refer all our hopes of pardon to His death, and all our hopes of heaven to His resurrection; all the efficacy of our prayers to His intercession; all our comfort in sorrow, our strength under temptation, and our truth in doctrine, to the gift of His Holy Spirit; this will be the tone of Christian preaching which will touch the hearts of our hearers, and thereby correct their lives. No reasoned morality, or human philosophy, or example of men, can avail without this; nor even with it, unless they bow the knee before the one name which is above every name, and consent to be the handmaids, and not the rivals of the Gospel.
On the subject matter of your doctrine what shall I say? You have heard of controversies, as the roaring of a distant sea; but the troubles which have perplexed the world have not extended to us. Our duties have been so intensely practical; we have seen so much of real sorrow, and lived so much in fear from without; that we have had little or no experience of fightings from within. If I were now to enter upon the discussion of disputed points of doctrine, I might impair the simplicity of your faith, and chill that warm and childlike love with which
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we regard our Mother Church, and are blind to her faults, or even love her with all her faults. Even if we felt any doubts among ourselves, we should all agree in concealing them from our native converts; for it is our duty to teach them the clearest doctrines of the Gospel, to explain to them all things really necessary to salvation, and to withhold everything which could encourage a false pride of human reason, or distract their simple minds with the subtleties of theological discussion. The very defect of language would deter us from attempting to impart to them the refinements of speculative opinion, upon which even our own wisest and best Divines are not yet agreed. It may he well to bear this caution in mind, because it is a common failing of human nature to attach an undue importance to the present question, however small it may be in comparison with the interests of the world at large, and of eternity. A mind thus prejudiced begins to teach at the point where its teaching ought more naturally to end: some deep and mysterious question relating to a sacrament is raised before the minds of men, who have not yet known or felt the efficacy of a Saviour's blood, or the sanctifying influence of the Spirit. The prejudice of the teacher's mind inverts the natural order of his instruction. He teaches
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first, what seems most important to himself; but he does not reflect that in his own course of religious experience, he had mastered the simpler and more vital doctrines before he came to those which are abstruse, and that to teach children, or those who are still babes in Christ, he must become a child again; he must feed his hearers with the sincere milk of the word, by which he grew himself when he was of a like stature with them in his growth of grace. He must unite the qualities of wisdom and simplicity, with which our Lord, in the first act of His public ministry, astonished the Doctors at Jerusalem.
Of controversy in general I would say, that it is the bane of the Gospel among a heathen people. When we preach to them of one God of perfect truth and wisdom; and one Mediator between God and man; and one Spirit pervading all things, and sanctifying all the people of God; they can understand far more easily the mysterious doctrine of the Trinity, how all the works and Persons of that heavenly Being agree in one; than, how that Being can he the one, only, true God, and yet His doctrine and His worship not be one also. I can never forget the pointed illustration of the old chief of Taupo, when I asked him why he still refused to believe. "Show me the way," said he. "I
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have come to the cross road. Three ways branch out before me. Each teacher says his own way is the best. I am sitting down and doubting which guide I shall follow." He remained in doubt; till a landslip burst from the mountain under which he lived, and rushing down at midnight, overwhelmed him with all his house. In another place I have found a fierce dispute on the subject of the Reformation: the one side alleging the fires of Queen Mary's reign; the other retorting similar acts of Edward and Elizabeth. I do not scruple to avow my opinion, that such subjects are not merely injurious to the influence of the Church but are even a hindrance to faith in the Christian religion itself. To commit a living body to the flames, an act which a New Zealander would scarcely have done, in his wildest paroxysm of savage fury, or in the indulgence of the most devilish revenge, cannot be reconciled with the history of a merciful Saviour, and the doctrines of a Gospel of Peace. That such deeds should have been done in the name of Christ, after the Gospel had been preached on earth fifteen hundred years, must be to him a doubt, admitting of no solution, but sapping the very foundations of his faith.
The simple course seems to be to teach truth; rather by what it is, than by what it is not.
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Let us give our converts the true standard, and they will apply it themselves to the discovery and contradiction of error. Above all, let us teach them the right use of the Holy Scriptures, by prayer, by class reading, by catechising, by comparison of parallel passages, by analysis of doctrines, by careful definition of words, and every other method by which they may be able to refute error, and give a reason for the faith that is in them. All this may be done with no other weapon than the Word of God itself; and there is no other which a simple people can wield.
Much of what has been said applies also to our relations with our own countrymen. We cannot expect unanimity; let us at least seek peace. Much has been written upon unity, but as yet little has been done towards a union of all religious bodies in one. This at least seems to be clear, that such a union, however highly desirable, must not be effected by a compromise of truth. When all shall have thoroughly examined the grounds of their own belief, and rejected such errors as they may find, then it is certain that all must come to unity of doctrine, because all will have been conformed to the same unalterable standard of Truth. To fuse together all religious persuasions in their present state, while they are still mixed
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with alloy, would be to make the process of refinement still more difficult than before. Let each purify itself to the uttermost, and then the day of union will not be far distant. In the meantime, let Christian unity be the subject of our prayers, as it was of our Lord's, and with especial reference to our peculiar ministry for the conversion of the Heathen.
It follows from what has been said, that in the present state of the Christian world we should seek peace rather than union with other religious bodies. We have no power to compromise or alter one jot or tittle of our own doctrines, or liturgy, or system. That there are errors in them we are not prepared to deny, so far as they are the work of men, interpreting imperfectly the oracles of God. But we can assert this; that our statements of doctrine and forms of worship have been submitted to the most searching inquiry of friends and adversaries during three hundred years; and that this fiery trial has discovered nothing which could invalidate our claim to be a Church in which the pure Word is preached, and the Sacraments are duly administered. We find our version of the Bible generally received by English Christians, and circulated by them in millions throughout all the nations of the earth among which our race and language has been spread.
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Our Liturgy and Articles are adopted by some communities, differing in other respects from ourselves, and are held in such respect, even by those who do not receive them, that I have heard it said by one who objected on principle to all forms of prayer, that he thought the Prayer-book the most sublime composition in the English language, next to our version of the Bible. We admit then that there may be errors in our system, for it was framed by fallible men; but we have yet to learn what those errors are. It is not for us to search them out, for we love our Church with the affection of children; we cannot see her blemishes, and we would not curiously pry into them if we could. If they are forced upon our notice; if we are convinced that souls are being lost, that our blindness and partiality is dotage rather than love; then let the powers of our Convocation be revived; let holy Bishops and Archbishops, mature in years, in piety, and in judgment, meet in prayer, and in the grace of the Holy Spirit, and correct whatever may be amiss; but let not us, who have again and again expressed our assent to all the doctrines of our Church, presume to alter or to omit one single word of that sacred deposit of prayer and truth, which martyrs attested with their dying breath, and sealed with their life's blood.
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Your hearts, I am sure, will go with mine, when I urge you to pray for God's grace that we may make our New Zealand Church a pure and fruitful shoot of its Anglican Mother, as we are assured that she is a living branch of the vine of Christ. Let no fear of idle suspicions, or hard names, or uncharitable imputations, deter us from working out, so far as God may give us strength, the whole distinctive principle of our own Church. If we desire to resist Popery, let us follow closely the footsteps of those fearless men who knew best the power of Rome, by the death-struggles which they waged against it. A mere weak and frittered imitation of their system, divested of its nerve, its self-denial, and its discipline, will never cope with that gigantic power whose arms now encompass the world with an assertion of universal empire. We must ask ourselves the question, why, in the face of light, and reason, and the issue of millions of Bibles, and tens of millions of tracts; in spite of sermons, and meetings, and public education; still, not in England only, but in every one of her colonies, the same dark front of error is advanced, with no one assumption abated; no one doctrine reformed; no one concession made to the spirit of the age; nothing compromised to gain proselytes; but all combined, as of old, with con-
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summate policy, to subjugate opinion, and to enslave the world. The answer is, that the power most fitted to defend the truth is not united within itself; that we are wasting in intestine quarrels the powers which ought to be directed against the common adversary.
To be strong in defence of our own doctrine, we must be united among ourselves. And to this end we must have some uniform standard of agreement. It is little to say that we have that standard in the Articles, the Liturgy, and the Homilies, unless we are prepared to sacrifice every point of private feeling and judgment to make our assent to those formularies both practical and sincere. If we have views of our own opposed to them; if we promise to use them, and then find a conscientious objection; if we invent for ourselves some gloss or sidelong meaning, by which we can assent and dissent at the same time; it is no uncharitable censure to say, that we might still have been good and useful laymen within the Church, but that we ought never to have offered ourselves as candidates for the ministry.
Still I am not prepared to expect that all men's minds will at once receive the doctrines of the Church exactly in the same sense. No human writing has ever yet been entirely exempt from misconstruction. It may be that
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some of you will hold peculiar opinions, believing them in your hearts to he in agreement with the doctrines of the Church. Against such, it is my solemn and deliberate purpose, never, except in extreme cases, to issue any public or authoritative declaration. As Clergymen of the Church of England we have all subscribed again and again the same Articles of Religion. No plainer words are likely to be written than those which our holy Fathers weighed with prayer, and reading, and meditation. It is not likely that a mere degenerate stripling in a line of giants can add force or dignity to the tradition of his forefathers. My own comments on the Articles must, by the nature of the case, be weaker and more liable to error than the Articles themselves. But this we may do, under God's blessing, by brotherly conference among ourselves. We have stores of sound learning, the accumulated wisdom of ages; we can trace the thoughts and interpretations of the holiest men through every age of the Church; we will fetter ourselves to no party, to no age, to no prejudice; but wherever we find holiness, there we will expect to find also light; and if we discern at every point the footsteps of a Cranmer or a Parker who has gone before, and see that the sense of Scripture was traced by those patient seekers of
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Truth, through the mind of every faithful and pious commentator in all ages of the Church; and then embodied by them in their statements of doctrine, as that interpretation of the Word of God, which had been received always, in all places, and by all men; we will accept their judgment rather than our own, because no one can set up his own opinion against such a cloud of witnesses, without assuming to be wiser and more pious than the whole Christian world.
