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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : REV. MR. HART'S ADDRESS.

The Sermons And Addresses At The Seabury Centenary by Various

REV. MR. HART'S ADDRESS.

The Rev. Professor Hart of Trinity College then gave an account of the second day of the commemoration at Aberdeen:

I am to try to give in a few words an account of the many events of the second day of the commemoration at Aberdeen; they shall be as far as possible the very words which were used in the addresses which were read and delivered there. The Holy Communion was celebrated at an early hour in all the churches of the city; and the special service of the day was held in St. Andrew's Church. Before the service began, the Rector of Christ Church, Hartford, on behalf of a considerable number of the clergy and laity of Connecticut, presented to the Bishop of Aberdeen, as representing the Scotch Church, a handsome silver paten and chalice, to be used by himself and his successors. The written address which he read, prefacing it with a few words, recognized the two-fold gift of a century ago -- an Episcopate which, in words so often used at the time, was |free, valid, and purely ecclesiastical,| and a Eucharistic Office embodying catholic and primitive principles. The Bishop of Aberdeen accepted the gift as a witness of faith in God's promises, of the love of the brethren, and of unity of worship, as well in the past and the future as in the present. He then proceeded to celebrate the Holy Communion according to the English rite, which the Scotch canons now require to be used at all synods and ordinations, two other Scotch bishops assisting him, and the vessels just presented being employed both in the consecration and in the administration.

At the close of the service the six Scotch bishops present -- the venerable Primus being still confined to his house by illness -- met in Synod, when, after prayer and proclamation, the record of the acts of the Synod of a hundred years ago and the copy of the Concordate which was left in Scotland were laid upon the table. Our bishop then, in accordance with an appointment given him by the House of Bishops of our Church, presented and read an address prepared, on behalf of that house, by the Presiding Bishop and the Bishops of New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Minnesota. In it, after expressing their affectionate regards towards the Scotch bishops for the heroic act of their predecessors, they called attention to the fact that the name of Bishop Seabury now stands at the head of a list of over a hundred and thirty bishops; and that, though our Church is grateful for the direct connection of her Episcopate with that of the Church of England, she is glad to remember that, through Bishop Seabury, the Scotch succession has been transmitted to every bishop consecrated in this land and will be so transmitted to the end of time. They also expressed our Church's gratitude for the shaping of her office of the Holy Communion in such a way as to make it in harmony with the primitive liturgies. And so, offering warm thanks for offices rendered, for sympathy expressed, and for examples set, they gratefully acknowledged the close spiritual and ecclesiastical relationship which binds the two Churches together. The Bishop of St. Andrews -- Dr. Charles Wordsworth -- read the reply, which was understood to have been framed by the venerable Primus. It alluded to the former sufferings of the Scotch Church, and to the fact that those who consecrated Bishop Seabury rendered themselves liable by that act to felon banishment, but that they did not count their liberty dear to themselves so that they might do something for the sake of Christ. It bore witness to the catholic spirit shown by Dr. Seabury and those whom he represented, when they confessed that by no temporal misfortunes could the grace of Orders be affected, thus showing that the low estate of the Scotch bishops was to them no offense, their poverty no stumbling-block. Then, recalling God's favor as shown to both Churches, the reply used those words which God's people have never forgotten to use in their joy and their prosperity -- and in reading them the voice of the venerable Bishop quivered with emotion -- |Non nobis, Domine, non nobis, sed Nomini Tuo da gloriam.|

The Rector of St. Thomas's Church, New Haven, attended by the other clergy of the delegation, then read an address prepared on behalf of the Bishop, Clergy, and Laity of the Diocese of Connecticut in Convention assembled, by a committee of which the Rector of Trinity Church, New Haven, was chairman. It bore witness to the fidelity and bravery of the Scotch bishops of a century ago in equipping the Church in our diocese for the work it has since done and the witness it has borne; and, repeating the words of the reply which the Connecticut clergy returned to the letter which Bishop Seabury brought from his consecrators, acknowledged our indebtedness to them and our gratitude to God, and promised that we would act with our bishop in maintaining unity of faith, doctrine, discipline, and worship with the Church from which we received our Episcopate. Referring to the depressed state of both Churches a hundred years ago and to their better condition now, we assured them that we still cling to the ancient faith and order, and that we shall never forget our debt of gratitude or fail to recognize and cherish the bond of Christian fellowship sealed in the Concordate even as our fathers have done. The Bishop of St. Andrews read a reply from the Scotch bishops to this address. It spoke of their special pleasure in having Bishop Seabury's successor present at that time, attended by some of the faithful of his diocese. It adopted the words of the saintly Bishop Jolly in saying that Connecticut is to them all a word of peculiar endearment, as the name of its first bishop ever excites their warmest veneration. And, in the language of one of the psalms for this fourteenth day of the month, it thanked God for bringing the Scotch Church to comparative honor and comforting it on every side.

The Bishop of Aberdeen then, in behalf of a large number of contributors, presented to our Bishop the pastoral staff which was borne before him in the procession this morning, calling his attention to the figures upon it, of St. Andrew, the patron-saint of Scotland, St. Ninian, one of the early Celtic evangelists, St. Augustine of Canterbury, as representing the English succession, St. John, to whom the Scotch Communion office (and with it our own) is traced, Bishop Kilgour, the senior consecrator of Bishop Seabury, and Bishop Seabury himself. Our own Bishop replied in words which I will not undertake to report in his presence.

In the afternoon two papers were read: one by the Rev. Dr. Beardsley on |Seabury as a Bishop,| giving a sketch of his life and work, testifying to his fidelity to convictions and his successful efforts to promote peace, by which he brought about the unity of the Church in this land; and one by Professor Grub of the University of Aberdeen, tracing the historic connection between the Scotch and the American Churches. The discussion which followed was remarkable for the representative character of those who took part in it -- our own Bishop, the Bishop of Gibraltar, Canon Trevor of York, Canon White of New South Wales, and Dr. Aberigh-Mackay of Paris (once of Connecticut).

I can do no more than allude to the crowded meeting at the Music Hall in the evening, which was addressed in noble speeches by the Bishop of Minnesota, the Bishop of Winchester, the Rev. Mr. Danson of Aberdeen, Mr. Speir -- a prominent Scotch layman, -- and the Bishop of Albany. There was a wonderful unity of sentiment in what was said, and nothing was more noticeable than the way in which the speakers all referred to the impulse given to Church work by the event which we were commemorating. There was a marvellous inspiration in the volume of voice in which the great assembly recited the Nicene Creed; and the dignified and scholarly language of one of the foremost of English prelates, the earnest and practical words of the Scotch clergyman and layman, the touching eloquence of our great missionary bishop, and the impassioned and bold utterances of the other bishop, who is honored abroad for his father's sake as well as for his own, all sustained and heightened the enthusiasm which had been kindled by the services of these days and the memories and hopes which they had awakened.

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