In the use of these means of inquiry we will not bind ourselves to one class of commentators, to the exclusion of others. We will attach no superstitious reverence to the name of a Father, nor avoid the work of a nonconformist with undue suspicion. We will take no uninspired composition upon trust, as an infallible authority; but endeavour to use each according to its real worth, expecting to meet with error in all, but hoping to be able to separate it from the truth. Next to the comparison of Scripture with itself, there is no surer way of ascertaining the truth, than the unprejudiced comparison of the thoughts of holy men, endued with the same means of grace to draw forth wisdom from the same unpolluted source.
We may add to these means of attaining to purity of Doctrine, the careful study of the original languages of Holy Scripture. Contro-
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versies are often waged upon the words of the version, which could have no place if both the contending parties understood the original. I am well aware that the present state of the Diocese allows but little leisure for theological study, and I have abstained on that account from exacting the full standard of acquirement, which I may hereafter expect from Candidates for Holy Orders. For the order of Deacons especially, I have relaxed the usual qualification; to make the way to Holy Orders open to many faithful men, who, by the very nature and sphere of their duties, were not likely to have made much advance in literature or speculative theology. But I must not on this account be supposed to undervalue the knowledge of the original languages of the Bible, or to believe that a clerical education can be complete without them. In the examination for Priest's orders, I am not prepared to relax the English standard of qualification.
But there is one aid to truth of Doctrine from which we may hope for better fruit than even from learning itself: it is the simplicity of our condition, and the practical character of our duties. We are representatives of no parties in the Church; on the contrary, we should probably all agree in thinking, that the very name of a party is contrary to the nature of a
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Church. We live for the most part widely separated one from another, with little opportunity of conference, much less with any leisure for cabal. The absorbing interest of our duties, the simple faith of our native converts, the seclusion of our lives, all tend to divest us of party prejudice, and to confine our thoughts to the really essential points of doctrine and discipline. We could not be theologians if we would; and thus the groundwork of controversy, which rests commonly upon points too subtle for men of ordinary education, is taken away. We can receive the doctrine of the Atonement in all its fulness, because the one thing that we feel to be necessary is, that there must be one to reconcile us to God. No human substitutes for this one hope of salvation are likely to delude us in our isolated ministry. We can hold no specious reasonings with men of proud and self-conceited spirit; we have no counsel of our fellow-men, which we can seek for at all times; the greatest part of our ministry is carried on with no other aid than the Holy Spirit; and therefore we must be led to rely upon that support alone, and upon the Saviour by whom it was given to us. We cannot fail to be conscious day by day how helpless we should be, if an unseen and Almighty arm did not bear us up and carry us
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onward. Thus shut out from intercourse with others of our own order, we lose indeed the benefit of the guidance of higher minds; we have no Gamaliels at whose feet we can sit; but, as it is God's providence to compensate all spiritual losses in his servants by some peculiar blessing, we gain also an exemption from prejudice and party, we are not blinded by an excess of zeal for the peculiar opinions of our teachers; for we have no teacher and no guide but Christ and his Holy Spirit, no standard of truth but his written Word, no authority to which we bow, but the voice of his Church. The events which for past years have convulsed the Church of England seem to prove that it is better in many cases to have no human teacher, to be a Baptist in the midst of the wilderness, often cast down for want of friends, and often erring in simplicity and ignorance, than to attach our hearts, and defer our judgment, to the wisest, the most pious, the best beloved, the most self-denying of men: or to live in the very metropolis of knowledge, with store of books, amidst learned professors, with opportunities of counsel, leisure for meditation, with daily services, and moving sermons, with all appliances to knowledge, and all aids to feeling. The search after heavenly Truth may be as hopeful in the lonely Mission station, or
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even in the vast solitude of a New Zealand forest, as in the schools of theology, or the retirement of a college.
Another aid to purity of Doctrine is the Book of Common Prayer. We are scarcely conscious of the effect which has heen produced upon our minds since childhood by this practical commentary upon the Bible. It has reduced to system and applied to practice the doctrines of the Gospel. It has taught us to analyze and distinguish the various acts of Christ's ministry: to express our wants and to confess our sins, in language the most appropriate that could be used; it has arranged the whole Christian year in a series of devotional exercises, to bring before us the whole circle of our Christian faith and duty, so that nothing be omitted. On every Sunday in the year the Prayer-book places before us the example of Christ, the teaching of the Holy Spirit, or the mystery of the Trinity, dividing first the bread of life from Advent to Trinity, that it may be more readily received, and then uniting all Persons and acts in one, and allotting the other half of the year to the contemplation of the undivided Godhead. This careful tracing of the footsteps of Christ and his apostles cannot fail to lead us on in the path of true doctrine to a closer likeness to our Lord; and this is the
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service which our Prayer-book has rendered us from our youth up. It is easy to undervalue a privilege and a blessing when we have reaped the benefit of it. When the Liturgy of the Church has secured to us the habit of thinking clearly and practically upon all the several doctrines and acts of Christ, then we may be able to use extemporaneous prayer, with less danger either of error or of omission. But is it not true, that all the bodies which have most frequently and irretrievably fallen into error of doctrine, have been those which have given up the holy guide of the devotions of their fathers, and have trusted to the individual piety of the Minister, as he to the inspiration of the moment? They did not reflect that the worship of a whole congregation was imperilled upon the mind and upon the lips of one man, pray he well or ill; and not only their devotions for the time, but the soundness also of their doctrine for generations to come. And so it came to pass, that congregations swerved from the faith, and passed into heresy by such imperceptible degrees, that the most searching inquiry can scarcely ascertain the time of their first deviation from the truth. Of those who still hold the fundamental doctrines of the Gospel, in separation from the Church, there are many, I believe, who are ready to confess, that,
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under God, they owe much of their stability of doctrine to the scriptural system embodied in our Liturgy and Articles of Religion.
It is not my intention to obtrude upon your attention more than is necessary, any personal matter affecting only myself; but as I am responsible to you in my public character, and you have a right to know my opinion, I may briefly state once for all, and I trust I shall never have occasion to repeat the assertion, that so far as an unworthy child can love its parent, the Church of England has not a more dutiful or loving son than myself. You, I well know, have never suspected me of any contrary opinion, but have put your hands to a touching declaration, presented to me even with tears, that both in public ministration, and private intercourse, I had borne no other testimony than such as accorded with the Catholic doctrines of the Anglican Church. But since it has pleased others (whom God forgive!) to put forth vague suspicions, and to attach uncharitable names, I hereby enter my deliberate protest against all attempts to sow discord among the united Clergy of this infant Church, and in their name and my own I declare solemnly, (if there he one dissentient, let him now speak and interrupt me,) that to the best of our knowledge and means of grace we have acted and
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will act only upon the principles of the Anglican branch of the Church Catholic: we trust that her Baptism, through the power of the Holy Spirit, has made us the children of God, the members of Christ, and inheritors of the kingdom of heaven; that her Liturgy will be the guide and strength of our lives; that her Communion will be the comfort of our death-beds; and that her Burial Service will be offered up over our graves. We cannot be dissatisfied with our Holy Mother, till we have requited all her benefits; we can desire no better guide, till we have overpast her course of teaching and are craving in vain for higher and more spiritual gifts. But while we cannot but sit down and mourn over our own deficiencies; while we see the holiest of her gifts, the nerves and sinews of her system, her diffusive energies, impaired by our infirmity or neglect; if there be blame on the Church of England, let us bear it ourselves, as her Members and Ministers, and wait in faith, in patience, and in prayer, till the day shall come when it will please God to awaken us to higher deeds of Christian enterprise, to more earnest self-denial, to more entire devotion, to deeper piety, to more constant perseverance. If there were no other thought to bind us to our own communion, it would be enough to trace the signs
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already beginning to be seen throughout the world, that God has mercies still in store for us, and designs to make our Mother Church a praise upon earth.
More than this, it is said by some, is required of the Bishops of the Church. We are called upon to join the ranks of unreasoning men, who, while they are tolerating and uniting with every other form of error, are pouring out their unmeasured invective against one. We dare not so abuse our sacred office, as to lend ourselves to cursing, when we have received commandment to bless. May God of his infinite mercy bless even our bitterest enemies, every class of Christians, who, with the misguided zeal of Saul, persecute our Church, and think that they do God service: may He have mercy upon the Church of Rome, reform all her errors, pardon all her subtleties, and abate all her false assumptions; and so restore to all Christendom that unity of heart and purpose, in which the wounds of religion were healed in the first ages, by the Catholic Councils of the Church. And in a more private, and therefore on a lower ground, on which I might have been silent, if I had not been called upon to speak, lest silence should be misconstrued into agreement with error, or fear of rebuking it; here also, when we are expected to censure, we find
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it rather in our hearts to bless--to bless those servants of God, who, when much of our apostolical discipline had been decayed and lost, devoted all the energies of their mind, and all the intensity of their prayers, to building up again the walls which seemed to be tottering to their fall--those three men, mighty in the Scriptures, who, when they found us hemmed in with enemies, and thirsting for Catholic unity, went forth to draw water for us from the well of primitive antiquity; but one was taken captive by the foreign armies which had usurped the well. May we not respect the motive, commend the effort, and bless the men, even while we reject the gift?
You are entitled to receive this statement of my feelings, that you may know how far I sympathise with the religious movement of which Oxford was the centre, and at what point I stop. I am not called upon to censure men whose private character I revere, while I differ widely from the conclusion to which some of them have been led. While it seemed that the one object of all their endeavours was to develop in all its fulness the actual system of the Anglican Church, neither adding ought to it, nor taking away ought from it: but purifying its corruptions, calling forth its latent energies, encouraging its Priesthood to higher
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aims, and to a more holy and self-denying life; exhorting us to fast, and watch, and pray, more frequently and more earnestly; to be more abundant in our alms-giving, more diffusive in our charity; and to that end to retrench our expenditure, and to look upon ourselves as the stewards of God--in one word, while they seemed to teach us to do in our own system and ritual what the apostles did in their days, and what our own Church still prescribes; I felt that I could not disobey their calling, because it was not theirs, but the voice of my Holy Mother whom I had sworn to obey, and the example of the apostles which it was my heart's desire to follow. But when a change came upon the spirit of their teaching, and it seemed as if our own Church were not good enough to retain their allegiance; when, instead of the Unity for which we had prayed, we seemed to be on the verge of a frightful schism; then indeed I shrunk back, as if a voice had spoken within me: Not one step further; for I love my Church in which I was born to God, and by His help I will love her unto the end.
The doctrines, then, my reverend and Christian brethren, which it is our holy commission to preach, are those which have been drawn from the pure written Word of God, received throughout the Churches of all Christendom,
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and embodied in the Liturgy and Formularies of our own Anglican branch. To these we have again and again declared our assent, in the most solemn and unqualified manner, admitting of no double meanings or mental reservations; but with our whole hearts, and in all simplicity and faithfulness, avowing our belief that, so far as the writings of uninspired men can embody the doctrines of Revelation, our Liturgy and Articles do fully and faithfully represent the Word which God first revealed by his prophets, and then lastly spake to us by his Son.
It cannot be necessary to spend many words to suggest to you how these pure and holy doctrines are to be preached. With our hearts, with our lives, with all our mind, and with all our strength: and, if need be, even with our deaths. And if death itself be within the scope of a preacher's obligation, much more everything that comes short of death. Our earnestness and self-denial is now all that we have to attest our ministry, instead of the signs and miracles of the apostolic age. Yet still there is a power given to the meek and patient servant of Christ which none of his adversaries can gainsay or resist. Still there is a moral beauty in the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, and publisheth peace. Still there are hearts that burn at the breaking of the bread, and consciences that
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tremble when they hear of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come; still there are awakened sinners, who ask on bended knees, "What must I do to be saved?" and doubting readers of the word of God, who desire to be guided, that they may understand what they read: and to all these it is our appointed ministry to dispense the pure Word and the Holy Sacraments of Christ; and above all, that word of words, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved."
The subject itself will teach us the manner of our preaching. Who can be tame and listless when he feels that souls are pending upon his ministry of the word? Commissioned as we are to proclaim doctrines so awfully, it may be so fatally, true, can we tell them as if they were mere fables, uninteresting to ourselves, and unimportant to others? Sermons will be effective only so far as they are expressive of real feeling. No artificial gestures, or studied cadences, or polished sentences, or flowers of rhetoric, will supply the want of that inimitable grace, the abundance of the heart, out of which the mouth speaks. This is the true, and perhaps the only distinction which we can draw. All shallow opinions on the use of action, or extemporaneous delivery, are the ordinary error of party spirit, which will allow nothing to be
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right but what it practises itself. Everything is right which is done to edifying, and everything is edifying which proceeds from an honest and true heart. If there be any deception, any affectation of display, any desire of human praise; anything, in short, but the pure love of souls, and the thankful remembrance of Christ's death; then the charm of preaching is broken; it may amuse the hearer and exalt the preacher, but it will not touch the heart or reform the life; it will not reclaim the sinner, or save the lost.
This inward feeling, which is the soul of Christian eloquence, must first spring from a sense of our own unworthiness. We must tell to our fellow-sinners what God has done for our souls. This will beget a fellow-feeling which, next to the truth itself, will give the greatest weight to our words. If we preach as sinners to our fellow-sinners, not only shall we preach the truth, but also they who hear us will feel our words to be true. This fellow-feeling is the soul of the parochial ministry, the secret of its influence and power over the hearts of men. He who, in the exercise of his cure of souls, stores up his mind, and softens his heart, with the confessions of contrite sinners; and watches the slow and painful processes of moral cure, by which a depraved life is
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gradually reformed; or hears the solemn thoughts of dying men, and the remorse of a conscience ill at ease; and feels in every case for his beloved parishioner as if he were his brother or his friend: that preacher will never lack argument for his sermons; and the word preached by him will have such success that it will never be spoken in vain. We, who have tasted these joys of the parochial ministry, and from it have been called to the Episcopate, can tell from our own experience, how much we have lost in ceasing to be the bosom friends of the suffering poor, and the dying penitent. It is well for us, if we can find compensation for the loss, in imparting to those upon whom we lay our hands, the same source of ministerial comfort--Live in the hearts of your people, rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. So will your words never fail of power, nor your ministry lack its meed of joy.
SACRAMENTS.--The second great part of your duty as ministers of the true Church is to take care that the Holy Sacraments are duly administered. On this point, as I have already said on the subject of doctrine, I presume that no differences of opinion exist among Clergymen who have subscribed the same Articles of Religion, and solemnly promised to use the same Liturgy. If in my intercourse with you
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I should find that differences of opinion exist on the subject of the Sacraments, it is my wish to be allowed to discuss such points in private, with calm and thoughtful reference to the Bible, and, if necessary, to the best commentators; that any differences which are found among ourselves may at least be concealed from our flock, and be no stumbling-block to them. Most earnestly would I deprecate the introduction of any modern publications of a polemical kind on these solemn subjects, lest we should be led away from the single and simple object of seeking the truth, into party spirit and a blind following in the track of some human teacher. We have the Bible, and that, if rightly used, will generally be enough; but, if not, then let us take some age remote enough from our own, and see how the same subjects were discussed in the time of our forefathers, and in what form the truth emerged out of the cloud. We shall find, unhappily, bitterness enough, but it will be an historical strife, not tending to a breach of charity among ourselves. We need not awaken new passions, or take the burden of them upon ourselves; for if heat and strife could have elicited the truth, the virulence of Church controversies would have set all such questions at rest for ever. We shall rise from such an inquiry, furnished with all the argu-
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ments on both sides of every question; and I think, with the strongest loathing of the unchristian tone and temper in which, too often, those arguments were advanced. We shall gain irom the experience of former controversies, both the elements of truth, and the warning to use them rather for meditation than for strife. The age of the Reformation, more especially, will enable us to examine the Anglican doctrine of the Sacraments; and will teach us at the same time the strongest lesson of the length to which controversy may be carried.
There are some general suggestions which I would offer to your notice, in the hope that we may be so guided, even in the points on which we differ, by a spirit of charity and candour, as to be able to seek for truth, as men who value it above every other good; and yet to hold fast the bond of brotherly concord one with another. First, let us avoid all contests of mere words. Before we discuss a subject, it becomes us to define well the sense in which all technical words are to be used. Regeneration, Sacrament, Adoption, Renewal, Conversion, Justification, Sanctification, are words of very wide and general import; and have been used variously by religious writers, and by different persuasions of Christians. Men of piety and dispassionate judgment seldom dispute about
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the realities of doctrines: but the names which men have given to the leading points of the Gospel are continually discussed; chiefly, as it seems, because two persons may use the same name to express very different acts of grace. What fearful danger, for instance, there is in the light use of solemn words; when, in the current language of the day, some men are said to take a low, and some a high view of the Sacraments. What is the real meaning of these words? If we mean by a Sacrament an act or ordinance of Christ, it is impossible to form a low opinion of it; if we mean by it an act or ministry of man, it is equally impossible to think highly of it. So far, then, as we believe a Sacrament to be an act of Christ, ordained by His example and His word, blessed by His spiritual presence, accomplished by His power; we cannot think lowly or lightly of any act of Him, whose shoe's latchet even the greatest of the children of men was not worthy to unloose. On the other hand, it is impossible for us to believe, that a Sacrament is in any respect the act of a man; for we shall all be found to agree in the words of the twenty-sixth Article, that Sacraments be effectual, because of Christ's institution and promise, although they be ministered by evil men. What then is meant by a low view of a Sacrament? We can understand the high and
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holy feeling with which all true Christians look upon everything that is so united with Christ as to be part of himself. St. Paul did not put the cross of Christ in the place of Christ, when he said, "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." So neither do we put the Sacraments in the place of Christ, when we teach our children that they are means of grace, and pledges to assure us thereof. When we speak of a Sacrament, we mean an act of Christ, and thereby no more to be disparaged or thought lightly of, than the Saviour himself. It is true, that an outward ministry seems to be given to men; but not so, that they can add to, or impair the grace and power of the Sacrament: except so far as to make it ineffectual to themselves, and a means of condemnation rather than of grace. So also there was a hem of Christ's garment, which a faithful woman touched and was healed: and there was a brazen serpent, to which the Israelites looked up and were saved: but they were not saved by what they saw or by what they touched; but, (it is truly said in Wisdom,) by "Thee, that art the Saviour of all."
That every act and every ordinance of Christ must be in itself a means of grace, must be evident from the consideration that God can do nothing in vain. It may be permitted for wise ends that some men should make the grace
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of God of none effect; but they cannot make grace to be no grace; they cannot alter the character of the Divine perfection by the imperfection of man. God cannot be said to hold his power subject to any condition or contingency whatever: his grace is no less divine and perfect, when it is rejected of man, than when it is received. Christ was no less the Son of God when he came to his own, and his own received him not, than when he was seen of angels, and received up into glory. And everything which is His, His Cross, His Body, His Blood, His Sacraments, even the hem of His garment, may be at His will a means of grace, as part of Himself, and so united with His own Divine nature, as to be able to transmit the power and virtue of the Godhead. Can we believe that handkerchiefs and aprons carried from the bodies of the Apostles, were the means of healing to the sick, and that even the shadow of an apostle was believed to have a like virtue; and yet doubt whether Christ imparts His power to any ordinances of His own appointment, which are still His own acts, not the acts of His ministers; for we are but the clay which He moulds according to His will, when He puts forth His heavenly power to give sight to the blind.
Whenever therefore I speak to you of a Sacrament, I wish to be understood to mean an
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act of Christ himself, a covenanted course of grace by which He works according to His own appointment and will. Let us be the clay, the hem of the garment, the handkerchief, the shadow, anything which may best express our conviction, that we are mere instruments in the hand of our Lord, and could have no power at all, except it were given us from above. We can neither make nor mar a Sacrament, except so far as to cut ourselves off from all share in it; we can add nothing to its efficacy, except the general power of intercession, by which, in these as well as in every other ordinance, the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. It is not to exalt the Priesthood that we think highly of the Sacraments; but it is to give glory to Christ.
We come now to inquire what is necessary to the due effect of the Sacraments. Our course of thought upon this subject will flow naturally from the first recognition of the holiness and excellence of a Sacrament in itself. For if a gem be beyond all price, though its setting can never be of equal value, yet the owner will take care that it shall be of the purest metal, and the best workmanship that can be obtained. Our belief that the Sacraments are the work of Christ himself, must lay upon us the obligation of seeking for the best
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system by which they may be duly ministered. But this system will always be the mere setting, not the gem itself; and must on no account be confounded with the Sacrament. Such a system the Fathers of the Church of England desired to frame; and though much of their intention has fallen into disuse, there seems to be no part of it which does not deserve to be revived.
First, it is evident that the whole Church system for the administration of the Sacrament of Baptism depends upon the sponsorial office, and the ordinance of Confirmation. This is the safeguard which she provides for the inestimable jewel of Baptismal grace, which she believes to have been imparted to the infant. As her prayer is, that every child regenerated in Baptism may lead the rest of his life according to that beginning; so her endeavour is, by wise precautions and pious counsel, to act in the spirit of her prayer, in training up the child of God to be a perfect man in the "measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." The only valid objections that can be made to infant Baptism are grounded upon the neglect of the sponsorial duties, and the omission of Confirmation. "Corruptio optimi est pessima," is a sound maxim, teaching us, that to suffer a baptized child to grow up as a
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heathen, is a sin of a deadly kind; because the more pure and holy his state in infancy, so much the more deplorable will be his fall from grace. If the jewel had been of small value, we should not have mourned for the loss of it: but what remorse can ever atone for the loss of a soul, once born again to be a child of God, and then suffered to perish by our neglect? It were better, said our Lord, that a millstone were hanged about a man's neck, and he drowned in the deep of the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
It is not necessary to say anything now of parental care, because it belongs to the laws of nature, rather than to the system of the Church; but I invite your most serious attention to the sponsorial duties, in order that we may agree among ourselves in what way we may carry out the rule of the Church with the fullest effect. It appears to be highly necessary to restrict the unlimited admission of all persons to the office of sponsor. The twenty-ninth Canon excludes parents from the office, with a view, no doubt, to provide an additional security for the education of the child; the parents being presumed to be already interested in the work. The same Canon also excludes young persons, who are not of age to receive the Holy Communion; not, as some have supposed, all persons but
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those who are regular Communicants. The object clearly is to take care that none but persons competently instructed in the doctrines of Christianity be received as sponsors. Following out this principle, it appears to be necessary that we should carefully enrol the names of all persons in each district fit and willing to undertake the sponsorial office: and that the parents be allowed to select from that number the persons in whom they have most confidence. It will form part of this plan to add a column to the Baptismal Register for the names of the sponsors; and that this should be considered in the light of a compact between them and the Church, that they will discharge to the best of their ability the duties which they have undertaken.
For the satisfaction of all persons so engaging themselves as godfathers and godmothers, it is necessary that the duties undertaken should be clearly defined. The Church system has suffered in this respect, not only from laxity of principle and ignorance, but also from right feeling carried to an excess. Those who are best qualified for the office often shrink from it for fear of the solemn responsibility which they incur. The reckless promise every thing, and discredit the system, which seems to connive at falsehood and hypocrisy. It is evident that there must
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be something wrong, when a provision, so necessary in itself, and so highly revered by many, is for that very reason refused and thrust off upon the unworthy.
We shall find the cause of the evil in the right feeling which some carry to an excess, in judging of the duty of a sponsor. First, the office has no necessary connexion with the sacrament itself, for the private baptism of infants in sickness follows out the simple Scripture form. Nor is it the taking upon ourselves the Baptismal Covenant on behalf of another, so as to incur responsibility for his sins. Nor does it involve any duty of temporal support, such as a natural parent owes to his children; for then the number of our godchildren must be limited by our worldly substance, instead of being increased according to our power to impart spiritual good. But the obligations of the office are those only which are defined in the Baptismal service; and are all summed up in the one duty of Christian teaching and example. And surely no true Christian can shrink from this, which is no more than his covenanted duty to give to others as freely as he has received. An organized body of sponsors in every parish, composed of the Sunday School Teachers and District Visitors, holding themselves responsible for the education of their godchildren, till they
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should have discharged their obligation by presenting them to the Bishop to be Confirmed, would do more to remove all prejudices against infant Baptism than the most elaborate arguments founded on the practice of antiquity. Let men be taught to believe that there is a seed sown by the Spirit in Baptism; a daily grace to give it increase; an ordinance of the Church to fence it round; and a time appointed for its maturity, at which if it prove not itself to be a fruitful branch, it will be cut off from the root. All of us are interested in this tree of God's planting; and we must all combine our efforts, that "the wild boar of the wood may not root it up, nor the wild beast of the field devour it."
In pressing this point upon the laity, let us not be unmindful of our own greater share in the same duty. The peculiar state of this country makes it necessary that the Clergy should consider the sponsorial duty as peculiarly their own. There is an absolute impossibility in many places of procuring duly qualified sponsors for the children of the settlers living dispersed over wide tracts of country. One then of three courses must be taken: either we must accept unfit persons, which must be the worst course of all; or we must omit that part of the Baptismal Service, which I have no power to allow; or, which is not only the best, but the only
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course, we and our families must be ourselves the sponsors, with a written covenant with the parents, that we shall be allowed to discharge the duties to which we pledge ourselves. Every one of us will thus become a Christian schoolmaster, bound to instruct the young, and to feed the lambs of Christ, not only by his ordination promise, but by the sponsorial obligation, renewed again and again in frequent administration of Holy Baptism. The system by which I trust that God will enable us to discharge this duty in the most comprehensive manner, will be detailed hereafter when I come to that branch of my subject. There is one point of view in which this clerical sponsorship particularly recommends itself to our regard, namely, that we may be enabled thereby to baptize many children whom we must otherwise reject, from want of confidence that the parents will bring them up to a life in accordance with their baptismal promise. But I wish it to be distinctly understood, that I do not put this forward as a compulsory system, or one of which any parent may claim the benefit as a right; but as a mode in which Clergymen, at their own discretion, may fulfil the strict letter of the rule of the Church, and at the same time admit many infant children to baptism, with less danger of the sacrament being discredited by
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the ungodly lives of parents, or by the ignorance of sponsors.
On the administration of baptism to adults I have much to suggest, both from the observation of the present state of the native people, and from careful inquiry into the course pursued at all the Mission stations. In my remarks I shall endeavour to embody the substance of all the best opinions which I have taken upon the subject.
It seems to be almost generally agreed, that a hasty admission to baptism of candidates not duly prepared, is a course full of danger at the present time, when the first zeal of the native converts is beginning to grow faint. There is no resemblance between the case of New Zealand and that of India, or other countries where an obstinate superstition, and a strict round of positive duties, require the whole course of a man's life and thoughts to be changed before he can consent so much as to profess Christianity. There is no pride of caste to be given up by him who is taught by the Spirit to follow Christ. On the contrary, a New Zealander now gains in every respect by his conversion; he is set free from the tyranny of many useless and many dangerous customs; he is more respected by his countrymen; he is better received at every Mission station; he may look
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forward to employment as a native teacher, with a power and influence often exceeding that of the chief of his tribe. So far are our native people from being unwilling to profess Christianity, that I question whether a Missionary travelling throughout the whole country would meet with a hundred persons who would positively refuse to be baptized. If it were looked upon as a form, a mere outward compliance with an ordinance which involved a change neither of heart nor of life, there are very few whose adherence to their old system would be so strong as to make them reject the new. In fact, it is not an uncommon thing to find a party of natives living to all appearance in an entirely heathen state, but professing some form of Christian worship as a new badge of strife against their hereditary enemies. They have learned from us, that religion may be an occasion of schism, as well as a bond of charity.
It follows from tins observation of the native character that it is no wholesome exercise of zeal in a Missionary to swell the number of nominal converts by indiscriminate baptism. In my own case, so great is the difficulty which I feel in deciding upon the qualifications of candidates by a mere cursory examination, without a prolonged knowledge of their consistency of character, that I have been glad
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to avail myself of St. Paul's practice, as an example to abstain from baptizing, except in extreme cases, where the persons were at the point of death, or where there was no resident Missionary to whom the Candidates could be referred.
Another point of great importance, is uniformity of system and standard. We may not be able to come to an agreement with other religious bodies, but at least we may agree among ourselves. Though we may not be able to prevent our candidates from going elsewhere, in the hope of more speedy admission to Baptism; yet we may be able to take care among ourselves, that the laxity of some Missionaries shall not bring into disrepute the work of their neighbours, who think it their duty to be more strict. Let us agree upon our system of probation, which will perhaps be too tardy to please the ardent zeal of some, and too speedy to satisfy the extreme caution of others; but will at least have the merit of unity and consistency, the importance of which, those who know most of the native character will best be able to appreciate.
To secure these objects of a due and uniform probation of Candidates for Baptism, I have recommended the strict adherence to the Rubric for adult Baptism, where it is enjoined that
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timely notice shall be given to the Bishop, or whom he shall appoint for that purpose; that so due care may be taken for their examination, whether they be sufficiently instructed in the principles of the Christian religion. The persons appointed by me for that purpose, are the Archdeacons, with full power to delegate that authority to any clergyman sufficiently acquainted with the native language and character, provided he be willing to conform to the general rule by which the length of probation and standard of qualification is fixed.
It is evident that the Rubric quoted above applies more strongly to New Zealand than to England, for in this extensive Diocese the Bishop must delegate his duty to his official representatives, or cause a delay which would amount to a serious hindrance of the Mission work; and for the reasons already stated, there can be no country where more care is necessary for the "examination of candidates whether they be sufficiently instructed in the principles of the Christian religion." If it be said, that the intervention of the Archdeacon impairs the personal influence of the local Missionary, I would ask, whether that influence be not the very danger against which St. Paul cautioned the Corinthians, of dividing Christ by attaching converts to the name of Paul, or Cephas, or
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Apollos. Every other personal tie and holy sympathy between a Pastor and his flock is lawful and good, but Baptism is the admission of a soul into the whole family of God, not into the school or class of one of His ministers.
If, on the contrary, this he said to be a system which exalts the Archdeacon above other presbyters, I pray, in the name of our crucified Master, that we may never here discuss the question, "Which shall be the greatest?" It is to be hoped that the title of a "Dignitary" of the Church will never he heard in New Zealand. It is well said by the Venerable Bede, "that the title of Bishop is a name, not of honour, but of work;" and I appeal to one of my Archdeacons, whether I did not tell him, when he was following me on foot along the narrow track of a native path on the side of a wild hill, with a few faithful natives for our only retinue, that if I designed the office of Archdeacon to be a mere peacock's feather, to distinguish one clergyman above his brethren, I would not offer it to the acceptance of any one who had borne his Master's cross, in retirement and self-denial, in the Mission field. No earthly dignity, either in Church or State, can equal the moral grandeur of the leathern girdle and the raiment of camels' hair, or the going forth without purse or scrip, and yet lacking
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nothing. The course of life to which I invited the Archdeacons, was to unite with me in a combined system of helpfulness and work. There will be always some among us inexperienced in the ministry, and imperfectly acquainted with the native language; there will be some whom age or sickness hinders us from visiting their extensive districts, often exceeding the dimensions of an English county; there will be some who feel their loneliness, and think of the time when our Lord sent forth his first Missionaries two and two; there will be some who will feel that their converts need some new voice to confirm their counsel and make it sink into their hearts; there will be some who, trusting that the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much, still trust even more to the special promise of our Lord to the two or three who shall be gathered together in His name, and shall agree as touching anything that they shall ask; there will be some who, knowing the carelessness of the native mind, will desire to invest their celebration of Holy Baptism, not with superstitious rites, but with the solemnity of a concourse of ministers, with the fervency of their united prayers, and the deep instruction of their varied exhortations, all leading men to Christ; and these and the like feelings will make many desire the presence of their Bishop
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or their Archdeacon, and rather claim it of us as a due, than resent it as an intrusion, when it is felt that we come, not as being "lords over God's heritage, or as having dominion over your faith;" but as "ensamples to the flock, and as helpers of your joy."
DISCIPLINE. -- The careful preparation of Candidates for Baptism may be advantageously followed up by a further interval before the Converts are admitted to Confirmation, and to the Lord's Supper. Many of you must have observed, that Baptism, followed by partaking of the Holy Communion, is often looked upon as an act to be done once for all, rather than as the beginning of a course of religious duty to be continued through life. We do not find that the steady number of our Communicants increases in proportion to the number of Baptisms. Many shrink from the continual effort which is required of those who attend regularly the preliminary instruction before the administration of the Lord's Supper. To meet this natural tendency of the weaker order of minds, it seems to be desirable to prolong the interval before Confirmation; and to require the same stated attendance on the instruction of the Missionary, as was necessary for a candidate for Baptism. The duties of religion, and especially the Holy Communion, may thus be represented
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to their minds, not as single acts, but as steady habits of Christian duty requiring a sustained zeal and perseverance till death. It will be my desire to give full eifect to this system by personally examining all the Candidates for Confirmation before their admission.
On the admission of Native Converts to the Lord's Supper I have nothing to remark, because I find the good practice of previous instruction generally adopted. I have only to encourage my Missionary brethren to persevere in the plan, which they have long followed, of assembling their Communicants for prayer, Scripture reading, and catechizing, at least one day before the celebration of the Sacrament.
But I have much to remark under the head of Discipline, on the exclusion of offenders from the Lord's Supper. I find that the native mind has run wild upon the love of power, and the eagerness to wield the censures of the Church. A native teacher will often do in his own village what I should have recourse to with fear and trembling, and only in extreme cases, in the English towns. It is a matter of history, that nothing is more fatal to the exercise of real discipline, than the assumption of unwarranted authority. The excessive rigour of native judgments, the public and unscriptural mode of trial of the offender, the absence
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of all desire to bring back and reconcile those who have been excommunicated, are evils which lie at the root of the whole Native Teacher System, and threaten to overthrow it before a supply of Clergymen can be trained up to undertake their work. No better course can be adopted, than to follow strictly the rule of our Lord in Matt, xviii. 15-17, beginning first with private admonition; then with the addition of two or three witnesses; and lastly by an appeal to the authority of the Church. It ought to be impressed upon the Native Teachers, that they have only authority to admonish and report to their minister, but no authority whatever to excommunicate the offender. By holding a public trial, and exposing a weak brother to the shame of having his offence discussed before all the men, women, and even the children of the place, we shall harden his heart against every thought of penitence, and defeat the main object of Church discipline, which is not punishment, but repentance and reconciliation.
You will see the difficulty in which I am placed by the excessive and arbitrary rigour of discipline in the Native Church, and by the total absence of it in the English settlements. We cannot allow this state of things to continue without exposing alike our laws and our
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lawlessness to the contempt of all thinking men. A moderate exercise of penitential correction, uniformly acted upon in all cases without distinction of persons, would be a blessing to the country, and fulfil the wish which we express on Ash Wednesday, that the godly discipline of the primitive Church may be restored. I am well aware that there is no function of my office more difficult of administration than this; and that I shall incur the suspicions of many in attempting to exercise it. But it is impossible to doubt, that a law is right which is enjoined in Scripture, and that a course is practicable which is actually practised by all other Christian communities but our own. The strict communions and the prompt expulsion of notorious evil livers are the boast of all the dissenting bodies, and the point of all others upon which they regard their system as superior to that of the Church. Not that we can be said to recognise no penitential system of discipline, but that we seldom put it into operation. And thus we are censured for every ungodly sinner who continues among us unreproved, and for every notorious profligate whose remains we consign to the earth with the same words of "sure and certain hope of a joyful resurrection." And worse than all, it is not we alone that suffer, for it may be good for
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us to be reviled, but our erring brethren, for whom Christ died, may be lost for ever by our timidity, for lack of that solemn, and even awful warning which the Church prescribes, but which we dare not pronounce.
If we seek the cause of all failure of Church discipline among ourselves, while it remains in force among other religious communities, we shall find, I think, that our Church departed from her vantage ground when she sought the aid of the secular arm to enforce her censures. It was not the mourning of the mother over the child whom she repels from her bosom; it was not the Church of the apostles holding the keys, and one day using them to exclude the sinner, and the next day to readmit the penitent: but it was the merging of her own spiritual authority in worldly ordinances; and, "as if unworthy to judge the smallest matters," vacating the power which she had received to judge angels and the world. (1 Cor. vi. 2, 3.) In the train of this false alliance with the civil power came the vain and fatal attempts to constrain men to uniformity, not by force of reason, or by her own purity of doctrine, but by the terrors of the law: till men "started aside like a broken bow," and the power which had been abused to coerce conscience, became useless for its own proper work of reforming sin.
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In endeavouring to establish in our infant Church a moderate and guarded system of discipline, we seem to be guided by two great principles: to assert no more authority than Christ gives and requires us to use, and in the exercise of that authority to rely only on the law of God, and the inherent power of the Church. First of all we must make it clear to all men that Church discipline is a ministry of love; a warning given in this world to save a soul from perdition in the life to come. It must never be confounded with human notions of retribution or punishment; for we know Him who has said: "Vengeance is mine, I will repay." It must never be severed from its twin principle of reconciliation; for the door of forgiveness is open to the repentant sinner, to the number of seventy times seven sins.
The last solemn warning, when all other have failed, is the sentence of excommunication. And if we cannot be safe in withholding the lower and less striking warning, how can we dare, in extreme cases, to keep back that which is the most solemn and impressive of all? To allow a man to go down without repentance to his grave, while any means remained untried for his conversion, would be worse than the act of a physician, who, having tried many of the usual remedies in vain, suffered the sick man to
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die without trying the effect of the strongest of all. What a false charity is this, to shrink from giving pain, while time is still allowed for repentance; and so to leave the pain to be felt first in all its agony, when repentance will be unavailing.
Neither can the conscience of a clergyman be at ease in consigning to the grave the corpse of a notorious evil liver, with the same solemn words of faith and hope, which he pronounces over the grave of the penitent: and this has been felt by many clergymen as so heavy a burden, that they have risked legal penalties, and the ill-will of their parishioners, rather than read the Burial Service over those who have been cut off in unrepented sin. And it is true that the law of the Church, which is also the law of the land, expressed in the rubric before the Burial Office, directs that it shall not be used for any that die excommunicate. But if the appointed warnings of the Church have not been pronounced, if the sinner has not had the benefit of every motive to repentance that the Gospel supplies; we are not the persons to cast the first stone at him, but must take a share of his guilt upon ourselves, upon the Church which has not worked out its penitential system of discipline, and upon the Minister who has withheld from his sinful brother the last and
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strongest warning to repentance. On no account can we express over the dead corpse the censures which we ought to have addressed to the living man for the reformation of his life.
In no other way can we come to peace of conscience in the discharge of our ministry, than by fulfilling the law of the Church relating to discipline. Neither can a clergyman discharge his full duty to a sinner while he withholds from him any of the appointed warnings of the Gospel; nor can he avoid the obligation to use the Burial Office, without alteration or omission, unless the final warning shall have been given in the most solemn form of excommunication. It remains then only to state, what seems to be the practical course to which we are bound to adhere. In few words: if any parishioner, after repeated warnings, continues to live in such a state, that his clergyman could not with a safe conscience use the Burial Service over his grave, he must be presented formally to the Bishop, to be by him again and again admonished and exhorted to repent. As a last resource, and with fear and searching of heart, I would pronounce the sentence of excommunication, which would release you from the obligation of violating your own consciences by giving Christian burial to one who persisted in an unchristian course of life. This burden
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falls upon me, and not upon you, and, with God's help, I will not shrink from it. God forbid that you should incur the hatred of your people, or raise up angry passions over the graves of the dead; let it be known to be your plain duty, from which you cannot swerve; founded on a law which you cannot alter; commended to your conscience by reasons drawn from the word of God itself; and directed in its special application by an authority to which you have promised obedience.
The question has sometimes been asked, how far a clergyman may be compelled by law to bury a corpse. In England there is no doubt that he may be compelled to bury all persons except those who come within the three classes specified in the Rubric, viz. those who die unbaptized, or excommunicate, or who have laid violent hands upon themselves. But the point has not yet been settled how far the general principle adopted in the colony, of the equal rights of all religious bodies, implies also an equal responsibility for all duties of a burdensome nature. Where the burial-grounds are exclusively in the possession of the Church, and the rites of sepulture can be administered only by the clergyman, it is reasonable that he should bury all persons against whom none of the excepted objections can be alleged. But
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where every community of Christians has its own burial-ground, and space is allowed, where all who have declined to attach themselves to any religious body may be buried according to the discretion of their friends, it will probably be seen to be a just conclusion, that the Church of England should not be required by law to administer its ordinances to any but its own members. But I must at once warn you, that no system of Ecclesiastical law has yet been framed for the Colonies, though the subject has not escaped the attention of His Grace the Primate. In many essential points the Ecclesiastical law of England seems to be inapplicable to the Colonial Church; but at present we can do no more than conform our practice as closely as we can to such laws as we have.
There are many other questions of discipline, upon which, for the same reasons, I cannot give you complete satisfaction. The Marriage Law of the Colony has been discussed by the Colonial Legislature. As regards our own Church, the difficulty is felt only in the case of marriages formerly performed by laymen among our own body, in places where the presence of a Clergyman could not be obtained. Such cases have been brought under my notice; and I have been unable to certify that the marriages were
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legal, though, under the circumstances, I should be far from asserting that the contracting parties were guilty of sin. The safe course which I have recommended is, that the marriage should be again solemnized by a Clergyman, which would remove all doubts of conscience, and the question of the legitimacy of the issue already born is settled by the Colonial ordinance. Our course of proceeding is now more clear; and I must request you, my reverend brethren, to attend scrupulously to all the formalities of marriage required in England; viz. the previous notice by application for banns; the canonical hours of the forenoon; and the public celebration in the church or chapel of the parish or district. You will remember that no laxity permitted by any Colonial ordinance in favour of any other body of Christians, can set aside the obligation by which we are bound to conform to the Church law of England, till it shall have been altered by an authority equal to that by which it was enacted.
A very important branch of this subject arises from the intermarriage of the two races. In many instances, especially in the Southern Islands, alliances with native women were formed by our countrymen, before they had any opportunity of being lawfully married. Wherever I have found upon inquiry that such
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persons have lived faithfully together as man and wife, (in some cases for many years,) I have not scrupled to marry them immediately. Every other case will have to be judged upon its own merits. The danger on the one hand is, that marriage will be contracted as a mere cloak for sin, and that the native wife will be deserted by her husband as soon as it suits his convenience. On the other hand, there are numerous instances of a union apparently not less sincere or lasting than those contracted between persons of our own race. To discourage such marriages altogether, or to refuse to solemnize them, would be to attempt to resist the inevitable progress of amalgamation, which may be desirable if conducted with the sanctions of religion. You will use your own discretion in examining the circumstances of each case as it occurs, with especial reference to the probability of the permanence of the union. If you have reason to believe that the husband and wife would soon be put asunder, it will clearly be your duty to refuse to pronounce that they have been "joined together by God."
Many questions having been addressed to me on the subject of divorce, I am thankful to be able to state at once that I have no power or jurisdiction whatever in such matters. I believe that the difficulty of obtaining a divorce is one
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great security against the occurrence of the only cause for which it could be claimed, in accordance with the precept of the Gospel. Most certainly I will never consent to assist in introducing into this country any system by which the offending parties, if they are rich enough to incur the expense of the process, can obtain legal sanction for their unlawful desires, and bring in a second breach of the law of Christ as a direct consequence of the first. Though I am in doubt upon the general question, upon this point it is my duty to speak clearly and decisively, that in the event of any power being created in the Colony by which divorces can be pronounced, you have my full authority to refuse to remarry those who have been divorced, and I will take upon myself the consequences of your refusal. We must obey the law of Christ at all hazards, whatever may be the ordinances of men.
In the case of those persons who have lived together in a state of sin, and then desire to be married, the old rule of the Church was, (and in some cases I have already seen the good effect of the regulation,) that they should consent to a temporary separation, lest the Church should seem to lend its ordinances to gloss over sin, without requiring any signs or acts of repentance. The time of this separation
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will depend upon the circumstances of each particular case, but I think that it ought never to exceed one year.
A doubt seems to have occurred, whether unbaptized persons could be married with the rites of the Church. In the case of unbelievers I think that we ought not to use the Christian ordinances; but where persons have already professed their belief, and are only hindered from baptism by the prescribed course of probation, I see no reason to think that they may not rightly receive the marriage benediction. As a practical observation founded upon the state of the native people, I should very much prefer that marriage should be allowed first, to be followed by baptism in its own convenient season, than that baptism should be unduly hurried as a qualification for marriage. There is a doubt in either case which may be expressed in the form of a dilemma. We hesitate to marry persons because they are not baptized; and we hesitate to baptize them because they are living in sin. No doubt the clear course would be to postpone marriage and enforce separation till both persons had been duly examined and baptized; but we must remember that we are legislating for a Church of proselytes, and that there is a rule of the Gospel which teaches us not to put new wine into old bottles. The
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doubt is of a temporary nature, and in the next generation, we may hope, will be entirely removed by the administration of infant baptism. On the general discipline of the Church as prescribed in the Prayer-book, I feel bound to offer a few words of earnest advice. It is generally an unsafe principle to accept part of a benefit, and to reject the rest. It is as true of the Prayer-book as it is of the Bible, that the book, the whole book, and nothing but the book, is the standard of our practice. Not indeed that they are enacted by the same law, for one is of God, and the other of man; but a law, by whatsoever power it be enacted, may not be broken or impaired by those who accept its benefits and place themselves under its protection. If they disapprove of the law, provided it be of man, they may use all lawful influence to procure the repeal of it, either altogether or in part; but as long as it remains in force, it is one law, to be taken as a whole, with the caution of St. James, that whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. I cordially unite with all those who devoutly thank God for all the blessings of the Reformation, and acknowledge the sacred deposit of pure truth and scriptural devotion which we have inherited in the Liturgy and Articles of our
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Church. But I cannot go one step with those who maintain the right to alter and omit such portions of our formularies as may not be in accordance with their own feelings and views. There seems to he no alternative, but either to take the whole, or to reject the whole. If once we begin the work of alteration, each in his own narrow circle of prejudice, under the influence at least, perhaps under the dominion, of our congregations, the substance of that sacred deposit will melt away till scarcely a trace of it remain, while we are glorying in the deaths of the martyrs who fought the good fight of faith at the Reformation, and boasting of our devoted antagonism to Rome. With calmer feelings perhaps than some of which we have heard and read, but with no less stedfast opposition to error, without railing accusations, or hard names, or private interpretations of prophecy, or any other of the false and carnal arms of controversy, may we be strengthened by Divine grace to oppose army to army, discipline to discipline, unity to unity, order to order; adding to the truth, in which we are already strong, the bond of system and the watchword of obedience.
I freely avow, (and who can do otherwise with a safe conscience?) that there is no rule of the Prayer-book which I feel at liberty to
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alter, or which I do not desire to practise myself, and to recommend to you. In the present circumstances of the country I shall not attempt to prescribe the exact degree of conformity to the letter of the Rubric which is to be expected from every one. I am well aware that my own ministrations are as irregular as those of any of my brethren; that in vestments, services, times, and modes of Divine worship, I am guided by the state of the case, rather than by a rigid adherence to any prescribed rule. It is a sound principle, never to suffer any point of primary importance to be neglected for want of some secondary adjunct. It is our duty to be ready to preach the Gospel at all places, at all times, and under all circumstances: and many are the times when we have all gathered our native congregations under some shady tree, with as much comfort as if we had met within the walls of a cathedral. But it is a rule no less sound than the other, never to be disorderly where it is possible to do all things decently and in order. We can avoid superstition, without running into the opposite extreme of denying to the service of God the ordinary proprieties of cleanliness and arrangement, which we value and practise in our own domestic life. The care of sacred things is not an idolatry of inanimate matter, but a recog-
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nition of the unseen God, to whose service they have been dedicated. It has been deemed worthy of record in the Gospel, that Christ, when he had ended his reading, closed the book, and delivered it to the minister, to be deposited no doubt in its proper place, to be preserved from injury and desecration. No event ever happened on earth more awful than the Resurrection, yet it was a work not unworthy of the care of the angels, even at that solemn season, to lay the linen clothes by themselves, and to wrap together the napkin that was about the head in a place by itself. Even the linen cloth which had touched the most holy Sin Offering, was holy in the sight of those heavenly ministers. In a like spirit, the last words which St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians before he began his sublime discourse on the resurrection, were the words of the rule already quoted: "Let all things be done decently and in order." The more solemn the subject or occasion, the more contrary to its tone and spirit will be the appearance of irreverence and neglect.
In the use of the Liturgy, to which you are well aware that we are bound to confine our public ministrations, I can freely authorize you to return to the practice, in use before the time of Archbishop Grindal, of dividing the distinct services of Morning Prayer, the Litany, and
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the Holy Communion. Most of us are engaged in four public services every Lord's Day; two in the native language, besides the usual school; and two to our English congregations. Even if it be within the compass of our strength to perform the whole service in every case, it often happens that the time will not admit of it, when the places are far apart. Some consideration is also due to the feelings of our native converts, who are naturally less capable than ourselves of deriving benefit from any long service. All that I have to request is, that the separate services may be performed entire, and not mutilated or garbled by omission or intermixture; and that such an order may be observed, as will give to all an equal prominence, and thereby impress them all equally upon the minds of the people. Where there are three congregations, the Morning Prayer might be read in one, the Litany in another, and the Communion Service in the third; and the order should be so observed, that the whole Morning Service may be read in all the congregations every three weeks. Where there are two congregations, the Morning Prayer might be read in one, and the Litany with the Communion Service in the other; the order being alternated as before. In all cases a sermon ought to be added, and the rule to be observed,
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that the Communion Service shall always he read on the day appointed for the Holy Communion. The same principle will apply to all places where the church accommodation is not sufficient for the inhabitants. You will be at liberty to divide the Morning Service into two parts, and perform them to different congregations assembling in the same church, with a sermon to each. This regulation will apply particularly to the garrison towns, where the military are in sufficient numbers to form a congregation by themselves. But I must caution you against allowing the military service to be conducted on any other than the general rule, as we are taught to look upon all men alike as members of our congregration; and we would rather see them united with ourselves in social prayer, if the size of our churches would admit of it. At least we can take care that the same uniform provision both for prayer and instruction be made for all classes of our people. I commend especially to the care of the Clergymen of the English towns, this deeply interesting body of our inhabitants, of whom, while we require that they shall risk their lives in our defence, we must also take account that they may not be unprepared to enter suddenly into eternity.
SYSTEM. -- The general survey of the state
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and prospects of the Diocese, has convinced me that we shall require a most comprehensive system of church polity to give effect, under the Divine blessing, to our ministerial efforts. In a country as large as Great Britain, and much more difficult to be traversed, I should feel myself almost powerless, if there were not reason to hope, that by a wise combination of all the parts and members of our body, we may multiply the powers of every single arm by the moving force of a body "compacted with that which every joint supplieth." This is the point in which you have been weak hitherto, for want of an authorized head, to gather together in one all the scattered elements of good which God has so bountifully bestowed upon your ministry. Where we have so little opportunity of communication one with another; and where every clergyman is therefore left to act in great measure according to his own discretion, whenever any difficulty occurs; it is most important that we should agree upon certain general principles, which may be our guide on all occasions when no counsel can be obtained. In conducting our Missionary duties the same necessity arises of doing everything as a part of a preconcerted plan; in order that we may be certain that all that we do is likely to promote the general work, and that no part
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of our efforts will be lost to the permanent interests of religion. "Let all things be done to edifying," said St. Paul, reproving the too desultory and unsystematic zeal of his Corinthian converts. Remember that you have a twofold work; not only to convert souls now, but to build up a Church which may be a means of blessing to generations yet unborn.
You will probably expect from me some remarks upon the character of my own office, and its bearing upon the Church system both of the Mission and of the Colony. I have reason to know that much anxiety was felt upon this point before my arrival, and even now I am not certain that it is so entirely removed, as to obviate the necessity of any further explanation. Convinced that one great hope of success in our ministry, is the most perfect understanding and cordial co-operation one with another, I shall not scruple to avow freely my understanding of the nature, powers, and obligations of my office.
You have heard already the definition of the Venerable Bede, that the Episcopate is a title, not of honour, but of work; and in that spirit I trust to be enabled to exercise my office. I do not consider myself exempt from any duty which can fall upon any Priest or Deacon in the Diocese, except so far as my own purely
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Episcopal duties shall absorb my time, and demand a priority of attention. "Only on the throne will I be greater" than you. It is not so much that I have vacated any other order to which I was formerly ordained, but that I have been consecrated to another office, the duties of which are added to those for which I was responsible before.
Upon this principle it follows at once, that I am placed here to act, not so much over you, as with you. For one point in which I seem to be placed over you, that is, in the power of coercion and government, there are many in which I am associated with you in the discharge of the duties of the same Divine Ministry. And even in the power of coercion, which I seem to exercise, it is not so much in my own person that I so act, as in the spirit of the whole Clergy, or rather of the Church Catholic, the execution of whose decrees is vested in me. I believe the monarchical idea of the Episcopate to be as foreign to the true mind of the Church, as it is adverse to the Gospel doctrine of humility. Let it never be thought that I alone am interested in the good government of our Church; and that you are merely subjects to obey. Whatever interest I have in the work, you have also. If an offending brother is to be brought under the censure of the Church, what
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am I but the organ of the general sense of the Clergy, which demands that the unclean thing shall he put away, as a scandal to their order? I might consult my own ease by conniving at disorder; but you would reap the bitter fruit in the decay of your influence, and in the growing indifference, if not contempt, of your people. You must recognise therefore a joint interest in the office of the Bishop, looking upon him not as a tyrant to compel you to do what you would not; but as your own agent and instrument to carry into effect what you know to be right, and wish to do, but which you could not accomplish of yourselves.
It was in days of persecution and of danger, when the crown of martyrdom was at hand, that Cyprian said to his presbyters, "I will do nothing in your absence;" and in proportion as we feel the difficulties and sorrows of our work, the loss of our dear brethren in the ministry, the falling away of our native converts, and the growth of evil; so much the more are we drawn together into one cause, resolved to allow no questions of dignity, no private interests, to rend asunder our social system and divide our house against itself. We have difficulties enough to overcome, without adding to them the only one which is insuperable, that of disunion among ourselves. The expressive ma
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of our native language, I pray may always be affixed to my name. I would rather resign my office, than be reduced to act as a single and isolated being. In such a position, my true character, I conceive, would be entirely lost.
It remains then to define, by some general principles, the terms of our co-operation. They are simply these: that neither will I act without you, nor can you act without me. The source of all diocesan action is in the Bishop; and therefore it behoves him so much the more to take care that he act with a mind informed and reinforced by conference with his Clergy. He cannot delegate his power of action to any, for it is inherent in himself; but he may guard himself from arbitrary and ill-considered acts, by giving to his council a salutary power of control. In works of which the effect must depend upon moral influence and willingness of heart, it is better not to act at all, than to act against the declared opinion of those who are conjointly interested in the plan, and mainly responsible for the execution of it. The evil of not acting at all is generally less than that of acting wrong. But in all such cases of doubt, leading to a suspension of action, the safe course will be to refer the whole question to the Archbishop, and to receive his decision as final.
Upon these principles, the power of our
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Diocesan Synod may be thus defined: that it has no power to act of itself, but to advise the Bishop in the exercise of the functions of his office, and in extreme cases of difference of opinion, to refer the question by appeal to the Archbishop. But it must be clearly understood, that a council so constituted has no power to advise the Bishop to act beyond the authority inherent in his office. It cannot make or confer new powers, but can only direct the use of such as are already vested in him by the decrees of the Catholic Councils, or the laws of the English Church. We shall not be at liberty to discuss alterations in the Liturgy, or points of doctrine, or the authority of our version of the Bible; for all these and similar points have been decided by a general Convocation, and by the same power only can they be altered. But our chief work, restricted within its own proper sphere, will be to frame and carry out such a diocesan government among ourselves, in things peculiar to our own state, as may tend to give stability to our work already begun, and by God's help to perpetuate the same blessings to our children.
I have already offered some remarks upon the office of the Archdeacons, which will have shown that I regard their office in the same light as my own; not as a dignity, but as a
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designation to a particular work in the ministry. It has been suggested to me by some of my brethren, that by the appointment of Archdeacons an addition is made to the three Scriptural orders of Bishop, Priest, and Deacon. I have never met with a Clergyman who objected to be placed in authority over his Parish Clerk, on the ground that the latter office is not recognised in Scripture. I fear that we all, by the tendency of our fallen nature, prefer "having soldiers under us," to being ourselves "men under authority." The same objection will apply to the office of Archbishop, but I trust that I shall never be tempted on that account to withdraw my allegiance, even in thought, from that meek and holy servant of God, at whose hands I received the episcopal consecration, and who I doubt not, while he exercises his mild authority over us, daily offers up his own humble submission to the Spiritual Head of the universal Church.
It ought to be remembered that the office of Archdeacon has existed from time immemorial, even in the limited Dioceses of Great Britain; and therefore may be presumed to be tenfold more necessary in a Diocese like this, where nothing but the continuance of health and strength could enable a Bishop to exercise a personal supervision over the Clergy. And
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I may also remark, that the question was not whether Archdeacons should he appointed in this Diocese or not, for it had long been the practice of the British Government to appoint Archdeacons for the Colonies. The only question was, whether they should be appointed by the Crown as the fountain of honour, or by the Bishop as the representative of the ministry of the Church, to be by him incorporated with the general system of the Diocese. My reverend brethren, by whom the objection has been raised, would have found, I think, more reason to object to State Archdeacons, as placed in invidious distinction from their brethren. But so long as Bishops and Archdeacons are distinguished chiefly by the more onerous duties which are laid upon them, and by the thousands of miles of sea and land which they are obliged to traverse, they can plead with truth that it is a hard-earned distinction, which, but for their duty, they would be content to resign.
It is my intention, as soon as the state of the Diocese shall seem to require it, to subdivide every Archdeaconry into Rural Deaneries, with the same object of promoting the work of the Clergy by more effective organization. The special duty of the Rural Dean within his District will be the administration of the Holy Communion in places where there is no resident Priest,
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and the periodical visitation of newly formed communities and straggling settlements, not yet reduced into regular Parishes. He will also be charged with the duty of inspecting schools, and recommending the most promising scholars for admission into the Collegiate Institutions. Wherever it may be possible, he will assemble the Clergy of his Deanery half yearly or quarterly for prayer and counsel, and receive their reports of the state and wants of their Parishes. He will provide, as far as possible, for the regularity of the ministrations of Divine Service throughout his Deanery, by lending his own personal assistance during the sickness or absence of any of his Clergy. For these purposes, the Archdeacons and Rural Deans will usually have another Clergyman associated with them in their work, to leave them free to visit any place where their presence may seem to be most required.
It is not necessary to enlarge upon the duties of those who belong to the holy Order of the Priesthood, farther than to say, that it will be my endeavour to exempt them from all those complex cares, which in parochial duty, as practised in England, distract them from the main purpose of their ministry. The cure of souls alone is the object to which they ought to he free to devote all the powers of their body
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and mind. The day may still be far distant, when every order of the Ministry will know its own appointed work, and be free to follow it; we may all of us for a time be obliged to become "all things to all men, that we may save some;" but let us keep steadily in view the principle, on which the Apostles appointed the Deacons, that they might "give themselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word."
On the restoration of the distinctive character of the Order of Deacons will depend much of the efficiency of our system, We must not put off upon hirelings the duty of feeding the lambs of Christ. That expedient has been tried in the mother country and has failed. It does not succeed, even where trained schoolmasters are to be obtained; how then can it succeed, where such men are not to be found? It fails chiefly because it does not teach Christianity. It teaches the Bible as a class-book, and religion as a system of forms, and doctrine as so much head knowledge; but it does not impart the living spirit, without which all knowledge is vain; it does not purify the affections, or sanctify the heart. There is no remedy in England, none in New Zealand, but one. Those who teach religion, must be those who feel its power. We must be ourselves the school-
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masters. This must be the distinctive office of a Deacon, and I, as a Deacon Bishop, will take my full share in the work.
The state of the native youth requires us to direct our most earnest attention to the organization of a complete School system throughout the Mission. As a sketch of the plan to be pursued, I would suggest that Day Schools be formed under the direction of the Native Teachers in every village; and that the Missionary of the district, at his periodical visits, select from these the most hopeful scholars, to be kept in probation under his own eye, at the Mission station, till he can safely recommend them to the Archdeacon, on his annual visitation, as eligible candidates for the Central School. The most hopeful of the scholars of the Central School may be trained in the Native Teachers' Institution, to be thence allotted, from time to time, as schoolmasters under the Missionaries, to reside with them, and assist them in the duties of their Stations, till they see fit to place them out as teachers in the native villages at a distance from the Station. From among the teachers so trained and approved I should hope to be able hereafter to select Candidates for Holy Orders. Unless we gather in the rising generation they will be scattered abroad. When I look at the state of the native
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youth, many hundreds of whom I have examined, I cannot fail to call to mind the words of a late eminent commander in Canada, founded on his observation of the North American Indians, "Unless you can succeed in getting the entire control of the rising generation, I fear that the labours of your Missionaries will disappoint you."
If Education in this Diocese must be mainly conducted by the Clergy, it is evident that we shall require large reinforcements of men. But we must not look to the English Universities, for the Missionary spirit is not yet strong in them; nor must we trust to the effect of Missionary Meetings, or Sermons, for many give their guineas, or their speeches, or their pulpits; but few give themselves or their children. We may hope for some help from the College of St. Augustine, lately revived at Canterbury, and presided over by one, who himself has known by long experience the wants of a Colonial Diocese. That institution was founded and fostered by the dearest friends that I have in the world, to whom this country is indebted for more benefits than I can ever duly acknowledge; and from it I may expect such a measure of assistance as may be compatible with the duty which it acknowledges to the world at large. But our main dependence must be in
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God's blessing upon our own united and systematic endeavours to gather from within our own Colony, all that is most hopeful and promising both of the English and native youth.
It is my deliberate purpose to open the door of admission to the ministry to all classes of the community, by providing such a system of education throughout the country, as may bring the most deserving youth under the eye of the Clergy, to be by them recommended to the Diocesan College, for the completion of their education. It will be my endeavour so to regulate the expenses of the system, that poverty shall never be a bar to any young man of exemplary character. The general outline of this plan has already been sketched in the Church Almanac, and contains the following principal features.
The Primary or Parochial Schools being under the charge of the Deacon of the parish, it will be his duty to recommend to the Bishop from time to time his most promising scholars, to be admitted into the Grammar School of the place, or into the class of the Deacon's private pupils. The expense of the education of the pupils so recommended will be paid, in some cases, from the public fund. All vacancies in the Exhibitions and Scholarships at the Diocesan College will be filled up by election of
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the most deserving of the exhibitioners in the District Grammar Schools. From the Scholars of the Diocesan College the Bishop will select his candidates for Holy Orders.
Every Pupil will be required to learn and practise some useful art, by which he may obtain a livelihood, if he should not ultimately be considered eligible for the Ministry. The necessity will thus be avoided of requiring from the scholars a declaration of their wish to enter the Ministry, at an age when their feelings can scarcely be trusted. Whenever it shall please God to make their course clear before them, and to show the power of His Holy Spirit in calling them to the Ministry, they will receive every encouragement to enter upon a more careful course of preparation.
I have now to call your attention to the proceedings of the Diocesan Synod of 1844, and to the revision of the Canons then agreed upon provisionally. They have not yet been published with any stamp of authority; and I do not wish that they should be considered as finally determined, till the fullest opportunity has been afforded to the whole Clergy of the Diocese to express their opinion, either in person or by writing. The only Protest which has been received against any of the Canons is now laid before the Synod.
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The new subject for our consideration this day is one of vast importance to the interests of the Church in New Zealand. It is the formation of a plan of Church Government, to be submitted to the Parochial Vestries, and to the Archbishop of Canterbury, as the basis of a body of Church Law for the Diocese of New Zealand. My attention was directed to the subject by Mr. Gladstone, while Secretary of State for the Colonies; and I will refer to the Synod his letter and correspondence with the Archbishop of Canterbury.
I have already detained you too long, my Reverend brethren, but I must plead as my excuse the infrequency of our meetings, and the importance of a Primary Charge in opening a clear principle of free communication between a Bishop and his Clergy. I shall now be most anxious to receive your remarks and suggestions, both on points of importance which I may have omitted to explain, and also on any statements or opinions in which I may seem to you to be in error. To all such suggestions I will give the fullest and most dispassionate consideration; and will either insert them in the corrected copy of my Charge, to be entered in the Registry of the Diocese, or, if I cannot assent to them, I will append them in the form
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of a protest, in order that it may be seen how far objections were raised at the Synod to the opinions expressed by myself. In the case of plans involving a course of action, I have already stated that I shall not force any measures against the declared opinion of the general body of the Clergy.
In conclusion, I will only in a few words refer to the same subject with which I began my address; viz. the importance of the duty which falls upon us from the peculiar state and prospects of the Church in this country. We ought not to be satisfied with any low scale of goodness in our Diocesan system; but aim at the best and most comprehensive measures that can be devised. We may hope everything for a Church so free and youthful as this. The model which I propose for our careful imitation, is the system of the Church Catholic, as restored and adapted to the use of the English Church by Archbishops Cranmer and Parker. By this I mean the pure spiritual system of the Church; but not the corruptions and abuses which were incrusted upon it by the statesmen of that time. The present state of the Church of England is a proof of the enormous evils which have sprung from the abuse of patronage, the perversion of ecclesiastical offices, and the worldliness of mind induced by the unequal distri-
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bution of the revenues of the Church. These we are not bound to imitate, but to cast them off, as evils which the Fathers of the Reformation recognised as blots upon their system, forced upon them by the State as the price of its support. The spiritual system of doctrine and discipline fixed by the Reformation is that to which we owe our unqualified allegiance, as agreeing with Scripture and with the practice of the Primitive Church.
While we adhere closely to this model, let us fear no remarks or censures by men of small experience and imperfect information. We must take the highest ground, both as a means of dignifying our work and of humbling ourselves. The more exalted the character of our duties, the more we must feel our own unworthiness, as St. Paul most keenly felt the sting of the thorn in the flesh, when he had been caught up, into the third heaven. We do not humble ourselves by disparaging our ministry, nor exalt ourselves by magnifying it. If it be true that the Fathers of our Church believed themselves to be ordained in an unbroken line of succession from the Apostles themselves; can we doubt that they felt their own inferiority to their great forerunners, for the same reason for which the Jews wept over the building of the second temple? If it be true that they believed
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the Sacraments to be means of grace, ordained by Christ himself; can we doubt that they felt their own unfitness to minister such holy mysteries ordained for the strengthening and refreshing of mankind? It is surely a false humility to lower our opinion of such truths as these, lest we should seem to take too much upon ourselves. We would not dare to lower the value of the righteousness of Christ, because we are sinful men to whom it is imputed. The highest view of every ordinance of God is the surest argument for our own self-abasement. Our dwarfish stature is seen at once, when we stand under the roof of a vast cathedral. To bring down God and His works to a level with ourselves, has the effect of raising us up, in our own conceit, to a level with God. When we think of Him in His glory which no man can approach unto, we must be content to cover our faces, and sit down at His footstool in the lowest place. The loftiness of His work is the proof both of His sufficiency, and of our unfitness for His ministry. This then is the summary of our practical duty: to glorify God in His Son, in His Church, in His Word, and in His Sacraments; and, as we exalt these things which are divine, to learn, in the like proportion, to abase ourselves. In the words of Archbishop Leighton, "If they that are called to
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this holy service, would themselves consider this aright, it would not puff them up, but humble them; comparing their own worthlessness with this great work, they would wonder at God's dispensation, that should thus have honoured them, as St. Paul in this connexion speaks of himself, as 'less than the least of all saints.' 1 So the more a man rightly extols this his calling, the more he humbles himself under the weight of it."
[Appeal for donations]
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IN BEHALF OF
ST. JOHN'S COLLEGE, NEW ZEALAND.
IT is already well known to the friends of the Bishop of New Zealand, that soon after his arrival in his Diocese he commenced a Collegiate Institution at the Waimate, near the Bay of Islands, for the training Candidates for Holy Orders, catechists, and schoolmasters, comprising also Elementary Schools for the children of Natives and British settlers. This College the Bishop has repeatedly spoken of in his letters as the "key and pivot" of all his operations. Eight students of the College have already been admitted to Deacon's orders, and stationed at various places in the Islands, where they will have under their inspection Schools for the children of settlers and natives; the most promising of whom will in course of time be elected to the Bishop's Collegiate School, and ultimately prepared for those offices in the Church for which they may seem best fitted by their capacities and acquirements. With respect to the most important part of the College system, the preparation for the Ministry, it is evident that the circumstances of an infant Colony, like New Zealand, render it indispensable that the Bishop should have personal and intimate knowledge of the candidates for ordination, which can only be attained by their residence for a fixed period under the Bishop's eye, at the Collegiate Institution.
The College having been in operation for more than two years at the Waimate, where the buildings were all of wood, and of which the tenure was only temporary, the Bishop found it necessary to remove, and obtained an excellent situa-
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tion about four miles from Auckland, easily accessible both by land and water, which has been purchased with part of the legacy left by the Rev. T. Whytehead, as an endowment for the College; and he feels that the time has now arrived for making an endeavour to erect suitable Collegiate buildings, which may at the same time secure to himself and all future Bishops a settled episcopal residence, and give permanence to an institution which it is hoped may be hereafter the nursery of the ministry, and the centre of sound learning and religious education to the islands of New Zealand.
The Bishop of New Zealand wishes therefore to invite the assistance of the members of the Church of England, and especially of his own friends, in an undertaking which he justly considers of such essential importance; and he entertains a confident hope, that by their contributions he shall soon be enabled to erect, of solid and enduring materials, the fabric of
St. John's College, Bishop's Auckland, New Zealand.
The Bishop wishes to erect Collegiate buildings of stone, including--
Native Teachers' (Adult) School,
Native Boys' School,
Infant School, (including Orphan Asylum,)
The Bishop feels deeply grateful for the great exertions which have already been made in his behalf: but the writer of this address is confident that none who have hitherto assisted him will be backward to do so again, according to their power, feeling that they can thus most effectually further the cause of Christ and of His Church, and gladden the hearts of that faithful band who have left their native country and the comforts of home, at the call of duty, and for the love of God.
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Contributions for the Diocese of New Zealand may be sent to the Treasurers of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, 79, Pall Mall; or may be paid to the District Treasurers and Secretaries; or to the Bishop of New Zealand's Church Account, at Messrs. GOSLINGS & SHARPE'S, Bankers, Fleet Street.
Subscriptions for ST. JOHN'S COLLEGE, NEW ZEALAND, will be received by the Rev. C. B. DALTON, Rectory, Lambeth; the Rev. WILLIAM SELWYN, Mr; C. J. SELWYN, Esq. Lincoln's Inn; and by Messrs. GOSLINGS & SHARPE, Bankers, Fleet Street, for the Bishop of New Zealand's Church Account (College Fund).
Subscriptions of £50 and upwards may be paid by two or more instalments.
R. CLAY, PRINTER, BREAD STREET HILL.